Photo Pro Review of the 16-55mm WR Fuji lens
So, there is a new lens out from Fuji and as I have not had my hands on it yet (90mm f2.0 Review by Kevin Mullins here), I thought I would share out the review of the 16-55mm instead…. it is quite simply one of the THE lenses you should have a look at if you are buying into the Fuji System..
First written for PhotoPro Magazine 2015
Other blogs on the 16-55mm lens:
Back in December, I got the call from Fuji HQ and was asked to have look over the new lens, every thing was under embargo and I was dying to talk about this new lens but, had to wait until Japan announced the lens to coincide with CES in Las Vegas.
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One of the first things you will notice about the lens is the size, then the weight. When you put this lens on something like the X-Pro – among the biggest of the X-series bodies – the lens is deeper than the bottom of the camera leaving the lens hood to protrude lower than the camera. The 77mm filter fit is also seeming huge compared next to the much smaller 18-55 or basic 16-50mm kit lens. This lens is full to the brim of the most wonderful glass and sports the new Nano coating on the huge front element.
After the weight, size and build quilty the next thing people are picking up on is the fact that this lens has no stabilization, or OS (optical Stabilization). Some seem split on this and I can see why. Photography is a game of balance. We are forever balancing lights, iso shutter speeds and composition to get the right balance to create what we are trying to do. When companies build products it is very much the same. Customers want low costs, low weight, compact yet high quality. Companies like Fuji want this too, as then it sells and we buy it and everyone is happy. However, at some steps the balance has to be found. Fuji went down the road of getting the best optical quality at a good price and weight, I would only assume that adding OS into this lens would of raised the price and lowered the amount of room internally for what ever they wanted to put in. Adding OS would of also been a big drain on the battery power for what is still, for all intense and purpose a system around saving weight and space. This is a big lens, but small when compared next to the lenses in it’s optical ball park.
Since the 35mm, 18mm and 60 that Fuji launched the X-Pro with, the lens line up has exploded. I am an X-Photographer and I speak to the Fuji staff pretty much every day. I could pretty much get my hands on any of the lenses I wanted and yet, I still don’t quite know which lenses Fuji I have out. It was only just yesterday that Matthew Maddock mention the 230mm Fuji lens, I was like,, what lens ? It is not that I don’t try and keep up or want to is is that I have the 35mm, the 18mm, the 60mm and the 18-55mm already. After I change out the 18-55 for the 16-55 I really don’t feel like I am missing or in need of anything. These lenses are near perfect for what I shoot. For someone shooting weddings I think this day is also here too. With the 50-140mm and the 16-55 both being constant f2.8 though the focal range, just with the addition of a super fast prime like the 35mm or 56mm, your kit is pretty much good to go for a couple of years. My advice would then look at something like a grip & arca swiss plate, nice strap, more battery, thumb grip would be the little finishing touches to make your kit totally pimped and ready for action
I would think that only when Fuji bring out an updated version of the 35mm would be the time to invest some more money. But then again .. the 90mm f2.0 is not far away now either.
Yes, the 16-55mm is pricey, but not out of reach or touch for a lens of this nature, in fact, for the quality of the lens, I think there is a bit of a bargain going on here. We must also still remember that the 18-55mm, while being f2.8-4 is still a cracking lens and unlike the new lens, very compact and does have OS. People buying the new lens are paying for optical quiltiy and that fast element. Both lenses are sharp, both have nice contrast and both deal with chromatic aberration well, it is just that the new 16-55 does is near faultless at the same time being super super fast to focus. On the X-T1, the 16-55mm is a dream set up. The numbers Fuji give out is 0.6th of a second to focus, but the truth is that numbers are half the story with anything. The trust you have the focus is right is more valuable than speed to me, even if it tool twice as long, as long as it is focused on what want. As with all Fuji stuff, and yes, I am a Fuji X-Photographer, and yes, this might be biased, but I do genuinely trust the kit and there are many many people who do too. This new lens only goes to push the system even more into a a system that a can challenge notions of what a ‘pro’ photographer must carry in their kit bag.
So far I have tested this lens in almost all the areas of photography that I do, aside from shooting gigs and low light ( I was meant to be doing that today, but I had to send the lens back to Fuji so they can show it SWPP in London ). To sum everything up… would I buy this lens ? – yes, should you ? Yes. Does it bother me that the lens does not have OS – not at all, infact the heavier weight and longer barrel makes this a very stable lens to hold and shoot with 🙂
Full Gallery of images: Client-Images/Fuji-Kenilworth-Castle/
Models- Luke Grimley @ Alan Sharman & Bronte Sunmer @ Boss Models
Make up – Penny Grimley
1/60 f4.5 24.9mm
Lee Filters 2 x ND Filters
Assisted – Matthew Maddock & Darren Lee
Models- Nove Carangi
1/30 f11 30mm
Models- Racheal Bowler
Make up – Racheal Bowler
1/180 f14 26.6mm
Photos of Jodi
Jodi – from Alan Sharman Agency
Photos of Peliroja
Fuji XT-1Photos of Beffy G