Amy Davies is a journalist and photographer. As well as being a Features Editor for Amateur Photographer magazine, she also writes about cameras and associated technology for a range of publications and websites, including T3, Photography Blog, Stuff, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar, Camera Jabber, ePhotozine, Expert Reviews and our own Fujiholics. Amy is also one of the judges in the Fujiholics Photographer of the Year competition.

Setting you back under £350, the new XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR Lens is a great addition to any Fujiholic’s kit bag.

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 Product Shot

Weighing in at just 55g and measuring only 45.4mm in length, it’s a small, light and discreet lens that actually has quite a lot of practical applications. Thanks to the crop factor when using a 16mm lens on the Fuji’s APS-C sized sensors, the equivalent focal length is around 24mm.

The 16mm f/2.8 lens joins the existing 16mm f/1.4 R WR XF lens already in the X lens line-up. Thanks to a narrower maximum aperture, it’s much lighter and smaller – but crucially it’s also less than half the price (the f/1.4 version will set you back around £819 at the time of writing).

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 Product Shot

 

Using the XF 16mm f/2.8 Lens

I’ve been using the lens for a little while paired with an X-T3. It works well with a camera like this, but thanks to its small size and shape, it’s also ideally suited for us with Fuji’s smaller cameras like the X-T30, X-T20, or even entry-level models such as the X-A3. The flatter shape of the X-Pro models would also be well suited to this small lens, too.

24mm is a very versatile focal length and works well with a number of different subjects including:

  • Landscapes
  • Street
  • Environmental Portraits
  • Architecture
  • Travel

In terms of handling, the 16mm lens is very simple and easy to operate.

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 Product Shot

Like many other X series lenses, it features a dedicated aperture ring which you can use to choose an aperture in 1/3 steps, while full steps are marked.

You can easily attach a filter to the front of the lens, and thanks to the type of focusing mechanism used for this lens, it does not rotate at all – great news if you’re using a graduated filter for landscape shooting.

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 Product Shot

Speaking of focusing, it is quick and accurate, while also being pretty much silent. This is a lens you can take into discreet situations – such as inside quiet buildings or while shooting on the street – and not worry about a noisy focusing mechanism giving you away.

 

The lens is weather and dust resistant, as well as promising to work in temperatures as low as -10 degrees celcius. That makes it a great option for outdoor photography work – especially if you are pairing it with a weather-sealed camera like the X-T3.

 

What are the results like – should you buy one?

This is a £350 lens, which is relatively cheap as far as Fujifilm optics go. However, I was very impressed with the performance it put in when shooting with the X-T3. Although f/2.8 isn’t a super wide aperture, it still produces attractive shallow depth of field effects, while the overall impression of sharpness across the frame is also very good.

Fujifilm XF 16mm f/2.8 Product Shot

I’m a big fan of Fuji’s range of compact prime lenses – all of them are small, light, available at a good price and when used as part of a set make for a very versatile set-up. The other lenses offer a slightly wider aperture of f/2, but facilitating a wider angle necessitates an f/2.8 setup and shouldn’t make a huge amount of difference in most ordinary settings.

If you only have the budget for one of the small primes, there’s a lot to like about this new 16mm. It is a very versatile focal length that you might find useful for a wide range of different subjects. It’s a fantastic walk around lens for your camera that allows you to grab shots that you see out and about, as well as being useful for more considered landscape photography and so on.

Considering this lens costs less than half the price of the f/1.4 version, and comes with the added benefit of being a perfect travel lens, it’s easy to think of the 16mm f/2.8 lens as a bit of a bargain. If you do a lot of very low light shooting you may well crave that extra wide aperture, but for most situations, the f/2.8 version is more than adequate.

This highly flexible lens comes highly recommended – are you tempted?