I have rented this lens three times to use for birding photography. I have always admired Ray Hennessey’s wildlife photography from afar, but earlier this year, I booked a few of his anytime bird photography workshops. During the spring migration of Warblers, I reserved several dates that worked with my schedule and Ray introduced me to these beautiful birds. I love the colour and behaviour of these delightful little birds.
I have only one lens for my Fujifilm X-T2; the Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR. It’s an excellent lens but lacks sufficient focal lens for wildlife photography. For the one-on-one workshops with Ray, I rented a Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, a super-telephoto zoom lens, from Lensrentals.
Fujifilm seems to enjoy using a long and complicated naming convention for their products, and while the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR has the longest name I have seen yet, every part of the name is significant. Similar to Nikkor for Nikon lens, Fujinon is the brand name of Fujifilm lenses. The XF means that the lens is designed for Fujifilm’s X-Mount cameras. The R indicates that the lens has an aperture ring, something that is infrequently found in lenses from the “Big Brands”, but something that I consider a requirement for all my lenses. LM stands for Linear Motor, the auto-focus system inside the lens.
The “WR” signifies weather-resistance, which is quite useful if your camera is weather-sealed and you like shooting in damp conditions like in the rain or snow or near waterfalls or the ocean. I once was caught out in a thunder-storm with some friends and none of our Nikon’s was weather sealed. My friends’ Nikon was soaked and stopped working. I once went out shooting during a light snowstorm. Melting snow caused my Nikon DSLR to start “throwing errors”. I like WR lenses.
The OIS stands for Optical Image Stabilisation with this lens having five stops of stabilisation. The Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR has a maximum aperture of f/4.5 or f/5.6 depending on the focal length setting.
The focal length of the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is 100-400mm which, when attached to a Fujifilm X-Mount camera with 1.52 (APS-C) crop factor, has an equivalent 35mm format full-frame focal length of 152-609mm, which makes it a super-telephoto lens. With the exception of wildlife, sports, and portrait photography, long and very long telephoto lenses are a lot less useful than a “standard” zoom.
Although the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is a 152-609mm 35mm full-frame, to me the lens did not feel as large or as hefty. A Nikon 600mm lens weighs 2.3 kg which is more than the weight of the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR and Fujifilm X-T2 combined. I carried the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR and Fujifilm X-T2 in my hand with a hand strap. I did not get tired from holding this kit in my hand and so saw no need to hang the kit off my shoulder.
My rental unit arrived with a plastic hood which extended this 10 cm long lens to 16.5 cm, however, the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens is mostly made of metal. It feels and operates like a well-made product.
Auto-focus on the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens is very quick and is nearly silent, which is precisely what I wanted while out in the field, huddled behind bushes while photographing birds with Ray. I did not use the manual focus.
As one would expect from Fujifilm, the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is a sharp lens.
The Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is an excellent option for wildlife photography, although but may not reach far enough for some scenarios. Fujifilm makes two weather-resistant teleconverters, the Fujifilm XF1.4X TC WR and Fujifilm XF2X TC WR, which extend the zoom range to 213-853mm and 304-1218mm respectively. All I can say to that is “whoa”! I have not used these teleconverters.
To conclude, I think the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is an excellent option for wildlife photography. In fact, it may be the only option for the Fujifilm X-Mount system. If I had the budget for and a regular need for an expensive wildlife lens, the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens would be definitely worth owning.
- Name: Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
- Tested on: Fujifilm X-T2
- Manufacturer spec sheet
- Mount: Fujifilm X-Mount
- Zoom/Prime: Zoom
- Focal Length: 100-400mm (152-609mm FF FOV)
- Maximum Aperture: f/4.5 (wide) and f/5.6 (telephoto)
- Minimum aperture: f/22
- Diaphragm Blades: 9 (rounded diaphragm opening)
- Focus range: 1.75m to infinity
- Weight: 1.375 kg
- Product Ratings (1=miserable, 5=excellent):
- Construction Quality: 4.5
- Image Quality: 4.3
- Overall Value For Price: 4.0
- Recommended: Yes
All images below were captured hand-held with the camera set to 1/500 sec or 1/320 sec, auto ISO, auto aperture.