Lens review

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55 mm f/2.8 R LM WR

18 April 2015
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The following chart  presents a comparison between the tested lens and its rivals with similar parameters, designed to cooperate with the APS-C sensors. Huge physical dimensions and weight of the Fujinon are conspicuous immediately. It becomes especially interesting if you compare it to the Samsung. The Samsung is also a mirrorless system lens but it is faster, optically more complex and equipped with image stabilization; still it remains smaller and physically lighter than the Fuji device. Even the Tokina 16-50 mm, considered to be big and armoured like a tank, is smaller, not to mention the Sigma, slight but featuring a stabilization nonetheless. Only the huge Nikkor is bigger and heavier than the Fujinon.

It is a strange strategy by the way. The lack of stabilization might suggest that the designers tried to save a bit on dimensions and weight; still, as a result, in the whole Fuji line-up only the X-T1 seems to be a body which can cooperate with such a big lens in an ergonomic way. Next to the new lens all the X-E camera models look like toys even though the situation might be a bit better if you use a grip. To defend the Fujinon a bit you might add that its focal range is the widest of all – none of its competitors starts from 16 mm and finishes at 55 mm.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Fujinon features the same minimum focusing distance as its rivals. Although our chart states it as 0.6 of a meter it is connected to the fact that such a number is given in the official Fuji specifications, a quantity you get in the standard mode. In the macro mode and at the wide angle the lens is able to focus already from 0.3 of a meter and at the telephoto position – from 0.4 of a meter.

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The size of the Fujinon 16–55 mm can be assessed by looking at the photo below, where it is positioned next to the Fujinon 18–55 mm and the Sigma 17–50 mm f/2.8.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55 mm f/2.8 R LM WR - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount and a contact plate which surrounds a rear element, 26 mm in diameter. What’s important, the element is hidden about 1 cm deep inside the tube and it doesn’t move. As a result the whole construction is perfectly sealed and there is no danger that dirt or other pollutants will find their way to the interior.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55 mm f/2.8 R LM WR - Build quality

The proper casing of the lens starts with a red square which makes the alignment with a camera body easier and an inscription “16-55”. Further on, on the left, you find three other inscriptions: a plate with “XF ZOOM” written on it and then „Made in Japan” and „Weather resistant”.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55 mm f/2.8 R LM WR - Build quality

The next part is an aperture ring. It is 11 mm wide and most of its surface is covered by ribs. The aperture can be controlled every 1/3 EV step and the ring’s movements are very comfortable.

The biggest part of the casing is a zoom ring which is as wide as 36 mm with a ribbed, rubber armour; below you can find focal length markings at 16, 23, 35 and 55 mm. That ring moves smoothly and is well-damped too – no complains here.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55 mm f/2.8 R LM WR - Build quality

Then there is a manual focus ring, 17 mm wide and almost completely covered by ribbing. You can’t find any scale on it. The ring work is based on electronic relay and its performance is beyond reproach. Turning it with a typical speed you have to go through an angle of as much as 360 degrees in order to travel from one end of the range to the other. The highest precision of settings in the manual mode is practically guaranteed.

The front element is slightly convex, with a diameter of 56 mm. It is surrounded by an inscription with the name and the parameters of the lens and a non-rotating filter thread for filters 77 mm in diameter. The whole front system extends with the increase of the focal length on a uniform tube made of plastics. The whole lens gets longer by almost 2.5 cm.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55 mm f/2.8 R LM WR - Build quality

When it comes to the optical construction you deal here with 17 elements positioned in 12 groups. Three elements are made of low-dispersion ED glass and three others are aspherical. Inside you can also find a round aperture with nine diaphragm blades which can be closed down to f/22.

Buyers get both caps, a petal-type hood and a soft pouch.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55 mm f/2.8 R LM WR - Build quality