Est. 2020

Fujifilm 70-300 vs 150-600 Comparison

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Quick Facts about the Fujifilm XF 70-300mm F4-5.6 R LM OIS WR Lens

  • Weight: 1.3 lb/588 Grams
  • Weather Sealed: Yes
  • Filter Size: 67mm 
  • Angle of View: 22.9 to 5.4 Degrees
  • Focusing Distance: 2.7’/.8 Meters
  • Max Aperture: F4-F5.6
  • Minimum Aperture: F22
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Mount System: Fuji X
  • Price: $799
  • Zoom: Extension
  • Accepts Teleconverters*

Quick Facts about the Fujifilm XF 150-600mm F5.6-8 LM OIS WR Lens

  • Weight: 3.5lbs/1605 Grams
  • Weather Sealed: Yes
  • Filter Size: 82mm
  • Angle of View: 10.8 to 2.7 Degrees
  • Focusing Distance:  7.9’/2.4m
  • Max Aperture: F5.6-F8
  • Minimum Aperture: F22
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Mount System: Fuji X
  • Price: $1,999
  • Zoom: Internal 
  • Accepts Teleconverters*

Why compare the Fujifilm 150-600 vs the 70-300?/Who are these lenses for?

Similar to the 100-400 vs 55-200 comparison, I thought posting a comparison of two lenses that I found similar would be beneficial for some readers. 

After all, these are some of Fujifilm’s newest telephoto zooms, both are variable aperture, and cover a very nice, broad range for their focal length. (They share 150-300mm… which is a lot of ground and large enough of a focal length change to be its own lens.)

However, let’s see if I can spot some differences between these two lenses. 

What other telephoto lenses exist within the Fuji-X lineup?

So, here’s the skinny on each of these lenses. 

The 55-200 is an okay budget kit lens. 

The 100-400 is highly overpriced and does not have great built quality. 

The 50-140 is the best in regards to sharpness and low-light. However, it just feels a bit expensive. 

The XC 50-230 is not the best. However, you can buy a new lens for $400. 

Prime Lenses

  • Fujifilm XF 200mm F2

I mentioned this lens above as “niche,” but it is not niche because of the focal length. (300mm Full-Frame) Instead, it’s more niche because of the price. 

Nicknamed “The Great White Sharp,” this lens retails for almost $6,000. 

However, this lens’s combination of focal length and aperture allow portraiture, sports, and numerous other styles. 

The skinny for this lens is: 

The Fujifilm XF 200mm F2 is the best performing telephoto lens by Fujifilm, period. Sharp and heavy (5 pounds), it belongs in the red-badge category.

If used with the XF teleconverters, what is the focal length at 1.4x and 2x?

With teleconverters, both lenses provide an abnormal amount of reach of telephoto lenses. 

Plus, it’s just pretty dang far. 

150-600

So, first off, here is what a photo of 50mm or the “Human Eye” looks like and what 600mm at the 2x crop looks like. It’s kind of creepy….

To note: 

The Fujifilm 150-600mm combined with the 1.4x teleconverter is approximately 210-840mm. This is a full-frame equivalent of 294 – 1260mm. 

The Fujifilm 150-600mm combined with the 2x teleconverter is approximately 300-1200mm. This is a full-frame equivalent of 420 – 1800(!)mm.

70-300

The Fujifilm 70-300 combined with the 1.4x teleconverter is approximately 98-420mm. This is a full-frame equivalent of 147-630mm. 

The Fujifilm 70-300 combined with the 2x teleconverter is approximately 140-600mm. This is a full-frame equivalent of 210-900mm. 

Build Quality Comparison

Fujifilm 70-300 vs 150-600

Buttons, Dials, & Knobs

150-600

On the 150-600, there are a couple of switches, buttons, dials, etc. that I felt I should mention. They greatly affect the functionality, and with something such as an X-T4, it gives the impression of a full-analog experience. 

The owner’s manual can be found here; however, here is what’s present on this lens

Switches

  • Focus Range Selector (Focus Range Limiter)
 

For a conversation about missed shots, and why I always select the “Full Length” setting on this lens, please see the 100-400 review. (Spoiler alert: It’s just in case something flies closer than 5 meters to you. 5 Meters equals 16.4 feet)

If you want to use a focus range limiter, the 10-24mm review contains instructions and definitions. 

  • Aperture Mode Switch 

For a lens with this aperture range, you are not going to want to leave the aperture or the shutter speed on automatic, ever. (Especially the Shutter Speed) When in doubt, leave the ISO on auto despite the risk of more grain within the photo. 

  • Focus Selector 

I recommend keeping this switch extended to the far-right. (Away from AF-Lock or Autofocus Lock)

Buttons

  • One Focus Preset Button
  • 4 Focus Control Buttons

Honestly, I never used these. But it’s nice to know they are there! 

Extras 

  • Shoulder Strap Eyelet

The raised bump on the lens is not actually there for aesthetic. Instead, it’s to provide a bit more balance for shoulder straps and cameras. 

  • Lens Hood

The lens hood is plastic; however, it’s solid. As a bonus, this lens hood has the ability to unlock with a button. When I first saw that, I thought: “Great, just one more thing that could break.” However, lense caps are made of plastic, and they don’t break. 

