My Fuji system is small and light with superb XF lenses and the cameras are a joy to use. They have a plethora of small light and quite bright prime lenses and they really shine too.
Since the introduction of the X-T30 and X-T3, Fuji have finally cracked the autofocus speed problem that their earlier cameras had. Not that they were really bad, it's just that other system cameras were a lot better. I took the X-E2 out for a spin mounting a second 18-55 f2.8-4.0 lens I purchased via ebay. The focusing speed and accuracy between the X-E2 and the X-T3/30 is like night and day. In favour of the X-T3/30 of course!
But this post isn’t really about their cameras but about their lenses. I own and use quite a few of their XF lenses but I hadn't really taken any notice about their XC lenses. I certainly hadn't used them before until I came across a forum post which cought my eye. I purchased all three XC lenses with a couple of new cameras. Before anybody complains that I've too much money, you can purchase all three XC lenses for the price of one XF lens (or near enough).
Let’s look at these lenses:
XC 15-45mm F3.5-5.6 OIS PZ
Price: €225 average
Small light and has nothing really to compare it to in the XF range of lenses. 35mm equivalent to 23-69mm. Personally I find that rather a strange range for a lens and if someone has any idea about why they chose that, please let me know. I have no idea. I can’t complain about the build quality either. Granted, not as sturdy as the XF lenses but it doesn’t feel cheap either.
The only real XF alternative for this lens is the 18-55 f2.8-4.0. Although it is classed as a kit lens, if you wish to purchase this lens new it will cost you €800 today. That is why I bought my second copy on ebay for €250.
Would I recomment this lens to anyone thinking about purchasing it, or maybe that is all the person con afford. A resounding YES, I would. Really good image quality and colour is very good too. Personally I have no qualms about using this lens on any Fuji camera. Very good bargain if it's all you can afford. My only gripe really is the focal range of the lens, I prefer something a little longer but that's only because that's how I see the would.
XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS II
35mm equivalent to 24-75mm. An excellent mid-range zoom. This is the lens that nearly every FF user has in their bag (not this lens but the equivalent to it on their respective systems). Again I can’t complain about the build quality. It auto focuses fast and is accurate. What more could you want.
So after seeing the images, would you upgrade your lens to the XF 16-55 f2.8 lens? That’s about the XF equivalent to this lens. It costs like €1000 with a weight of like 700g. Personally, I wouldn’t but many would require that f2.8 for background separation. It also has a 77mm filter which makes filters quite expensive.
XC 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS II
Price: Varies between €200 and €400 (this is for the version II)
35mm equivalent to 75-345mm. Quite impressive and image quality is very, very good in my opinion.
Replacing this lens with the 50-200 f3.5-4.8 will cost you €650 and weighs nearly double at 580g. In my opinion the 50-200 is not that much better than this lens and I wouldn’t upgrade. The only reason I have it is when I bought into the system the XC lenses weren’t on the market.