Lens review

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS

24 May 2016
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution test of the Fujinon XF 100–400 mm f/4.5–5.6 R LM OIS lens was based on RAW files from the Fujifilm X-E1. The files were developed by the dcraw program (with the 3-pass X-trans filter algorithm) and analyzed with the help of the Imatest package.

Let’s remind here that the best fixed focal length lenses of the Fujifilm X system, tested in that way, reach results of 73-75 lpmm and the decency level is situated near 42-43 lpmm. The record value, amounting to 78 lpmm, belongs to the Fujinon XF 90 mm f/2 R LM WR.

First let’s check how the tested lens performs in the frame centre. The graph below presents MTFs we got at 100, 200, 300 and 400 mm.

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Fujifilm Fujinon XF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS - Image resolution

A t first glance and compared to the info we provided in the introduction of this chapter, the results of the Fujinon aren’t impressive at all. Still several things should be taken into account. Firstly, even quite good system “primes” don’t exceed a level of 70 lpmm (e.g. the Fujinon 1.4/16). Secondly, an even performance in the 100-300 mm range should be considered a definite asset. Thirdly, even if the results aren’t breaking any records they remain really good. The maximum relative aperture at the longest focal length lags behind the rest but even there we got 50 lpmm so definitely a value above the decency level. The Fujinon 100-400 mm allows you to shoot photos of very good quality across all focal length range and by every aperture from f/4.5 to f/16. It would be hard to expect more from a super-telephoto zoom lens which focal range ends as far as 400 mm.

Still it’s worth mentioning that the competitors fare a bit better in this area. Such constructions as the Canon EF 100–400 mm f/4.5–5.6 IS USM II or the Nikkor AF-S 80–400 mm f/4.5–5.6G ED VR show a tad higher MTFs and don’t feature such a noticeable dip at the maximum focal length.

Now let’s check how the situation looks on the edge of the frame – the appropriate graph is presented below.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS - Image resolution

For most combinations of focal lengths and apertures the results are of good quality. You can have just one reservation concerning the maximum relative aperture at both ends of the focal range – there the MTFs are a bit below the decency level. Still the Fujinon is hardly worse than its rivals in that place. The maximum relative aperture of the Nikkor AF-S 80–400 mm f/4.5–5.6G ED VR on the edge of the APS-C/DX sensor seems to be a tad weaker than that of the Fujinon; mind you the Nikkor was designed as a full frame lens. Still the Canon EF 100–400 mm f/4.5–5.6 IS USM II remains a class of its own – noticeably better than the Fujinon and the Nikkor.

At the end of this chapter traditionally we present crops taken from photos of our resolution testing chart which were saved as JPEG files.

X-E1, JPEG, 200 mm, f/5.6
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS - Image resolution
X-E1, JPEG, 400 mm, f/5.6
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS - Image resolution