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Fuji XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS
XF18-55mmF2.8-4R (28-85mm equivalent)
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Fuji 18-55mm f/2.8-4 XF

Fuji Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 for X-Pro1 and X-E1 (metal 58mm filter threads, 10.9 oz./309g, 1-1.3'/0.3-0.4 m close focus, about $699, or $400 as part of a kit with the X-E1). This free website's biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially these directly to it at Adorama or at Amazon, when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thanks! Ken.

 

Sample Image Files

The Hat restaurant in The Rain

The Hat in The Rain, 19 February 2013. (Fuji X-E1, Fuji 18-55mm at 24.3mm, AUTO ISO 1,600, f/3.2 at 1/30 hand-held, Perfectly Clear.) Original © file.

 

Steinway Piano

Commemorative Steinway; Ahmad Jamal et. al.. (X-E1 at ISO 4,000, XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS at 18mm, f/8 at 1/30 hand-held.) Camera-original © file.

 

Sample Image Gallery: Route 66, February 2013.

 

March 2013    Fuji Reviews   LEICA Reviews   All Reviews

Fuji X-Pro1   Fuji X-E1     Fuji X100   Fuji X100s

XF 14mm f/2.8   XF 18mm f/2   XF 35mm f/1.4   XF 60mm f/2.4 Macro

XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS

Lens Adapters

 

Introduction       top

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Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations   More

This Fuji XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 is an aspherical zoom lens for Fuji's X-Series cameras. It has an optical image stabilizer built into the lens. This Fuji lens is much better made than the plastic 18-55mm toys from Canon, Nikon, Sony and others, and it's also full stop faster at all settings. While the Canon and Nikon 18-55mm lenses have great optics, the Sony 18-55 lenses do not, and all of the other brands are all-plastic, often with plastic mounts!

This Fujinon XF 18-55mm is almost all metal with engraved markings. Its focus and aperture are all controlled by the camera.

Unlike what you were expecting, this 18-55mm feels great in-hand, and it is super sharp and devoid of distortion and light falloff when shot on Fuji's cameras.

It has rotary encoders for aperture and manual focus which tell the camera body what to do to control the lens. How well these respond depend on your camera. The manual focus ring never worked well for mel but neither has the manual ring on any Fuji X lens. No worries; I just tap the camera's AFL button for spot manual focus; no one actually uses the focus ring on an electronic AF camera for manual focus; exactly the same as we go with the Contax G2.

Unlike the XF 18mm f/2 and XF 35mm f/1.4 that have 52mm filter threads, this 18-55 has 58mm filter threads, matching only the Fuji 14mm XF.

 

Compatibility       intro      top

This is a Fuji X-mount XF lens, and as of February 2013, works only on the Fuji X-Pro1 and Fuji X-E1.

Used with the electronic finder or LCD of either camera it gives the usual results, but used with the Fuji X-Pro1's optical finder, the finder frame rectangle zooms in and out while the optical image remains unchanged!

 

Fuji XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4

Fuji X-mount XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4. enlarge.

 

Specifications        top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations   More

 

Name

Fui 18-55mm OIS

Fuji calls this the Fujinon Aspherical Lens Super EBC XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS.

EBC is Electron Beam Coating, also known as multicoating.

 

Optics

14 elements in 10 groups.

3 aspheric and 1 extra low dispersion element.

 

Close focus

1.0-1.3 feet (0.3-0.4 meters).

 

Maximum reproduction ratio

1:6.7 (0.15x).

 

Focal length

18-55mm

When used on the X-Pro1 or X-E1 with their 1.52x sensors, it sees the same angle of view as a 28-85mm lens sees when used on a 35mm camera.

Used in those camera' square crop mode, it sees the same angle-of-view as a 65-200mm lens sees on 6x6 (2¼") medium format camera.

 

Angle of view

79.1º ~ 28.4.º

 

Diaphragm

7-blade rounded diaphragm stops down to f/22.

 

Filters

58mm filter thread, metal!

 

Size

2.56" diameter by 2.8" long.

65mm diameter by 70.4mm long.

