Last Friday I visited the Open Door at Koksijde Air Base. It wasn’t the biggest event, but it was good to be back at the base and shoot some planes again. The line up had the local helicopters out as well as a C-130, Marchetti and A-109. The weather too wasn’t really cooperative, but at least it stayed dry… The event gave me the opportunity to finally test my 55-200mm f3.5-4.8 lens. I bought it a year ago, but hadn’t really used it.
During A2A shoots I usually have my 18-135mm on my body because this gives me the perfect range. During travels I use the same lens or my fixed 18mm. So now after a year I took my 55-200mm out and had a go with it.
The lens is bigger than my other lenses, but has a regular size when compared to the Nikon and Canon counterparts. The weight is even more than the Nikon or Canon lenses, while size and weight was one of my reasons to change to Fujifilm… I do have the feeling though that because of the weight and size it feels more firm than the Nikon tele lenses I used to have.
The autofocus is pretty fast. Shooting the Seaking helicopter went easy, but I’m sure it will not be fast enough when it comes to shooting the faster jets. When you think about using the lens for static object this of course won’t be a problem. The speed is easily forgotten when you see the sharpness of the lens. It slightly less sharp than my other lenses, but I can’t criticize it because it’s still good!
The 55-200 has stabilization which of course helps when shooting at the lower shutter speeds. It came in handy as I was photographing heli’s and prop planes.
I can’t really talk or judge about the vignetting and distortions as I didn’t really gave it a test. Looking at my photos, I can’t really find anything so I guess it’s not a problem.
Overall I’m happy with this lens. The speed is not the best, but the sharpness is good. It’s not to heavy or to big and the stabilization works fine and is a help when shooting at lower shutter speeds. I would probably go for a faster lens if I would need to use this type of lens more often, but as I only use it a couple of times a year it’s more than sufficient!