I’ve written about the fabulous Fuji 55-200 lens in the past but I have to say it is a truly spectacular piece of glass! FF field of view approximately 84mm to 300mm. Pretty sweet.
I got this lens before the 50-140 2.8 came out; and I considered my options — upgrade? sell the 55-200? what should I do? I’m here to say I’m glad I did nothing. The 50-140 2.8, though a phenomenal lens, is too expensive, too big, and too heavy for me. I switched from Nikon to Fuji to save weight, and my back so I’ll be darn if I’m lugging the 50-140 2.8 around. Heck, I remember lugging my fabulously sharp, and oh so heavy, 70-200 2.8 in the woods. No more.
Honestly I’ve tested both. I cannot tell the difference in sharpness. I read the stories and reviews about how phenomenal the lens is, and the writers are most likely correct. But for me the 55-200 just works. But that’s me. It’s small, lightweight, and has a marvelous range, plus it’s reasonably fast! Can’t ask for anything more than that.
What I will stress here is that if you are planning on purchasing one or the other, test them. Rent them. Use them out in the field. That would be the best way to determine if you can live with one or the other. I remember a year or so ago I purchased the Fuji 56mm 1.2 based on the positive reviews online. I shot three events back to back with it the same day and, after only the first event, wound up switching to my 35 1.4, and the 18-55 to finish the job! The 56 1.2, in a extremely well-light church and I mean well lit — sunny day, large skylights, bright light colored interior, and huge windows letting in the light down both sides, the damn thing refused to lock focus often enough that I switched it out and never looked back. It was returned for a full refund that Monday morning. Maybe it was a bad copy. Maybe it was I read too much into how great the lens was. I don’t know. But I’m to going back to it. Waaaaay too much money for a fixed focal length, that almost cost me some serious dough by not working as I expected it to.
Anyway, I’ll stop here singing the praises of the 55-200. You be the judge.