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Fuji Announces Long Awaited XF 16-55mm F/2.8

By Anthony Thurston on January 5th 2015

We heard that it was coming, and we have been waiting for it. Today, or tonight as it were, Fujifilm officially announced the new XF 16-55mm F/2.8. The Fuji equivalent of the 24-70mm, which will no doubt work perfectly along side the XF 50-150mm F/2.8.

fuji-xf-16-55mm-28

Image Courtesy of Dave Kai-Piper

[REWIND: Fujinon 50-140mm F/2.8 | Initial Impressions on This Sexy Piece of Kit]

Just as with the 50-150mm, the new XF 16-55mm F/2.8 features stellar weather sealing (14 individual points to be exact), as well as an internally focusing design. It’s not a small lens either, as you can see in the image below, side-by-side the 18-55mm kit lens.

This lens is simply a must-have lens for a Fuji portrait photographer, and it’s not going to break your bank either. The XF 16-55mm F/2.8 should become available around February and retail around $1,199.95; not a bad price at all considering the amount of use this lens will get in your kit.

fuji-xf-16-55mm-28-IV

Image Courtesy of Dave Kai-Piper

If you are interested, there is likely to be quite a large demand for this puppy, so get your pre-order in now with B&H to make sure you are one of the first to get it.

See the Fuji XF-16-55mm F/2.8 In Action

fuji-xf-16-55mm-28-II

Image Courtesy of Dave Kai-Piper

Our good friend, Dave Kai-Piper, was one of the lucky few photographers selected to give this lens a thorough testing for a time before the official announcement tonight.

If you are interested in checking out some amazing imagery, that also happens to be great image samples from this lens, make sure to head on over to his site to check out one of his featured shoots highlighting the new Fujifilm XF 16-55mm F/2.8.

fuji-xf-16-55mm-28-III

Image Courtesy of Dave Kai-Piper

You can find his announcement post, with complete details on his experience with the lens and some standard image samples here. You can also find a great stylized shoot, for some real world examples, here.

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

19 Comments

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  1. Jesper Ek

    Very nice bokeh!

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  2. Steve VanSickle

    Between the X-series primes, the 50-150, and now this? Nikon/Canon better start to work on something stellar, or Fuji may start stealing more customers.

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  3. Austin Swenson

    I am liking the sample images, I think it’s great that Fuji came at this sideways and now they are killing it. Good on them.

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  4. Holger Foysi

    A nice lens, however, I wouldn’t classify it as a must have for portrait photographers. I, personally, prefer shallower DOF and 24-82.5mm/f4.2 (FOV,DOF equiv.) is not s.th. I would use compared to 85/1.4-1.8 or 135/2 or (70-)200/2.8 on FF. Optically I’m sure it will deliver very good performance.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      This lens is 2.8, if I could mount it on a Full Frame Nikon/Canon/Sony Body it would be 2.8 and meter the same as the F/2.8 equivalent lens from that brand. The light and exposure settings are no different, FF or Crop.

      The DOF may be different, but the exposure – which is the important part – stays the same. But the DOF argument only applies if I was trying to mimic a 16-55mm full frame FOV. But if I were to take a 24mm full frame at F/2.8, and shoot this lens at 16mm, same exact exposure settings, the DOF, and FOV would be virtually identical in the resulting images.

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    • Holger Foysi

      f-stop: intensity per unit area. FF has 2.25 times larger area, so at the same f-stop you gather 2.25 times more light and get a higher signal to noise ratio in addition to shallower DOF and therefore different pictures (of course metering stays the same). Because of this many scientists and photographers defined the term equivalence to be able to compare cameras with different sensors to obtain similar pictures (for an equivalent picture use crop factor times FL, crop factor times aperture and crop factor squared times ISO for equal generation sensor to get the same picture on FF, http://www.josephjamesphotography.com/equivalence/#3, http://www.dpreview.com/articles/2666934640/what-is-equivalence-and-why-should-i-care).

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Don’t really want to get into a tuff over it. If the lens/system isn’t for you, than it isn’t for you. Thanks for the comment.

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    • Holger Foysi

      @A. Thurston: No offense meant! I just expressed a different opinion. Have a nice day.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      It’s all good man, no offense taken. Like I said, just didn’t want to argue over it. :) have a good one!

