8 out of 10 points and recommendedNice range, 10mm!, solidly built, smooth focus/zoom rings, pretty sharp, decent with flarewicked high vignetting, sizable distortion, edges decent but not fantastic, aperture ring wonky/no hard markings
This lens is a solid 8 for me. I love Fuji's lenses, and have used most of them. The fit and finish of them is usually outstanding, and the optical quality of their lenses is consistently very good, and sometimes outstanding. I would say this is not their best effort, but that doesn't mean it's a not a worthy offering. Good, useful zoom range combined with a fixed aperture, and ooooh that 10mm wide angle. You can definitely get some expansive shots with this lens. It's not the widest I've used (14mm equiv would be), but close enough and wide enough to really make some astounding images.reviewed October 31st, 2014 (purchased for $799)
That said, I don't get all the reviewers who are saying this lens has no or low distortion. That is simply not the case. Fuji imbeds their raw files with lens correction data, and Lightroom and others automatically apply these corrections during processing. That doesn't mean the lens is awesome. That means Fuji is letting software do a lot of the work for them. Is that okay? Well the lens is $1k not on sale, so you make the choice.
I use Capture One Pro for my editing, and when you turn off the lens correction, this lens shows significant barrel at 10mm. I haven't taken a significant look at the other focal lengths, but I've seen it goes from significant barrel to some decent pincushion as it gets to the long end.
Also? Vignetting is huge. And it is all over the place in the focal range.
CA isn't too bad from what I've seen so far; definitely better than some of the other wide lenses I've used.
Sharpness is great in the center at most focal lengths (sharpness all over suffers some at 24mm), but towards the edges it gets blurry. If you shoot jpeg with Fuji's LMO turned on, you definitely will not notice it as much, but it's still there. Uncorrected it is significant. But stopping down to 5.6 improves things, and by f8, things are pretty solid across the frame (though the edges still lag the middle).
Also, though not as much of an issue for me, the aperture dial on my copy of the lens is loose. Not as in turning; that is fine, but you can move it from side to side a bit on the body, which is a little disconcerting and something I've never seen from my other Fuji lenses with aperture rings. Plus the fact they didn't put the aperture numbers on the dial is just lame. For this price, come on. All fixed aperture lenses should have hard markings, zoom or prime. Period.
In the end, a couple things could have changed my rating: 1; they could have made it cheaper. I got mine for 799, but it was on sale. 699-799 should be the starting range for this lens in the current state. 2; improved the optics/aperture ring. Were the optics better and the aperture ring more solid, or even one of those things, I could have bumped the rating a point. And if both were solid, I would have given it a 10. As it is, it's an 8.
Good effort, Fuji, just not your best.