A 16mm showdown………
Fujifilm has provided us with a boat load of fantastic lenses, maybe none better than the XF 16mm f 1.4! Now they have expanded the very popular and loved Fujicron line (*this is my term and the term used by many fans of these great f 2 lenses, not an official Fujifilm designation!!!). So why make another 16mm when the current lens is such a great lens??? Well below is the f 2 series including the new 16mm f 2.8 lens! The lens hood on the 16mm f 2.8 is included, the square hood on the 16mm f 1.4 is an expensive add on.
As you can see the 16mm certainly is a good match in terms of size to the other Fujicrons. How does it compare to the 16mm f 1.4 in terms of weight? The f 2.8 version weights 6 3/8 ounces while the f 1.4 version weighs in at exactly 1 pound. You can see in the photo the top of the page the physical size difference. The 16mm f 2.8 takes 49mm filters the f 1.4 version 62mm. Both feel great on the camera body, the f 2.8 is nice and compact like all the Fujicrons! The f 1.4 does have a clutch focusing ring that can be use for AF or manual, a plus, but the f 2.8 version seems to focus faster and quieter!
How do they compare in terms of performance? The short answer is that in terms of sharpness they are very, very close! The F 1.4 has two f stops more speed so it is certainly better at those two f stops! Duh!!! From f 2.8 on to f 16 I would say the faster f1.4 has a tiny bit more sharpness, but in practical terms I would call it a draw. This is my great room with both lenses, see if you can guess which is which, both shot at f 11 from a tripod.
OK, which is which? Before I reveal that keep in mind that at f 11 any well corrected lens should be close! The top is the f 1.4 @ f 11 the bottom the f 2.8 @ f 11. Next is a more important difference; what is the depth of field (bokeh) like for each shooting as close to the subject as the lens will focus and then shoot wide open! Guess again!
This time the f 2.8 is on top the f 1.4 below. I think you will agree that both have pretty good out of focus bokeh, the f 1.4 does, and should, be a hair softer in the background but both looked great! Look at the Route 66 license plate for a hint as to which is which.
So which should you buy? That’s easy, if you want the absolute best performance and size and price are not an issue for you, the f 1.4 barely wins out, but it was very close! If a smaller a lighter system is important factor for you, the f 2.8 is very, very close to the quality of the f 1.4 version and is much smaller, lighter and less expensive. So it’s your call, but either one is a great optic, each with their own charms, I promise you will love either one!
What will I do? I already have, I own both of them! Different tools for different jobs! GAS strikes again!
This entry was posted on Thursday, March 21st, 2019 at 5:54 pm
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Thanks, as always, Bill…this little lens, as you showed so well, complements the new small lineup very well, and I can hardly wait to try one on my X-E3!
It will be a perfect fit!
In an effort to fight GAS, I’m probably not going to get the f/2.8. I already have the 16 f/1.4 and don’t use it as much as I probably should. Plus, I’ve got the 14 f/2.8 (which I think should be treated as a Fujicron lens also), so I’m covered for a smaller, lighter lens in approximately the same focal length. But I’ll have to fight the GAS variant: CD (Completion Desire). I’ve got the 14, 23, 35, and 50, so it bothers me that I don’t have a complete set with the 16!
I have the same affliction, but you are handling it well!
Thank you for doing this!
It seems the 16/2.8 is slightly wider?
[…] For a comparison between the Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 vs XF 16mm f/2.8 showdown check out Bill Fortney website. […]