About a month ago, Fujifilm Canada asked me if I might like to try out their new Super Telephoto XF100-400mm F4.5-5.6R LM OIS WR Lens on some wildlife up here in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories for a book project they are working on. There isn't too much wildlife in Toronto they said. Always up for a challenge, I eagerly agreed however I've never really considered myself a wildlife photographer. Don't get me wrong I will most definitely attempt to photograph a wild animal if it crosses my path but I was never one to go and sit in the bush and wait for them. A friend of mine visited in January and I took him out for a drive along the Ingraham Trail looking for Bison. We drove about three hours before we spotted a fox crossing the road and on the hunt. We both managed to get some great shots and after 2.5 hours of driving we were elated that we had seen something! Shortly afterwards we were fortunate to encounter Bison herd which we also photographed. Beginners luck I think.
I received the lens along with Fuji's new 1.4X Teleconverter and my first impression was that this was a big and heavy lens. At 1375 grams without the hood it was significantly heavier than my XF50-140 which weighs 995 grams however it is still lighter than the Nikon 70-200 F2.8 that I used to carry around all the time. The reach in 35 mm format is 152-609mm without the teleconverter which is some serious reach. The lens certainly is bigger than I had intended to carry when downsizing my gear from Nikon, however I do believe that one should have all the tools for the kind of photography you like to do. A fixed lens often won't cut it when out doing landscape, sports or wildlife photography. A zoom lens just might save you from getting to close to a wild animal or falling off a cliff. Fortunately I still had my Black Rapid strap from my Nikon days and I used it when I took that lens out for a full day photoshoot covering the Long John Jamboree festival. And at the end of the day I didn't find it really that heavy.