 

Weight

10.900 oz. (309.0g), measured.

Fuji rates it as 10.6 oz. (300g).

 

Announced

06 September 2012.

 

Promised

November 2012.

 

Price

$699, September 2012-February 2013.

$400 as part of a kit with the X-E1.

 

5664

5664. (Fuji X-E1, Fuji 18-55mm at 42.5mm, AUTO ISO 200, f/9 at 1/400, Perfectly Clear, split-toned print.) bigger.

 

Performance       top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations   More

Overall   Auto and Manual Focus    Bokeh    Distortion

Ergonomics   Falloff    Color Fringes    Macro

Mechanics    Sharpness   Spherochromatism   Sunstars

 

Overall      performance      top

The Fuji XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 ASPH is optically just about perfect, excelling at sharpness, falloff and distortion, as well as bokeh. This 18-55mm is also feels better then almost anything from Nikon or Canon, with its almost all-metal construction.

 

Auto and Manual Focus      performance      top

Auto and manual focus is closed-loop, read directly from the image sensor. Therefore there are none of the mechanical errors present in rangefinder (LEICA) or SLR cameras.

Autofocus is always in perfect focus, which is better than I can say for most of my DSLR and rangefinder cameras.

Autofocus is fast enough for still subjects, dependant of course on your camera.

 

Bokeh      performance      top

Bokeh, the character of out of focus areas, not simply how far out of focus they are, is neutral to very good.

Backgrounds are soft and undistracting.

Inside The Door at The Hat.

Inside The Door at The Hat, 19 February 2013. (Fuji X-E1, Fuji 18-55mm at 55mm, AUTO ISO 800, f/4 at 1/30, Perfectly Clear.) bigger.

 

Distortion      performance      top

Distortion as shot on the X-E1 is completely invisible, except for moderate to minor pincushion distortion at 23mm, whoo hoo! (I'm pretty sure that the X-E1 is correcting this automatically.)

For critical scientific use, plug this figure 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.

at 10' (3m)
Factor
18mm
±0.0
23mm
-1.5
35mm
±0.0
55mm
±0.0

© 2013 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

 

Ergonomics      performance      top

Fuji XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4

Fuji XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS.

The controls, from front to back, are the focus and zoom ring. The aperture encoder ring is the ring closest to the camera.

Swapping apertures or exposure modes is poor. The aperture encoder ring is not an aperture ring; note the lack of markings. The rear ring is simply an encoder to the camera's computer. The camera responds (or not) to the aperture encoder ring depending on the camera's mood, and if it's feeling like accepting your input or not. Therefore what could be an awesome way to adjust apertures by feel turns out to be crummy, mandating you stop and stare at the finder's aperture read-out as you turn the aperture encoder ring.

Worse, you have to stop and move a switch to go from manual aperture control (the diaphragm icon) or automatic control (the A). It's nowhere near as marvelous as Fuji's other lenses with dedicated aperture rings with unique positions for each aperture, or the Auto modes.

Manual focus is crappy. It's only an encoder ring that sends commands to the camera, and then you have to hope the camera does what you want with the focus.

Here's the great news: I never need to use the manual focus ring and rarely the aperture ring, and the zoom ring is wonderful! It's smooth and sure and well spaced, making it a joy to select framing. Holding the camera with one hand, it's easy to zoom this lens with one finger.

Since the lens feels like a real all-metal lens, and all I use is the zoom ring, I really like this lens' ergonomics! The zoom doesn't track focus well; be sure to focus after zooming.

 

Falloff (darkened corners)      performance      top

Light falloff is completely invisible at every setting as shot on the Fujifilm X-E1.

I'm pretty sure that the X-E1 is correcting this automatically.

 

Lateral Color Fringes      performance      top

I see no lateral color fringes when shot on the Fuji X-E1.

The X-E1 is probably correcting this automatically.

 

Macro      performance      top

macro

Rockwell's Watch at close-focus distance at 55mm. f/18 at 1/350 on X-E1 at AUTO ISO 800.

 

crop

Crop from above image in 50 x 33" (1.5 x 1m) print (100% pixel-to-pixel).

