20 Minute Date with the 16mm 2.8

I’ve never been on a speed date, but last Saturday was a first for me. My hands were sweaty and I didn’t have the right words but it felt right to be in the moment. The way the lens looked into my eyes and into the eyes of everything around it was picture perfect. It was petite, beautiful and had a ring on it that went from f2.8 to f22. If you haven’t noticed already, I am talking about the latest Fujifilm 16mm 2.8. 

I call it speed dating because I had 20 minutes with the lens. This is obviously not a thorough reflection on the lens, but more of a snapshot of my experience. 

What I Liked:

 

The Size and Weight

I was blown away by the size and weight of it. To put this lens into perspective with it’s siblings, the 23mmf2 and 35mmf2, the 16mm is 155g, the 23mmf2 is 180g and the 35mmf2 is 170g. Is it that much of a difference? Short answer, no. However I, along with many, can attest that we gravitate towards Fujifilm because of the light weight yet powerful punch of their system. 

The Tulip Lens Hood

The overall build quality of the lens is amazing, and I really liked the fact that it has a tulip lens hood! For those unaware, there are primarily two different kind lens hoods. One is the tube style lens hood (often found on the 56mm, 90, 16-55mm etc…, and the other is the Tulip style lens hood found on wide lenses such as the 14mm and the 10-24mm. It definitely compliments the overall aesthetic of Fujifilm. 

What I Wished:

 

A Better Maximum Magnification

It’s hard not to compare to it’s twin, the 16mm f1.4. It may not be as big and heavy as the sibling (155g compared to 375g,) but I was hoping to achieve a very similar max magnification ratio. The 1.4 has a max magnification of 0.21 and the 2.8 has a max magnification of 0.13. The special thing about the f1.4 is that you can get really close to your subject and you can nail the focus. Understandably that most people using this focal length would care more about capturing as much detail as possible in a frame, but I suppose I may be one of the few that maximises the minimum and maximum magnifications of most lenses. Personally this is really important to me as it means I can pack less on the road. 

General Notes:

  1. The aperture ring is firm. Not so firm that you’ll sprain your wrist, but it feels just right. The tension is very similar to the 23mm f2 and 35mm f2 aperture rings. 
  1. Weather resistant and the stepping motor (for fast and quiet autofocus) are always welcomed and glad the 16mm has these traits.
  1. The physical length is shorter than the 23mm f2 ( 16mm f2.8 has a length of 45mm compared to the 52mm on the 23mmf2),

Who this Lens is for:

I’d recommend this lens to anyone who is already a fan of the Fujicron family. The Fujicron lenses (23mmf2, 35mmf2, and the 50mmf2)  are known to be more affordable, fantastic image and build quality, ridiculously quick AF, and weather resistant. In the future I can update this blog to share my experiences in different settings.  

Conclusion:

I wish I had more time with the lens, but 20 minutes was enough for me to say that it’s definitely a keeper. The perks that often comes with lenses like this is enough and would justify the cost. I’d definitely need more time to test it on the field to give it a more thorough review, but was overall impressed how such a small lens can offer so much.

For those who own the lens or have questions about it, please comment below! We would love to know your thoughts on it.

  • All images taken with the Fujifilm X-T2 + 16mm 2.8

 

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