Sunday, May 10, 2015

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Tested! Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4R WR

Gallery (35 images): Tested! Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4R WR

A couple of weeks ago, Fujifilm announced a new, fast wide-angle 16mm prime lens, equivalent to a 24mm in full-frame terms. Notably, this is Fujifilm's first prime lens with the WR designation, meaning it has dust and water resistant construction. I had the opportunity to test a pre-production sample of the new 16mm almost immediately and now, just a few weeks later, I've had a chance to throughly test a final production sample. In short, this new prime is extremely impressive! Compared to the Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4R, which I consider one of the very best wide-angle lenses I have ever used (regardless of brand), this new 16mm holds up to the 23mm in pretty much every way. Also, considering how much wider it is, being equivalent to a 24mm in full-frame terms versus a 35mm equivalent for the 23mm f/1.4, the size and weight increase over the 23mm is really quite minimal.

Like the 23mm f/1.4, the new 16mm is essentially 100% corrected optically for distortion, therefore no software correction will be needed; straight lines render straight with no apparent barrel or pincushion distortion, even at the very edges of the frame. For shots where the focus is quite close, less than a few meters, there does appear a slight hint of barrel distortion, but for most shots, especially at further distances, it is virtually nonexistent. In addition, I see no evidence of any chromatic aberration either - nothing! With its Nano-GI anti-reflection lens coatings (which the older prime lenses do not have), it is extremely resistant to lens flare when shooting into the sun as well, something that fast, wide-angle primes are often not very good at. Even the wide-open bokeh is surprisingly smooth and pleasing, not something one would necessarily expect from such a wide lens either.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

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Tested! Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8R LM WR

Back in February, I finally had the opportunity to shoot with a production grade Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8R WR LM zoom lens and now finally, after a long delay, I've made an effort to publish a review. This professional grade, weather resistant (WR) zoom lens has a constant f/2.8 aperture throughout its range and has very fast focusing due to Fujifilm's linear-motor (LM) system. For an early look at its build quality and some initial comments on the performance of a preproduction version, see my posting on the Beau Photo blog here: Coming soon... Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8R LM WR

Most of the comments on the preproduction lens hold fast with the final version too, so excellent centre sharpness at all focal lengths, even wide open, smooth bokeh at 55mm which is nice for shooting portraits, very low chromatic aberration and virtually no purple fringing. One thing that I hadn't had a chance to test previously was the lens' flare resistance, and in that way the 16-55mm proved exceptionally good. If you look at several images shot straight into the sun in the sample image gallery (one of them shown above), you'll see how flare and loss of contrast are almost nonexistent in those situation. Very impressive indeed!