Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR

 
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16mm $399
average price
image of Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR

Updates:
05/17/2019: Field Test & Gallery Images added

 

Fuji XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Field Test

Fuji's newest XF prime is an all-around great wide-angle lens

by Jeremy Gray | Posted 05/17/2019

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm X-T30 at f/11, 0.5s, ISO 160.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The Fuji XF 16mm f/1.4 has long been a great wide-angle prime option for Fujifilm users. While excellent, it has a list price of $1,000 USD and is fairly large and heavy for its focal length. Many X Series cameras are compact and light, so it makes sense for Fujifilm to offer a similarly-small wide-angle prime. Enter the new XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR lens. While it may not offer the same bright aperture as its f/1.4 sibling, it is much smaller, lighter and costs only around $400.

I recently tested Fujifilm's svelte X-T30 camera, which strikes me as a great pairing for the new lightweight XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR. Can the XF 16mm f/2.8 deliver strong image quality, even at f/2.8? Let's find out.

Key Features and Specs

  • 24mm-eq. wide-angle focal length
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Weather-resistant construction
  • 10 elements in 8 groups
  • A pair of aspherical elements
  • Super EBC coating
  • Stepping autofocus motor
  • Fast and quiet autofocus for stills and video
  • $399 USD
Fuji XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review -- Product Image

Lens Design

The XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR is a very compact prime lens. It is less than two inches long (45 millimeters) and has a maximum diameter of only 2.4 inches (60mm). Perhaps even more impressive than its compact size is that it weighs only 5.5 ounces (155 grams). Despite its small size, the lens features a weather-resistant design and comfortable ergonomics. It has a dedicated aperture ring like other XF lenses, which has a good ridged surface and marked full-stop apertures from f/2.8 to f/22. The focus ring, although narrow, has a good resistance and overall feel. There is no built-in focus scale, but this is typical of Fuji XF lenses.

Fuji XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review -- Product Image

The lens feels surprisingly solid given its small size and ships with a removable lens hood, which is only about as wide as the aperture ring. The lens has a 49mm filter thread as well.

Fuji XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review -- Product Image

The XF 16mm f/2.8 makes the most of its limited space and delivers very impressive build quality, design and weather resistance. It's an impressively-built lens for $399.

Image Quality

The XF 16mm f/2.8 lens fits many elements into a small space: 10 elements across 8 groups, to be exact. There are a pair of aspherical elements in the mix as well. The lens includes Fuji's Super EBC coating on individual elements to help reduce lens flare and ghosting while also improving contrast and color fidelity, particularly in strong light. With its impressive optical features considering its size and price, how does the lens actually perform?

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm X-T30 at f/6.4, 1/9s, ISO 160.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Sharpness

The following sample images were converted from raw in Adobe Camera Raw using default settings, including sharpening.

Looking at the lens' sharpness when shooting wide open at f/2.8, central sharpness is impressive. The lens resolves a good amount of fine detail and contrast as well as rendering pleasing colors. As expected, the performance drops off a bit in the corners but remains strong overall. You don't lose a lot of sharpness in the corners by shooting wide open, which is great for times when you need the f/2.8 aperture to gather enough light for your image.

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm X-T30 at f/2.8, 1/2900s, ISO 200.
Sharpness Test Image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm X-T30 at f/2.8, 1/2900s, ISO 200.
100 percent center crop from above image. Sharpness Test Image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm X-T30 at f/2.8, 1/2900s, ISO 200.
100 percent top right corner crop from above image. Sharpness Test Image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

If you prioritize sharpness across the frame over the speed of the lens and shallow depth of field, stopping down the lens slightly, even just to f/5.6, helps corner sharpness noticeably while improving center sharpness a little bit. At f/5.6 and f/8, the lens is really strong across the frame. Beyond this, there are some signs of diffraction, although it isn't bad until f/16 and f/22. Unless you need the depth of field and cannot focus stack, I would recommend avoiding f/16 and f/22.

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm X-T30 at f/5.6, 1/750s, ISO 200.
100 percent center crop. Sharpness Test Image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm X-T30 at f/5.6, 1/750s, ISO 200.
100 percent top right corner crop. Sharpness Test Image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Overall, the XF 16mm f/2.8 lens is not quite as sharp as some of Fujifilm's best and most expensive XF prime lenses, but it comes close and delivers really good resolving capabilities across the frame.

Vignette

While corner sharpness is good when shooting wide open, falloff with respect to brightness matters too. The XF 16mm f/2.8 lens handles vignette quite well. Even at f/2.8, there is not a lot of vignette, and it is very rarely noticeable when shooting.

The images below have been processed in Adobe Camera Raw with the following adjustments: white balance synced across images, -0.5 exposure and Clarity reduced to better illustrate the vignette.

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm X-T30 at f/2.8, 1/2500s, ISO 160.
Vignette Test Image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Aberrations

The Fuji 16mm f/2.8's intelligent optical design results in good overall control of chromatic aberrations and fringing. Only when you look toward the edges of the frame can you observe some instances of fringing around high-contrast edges, but it's not bad and is pretty easy to correct if you so desire. It's far from a distracting issue and only noticeable in extreme cases.

Overall

Overall, the Fuji XF 16mm f/2.8 is a sharp lens free of any major optical issues. Its design results in strong control of vignette and aberrations while also delivering good performance across the frame, even when shooting wide open at its reasonably quick f/2.8 maximum aperture.

