Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR Lens Review

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR Lens Review

Written By: John
Updated:

The Fujifilm XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR lens offers photographers a unique blend of flexibility and performance.

It’s a standard zoom lens that provides a broader zoom range than its counterparts, the Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS and the Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8. It offers both weather sealing and excellent Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), a combination that was previously unavailable in Fuji’s standard zoom lens lineup. This lens is designed to cater to a wide array of subjects, making it a compelling option for photographers who prefer to stick with one lens that can handle a variety of shooting scenarios with competence on Fujifilm cameras.

What sets it apart from others in the market is its ability to maintain a constant aperture of f/4 throughout its focal range, a feature that allows for consistent exposure settings regardless of the focal length being used. This, combined with its robust build and impressive image stabilization, makes the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR a standout choice for photographers seeking versatile glass that doesn’t compromise on image quality.

In the following sections of this review, we will delve deeper into the specifics of the Fuji 16-80mm lens, examining its build, performance, and image quality in detail.

Best Overall

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR

4.5
$799.00

The Fujifilm XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR lens offers versatility for all types of photography, from landscapes to portraits. It's weather-resistant and includes optical image stabilization to reduce camera shake. Ideal for challenging conditions.

Pros:
  • Excellent focal length range from wide angle to medium telephoto
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Weather sealing
Cons:
  • Maximum aperture isn't incredibly wide, but still fine in low light thanks to the OIS
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Last updated:
02/18/2024 08:20 am GMT

Build Quality & Construction

The Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR is a solidly built piece of equipment that embodies Fujifilm’s commitment to quality as we’ve seen in other Fuji lens reviews. It is designed with a balance of size, weight, and performance in mind, making it a versatile choice suitable for a variety of shooting scenarios.

The Lens Barrel

The lens barrel is moderately sized, measuring 2.08″ (78.3mm) in diameter with a 72mm front filter thread and 3.5″ (88.9mm) in length. The lens weighs 15.52 oz (440g), which is moderate and should not be a deal-breaker for anyone, especially considering the features it offers. The barrel houses three distinct rings – the zoom ring, the focus ring, and the aperture ring. Each of these rings has a different texture and feel, making it easy to distinguish between them by touch.

Zoom Ring

The ring to control the zoom is fairly wide and nicely damped, providing a smooth zooming experience without any wobble. The single inner barrel extends a fair bit when fully zoomed out, but this does not affect the overall handling of the lens. The aperture ring, on the other hand, offers the option of utilizing a ring with one-third stop detents or putting the ring into automatic mode to switch to where the camera controls the nine rounded blades or you control it via the camera.

The Lens Elements

The Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR features aspherical lens elements, which contribute significantly to its image quality. These elements help to reduce aberrations and improve the overall sharpness and clarity of the images.

Weather Resistant Sealing

One of the standout features of the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR is its weather sealing. The lens is equipped with a gasket at the lens mount along with internal seals at 10 different points. The fact it is weather sealed makes the lens resistant to dust and moisture, allowing you to use it in various weather conditions without worrying about potential damage. The lens also features a metal mount, which adds to its durability and ensures a secure connection with the camera body.

Optical Performance of the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR

The Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR delivers impressive optical performance across its zoom range, with a few caveats.

Image sharpness is generally good, particularly in the center of the frame. It exhibits strong center sharpness throughout the majority of its focal range, with a slight drop-off in contrast and resolution towards the outer edges of the frame (corner sharpness). This drop-off is more noticeable at the widest and longest ends of the zoom range, but stopping down to F5.6 or F8 significantly improves things.

The lens performs admirably across its zoom range, with consistent optical performance up to about 50mm. However, at 80mm, there is a noticeable decline in image quality. While center sharpness remains acceptable, the mid-frame and edge results are fairly weak, even when stopping down to F8. Despite this, typical compositions with the subject in the middle of the frame still look good, although the overall acuity at 80mm is not as high as at shorter focal lengths.

In terms of lighting conditions, the constant F4 aperture of the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR allows for consistent exposure settings across the zoom range, which is beneficial in varying lighting conditions. The lens performs well in darker conditions, thanks in part to its excellent Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) system. This means that you can shoot at slower shutter speeds without introducing camera shake, making this lens a good option for handheld shooting in lower light conditions without the need for a tripod.

Chromatic aberration, which can often be a concern with zoom lenses, is well controlled in the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR. The lens handles areas of high contrast well, with no significant chromatic aberrations observed in either the lateral or longitudinal variety. Similarly, spherical aberration, which can cause a loss of sharpness or a ‘smearing’ effect, is not a significant issue.

Stabilization and Autofocus

The OIS on the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR is incredibly effective, rated by CIPA at 6 stops, which is one of the highest ratings I’ve seen. The system significantly reduces the effects of camera shake, allowing photographers to capture sharp images even at slower shutter speeds. This is particularly beneficial when shooting handheld or in low-light conditions, where shake can often result in blurry images.

