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

July 18, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


As the first lens in the more affordable XC range, the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS is a natural partner for the equally new X-M1 camera, offering good performance whilst being small and light.

The Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS is pleasingly sharp in the image centre at 16mm and 23mm, with performance dropping off at 35mm and 50mm where optimum sharpness isn't achieved until f/8. Similarly edge sharpness is also high at the wide-angle settings, becoming softer as you progress through the focal range from 23mm onwards. The maximum apertures of f/3.5 at 16mm and f/5.6 at 50mm make it pretty easy to creatively throw the background out of focus, with the seven-blade iris diaphragm achieving some nice bokeh effects.

Vignetting is practically a non-issue, and chromatic aberrations are present but well-controlled. There is some barreling at the 16mm wide-angle focal length, but no pincushion distortion of note at the 50mm setting. The lens' macro performance is rather unremarkable but its close-focus point of 30cm still comes in handy when including a foreground interest in the image, as you often do in landscape and architectural photography.

The Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS also benefits from a fast and quiet auto-focus mechanism and a front element and filter thread that don't rotate on focus, which is very good news for those using polarisers and ND grads on a regular basis. The lens mount is unfortunately made of plastic, as is the rest of the construction, helping to keep the weight and price down - the overall build quality is still good enough though.

Priced at £359.99, we probably wouldn't rush out and buy one, but the Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS is definitely a cut above the usual kit lenses. You can buy the X-M1 body-only, but for a mere £80 / $100 more it makes sense to choose the kit option - this is one kit lens that you won't want to throw away.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 4