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Fuji XF 18-135mm
X-Mount OIS WR (28-200mm equiv.)
© 2014 KenRockwell.com. This page best with Corporate S regular and bold activated.

Intro   Specs   Performance   Usage   Recommendations   More

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Fuji 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS XF

Fujifilm Fujinon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 for X-mount cameras (metal 67mm filter thread, 17.2 oz./487g, 1.5'/0.45m close focus, about $899). I got mine at Adorama; this link to it at Amazon is also a great place to get it. This free website's biggest source of support is when you use that or these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you take the chance of buying elsewhere. Fuji doesn't seal its boxes, so never buy at retail since you can't tell if it's used, a return or missing accessories. Thanks for your support! Ken.

 

September 2014    Fuji Reviews   Fuji X-Mount Lenses   LEICA Reviews   All Reviews

 

Sample Image Files (more throughout the review)

Mangia Bene

Pasta, 13 September 2014, 3:15 PM. Fuji X-T1, Fuji 18-135mm at 100mm, f/5.6 at 1/125 hand held at Auto ISO 2,000. Camera-original file.

 

Deer, RP, 14 September 2014

Palm, 09 September 2014, 6:56 AM. Fuji X-T1, Fuji 18-135mm at 20mm, f/8 at 1/125 hand held at Auto ISO 1,000, Perfectly Clear V2. Full-resolution file.

 

Deer, RP, 14 September 2014

Palm, 09 September 2014, 6:54 AM. Fuji X-T1, Fuji 18-135mm at 56mm, f/8 at 1/125 hand held at Auto ISO 400. Camera-original file. Remember that many of the fronds aren't in focus.

 

Deer, RP, 14 September 2014

Palm, 09 September 2014, 6:55 AM. Fuji X-T1, Fuji 18-135mm at 100mm, f/8 at 1/125 hand held at Auto ISO 400, Perfectly Clear V2. Full-resolution file. Remember that many of the fronds aren't in focus.

 

Introduction       top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Usage   Recommendations   More

Compatibility

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

This Fuji XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS WR is an excellent 28-200mm (equivalent) zoom for Fuji X-mount cameras.

The only gotcha with the Fuji system is that there is no instant manual-focus override. You have to move a switch on your camera to get to or from manual focus mode. Possibly loading new camera software would change this.

OIS means Optical Image Stabilizer, which eliminates the need for a tripod.

WR means Weather Resistant to withstand minor rain and dust.

The Fuji X-Mount Lenses are all extraordinary. What most photographers don't realize is that Fujinon has for many, many decades, just like Canon and Nikon, also made far more advanced optics, like binoculars for military use 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.

 

Compatibility       intro      top

This is a Fuji X-mount XF lens that works only on Fuji X-mount cameras.

 

Fuji XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS

Fuji XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS. bigger.

 

Range?

If zooming to the equivalent of 200mm won't get close enough, nothing will.

Deer, RP, 14 September 2014

Deer, Dirt Valley, 14 September 2014, 6:25 PM. Fuji X-T1, Fuji 18-135mm at 135mm, f/5.6 at 1/125 hand held at Auto ISO 1,600. Camera-original file.

 

Specifications        top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Usage   Recommendations   More

 

Name

Fuji 18-135 4 front

Fuji 18-135 OIS.

Parent company Fujifilm calls this the Fujinon Aspherical Lens Super EBC XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, or XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Fujinon is Fuji's brand name for their lenses.

Aspherical means specially shaped lens elements for better sharpness.

Super EBC is Electron Beam Coating, also known as multicoating or HT-EBC coating.

XF is Fuji's line of lenses for their X-mount cameras.

R means approved by Rockwell.

LM means "Lick Me," a bizarre translation artifact of from the original Japanese documents surrounding the Weather Resistant concept.

OIS means Optical Image Stabilizer, which eliminates the need for a tripod.

WR means Weather Resistant, for casual protection against mild water spray and dust.

67 means it takes 67mm filters.

 

Optics

Fuji 18-135 4 front

Fuji 18-135 OIS internal construction.

16 elements in 12 groups.

4 aspherical and 2 anomalous dispersion (ED) elements.

Internal focus.

"Pumper" zoom; the front group moves forward as zoomed.

 

Diaphragm

7 rounded blades.

Stops down to f/22 in 1/3-stop clicks.

 

Focal length

18-135mm.

When used on the X-mount cameras with their 1.52x crop factor sensors, it sees the same angle of view as a 28-200mm 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 63-475 mm tele lens sees when used on a 6x6cm (2¼"square) medium-format camera. This is about the same as a 33-250mm lens sees when used on a 35mm camera.

See also Crop Factor.

 

Angle of view

76.5º - 12º

 

Autofocus

Internal focus.

