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Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR Lens Review

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR Lens Review - Gary Wolstenholme reviews this professional-grade wide-angle zoom lens from Fujifilm, the 16-55mm f/2.8.

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Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR in Interchangeable Lenses

Handling and Features
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16 55 F2 8 R LM WR (9)

This 3.4x standard zoom lens for Fujifilm X-series interchangeable lens cameras provides a field of view equivalent to a 24-84mm lens on a 35mm camera, and sports a fast constant f/2.8 maximum aperture, weather sealed construction and costs around £880. In this review, we'll take a look at how it performs.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR Handling and Features

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16 55 F2 8 R LM WR (6)

A combination of metal and high grade plastics used for the construction of this lens, has resulted in robust build, whilst ensuring that this lens isn’t overly heavy. At 655g it isn't too weighty and it balances well with the Fujifilm X-T1 used for testing, as a result.

Focusing is performed internally. As a result, the 77mm filter thread does not rotate, making it perfect for use with polarising and graduated filters. A petal-shaped hood attaches to the bayonet around the front of the lens and is reasonably secure, although during testing it became fairly easy to dislodge when removing the lens from a bag, resulting in the hood being out of alignment. The manual focusing ring is well damped and smooth in operation. As a result, applying fine focus adjustments is a pleasure.


Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16 55 F2 8 R LM WR (7)
As is the case with Fuji's other X-series optics, this lens has a manual aperture ring for selecting your desired setting in a more traditional fashion. The aperture ring is clearly marked and it provides control in third stop intervals, only requiring a light touch to move through the aperture range. This is great for making quick adjustments, but care may need to be taken to ensure the ring isn’t knocked from the desired setting during operation. There is much more resistance when moving to and from the auto setting on the aperture ring, which will prevent this setting being engaged, or disengaged accidentally. Auto focus is quick and precise, with little hunting for focus, even in low light.
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16 55 F2 8 R LM WR (5)

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR Performance

At 16mm, sharpness already reaches outstanding levels in the centre of the frame at maximum aperture and the clarity achieved towards the edges of the frame is excellent. Stopping down improves performance slightly towards the edges of the frame, with peak performance being achieved at f/4.

Zooming to 35mm results in similarly outstanding sharpness in the centre of the frame at maximum aperture, although performance towards the edges has fallen away a little, with very good levels of sharpness being achieved at f/2.8. Stopping down improves performance, reaching a peak between f/4 and f/5.6.

Finally, at 55mm, sharpness in the centre of the frame is still excellent at maximum aperture, and performance towards the edges of the frame is good. Peak performance is again achieved at f/4, with excellent sharpness in the centre and clarity being very good towards the edges of the frame.

MTF@16mm
MTF@16mm
MTF@35mm
MTF@35mm
MTF@55mm
MTF@55mm

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-T1 using Imatest.

 

 

Chromatic aberrations are well controlled, with fringing being strongest at 16mm. Even then fringing only just exceeds half a pixel width at maximum aperture, gradually increasing as the aperture is stopped down. This low level of CA shouldn't cause many issues, even in harsh crops from the edges of the frame, or in large reproductions.

CA@16mm
CA@16mm
CA@35mm
CA@35mm
CA@55mm
CA@55mm

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-T1 using Imatest.

 

Falloff of illumination towards the edges of the frame is well controlled for a lens with an f/2.8 maximum aperture. At 16mm the corners are 1.38 stops darker than the image centre at f/2.8 and at 55mm the corners are 0.68 stops darker. Visually uniform illumination is achieved with the lens stopped down to f/5.6 or beyond throughout the zoom range.

Distortion is reasonably well controlled for a lens of this type. Imatest was able to detect 0.886% barrel distortion at 16mm and 0.39% barrel at 55mm. Automatic correction of distortion in camera is very good, and this information can be read by many popular raw image converters, which should mean that distortion is rarely noticeable in practice.

With, or without, the petal-shaped hood attached, this lens is extremely resistant to flare, thanks to a combination of Fujifilm's Super-EBC coatings, combined with their Nano-GI coating. As a result it also copes well with shooting into the light, retaining good contrast.

Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR Sample Photos

Value For Money

This 16-55mm lens from Fuji costs around £880, which is quite reasonable for a top of the range f/2.8 standard zoom. There are currently no comparable lenses available for Fuji X-series cameras as currently, Fujifilm have a monopoly on lenses for their own lens mount. 

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR Verdict

Optically, this standard zoom from Fujifilm is up there with the best f/2.8 zooms available for APS-C format cameras. It is capable of delivering excellent sharpness, with low CA and distortion. More importantly, it handles well, and features such as weather sealing and the Nano-GI coatings applied to this lens ensure it is capable of holding its own amongst the best zoom lenses currently available.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR Pros

Excellent sharpness
Relatively lightweight
Robust build quality
Retro design with manual aperture ring
Low CA
Low distortion
Weather resistant
Fast focusing

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR Cons

Supplied hood is easy to knock off line when removing the lens from a bag/case

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

The Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 is capable of delivering excellent sharpness and holds its own among the best zoom lenses currently available.

 

Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR Specifications

ManufacturerFujifilm
General
Lens Mounts
  • Fujifilm X Mount
Lens
Focal Length16mm - 55mm
Angle of View29 - 83.2
Max Aperturef/2.8
Min Aperturef/22
Filter Size77mm
StabilisedNo Data
35mm equivalent24mm - 84mm
Internal focusingNo Data
Maximum magnificationNo Data
Focusing
Min Focus30cm
Construction
Blades9
Elements17
Groups12
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
Dimensions
Weight655g
Height106mm

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