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Hybrid and content creators have been a significant focus of major camera brands. Fujifilm is also looking to bridge the gap between hybrid and still photographers within its XF line. The Fujifilm 18-120mm f4 R LM PZ WR zoom lens is one of the manufacturer’s most recent offerings.
Its versatile focal length is ideal for portraits, landscapes, interiors, and street photographers. The design emphasizes a videographer’s needs first and a photographer’s needs second. It’s f4 aperture is not always the fastest, but it does everything well. Plus, it offers some weather resistance with a price tag of $899.
Will photographers love it? It will entice those looking for a moderately priced all-around lens. Keep reading to find out more.
The Big Picture
The Fujifilm XF 18-120mm f4 lens provides image makers with a solid zoom lens at a moderate price. The versatile focal length is great for portraits, landscapes, architecture, weddings, commercial, and street photography.
It’s a fully automated lens that is built to withstand freezing temperatures and moderate snow. It is lightweight and comfortable to photograph with all day. The lens can stay affixed to your camera most of the time.
Fujifilm’s 18-120mm f4 lens is quick to focus when there is plenty of contrast. It does take a little longer to focus on a subject in backlit and flatly lit scenes. However, it tracks very well once it achieves focus.
Images are sharp with the glorious Fujifilm colors we know and love. The bokeh is beautiful, and lens flares are plentiful when you want them. Distortions are minimal, and any unwanted imperfections are easily corrected. Most images require little to no post-processing, so you can spend more time taking pictures.
We are giving the Fujifilm XF 18-120mm f4 R LM PZ WR four out of five stars. Want one? You can rent it from Lensrentals and take it for a test drive. Or you can purchase it for $899 from Adorama or Amazon if you’re ready to commit.
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Performs flawlessly in subzero winter conditions
- Beautiful Fujifilm colors
- Priced right
- I’m not a fan of the fully automatic design
- Zooming in can be slow
- Slower to focus in backlit environments
- The focus is video first and photography second
We tested the Fujifilm 18-120mm f4 lens with a Fujifilm XH2s camera body from the manufacturer.
The Fujifilm XF 18-120mm f4 R LM PZ WR lens isn’t the first to appease hybrid image makers. Although, Fujifilm made a valiant effort to put the primary focus on videography and still photography second. It’s fully automated and superbly quiet when in use.
One of the best things about investing in Fujifilm’s XF system is its compact size. The XF 18-120mm f4 lens follows that mold. It’s lightweight and fits comfortably in your hands.
Here is a view from the top. As you can see, there are three main rings. The focusing ring is at the end of the lens. In the middle is the larger zoom ring. A combination zoom/focus control ring is closest to the mount.
There are three buttons located on the side. The Zoom/Focus button is at the top. Underneath are two buttons for zooming in and out one millimeter at a time.
It has a 72mm filter thread. So keep this in mind for when you’re ready to mount a filter.
The Fujifilm 18-120mm f4 lens is built with weather and dust resistance to withstand the elements. It feels solid in your hands. I took it out during another Montana arctic blast. Fujifilm states the lens is rated for -14 degrees. I didn’t experience any lack of performance in -25 degree windchills and blowing snow. It never fogged up or became sluggish. Lens dust was never an issue, as we have come to expect with Fujifilm.
The 18-120mm lens quickly focuses in most lighting conditions, and manual focus is easy to achieve. It tracks its subjects effortlessly when there is ample contrast.
However, it could be more successful in flat light. I missed a few images of ducks entering the pond that should have been tack sharp. The lens had to hunt for a backlit portrait subject. I preferred using a single focal point while photographing a group of ducks and tracking vehicles. It’s enjoyable to put it in wide-tracking mode and watch it decide what to focus on.
Ease Of Use
This lens is straightforward to use. Photographers who gravitate to zoom lenses will feel right at home with this lens. Nature and wildlife photographers will appreciate how quiet it is. It’s the perfect size for content creators to turn the lens on themselves in selfie mode.
The Fujifilm 18-120mm f4 lens is quick to focus and tracks its subjects efficiently in ideal light. Backlit subjects require a bit of focus hunting, but it tracks wonderfully once focus is achieved.