No external movement as focussed.

 

Close Focus

1.5 feet (0.45 meters) in normal or in Macro modes.

Fuji specifies only to 2.5 feet (0.6 meters) in normal mode, but my X-T1 focuses as close in both modes.

Honestly, my 18-135mm focuses as close as 17" or 1.4 feet or 0.43m in all modes.

 

Maximum Reproduction Ratio

1:3.7 (0.27x).

 

Filters

Metal 67mm filter thread.

 

Hood

Plastic petal-type bayonet-mount hood included.

 

Size

2.98" diameter x 3.85 ~ 6.22" long.

75.7 mm diameter x 97.8 ~ 158 mm long.

 

Weight

17.165 oz. (486.7g), measured, lens only.

Fuji specifies 17.3 oz. (490g).

 

Announced

16 June 2014.

 

Available Since

Started shipping from Adorama on 29 July 2014.

 

Included

Lens.

Hood.

Front and rear caps.

"Lens wrapping cloth."

Paperwork.

 

Packaging

Fuji XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS

Box, Fuji XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS.

Inside the micro-corrugated cardboard box are 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.

 

Price

$899, introduction - September 2014.

 

Performance       top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Usage   Recommendations   More

Overall   Auto and Manual Focus    Bokeh    Distortion

Ergonomics  Falloff  Filters  Flare & Ghosts  Color Fringes    Macro

Mechanics   OIS   Sharpness   Spherochromatism   Sunstars

 

Overall      performance      top

The Fuji XF 18-135mm OIS ASPH is optically close to perfect, and is also very well built. For your Fuji, this is the one do-everything lens to get.

 

Auto and Manual Focus      performance      top

Autofocus is silent, fast, and always accurate.

You do have to move a switch on your camera to go between auto and manual focus.

Manual focus is by-wire, meaning the manual focus. ring is merely an encoder that talks to a computer that moves the lens.

 

Bokeh      performance      top

Bokeh, the softness of out-of-focus areas, not how far out of focus they are, is neutral.

For the softest backgrounds, always shoot at 135mm.

 

Distortion      performance      top

Distortion is invisible as shot as JPGs on my Fuji X-T1, which is probably correcting any distortion automatically.

What little residual distortion there is can be corrected for more critical use by plugging these figures into Photoshop's lens distortion filter. These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.

 

Correction factor at 10' (3m)
18mm
+1.0
23mm
-1.0*
35mm
-1.0
50mm
0.0
70mm
0.0
100mm
0.0

135mm

0.0

© 2014 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

* Slight waviness remains

 

Ergonomics      performance      top

Fuji XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS

Fuji XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS for X-mount cameras.

Manual focus is by wire, so it's pretty poor compared to an SLR lens. For the manual focus ring to work, you have to change the setting on your camera. Otherwise the ring is ignored in autofocus. Even in manual focus, the ring is never connected to the lens; it's connected to a computer which in turn moves a motor in the lens to focus. If I updated my camera's firmware it might work better.

The zoom ring is heavily damped. You'll want to use two fingers to zoom.

The rubberized zoom ring is easy to grab and use, and the focal lengths are well spaced across the ring.

The aperture ring is only half an aperture ring; it's an encoder to a computer and works like a generic command dial. It's not actually marked with apertures; you have to move the switch away from A to set an aperture manually.

 

Falloff (darkened corners)      performance      top

Light falloff is completely invisible even wide open as shot on the X-T1 which is probably correcting any falloff automatically.

 

Filters, Use with      performance      top

There's no problem with vignetting, even with several stacked filters!

Any thick filter works great; there no need for special thin filters.

In fact, I can use two stacked filters from 23mm and longer with no vignetting.

There's no vignetting with four filters as wide as 35mm,

The filter ring doesn't rotate, but the whole front of the lens moves in and out as zoomed.

The metal filter ring is a pleasant surprise compared to the plastic rubbish from Nikon and Canon.

 

Flare and Ghosts     performance      top

Ghosts

Ghost, 11:35 AM, 27 August 2014. Fuji X-T1 at Auto ISO 400, 18mm at f/13 at 1/350, Athentech Perfectly Clear. bigger.

There's no problem with ghosts.

Even under the most devious conditions I could devise, all I got was one dim gray blob.

No problems here.

 

Lateral Color Fringes      performance      top

There are no significant lateral color fringes shot on the X-T1 as JPGs.

If you get out the microscope, there are none from 18-35mm, and only the slightest hint of red-blue fringes in the corners at 70-135mm.

There are plenty of much more expensive lenses much worse here.

 

Macro      performance      top

Macro performance is also excellent. It gets very close and it's sharp:

macro

Omega Constellation at close-focus distance at 135mm. f/14 at 1/350 on X-T1 at AUTO ISO 400, Athentech Perfectly Clear V2.

