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Meet Fujinon XF8-16 f/2.8 R LM WR Lens - Fujifilm's ultra-wide zoom!

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Fujifilm's X-series lens lines up keeps growing every year with two new lenses coming in late 2018. One of them is the XF8-16 f/2.8 R LM WR ultra-wide zoom!
Meet Fujinon XF8-16 f/2.8 R LM WR Lens - Fujifilm's ultra-wide zoom!
Meet Fujinon XF8-16 f/2.8 R LM WR Lens - Fujifilm's ultra-wide zoom!

Related: Fujifilm X-T3 Review - Best Value, All-rounder APS-C Mirrorless Camera!

With this release, Fujifilm has completed what photographers call the lens trinity that is usually composed of three lenses that accomplishes as much range as possible. Usually these three lenses are composed of a wide, a standard and a telephoto (long) lenses.

Previously, Fujifilm only had the standard zoom XF 16-55 f/2.8 and the telephoto zoom XF 50-140 f/2.8. Now the new ultra wide XF8-16 completes the Red Badge f/2.8 trinity.

Let's look at it now!

Meet Fujinon XF8-16 f/2.8 R LM WR ultra-wide zoom

Bulging ultra-wide front element
Bulging ultra-wide front element

R means it has an aperture ring. LM means that it uses frictionless, non-contact and silent Linear motors for autofocus. WR means it is engineered and designed to be weather resistant.

We received the copy of the lens only without the box. It came with the top and bottom lens caps.
It goes from f/2.8 to f/22!
It goes from f/2.8 to f/22!

The lens is mostly black in color with white and red texts engraved in different areas. The exterior is mostly made of metal except for the lens hood and lens element.
Weather resistant and made in Japan!
Weather resistant and made in Japan!

The lens hood is made of thick but lightweight polycarbonate.

The front glass element bulges out of the lens when fully extended which is why there are no filter threads for this lens.

If you plan on using a filters or filter holders, you may need an adapter.
The mount has a weather resistant gasket!
The mount has a weather resistant gasket!

The mount is metal with weather resistant gaskets to keep water out when attached to a weather resistant camera body. Supposedly, it can operate down to -10 degrees Celsius temperatures.

The aperture ring has hard clicks that makes it more difficult to accidentally change the aperture while the zoom ring is well dampened that it just enough resistance to rotate it without being too easy.

The focus ring on our unit however barely had any resistance. We wished it offered a little more dampening to avoid sudden change of focus plane. Though at 8mm, almost everything is in focus anyway.

XF 8-16 f/2.8 at 9.9 mm, f/8.0, ISO 200, 1/250th second
XF 8-16 f/2.8 at 9.9 mm, f/8.0, ISO 200, 1/250th second

Camera Samples

XF 8-16 f/2.8 at 16 mm, f/11 ISO 320, 1/60th second
Not to mention the dramatic change from 16 mm to 8 mm - XF 8-16 f/2.8 at 16 mm, f/11 ISO 320, 1/60th second
XF 8-16 f/2.8 at 8 mm, F11 ISO 320, 1/60th second
XF 8-16 f/2.8 at 8 mm, F11 ISO 320, 1/60th second
XF 8-16 f/2.8 at 9.9 mm, f/22, ISO 160, 60 seconds
Ideal for wide sweeping cityscape shots - XF 8-16 f/2.8 at 9.9 mm, f/22, ISO 160, 60 seconds

The field of view difference is just massive! photographers who want the widest possible filed of view will be happy that they can fit so much more!

Click on this Flickr link here to see more images with this lens.

Compared to the XF 16 f/1.4 R WR:

Scene 1 - Side by side XF 8-16 f/2.8 at f/2.8 and XF 16 f/1.4 at f/2.8
XF 8-16 f/2.8 at f/2.8 vs XF 16 f/1.4 at f/2.8

Scene 2 - Side by side XF 8-16 f/2.8 at f/8 and XF 16 f/1.4 at F8

XF 8-16 f/2.8 at f/8.0 vs XF 16 f/1.4 at f/8.0

The main difference is that at F2.8 and F8.0 is that the XF 16 F1.4 renders a warmer image with better microcontrast (tonality) compared to the XF 8-16 F2.8 at 16mm.

Fujinon XF8-16 f/2.8 R LM WR Specs

Lens configuration: 20 elements in 13 groups (4 aspherical, 3ED, 3 super ED elements)
Focal length: F = 8-16 mm (12-24 mm in 35 mm equivalency)
Angle of view: 121 degrees to 83.2 degrees
Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
Minimum Aperture: f/22
Aperture blades: 9
Focus Range: 25 cm to Infinity
Maximum Magnification: 0.1x
Box inclusions: Lens cap FLCP-8-16, Lens rear cap RLCP-001 and Wrapping cloth
Diameter and Length: 121.5 x 88 mm
Weight: 805 g 
Price: PHP 106,990

Designing and manufacturing a rectilinear (no distortion) ultra-wide lens is an incredible feat of engineering. This is made even harder by making it into a zoom with a constant maximum aperture as wide as f/2.8.

This makes this lens incredibly versatile in the field of landscape, architecture, interiors, real-estate and the like. Not to mention the exceptional build quality and weather resistance. This resulted in a price tag higher than most people could afford but when compared to Full Frame equivalents like the Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8, it is priced similarly. Yet, the XF8-16 f/2.8 is 185 grams lighter.

This is a magnificent lens that produces unique but stunning results that is visible in its color, sharpness, contrast and minimal distortion. But, it isn't for everyone.

The sharpness is consistent with minimal softening at the edges at the wider apertures but performs vastly better than the XF 10-24 f/4.

Our only two gripes is that in our unit, the focus ring could use more dampening and that the distortion at 8 mm may be a problem for some people. (though it is easy to correct in post, it just adds another step to the workflow.)

What do you guys think? Will you be getting one?
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