 

Mechanics      performance      top

Fuji XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4

Rear, Fuji X-mount XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4. enlarge.

The Fuji XF 18-55 2.8-4 is built better than most lenses from Nikon or Canon today. It's almost all-metal, as real lenses always are. Sorry, I can't take all the plastic that too many once great lens companies now use on their lenses today.

 

Filter Threads

Anodized aluminum.

 

Hood Bayonet

Anodized aluminum.

 

Fore Barrel

Plastic.

 

Manual Focus Encoder Ring

Anodized aluminum.

 

Zoom Ring

Anodized aluminum

 

Aperture Encoder Ring

Anodized aluminum.

 

Rear Barrel

Plastic.

 

Depth-of-Field Scale

Yes, in camera.

 

Internals

Plastic and metal.

 

Aperture Ring

Anodized aluminum.

Markings engraved and filled with paint.

Third-stop clicks.

 

Mount

Dull-chromed metal.

 

Markings

Focal Lengths: engraved.

Rear "18-55:" paint.

 

Identity Ring

Metal front ring.

Laser engraved into anodized aluminum.

 

Serial Number

Laser engraved into bottom rear of plastic lens barrel.

 

Rain seal at mount

No.

 

Noises When Shaken

Clunking.

 

Made in

Japan.

 

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.

With those caveats, the Fuji XF 18-55/2.8-4 is super-sharp edge-to-edge at all settings.

Glowing Tire of Hope, Amboy

Glowing Tire of Hope, Amboy. (Fuji X-E1, Fuji 18-55mm at 1" (25.4mm) focal length, AUTO ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/210, Perfectly Clear, edge-burned and split-toned print.) bigger.

If you get out the microscope, my sample was less sharp on the sides at 55mm at larger apertures, but nothing I ever noticed in actual shooting.

 

MTF Curves (rated)

Rated MTF at wide:

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

 

Rated MTF at tele:

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

 

Spherochromatism       performance     top

I never saw any spherochromatism, called color bokeh by hobbyists. I didn't expect to see any, either; this lens is too slow.

 

Sunstars      performance      top

The rounded 7-blade diaphragm can make 14-pointed sunstars.

 

Recommendations       top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations   More

I like this lens a lot. It feels great to shoot, it's a stop faster than the crappy plastic 18-55mm imitations from Nikon and Canon, and everything I shot with it is always sharp, in perfect focus and never with any camera-shake induced blur, even in very dark conditions.

Fuji says to please update the firmware of your camera body when using the XF18-55mm for the first time.

Forget slumming with LEICA or other off-brand lenses on adapters; you can't get anything sharper and any other lens won't autofocus or autoexpose or log data, and no other adapted lens will have a diaphragm that opens and closes automatically as needed for focus and shooting. As I showed in my review of the garbagy Sony 18-55mm, there is little to no sharpness advantage to using even the world's best and most exotic fixed 35mm f/1.4 lens, the LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH mit floating element ($5,000), isn't much sharper. That Sony lens is much less sharp than this Fuji 18-55, so save yourself the bother and use this lens unless you prefer a fixed Fuji lens.

Personally, this 18-55mm OIS lens now replaces all of the the XF 18mm f/2, XF 35mm f/1.4 and XF 60mm f/2.4 Macro for me. It gets as close as I'll ever need, and with OIS lets me shoot in the same crappy light as any of the faster fixed lenses. The lack of distortion as shot on the X-E1 also eliminates for me the distortion benefits that fixed lenses used to have. The Fuji X system is completely rewriting the book on cameras, thank goodness.

If you've found all the time and expense I incur researching all this for you in person and then sharing it all here for free, this free website's biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially these directly to it at Adorama or at Amazon, when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thanks! Ken.

 

More Information        top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations   More

Fuji X-Pro1   Fuji X-E1     Fuji X100   Fuji X100s

XF 14mm f/2.8   XF 18mm f/2   XF 35mm f/1.4   XF 60mm f/2.4 Macro

XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS

Lens Adapters

 

Help me help you         top

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Thanks for reading!

 

 

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

 

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September 2012