I’ve been fortunate enough to have a couple of copies of the new Fujifilm XF16mm prime lens so far. The first was a pre production unit I picked up in Japan back in February and I later swapped it out for a newer version at The Photography Show last month in Birmingham. My latest copy has serial number 00029 from the final production run. It came boxed and is in full retail guise. I’ve shot over 1000 frames with XF16mm lenses so far and I love this lens.
I’ll be linking the shots here in this blog post to their full size counterparts as soon as I’m allowed to do so. The full res images sparkle with clarity and will delight the pixel peepers among you. My idea of lens evaluation doesn’t dwell on the microscopic but uses a more holistic approach. I choose a lens because of the way it translates the three dimensional world into a two dimensional image. The overall look and feel of the images a lens captures are of utmost importance. I love to print my work too and the process of producing prints is the most telling step in image quality evaluation.
Models: Clair Tombs and Chantelle
Dress: Molly Mishi May
Zoom V Prime
Next week I’m off to Spain with a model to do final checks on locations for my September workshops. I’ll be taking my copy of the Fujifilm XF 16mm together with my other primes to compare with the highly praised XF 16-55mm zoom lens that I have on loan. I’ll be shooting the zoom alongside the 16mm, 23mm, 35mm, and 56mm primes in an experiment to see how they compare for portraits and maybe landscapes too. It’s an easy test really. I’ll be blogging my results together with 100% files for you to assess as soon as I am given the go ahead.
The XF16mm lens is an exciting bit of kit for me because I photograph people usually at wide open apertures. The extra two stops of aperture over the 16-55mm zoom make a massive difference in subject separation so the images produced wide open by the fast prime will certainly be different to those produced on the zoom. The prime will win out on the electronic Image quality stakes too in the majority of my images as I’ll be able to use a lower ISO for the same ambient light level. OIS on the zoom would have levelled the playing field somewhat but out in bright daylight there will be no difference of course.
What about the optical quality? What about the corner sharpness? What about the overall level of detail and the contrast in the image? These are the questions I’ll be aiming to answer and discuss supported by my full resolution images.
Weight is another issue. When shooting with four prime lenses the camera bag will be heavier than it would with just the one zoom but as I always put my bag down when I shoot, the lighter camera with a prime lens will be a great advantage over the heavy bulky zoom.
This 16mm prime promises to be Fujifilm’s best lens to date. Do the results of my real world testing prove this? I can’t wait to share my findings with you.
I’ll have more to report on this lens very soon. Feel free to ask me questions below.