I’ve always enjoyed seeing what Jonas Rask has to say about the latest Fujfilm gear releases. He’s insightful and focuses more on the abstract of the gear than the nitty-gritty numbers and curves.
His latest overview is of the newly released Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR lens. First, there are some caveats with his insights, which he is very upfront about. He’s a Fuji ambassador and he is paid by Fuji for his product shots and editorial photography for their products. His posts are his own though and he writes them with no compensation. He is definitely pro Fuji and biased but he doesn’t hide this, which is refreshing. He also notes that what he shoots with is most often a pre-production sample so taking that into consideration is important as well.
With all of that in mind, his writeup has me excited for this newest lens from Fujifilm. I currently have the Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR and it’s a great lens that I’ve gotten a lot of use out of. It’s good for indoor work as its ultra-wide angle FOV and fast aperture means it can handle low-light situations well. It’s a workhorse for me but I found it most lacking doing long exposures in Iceland while I was attempting night landscape photography. Admittedly, that was my first real endeavors with that genre but I was still less than impressed with the corners of my photos from that lens. And after dissecting the issues I had with it, I found that the Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 XF-mount lens was generally considered the best option at the time for long-exposure landscapes.
This newer lens, while slower in its light-gathering aperture speed, is much more affordable at $399 compared to the $749 of the 16mm f/1.4.
Rask does point out that the 16mm f/1.4 still produces better images than this newest lens but the f/2.8 holds its own in image quality. It’s much smaller as well, so if you’re looking for a solidly built native XF ultra-wide prime lens, this one may be for you.
Head over to Rask’s website for some quality images produced with it and some artistic insight into its rendering possibilities.