Unbelievable and worth the wait!
When I first heard about this, I wasn't even interested because I have the 55-200 and have taken some of my favorite portraits of the past year with that lens. Then I tried it yesterday...not a good thing to do. It is incredible!
Let me tell you that I've owned the Canon 70-200 version one, and BOTH versions of the Nikon 70-200 2.8. And those were all on a full framed sensor camera for you "pixel peepers". So, I've had 3 of these to compare my results against, and my opinion is this is an incredible lens and a great value at less than $1599.00!
100% crop of this image, hand held
Is it heavy? Compared to all the other lenses in the Fuji system, yes. But compared to similar lenses, no! It has an incredibly robust tripod collar ring that offers a stable mounting system. I do wish they would have machined the bottom of it to fit in an Arca Swiss mount, that would have been genius.
I don't know how Fuji designs their image stabilization, but it is unlike any other I've used. So, there is no argument this lens is sharp, but take a look at the capture data:
Yes, 800 ISO, at 1/18 of a second...handheld! I've never been able to hand hold that long of a focal length lens at anything less than 1/60 or possibly 1/30. So this is one additional stop of usability for me. Needless to say, I have a 55-200 for sale for a bargain price if you are looking to add a starter long focal length lens that is a great portrait lens too.