Fujifilm XF 55-200mm VS XC 50-230mm

Fujifilm’s Best Tele Lens

Fujinon XF 55-200mm VS Fujinon XC 50-230mm

Fujifilm’s Best Budget Telephoto Lens

Fujinon XF55-200mm F/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

A full review of the two best budget lenses from Fujifilm the XF 55-200mm compared to the XC 50-230mm. Today we'll review the sharpness, rendition, contrast and overall usability of these two lenses. Therefore, we'll determine what suits your photography requirements from a price vs image quality perspective. Watch a full comparions of these two lenses here.

The XF 50-200mm, my current go-to lens and my beloved telephoto lens, but why? As a full-time landscape photographer, I love the idea of having a tri lens setup (Learn about Tri Lenses here), and the XF 55-200mm fits my photography needs due to size, weight and image quality.

Photo: Fujifilm X-T3 & Fujinon XF55-200mm Lens - Fairytale Canyon, Kyrgyzstan

Fujinon XF 55-200mm essential facts:

- 55-200mm Focal Length (Equiv 84-305mm in 35mm format)

- F3.5-4.8 Maximum Aperture & F/22 Minimum Aperture

- 75.0 mm diameter x 118 (177 mm fully extended at 200mm)

- Weight 580g (20.5 oz)

- "Up to" 4.5 stops of Image Stabilisation

- 62mm filter thread

- 14 elements in 10 groups

- 7 rounded blades

- Autofocus & Image Stabilised

- Price €699.00

Image Stabilisation

The image stabilisation from the XF 55-200mm is remarkable, especially with the F3.5 aperture - an advantage over the XC 50-230. Handheld images from the XF lens paired with X-T3 have been sharp at 1/8 at 200mm. Pairing it with the XH-1 for video purpose - nothing but near-perfect handheld results.

Fujinon XF Autofocus & Sharpness

Autofocus through this lens in both video and image is mere on perfect being silent, reliable and always accurate through the whole focal range.

Sharpness is second to none throughout the entire focal range of this lens. In the photo comparison below the XF clearly wins in sharpness, especially from F/5.6 to F/11 where landscape photography is most commonly shot.

Fujinon XC 50-230mm F/4.5-6.7 OIS II

The budget lens from Fujifilm the XC 50-230mm, extremely lightweight, inexpensive and relatively decent image quality. Personally not owning this lens, but thanks to my good friend Maurice this direct comparison of budget Fujifilm telephoto lens is possible.

Photo: Fujifilm X-T2 & Fujinon XC50-230mm Lens - Jamnik Church, Slovenia Credit: Maurice Van Den Boogard

Fujinon XC 50-230mm essential facts:

- 50-230mm Focal Length (Equiv 76-350mm in 35mm format)

- F4.5-6.7 Maximum Aperture & F/22 Minimum Aperture

- 69.5 mm diameter x 111 (177 mm fully extended at 200mm)

- Weight 375g (13.22 oz)

- "Up to" 3.5 stops of Image Stabilisation (OIS II Version)

- 58mm filter thread

- 13 elements in 10 groups

- 7 rounded blades

- Autofocus & Image Stabilised

- Price €366.59

Fujifilm XC50-230mm Image Stabilisation

The image stabilisation from the XC 50-230mm seems excellent regarding the more significant minimum aperture and exceptional price tag. Handheld images from the XC lens paired with X-T3 need to be bumped up to 1/50 at 230mm to produce sharp images. Pairing it with the XH-1 for video purpose seemed to yield pleasing results.

Fujinon XC Autofocus & Sharpness

Autofocus through this lens seems to hunt significantly, notably when comparing it to it's a bigger brother. The inconsistent focus was measured in visible daylight and a low contrast area. Assuming these issues would be amplified in high contrast areas, especially in low light situations. Therefore, not an excellent result for video users, but if manual focus is your forte for photography and videography use - this will be no issue!

Sharpness is passable throughout the entire focal range of this lens. Being directly compared to the XF series, it shows significant flaws - even between F/5.6 to F/11.

XF 55-200mm VS XC 50-230 Comparison

- Price (XF €699.00 VS XC €366.59 - July 2019)

- Metal VS Plastic build quality

- XF F/3.5-4.7 VS XC F/4.5-6.7

- 55-200mm VS 50-230mm Focal Range

- OIS external switch VS OIS In-Camera switch

- Aperture switch VS None

- Aperture Ring VS Button Control on Camera

- 14/10 VS 13/10 (Elements/Groups)

Fujifilm XF VS XC Lenses

In conclusion, comparing these two lenses directly, it's obvious the XF 55-200mm is a clear winner. But, saying this, you don't always need the best of the best, the question you need to answer is

"How often do you shoot telephoto photography?"

If often, yes I 100% agree the XF is best for you, but the XC is an adequate lens for those who wish to dapple in "some" telephoto images. Maurice and I came to this conclusion, he doesn't need to upgrade because of these reasons he doesn't shoot telephoto often, it's lightweight, and cheap to replace.

Therefore, our conclusion is: It's better to have a telephoto lens in your bag because you never know what nature will deliver. Capturing the images is 100x more important than the sharpness of a lens.


Matthew Storer

Matthew Storer

Travel & Landscape Photographer

Australian. YouTuber. Adventurer.

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