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Hello everyone!

I have purchased Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF 35mm f1.4 R in late 2018. Owning a Leica MP and a Summilux-M 50mm f1.4 ASPH. before, I wanted that rangefinder feel and classical aperture and shutter speed and manual focus controls, that is why I opted for Fuji and X-Pro2. Although I wish it was a real rangefinder and a real manual focus. But a new digital Leica would have been too expensive for me. My intention was to do portrait and landscape and street photography as a hobby.

But lately I have discovered a passion for women's volleyball photography. I used the 35mm f1.4 when I could position myself right next to the court, and it was usable, especially because of the large aperture. This year, I have purchased XF 16-80mm f4 R OIS WR for that purpose. I know it is not ideal zoom nor aperture for indoor sports, but it was a compromise of the usability and price. I am somewhat satisfied with this lens, but would like to move further.

Since I still find XF 50-140mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR to be too expensive and large and heavy for my amateur purposes, I was wondering coud anyone advice me of a Fuji or a third-party lens which would be good for indoor sports but not too expensive? Ideally some zoom lense in the range of 35-150mm with f2.8, or a prime lense of around 50-60mm with f1 to f2? I was watching Fuji primes reviews in this range, and all have slow autofocus, except for 50mm f2, but 50mm prime would probably be too wide for indoor sports, but maybe that larger aperture of f2 would be usable for lower ISO and possibility of better cropping.

Also, I have never upgraded camera body and lense firmware. If my version is, say 2, could I just upgrade it to version 5, or I need to upgrade it each new version step by step?

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Hi Milos, welcome. I'm too a Leica M user (M7 and M10-R) but I also use the X-Pro2. First, about the firmware updates. You can update straight to v5. Every firmware update contains the full firmware and not just the changed bits.

As for the lens, Fuji has two zoom lenses that might work, but they are both a bit slower in terms of aperture. It's the 55-200 and the 70-300. Both have IOS (the X-Pro2 has not) so that is a benefit. Yet, I believe the 50-140 is the better choice for indoor sports even though the X-Pro2 isn't exactly fast in AF.

Another option might be the long prime lenses. There are two in this category (I won't mention the 200mm): the 80mm macro is very sharp (allows for cropping) and has OIS but is is almost as expensive as the 50-140 and is not easily available as second-hand. The 90mm tele is one of Fuji's best lenses for portraits, is less expensive than the 80mm, but lacks OIS. It focuses very fast though. I loved that lens, but you need to learn to work with it esp. on an X-Pro2. The 50mm f2 is a very nice lens by the way and if the focal length works for you, you can crop by up to 30% (approx. 14-16MP) before quality becomes an issue. 

The OVF of the X-Pro line doesn't work well with lenses longer than 50mm and the EVF of the X-Pro1 and 2 is a TFT-type that doesn't work well in low light and fast action (indoor sports). It has a poor refresh rate and in 'smears' a bit when you move the camera fast. You can however, learn to work with it even though it's not ideal.

As for third-party lenses, I'm not aware of a fast 'long zoom' for X-mount. Tamron announced some lenses for X-mount (so did Sigma) but not in this category as far as I know. Their variable zoom lenses very quickly go to f4.5 or f5.6 once you zoom in. Viltrox and others focus on shorter primes for X-mount.

Edited by Herco
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6 hours ago, Herco said:

Hi Milos, welcome. I'm too a Leica M user (M7 and M10-R) but I also use the X-Pro2. First, about the firmware updates. You can update straight to v5. Every firmware update contains the full firmware and not just the changed bits.

Thank you! This is great news.

6 hours ago, Herco said:

As for the lens, Fuji has two zoom lenses that might work, but they are both a bit slower in terms of aperture. It's the 55-200 and the 70-300. Both have IOS (the X-Pro2 has not) so that is a benefit. Yet, I believe the 50-140 is the better choice for indoor sports even though the X-Pro2 isn't exactly fast in AF.

Another option might be the long prime lenses. There are two in this category (I won't mention the 200mm): the 80mm macro is very sharp (allows for cropping) and has OIS but is is almost as expensive as the 50-140 and is not easily available as second-hand. The 90mm tele is one of Fuji's best lenses for portraits, is less expensive than the 80mm, but lacks OIS. It focuses very fast though. I loved that lens, but you need to learn to work with it esp. on an X-Pro2. The 50mm f2 is a very nice lens by the way and if the focal length works for you, you can crop by up to 30% (approx. 14-16MP) before quality becomes an issue.

Fujinon XF 55-200mm f3.5-4.8 R LM OIS has got nice price, and its aperture in the range of 55-80mm is a little faster than on Fujinon XF 16-80mm f4 R OIS WR that I own, but at 200mm it's f4.8 which I can't tell is usable. I bought 16-80 for indoor sports but also for general purposes like landscape and architecture to complement my 35mm f1.4. For indoor sports, I used it in the range of 50-80mm so far, and I needed some more zoom, but I also know that at some other gyms that I've been before even the 35mm was fine when I could place myself near the court. Not sure if 55-200 is ideal solution for sports either, but it's much cheaper and lighter than 50-140. Heck I think even f2.8 is too small aperture for indoor sports. If I don't go for 50-140, I would most likely go for 55-200.

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When considering the 55-200 also have a look at the 70-300. There's not much difference between f4.8 and f5.6 at the long end and the 70-300 is certainly a faster focusing lens. I'd buy the 55-200 only when it is a great second-hand deal. There's only €100 difference between the two lenses when purchased new. In that case I'd go for the 70-300, but that's just me... 😉

Best Fujifilm Telephoto Zoom Lens 2021 | Photography Blog

Edited by Herco
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1 hour ago, Herco said:

When considering the 55-200 also have a look at the 70-300. There's not much difference between f4.8 and f5.6 at the long end and the 70-300 is certainly a faster focusing lens. I'd buy the 55-200 only when it is a great second-hand deal. There's only €100 difference between the two lenses when purchased new. In that case I'd go for the 70-300, but that's just me... 😉

Best Fujifilm Telephoto Zoom Lens 2021 | Photography Blog

Thank you for your suggestion, but 70 is too tele for me, I did some shots regularly at 50, 55, 60 on my 16-80.

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