Fujifilm lenses are known for their speed and silence in terms of autofocusing, and the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR is no exception. In real-world scenarios, focus changes occur so quickly that they are practically imperceptible. This fast focus performance is a major advantage when capturing fast-moving subjects or when shooting in rapidly changing environments.

The ring for focusing is located near the front. The focus ring, along with the zoom and aperture rings, each have a distinct texture and feel, making it easy to distinguish between them. The focus ring operates in a focus-by-wire system, where the input from the ring is routed through the focus motor. While this system may not provide the tactile feedback that some photographers prefer, it does offer a smooth and responsive focus adjustment like the vast majority of lenses you’ve likely used on your Fuji camera.

Another noteworthy aspect of the lens’s autofocus system is its minimum focus distance. The lens can focus down to 1.15 feet (35cm), which is quite impressive for a zoom lens. This allows photographers to get close to their subjects, making it suitable for a variety of styles, including close-up and macro photography.

Comparisons with Other Zoom Lenses

When considering the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR, it’s helpful to compare it with other lenses in the Fuji lineup, specifically the Fuji 16-55mm F/2.8 and the Fuji 18-55mm kit lens.

The Fuji 16-55mm F/2.8 lens is a high-performance zoom lens that offers a larger maximum aperture than the 16-80mm. This can be beneficial for night photography and for achieving a shallower depth of field. However, the 16-55mm lens lacks stabilization, a feature that the 16-80mm lens excels in. Furthermore, the 16-80mm lens offers a broader zoom range, giving photographers more flexibility in framing their shots without needing to change lenses.

On the other hand, the Fuji 18-55mm kit lens is a popular choice for many photographers due to its compact size and affordable price. While it does offer stabilization and a variable aperture of F/2.8-4, its zoom range is more limited compared to the 16-80mm. The 16-80mm lens also has a constant F/4 aperture, which can provide more consistent exposure throughout.

In terms of being an alternative to prime lenses, the Fuji 16-80 mm offers several advantages. Prime lenses are known for their superior image quality and larger apertures, but they lack the flexibility of zoom lenses due to their fixed focal lengths. The 16-80mm lens, with its broad zoom range, provides the versatility of multiple prime lenses in one package. While it may not match the maximum aperture of some prime lenses, it is still capable of producing excellent image quality with good low-light performance. Additionally, the lens’s impressive stabilization can help to offset the need for larger apertures in low light situations.

Suitability for Different Types of Photographers

The Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR lens is a versatile tool that caters to a broad spectrum of photographic needs. Its wide-to-telephoto range makes it an excellent choice for various types of photography, from landscape and street at the wide end to portraiture and events at the telephoto end.

At the wide end (16mm), the lens is ideal for capturing expansive landscapes, cityscapes, and architectural shots. It provides a broad field of view that allows photographers to encompass more of a scene into the frame, making it perfect for capturing the grandeur of outdoor vistas or the intricate details of urban environments.

On the other hand, the telephoto end (80mm) is well-suited for portraiture and event photography. The long end allows for tighter framing of subjects, creating a more intimate feel in the images. It also helps in achieving a pleasing background blur or bokeh, which is often desirable in portraits.

One of the key features of the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR lens is its constant F4 aperture. This is a significant advantage in various shooting situations, particularly in changing light conditions. Photographers can maintain consistent exposure settings as they zoom in or out, without needing to adjust the shutter speed or ISO to compensate for changes in light transmission. This is especially useful in dynamic shooting scenarios, such as events or wildlife, where light conditions can change rapidly and the subject distance varies.

Conclusion

In this review, we’ve delved into the specifics of the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR, a versatile and high-performing addition to the Fujifilm lens lineup if you’ve just picked up a new camera. This lens, with its constant F4 aperture and broad focal length coverage, offers a unique blend of flexibility and performance that sets it apart from its counterparts.

The Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR is equivalent to a 24-120mm lens in a full-frame format. This makes it an excellent choice for photographers seeking a versatile lens that can handle a wide array of shooting scenarios.

The lens maintains a relatively small and lightweight design, making it an excellent choice for photographers on the go. It weighs in at a moderate 440g, striking a balance between portability and build quality.

In terms of image quality, the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR lens delivers good sharpness, with particularly impressive performance in the center of the frame. This, combined with its excellent OIS, makes it a competent lens for a vast majority of use cases, from sharp landscape and travel images to portraiture and event photos.

However, it’s worth noting that the lens does show some degradation in image performance at the 80mm end. While this may not be a deal-breaker for many photographers, it’s an important consideration for those who plan to frequently use the lens at its maximum focal length and want to keep things extremely sharp.

Overall, the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR is a solid investment for photographers seeking a versatile, high-performing lens. While it does have its limitations, its strengths far outweigh its weaknesses, making it a lens that’s well worth considering for your needs if you’re considering a switch.

Related: Discover the best deals on the Fujifilm 16-80mm lens and price comparisons

The Creativv
American digital marketer and founder of TheCreativv.com with over a decade of experience in event, travel, portrait, product, and cityscape photography.