Aviation photography experts, The AIR Tech Group, took the new Fujinon XF150-600mmF5.6-8 out shooting on the airfield. We caught up with them afterwards to talk about its performance. (Images by Matthew Brooks)
What were your thoughts the first time you held the XF150-600mmF5 in hand?
We unboxed a brand-new lens for our testing, so we got the experience of opening it up for the first time. After getting all the manuals and accessories out of the box, we held the lens for the first time. Before taking it out of its plastic, we were impressed by how light it was. Then, when we removed it from the plastic, we were all immediately impressed with the quality and “feel” of the lens. The build quality looks excellent; the finish is like the epic 200mmF2 lens.
The focus ring was smooth, and adjusting the aperture ring was satisfying, giving us those familiar Fujifilm clicks. As we used the lens throughout the day, it drew many curious pilots in who commented on the lens. We were pleased that the lens came with a carry bag, and, importantly, a nice, rubberised Fujifilm strap.
Can you comment on the lens’ autofocus performance?
The lens focused very quickly, smoothly, and reliably. It hit its mark consistently, and we never missed any shots because of the lens. We can’t really think of anything negative to say here, overall, it performed very well.
How easy was it to zoom in and out?
The zoom was easy to use. It had slightly more tension than some competitor’s lenses, but not enough to make it inconvenient. This also meant that the lens never changed focal lengths unintentionally. We liked that it was an internal zoom lens.
What do you think about the XF150-600mmF5’s size and weight?
Both the size and weight of the lens for its impressive (and internal) zoom were fantastic. All these positives of course must come with some sacrifice. The lens is high quality, light weight, compact and very affordable – the sacrifice to accomplish this is a smaller aperture. In our use case, being aviation photography, this is the perfect sacrifice. We spend long days carrying heavy lenses, and we always shoot with narrow apertures to accomplish slower shutter speeds. If you are a nature photographer looking to capture subjects in low light, then this lens is probably not for you.
The internal zoom is an added benefit for us. Knowing the exact dimensions of your shooting space and not worrying about hitting branches, air show spectators, or the cockpit glass in front of you all help.
Who would you recommend the lens to?
We would recommend this lens to people with a specific end goal. If you are needing to carry a lens all day long that has a broad focal range, then this is a great option. It really is exceptionally lightweight for its size. This is a perfect lens for showing motion on moving subjects where one would generally use a narrower aperture. It’s perfect for what we do and would make an excellent addition to our gear for capturing aircraft in motion.
If you are on a budget, and don’t want to sacrifice quality, then this is an excellent choice. This lens is super sharp, and the focal lengths mean that proportions on the subjects are accurate, with no real distortion.
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