Fujifilm Middle East here in Dubai, provided me a pre-production copy of their latest prime, the Fujinon XF 16mm f1.4 R WR lens. I have been using the lens for 2 weeks now and here are my initial impressions.
Here are the technical specifications of the lens:
FUJINON XF16mmF1.4 R WR key features:
- FUJIFILM X-Mount is compatible with all FUJIFILM X-Series interchangeable system cameras
- Weather-resistant design with 9 sealing points in 8 areas
- 0.11 seconds autofocus speed and nearly silent operation
- Uses 13 elements in 11 groups, including 2 aspherical lens elements to control spherical aberration and distortion, and 2 ED glass lens elements to reduce lateral and axial chromatic aberration
- Nano-GI coating alters the refractive index between glass and air to reduce ghosting and flare
- 9 blade aperture creates smooth and circular bokeh
- 1/3 EV steps
- Minimum working distance of less than 6 inches
BUILD QUALITY & SIZE COMPARISON
The build quality is typical Fujinon quality, impeccable build quality. When I first held it, it reminded me of a bigger Fujinon 14mm lens. It has the same “shot gun” type AF / MF mechanism. Size wise, it is almost the same as the Fujinon 56mm f1.2 lens and in my “hand-meter” tells me they weigh pretty much the same.
To give you an idea on the size of the lens, here it is compared to other Fujinon lenses:
35mm f1.4 , 16mm f1.4 and 10-24mm f4 Fujinon Lenses
Here it is with the 56mm f1.2, it is slightly taller and narrower than the 56mm lens.
As per the size, I didn’t find it too heavy or to bulky for a prime lens. Of course I wanted a smaller one since one of my main reason for having a mirrorrless system is the size and weight. That being said, it is still relatively smaller to a prime L lens from canon. We also have to consider that this lens if mounted on a weather sealed body like the X-T1 will give you a complete weather sealed protection.
HANDLING & PERFORMANCE
Here it is mounted on a Fujifilm X-T1
This is how it looks with the X-E2
I showed you how it looks on both cameras since I think, both cameras have the size and weight to carry the 16mm lens with a good balance. By the way, it is also very well balanced on X-Pro1 too, which is the camera I used taking all the photos above. But where it feels the best is when mounted to the X-T1. The only camera I tried it on which feels lens heavy is with the X-M1, but that doesn’t mean you cannot use this lens with a smaller body. This may sound useless to you but when you are shooting for long hours, you will learn that a well balanced gear in your hand is a blessing.
When it comes to performance, it is as good as it looks. It focuses really quick and I’ll probably update this post with a video showing how quick the AF motor on this lens is. The 1.4 aperture makes it very useful for situations where light isn’t enough; this will enable you to shoot in lower ISO thus making your images so much cleaner even in low light situations. I can see a lot of events photographers using this lens quite a lot. I think, this is an excellent lens for wedding photographers as well.
I personally use 24mm (full frame equivalent) a lot, on my Canon 24-70 lens, most of my shots are either 24mm or 70mm; that is why I really like this lens. This focal length is not for everyone though, it is not as popular as the 35, 50 and the 85mm, but what makes this lens appealing is the f1.4 aperture, this is what I think makes this lens useful. There are a lot of times where f2.8 is not enough and you will wish that you can open up your aperture a bit more.
… to be continued.
On part 2 of the review, I’ll show you samples and some image analysis of the lens. I’ll cover the sharpness, the focusing speed and the bokeh quality of the Fujinon 16mm f1.4.
Click here for the part 2.
Good information, thank you! You’re right by it not being such a popular focal length but I think that for a nice set of three primes in your pocket it would complement the 35mm better than the 23mm would. At the moment I’d say that 16mm, 35mm and 56mm sounds like a good, lightweight and flexible kit! Or you could go with the 14mm, 23mm and something longer but I’d prefer the 1.4 and 1.2 apertures 🙂
Thank you Jan! Yes, you are right! I also prefer the 16mm over the 23mm. There’s nothing wrong with the 23mm but I love the 35mm and it is my all time favorite fuji prime 🙂 I think 16-35-56-90 will be an awesome set!