Fuji is set to announce a new zoom lens, the XF 16-55 f/2.8. According to sources, it should be announced next week on January 6th.
However, some people may be wondering why on earth Fuji would announce such a lens seeing that they already have the 18-55mm in the line-up.
Fair enough question.
For one, the new 16-55 will be weather sealed to compliment the X-T1, which is also weather sealed. I can see this being a trend with any future Fuji lenses, it only makes sense.
Secondly, the lens (judging what has been published about it), will have a constant aperture of f/2.8 through out it’s focal range. Very nice. This is in contrast to the 18-55 which does not have a constant aperture throughout it’s focal range, but rather goes from f/2.8 to f/4 as you go up in focal range.
Thirdly, the lens will give you 2mm more on the short end, increasing your field of view. 2mm may not seem like a lot, but it does make a noticeable difference when photographing distant subjects.
One feature that is still in contention, is whether or not OIS will be included. Some people feel it is a necessity (the 18-55 has it) and others feel that there is no need for it since God invented tripods. Personally, if i were to get the lens, i would prefer having OIS because you can’t take your tripod everywhere you go.
In sum, when comparing it to the 18-55 with what little information i have, the 16-55 will have two practical advantages: wider at the short end and a constant f/2.8 throughout the focal range. Weather resistance will not help me much since my X-Pro1 is not weather sealed.
One fellow who has been testing the lens, came out on Facebook and said this about the lens:
Therefore, the 18-55 may have an advantage over the 16-55: size. Of course, i can not say anything about how sharp one lens is against the other, but i can say that i was very pleased with the sharpness of my 18-55 when i had it.
Having a constant aperture and weather sealing, the 16-55 is surely to be more expensive then the 18-55 by a couple of hundred dollars. There is no surprise there.
I look forward to the announcement of this lens, as well as full reviews. if you don’t have an X-T1, the only real benefits this lens will give you is wider at the short end and f/2.8 throughout. It will be hard to justify those extra dollars based on those two aspects, especially since the 18-55 is such a great performer itself.
Thanks for looking.
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