“The Panasonic G90/95 sits between the smaller and cheaper GX9 and their top range G9 and GH5 models. Its predecessor, the (still available) 16Mp G80 met with many accolades. Does the 20Mp G90/95 render obsolete the G80? Or should you skip this one and wait for a G10?”
Former Fleet Street newspaper and magazine photographer David Thorpe is one of the best and most quietly-spoken video reviewers of Micro Four Thirds cameras and lenses, lately supplemented with Panasonic’s L-Mount 35mm sensor-equipped mirrorless cameras and lenses, and I cannot recommend his sensible, down-to-earth video reviews highly enough.
I have yet to experience the Panasonic Lumix DC-G95 aka G91 and G90 depending on territory, and so greatly appreciate his thoughts on this value-for-money camera that appears to be an excellent lower-cost alternative to the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 or GH5.
In my experience, Micro Four Thirds cameras are ideal for immersive documentary and photojournalism work as well as Super 16-style documentary moviemaking, and Panasonic’s high-end and mid-level Lumix cameras are great solutions especially as they appear to be almost invisible to onlookers and subjects more accustomed to 35mm sensor DSLRs, especially if designed with the pro-quality Panasonic Lumix GX8’s size and form factor.
“Panasonic Leica 10-25mm 1.7 is the fastest zoom lens from Panasonic/Leica. How is it’s build quality, image quality (sharpness,vignetting,CA,flare,distortion..etc)? Could this be a great lens for videographers or vloggers? How does it compare to the Leica prime lenses and what are the pros and cons of this lens? We’ll talk about all of these in this review.”
Photo by Richard – Panasonic Leica 10-25mm f/1.7 Review – article – “When Panasonic told me about this lens, they told me this is a lens that can replace multiple prime lenses. I was skeptical because zoom lens rarely can match the quality of prime lens. But after testing this lens, I agree with them. If you are a pro photographer or videographer who is currently rely on multiple prime lenses within this focal length range, I think you should consider switching to this amazing lens. It would make your life a lot easier without sacrificing the image quality.”
There’s no doubt that the Fujifilm XF 8-16mm F2.8 is a beautifully built lens. It’s also quite heavy, and at £1750 / $1900 it’s a pretty serious investment. Is the expense worth it? Chris and Jordan take to the hiking trails of Alberta to answer that question….
Fujifilm X-T3 with VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujifilm XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens.
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR wideangle zoom lens on Fujifilm X-H1 with VPB-XH1 Vertical Power Booster Grip.
Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR ultra wide-angle zoom lens is beautifully built and delivers beautiful results, but it may not be the best solution for everyone needing ultra-wide focal lengths.
Its size and weight demand mounting it on a vertical battery-equipped Fujifilm X-T3 at the very least with the now-discounted Fujifilm X-H1 providing better balance than the slightly smaller and lighter X-T3.
If the X-H1’s OIS-equipped replacement, the X-H2, is in Fujifilm’s production pipeline then it may be wiser to wait for that to appear sometime late this year or more likely early next if the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR is an important lens in your gear kit.
My experience with the XF 8-16mm f/2.8 proves it to be an excellent solution for architectural photography where street furniture, trees and other buildings dictate using the widest focal lengths to get closer to your main subject and bypass non-removable visual noise.
I have used it successfully for documentary photography in the middle of dense crowds, though there were times I would have preferred the lens had optical image stabilization built-in for when the light dropped and slow shutter speeds were necessary to support deep focus via smaller apertures.
In bright sunlight, photographing landscapes was a pleasure and the lens lapped up fine detail but its lack of provision for attaching screw-on filters meant I was unable to try it out as a video lens and I am not in the market for large, heavy and expensive third-party filter adapters or even larger and costlier matte boxes.
If you need an ultra-wideangle for documentary photography and video then I highly recommend the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R which is small and light enough for use with an ungripped X-T3 and would work well on an X-Pro2 with a Fujifilm VF-X21 external optical viewfinder sitting on its hotshoe.
If a range of wide-angle focal lengths is necessary as well as portability and stabilization then I recommend the Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS lens especially it is stopped down below f/5.6 and preferably f/8.0, and this lens will not eat into your savings anywhere near as much as the otherwise excellent Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR.
“At the CP+ show earlier this month in Yokohama Japan, we sat down with senior executives from Fujifilm. During our conversation we covered everything from the upcoming GFX 100, to plans for APS-C and why the X100 still occupies such an important position in the company’s lineup.
Our interview was conducted with three senior executives in Fujifilm’s Electronic Imaging Products Division:
Toshi Iida, General Manager.
Makoto Oishi, Product Planning Manager.
Shin Udono, Senior Manager of the Sales and Marketing Group.…”
Fujifilm GFX 50R with Fujinon GF 63mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens, equivalent to 50mm in 35mm format.
Fujifilm X-T3 with VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS zoom lens.
“Panasonic are showing a working version of the new Leica 10-25mm f/1.7 Micro Four Thirds lens, at The Photography Show 2019, at the Birmingham NEC. We had a hands-on look at the new lens, which was first shown, in prototype form, at Photokina 2018. The lens gives the equivalent of 20mm to 50mm, and is lighter than it looks, considering the (large) size of the lens….”
