Lens review

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16 mm f/1.4 R WR

12 August 2015
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

It would be difficult to compare the Fujinon XF 1.4/16 to any other device because no other system can boast about a lens with the same parameters. In the case of mirrorless systems with APS-C/DX sensors there are two other lenses with the 16 mm focal length but they are slow “pancake”-type instruments so not especially useful for the comparison here. I suppose stacking up the Fujinon against the Samyang 16 mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS, also designed to cooperate with the ASP-C/DX sensors, seems to be the most interesting thing to do; mind you the Samyang also comes in a reflex camera version (but it can be used on mirrorless cameras nevertheless). Let’s glance at the following chart. The Samyang, even if slower, remains noticeably bigger and heavier than the Fujinon. What’s more, the Fujinon has more aperture blades and is able to focus from the shortest distance. In fact the parameters of the Fujinon compare very favourable with those of all its rivals.

In the photo below the Fujinon XF 16 mm f/1.4 R WR is positioned next to another Fujinon with an aperture of f/1.4 so the 1.4/35 model.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16 mm f/1.4 R WR - Build quality

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The tested lens starts with a metal mount which surrounds contacts and an immobile rear element, 21 mm in diameter. The proper body of the lens is made of metal; it begins with a smooth ring which doesn’t move and features a red rectangle, making an alignment with a camera easier; then you see a serial number and information that the lens was produced in Japan.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16 mm f/1.4 R WR - Build quality

Another part is a ribbed aperture ring, 11 mm wide, working every 1/3 EV step.

Behind a second immobile ring belonging to the proper lens casing you see a ribbed manual focus ring. It is as wide as 19 mm and, apart from turning, you can move it also upwards and downwards. When it is pushed closer to the front element system it cannot be turned. When you move it downwards you reveal a distance scale expressed in feet and meters and the ring starts working in a normal, mechanical mode ( with the autofocus switched off). It is a joy to use as it is properly damped. Running through the whole distance scale takes a turn through an angle of about 160 degrees allowing you very precise settings.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16 mm f/1.4 R WR - Build quality

Personally I prefer classic, manual focus rings so the lack of servomechanisms, used in some Fujion lenses, makes me really happy. Still you have to take into account the fact that it also means lack of any distance scale (with depth of field markings) in a display. Fortunately above the distance scale you also get a classic depth of field scale, painted on the lens, with marks for almost all (apart from f/1.4) apertures offered by the tested device.

It’s worth adding that the vertical movement of the manual focus ring is very stable, without causing any shift of the scale. It is a very pleasant change, especially if compared to the performance of, for example, a similar mechanism Tokina lenses are equipped with.

Behind the depth of field scale you see a hood mount. On the inside it has a non-rotating filter thread, 67 mm in diameter. That thread surrounds an inscription with the name and the parameters of the lens. The front element doesn’t move, it is slightly convex and 40 mm in diameter.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16 mm f/1.4 R WR - Build quality

The optical construction of the lens consists of 13 elements positioned in 11 groups. The producer weren’t stingy with special elements: you deal here with two aspherical ones and two made of low dispersion ED glass. Inside there is also a round aperture with nine diaphragm blades which can be closed down to a value of f/16.

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

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16 mm f/1.4 R WR - Build quality