Lens review

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80 mm f/4 R OIS WR

15 December 2019
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality and image stabilization

The following chart  presents a comparison between basic parameters of the tested Fujinon 16-80 mm and other lenses of this class designed for APS-C/DX sensors. All models included here are a quite tight-knit group – similarly complex when it comes to their optics (most often 16-17 elements) and their filter diameter usually amounts to 72 mm. In both cases the Sony is an exception but that lens comes without any stabilization system. When it comes to minimum focusing distance the best is the Sigma; the Fujinon features the highest number of diaphragm blades for a change. Looking at physical dimensions and weight, you find out none of lenses differs greatly from the others.

In the photo below the Fujinon XF 16–80 mm f/4 R OIS WR is positioned between the Fujinon XF 18–55 mm f/2.8–4.0 OIS and the Fujinon XF 56 mm f/1.2R.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80 mm f/4 R OIS WR - Build quality and image stabilization

The tested lens starts with a metal mount and a contact plate. The mount surrounds a rear element of the lens which is 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 lens remains sealed – you won't experience any problems caused by dirt and dust invading the interior of the lens.

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Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80 mm f/4 R OIS WR - Build quality and image stabilization

The proper mount of the lens starts with a little red square which makes an alignment with a camera easier; then you see an inscription „16-80”. Further on and to the left you can find a plate with „XF ZOOM” letters and another inscription, „Weather resistant”. Then there is a serial number along with information that the lens was produced in the Philippines.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80 mm f/4 R OIS WR - Build quality and image stabilization

An aperture ring,13 mm wide, is the next part of the lens and most of its surface is covered by ribs. The aperture can be changed every 1/3 EV step and the process we found very comfortable.

The zoom ring is one of the biggest parts of the lens's barrel – it is 26 mm wide and most of its surface is covered by rubber ribbing under which there are focal length markings at 16, 23, 35, 50, and 80 mm. The ring moves smoothly, evenly, and is properly damped.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80 mm f/4 R OIS WR - Build quality and image stabilization

The next part is a manual focus ring, 15 mm wide, covered completely by ribs. You don't find any scale close to it. It is a focus-by-wire construction and its performance we found beyond reproach. If you move the ring quickly you are able to cover the whole distance range with an angle of 120-130 degrees. When you move it slowly the focus throw amounts to as much as 360 degrees, which is more than enough for precise settings.

The front element is very slightly convex and 49 mm in diameter. It is surrounded by an inscription with the name and parameters of the lens, along with a non-rotating filter thread, 72 mm in diameter. The front element system extends with the lengthening of the focal length on a homogeneous tube, quite stable although made of plastic. During that process the dimension of the lens can increase by almost 4.5 cm.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80 mm f/4 R OIS WR - Build quality and image stabilization

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 16 elements positioned in 12 groups. Among them you can find three aspherical elements, and one element which is aspherical and made of ED low dispersion glass at the same time. Inside there is also a round aperture with nine blades which can be closed down to a value of f/22 at the most.

It's worth mentioning that, according to the producers, the lens is weather-sealed and resistant to rugged conditions. You can take photos in dusty places, during drizzle, or when temperatures drop to −10°C.

Buyers get both caps, a petal-type hood and a soft pouch with the lens in the box.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80 mm f/4 R OIS WR - Build quality and image stabilization

Optical stablization

In their press release the Fujifilm company boast about a very impressive efficiency of the optical stabilization system featured by their Fujinon XF 16–80 mm f/4 R OIS WR, up to six stops. Of course we had to check that claim. In order to do so we took several dozen photos at the 80 mm focal length with shutter speeds ranging from 1/125 to 1/2 of a second with the stabilization switched on and off. Then we calculated the percentage of blurred photos at every speed and presented the results as an exposure time function graph, expressed in EV (with 0 EV being the equivalent of 1/100 of a second) which can be found below.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80 mm f/4 R OIS WR - Build quality and image stabilization

To be honest I didn't believe from the very beginning in Fujifilm declarations about that superb 6 EV efficiency. It would mean that most photos taken at 80 mm and 1/3 of a second exposure time should be sharp as a razor, a standard set really high indeed. According to our measurements this claim should be modified – the biggest distance between both curves reaches 4.5 EV and such is, in our opinion, the maximum efficiency of the image stabilization featured by the tested lens. It falls short of the official marketing declarations but still it remains an excellent value, completely worth our praise.