Fuji XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS
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
Tokyo at ISO 6,400, 08 May 2014. (X-T1 at Auto ISO 6,400, Velvia mode, +2 color saturation, XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS at 18mm, f/2.8 at 1/125, focus on bottles on wall, Perfectly Clear.) Full-resolution © file.
Sample Image Gallery: Route 66, February 2013.
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.
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 X-mount XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4. enlarge.
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.
14 elements in 10 groups.
3 aspheric and 1 extra low dispersion element.
1.0-1.3 feet (0.3-0.4 meters).
Maximum reproduction ratio
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
7-blade rounded diaphragm stops down to f/22.
58mm filter thread, metal!
2.56" diameter by 2.8" long.
65mm diameter by 70.4mm long.
10.900 oz. (309.0g), measured.
Fuji rates it as 10.6 oz. (300g).
06 September 2012.
$699, September 2012-February 2013.
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 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, 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.
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.
© 2013 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.
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.
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.
I see no lateral color fringes when shot on the Fuji X-E1.
The X-E1 is probably correcting this automatically.
Rockwell's Watch at close-focus distance at 55mm. f/18 at 1/350 on X-E1 at AUTO ISO 800.
Crop from above image in 50 x 33" (1.5 x 1m) print (100% pixel-to-pixel).
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.
Manual Focus Encoder Ring
Aperture Encoder Ring
Yes, in camera.
Plastic and metal.
Markings engraved and filled with paint.
Focal Lengths: engraved.
Rear "18-55:" paint.
Metal front ring.
Laser engraved into anodized aluminum.
Laser engraved into bottom rear of plastic lens barrel.
Rain seal at mount
Noises When Shaken
With those caveats, the Fuji XF 18-55/2.8-4 is super-sharp edge-to-edge at all settings.
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:
Rated MTF at tele:
I never saw any spherochromatism, called color bokeh by hobbyists. I didn't expect to see any, either; this lens is too slow.
The rounded 7-blade diaphragm can make 14-pointed sunstars.
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.
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