Fuji 16mm f/1.4 R WR
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR ASPH for X-mount cameras (metal 67mm filter thread, 13.2 oz./375g, 0.49'/0.15m close focus, about $849). 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.
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Sample Image Files (more throughout the review)
This is an ultra-fast wide lens for use in low light. It has no visible distortion, it's super-sharp, has no lateral color fringes and has no visible light falloff even at f/1.4 as shot on the Fuji X-mount cameras. It's all-metal, too!
Like all Fujinon XF lenses, there is no mechanical manual focus. It's all electronic.
Again like all Fujinon lenses, there is no instant manual focus override; you have to move the focus ring forward or back to switch between auto and manual.
In many Fujifilm cameras if you update the firmware, there is an AF+MF option deep in the menus (look in the fifth Camera menu in the X-E2 for instance) that will give instant manual override only if you turn this menu item ON and then only as long as your finger is halfway down on the shutter.
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.
Fuji 16mm f/1.4.
Fuji calls this the Fujinon Aspherical Lens Nano GI XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR, or XF16mmF1.4 R 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.
WR means weather resistant.
Fuji 16/1.4 internal diagram.
13 elements in 11 groups.
2 aspherics and 2 extra low dispersion elements.
Internal two-rear-group focus.
HT-EBC multicoating; Nano GI Coating on the rear surface of the front element.
Front, Fuji 16/1.4; diaphragm not seen.
9 rounded blades.
Stops down to f/16 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 24mm 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 58mm lens sees when used on a 6x6cm (2¼"square) medium-format camera. This is about the same as a 31mm lens sees when used on a 35mm camera.
See also Crop Factor.
Angle of view
DC coreless AF motor.
No external movement as focussed, so no air or dust is sucked in.
0.49 feet (0.15 meters).
Maximum Reproduction Ratio
Metal 67mm filter thread.
Plastic bayonet-mount petal hood included.
LH-X16 metal hood sold separately, promised for September 2015.
2.89" diameter x 2.87" long.
73.4 mm diameter x 73.0 mm long.
13.227 oz. (375.0g) actual measured weight, lens only.
Fuji specifies 13.2 oz. (375g).
16 April 2015.
Front and rear caps.
"Lens wrapping cloth."
Box, Fuji XF 16mm f/1.4 R 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
$849, August 2015.
Autofocus is moderately fast, and it's very accurate, especially at f/1.4.
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 usually takes a moment to lock-on.
It's rare to get anything significantly out of focus on any 16mm lens; background blur has more to do with focal length than aperture.
The only way to make the background soft is to get very close to the subject.
Once you get close enough to get anything out of focus, bokeh is pretty typical: soft, but blur circles are still circles, not just undefined blobs.
16mm R WR bokeh at f/1.4. Camera-original © JPG.
Coma is weird smeared blobs that appear around bright points of light in the corners. They happen with fast and wide lenses at large apertures. Coma goes away as stopped down, and tends not to be seen in slower and tele lenses.
Coma also can make the far corners look like they have a radial blur even if you don't have points of light to excite it.
Coma is visible at f/1.4 and f/2. It's gone by f/2.8.
Distortion, as shot on the X-T10 which is probably correcting it automatically, is completely invisible, whoo hoo!
Maybe use a correction factor of +0.1 in Photoshop's Lens Correction filter, or just forget about it.
Fuji XF 16mm f/1.4 R 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/16 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/1.4, as shot on the X-T10 which is probably correcting it automatically.
Even shooting white walls wide-open at f/1.4 to exaggerate it, it's still insignificant. I've greatly exaggerated it by shooting a white 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.
Shooting directly into the sun or letting the sun shine on the front of the lens from outside the picture area and then deliberately putting something dark in the image can show some veiling flare. No big deal, don't do that or shield the lens with your hand.
While flare is a bit worse than average for a modern lens, it's never visible in actual shooting.
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.
It focuses to within inches of the front of the lens. Rated at 6"/0.15m from the image plane, that means about 2"/6cm from the front of the lens:
It's super sharp:
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!
Rear, Fuji X-mount XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR. enlarge.
The Fuji XF 16 1.4 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.
All parts are anodized aluminum.
Yes, in manual focus mode only (pull back on focus ring).
Yes, in manual focus mode only (pull back on focus ring).
Seem like metal.
Engraved and filled with paint, yay!
Front ring, laser-engraved.
Laser engraved on rear of lens barrel.
Rain seal at mount
Noises When Shaken
With those caveats, the Fuji XF 16/1.4 is sharp at all settings, but softer in the far corners at f/1.4 and f/2 due to coma.
Here is its rated MTF at f/1.4, which confirms the coma:
I see a little spherochromatism, also called color bokeh by hobbyists. This means that out-of-focus highlights may take on slight color fringes.
If you do see anything, background highlights may be fringed with green, and foreground highlights might be tinged with magenta.
This goes away as stopped down. I doubt you'll ever see it.
Sunstars at f/8, 28 August 2015, as-shot. bigger.
Sunstars at f/16, 28 August 2015, as-shot. bigger.
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/16.
It will make some small sunstars at reasonable apertures, like f/8, so it's better than many modern lenses.
The Fuji XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR is a great lens for low-light, giving you the longest reach into the dark hand-held of any lens. While an f/1.2 lens is faster, all the f/1.2 lenses are longer, which means you can't hand-hold them at shutter speeds as slow as you can with this 16mm lens. This shorter lens also has more depth of field, so far more is in focus at f/1.4 with this lens than with any longer lens.
The only advantage to this lens is if you really shoot it at f/1.4. When stopped down it's the same as using any of Fuji's other zooms at their 16mm settings.
If you've found my research here helpful, my support to run this ad-free website comes from when you using any of these links to it at Adorama, at Amazon or at B&H when you get yours, or when you get anything at 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 is sealed, buy your 16mm 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.
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