In the Field

The Fuji 16mm f/2.8 is a great companion lens for the X-T30, although it ought to pair nicely with any of Fujifilm's interchangeable lens X Series cameras. It's lightweight and compact while offering good ergonomics and a nice design. The lens may not be as fast as its more expensive sibling, but f/2.8 works nicely in most shooting situations. Plus, the lens is certainly more subtle and nondescript than the $1,000 f/1.4 alternative, making it a nice choice for photographers looking to fly a bit under the radar.

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm X-T30 at f/2.8, 1/40s, ISO 160.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The XF 16mm f/2.8 is well-suited for a variety of types of photography. With its 24mm-eq. focal length, you can shoot wide-angle environmental portraits, landscape images, street photography, travel shots and more. While it can't quite do macro and it is not the best choice for night sky photography, it handles most wide-angle photography very well.

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm X-T30 at f/6.4, 3.5s, ISO 160.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm X-T30 at f/18, 2s, ISO 160.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file. The XF 16mm f/2.8 does a good job handling direct light and can produce a decent sunstar.

Autofocus

With its stepping motor and internal focusing mechanism, the XF 16mm f/2.8 delivers quick and quiet autofocus. I was very impressed by how quickly the lens was able to move through its focusing range.

For people who enjoy getting close to their subject, the XF 16mm f/2.8 is not a macro lens, but it does allow for a fairly close working distance. You can focus the lens as close as 6.7 inches (17 centimeters), which results in a maximum magnification ratio of 0.13x. In case you're curious, the 16mm f/1.4 lens can focus a bit closer and produces a maximum magnification ratio of 0.21x.

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm X-T30 at f/2.8, 1/1250s, ISO 160.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file. You can focus pretty closely with the XF 16mm f/2.8 lens. When you do, you can get nice bokeh for a wide-angle lens.

Fuji XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Lens Field Test Summary

Fuji's latest compact wide-angle prime delivers strong overall performance

What I liked:

  • Lightweight and weather-resistant design
  • Strong optical performance across the frame
  • Fast autofocus
  • Good value at $399
Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm X-T30 at f/11, 1s, ISO 160.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

What I didn't like:

  • Not as fast or sharp as the XF 16mm f/1.4 lens
  • No OIS

The Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR lens delivers strong overall performance by combining a lightweight design with impressive image quality. Not every photographer wants to spend a lot of money for larger, bright, prime lenses, so it's excellent that Fujifilm continues to expand their offerings of f/2 and f/2.8 primes to go along with their f/1.2 and f/1.4 models.

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm X-T30 at f/11, 1s, ISO 160.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The XF 16mm f/2.8 is sharp, even at f/2.8, and is enjoyable to use in the field. At $399, it's a strong value as well. If you want a compact and high-quality wide-angle prime, it's hard to go wrong with Fuji's new XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR.

 

• • •

 

Product Overview

(From Fujifilm lens literature) The FUJINON XF16mmF2.8 R WR is designed to deliver the best resolution performance from Fujifilm's unique X-TRANS CMOS sensors through its precise optical design. Small and lightweight, the XF16mmF2.8 R WR lens also adopts an inner focusing system driven by a stepping motor, which drives the lens' focusing elements into place through precise electrical pulses for extremely fast auto-focusing capabilities. Metal components are used extensively on the exterior of the lens and the interior of the lens is sealed around the barrel in nine different locations to ensure its durability as well as the weather-resistance to its surrounding environments.

FUJINON XF16mm F2.8 R WR Review -- Product Image

TOP FEATURES AND BENEFITS

  • High Resolution Performance: Edge-to-edge sharpness from the center to the corners of the frame is achieved by the precise arrangement of 10 lens elements in 8 groups. This lens also includes two aspherical elements, which serve to suppress the image degrading effects of chromatic aberration and field curvature imperfection.

  • Compact, Lightweight and Stylish design: Weighing in at 5.47oz (155g) and measuring just 1.79in (45.4mm) in length, this lens offers up the renowned image quality and refined style associated with the FUJINON XF family of lenses. With its metal exterior, precise click stops, and smooth dampening, this lens offers incredible image quality in a durable aesthetically pleasing appearance.

  • Fast and Quiet Autofocus: The inner focusing AF system uses a stepping motor to move focusing elements into place through precise electrical pulses, in order to achieve fast and near-silent autofocus performance.

  • Weather and Dust Resistant Durability: The lens is designed to operate in temperatures as low as 14° Fahrenheit and is sealed at nine points around the barrel, making it both weather and dust resistant.

FUJINON XF16mm F2.8 R WR Review -- Product Image

The FUJINON XF16mmF2.8 R WR lens is expected to be available in black in March 2019 or silver in May 2019, at a suggested retail price of USD $399.95 and CAD $499.99.

 

Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR

Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR User Reviews

7.0/10 average of 1 review(s) Build Quality 10.0/10 Image Quality 6.0/10
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by Prime Minister (46 reviews)
    Compact Lightweight Nice design Aperture ring
    The corners aren't sharp enough

    The Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 WR is a beautifully designed compact and lightweight lens. It takes up almost no space in your camera bag. Design wise its a nice addition to the other Fujicrons. Unfortunately the image quality doesnt excite me as much. In the centre the image is sharp at f/2.8 but the edges and corners never really sharpen up enough. To me this limits the use of the lens. I like to be able to use a wide angle in low light at f/2.8 or f/4 and not worry about soft corners. Obviously the 16mm f/2.8 WR was designed to be very compact. Because of this, the lens relies heavily on software correction and sharpness in the corners is not great. A deal breaker for me, but not for everyone. Personally I prefer the older 14mm f/2.8. However, it doesnt get more compact than this 16mm f/2.8 WR.

    reviewed July 17th, 2019