Fuji Zoom Choice: XF18-55, XF16-55 or the XF18-135 as the one lens

Posted on by Mike Evans

With the addition of the pro-standard XF16-55mm zoom, Fuji has one lens that could replace a string of primes without suffering significant compromise. According to Tom Grill at About Photography it is that good. Could it be the one-lens solution?

The 18-135mm lacks the wider angle of the new XF16-55 but is the only lens to offer such a ride range, from a 35mm equivalent of 27mm to just over 200mm, as demonstrated in the above shots. With its five-axis stabilisation to compensate for the slower aperture, the 18-135mm offers a good all-round solution (photos: Mike Evans, XF18-135mm on Fuji X-T1)

Tom has again looked at the advantages and disadvantages of this new lens in comparison with the old 18-55mm "kit" zoom and last year's 18-135, a lens that offers a much wider range of focal lengths in the one unit. As Tom says, the improved five-axis stabilisation system in this lens compensates for the slower f/3.5-5.6 aperture range in terms of light gathering abilities. On the other hand, these apertures are not going to thrill bokeh addicts.

If you are in the market for a Fuji zoom, perhaps to upgrade the 18-55 that came with your camera, Tom's comparison will help you make the right decision. As he says, however, it all comes down to personal requirements and type of use:

I could go on forever with this discussion because there are as many different photographic situations as there are photographers, each with its own requirements for a lens kit. Each of us is going to have to decide what to get based on our own needs and work habits. Thankfully, Fuji has provided us with enough options to tailor a lens kit to suit. The bottom line here is that no matter which kit we finally assemble, it is going to be the right one in terms of providing quality results.