First Impressions: Fujifilm XF 16mm f2.8 R WR (A $399.95 Beast)

The Fujifilm XF 16mm f2.8 R WR is a fast ultrawide housed within a compact and lightweight body

In addition to introducing the brand new Fujifilm X-T30, Fujifilm also showcased the new Fujifilm XF 16mm f2.8 R WR, a fast aperture ultrawide angle lens that is so compact and lightweight that you can fit it inside one of the pockets in your pants. With 10 lens elements arranged into 8 groups (2 of which are aspherical), the Fuji XF 16mm f2.8 is designed to take advantage of the increased resolving power of Fujifilm’s own 4th generation 26.1 MP X-Trans CMOS 4 Sensor and promises to produce images with edge-to-edge sharpness. We had the opportunity to personally fondle the lens, and here’s what we think so far.

Tech Specs

Tech specs for the Fujifilm XF 16mm f2.8 R WR taken from the official Fujifilm press kit

TYPE FUJINON LENS XF16mmF2.8 R WR
Lens construction 10 elements 8 groups
(includes 2 aspherical elements)
Focal length (35mm format equivalent) f=16mm (24mm)
Angle of view 83.2°
Max. aperture F2.8
Min. aperture F22
Aperture control
Number of blades
Stop size
9 (rounded diaphragm opening)
1/3EV (19 stops)
Focus range 17cm and beyond
Max. magnification 0.13x
External dimensions: Diameter x Length (approx.) distance from camera lens mount flange 60.0mm x 45.4mm
Weight (approx.) (excluding caps, hoods) 155g
Filter size 49mm
Accessories included Lens cap FLCP-49
Lens rear cap RLCP-001
Lens hood
Wrapping cloth

 

Ergonomics

Here’s the Fujifilm XF 16mm f2.8 R WR mounted onto the brand new Fujifilm X-T30. That hood is a very curious looking one.

The Fujifilm XF 16mm f2.8 R WR is very compact and features a minimalist design. The only thing you’ll find on the lens barrel are the focus ring and the aperture control ring.

You’ll find all of the usual suspects etched onto the front rim of the lens, including the focal length (16mm), maximum constant aperture (f2.8), as well as the filter thread size (49mm).

In case there was any confusion as to whether or not the Fuji XF 16mm f2.8 was weather resistant, Fujifilm even etched it onto the bottom of the lens barrel.

 

Build Quality

When I first held the Fujifilm XF 16mm f2.8 R WR in my hands, it almost felt like I was holding a lighter version of a Leica Summicron in my hands. Although it’s lightweight and compact, the Fuji 16mm f2.8 felt very solid thanks to its metal exterior. It is also weather sealed like a lot of other lenses from Fujifilm, so you can feel confident using it in less than ideal weather. New York City was hit with a snowstorm while we were out shooting with it and we never ran into any issues.

 

Ease of Use

Using the Fujifilm XF 16mm f2.8 R WR is honestly pretty straightforward. As it’s an autofocus lens, simply mount it onto an X mount camera and you’re off to the races. A manual focus ring is located at the front of the lens barrel if you prefer to focus manually, and the aperture ring has just the right amount of resistance to it to help keep accidental aperture changes to a mimimum. The aperture ring is clicked though so video shooters may want to seek other alternatives.

 

Autofocus

While we’ve only spent a short time with the Fujifilm XF 16mm f2.8 R WR, the lens consistently acquired focus quickly and we rarely experienced any hunting. We will of course subject the lens to further scrutiny once we receive a production unit in for a full review.

 

Image Quality

Note that the preview unit that Fujifilm provided us is a pre-production model. All sample images seen within this First Impressions article were shot with the Fujifilm X-T30 which was announced at the same time as the Fujifilm XF 16mm f2.8 R WR, and since camera profiles are not yet available for Capture One or Adobe Lightroom, all sample images seen within this article are either straight out of camera JPEG’s or were processed in-camera using one of the built-in film simulation modes.

 

First Impressions

Having only spent a few short hours with the Fujifilm XF 16mm f2.8 R WR, we came away quite impressed with how exceptionally well the lens performed given the less than ideal conditions we got to test it in. We look forward to conducting a full review of the lens once production samples are available. Please stay tuned. The Fujifilm XF 16mm f2.8 R WR will be available in black as well as silver, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of USD $399.95 and CAD $499.99. Shipping is expected to begin in March 2019 for the black version and in May 2019 for the silver version.

Pauleth Ip

Paul is a New York City based photographer, creative, and writer. His body of work includes headshots and commercial editorials for professionals, in-demand actors/performers, high net worth individuals, and corporate clients, as well as intimate lifestyle/boudoir photography with an emphasis on body positivity and empowerment. Paul also has a background in technology and higher education, and regularly teaches private photography seminars. When not working on reviews and features for The Phoblographer or shooting client work, Paul can be seen photographing personal projects around NYC, or traveling the world with his cameras in tow. You can find Paul’s latest work on his Instagram over at @thepicreative.