The Fujinon XF 18-55mm f2.8-4 R LM OIS

The 18-55mm is the lens that came with my X-E1, which I no longer posses.  I sacrificed it for an XP1.  If I were to use one word to describe this lens, it would be “awesome”.

For an 18-55mm “kit” lens, this Fujinon 18-55 blows all other 18-55 “kit” lenses out of the water, plain and simple.  There is no competition.  Nikon? Canon? They don’t even come close.

Here is a run-down of the specs:

Focal range: 18-55mm (27-84mm in 35mm equiv.)

Maximum aperture: f2.8-f4.0

Minimum aperture: f22

Number of diaphragm blades: 7 (rounded)

Elements: 14

Groups: 10

Special glass: 3 aspherical, 1 extra low dispersion

Minimum focus: 15.75″

Maximum magnification: 0.15x

No distance scale

No DOF scale

Weight: 310g

Length: 2.77″ (retracted)

Filter thread: 58mm

 

However, for a “kit” lens, there is a hefty price tag attached.  At $700 for a brand new copy, it can hardly be classed as a “kit” lens and this is what I want to clear up.

The term “kit” lens comes from the world of Nikon & Canon, where you find their DSLRs packaged with cheap, plastic starter lenses, usually in the 18-55mm range.  Don’t get me wrong, these lenses may be cheap & cheerful, but they are quite good optically.

On the other hand, these “kit” lenses that come with Nikon and Canon cameras, are at the bottom of the lens ladder; meaning, you can not get anything cheaper or with more plastic than these lenses.

With Fuji, it’s a whole different story.  Now, when I called the 18-55 a “kit” lens, I was doing so because any 18-55 is going to be seen as a “kit” lens in the eyes of people who walk in the Nikon/Canon worlds.  This 18-55 is in no way a traditional “kit” lens, even if it has that traditional focal range.  When was the last time you saw a “kit” lens with a metal mount, metal body, metal rings, an aperture ring and spectacular optics?  This is not a “kit” lens by any means.

Fuji does it differently, as I stated before.  When I bought my XP1, it came with the 35mm.  If you know anything about the 35mm, you know that it is light years from being a “kit” lens.  Fuji does not pair up their top end cameras (X-E1 & XP1) with cheapo plastic starter lenses.

Anyhow, enough of that.  I think you get my point.  On to the lens itself.

I call it a little engineering marvel.  It is quite compact compared to a Nikon 18-55.  And when you consider that it has OIS and an aperture ring, it makes you wonder where they put everything.

It comes with you usual accessories: lens hood, lens cap, rear lens cap and an instruction manual.  it does have some weight to it, but it is a weight that feels solid.

All the rings turn very smoothly and the barrel zooms in and out very smoothly as well.  The rings are easy to grip and the OIS and aperture switch are easy to move back and forth, but not that easy as to accidentally move them.

Optically, it is an amazing lens in my opinion.  If you want your fix of lens techno-jargon, you can read these reviews:

http://kenrockwell.com/fuji/x-mount-lenses/18-55mm.htm

http://www.ephotozine.com/article/fujifilm-fujinon-xf-18-55mm-f-2-8-4-r-lm-ois-lens-review-22595

The 18-55 is a great walk around lens and is compact enough to stay on your camera and fit into a camera bag.  At all focal lengths and apertures, I find it takes excellent photos.  You can not go wrong with this lens.

 

 

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