XC50-230 on X-T1 - good enough?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by AndyMcD, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. AndyMcD

    AndyMcD FujiXspot Rookie

    22
    Jul 15, 2017
    East Midlands, UK
    I mainly shoot manual focus primes. My main walkaround lens is the Samyang 21/1.4 and I'll usually have a Samyang 12/2 and Nikon 50/1.4AIS on me as well.

    I own some longer manual focus lenses, and some zooms but I struggle with focusing if things are moving - my hit rate is abysmal. I could probably deal with this through better technique, but I am not taking those kinds of pictures often enough to get the practise.

    I'm thinking of picking up a native zoom to use on those occasions (holidays , kids sports days etc.) and I'm attracted by the price of the 50-230 (I see an OIS II version new for less than £180).

    I definitely won't be looking at a 50-140/2.8, but the other options could be the XF55-200 (but that would be nearly four times the price) or the 18-135, but I don't think that would be long enough focal length and I'm comfortable with what I have in terms of wider lenses.

    I've bought cheap AF zooms before (whilst using a Nikon D300) and always regretted it (e.g. old style Sigma 70-300, Tamron 18-250). The things I struggled with then were poor results in anything other than "sunny 16" conditions and poor AF.

    I think that the combination of good high ISO handling (in the X-T1) and the OIS on the lens (3 - 3.5 stops) addresses my point about lower light conditions but I wonder how well the AF works and whether that would make me regret buying one. Can anyone confirm or allay my concerns?

    Thanks,

    Andy
     
  2. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    510
    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I used to have the Mark I version of the XC 55-230 and gave it to my nephew along with the XC 16-50 and my X-A1. You'll find that a number of us use or have used the XC lenses - the 55-230 in particular.

    My take: As long as you have no issues with the slower aperture versus the other Fuji zooms in roughly the same focal range, the XC's are just fine. Optically, the XC's are right up there. All you're really giving up is a stop of so of speed and an aperture ring. The XC's are a great deal.

    Look for posts by Kyle (KillRamsey), who uses the 50-230 often. In fact, here's some of his work with the X-T1 and the 50-230...

    SOOC Windsports, Hood River OR
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
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  3. Matero

    Matero FujiXspot Regular

    165
    Jan 28, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    I haven't use XC lenses, so this is hearsay and others' opinions I'm reflecting. XC's are lighter, because of plastic housing, and slower in aperture, but optically satisfactory, to put it modest way :)

    XF zooms are candies. Very good build quality with metal housing and optically very good, indeed. I'm shooting mainly with primes and have only XF55-200 zoom to reach further when needed. I'm very happy with the results it's giving. My recommendation would be XF55-200 and if just occasional use XC50-230 for better reach and acceptable quality with small money.
     
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  4. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    I had the 55-200 and sold it when the 100-400 was anmounced. I picked up a 50-230 while I was waiting, to fill the gap. It is exceptional for the price and the weight and makes a great travel lens. I have kept it for that very reason.

    Surrey CC vs Derbyshire CC Royal London One Day Cup 16 Ansari.
     
  5. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    The 50-230 is a great lens for the price. Great image quality, range, and light weight. The IS is really good. I would not use it indoors. But Kyle has had really good results with it indoors. Outdoors, I also have had good results with moving subjects. These were with the 50-230/X-T1 combo.......

    T1B08130-L.
    T1B08132-L.
     
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  6. AndyMcD

    AndyMcD FujiXspot Rookie

    22
    Jul 15, 2017
    East Midlands, UK
    Thanks, the KillRamsey pictures are spendid.

    I'm definitely in the latter camp (occasional use)

    Excellent picture - looks like exactly the type of situation I want to cover

    Thanks Bobby, I really like the second picture.
     
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  7. AndyMcD

    AndyMcD FujiXspot Rookie

    22
    Jul 15, 2017
    East Midlands, UK
    Well, based on what you guys are saying, plus @KillRamsey@KillRamsey 's excellent kite surfing pictures, I've taken the plunge and ordered one. It is a black OIS II version and it should arrive late this week. Hopefully this will allow me to get some decent action pics of our greyhound when we take her to the beach in a few weeks.

    Will post some thoughts once it arrives.
     
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  8. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    For the price of the 50-230, it is a can't go wrong purchase.
     
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  9. AndyMcD

    AndyMcD FujiXspot Rookie

    22
    Jul 15, 2017
    East Midlands, UK
    I hope it isn't. The other lens experience I am comparing against were all screw drive lenses, plus no OIS. I do read good things about the 50-230, so I am hopeful that it will meet my needs.

    Andy
     
  10. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    510
    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I'd be shocked if the lens didn't work out for you. Congratulations... we're looking forward to seeing the results.
     
  11. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    A couple of tips (for what it's worth):

    1. When you first power the camera up, you should focus it on something out about the right distance away, before the "real picture" stuff happens. That will give the AF a lot less length to have to hunt through. It does ok, but the speed isn't as fast as the new lenses (nor is the price).
    2. Those kiteboarding shots tend to be taken at f7.1, ISO800, and shutter speeds around 1/2000. Putting the aperture at 7.1 means it stays the same as you zoom, which (if you shoot all manual) makes life a lot easier. A side benefit of being at ISO800 is that the camera can go Dynamic Range 400 for the jpgs, where it pulls back a lot of info out of the highlights.
    3. I actually said on here once that I never use it indoors, and then I shot an indoor talk in a dim theater that same night, and used the hell out of it. When your subject isn't moving much, 1/50 of a second stabilized is fine!

    32935850035_77b0e3974c_b. KBRX9851 by gordopuggy, on Flickr
     
  12. AndyMcD

    AndyMcD FujiXspot Rookie

    22
    Jul 15, 2017
    East Midlands, UK
    Lens arrived yesterday, but I'd just done a 30 hour stint at work so didn't get to use it until this morning. Took it on a dog walk and tried it out.

    It's early days, but I think this lens is going to be fine for what I need.

    Here are a few from earlier:

    35244260384_1a1f40cb85_b.
    XT1A3100-Edit.jpg
    by Andy McDonald, on Flickr

    35244263594_7ba512617c_b. Branches and Leaves by Andy McDonald, on Flickr

    35244264814_4d095988df_b. Yellow by Andy McDonald, on Flickr

    35244262304_01548ff5a1_b. Bridge 60, Belvoir Canal by Andy McDonald, on Flickr

    35276106593_bd352b67bc_b. Belvoir Canal by Andy McDonald, on Flickr

    @KillRamsey@KillRamsey thanks for the tip about increasing focus area size - that definitely helps it to nail focus.
     
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  13. AndyMcD

    AndyMcD FujiXspot Rookie

    22
    Jul 15, 2017
    East Midlands, UK
    Had an opportunity to try the lens out on the dog today - managed to get one keeper, but I am slowly learning how to use it.

    35266922544_732657d782_b. Running by Andy McDonald, on Flickr

    Had more success with slower moving subjects

    35716120950_c71dc26e6d_b. Young Duck by Andy McDonald, on Flickr

    I've noticed it can be slow acquiring focus initially, but I haven't noticed it having any trouble or taking much time once it is focused somewhere near where it needs to be.
     
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  14. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    Yes that's exactly what I find with it as well. I need to prefocus it to get it in the ballpark, and then it's plenty quick.