Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Fujifilm X

Review by Markus Stamm, published December 2020

Introduction

With the XF 16-80/4 R OIS WR Fujifilm offers a general purpose standard zoom that covers the popular range of 24 to 120 mm (FF equivalent). It offers a moderate but constant f/4 aperture throughout the whole zoom range. With this lens, Fujifilm fills a gap that existed before, even though they offered several standard zoom lenses already. The only other long zoom range lens was the XF 18-135, but many prefer standard zooms offering a wider image angle at the low end.

Before the XF 16-80 was announced in summer 2019 (yes, this review took a while, sorry for that), the available choices of standard zooms starting at 16mm were limited to the large and heavy (and expensive) XF 16-55/2.8 on one end and the cheapish plastic mount XC zooms on the other with nothing inbetween.

Combining the large and attractive zoom range with the constant aperture, weather sealing and OIS makes this lens an obvious candidate for a single lens solution to buy with a new camera. Or a temptation to upgrade from the XF 18-55 kit zoom you may have bought in the past.

Let's have a look at how the lens performs on the 26 MP sensor of our current review camera, the X-T30.

The build quality of the lens is quite high. The lens body consists of a combination of high quality plastic and metal parts, based on a metal mount. The lens is a bit bigger and heavier than the typical kit zooms, but not as bulky as the XF 16-55/2.8, for example. It balances well even on the smallish X-T30 used for the review.

Regarding lens controls, there is is an aperture ring with marked f-stops and an "A" setting, the broad rubberized and nicely damped zoom ring, the focus ring... and that's about it. Other switches you might expect on the lens are missing, so selecting manual or autofocus needs to happen on the camera and the OIS function can only be enabled or disabled in the camera menu.

As the 'WR' in the lens name indicates, it is sealed against moisture and dust. As you can see in the image below, it's a monocam design, so the inner lens tube extends significantly with longer focal lengths. A plastic petal-shaped lens hood is supplied with the lens.

Typical for all X-mount lenses, the focus ring works 'by wire', so is not mechanically coupled to the focus group. Thanks to a modern stepping motor, autofocus is very fast and silent. The lens focuses down to 0.35m throughout the whole zoom range, resulting in a magnification ratio of 0.25 at the longest focal length. That's not large enough for real macro photography, but certainly welcome for occasional close-up shots of small objects.

Fujifilm claims the latest generation OIS in this lens allows for up to 6 stops longer shutter times. As usual, one should take these manufacturer promises with a grain of salt and the actual results will of course be slightly different for each individual photographer. If you're over-caffeinated or quit smoking just three days ago, you might not quite see that much improvement. However, in the field the OIS did in fact feel more effective than implementations in earlier Fujifilm lenses.

Specifications
Equiv. focal length"24-122 mm" (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperture"f/6" (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction16 elements in 12 groups, including 3 aspherical and 1 ED aspherical elements
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.35 m (max. magnification ratio 1:4)
Dimensions78.3 × 88.9 mm
Weight440g
Filter size72 mm
Hoodpetal-shaped (bayonet mount, supplied)
Other featuresOptical Image Stabilizer, weather-sealing