Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Review

4.0
July 9, 2014 | Mark Goldstein |

Introduction

The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is the first ever weather-resistant lens for Fujifilm X-series compact system cameras. Offering a focal range of 27-206mm in 35mm terms, 5 stops of built-in image stabilisation, a compact and lightweight design and an aperture ring, is the new 18-135mm lens a worthy addition to the XF family? Read our Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR review to find out...

The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is the first weather resistant lens in Fujifilm’s XF line-up. The 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 lens features a dust-proof and waterproof structure with weather resistant sealing, a versatile 7.5x angle-of-view range similar to that of a 27-206mm lens in a 35mm system, 5-stop optical image stabilisation system, an iris diaphragm with seven rounded blades, a 1/3EV step aperture ring, a linear motor-driven focussing system, silent operation for video recording, HT-EBC coating on the entire lens surface to reduce flare and ghosting, and an optical formula that comprises 16 elements in 12 groups, including 4 aspherical glass lenses and 2 ED glass lenses. The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens is currently available for £749.99 / $899.99 in the UK and the US, respectively.

Ease of Use

The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is a relatively compact wide-angle to telephoto lens, at least when compared to its DSLR equivalents, weighing in at 490g and measuring 10cms in length. As you can see in the pictures below, it complements the Fujifilm X-T1 quite well, although it looks a little incongruous when fully zoomed out to 135mm.

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens attached to the Fujifilm X-T1 camera

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens attached to the Fujifilm X-T1 camera

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens attached to the Fujifilm X-T1 camera

The overall build quality is very good, in keeping with the X-series bodies. The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens has a metal mount, high-grade plastic barrel, plastic focus and aperture rings, and a non-rotating 67mm filter thread.

The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is the first ever weatherproof XF lens, featuring a dust-proof and waterproof structure with weather resistant sealing applied to more than 20 different areas of the lens, making it a perfect partner for the weatherproof X-T1 camera.

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens attached to the Fujifilm X-T1 camera, zoomed out

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens attached to the Fujifilm X-T1 camera, zoomed out

The zoom ring is generously 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 the 18mm focal length where it measures 10cm, and longest at the 135mm setting where it measures 16cm in length.

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens alongside the Fujifilm X-T1 camera

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Front of the Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Front of the Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens, zoomed out

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.

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Side of the Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Side of the Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens

The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens has a traditional aperture ring on the lens barrel, which allows you to set the aperture in 1/3 steps. As the zoom has a variable aperture throughout its range, there are no aperture markings on the lens barrel, so the aperture is shown in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen of the camera body instead. The rather thin aperture ring is nicely damped and makes a distinctive click as you change the setting.

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Front of the Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Rear of the Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens

The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR has a built-in OIS (Optical Image Stabiliser) equivalent to 5 stops, which is turned on and off via the dedicated OIS switch on the lens barrel.

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens in-hand

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens with the supplied lens hood fitted

The aperture mode switch toggles between auto aperture control (the switch is set to A) or manual aperture control (the switch is set to the aperture blade symbol). In terms of accessories, the lens ships with a large plastic circular shaped hood.

Focal Range

At the 18mm end of the zoom range, the Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens has a wide angle of view of 76.5 degrees.

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Field of view at 18mm

At the 135mm end, the angle of view narrows to 12 degrees.

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Field of view at 135mm

Distortion

At the wider end, the Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR has some very slight barrel distortion, as you can see in the photo below.

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Distortion at 18mm

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Distortion at 135mm

Focusing

The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens has an internal focusing (IF) system with a very quiet linear motor. In practice, we found the auto-focus to be fairly fast, pleasingly quiet and without too much hunting in low-light. Thanks to the IF mechanism 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 XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens, as shown in the examples below.

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Macro

The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR doubles up as quite a useful macro lens. The close-focus point is at 0.45m from the sensor plane and the maximum magnification is 0.27x at full telephoto. The following example illustrates how close you can get to the subject, in this case a CompactFlash card.

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Close-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 largely successful - see the examples below.

Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
   
Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Sharpness

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

Entry Tags

review, photos, samples, images, compact system camera, preview, test, jpeg, mirrorless, fujifilm, jpg, fuji, f3.5, f5.6, x-t1, xt1, x t1, fuji 18-135mm, fujifilm 18-135mm, Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

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