Fujifilm XF 16-80mm f4 R OIS WR Lens First Impressions

Fujifilm XF 16-80mm f4 R OIS WR Lens First Impressions:

As some of you know, I’ve been shooting with the new Fuji X-Pro3 lately.  I’ll be writing up my review soon but for now, you can read my first impressions of it.  In addition to the new camera, I’ve also been testing the new XF 16-80mm f4 R OIS WR lens.  I should’ve got this earlier but Fall was very busy time for me.  Anyway, I’ve shot with it around the city already, and I even brought it along with me on one of my model shoots.  I normally prefer fixed focal length lenses for my shoots but I got a few photos I really liked from this zoom.  I will be writing up a big review for this lens but for now, here’s my first look of it.

So, the XF 16-80mm f4 is basically a 24-120mm equivalent in 35mm terms, which is a very popular focal length range for many DSLR and mirrorless users.  Even my brother in law’s first lens for his Sony A7 iii was the 24-105mm.  It makes sense that it’s popular because the zoom range covers quite a lot; you can pretty much take just this one lens anywhere with you, and feel comfortable that you’re prepared for most situations.  While f4 is a modest maximum aperture, it’s still plenty quick enough for a lot of scenarios, especially when you consider that high ISO in cameras these days are generally all pretty good.  Plus, the f4 is a constant maximum aperture, which is nice, and the lens isn’t humongous.  So, it made sense for Fuji to release a zoom like this, and it also needed to be good.

↑ The XF 16-80mm f4 mounted on the Fuji X-Pro3.

Well, so far, I can tell you that it’s been better than just good.  For one, the overall build is quite decent.  In fact, this one feels considerably better built than my own XF 18-55mm f2.8-4 R LM OIS.  The aperture ring clicks solidly in third stops, and has a slightly dampened feel.  The zoom right is ultra smooth yet it doesn’t feel loose.  It’s a tighter, and again, more dampened feel than my XF 18-55, which I much prefer.  The lens also feels very solid with no signs of any creaks or weird noises.  Compared to older generation lenses like my XF 18-55mm, it’s clear that Fuji has only been getting better, and better at making these lenses.

↑ The XF 16-80mm f4 vs. the XF 18-55mm f2.8-4.

As I already mentioned, the XF 16-80mm f4 R OIS WR lens isn’t really a large lens considering it’s focal length range and maximum aperture.  To me, the 16-80mm feels more like the 18-55mm in terms of weight and size than the XF 16-55mm. When I’m using it, it’s easy to forget that I’m shooting with the XF 16-80mm rather than with the XF 18-55mm, where as, when I was testing the XF 16-55mm a while back, I could definitely tell that it was a larger and heavier lens.  The 16-80mm is a great compromise between the XF 18-55mm and the 16-55mm.  The price, which is $799, is also right between the prices of the two other zooms as well.

↑ I used f5.6, and 1600 ISO here.  The focal length used was 36mm.

↑ The settings for this pic were f8, 250 ISO, and I used the 31mm focal length.

↑ Here’s a shot taken with the 80mm focal length.  Settings were f8 and 160 ISO.

As for image quality, I am finding the XF 16-80mm to be very sharp.  Color and contrast are great.  As I mentioned earlier, I brought it along with me on a model shoot, and it performed superbly.  I was happier than I thought I would be with the images (I normally prefer primes for my shoots).

↑ This was such a windy day.  The XF 16-80mm was set at 21mm.  Settings were f8 and 320 ISO.

↑ The settings here were 250 ISO, f5.6, and the focal length used was 49mm.

↑ I used the 24mm focal length here.  The settings were f4 and 160 ISO.

The autofocus is also fast, and for the most part, accurate.  I was shooting in all types of conditions.  I was even shooting in this dimly lit hallway, and the lens performed great.  Focus was still immediate and accurate.  I was using it with the most current camera as of this writing, the Fuji X-Pro3.

↑ I used the 28mm focal length here, and the settings were 3200 ISO, and f5.6.

↑ Here’s a shot taken at 16mm.  I used 2000 ISO and the lens was set at f5.6.

↑ Just in time for sunset: the settings here were f5.6 and 1000 ISO.  I used the 43mm focal length.

So, I will get this review out as soon as possible, since this lens has been out for a while already.  Stay tuned :).  Thanks for stopping by!

For those interested in purchasing the XF 16-80mm, you can check out the link below:

XF 16-80mm f4 R OIS WR Lens at B&H Photo

2 comments… add one
  • Harry Lew

    Thanks. Enjoyed reading your insights on this lens. BTW, a minor quibble: the 35mm equivalent FL of the lens is 24-120, not 24-105.

    • Patrick

      Hi Harry,

      Thanks and I appreciate you letting me know about the error. It’s fixed. I meant 120 but it was early in the morning :).

      Best,

      Patrick

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