Fuji 16-55mm f/2.8
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR ASPH for X-mount cameras (metal 77mm filter thread, 23.2 oz./657g, 1.1'/0.35m close focus, about $1,049). enlarge. I got mine at this link to it at Adorama; these links to it at Amazon and at B&H are also great places to get it.
This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Fuji does not seal its boxes, so never buy at retail or any source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective or damaged customer return or a used product. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection. Thanks for your support! Ken.
Sample Image Files (more throughout the review) top
6172, 30 August 2015. (Fuji X-T10, XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR at 34.2mm at f/8 at 1/420 at Auto ISO 400, Perfectly Clear V2.) Camera-original @ file. Note that only the plant in the front is actually in focus.
Wide-open at 16mm, 30 August 2015. (Fuji X-T10, XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR at 16mm at f/2.8 at 1/2,700 at Auto ISO 400, Perfectly Clear V2.) Full resolution (of course not everything's in focus at f/2.8).
Wide-open at 55mm, 30 August 2015. (Fuji X-T10, XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR at 55mm at f/2.8 at 1/2,200 at Auto ISO 400, Perfectly Clear V2.) Full resolution (of course not everything's in focus at f/2.8).
As you can see if you download the full-resolution images, this lens is completely sharp and devoid of chromatic aberrations even shot wide-open.
This is a fast midrange zoom for Fuji X-mount cameras, and it's made of metal, too!
Like all Fujinon XF lenses, there is no mechanical manual focus. It's all electronic.
WR stands for weather resistant.
Most newer Fuji X cameras offer an AF+MF mode option in their AUTOFOCUS SETTING menu, in which case you have instant manual focus override so long as you're holding the shutter halfway. Otherwise you have to move an AF mode switch on your camera to swap between auto and manual focus.
Fuji has for many decades, just like Canon and Nikon, also made far more advanced optics, like binoculars for the military and for use in space, as well as lenses for motion pictures and television with six-figure price tags at discount. Unlike mud brands like Sigma and Tamron (or even LEICA), Fujinon has loads of experience actually supplying optics that cost more than some people's houses, and puts that same know-how into these lenses.
This Fujinon 16-55mm is very well made out of metal, and has superlative optics that are super-sharp edge-to-edge even wide open at f/2.8. If you don't mind the price and weight; this is the best midrange zoom for Fuji cameras.
Fuji 16-55mm f/2.8. bigger.
Fuji calls this the Fujinon Aspherical Lens Nano GI XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR, or XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR.
Fujinon is Fujifilm's brand name for their lenses.
Aspherical means specially shaped lens elements for better sharpness.
Nano GI means that one surface has Fuji's new sub-wavelength nano variable-index-of-refraction anti-reflection coating. It's the same as Nikon's Nano and Canon's SWC.
XF is Fuji's line of good lenses for their X-mount cameras.
R means it has an aperture ring.
LM means Lick Me, an odd twist lost in translation from Japanese relating to humidity resistance.
WR means weather resistant.
∅ 77 means it takes 77mm filters.
Fuji 16-55/2.8 internal diagram.
17 elements in 12 groups.
3 aspherics and 3 extra low dispersion elements.
It's a "pumper" zoom; the front section pumps in and out and there can be some wind blown out the camera's eyepiece.
HT-EBC multicoating; Nano GI Coating on the rear surface of the front element.
Front, Fuji 16-55/2.8; diaphragm not seen.
9 rounded blades.
Stops down to f/22 in 1/3-stop clicks.
When used on the X-mount cameras with their 1.52x sensors, it sees the same angle of view as a 24~85mm lens sees when used on a 35mm camera.
When used on the X-mount cameras in their 1:1 square crop mode, it sees the same angle of view as a 58-200mm lens sees when used on a 6x6cm (2¼"square) medium-format camera. This is about the same as a 31-105mm lens sees when used on a 35mm camera.
See also Crop Factor.
Angle of view
83.2 ~ 29º
Twin Linear AF motor.
No external movement as focussed, so no air or dust is sucked in.
16mm: 0.75' (9" or 0.23m), measured.
55mm: 1.1 feet (0.35 meters), measured.
Maximum Reproduction Ratio
Metal 77mm filter thread.
Plastic bayonet-mount petal hood included.
LH-X16 metal hood sold separately, promised for September 2015.
3.28" diameter x 4.17" (at wide) to 5.10" (at tele) long.
83.3 mm diameter x 106.0mm (at wide) to 129.5mm (at tele) long.
23.178 oz. (657.1g) actual measured weight, lens only.
Fuji specifies 23.1 oz. (655g).
Rated to work down to -10º C (14º F).
06 January 2015.
Front and rear caps.
"Lens wrapping cloth."
Box, Fuji XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR.
Inside the micro-corrugated cardboard box are black pulp-formed cardboard holders for the plastic-wrapped lens and hood. A small folded tray of microcorrugated cardboard lies on top to hold the manual and lens wrapping cloth.
Fujifilm Model Number
$1,049, February ~ September 2015.
The Fuji XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR is optically superb. As shot on Fuji's cameras which compensate for everything, it's as perfect as I can measure.
Autofocus is moderately fast, and it's very accurate, especially at f/2.8.
Fuji's focus system is closed-loop, read directly from the image sensor, so it automatically compensates for any mechanical errors.