This lens hood also has the ability to remove lens filters via a small filter access port. Be careful to not catch your fingers!

  • Tripod Foot

We have a removable tripod foot that is arca-swiss compatible. To remove the tripod foot, twist the knob located on the foot.

 

70-300

On the 70-300, we have 

  • Focus Range Selector (Focus Range Limiter)
  • Aperture Mode Switch 
  • Zoom Lock
 

What things are we missing on both?

  • Marked Aperture Ring 
 

There are two ways to get around the problem of missing a marked aperture ring. (It’s not that big of a deal, if you ask me.) First, the aperture ring does work, so you will have to look at the screen when you rotate it. OR program the rear or front command wheel. 

  • OIS-ON/OFF switch 

This button has been missing on all newer Fujifilm zoom lenses. And instead, you can turn this OIS ON & OFF in the camera body via the settings.

How far is the FOV? 

The 70-300 is a very nice and versatile length. However, the 150-600 wins without question. 

At which focal length does the aperture change on the Fujifilm 150-600? 

150-600

150mm 

185mm 

316mm

539mm

@F5.6 

@F6.4

@F7.1

@F8 

I’m not going to lie, the 150-600 is very difficult to photograph with. At 316mm, I had an aperture of F7.1. If you are well-versed in photography, you will know that there are only a few hours of each day that are bright enough to justify that aperture and a high-enough shutter speed for sharp photos. 

Fujfilm 150-600 vs 70-300 Sharpness Test

About the 70-300

  • The corners appeared to be a bit soft at 70mm @F4.
  • The corners at 70mm @F8 and 300mm @F8 look similar in regards to image quality/sharpness
  • This lens is very sharp throughout the entire focal range, and I was never disappointed. 

 

About the 150-600

  • To my eye, the lens’s sharpness peaks at F8, for all focal lengths. 
  • Slight fall-off in sharpness around 500 millimeters. If you bounce between the photos labeled 502mm @F8 and 391.4mm @F8, focus on the line of bubbles above the mortar joint. You will see the reduction in sharpness.
  • I was actually content with the sharpness at all focal lengths. 

About Both Lenses

I was content with the sharpness output from both of these lenses. 

Bokeh Test

To me, the bokeh in the 150-600 is pleasant and natural, and the same can be said for the 70-300. 

I appreciated the transitions from foreground to subject, and subject to background. 

Bokeh Balls Test

I’m not going to lie, testing the 150-600 was the first-time I have ever used a super-telephoto zoom lens. And just like the bokeh test above, I was pleasantly surprised by the results and shape of the bokeh balls. At all apertures, you will be able to achieve mostly round bokeh balls. However, here’s three quick takeaways. 

  • At F5.6, the bokeh balls suffered from a large amount of cat’s eye in the corner. 
  • At F11, the bokeh balls started to develop a slight hexagonal shape. You really have to zoom in on it; however, it’s there. (You might be wondering, why would I care what the bokeh balls look like at F11? And the answer is… I don’t know.)
  • This lens did not have any onion-ring effect.
 
For the 70-300, I think the lens’s bokeh balls performed amicably. There were no onion rings at any apertures. However, starting at F4, we will not have round bokeh balls in the corners or side of the frame. As we stop-down, we do have round bokeh balls by F6.4.

Autofocus Comparison Test

When testing the autofocus out, the 70-300 just felt a bit faster and had slightly stickier tracking. 

Focusing Distance and Macro Performance 

For the 70-300, the focusing distance is 2.7 feet/.8 meters. The maximum magnification ratio is .33x. 

The 150-600 has a focusing distance of 7.9 feet (2.4 Meters), and the maximum magnification ratio is .24x.

OIS Test

For the 150-600, according to Fujifilm, this lens provides up to 5 stops of image stabilization. 

Meanwhile, the 70-300 is rated for up to 5.5 stops

Starburst/Sunburst 

A Final Note

Despite being a Head to Head comparison, I think you will be happy with either of these lenses. 

Why should I pick the 150-600 over the 70-300?

  • Reach
  • Feels like a premium product

Why should I pick the 70-300 over the 150-600?

  • Reasonably Priced
  • Travel Friendly 

Fujifilm XF 70-300mm F4-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Price: 5/5
The Fujifilm 70-300 F4-F5.6 has a reasonable price of only $800; however, the only issue is being able to find it. In a few years, this lens will be a steal in the second-hand market. 
 

Reliability: 5/5

This lens is very reliable, well-built, and all around an excellent travel lens. I would happily take it on an around-the-world adventure. 

Functionality: 4/5

Sometimes, it did feel just a bit too long for city scapes, and you cannot shoot past 7:00PM on a winter day. But pair it with another lens for night photography and you will be good. 

Style: 4.5/5

These are always bonus points. But the 70-300 looks classy. 

Total: 18.5/20 or 92.5%

Fujifilm XF 150-600mm F5.6-8 LM OIS WR

Price: 4/5
 
Do I wish it was $200 cheaper? Yes, absolutely. However, it is good enough for $2,000. 

Reliability: 4/5

The points are lost mainly due to low-light. It can be worked around with by using a tripod, however, 

Functionality: 5/5

One of the largest FOV changes in a camera lens that I have ever seen. 

Style: 5/5

Looks good. Looks Expensive. 

Total: 18/20 or 90%

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