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LensVid Exclusive: Fujifilm FUJINON XF16 55mm F2.8 R LM WR Lens Review


Alongside the Fujifilm X-T10 and the Fujifilm XF56mm F1.2 R APD which we recently received here we also received a the recent Fujifilm FUJINON XF16 55mm F2.8 R LM WR lens which we shall review today.

The Fujifilm FUJINON XF16 55mm F2.8 R LM WR is a fast wide to normal zoom lens for the Fujifilm X family. The lens seemed to be designed with the X-T1 in mind as it is weather resistant (note the WR at the end of the name), however we happened to test it with the X-T10 which was too small for it (the zoom ring touches the ground or long plate on a tripod with it). As some of you have mentioned when we reviewed both the X-T10 and the XF56mm F1.2 R APD which has the same issue – Fujifilm does have a metal grip which should help with this issue – but it isn’t exactly cheap… so keep that in mind if you are looking to combine these two together).

With that remark out of the way – lets go and look at the XF16 55mm F2.8 R LM WR and what it can do.

The XF16 55mm F2.8 R LM WR on the X-T10 – fits better with the X-T1

DSC_3345Build quality

Just like the rest of the XF lenses that we tested to date, the XF16 55mm F2.8 R LM WR is very well built. It includes three rings – an aperture rings which goes from f/2.8 and up to f/22 which moves in nice clicks (which isn’t that good for video but this isn’t Fujifilm’s X cameras strong side anyway), a zoom ring and finally a very smooth focus ring (Fuji uses fly-by-wire focus on all its cameras/lenses so this might get a little bit used to – we were fine with it although we still prefer normal zoom/focus mechanisms).

As we mentioned above the lens is kind of thick and not that light (656 grams/1.44 pounds) and it extends a bit when zoomed in to 55mm (we would actually loved to see a lens like this with internal zoom but Fuji was able to make the lens weather resistant which is nice.

The front element is pretty large with a 77mm filter thread, possibly one of the largest of any of the Fujifilm XF lenses.

Performance

As usual we looked at all the main performance aspects of the XF16 55mm F2.8 R LM WR – here is the run-down:

Vignetting – Vignetting seems to be relatively controlled as you can see in the test images below  taken both wide open and at f/8:

And at 16mm f/2.8 – some darkening in the corners (sorry for the top left – the sun was pretty strong in these images).

16mmf-2-8At 16mm f/816mmf-8--At 55mm f/2.8 you can see some dark corners but not too much…

55mm-f-2-8At 55mm f/8 – it is completely clean

55mm-f-8Barrel distortion – Fuji has automatic barrel/pincushion distortion correction in the camera so we were not surprised to see that there was almost no evident distortion in the images (we looked at both the JPEGs and the RAW files mind you).

The  XF16 55mm F2.8 R LM WR  @16mm – no Barrel distortion

16mm-barellThe  XF16 55mm F2.8 R LM WR  @55mm – no distortion

barell-55mmChromatic aberration – we never encountered any CA with the lens.

Sharpness – we looked at the image from the lens at different apertures both in the center and the sides – here are the results:

Center of the frame – sharp from f/2.8

sharpness-centerRight side – good wide open – best at f/8

sharpness-rightLeft side – good at f/4, best at f/8

sharpness-leftFrom our experience the difference between right and left might be due to testing issues more than the lens itself so you should consider the actual sharpness of the corners of the lens as closer to the right side than the left.

Veiling flare – the Fujifilm XF16 55mm F2.8 R LM WR doesn’t deal with flare as well as the 56mm f/1.2 APD which performed exceptionally well in this regard in our test – to its defence we will say that for some reason we didn’t get the lens with a hood (although it should come with one) which could certainly help.

Flare – the hood should have helped a bit in this case

DSCF3193AF performance – the AF performance of the lens seems fairly good – with Fuji it is very hard to separate the AF speed of the body and the lens and despite many welcome improvements, Fuji is still behind when it comes to AF performance.

At any rate it seems to perform much better in low light than the 56mm f/1.2 APD which we happened to test at the same time (but this is no surprise as the APD reduces the AF speed especially in low light as we have seen on our review of it).

Conclusion

The  XF16 55mm F2.8 R LM WR is a very good performer, it is very sharp in the center wide open and even in the corners it preforms well. The AF is decent (maybe as good as it gets with Fujifilm X bodys at the moment), it has a very good build quality and feels solid in your hand.

DSCF3673The lens does have a few drawbacks – it is relatively large and not very light, it also extends when it zooms and as we mentioned right from the start this lens was designed for the larger Fujifilm X bodies (X-T1 and possibly X-PRO1 and X-E series). Finally, it isn’t cheap, at $1050 at the moment on Amazon (down from $1200 when the video above was recorded) it is a pretty expensive APS-C zoom lens but if you are looking for the best wide to normal zoom for your Fujifilm X-T1/X-PRO1 this is the lens to get.

What we liked

  •  high image quality in the center of the frame even wide open.
  • High image quality in the corners starting at around f/4~.
  • Great build quality.
  • Weather resistant.

What we liked less

  • Relatively large and bulky.
  • Extends when zoomed.
  • Fairly expensive.

Gallery

The following is a gallery of images which we took using the Fujifilm XF16 55mm F2.8 R LM WR with the X-T10 camera. Images were not changed apart from cropping.

DSCF3264DSCF3691 DSCF3715 DSCF2674 DSCF2693 DSCF2745 DSCF2907 DSCF2957 DSCF3144

DSCF3162We would like to thank Shimoni group for landing us the camera for review. You can check out more LensVid exclusive articles and reviews on the following link.

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