Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R Review
Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R Introduction
The Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R is a fast wide-angle prime lens in Fujifilm's XF line-up of compact system camera lenses. The lightweight 18mm F2.8 pancake lens offers an angle-of-view range similar to that of a 27mm lens in a 35mm system. Other highlights include a close-focus point of 18cm, an iris diaphragm with seven rounded blades, an aperture ring on the metal lens barrel, Super EBC coating for improved optical performance, and an optical formula that comprises 8 elements in 7 groups, including 2 aspherical elements. The Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R lens is currently available for £449.99 / $599.99 in the UK and the US, respectively.
Ease of Use
The Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R lens attached to the Fujifilm X-Pro1 camera
The Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R lens alongside the Fujifilm X-Pro1 camera
The Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R is a very compact and light prime lens, weighing only 116g and measuring 3.3cms in length. As you can see in the pictures above, it complements the Fujifilm X-Pro1 very well, forming a discrete package and more than matching the body in terms of its build quality.
Front of the Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R lens
The Fujifilm 18mm lens boasts a metal mount, high-grade metal barrel and non-rotating 52mm filter thread. The focus ring is generously wide given the overall size of the lens, smooth in action without being loose, and has a ridged, rubberised grip band. There are “hard stops” at either end of the 18cm-infinity focus range.
Rear of the Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R lens
Side of the Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R lens
The Fujifilm 18mm lens has a traditional aperture ring on the lens barrel, which allows you to set the aperture in 1/3 steps, complete with full aperture markings on the lens barrel. The aperture is also shown in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen. The rather thin aperture ring is nicely damped and makes a distinctive click as you change the setting, although it's too easily moved when stored in a pocket or bag. The aperture ring toggles between auto aperture control (the ring is set to A) or manual aperture control (the switch is set to one of the aperture values).
Side of the Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R lens
In terms of accessories, the lens ships with a premium plastic square-shaped lens hood, but no case is included.
The Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R lens has a wide angle of view of 76.5 degrees.
The Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R exhibits some barrel distortion, as you can see in the photo above, which the X-Pro1 automatically corrects for in-camera when shooting JPEGs.
The Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R lens has an internal focusing (IF) system. In practice, we found the auto-focus to be slightly sluggish, certainly not as quick as Fujifilm's 18-55mm zoom or their 35mm prime, and it slows down even more in low-light. The front of the lens does not rotate on focus, which is good news for anyone looking to use the lens in conjunction with a polariser or graduated neutral density filter.
Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are definitely a problem with the Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R lens, as shown in the examples below.
The Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R is not a macro lens, but you can focus quite closely. The close-focus point is at 18mm from the sensor plane. The following example illustrates how close you can get to the subject, in this case a CompactFlash card.
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 for a wide-angle lens - see the examples below.
In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.