Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8 Review

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Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8

Fujifilm’s Red Badge Mid Range Zoom

Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR Lens

Today we'll review the sharpness, rendition, contrast and overall usability of Fujifilm's Red Badge Mid Range lens the XF 16-55mm F/2.8. Therefore, we'll determine if this lens suits your photography requirements from a price vs image quality perspective. 

Watch a full comparison of this lens here.

As a full-time landscape photographer, I love the idea of having a versatile lens at my disposal. The XF 16-55mm F/2.8 delivers constant f2.8 aperture, weather resistants and a comprehensive focal range, but for me, the best part of this lens is the razor-sharp image quality. I love having glass that I can grab from my Atlas Backpack and depend on 100% of the time.

Fujinon XF 16-55mm F2.8 essential facts:

- 16-55mm Focal Length (Equiv 24-85mm in 35mm format)

- F2.8 Maximum Aperture & F/22 Minimum Aperture

- 83.3 mm diameter x 106mm (129.5mm fully extended)

- Weight 657g (23.2 oz)

- 77mm filter thread

- 17 elements in 12 groups

- 9 rounded blades

- 83.2 ~ 29° Angle of View

- Weather Resistant

- Price €1099.00

Sharpness

When you talk about sharpness and Fujifilm does fuji’s red badge lenses come to mind? The Fujifilm 16-55mm f2.8 red badge lens is no exception, in fact in my opinion sharper than the famous “fuji primes”. Sharpness excels between f5.6 to f11, stopping down below f5.6 is still exceptionally sharp at f2.8, but noticeable improvements in the centre and corner sharpness occur by an increase to f/4.

I am pondering a great debate coming in September 2019 between the XF 16-55mm f2.8 VS XF 16-80 f/4.

Autofocus

Autofocus was a huge selling point for me on this lens, as I see this lens as my “money maker”. During a recent photography assignment in mixed conditions, I found this lens to nail focus at every aperture and focal range consistently. In low contrast scenes (mainly indoors) focusing was a little hit and miss - mostly at f2.8.

Pro Tip: Fujifilm’s autofocusing systems are more precise, but slower if the autofocusing point is made smaller.

Build Quaility

I like to keep my reviews positive, so let's start there! This lens will handle whatever mother nature throws your way. I've used it during heavy rain where all you'll need to do is wipe it down and keep on shooting. I never have to worry using this lens in any condition, which makes it perfect for the photojournalism style of how I use it.

Off the camera, this lens is chunky with 17 elements in 12 groups worth of glass compromising to the fantastic build quality we typically expect from Fujifilm. But, sorry to say this word "but" things change when rested on the front of an XT body. If you didn't already read "what's in my bag" own both the X-T3 and X-H1, the 16-55mm feels horrible on the X-T body, and let's say just passable on the X-H. On a personal note, this is acceptable as I already stated, it's my money maker - I'm chasing quality and reliability, so please consider this before purchasing!

Image Quaility

Want razor-sharp images? Yeah, you’ve come to the right place! 

Want great bokeh? Yeah, also at the right place!

The Fujifilm 16-55mm f/2.8 LM WR is a lens that excels in every single way shape and form when it comes to image quality. Fujifilm’s red badge lenses compete with other premium manufacturers in the mirrorless system world - although it may come with a hefty price tag it certainly lives up to all expectations.

I’ve found very little to complain about with this lens. If someone’s complaining about purple fringing on a forum keep scrolling and by the way, the same goes for JPEG rendering straight out of the camera. 

In all honesty, I only have two minor issues with this lens, which you’ll read below in conclusion.

Fujifilm 16-55mm f2.8 Image Sharpness

16mm, 35mm, 55mm Centre & Top Left Corner sharpness

Photo:  Fujifilm X-T3 & Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8 Lens - Kyrgyzstan  Credit:  Matthew Storer

Photo: Fujifilm X-T3 & Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8 Lens - Kyrgyzstan Credit: Matthew Storer

Pro's

  • Superb image quality

  • Beautiful Bokeh, Sharpness & image quality

  • Fujifilm's BEST everyday zoom lens

  • Weather sealed

  • Build quality

  • Focus & aperture ring

Con's

  • No Image Stabilising

  • Front heavy on XT models

  • Price & overall weight

Conclusion

The Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f2.8 a lens I never wanted to purchase but now will never leave my kit. 

I have two negatives regarding this lens. The price point was the first one. Notice that I said was! My doubts quickly changed after my first paid job when I realised why this lens is €1099.00. It's sharp as nails, versatile as sticky tape and allows me to have just one lens on my camera while getting a variety of images.

Secondly, it's large heavy, and this weight doesn't include IS. I went with Fujifilm to own a small, compact and lightweight system. Now granted, I don't use primes which would make my system half the size. But this lens doesn't feel amazing in hand, especially if you're carrying it around all day. Photographers who shoot wedding, travel and in desperate need for optimal perfection will need this lens because nothing matches it in the Fuji line up (besides the 56mm 1.2) for sharpness.

If your making money from photography or money’s no issue then this lens will not only meet your expectations but exceed them!


DOWNLOAD THE RAW AND JPEG COMPARISONS HERE!

Matthew Storer

Matthew Storer


Travel & Landscape Photographer

Australian. YouTuber. Adventurer.



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