Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR lens

      Photo Review 8.8

      In summary

      The small size of the 16mm f/2.8 will be advantageous for photographers who like to shoot with prime lenses and want to travel light.

      Its compact size and light weight won’t overburden your camera bag. It’s also quiet enough to use when recording video clips.


      Full review

      Announced on 14 February 2019, Fujfilm’s XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR lens adds a wider angles of view to its popular line-up of compact, lightweight lenses that also includes the  XF 23mm f/2 R WR, XF 35mm f/2 R WR, and XF 50mm f/2 R WR models. Encompassing the same angle of view as a 24mm lens on a 35mm camera, the XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR weighs just 155 grams, is 45.4mm in length and is weather-sealed, making it a good partner for one of Fujifilm’s more compact X-mount cameras, like the X-T30, which was supplied with the review lens.

      The compact and lightweight XF 16mm f/2.8 R  lens, shown without its lens hood. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      The optical design is relatively complex for a prime lens, with 10 elements in eight groups, among them two aspherical elements, which reduce distortion and spherical aberrations. Super EBC coating has been applied to individual elements to suppress flare and ghosting and deliver improved contrast and colour accuracy. The rounded nine-blade iris diaphragm ensures a pleasing bokeh quality.

      The two colour options offered for the XF 16mm f/2.8 R  lens.(Source: Fujifilm.)

      Like the others in the series, this lens is weather and dust resistant and can tolerate temperatures as low as -10°C. It is available in black or silver. The lens is supplied with front and end caps and a petal-shaped lens hood that attaches via a bayonet mount. A wrapping cloth should also be provided.

      Who’s it For?
      The relatively wide angle of view makes this lens ideal for landscape, nature, and architectural photography, while its compact size and light weight gives it an advantage over its faster, more expensive alternative with the f/1.4 maximum aperture.  Weatherproof sealing enables it to be used in inclement conditions when paired with one of Fujifilm’s similarly-sealed X-series cameras.

      The moderately bright f/2.8 maximum aperture works well in most available lighting, while maintaining the compact form factor of this lens. An internal-focusing AF system uses a stepping motor to drive lightweight focusing elements for fast and silent autofocusing, making it ideal for shooting video clips.

      Build and Ergonomics
      Build quality is similar to other lenses in the series and generally very solid. Much of the exterior of the lens is made from metal which gives the lens a premium but robust feel.  The aperture and focusing rings have been designed to be comfortable and easy to use. The supplied, petal-shaped lens hood is made from rigid black plastic and adds about 10mm to the overall length of the lens.

      The focusing ring is 10 mm wide and located approximately 10 mm behind the front of the lens. Most of its surface is covered by a finely-ribbed grip band that extends all the way round the circumference.

      Because focusing is driven by the camera, this ring can rotate full-circle when the camera’s power is switched off. In manual mode there is very little tactile feedback.

      Focusing is fully internal so the lens dimensions don’t change during the process and the front element doesn’t rotate, allowing hassle-free use of filters like polarisers and graduates. When fitted to an X-Series camera, if the camera is in manual mode, a distance scale is displayed on both the EVF and monitor screens.

      The aperture ring is located about 6 mm behind the focusing ring. It’s 12 mm wide with a downward-sloping front section on which the focal length settings in one-stop increments are stamped.

      The rearwards 6 mm of this ring is covered with ridging that is wider than the ridging on the focusing ring. The ring turns through one-third EV click stops and has an A setting at the f/16 end of the range that sets the aperture to automatic control.

      The lens barrel ends in a solid metal mounting plate with 10 gold-plated contacts for transferring signals between the camera and lens.

      We tested the review lens on the new X-T30 camera and all test results show JPEG files. We had no issues with autofocusing speed, which was largely dictated by the test camera, although the short focal length and wide maximum aperture created no impediments to fast focusing. AF accuracy was also very good.

      Imatest showed the review lens to be a fair performer, falling a little short of meeting expectations for the X-T30’s 26-megapixel sensor at the highest centre resolution, which occurred at f/5. There was a moderate amount of edge softening at wider aperture settings, although resolution at the widest apertures was much as you’d expect from a lens with an f/2.8 maximum aperture.

      The initial effects of diffraction began to become visible at f/5.6, after which resolution declined gradually. Resolution at f/16 and f/22 was surprisingly high. The graph below shows the result of our tests.

      Lateral chromatic aberration remained well  down in the negligible band at all aperture settings. We found no evidence of coloured fringing in test shots.  The graph below shows the results of our Imatest tests.

      Because the X-T30 provides automatic in-camera corrections for vignetting and distortion, we assessed these factors by looking at RAF.RAW files, which were converted into TIFF format with Adobe Camera Raw software. We found the lens showed little or no rectilinear distortion, which is admirable  in such a wide-angle lens.

      Slight vignetting was detected at the widest aperture in raw files but had disappeared by f/4.5. Neither vignetting nor distortion would be problematic to photographers who shoot JPEG files and raw files can easily be corrected during conversion or with subsequent editing.

      We found little evidence of ghosting or flare artefacts in contre-jour subjects.  Normally backlit subjects were generally handled very well.

      With a minimum focus of 178 cm, this lens is not really suitable for close-ups unless subjects are relatively large. The f/2.8 maximum aperture provides some scope for differential focusing with suitable subjects. Bokeh was reasonably smooth, although there was some outlining around circular highlights in backlit shots.


      Please Login or Register to access the Conclusion.



      Picture angle: 83.2 degrees
      Minimum aperture: f/22
      Lens construction: 10 elements in 8 groups (including 2 aspherical elements)
      Lens mounts: Fujifilm XF
      Diaphragm Blades: 9 (circular aperture)
      Focus drive: Stepping motor with internal focusing
      Stabilisation: No
      Minimum focus: 17 cm
      Maximum magnification: 0.13x
      Filter size: 49 mm
      Dimensions (Diameter x L): 60 x 45.4 mm
      Weight: 155 grams
      Standard Accessories: Lens front and end caps, lens hood, wrapping cloth

      Distributor: Fujifilm Australia; 1800 226 355; www.fujifilm.com.au



      Based on JPEG files captured with the Fujifilm X-T30 camera.



      Vignetting at f/2.8.

      Rectilinear distortion.

      ISO 160, 1/58 second at f/11.

      Crop from the above image enlarged to 100% showing slight edge softening but no apparent coloured fringing.

      Close-up at ISO 500, 1/15 second at f/5.6.

      Crop from the above image enlarged to 100%

      Backlit close-up; ISO 160, 1/1250 second at f/2.8. Note the outlined highlights.

      Close-up; ISO 160, 1/1300 second at f/2.8.

      Backlit subject; ISO 160, 1/100 second at f/5.

      ISO 160, 1/90 second at f/3.6.

      ISO 320, 1/15 second at f/8.

      ISO 160, 1/120 second at f/4.

      ISO 160, 1/42 second at f/7.1.

      ISO 1000, 1/15 second at f/11.

      Additional image samples can be found with our review of the Fujifilm X-T30 camera.



      RRP: AU$749; US$399

      • Build: 8.9
      • Handling: 8.7
      • Autofocusing: 9.0
      • Image quality: 8.7
      • Versatility: 8.5