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    • Dave Haynie

      The total area of light is certainly based on the frame size and aperture. But the SNR is not. It’s based on the pixel site size, pixel fill ratio, and specifics of the particular technology in use (which is why newer sensors pretty much always have higher acceptable ISO options).

      So a FF image may be noisier or less noisy, once you factor in pixel size. If you hold pixel size constant, then yet, the FF will have an advantage at the same FL and aperture, just as MF and large format cameras have always had over 35mm.

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    • Holger Foysi

      @Haynie: I was relating it to the light sensitive area. Then, related to this total area you collect more photons and get higher S/N totally for similar sensor technology. You are certainly right that individual and different pixels can collect different amounts of light and may have lower S/N ratio individually. See also http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/dxomark_sensor_for_benchmarking_cameras2.shtml.

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  5. Paul Monaghan

    Looks nice :)

    Again I would like to see how it compares to the DA* 16-50 f2.8 from Pentax which is also weather sealed and is stabilized with the body.

    I could see all the fuss with the small smaller Fuji bodys and the Xt-1 using some really nice fast prime lens but with the 16-55 and 50-150 it starts to look much more like a kit I’ve had for several years already (yet no one was really excited about pentax’s DA* stuff because it was all APCS) so for me it would be nice to see how the XT-1 with its new pro zoom lens compares to a pentax k3 with the equivalent stuff (even if its a tad unfair as pentax’s lens have been out for a long time).

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    • Jason Markos

      I confess I was thinking something similar… With that lens on, it’s starting to look like not that much of a size advantage over my D7000 with it’s 17-55/f2.8 fitted…

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Looks are deceiving. Guys, my X-T1 with the grip and the 50-150mm is still lighter and smaller than a DSLR package with equivalent. True size is hard to judge from a picture, you really need to just get it in your hands.

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    • Paul Monaghan

      The Pentax DA* 16-50 f2.8 is around 100g lighter than the fuji and 1cm shorter (although its not an internal focusing lens) and is stabilised on pentax.

      While DSLR’s are big compared to most mirror-less, pentax body’s are rather small although heavy (almost 2x the weight of the x-t1) but you wouldn’t need the grip on the k3 as the battery’s generally last a long time.

      It’s quite possibly the closest comparison as both system’s are APCS only, I figure fuji could win out to focus speed due to the older lens design on the pentax but with the k3 sporting -3EV focus points it could win in low light even’t shooting and with every lens being stabilized (even fast primes) it would be good to see how well both systems compare considering the pentax kit would cost much less.

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    • Paul Monaghan

      also.. as for the 50-150 fuji vs the 50-135 pentax, the pentax version is around 200g lighter and 4cm shorter so while the x-t1 body is smaller and lighter both the lens are larger and heavier.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      I was mostly referring to standard DSLR systems Paul, I don’t follow Pentax’s offerings much. When are you going to get a real camera system man? :P haha (jk ofcourse)

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    • Paul Monaghan

      “I was mostly referring to standard DSLR systems Paul, I don’t follow Pentax’s offerings much. When are you going to get a real camera system man? :P haha (jk ofcourse)

      Haha!

      Tbh I’ve been on the fence for a while about selling off my Pentax stuff, mostly as the K5 has problems focusing in low light although that is fixed with the k3 which has three -3 EV af points. (apparently it can focus in low light faster than a d7100 even without an assist light)

      Since I already have a DA* 16-50 f2.8, DA* 50-135 f2.8, some primes and flash’s selling it all to swap systems would hit my pocket rather large especially considering some lens have almost halved in price recently.

      I would love to see how the Fuji system stacks up compared to the k3 with similar lens though, Fuji does have nice fast primes which I would like but then I love having a stabilized 24mm f1.4 (samyang) for shooting low light events and a stabilized 8mm fisheye is fun too.

      I do most of my strobe shooting on sigma DP’s atm both location and studio and am really wondering if/what sigma’s new DSLR will be like :P

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    • Holger Foysi

      @Anthony T.: With 70-200/f4 the D750 is not that much heavier and larger than the Fuji with grip and 50-150/2.8 (those lenses are equiv. in DOF,VOF and total light over sensor area). The difference is not very important imo.

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