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First thoughts on the Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8

Posted by Leigh Diprose

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When I first got my hands on the Fujinon XF16-55mm lens I think my heart stopped a beat, I was so excited! Pulling the lens out from it's packaging took me back to my younger years of opening up Christmas presents under the Christmas tree. The shiny large piece of glass reflected my beaming smile as I viewed the beautiful front element of the lens. Slightly weighted in my hands and beautifully built, this lens was truly something special.

Investigating the aesthetics more closely I cupped my hand around the pleasing zoom range. The large black zoom ring was easy to move and was quite similar in 'flow' to the XF50-140mm F2.8, a lens which I considered to be the perfect partner-in-crime for any X series photographer. Moving my hand toward the petal-like lens hood my fingers stopped on the contoured focus ring. Looking through the large X-T1 viewfinder I could clearly see why Fujifilm had opted to design the focus with precision fine focus control. This lens was certainly hitting the mark.

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Toward the rear of the lens I witnessed the cleverly implemented aperture ring, a feature which is famously celebrated among Fujifilm fans and one I found had become second nature to me when it came to operation. Putting my street photographer hat on I turned the aperture ring off 'A' (Automatic) and heard (and felt) the satisfying 'click' as the aperture dial fell in place on F22. Turning the labeled aperture dial another eighteen times the clicks became music to my ears as the manual adjustment of F2.8 was selected. It was at this point I found myself hooked, hooked on a new angle that would change the way I viewed the world.

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Looking back at when I first opened the alluring black box my excitement was high and I must say the feeling followed through to the first street shooting experience I had with the head turner. Situated in Melbourne felt like the ideal spot to test out the lenses claims of being "a flagship XF standard zoom lens" - I can truly say this lens didn't disappoint. Removing the 77mm lens cap I checked I was shooting in aperture priority and then set the image quality to "NORMAL+RAW". 

I chose to share NORMAL (jpeg) images straight out of camera as I planned to show the world just how good this lens is. I didn't want to manipulate or adjust anything in post processing I merely wanted the images to speak for themselves, so without further ado here's my first two test images.

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ISO 200 - 16mm - F5.6 - 1/1400 second - Handheld


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ISO 200 - 55mm - F5.6 - 1/1500 second - Handheld

I photographed these two images hand held while the sun was shining and based on results the XF16-55mm F2.8 didn't disappoint. The jpeg's straight out of camera are simply SUPERB!

Overall I found the XF16-55mm F2.8 sharp from edge to edge at both focal lengths. Based on over a decade of shooting experience I can say this is by far one of the best wide zoom lenses I've ever used. I would highly recommend heading into your local Fujifilm stockist to try this lens for yourself to better understand what I experienced.

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