Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Review

4.0
July 18, 2013 | Mark Goldstein |

Introduction

The Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS is an affordable standard zoom lens for Fujifilm X-series compact system cameras. Offering a focal range of 24-76mm in 35mm terms, built-in image stabilisation, a compact and lightweight design, and fast and quiet auto-focusing, is the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS a worthy addition to the Fujifilm X-system? Read our Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS review to find out...

The Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS is a lightweight, more affordable standard zoom for the X-system. Shipping as the kit lens for the X-M1, the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS offers an angle-of-view similar to that of a 24-76mm lens in a 35mm system. It features an iris diaphragm with seven rounded blades, optical image stabilisation, a high-precision stepping motor, silent operation for video recording, and an optical formula that comprises 12 all-glass elements in 10 groups including 3 aspherical elements and 1 ED element. Available in black or silver, the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens costs £359.99 in the UK.

Ease of Use

The Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS is a compact and lightweight standard zoom lens, weighing a mere 195g. As you can see in the pictures below, it complements the new Fujifilm X-M1 very well, although it looks a little incongruous when fully zoomed out.

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISThe Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens attached to the Fujifilm X-M1 camera

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISThe Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens attached to the Fujifilm X-M1 camera

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISThe Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens attached to the Fujifilm X-M1 camera

The overall build quality is good, in keeping with the X-M1 body that it ships with. The Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens has a plastic mount and barrel, plastic focus and aperture rings, and a non-rotating 58mm filter thread. The zoom ring is fairly wide and has a ridged, rubberised grip band. Zooming is not internal, meaning the length of the lens changes while you zoom. Physically the lens is shortest at 16mm and longest at the 50mm setting.

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISTop of the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISBottom of the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISSide of the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISSide of the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens

Both the zoom and the focus rings are smooth in action without being loose. Zoom creep is not an issue. The focus ring is a little narrow and has no “hard stops” at either end of the focus range.

The Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens doesn't have a traditional aperture ring on the lens barrel. Instead the aperture is set via the camera body, so X-Pro1 and X-E1 must update their camera body's firmware to enable aperture adjustment via the camera's command dial.

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISThe Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens, zoomed in

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISThe Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens, zoomed out

The Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS has a built-in OIS (Optical Image Stabiliser), which is turned on and off via the camera's main menu system.

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISFront of the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISRear of the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISFront of the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISRear of the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISThe Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens in-hand

In terms of accessories, the lens ships with only lens and mount caps - there is no hood or bag.

Focal Range

At the 16mm end of the zoom range, the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens has a wide angle of view of 83.2 degrees.

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISField of view at 16mm

At the 50mm end, the angle of view narrows to 31.7 degrees.

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISField of view at 50mm

Distortion

At the wider end, the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS has some very slight barrel distortion, as you can see in the photo below.

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISDistortion at 16mm

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISDistortion at 50mm

Focusing

The Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens has a high-precision stepping motor. In practice, we found the auto-focus to be fast, very quiet and without too much hunting in low-light. The front of the lens does not rotate on focus, which is very good news for anyone looking to use the lens in conjunction with a polariser or graduated neutral density filter.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are not really a problem with the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens, with some limited fringing apparent in areas of high contrast.

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS

Macro

The Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS is not a macro lens. The close-focus point is at 30cm from the sensor plane at 16mm and 40cm at 50mm, and the maximum magnification is 0.15x at full telephoto. The following example illustrates how close you can get to the subject, in this case a CompactFlash card.

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OISClose-up performance

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. Fujifilm have paid attention to this aspect of lens use, employing a 7-segment diaphragm with rounded blades for pleasing bokeh. In our view, their efforts have been fairly successful - see the examples below.

Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS
   
Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following pages.

Entry Tags

review, lens, fujifilm, zoom, fuji, standard, 35mm, 50mm, image stabilisation, f3.5, x-e1, xf, x-pro1, x-m1, 23mm, f5.6, 16-50mm, x, anti-shake, vibration compensation, ois, 16mm, 16-50, Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS, 24-76mm, 24-76

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