They say the best camera is the one that you have with you but I say it is having the best lens for the job is what really makes all the difference. Around my house we get some rather exotic looking birds from time to time. These Wood Storks were sitting in my back yard a couple of days ago. The didn’t seem to mind me taking photos of them, at least for a few minutes.
When the birds do come by its nice to know you have a lens that can capture them in full glory. I think Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens is a great addition to the Fujifilm line of outstanding lenses. I purchased mine with the Fujinon XF1.4X TC WR 1.4 factor teleconverter.
Strangely, shortly after purchasing the lens and teleconverter we suffered through a very hot dry summer that kept the birds away, but that is another story. Anyway the XF 100-400mm is one of Fujifilm’s red badged premium lens. It has a rather high price tag unless you compare it with some of the other lens manufacturers. Right now (before Christmas 2016) it is on sale for $1699 most places.
The lens is big and heavy compared to other Fujifilm lenses but not overwhelming. In my hand I can carry my X-T1/X-T2 with the lens attached with in one hand while I’m walking around. It balances well with three fingers on the grip. The range of the camera on the APS-C is from 150mm to 600mm which gives you plenty of reach. With the 1.4 teleconverter is reaches out to 800mm. I do most of my shooting (granted with good light) hand held with the 5 Stop OIS image stabilization system. When you are all the way out to 800mm you do sometimes need a bit more of a foundation like a tripod. At 400mm the max aperture is F5.6 and at 800 the max aperture is F8 but that should not be an issue, just find enough light.
Speaking of the tripod. The lens does have a collar mount so that the lens itself can be mounted on a tripod. The foot of the collar is not very big and may cause some issues with mounting it. I have not had an issue with that but some have complained. It is much smaller than the foot on the Fujinon XF50-140mm F2.i R LM OIS WR lens. When mounted on the lens foot there is a lock off so you can turn the camera between landscape and portrait mode which I think all lens should have (but not realistically).
The lens focus is quick especially with the X-T2 and using the continuous zone focusing can produce some very sharp images. There is a lot of detail and the contrast and color is quite good. This is an all round good lens. I don’t have any images of birds in flight as my skills in panning need a refresher course or maybe just a complete do over. Nothing to do with the lens.