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2020.05.14

Portraits with the XF200mm f2 – The Optical Crown Jewel of X-mount

 

By now, it is known that the FUJINON XF200mm f2 is an exemplar of the immense potential when a renowned lens-maker like FUJIFILM decides to pull out all stops to showcase its optical prowess abilities.

Marketed as a super-fast telephoto lens for sports and wildlife, what is not discussed often enough its potential in other photography genres and today we will look at this lens in a more everyday usage situation – portraiture.

XF200mm f2 with FUJIFILM X-T3

For this article, we decided to at the same time visit a much-unexplored spot in Singapore and as such, most of the images shared here were shot with the XF200mm f2 and FUJIFILM X-T3 set-up (unless otherwise stated) at the St. John’s and Lazarus Islands.

XF200mm f2 – FUJIFILM X-T3

It is not difficult to plan a shoot to the islands and this is the boat available to the public.

The XF200mm f2 lens deserves and unless for practical reasons, to be shot wide open and is one of those rare lenses designed to perform at its imaging excellence wide open with its 9 aperture blades.



XF200mm f2 – FUJIFILM X-T3

To compensate for this large aperture, pushing down ISO values (which is generally a good idea) and having an electronic shutter that goes up to 1/32000s in the FUJIFILM X-T3 helps immensely in ensuring balanced exposure.

XF200mm f2 – FUJIFILM X-T3

Everything about this lens is pushed to the extreme. The size, the lens hood, the white pearl coating is insane and the focusing speed to start. And the most important factor – the insane image quality actually makes you rethink the way you shoot.

XF200mm f2, FUJIFILM X-T3

Same shot, cropped in.

I have also done a review of the GF250mm f4 lens, and I may be struck down for this, but the XF200mm f2 basically performs as well and in some aspect does outperform the GF250mm f4.

XF200mm f2 – FUJIFILM X-T3

 

XF200mm f2 – FUJIFILM X-T3

Beyond the marketed sports and wildlife genre, or basically, how optics are sometimes marketed according to their specifications, it is also as important as the person behind the lens to think beyond a ‘recommended’ use.

XF200mm f2 – FUJIFILM X-T3


XF200mm f2 – FUJIFILM X-T3

XF200mm f2 – FUJIFILM X-T3

Of course, a 300mm equivalent focal length is not easy to work with for portraits, that said, the results for the effort are one of a kind in my opinion if one manages to find the space to work with. Here are two comparison shots below to show the P.O.V difference between the XF23mm f1.4(35mm equivalent) and the XF200mm f2 (300mm equivalent). 

XF23mm f1.4 with FUJIFILM X-T3

XF23mm f1.4 with FUJIFILM X-T3

All said, the next lens that I am really looking forward to sharing will be the yet to be released XF50mm f1.0, which I am sure will be another standard-setting piece of excellent optics from FUJIFILM.

XF200mm f2 with FUJIFILM X-T3


Thank you for reading.

About the writer

Keith Wee has been using Fujifilm since 2013. A Mathematics teacher by profession, he is also the administrator of Fujifilm ClubX, the Fujifilm facebook group for all photography aficionados. He writes about life and photography reviews at keithwee.com. He can be reached at [email protected].