A wider angle with the Fujinon XF16

I’m a prime shooter and I live at 50mm (full frame terms). When I switched to Fujifilm, the XF35 1.4 filled that spot with ease. It’s my goto lens, I love the images it produces, how it makes me feel and, how I even loved to hate that ugly lens hood. The rest of my kit consists of the the XF23 (35mm) & XF56 (85mm)… That is what I roll with on any given wedding. The XF35 (almost) never leaves my primary camera body. The other body gets fitted with what I think might come in handy.

The XF23 is there as my wide angle … to be honest, it’s not my thing … I can’t explain it. It’s supposed to be my storyteller lens but I feel that it never completely tells the story or I can’t frame it like I want it … because it’s not wide enough or perhaps because it lives too close to my comfort zone (50mm) and it doesn’t push me enough. Watching a lot of photographers produce great images with a 24mm focal length , I wanted to try myself …

I do own the original XF18 2.0, while this is a great little compact lens and the perfect travel companion I always felt it lacks the color & sharpness of my main 3 lenses to use it for wedding work.

Enter the Fujinon XF 16 mm f/1.4 R WR

Don’t expect too technical stuff here. I choose a lens because of how it makes me feel and for what type of images I can produce with it. These are the things that stand out of me.

The good:

  • Focus is accurate/quick & silent
  • Built like a tank, weather sealing (living in Belgium that might come in handy in once and a while..)
  • Distortion is very acceptable.
  • It produces crisp images, corners are sharp (pixel peeper TIP: You can compare the XF18 & XF16 on http://fujifilmxmount.com )
  • Paired with the 20Megapixels of the XPRO it allows me to crop to 35mm in post production so I don’t have to switch lenses when there is no time for it.
  • Close focusing distance

The Bad:

  • Unfortunately the extra buck also buys you a lot of added weight compared to the XF18. And paired with the XPRO2 .. well it’s a bit bulky and a rather heavy combo.
  • Colors are a bit less virbrant than other lenses. (XF23,XF35 & XF56)
  • The standard lens hood doesn’t really protect the glass that well and the LH-XF16 hood is a 100$ expensive *kuch*

Having a new focal length to play with has been really fun and pushes me to try different things.

Before I bought this lens it was obvious that it should outperform the XF18 in every way. The most important question I had about this lens was if I could adjust to this new focal length well enough and make it “mine”. I have it in my kit for two months and now I’m surprised by how much I have been using it. Having a new focal length to play with has been really fun and pushes me to try different things and step out of my comfort zone.

X-PRO2 / XF16 Combo

XF18 Vs XF16

XF16 – XF23 – XF56
Above pictures are taken playing around with a blue led panel and an X100S…

Some sample pictures, a mix of work & personal pictures.

Simple distortion / straight line test. (yes that is an actual crooked ceiling in the upper left corner…)

Close focus distance!

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3 thoughts on “A wider angle with the Fujinon XF16

  1. Juan says:

    Hi tom, first time here 🙂 , im really happy to discover your site, you have an EXCELLENT and solid work ! im a wedding photographer from argentina, now waiting my xpro2 and the 16mm f1.4 , 35 and 56mm , ( SWITCHING from nikon ff to fuji ) thanks for the review and the pics, ! ( sorry my english 🙂 )

    • tom.leuntjens@gmail.com says:

      Hi Juan, welcome & no worries about the english mate. (I’m not a native speaker myself) Good luck with the switch. Your back will thank you 😉

  2. raf says:

    mm. I am so doubting on this lens. I recently sold nikon full frame and holy trinity. Now I have fuji X-e3 with 23 mm f2. going now for 56 1.2, and also something wider.. Surely need something wider than 23. Is the 16 not too wide I wonder? Is 18 mm 2.0 not better. Or too old now? is the 16-55 too big for the X-E3??, questions, questions,….:)

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