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Fuji Showcase XC 50-230 Samples

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Ok, my XC 50-230 has arrived from Japan. For the record, I got it on Ebay from a reputable seller in Japan for about $180 shipped. It's the ugly silver one, but I care not one iota, as long as it works (check) and it's cheap (check). I took it out this morning on the way to work, and was greeted by light drizzle and grey clouds everywhere. These have been tweaked slightly, but not heavily. All were hand-held.

ISO 800, 1/120 second, f6.7, 230mm
KBRX9818P
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

ISO 640, 1/180 second, f6.7, 230mm, slight rotation and crop
KBRX9871P
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Exactly the same settings as above.
KBRX9875P
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

Initial thoughts: For $180, this is stupidly useful. It talks to the camera and runs on auto when I want it to, focus is more than fast enough, there's more or less no CA or fringing, contrast and colors are better than the old film glass by far, it really benefits from being stopped down a click or two, the OIS works pretty damned well (good for 1/30 so far at 50mm, and 1/125 at 230mm). It's shorter than I pictured, until you zoom it out, at which point it becomes comically long. It's LIGHT, thanks to all that fragile plastic. When you click it on, it barely makes a click and doesn't have that "ohhhh hell yeah" solid XF lens feeling. But it has incredible reach, and it does its job WAY better than it ought to.
 

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
164
Sunny Frimley
Interesting... You can get a good used example for under £150 here now, with a 6 month warranty from a reputable dealer. It's almost rude not to, particularly for travel use when the excellent 55-200 gets a little heavy. On the subject of CA, can you post a 100% crop of the tree branches from the penultimate photo above, please?
 

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Interesting... You can get a good used example for under £150 here now, with a 6 month warranty from a reputable dealer. It's almost rude not to, particularly for travel use when the excellent 55-200 gets a little heavy. On the subject of CA, can you post a 100% crop of the tree branches from the penultimate photo above, please?
Sure thing, though it's blurry.

17178020881_43799bbe36_o
by gordopuggy, on Flickr
 

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
More fun, this time in Harvard Square at the end of last week. Grey weather, I'm afraid, so I still don't have "high sun" shots. But I'll abuse it when I do, going for flare and CA. Meanwhile, i did finally notice slower focusing speeds when it's starting off at the wrong end of the range. The poor thing, it's a mile long in there and I'm sure it got short shrift on focus motors to keep the cost down. It tracks focus at 8fps as well as any XF lens I've used, as far as I can tell. It pulled in 90% correct shots of incoming cyclists.

All samples SOOC...

KBRX9886
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX9891
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX9901
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

KBRX9913
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

For $180, you'd need a REALLY compelling reason to go for the more expensive versions if you're going to use this thing once in awhile like I am. Cripes, man, look at this thing.
 

Biro

Super Moderator
Aug 7, 2011
124
Jersey Shore
Well, I just ordered one myself from the same eBay seller in Japan that I bought the XC 16-50 from. $169. And, yes, it's the ugly silver one that no one wants. But who cares? I should have it sometime in the first two weeks of May. Your results made the difference, Kyle, so thanks. BTW, did you need to update the lens firmware when you got it or are you running with whatever it had already?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Running whatever it had. Popped it onto my up-to-date XT1 and began shooting right away, no issues.

I've been going over the rest of these sample shots from Friday, and am doubly impressed. I have a landscape oriented shot at 230mm of a cop talking to a guy, where the cop (knees to top of head) fills the frame vertically, and when you crop to 100%, you can read the "Dr Pepper" fine print on the bottle in his hand, as well as the NOTICE text on the ticket in the hands of the guy who's talking to him (presumably about the parking ticket he just got). I should just upload it...
 

Biro

Super Moderator
Aug 7, 2011
124
Jersey Shore
Well, the lens is still not the fastest - whether we're talking about aperture or focus speed. But, in truth, neither should matter for our planned use of this lens. So it's an excellent trade-off if one is shooting outdoors and not doing fast-moving sports. And even then, I'll bet one can still get reasonable results shooting sports by using the old film-school methods.

And remember, one can't find a new example of the black version of this lens for under $350 - not even in Japan. So that's probably the appropriate market price for this glass. It's just that most people don't want the silver version. Their loss is our gain.
 

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Focus tracking on it is really not bad - I didn't notice any problems tracking cyclists coming towards me. Or, what problems I did notice were the same as all the other XF lenses I have. You're limited in max aperture, for sure, so shutter speed / ISO will have to make up for it, but in bright light it's not an issue. I feel like this will cover 90% of the uses someone like me will ever have for such a long lens. Time will tell - and to be clear, I've just gotten the thing and barely used it, but ... on paper it seems like there's very little to get annoyed by during the day. Once the golden hour hits, it's going back in the bag.
 

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Bill Palmer, I took this unbelievably boring photograph today just for you. And I didn't molest it in post one bit. I dictated f8, aimed it up at the far branches, and fired one off. Sun is STILL not bright, it's been grey as England here, but ... sigh.

KBRX0780
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

I took this one to see how easily I could focus on her and not the intervening ropes, and it was no issue. I'm sure that's the camera and not the lens, but it also gave me a chance to flick back and forth from near focus to far (ropes, her, ropes, her, back and forth) and I'm starting to walk back my "I guess it focuses a little slow" talk. It did fine, honestly it was perfectly fine. Borderline "perky." Absolutely not an issue for anything like normal shooting.

KBRX0758
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

And a test of sharpness wide open at 230mm. This one was shot at f6.7, 1/500, from about ten feet away. I implore you to have a look at the full sized file in Flickr...

KBRX0749
by gordopuggy, on Flickr

You can see my reflection pretty clearly in his eyeball, along with all the disgusting goopy details of his facial fur (poor old lump). I suppose it doesn't tell us much about the corners, but if this is "not very sharp at 230mm" then cry me a river. I didn't expect anything like this for $180.
 

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
164
Sunny Frimley
I can't reconcile the performance with the price.
Neither can I...

It's taken me a while to process these but I'm really impressed. So much that I am now torn as to what to take to Le Mans next weekend, this or the 55-200 - and I never thought I would say that!

This, incidentally, is "scurry racing" - no, I didn't know either...

Portsmouth County Fair May 2015 X-T1 Scurry Race 4
par Lightmancer, on ipernity
...and a bit of Punch & Judy:

Portsmouth County Fair May 2015 X-T1 Punch and Judy 1
par Lightmancer, on ipernity​

...what a surprisingly cracking lens this is!
 
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