We’ve known for a while that this lens was coming thanks to Fujifilm’s most recent lens roadmap. Some details were still under a question mark, though, and with the official announcement we finally know everything about the most recent – and one of the most expensive – Fujinon lens for X-mount mirrorless cameras, the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR.
Overview and Specifications
Featuring an extremely versatile focal length range of 16-55mm (approximately 24-82.5mm equivalent) and a usefully fast widest aperture of f/2.8 throughout the focal length, the new Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR is clearly targeted at professional users, as we’ve always known it would be. Just like the already highly-regarded XF 40-150mm lens, it is made of high-quality materials, features, according to the manufacturer, very quick and silent AF motor and some serious weather sealing. All of this makes it very suitable for Fujifilm X-T1 owners wanting a compact yet capable alternative to the mainstream full-frame DSLR + 24-70mm f/2.8 lens duo.
How good or otherwise this lens is remains to be seen (although Fujifilm has managed to surprise us on more than one occasion with quality optics in the not-so-distant past). What we know for sure is that it, perhaps regrettably, does not feature image stabilization. On one hand, it can be seriously limiting in certain cases, especially when compared to the competition where this optical image stabilization on almost any lens is becoming more and more common. On the other hand it potentially means less weight and more compact dimensions. Still, as popular as this lens is going to be among Fujifilm users, I am certain quite a few would have appreciated OIS.
Here is a short list of key specifications of the new 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR:
- Focal length range of 16-55mm, 24-82.5mm equivalent
- Aperture range of f/2.8-22
- 17 elements in 12 groups, 3 ED and 3 aspherical elements
- Nano-GI coating reduces flare
- Weather Sealing
- Metal Construction
- Fast and silent AF courtesy of “Twin Linear Motor”
- 9 rounded diaphragm blades
- Minimum focus distance of 0.30m, maximum magnification 0.16x
- ø77 filter size
- Measures at 83mm x 106mm or 3.27″ x 4.17″ (diameter/length)
- Weighs 655g (1.44 lb) without caps or hood
- Priced at $1200, available February 2015
Official Press Release
Here is the official press release for the new lens by Fujifilm:
Fujifilm launches the FUJINON XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR
FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) is proud to announce that a new FUJINON XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR will be added to the X Series interchangeable lens line-up in February 2015.
A weather-resistant zoom lens with a constant aperture of F2.8 across the focal lengths equivalent to 24mm at wide-angle through to 84mm at medium-telephoto, the XF16-55mm delivers ultra-sharp images even at wide open apertures across the entire zoom range!
The FUJINON XF16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR is a flagship XF standard zoom lens with a focal length equivalent to 24mm – 84mm (in 35mm format equivalent), and a constant F2.8 aperture throughout the range. The advanced optical design controls various forms of aberration to achieve edge-to-edge sharpness across the entire zoom range. The use of a newly-developed Nano-GI* (Gradient Index) coating technology effectively inhibits ghosting and flare, producing clear images. This is a convenient standard zoom lens that covers a wide range of shooting scenes from the wide-angle 24mm equivalent suitable for landscape photography, to the medium-telephoto 84mm equivalent, ideal for portraiture.
The XF16-55mm lens is driven with a linear motor, allowing comfortable shooting with fast, quiet autofocusing. Featuring a weather resistant and dust-resistant finish that can work in temperatures as low as -10°C and can be paired with the “FUJIFILM X-T1” premium mirrorless camera to take advantage of the fully weather-resistant system.
* Technology for forming a nano-sized irregular surface structure on the lens to reduce its surface reflection
Optically designed to draw out the maximum image quality as a flagship standard zoom lens
In order to achieve the best-in-class image quality, the fast standard zoom lens with a constant aperture of F2.8 consists of 17 elements in 12 groups. This includes three aspherical lens elements to control spherical aberration and distortion, and three ED glass lens elements to reduce lateral chromatic aberration (wide-angle) and axial chromatic aberration (telephoto), thereby achieving edge-to-edge sharpness across the entire zoom range. Applying Fujifilm’s unique HT-EBC (High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating) to the entire area of the lens surface ensures ghosting and flare are controlled for sharp, clear images. Also, using the newly developed Nano-GI coating technology, which alters the refractive index between glass and air, ghosting and flare are effectively reduced for diagonal incident light. Nine rounded aperture blades create a smooth, circular bokeh. The suppression of spherical aberration to the ultimate extent contributes to produce beautiful bokeh at both the front and back. By combining this lens with an X Series camera body** with Lens Modulation Optimiser*** (LMO) technology, the performance from the lens is improved even further. LMO corrects for diffraction*4 to produce images with edge-to-edge sharpness and create a realistic three-dimensional effect, even at small apertures.
** Supported by the “FUJIFILM X-T1”, “FUJIFILM X-T1GS” and “FUJIFILM X-E2” as of January, 2015.
*** Fujifilm’s own image processing function that corrects the optical effects of diffraction, based on the optical performance of each lens.
*4 Phenomenon that occurs when the shooting with a narrow aperture in which fine images that should originally be sharp become blurred.
High-speed, quiet auto focus thanks to the Linear Motor
An Inner Focusing System*5 is used for high-speed AF. By reducing the weight of the focus lens and mounting the Twin Linear Motor, high-speed, quiet AF is possible. The fastest AF speed of 0.06 seconds brings comfort to your photo-shoot when by combining this lens with an X Series camera body** offering Phase Detection AF. Combined with the near-silent shutter sound, photos can be taken unnoticed in quiet locations. As AF operates using a signal from the imaging sensor, extremely high-precision focusing is possible.
*5 Method for moving the small lenses in the middle and rear sections of the lens, without moving the large lenses composing the front of the lens.
Weather resistant, dust-resistant and -10°C low-temperature operation
With weather-sealing at 14 locations, the lens is weather-resistant, dust-resistant and -10°C low-temperature operation, making it the perfect companion for the X-T1, which has the same levels of protection.
High build quality and comfortable operation
Both the focus and aperture rings are metal, plus metal is also used on the exterior of the lens body for a high-quality finish. Thanks to long-term experience and broaden knowhow for other top-end professional lens fields such as Broadcasting and Cinema Scope, the texture and torque on the rings makes for comfortable shooting even for delicate manual focusing. The lens mount is made from brass for improved strength. Combined with a camera body, the lens is approximately 60% of the weight of a full-size system*6, considerably reducing the burden on the photographer for astonishing ease of use. The AF+MF function enables seamless manual focusing. After pressing the shutter to autofocus on the subject, fine adjustments can then be made using the manual focus ring.*7
*6 Fujifilm research.
*7 A function allowing seamless manual focusing by rotating the focus ring while pressing the shutter halfway during AF lock. A firmware upgrade is required for the camera body in order to use this function. (Applicable models: X-Pro1/X-E1/X-E2/X-T1/X-T1GS)