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Fuji XF 16-55mm f/2.8 zoom: If you require OIS this lens isn't for you

Posted on by Mike Evans

Fuji owners, particularly those who love the acclaimed "kit" 18-55 zoom with its f/2.8-f/4 aperture range, have been excited by the prospect of a professional fixed-aperture f/2.8 alternative, the new XF 16-55 f/2.8. It is a much bigger and heavier beast, but does offer a welcome wider starting angle of view and improved quality. Respected tester Tom Grill has put the lens through its paces and is impressed by its quality, both in terms of build and in optical performance. But the 16-55 lacks the optical image stabilisation that 18-55 owners take for granted. As he says, though, if you want OIS this lens isn't for you:

The new XF 16-55 features a limited-travel aperture ring with fixed markings, unlike the original 18-55 zoom (photo Tom Grill)

The new XF 16-55 features a limited-travel aperture ring with fixed markings, unlike the original 18-55 zoom (photo Tom Grill)

There has been a lot of vocal criticism of this missing feature, but both Nikon and Canon have gotten away with a lack of IS in their equivalent zooms for years. Image stabilization, while a welcome asset, is not as necessary on shorter lenses as it is on longer lenses where the longer focal lengths magnify the motion in proportion to their length.  As I mentioned in my announcement of this lens, an old photographers rule of thumb is that it takes a shutter speed approximately equal to the focal length to be able to hand-hold a lens. With that dictum in mind, it would only take 1/25 second to safely hand hold a 24mm lens, but about 1/250 second to have the same hand-held control over a 200mm lens. Enough said on that point. This lens doesn't have OIS. If you require it, this lens is not for you.

Read Tom's full review here

Cameralabs' in-depth review here

 

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