When I went looking for the best lens for documentary photography and video after I decided to invest in Panasonic’s Lumix Micro Four Thirds camera range, I read about and tried out a number of options including adapted and native prime and zoom lenses.
The M.Zuiko Pro lens collection’s manual clutch focus mechanism that is activated by retracting the focus-by-wire control ring towards the camera body.
“Pulling focus with focus-by-wire sucks,” as they say in the video industry.
I rapidly obtained critically sharp focus for stills with the M.Zuiko Pro 12-40mm f/2.8 zoom more times than I did with the Panasonic lens’ focusing control ring or the camera’s autofocus functionality, and that capability outweighed the Lumix 12-35mm lens’ rather attractive optical image stabilization.
I still rely on my M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens for mission-critical work after having tried out and invested in a number of Lumix prime and zoom lenses, and may well be adding more M.Zuiko Pro primes and zooms in future.
Then news leaked out of Panasonic’s Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 zoom lens being in development, full feature set then unknown as it still is, and things shifted somewhat.
This lens is the closest so far to the ideal zoom lens I had visualized when buying into the Micro Four Thirds system.
I had imagined a lens with a range encompassing every single focal length I rely upon when shooting documentary photographs and video, with the exception of the portrait and big close-up range of 75mm through 85mm and 90mm to 105mm.
Imagine that focal length range in a similarly fast and wide maximum aperture standard-to-telephoto companion zoom lens.
Questions persisted for some time as to whether the Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 would have optical image stabilization and whether it would come with manual clutch focus.
Many professional photographers and videographers have reportedly been asking Panasonic for the latter in new lenses for quite some time now, to no avail.
It is great to finally see a little more of the Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 in Joseph Waller’s photographs for ePHOTOzine of a pre-production version, but there is no mention nor evidence of a manual clutch focus mechanism in the article and its photographs.
I have asked a contact who is attending The Photography Show 2019 in Birmingham to see if she can get hold of the lens and confirm whether or not it actually has the crucial focusing functionality.
Watch this space!
Meanwhile I am wondering what Olympus has in store with its most recently updated lens roadmap, especially in regard to the “Wide Zoom” and “Standard Zoom” items, not to forget “Bright Prime Lens” and “Telephoto Zoom Lens” which appears twice.
Imagine all those lenses with the brilliant M.Zuiko Pro manual clutch focus mechanism.
Kiss goodbye to the frustrations of pulling focus via fly-by-wire.
My Birmingham contact is pretty sure that the Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7’s aperture ring is declicked.
Now waiting for her to have hands on with the lens and confirm whether there is a manual clutch focus mechanism.
Well I think that is evidence enough that Panasonic’s Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 will have manual clutch focusing mechanism and thus accurate and repeatable focus pulling for video.
It will also have the ability to quickly and accurately set hyperfocal distance, a necessity when zone focusing for high-speed forms of documentary or photographing in the street, as well as landscape photography.
Hyperfocal distance can be calculated using online forms or mobile apps, and a number of options can be found online here.
Fully manual focus lenses such as the Leica M-Series rangefinder camera lenses illustrated up this page provide beautifully-etched scales allowing quick calculation of hyperfocal distance, a functionality I often yearn for when photographing in public with digital cameras and lenses.
Whet now remains is for a late pre-production Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Aspheric zoom lens to find its way into the hands of professional cinematographers and photographers for extensive testing and reporting on its mechanical and optical quality.
This lens has the potential to replace a range of prime lenses in one’s daily gear kit, in my case the 35mm sensor equivalents of 21mm, 28mm, 35mm, 40mm and 50mm.
Neither Olympus nor Panasonic supply all those focal lengths as prime lenses, though I hope that situation will change in the near future.
The Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Aspheric will not be a cheap lens given Panasonic’s ambitions in producing it, but whatever its price on release, it would be wise to compare it to what those five focal lengths might cost as f/1.7 prime lenses.
There are other potential benefits.
The Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Aspheric’s filter diameter is 77mm, and I would recommend attaching a Breakthrough Photography 77mm to 82mm knurled brass step-up ring to it for attaching 82mm diameter fixed and variable neutral density filters when shooting video.
Whether the Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Aspheric zoom lens is heavy or not, its size would benefit from attaching a vertical battery grip to your camera if it is a Panasonic.
I like most cameras to be equipped with vertical battery grips for added power when shooting video and ease of handholding in portrait photography.
The countdown to NAB 2019 is well advanced and it will be interesting to see if Panasonic shows off mockups of the coming Lumix DC-GH6 hybrid M43 camera.
I am hoping that Panasonic will combine the best of the Lumix DC-GH5 and GH5S in the GH6 while taking into account the challenges presented by the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, Fujifilm’s X-T3 and X-H1 while bearing in mind the coming X-H2, as well as the 35mm sensor-equipped mirrorless cameras now released by Canon, Nikon, Leica and, indeed, Panasonic itself.
While the Super 35 format has its many attractions, the smaller and lighter cameras and lenses of Super 16 moviemaking still allow you to go places where the larger 35mm cameras and lenses can draw undue attention.
