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Fujifilm XF16mm f/2.8 WR First Impressions

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For every camera system with interchangeable lenses I’ve owned, I’ve always had an ultra wide angle zoom and when I made the move to mirrorless, I purchased the Fujifilm 10-24 f/4 and that lens is awesome and perhaps I’ll own it again someday but there was a couple things that threw me off with that lens.

The 10-24 was not the smallest nor the lightest Fujifilm lens, it was a lens that I’d only bring with me when I know I’ll be shooting and to make matters worse, it wasn’t a weather resistant lens. But I know some say its a gimmick, however, I’m not so sure about that. I was once shooting a parade with the 35mm f/2 WR and my camera got directly sprayed with matter…it might as well have been thrown in a pool and well? It was perfectly fine. I didn’t even wipe the water off, I just kept shooting. These weather resistant lenses are the real deal in my opinion but that doesn’t come without exceptions.

Anyways, back to the lens you’ve came here to see. When Fujifilm announced the XF16mm f/2.8, an alternative to the “mighty” 16mm 1.4 at an affordable price, I was interested. Why? Well as much as I loved the 10-24, I wanted a lens where I could bring with me to more places in just about any weather condition and not have to worry about it.

I did something crazy and ended up selling the 10-24 and purchasing the new 16mm f/2.8 - Yes I’ll be missing out on the ultra wide but you know, I’ve shot at those focal lengths for many years and I just want to try something different. I’ve never had a fixed 24mm full frame equivalent prime before.

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I could not believe how small and lightweight this lens was when I removed it from the box, absolutely astonishing. A stunning lens and looks great on my X-T2.

The lens hood is quite rugged and yes it come off, though I’m unsure why you’d need to because it doesn’t make it much smaller.

The lens using a stepper motor to achieve ultra fast and quiet autofocus, in good lighting. I thought mine was defective when I was taking pictures in low light because the auto focus motor was quite loud and I’m not sure if this is an issue or its just the way it is. Fujifilm has yet to make a comment, I even made a video showing the AF noise.

Once I got outside, that all changed. It was super silent and the focusing was so fast, it might as well have been instantaneous. The coolest part about this lens is it shares a bit of DNA from its bigger brother and that is it’s closest focusing distance is nearly as good as the 16mm 1.4 that everyone loves. Yes, it’s only f/2.8 but the bokeh is gorgeous!

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Since the lens is so small and it still focuses really close, you can stick the lens into something like a cup for an example you can get some interesting shots. There is definitely some opportunities where this lens would win over the mighty 16.

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When I imported the raw files into Lightroom Classic, I was shocked to find that the raw files had incredible micro contrast and color without any adjustments. I’ve never seen this before because usually raw files from most cameras are quite flat.

Straight out of camera RAW file. No editing, No Processing.

Straight out of camera RAW file. No editing, No Processing.

I don’t have much more to say about this new lens as I’ve only had it for several hours and I’m going to need a few months to be able to take some real photos with it to really review it.

There is something special about this lens and I’m quite sure what it exactly is, but has a cool look to it that other lenses just don’t have. Anyways, here are a few shots I’ve took with it today.