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X-T5 telephoto Options


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Hello all.  I'm hoping for some advise.

Recently I have got into photography.  I currently have the X-T5, 16-80 fuji and 13mm Viltrox. I enjoy landscape photography, astro and nightscapes.  I can't speak about street or wildlife but I have always wanted to try wildlife.   Honestly, I'm just trying to figure out what I like.  I've like the idea of having a decent reach telephoto so I'm looking for options.  I doubt that I'll get heavy into bird photography but we are looking at an Alaskan Cruise that I'd love to have some reach with.  I'm in Canada where we have a 13% sales tax so whenever possibly I like to buy used and private to save the tax.  On a lens like this we could be talking $200-$500.   Yes I know new comes with a warranty.  I also like used because the depreciation won't be as much and if I decide to sell, I won't be losing as much.  Below are some options I'm considering. 

1. Fuji 100-400 possibly with the 1.4 TC - I like this option as it'll reasonably fit in my pack and people love the lens.  I just hear concerns about sharpness past 300mm.  Given the age I can find one for a good price used.  

2. Fuji 150-600 - Seems like it has better sharpness than the 100-400 but I think its just way to big to comfortably fit in my camera bag for a trip or a flight.  It's also a little slow but I'm not as worried about that.  

3. Sigma or Tamron 150-600.  I'm leaning this way.  I understand that I'll need an adapter but given the age and availability of these there are plenty of nice used options for a great price.  I also understand that using an adapter will eliminate any WR but that's ok.  I like that these are externally zooming as having a short lens when packed is important.  If these lenses were to be released in x-mount I think they'd be perfect.  I am a little concerned about the full frame lens resolution on a dense XT5 sensor.  

4. Tamron 150-500.  I'm really liking this option.  Native X Mount, externally zooming, faster than the fuji 150-600.  Only issue here the inability to use a TC (likely not and issue) and used market is non existent right now.  Also to bad it's a converted FF lens.  

5. Fuji 70-300.  I like the idea for travel but have the feeling I'd always be wanting a little more reach. I know the TC will work with this but I think i'd just go with the 100-400 used.  


Any advise would be much appreciated.  Renting isn't really an option for me.  I should note that I'm in no rush.  I know sigma and tamron are starting to make more lenses for fuji. I'd just love to see an APSC specific externally zooming 150-600.  the Sigma 60-600 also looks great but with the adapter it's just too much for my budget.   


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I just returned from Yellowstone National Park with my 70-300 and a rented 1.4 TC. The combo was fantastic in many ways. Light, maneuverable, fast focusing in moderate to better light, fantastic IQ. 

Here's a link to my Flickr account with that combo used in the wildlife shots and a few others. I went this route because I read time after time other shooters were happy with it over the 100-400. 




Edited by Blue Zurich
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Hi, I have the X-T5 and Fuji 70-300 with the 1.4x tele. I've used this for several months now primarily for landscape but also for some bird photos. I love this lens. It is very sharp and very easy to carry in comparison to other lenses. For me at age 78 and with arthritis and shoulder problems it was really the only feasible longer telephoto lens that I could carry and handhold. 

I also have the 16-80 which I'm less enamored of. It's a decent lens with a good range but I find it less sharp than the 70-300. I'm thinking of switching to the Sigma 18-50mm which I had on my Leica CL and found it to be an outstanding lens (sold that kit to help purchase the X-T5 and 70-300; some mild regret). Anybody have any experience with X mount Sigma lenses?




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I have the Fuji 100-400, the 2X, and the X-T4. I like them all. When I bought the 100-400, the 150-600 was not yet available; I'd have bought that if it were available, because there's always something I want more reach for, but it doesn't feel important enough to buy it now.

As to sharpness, if you're taking photos at a big distance, there are things outside the lens that diminish it, including the quality of the air, the tripod stability, and haze (which isn't sharpness but rather contrast, still it adds to the visual impression). All the same, using the lens at 400 plus the 2X, I got a nice photo of a Bald Eagle at a distance of about 1/3 mile, and blowing it up I can clearly see his nostrils and with some difficulty I think I can distinguish his pupil from his iris.

Increasing your pixel count with the X-T5 does increase the challenge, for sure.

This is an aside, but a friend is giving me his astronomical telescope. In camera terms, it is a 1200 mm focal length optic at f/4.7 (astronomers would size this by the physical aperture rather than the focal length, so it's a 10"). And it's a reflector, so zero chromatic aberration. Trying this will be my next photo extreme.

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Thanks all for the helpful replies. I ended up finding a used only twice Fuji 100-400 with the 1.4tc for a great deal. I figured the extra speed will be nice in mornings and evenings and if I need the reach I have the 1.4 and I’m not sacrificing much in reach from the 150-600. Plus it’ll fit in my pack without having to buy a bigger cube. 

just been messing around a little but I’m greatly impressed with the sharpness. I’m excited for the new possibilities. Just downloaded eBird so I’ll have to go bald eagle hunting this weekend. 

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I was laying in bed and heard a hooting outside my window and was able to get a shot of this guy.  The conditions were terrible, 1am, overcast and starting to rain so it was extremally dark.  400mm, ISO 12800, f5.6 SS 1.5s and heavily processed.  All I could make out was a dark shadow in the branches once my eyes adjusted.  The wind was also picking up so I couldn't lower the shutter speed anymore to drop the ISO.  

I had to use manual focus and kept firing off shots slowing adjusting the focus each time time until it seemed in focus.  The photo is is obviously horrible but it's fun finally having some reach and very cool this owl showed up just after getting the lens.  I think I'm going to have to build some owl boxes and put them up around the property. I also need to learn to navigate through the settings in the dark.  


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