I don’t normally write reviews but this will be not a typical review. Just few thoughts on the Fujinon 16mm lens. I own this lens for more than six months now. I have waited with this blog, so I could try this lens in many different scenarios. I used it in crumpled spaces documenting children in action, on a photo shoots of a new born baby, several boudoir sessions and on weddings. In addition to professional shooting, this lens is attached to the Fuji camera (currently XE 2), which is always on my table, so my wife can grab it and take a photo of our baby anytime.
Main reason why I wanted a wide Fuji lens was to capture moments with more context and at the same time not to scare my audience. I needed wide open lens which could be used in crumpled spaces. So I don’t have to switch lenses as often.
I already own 18mm lens and I was not sure if 14mm or 16mm would be the best choice. Actually I was not 100% sure if I need this lens at all. Once again I was defeated by GAS (gear acquisition syndrome). I was maybe influenced by totally positive reviews. My decision was easier, when I found out, that this lens can be used for close ups. I sold my canon macro lens and now I have this 16mm beauty.
16 mm Fujinon lens feels pretty solid. I am not sure if it’s influenced by weight or size, but it just screems – quality! The aperture and focus rings can be turned smoothly and with small push of focus ring you can get into manual focus which is awesome. Lens hood is quite big and not that nice, but well at least it’s there. When I tried this lens in a shop for the first time It seemed very heavy to me. I think it’s because I compared 16mm Fujinon lens with my 18mm lens which is extremely light. On my assignments where I take both Canon and Fuji it feels in the contrary light. 😉 It’s a little bit front heavy on XE2 so I am waiting on the new XT2.
Just based on feelings (no exact measurements) this lens produces much sharper images than 18mm. When shooting close enough, this lens is able to produce very pleasant looking bokeh. This is now my go to lens for close up photos of rings, food and details. I shoot “macro” wide open and manual mode with magnification is so handy in these cases. I love this feature.
I think the best way is to let the photos speak…
Close ups from weddings
16mm lens can be used for portraits, but you have to count with distortions as this is a wide angle lens.
I use is for my family quite often.
I use this lens on my Boudoir sessions as well
And of course the main reason I bought this lens are weddings
Would I buy 16mm lens from Fuji again?
Long story short, I can only recommend this lens. It makes sense even for 18mm lens owners as this lens is completely different league than 18mm. It’s not smallest Fuji lens, but I would not hesitate to buy it again.
If you have some specific questions, drop them into the comments below.
When I follow the hype around FujiX, I can see some similarities with one of the most successful companies today. Which is….. wait for it – Apple. Of course you have to take it with grain of salt. Where I can see clear connection, is the focus on design.
If you take let’s say XPro 2 in your hands, you can feel that each detail was thought about, premium materials were used. Maybe not everyone likes retro design (so many people praised my Fuji XE2 camera – none of them cared for my DSLR), but if you use them, you can feel the difference.
Ease of use is also a similar factor. My wife still struggles with settings on my Canon camera, but she’s able to shoot perfectly with Fuji. Apple is of course well known for simplicity. You will create an intimate connection and fall in love with your camera. So important facts are – design and how the FujiX camera make you feel.
Than there is a Fuji community and fans. There are so many websites, forums, rumors. Well people don’t wait in long lines, at least not yet.
Another similar point is great improvement for free. Apple added so many useful futures within iOS updates and so did Fuji. With 4.0 firmware update my XE2 became basically new XE2s (almost). How wonderful is that. You just keep praising them everywhere you go, because this is something that you were not used to (from Canon).
Of course there are huge differences between Fuji & Apple. At least in my case both companies succeeded in turning me into a fan. And this is the future, companies need to have fans, because fans are the best customers.
So here is a story of me starting with Fujifilm.
Jealous of Fujifilm X100
Few times a year we manage to travel abroad with my friends just for the weekend and street photo walks. I think it was in Berlin and my friend Jirka came with new fabulous and sexy FujiX100 camera. I liked the retro look and quite shutter. At that time I was already shooting for money so of course I had something “better”. I think it was my Canon with 17-40mm lens on. It is a great lens, but it’s really huge and scary. I remember that we were walking through some flea market and I was pissed off, because everybody was afraid of me and it was impossible to get invisible (plus I saw my friend doing it with ease).
Then some time passed by. I have acclaimed all the Canon lenses I needed and my bag got heavier and heavier. My problem was, that I got used to some standard and when we traveled for holiday, I wouldn’t by happy with photos from my mobile phone. So I took my bag (not 100% stuff like for a wedding, but still pretty heavy). Maybe I should mention, that I do prefer prime lenses. So when I was packing it was always hard decision.
Awakening in streets of Havana
Than we have traveled to Cuba for our honeymoon. I was so excited about street photography in Havana and beach portraits of my wife. We had my Canon gear and some pretty old compact. Again I had similar experience like in Berlin. It was very hard not to be seen with huge bulky camera. Of course our white skin (they were literally laughing from us) and outfits have clearly showed who we are, but when I was lazy to carry around big equipment, I realized how much easier it is to capture authentic moments with our old bad camera. After few weeks in Cuba I decided that it’s time for new compact system.
You have no idea how crazy I am. I do not sell my equipment often. I pick what I want and I stick with it. Even when it’s not that expensive, It’s like buying a new house or something that you have to analyze very much to take right decision. You probably know that. You read all the reviews compare pluses and minuses. I like the process alone. I think I will have a separate blogpost about it.
Why I picked FujiX system?
Fuji cameras are small enough, with an amazing quality of photos (I wanted APSC at minimum). My decision was mostly based on the fact, that these cameras look and feel beautiful. According to specs on paper I liked Sony cameras as well, but it just didn’t felt right in my hands.
When I got into Fuji, I thought about it more as a compact system for traveling, but since I was so happy with the results, I started to use Fujifilm gear on my professional assignments as well, but this is another story…