The Lens I Didn’t Need

Then there was the lens that I didn’t think I needed. I seem to have acquired quite a number of the Fujifilm XF lenses.  I was pretty sure I had all my bases covered from the very nice wide angle XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS and finishing up with the monster Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR.

It took a long time to convince myself to buy the Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens because I had the XF 18-55 F2.8-F4 kit lens which was pretty close in range as well as aperture and was reasonably sharp.  For a kit lens it is one of the best of any brands. I also have the XF 18-135 Having amassed a number of points on one of my credit cards allowed me to buy the lens without the normal $1k plus price tag.  So one day it showed up at my door. (It followed me home dear, can I keep it?).

Having used it for the last few months I have to say I now understand why so many professional photographers say that a 24-70mm F2.8 lens is their go to lens.  The XF 16-55mm is the APC equivalent of the full frame 24-70 and it is a stunning lens.

The lens performs so well it pretty much doesn’t come off my camera unless I’m using the XF 100-400mm telephoto.  The 16-55mm is incredibly sharp, has great contrast, color rendition, and just performs in all conditions. I’ve gone from not thinking I needed it to it being the lens that is always on my X-T1.  

Epcot Detail Morroco World Showcase

The other day I made a quick trip over to Epcot and realized that I only needed the one lens for any type of shooting I would do there. On previous trips to Walt Disney World I would take along at least 3 lenses,  The XF 18-135mm, the XF 60mm, and the XF 35mm F1.4.  While the Fuji system is compact and weighs a lot less than my previous (well I still have it but it hasn’t got much use) system, It still was more weight that I didn’t want to carry.  So out came all the other lenses and I began traveling light.

It took me a lot of time to realize what should have been obvious.  Always get the best glass you can. I think I may have heard one or two pro’s mention that.  If you want to take the best pictures go with the “Pro” lenses like the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR and the Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR which I will have to discuss in another post.

Epcot Detail Japan World Showcase

There have been some gripes about the XF 16-55mm not being a OIS (stabilized) lens but I haven’t had any issues with that. I tend not to try and shoot in too many low light situations.  It does have a bit of reach when zoomed and it not the lightest lens by any means. On my X-T1 it is well balanced and I don’t have any issues carrying it around all day. One thing I’ve noticed is that the “Pro” lens like the XF 16-55mm and the XF 50-140mm is that the are much more contrasty in the mid-range than the lesser lenses.  You will find you need a lot less sliding of the Clarity slider when processing your images.

For a lens I didn’t think I needed it spends a lot of time on my camera. Getting the best glass is just common sense.


XF 16-55mm F2.8 WR
Fuji X-T1 with XF 16-55mm F2.8 WR