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Lens review

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-55 mm f/2.8-4 OIS

6 September 2013
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality and image stabilization

The Fujinon XF 18–55 mm f/2.8–4 OIS is a quite untypical lens. A lot of companies which wanted to provide a more versatile equivalent of the standard ‘kit’ have decided to improve the focal length and aperture at the same time. The Sigma 17–70 mm f/2.8–4.0, the Sony/Zeiss 16–80 mm f/3.5–4.5 or the Olympus 12–60 mm f/2.8–4.5 are good examples of such a strategy. Fujifilm decided to leave the APS-C classic range of 18-55 mm unchanged but they offered a better aperture fastness. As you can guess there is a lot of devices we can compare the tested lens to but we think checking how it performs against other stabilized 18-55 mm class instruments would be the best. The appropriate comparison is presented in the following chart. In accordance with our expectations the fastest Fujinon is also physically the biggest and the heaviest of all. On the other hand, though, the comparison between the tested lens and other 18-55 mm lenses designed for reflex cameras is very favourable for the Fujinon.

In the photo below the Fujinon 18-55 mm is positioned next to the Fujinon XC 16–50 mm and the Fujinon XF 1.4/35.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-55 mm f/2.8-4 OIS - Build quality and image stabilization



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The tested lens starts with a metal mount which surrounds contacts and an immobile rear optical element, in the shape of a rectangle, measuring 24x18 mm. Because of it the lens is completely sealed from the side of the mount.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-55 mm f/2.8-4 OIS - Build quality and image stabilization

The proper body of the lens starts with a red square which makes the alignment with a camera easier, and an inscription ’18-55’. A bit further on and looking to the left you can find a plate with an inscription “XF ZOOM”; behind, there is an aperture mode switch (automatic, manual) and the optical stabilization switch (OIS ON/OFF).

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-55 mm f/2.8-4 OIS - Build quality and image stabilization

The next element of the body is an aperture ring, 8 mm wide and covered with ribs. It moves in a correct way, allowing you to set the aperture every 1/3 EV step. Immediately after it you can find a narrow, immobile part of the body which turns into a zoom ring. The zoom ring is 23 mm wide and most of it is taken by ribbing under which there are focal length markings at 18, 23, 35 and 55 mm. The ring is well-damped, allowing you smooth moves without any slacks so the focal length of the lens cannot be changed on its own, even if you shake the lens vigorously.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-55 mm f/2.8-4 OIS - Build quality and image stabilization

Further on there is another ring – this time for setting the focus manually. It is 11 mm wide, ribbed and working with an electronic transmission. Running through the whole distance scale takes a turn through almost 200 degrees.

Manual focus ring ends the main part of the body; then there is just a front element set which is extended on an uniform and very solid tube. The set is surrounded by a non-rotating filter thread, 58 mm in diameter, and a hood mount. When you extend the whole set (passing from 18 mm to 55 mm) the length of the lens (meaning here the part sticking out of the body) increases from 70 to 98 mm.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-55 mm f/2.8-4 OIS - Build quality and image stabilization

When it comes to the optical construction you deal here with 14 elements positioned in 10 groups. The producer used three aspherical elements and one made of low dispersion glass. Inside the instrument you can also find a circular aperture with seven blades; you can close it down to a value of f/22.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-55 mm f/2.8-4 OIS - Build quality and image stabilization

Buyers get both caps and a petal-type hood in the box.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-55 mm f/2.8-4 OIS - Build quality and image stabilization


Optical stabilization

The optical stabilization test of this lens was conducted at 55 mm focal length. We took several dozen photos at every exposure time ranging from 1/80 to 1/2 of a second with the stabilization switched on and off. Then we determined the percentage of blurred photos for every time and presented it as the time exposure graph, expressed in EV, where 0 EV was the equivalent of 1/60 of a second.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-55 mm f/2.8-4 OIS - Build quality and image stabilization


The maximum distance between both curves amounts to 2.7-2.8 EV and such is the efficiency of the stabilization system. The result of the Fujinon is good but hardly anything outstanding. The best lenses with optical stabilization can be as efficient as 3-4 EV.