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Lens review

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 8-16 mm f/2.8 R LM WR

21 November 2018
Maciej Latałło

11. Summary

Pros:

  • huge, solid, weather-sealed casing,
  • sensational image quality in the frame centre,
  • sensible image quality on the edge of the frame in the 12–16 mm range,
  • slight longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • low lateral chromatic aberration,
  • silent and very fast autofocus.

Cons:

  • a bit too high coma,
  • very high distortion for RAW files,
  • significant vignetting for RAW files, resistant to stopping down.
I admit my feelings are mixed. On the one hand you deal here with a fast, ultra wide angle zoom instrument closed in a solid, weather-resistant casing, very difficult to design and produce. It is able to provide sensational image quality in the frame centre. Still if you take a closer look you start noticing problems. When a lens costs almost $2000 being notably more expensive than the Nikkor AF-S 14–24 mm f/2.8 or the Sigma A 12–24 mm f/4 DG HSM, you don’t want to tolerate any compromises. Also when you find out that the optics specialists gave up distortion correction in order to get more slack when it comes to correction of other aberrations you might expect a perfect, ideal performance in all other categories. Only you don’t get it. The coma level is a bit too jarring, astigmatism can be momentarily rather bothersome and you see rather significant vignetting levels for RAW files, weakly influenced by stopping down of the aperture. A very modest accessory kit is, I suppose, the last drop of bitterness. If the producer adds just a piece of cloth instead of a solid case to a lens costing almost $2000 it’s really an exaggeration.

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When the launch of the Fujinon XF 8–16 mm f/2.8 R LM WR was announced I was very enthusiastic. Then we got to know its price and I thought that only brilliant performance in the majority of testing categories might keep me feeling that way. After the test I find the number of small slip-ups of this lens a bit too high so, I suppose, only lowering of price can help. Of course it doesn’t change the fact the Fujinon remains a very well-done and optically good lens.