Open-loop systems of DSLRs and LEICAs can't compensate for these errors and sometimes have focus errors (offsets) which we don't have in the Fuji system. Bravo!
On the other hand, it's not as fast as Fuji would like you to believe. Unlike a DSLR, AF isn't instant; it can take a moment to lock-on.
Bokeh is very good and quite neutral.
Of course if you want the softest backgrounds, get as close as possible and shoot at f/2.8 and 55mm.
Fujinon 16-55mm f/2.8 bokeh at 16mm at f/2.8. Camera-original © JPG.
Fujinon 16-55mm f/2.8 bokeh at 55mm at f/2.8. Camera-original © JPG.
I see no coma, which is excellent.
Distortion, as shot on the X-T10 which is probably correcting it automatically, is completely invisible except for some barrel distortion at 16mm, whoo hoo!
At a shooting distance of 3 meters (10 feet) you can use a correction factor of +2.0 at 16mm in Photoshop's Lens Correction filter, and a factor of +0.5 at 23mm.
I can't measure any distortion between 35mm and 55mm.
This is excellent.
Fuji XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR for X-mount cameras.
Ergonomics are great! Grab and go.
It feels great; it's a real metal lens. The only other real metal lenses made today are almost exclusively from LEICA; Nikon and Canon have been churning out mostly plastic since the 1980s.
The dedicated aperture ring is also mandatory for real photography, but absent on most other brands of lenses.
A whine about the aperture ring is that it needs a deeper detent or an easily-released lock at A, otherwise it's easy to knock it to f/22 by accident.
It's silly to have all the third-stop clicks. We need the full stops more deeply detented so we can feel them with our eyes closed.
Light falloff is completely invisible, even at f/2.8, as shot on the X-T10 which is probably correcting it automatically.
Even shooting white walls wide-open at f/2.8 to exaggerate it, it's invisible. I've greatly exaggerated it by shooting a gray plate and showing it against a gray background:
There's no problem with vignetting, even with a couple of stacked filters!
The filter ring doesn't move at all, although the front of the lens pumps in and out as zoomed.
There's no flare or ghosting. What we're seeing here — with the sun's disc in the image and putting a dark tree in the foreground to highlight it — is just as much artifacts of light bouncing around the sensor and inside the camera.
See also Sunstars for more samples.
There are no lateral color fringes as shot on the X-T10. It's probably correcting any that the lens may or may not have.
This is superb performance.
Regardless of Fuji's crazy specifications, it focuses to within inches of the front of the lens. Measured at 9~14" (23~35 cm) from the image plane depending on zoom setting, that means about 4~8" (10~20cm) from the front of the lens:
Genuine Rolex Submariner at close-focus distance zoomed to 55mm at f/13.
It's super sharp:
Unsharpened crop from above image at 100%. If this is about 6" (15cm) on your screen, printing the complete image at this same high magnification would result in a 50 x 32" (125 x 85 cm) print!
While it's not that close, it's certainly as close as I need for any day-to-day shooting, and close focus is never a limitation.
Rear, Fuji X-mount XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR. enlarge.
The Fuji XF 16-55 2.8 is built much better than anything from Nikon or Canon today. It's built as well as LEICA lenses, with much newer technology.
It's all anodized aluminum, not cheesy plastic.
Front Barrel Shaft
Plastic (this is the part you down see at the wide settings).
Metal (this is the small part with the zoom and aperture index mark).
Plastic and metal.
Aperture ring and index: Engraved and filled with paint, yay!
Zoom ring and "16-55" at mount: Painted.
Front ring, laser-engraved.
Laser engraved on rear of lens barrel.
Rain seal at mount
Noises When Shaken
With those caveats, the Fuji XF 16-55/2.8 is ultra sharp at all settings everywhere in the image. Bravo!
Here is its rated MTF at f/2.8:
MTF at 16mm
MTF at 55mm
I see no spherochromatism, also called color bokeh by hobbyists. This means that out-of-focus highlights won't have slight color fringes.
The rounded 9-blade diaphragm makes no sunstars at large apertures, however it becomes straight as stopped down and can make great sunstars on brilliant points of light at f/22.
It will make some small sunstars at reasonable apertures, like f/8, so it's better than many modern lenses.
The Fuji XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR is Fujifilm's best midrange zoom for their X-series of cameras. It has flawless optics!
The only negatives to this lens are its weight and price. Price aside, we do have to ask ourselves what's the point of using this lens if the whole point of Fuji's X cameras is small size? Put this lens on an X-T10 and it's far from ultralight.
If you've found my research here helpful, support for this ad-free website comes from when you use any of these links to get yours at Adorama, at Amazon or at B&H, or when you get anything at any of these links to approved sources. Please always use these links when getting any of your gear so I can continue to share what I know; it's what supports me. If you take the chance of buying elsewhere (or especially at retail), remember that Fuji doesn't seal its boxes. Unlike a bottle of milk or a CD which are sealed, buy your 16-55mm lens elsewhere or at retail and you'll not only cheat me out of the work I've done here to help you, you run the risk of getting a lens that's a customer return, dropped, missing accessories or been used for store demos. Never buy at retail; my approved sources all ship your lens from secure warehouses far away from customers or sticky-fingered salespeople.
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31 August 2015