The lens is fully automated. I appreciate the thought behind the control ring. However, I rarely used it because I prefer the traditional rangefinder-style lenses. I miss having a designated aperture ring.
The 18-120mm f4 focal length has a 27-183mm f6 full-frame equivalent. The f4 minimum aperture requires a higher ISO in certain situations. However, it’s light enough to handhold for slower shutter speeds. It’s an ideal focal length for portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, nature, commercial photography, architecture, and photojournalism.
The Fujifilm XF 18-120mm f4 R LM PZ WR lens produces sharp images with plenty of detail. The colors are lovely, and the bokeh can be plentiful when you want it.
Fujifilm’s XF 18-120mm f4 lens can create pleasing bokeh. Light bubbles are nice and round, while busy backgrounds fade away. It’s excellent for portraits and nature images. Zoom in and take advantage of areas with sufficient background separation to maximize bokeh.
One of my favorite things about working with Fujifilm is the film simulations, and knowing the colors will be great. My favorite is Classic Chrome. It is a good balance of accurate tones, editorial hues, and a pinch of nostalgia.
Images captured with this lens are no exception. It does a fantastic job of capturing the golden winter light with a tinge of cyan. The warm colors contrast against the cool shadows. I found myself bumping contrast in flat light more than I usually do with other Fujifilm XF lenses. Skin tones are accurate while neon lights pop.
Images are sharp through the center of the frame at f4. Only the outermost border is a bit soft. Stop down to f5.6 and f8 if you want sharpness through the entire frame.
Make no mistake, the Fujifilm 18-120mm f4 lens creates beautiful images with minimal distortions. You can lean into the distortion for some fun angles or quickly correct it in post when you don’t want it. Sun flares and star flares are easily achievable with this lens. Contrast can be played up or down and the colors are fun to work with.
Extra Image Samples
From day one, The Phoblographer has been huge on transparency with our audience. Nothing from this review is sponsored. Further, lots of folks will post reviews and show lots of editing in the photos. The problem then becomes that anyone and everyone can do the same thing. They’re not showing what the lens can do. So we have a section in our Extra Image Samples area to show edited and unedited photos. From this, you can make a decision for yourself.
Who Should Buy The Fujifilm 18-120mm f4 Lens?
Fujifilm photographers and hybrid image-makers looking for a mid-priced all-around zoom lens should buy this lens. The Fujifilm XF 18-120mm f4 lens is a versatile focal length and produces beautiful images.
I wouldn’t invest in a fully-automated zoom lens as I prefer the rangefinder lenses that Fujifilm already does so well. The classic design with a designated aperture ring can’t be beaten. Chalk it up to being old school.
The Fujifilm 18-120mm f4 lens performs on par with other lenses in this price range. It focuses slower in backlit and flatly lit scenes.
While I appreciate the lens character, I wish it had more contrast and deeper blacks. It performs better than I anticipated in arctic temperatures and thick powdery snowfall.
Fujifilm’s XF 18-120mm f4 lens produces beautifully sharp images with beautiful colors, plenty of character, and loads of bokeh when you want it. It’s a versatile focal length ideal for portrait, landscape, architectural, commercial, travel, photojournalism, and street photographers.
You can rent it from Lensrentals and take it for a test drive. Or you can purchase it for $899 from Adorama or Amazon if you’re ready to commit.
Tech specs are from the Lensrentals listing.
- Angle of View: 76.5° to 13.5°
- Aperture blades: 7, rounded
- Autofocus: Autofocus
- Brand: Fuji
- Filter Size: 72.0mm
- Focal Length: 18.0-120.0
- Format: APS-C
- Groups/Elements: 12/15
- Hood Included: Yes
- Image Stabilization: No
- Item Type: Lens
- Lens Type: Wide Angle
- Max Aperture: 4.0
- Maximum Magnification: 0.2x
- Mfr. Model Number: 16780224
- Minimum Aperture: 22.0
- Minimum Focusing Distance: 2.0feet
- Mount: Fuji
- Dimensions (ø x L): 3 × 4.9″
- Weight: 1.0 lb.