When I got the opportunity to test out this lens, I jumped at the chance. An ultra-wide angle zoom at f/2.8 would be great for so many different photographic applications: landscape, architectural, interior, astrophotography, events, creative, and video, to name a few. Did I get the opportunity to test it out with all of these? No, but what I did get to try certainly produced the results.
I very rarely shoot landscapes at f/2.8, and considering most of my landscapes are static tripod shots, what advantages would this lens allow for? The maximum aperture would certainly allow for low-light conditions at events and especially for astrophotography. As you can tell, it's the extra wide field of view and sharpness that gives this lens the advantage over the Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR Lens in a lot of situations. The 10-24mm is not to be discounted in any way, however, as this is another excellent lens in the range and one that I personally own. Is the f/2.8 the better lens? Yes, and due to this, it comes in at a higher price bracket, which may not be for everyone.
The two images below photographed from the same position show the differences in field of view between 16mm and 8mm on the lens. The sharpness is apparent from the get-go. Even at the wider focal length, you can see in these images, taken at head height, that there is minimal drop-off in sharpness towards the edges. The sharpness, of course, isn't everything, but for the price of the lens, you expect it to be there, and it delivers.
The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR is an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens at 8-16mm, providing a full frame equivalent of 12-24mm ideal for landscapes, architecture, and interior photography. Weighing in at 805 g it's a heavier and larger lens when compared to some of Fuji's other lenses, but its weight and size balance nicely with, in this case, the X-T5 and I'm sure other cameras in the X-T range. The lens is also weather-sealed, making it ideal for photography in harsher weather conditions. In fact, it has nine seals. It also has a constant f/2.8 throughout the zoom range, which makes it a great choice for low-light conditions.
With an aperture range of f/2.8 to f/22, the lens is a construction of 20 elements in 13 groups, including 4 aspherical and 6 ED elements, which help minimize chromatic aberration and distortion. It's sharp throughout except at the corners, but that is to be expected. I did find myself working mostly in the f/5.6-f/8 range for most of my images.
The lens cap is a cover-all design, and it fits snuggly and securely over the fixed lens hood. Also, due to the size and design of the cap, it's never easily misplaced, so you won't spend time searching through all of your pockets to find it. You can't add any of the usual filter systems, so you'll have to buy an additional adapter.
For my time with the lens, I would've loved the weather to provide me with a myriad of conditions including, stunning sunrises, sunsets, and dark, contrasting skies. As you know, however, that is rarely the case. Undeterred by this lack of perfect conditions and an overabundance of gray Scottish skies, I carried on and the lens provided. The lens provided exceptionally well, in fact, with excellent sharpness, contrast, and color rendition.
Shooting a mix of handheld and static shots, the lens returned fantastic quality images throughout and never once in my time with it did it produce a soft image. The autofocus is fast. Yes, I mainly shot landscapes, so no need for fast autofocus, but it was there if I needed it. Face and eye detection were on par with any of the other Fuji primes. Corner stretching is to be expected with such a wide focal length, but nothing that you couldn't adjust for when taking the shots, and it was actually very minimal compared to other lenses I've tried. For the landscapes that I shot, the corners genuinely didn't bother me one bit. The chromatic aberration and vignetting were at a bare minimum and controlled incredibly well by the lens, so much so that none of the shots I tried suffered from them.
- Ultra-wide angle.
- Great control of chromatic aberration and vignetting.
- It's a heavier lens compared to other Fuji lenses. I did carry it around all day in my side sling bag and never noticed the weight, but I think it's best to mention it.
- Due to the fixed lens hood, the filter system adapter can be a little expensive, coming in around the $100+ mark.
The price tag of $1,499 means that perhaps this lens is not for everyone, but if you do decide to spend that and purchase this lens, you will certainly not be disappointed. Yes, it doesn't have OIS and perhaps it should, but considering that the lens is aimed, in my opinion, to be tripod mounted for around 90% of the shots taken with it, it's no biggie. You can walk around with the lens and, thanks to IBIS (if your model has it), still shoot at reasonably slow shutter speeds.
It's a large lens that wouldn't look out of place on a full frame camera body, which may seem contradictory to why a lot of people buy Fuji systems with their compact size and compact lenses. I will say that after using this lens, I would, without a doubt, trade my 10-24mm for this due to the extra field of view, quality, anomaly control, and sharpness. Yes, all of this is to be expected considering the price of the lens, at nearly double that of the 10-24mm, but it certainly shows what a premium lens is capable of.
The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens produces the goods and does it exceptionally well. For me, it performed in every situation I put it in for the time I had it. It returned with great color rendition and sharpness.
If you would like to check out the lens for yourself, you can find more information here.
I think the photos from this blog post justify the purchase of the camera.
Many thanks, Ross, it's a great lens.
Great article thanks. Read this then bought the lens today. On special at digidirect.com.au
That's a good discount they have. Thanks for reading.