Lens review

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18 mm f/2 R

14 September 2012
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

Mirrorless systems are one of the youngest segments of the photographic market. Small wonder that in many cases their line-up is very modest, making direct comparison between systems very difficult. It’s hard to find an immediate equivalent of the Fujinon XF 18 mm f/2 R among its rivals. Two devices with the most similar parameters are the Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH and the Sigma 19 mm f/2.8 EX DN and we used them to compose a comparison presented in the following chart. It can be seen that the Fujifilm company provided a very interesting lens – not only it is small and very handy but also the fastest of all the group. The Panasonic is physically lighter but perhaps nobody seriously expected that the Fujinon, a faster device for a bigger sensor with a slightly wider angle of view would have also the lowest weight and the smallest dimensions. The Sigma is the biggest and the heaviest for a change despite the slowest aperture and the narrowest angle of view.

The photo below allows us to assess how the tested lens compares with other system “primes”.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18 mm f/2 R - Build quality

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The Fujinon XF 18 mm f/2 R starts with a metal mount with contacts which surrounds a rear element, 25 mm in diameter. The element moves along the whole optical system, hiding a bit inside the casing when you pass to the minimum focus distance. In such a situation there is a gap between the edge of the element and the proper casing of the lens; you can see some electronics part through it so it would be difficult to speak about a completely sealed instrument.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18 mm f/2 R - Build quality

The proper casing of the lens, like its mount, is made of metal and it starts with a smooth and theoretically immobile ring on which you can find a red square, making the alignment to a body easier, and an inscription „MADE IN JAPAN”. In the specimen we got, however, that ring wasn’t so immobile – it had a slack and you could turn it a bit.

The next element is a metal aperture ring with mostly ribbed surface. It is only 6 mm wide but its work is quite comfortable – it allows you to set the aperture value every 1/3 EV step. Further on you find a ribbed manual focus ring, 8 mm wide. Its work is based on electronic transmission so when you detach the lens from the body you can turn it as much as you like without any effect whatsoever. Apart from that the ring moves smoothly and is well-damped. Running through the whole distance scale takes a turn through as much as about 300 degrees so, in theory, it should result in very precise settings. In practice, though, a lot depends on a body you attach that lens to. In the case of the X-Pro1, in some situations, similar movements of the ring can result, on a random basis, in smaller or bigger changes of the distance scale indicator.

Further on, there is just a hood mount which surrounds a non-rotating filter thread, 52 mm in diameter. The thread encircles a fragment of the casing with the name and basic parameters of the lens. The front element itself is small, with a diameter of 21 mm.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18 mm f/2 R - Build quality

The optical construction of the lens consists of 8 elements positioned in 7 groups. Two elements are aspherical. Additionally inside you can find an aperture with 7 diaphragm blades which can be closed to the value of f/16.

Buyers get both caps, a hood and a soft pouch in the box.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18 mm f/2 R - Build quality