With the Fujinon XF 80mm f/2.8, Fujifilm added a second macro lens to its line of XF lenses. Unlike the XF 60/2.4, that was announced in the very early days of the XF system and is a solid, but also kind of basic design, the XF 80 features a spec sheet with almost everything that Fujifilm’s marketing created a name or abbreviation for. There’s an aperture ring (‘R’), a linear focus motor (‘LM’), a 5-stop optical stabilization system (‘OIS’) and of course the lens is weather-resistant, too (‘WR’). On top, it’s the first Fujinon XF to offer 1:1 magnification (the XF 60 only offers 1:2).
The result is a lens that is as bulky as its name and even bigger and heavier than the already fairly huge XF 90mm f/2.0, even though it is shorter in focal length and one-stop slower. ‘Keep it compact’ was obviously not on the list of design goals.
In this review we take a look at how the lens performs on our 26 MP review camera, the Fujifilm X-T30. For obvious reasons, many parts of the earlier review have been reused here.
The lens body has such a huge diameter that it extends below the bottom plate of most XF bodies. Ironically, this makes the lens a bit awkward to use on a macro focusing rail.
Given the high weight, it’s slightly surprising that most of the lens body consists of plastic with only a few metal parts, like the aperture ring and the mount. Compared to the XF 90 for example, it feels less sturdy, but still the build quality, besides the material used, is on a very high level. Everything is tightly assembled and the broad rubberized focus ring operates smoothly. And, as it is common with XF lenses, it works by wire, so even when you switch the lens to manual focus mode (which needs to be done on the camera, the lens has no AF/MF switch), it’s still the autofocus drive that adjusts the actual focus position in small steps when the focus ring is turned manually.
There is one thing the XF 80 has in common with the XF 90: the loose focus group. The focus group (and likely the stabilizer, too) needs power to be held in place, which means that when the camera is switched off or the lens is not mounted on a camera body, these groups follow gravity and rattle inside the lens whenever it is moved. Once powered on, the lens groups generate all kinds of buzzing noises, even when autofocus is disabled and OIS is switched off. If you’re looking for a lens to occasionally shoot video with – this is not it.
The aperture ring has very distinctive 1/3EV steps, but unfortunately does not offer a lock in the ‘A’ setting, so it’s easily possible to accidentally switch to f/22.
As already mentioned, the lens is weather- and dust-resistant, thanks to no less than 11 seals. It is also designed to work at temperatures as low as -10°C.
A quite long barrel-shaped hood is part of the package, which is also made from fairly cheap-looking (and feeling) plastic. With the huge hood mounted, the working distance at maximum magnification comes down to a few centimeters, potentially scaring away animal subjects and blocking the sun or an artificial light source.
There are two switches on the lens body, one to enable or disable optical stabilization and another one that works as a focus limiter and has three settings: full focus range (25 cm to infinity),limited to ‘normal’ focus distance (50cm to infinity) or macro only (25cm to 50cm).
There is only one color option for this lens (black). It is fully compatible with both current teleconverters (XF1.4X TC WR and XF2X TC WR).
|Equiv. focal length
|“122 mm” (full format equivalent)
|“f/4.2” (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
|16 elements 12 groups (incl. 1 aspherical, 1 ED and 3 Super-ED elements)
|Number of aperture blades
|min. focus distance
|0.25 m (1:1)
|80 x 130 mm
|supplied, barrel-shaped, bayonet mount
|Optical Image Stabilizer, weather-sealing
As with many other XF lenses, Fujifilm applies software correction to address the native distortion of the lens.
With this correction applied, there is literally no visible distortion in the images. When switched off (some RAW converters can do this, like Capture One for example), the small amount of native pincushion distortion becomes visible.
Just like distortion, vignetting is also automatically corrected. Even after the correction is applied, there is a fairly visible amount of corner darkening left at the largest aperture setting. Stopped down to f/5.6 and beyond, it is no longer noticeable.
The native, uncorrected vignetting is surprisingly high, reaching almost 2 stops at f/2.8.
Most users will likely rely on the automated vignetting correction and never notice the lens’ high native vignetting. However, one should be aware of the drawbacks of software corrected vignetting (like increased corner noise).
The lens delivers impressive resolution in the lab. The image center is excellent straight from the maximum aperture and stays on this high level until diffraction takes its toll at medium and small apertures.
The borders and corners reach very good performance straight from the maximum aperture and stay on this level down to f/11.
On the 26MP sensor the lens delivers slightly higher resolution in the image corners than on the image borders.
Please note that the MTF results are not directly comparable across the different systems!
Below is a simplified summary of the formal findings. The chart shows line widths per picture height (LW/PH) which can be taken as a measure for sharpness. If you want to know more about the MTF50 figures you may check out the corresponding Imatest Explanations
Chromatic Aberrations (CAs)
The lateral CAs (color shadows at hard contrast transitions) are well controlled with values well below one pixel at large and medium aperture settings, increasing to around or just above one pixel stopped down to f/11 and beyond.
Background highlights are nicely rendered as evenly filled discs with a tad of outlining. Thanks to the 9 rounded aperture blades, the highlight discs retain their circular shape even when the lens is stopped down.
Due to mechanical vignetting, background highlights are rendered as cat’s eyes towards the edges of the frame, especially at large apertures. The charts below give an impression of how highlights are deteriorated or slightly cut off at various aperture settings.
In real life images, this vignetting leads to ‘swirly’ bokeh especially at large apertures, as it can be seen in some of the sample images on the next page.
The Fujinon delivers a very smooth and pleasing image blur in background out of focus areas (to the left below), including the transition zone from in-focus to out-of-focus. Typical for most lenses, the image blur is less smooth with some double edges in the foreground (to the right below).
Bokeh Fringing / LoCA
Bokeh fringing (non-coinciding focal planes of the various colors, also referred to as longitudinal chromatic aberration, or LoCA for short) is an axial color fringing effect and a common issue with relatively fast glass. The halos typically have different colors – magenta (red + blue) in front of the focus point and green beyond. Unlike lateral CAs, bokeh fringing can not easily be fixed in post processing.
The XF 80 is not marketed as an APO lens, but still shows only a very small amount of bokeh fringing wide open. From f/4 onwards, hardly any fringing is noticeable.
The Fujinon XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro is an impressive lens in many ways. It comes packed with a ton of features, but also in a huge and heavy housing. Given the size, the weight and last but not least the price, the build quality is a bit disappointing, because of the amount of plastic parts involved, even though everything is tightly assembled.
Optically, the lens delivers very good results. The native distortion is quite low and easily handled by the automatic software correction. Vignetting is on the high side, though, even after software correction is applied.
In terms of image resolution, the lens performs very well on the 26MP sensor. It delivers excellent resolution in the image center straight from the maximum aperture combined with very good image borders and corners.
The lens really shines when it comes to pleasing bokeh and smooth background blur. On top, the amount of bokeh fringing is very low.
So, even though on the 26MP sensor the lens does not quite reach similarly outstanding resolution as it did on the 16MP sensor in our initial review (in relative terms, not absolute numbers), in summary it's still "highly recommended"... if you don't mind the size and the weight.
Price / Performance