Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R WR

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:

Fantastic lens, sharp sharp & sharp whole range, wonderful bokeh […] PROS: Excellent photo quality Superb AF. CONS: heavy & Bulky like DSLR (nikon & canon 24-70 f2.8) no more lightweight

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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