 

macro

Crop from above 16MP image at 100%. If this is 6" wide on your screen, the complete image printed at this same high magnification would be 50 x 33" (125 x 80 cm).

 

Mechanics      performance      top

Fuji XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS

Rear, Fuji X-mount XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS. bigger.

The Fuji 18-135 is built pretty well, with more metal than most SLR lenses today.

 

Hood

Plastic bayonet.

 

Filter Threads

Anodized aluminum.

 

Hood Bayonet

Anodized aluminum.

 

Front Barrel

Plastic.

 

Focus Ring

Anodized aluminum.

 

Focus Scale

None.

 

Infinity Stop

None.

 

Depth-of-Field Scale

None.

 

Zoom Ring

Rubber-covered plastic.

 

Internals

Plastic and metal.

 

Mid Barrel

Plastic.

 

Aperture Ring

Anodized aluminum.

 

Rear Barrel

Plastic.

 

Mount

Dull-chromed metal.

 

Barrel Markings

Painted.

 

Identity Ring

Front ring inside filter ring.

 

Serial Number

Printed on a sticker on the rear of the lens barrel near the mount.

 

Rain seal at mount

Yes.

 

Noises When Shaken

Strong clunking as if half the internal IOS optics are floating around.

 

Quality

Made in China.

 

OIS      performance      top

The stabilizer is extraordinary.

It gives me perfectly sharp shots most of the time at 1/8 at 135mm, and half of the time at 1/4 of a second! One can shoot at even slower speeds at shorter focal lengths.

It sounds like there's a quiet motor turning inside. It's silent from more than a foot away.

Image stabilizers are important for long lenses, eliminating any need for a tripod under almost all conditions.

Fuji knows more about image stabilizers than Nikon or Canon. Fuji makes stabilizing binoculars used aboard spacecraft and helicopters, while Canon's IS system lacks the angular displacement for these high-vibration jobs. Nikon sells similar binoculars, but they're simply relabled Fuji binoculars!

 

Sharpness      performance      top

Warning 1: Image sharpness depends more on you than your lens.

Warning 2: Lens sharpness doesn't mean much to good photographers.

The Fuji XF 18-135 is sharp. It's a little less super-sharp in the corners wide open, and a stop or two down, it's ultra sharp.

 

Rated MTF:

MTF at 15 cycles
MTF at 45 cycles
18mm MTF at 15 cyc/mm
(10 cyc/mm equiv.)
18mm MTF at 45 cyc/mm
(30 cyc/mm equiv.)
MTF at 15 cycles
MTF at 45 cycles
135mm MTF at 15 cyc/mm
(10 cyc/mm equiv.)
135mm MTF at 45 cyc/mm
(30 cyc/mm equiv.)

 

Spherochromatism       performance     top

I see no spherochromatism (called color bokeh by hobbyists). This means that out-of-focus highlights remain neutral and don't take on any slight color fringes.

 

Sunstars      performance      top

Palms Av 27 Aug 2014

Palm, 11:35 AM, 27 August 2014. Fuji X-T1 at Auto ISO 400, 41mm at f/18 at 1/400.

The rounded 7-blade diaphragm makes few sunstars. To get anything at all we need to shoot at f/22 as I did here. The crazy colors are probably from reflections among the layers of the sensor due to the insane amount of light with which I'm hitting it by pointing my camera directly into the noonday sun.

 

Usage         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Usage   Recommendations   More

OIS is the Optical Image Stabilizer. Leave it on except if you're on a tripod for long exposures.

Leave the Diaphragm/A switch at the A setting as shown here. Move it to the diaphragm position to set an aperture manually.

 

Recommendations       top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Usage   Recommendations   More

The Fuji XF 18-135mm is a great do-everything lens for the Fuji X-mount cameras. It covers all the focal lengths you'd need, has no visible distortion, is super sharp and has fantastic image stabilization.

There are no better lenses to use on the Fuji system at any price. Forget slumming with LEICA or other off-brand lenses; you can't get anything sharper and any other lens won't autofocus or autoexpose or log data or be optimized by the camera's DSP, and no other lens will have a diaphragm that opens and closes automatically as needed for focus and shooting.

If you've found my research here helpful, my support to run this free website comes from when you use these links to approved sources, especially this link to it at Adorama and and this link to it at Amazon, when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. 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 which is sealed, buy your 18-135mm 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 or been used for store demos.

Thanks!

Ken.

 

More Information        top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Usage   Recommendations   More

Fuji's 18-135mm page.

Fuji's 18-135mm press release.

 

Help me help you         top

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The biggest help is when you use any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. These places have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.

If you find this page as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.

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Thanks for reading!

 

 

Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

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25 September 2014