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Fujifilm Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS Lens Review

Fujifilm Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS Lens Review - Gary Wolstenholme reviews the Fujifilm Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens, a standard zoom lens, introduced with Fuji's XM-1 camera, which provides a field of view equivalent to a 24-76mm lens on a 35mm camera.

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Category : Interchangeable Lenses
Product : Fujifilm Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS
Price : £360
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Handling and features
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Fujinon XC Super Ebc 16 50mm Ois Lens (7)

This standard zoom lens, introduced with the Fujifilm X-M1 provides a field of view equivalent to a 24-76mm lens on a 35mm camera and sports optical image stabilisation, which promises to allow sharp hand-held images to be taken at shutter speeds slower than without the technology.

Fujifilm Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS Handling and features

Fujinon XC Super Ebc 16 50mm Ois Lens (1)

This lens is incredibly lightweight at only 195g, thanks mostly to the materials used for the construction of the lens barrel and the plastic lens mount. Owing to its compact, lightweight stature, it makes a travel friendly combination with the Fujifilm X-Pro1 used for testing.

The 58mm filter thread does not rotate, as focusing is performed internally, which makes this lens perfect for use with polarising and graduated filters. The focusing and zoom rings aren't as well damped or as smooth as on Fuji's premium XF lenses, although fine adjustments are still quite easy to apply and autofocus is reasonably quick and precise.

Unlike Fuji's XF lenses, a manual aperture ring is not provided, with aperture control being provided via the adjustment wheel on the rear of the camera. The X-Pro1 required a firmware update to properly support the lens. The process for completing this is fairly straightforward, so long as you have a USB card reader to copy the update to a formatted card.

Optical image stabilisation is included on this lens, which promises to allow sharp hand held images to be taken at shutter speeds up to 4 stops slower than would be possible without this feature. With care and allowing a pause for the system to catch up, sharp images are possible around half the time at shutter speeds as low as 1/8sec at 50mm, which is around three stops slower than the usual rule of thumb for shooting hand held allows.

Fujinon XC Super Ebc 16 50mm Ois Lens (2)

Fujifilm Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS Performance

At 18mm and maximum aperture, sharpness is already excellent in the centre of the frame, with clarity towards the edges of the frame being very good. Stopping down to f/5.6 results in outstanding sharpness in the centre of the frame, with clarity being excellent towards the edges of the frame at this aperture.

Zooming to 35mm results in very good sharpness across the frame at maximum aperture. Peak clarity across the frame is attained with the aperture stopped down to between f/5.6 and f/8 where sharpness is excellent in the centre of the frame, and very good towards the edges.

Finally, at 50mm, there is a reduction in clarity across the frame at maximum aperture with clarity dropping to good levels across the frame. Peak sharpness across the frame for this focal length is achieved at f/8. Here clarity is excellent across the frame.

Resolution @ 16mm
Resolution @ 16mm
Resolution @ 35mm
Resolution @ 35mm
Resolution @ 50mm
Resolution @ 50mm

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Fujifilm X-Pro1 using Imatest.

Chromatic aberrations are well controlled throughout the zoom range with fringing remaining below half a pixel width at all focal lengths. This low level of fringing should be very hard to spot, even in images with high contrast areas towards the edges of the frame.

Chromatic aberration @ 16mm
Chromatic aberration @ 16mm
Chromatic aberration @ 35mm
Chromatic aberration @ 35mm
Chromatic aberration @ 50mm
Chromatic aberration @ 50mm

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Fujifilm X-Pro1 using Imatest.

Falloff of illumination towards the corners of the frame is well controlled with the corners being 0.9 stops darker than the image centre at maximum aperture throughout the zoom range. Visually uniform illumination is achieved with the aperture stopped down by two stops from maximum.

Very mild barrel distortion is present throughout the zoom range. At 16mm 0.311% barrel distortion is present, dropping to 0.211% at 50mm. This low level should pose few issues in normal photography. If absolutely straight lines are paramount, you'll be glad to know the distortion pattern is uniform across the frame, which should make applying corrections in image editing software simple to apply.

Flare isn't much of an issue with this lens and the supplied hood does a reasonable job of shading the lens from extraneous light that may cause problems. A slight loss of contrast can occasionally be seen when shooting into the light.

Fujifilm Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS Sample Photos


Value for money

This lens currently retails for around £360, which undercuts Fujifilm's premium 18-55mm offering by over £100. For the extra money you get aperture control on the lens, a slightly faster maximum aperture and more robust build quality, but lose out on a slighter wider field of view.

Fujifilm Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS Verdict

Although most people who end up owning this lens will do by picking it up as part of a kit with the X-M1 camera, it still may be a compelling choice for owners of other X-series cameras, due to it's light weight, 16mm wide-angle and comparatively low price.

Add to that the decent optical performance throughout the zoom range, as well as low levels of chromatic aberrations, low falloff and distortion, it makes this a very competent lens, for not a lot of money.

   
  The Fujifilm Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens is a lightweight lens with good sharpness throughout the zoom range.  

Fujifilm Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS Pros

Good sharpness throughout the zoom range
Lightweight
Low distortion and falloff
Low CA levels
Effective optical stabiliser

Fujifilm Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS Cons

Lacks the premium feel of XF lenses
No manual aperture ring

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
OVERALL  

Fujifilm Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS Specifications

ManufacturerFujifilm
General
Lens Mounts
  • Fujifilm X Mount
Lens
Focal Length16mm - 50mm
Angle of View31.7 - 83.2
Max Aperturef/3.5 - f/5.6
Min Aperturef/22
Filter Size58mm
35mm equivalent24mm - 76mm
Internal focusingNo Data
Focusing
Min Focus40cm
StabilisedYes
Construction
Blades7
Elements12
Groups10
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
Dimensions
Weight195g
Height65.2mm

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