First Impressions: Fujifilm 16-80mm F4 R WR OIS (A Great Zoom Lens!)

The Fujifilm 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS is already receiving a lot of hype as a walkabout lens!

I never thought that a lens like the Fujifilm 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS would be made. But in retrospect, it’s one of the most sensical lens options for the company. This lens is small enough that a photographer would enjoy photo walking with it. But it’s also convenient enough to give a professional a fair working range. At f4 on an APS-C sensor, I’d argue that this lens should have been made with a faster aperture. Combined with one of Fujifilm’s camera options with image stabilization on the sensor, the Fujifilm 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS will do very well. But even on the older Fujifilm X-T2 that we used, the Fujifilm 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS produced beautiful results.

Editor’s Note: The Fujifilm 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS that we used is a pre-production version. As a result, Fujifilm Japan asked to see the images beforehand. They were all rendered in Acros. We are communicating to you, our readers, with the fullest transparency we can. It’s a rarity these days for publications and media.

Tech Specs

Tech specs taken from the Adorama listing.

  • Lens Mount: Lens Mount: Fujifilm X Mount
  • Lens Format: Lens Format: APS-C
  • Maximum Aperture: Maximum Aperture: f/4
  • Special Features: Aspherical, Weather Resistant
  • Image Stabilization: Image Stabilization: Yes (OIS)
  • Lens Type: Wide Angle to Telephoto Zoom Lens

Ergonomics

The front of the Fujifilm 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS is fairly small. In fact, the lens overall is pretty portable and when paired with a flash it can be a workhorse option. It’s also a decent travel lens that translates all the way into the ergonomics.

The Fujifilm 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS has two primary controls: the zoom ring and the aperture ring. Both of these controls give photographers all they need.

Curiously, there is no switch to activate or de-activate the OIS (at least not on the prototype).

Build Quality

Yeah, I know. We did a thing with the Fujifilm 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS and brought it out into the rain during our testing phase. Considering that this is a pre-production model, it probably wasn’t smart. However, Fujifilm’s gear is some of the most durable we’ve tested. We’re happy to state that this is no exception. The lens survived and outlasted the rain with ease. When combined with its super small size, you’ve got a very big winning combination on your hands. You can’t complain about how good this lens’ build quality is. The ability to grip onto it with ease is great. Quite literally, it’s built like a lens that you’ll want to bring with you everywhere.

Ease of Use

Most folks fall into two camps for Fujifilm. In one camp are the folks who don’t understand the concept of numbers on a dial or an aperture ring. Those folks will gladly turn the aperture ring on the Fujifilm 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS to the A mode and perhaps have the ability to control the aperture via the camera. But for the most part, this system is designed with old school ergonomics in mind. To that end, the Fujifilm 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS is like an old school, constant aperture zoom lens. I’m aware that those lenses were very rare, but you get the point. There are two rings: a zoom ring and an aperture ring. That’s it. If you’re an aperture priority shooter, then you’ll feel right at home with the beautiful ergonomics here. In turn, it’s a simple lens to use if you just think a bit.

For those of us who’ve been using Fujifilm lenses for years, the Fujifilm 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS will be a piece of cake. Constant aperture zooms from the company more or less feel like suped-up prime lenses. And I genuinely adore that. Best of all, this lens is lightweight and pretty small; so it feels like a big prime that Fujifilm would put out.

Autofocus

On the XT2 and the X-H1, the Fujifilm 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS focused very quickly. Overall, it feels like it’s best for the X-H1. The faster autofocus system and the image stabilization working together are a flawless pairing. There were occasional misfocuses: I’d say 1 out of every 30. But in film, that translates to one shot per roll of 36 exposures if you think about it. Believe it or not, tracking autofocus also worked very well. Way to go Fujifilm!

Film: The thing that people used years ago to shoot photos on. Fujifilm produced a lot of it and it’s what the simulations and looks are based on. It’s before the days of megapickles. *written with all the sarcasm in the world*

Image Quality

First Impressions

So far, I’m really liking this lens. It’s small, versatile, and can deliver great image quality, plus it focuses quickly. Lots of folks are going to like it. But we’ll save our final thoughts for our full review.