The photographs of the 10-25mm f/1.7 lens published by ePHOTOzine and Photography Blog appear to have been shot on mobile phones and optical exaggerations make it hard to accurately judge the lens’ size in relation to the camera or the hands holding them.
Nonetheless, I have no problem with the idea of carrying this one lens about almost permanently attached to any Panasonic M43 camera whether with battery grip or not, or a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Camera 4K for that matter, though I would be tempted to consider the Zhiyun-Tech Weebill Lab or Crane 3 Lab as appropriate if stabilization is a necessity when shooting with the BMPCC 4K.
“By now, most serious photographers are familiar with histograms, a tool we’ve used for years to judge exposure. But what about waveforms? In this episode, Chris and Jordan explain why this tool from the video world may be the best way to judge exposure for photos – and why still cameras should use them too.”
This is not a bad idea as other tools formerly the exclusive province of video production have found a place in photography, such as exposure zebras, which is a much better alternative to the dreaded blinkies.
Even better may be false colour, well illustrated in several different styles as provided by a range of cameras at Tom Huczek’s timeinpixels’ web page and video for its excellent and highly recommended False Color Plugin for a range of non-linear editing and colour grading applications including DaVinci Resolve and Final Cut Pro X.
As a documentary and portrait person, skintone-oriented false colour exposure functionality would be more useful than histograms and waveforms.
“…We’re in Dubai, where Fujifilm is showing off pre-production and prototype samples of three upcoming lenses – the GF 50mm F3.5 – a compact, lightweight standard lens for medium format – the XF 16mm F2.8, and the XF 16-80mm F4 – both of which [were] designed for the company’s range of APS-C format X-series cameras.
Click through for an exclusive first look at all three, including detailed specifications….”
As time is inching towards the release sometime in the first half of 2019 of Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 “travel” zoom lens it is terrific to get some idea of its size and features and other it may provide a solution for own needs as a documentary photographer and videographer.
I am self-funded, only able to carry a small amount of hardware on each project, and must work within ongoing limitations – thanks for nothing, Australian banksters, for blowing our refinancing out of the water after you were found out for your crimes by the Royal Commission into banking.
I must be able to get the most out of the hardware I carry and it must be able to help me create good enough movies and videos without the benefit of cases full of equipment, assistants and crews, and the big budgets that I never had anyway when working as a magazine editorial and corporate photographer during the analog era.
Gaps in their offerings
As two relatively new camera and lens systems, Fujifilm’s APS-C sensor format X system and medium format G system still have gaps in their offerings, especially for documentary types like me who prefer to rely on fast prime lenses with all the manual controls that can be had.
Not to say that I do not appreciate zoom lenses now that their optical, mechanical and image quality are so good nowadays.
I also use and love Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds cameras and Olympus’ M.Zuiko Pro lenses, with my most-used lens being the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens and, had it been released at the time I bought my first Panasonic camera, I may well have chosen the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.0 OIS Pro zoom lens instead.
Slower zoom lenses are fine so long as you supplement them with moderately wide and moderately long fast aperture prime lenses for available darkness documentary work and portraiture, and Olympus offers three of them in its M.Zuiko Pro range at the moment, with more to come I hope.
Going fast to begin with
At the time I bought my first interchangeable lens Fujifilm camera, the company did not offer a standard zoom lens like those above made by Olympus or their Panasonic equivalents, so I invested in a Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R and Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R, well answering my fast aperture moderate long and wide needs.
Another longstanding need has been for a professional quality 18mm prime lens equivalent to 28mm in the 35mm sensor format and 14mm in the Macro Four Thirds sensor format.
With little sign of Fujifilm offering such a lens any time soon, I have had to consider other possibilities including adapting an EF-mount Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom lens to X-mount, but this solution is best suited to DSLR-style cameras like the X-T3 rather than the rangefinder-style X-Pro2 that is much more effective for hardcore immersive documentary photography.
My interest in the coming Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS zoom was piqued when I borrowed a Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 kit zoom lens for my first tryout of the X-T3.
I loved its 18mm widest focal length, rarely used the lens at 23mm and 55mm as I was also carrying my X-Pro2 equipped with either of those two lenses, and would have loved access to longer focal lengths than 56mm for those times I could not get close enough.
DPReview’s hands-on with the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom provides a reasonably reliable impression of the lens in its shipping form and confirms it has a marked, clicking aperture ring and weather resistance, though no manual clutch focus or, probably, no clickless option.
The X-T3’s firmware offers the ability to switch focus-by-wire from non-linear to linear so I will be giving that feature a tryout during my current X-T3 loan period over the coming days.
Two out of three
Two out of three ain’t bad for the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom.
As I am not a fan of the neither fish-nor-fowl 16mm focal length, equivalent to 24mm in the 35mm sensor format, the Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR “Fujicron” lens is not on my wishlist which is topped by the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R annual clutch focus prime lens to tackle the ultra wide end of things and has a 58mm filter diameter, meaning I can easily add a knurled brass Breakthrough Photography step-up ring for my neutral density filters when shooting video.
Although I would prefer to have a set of wide-aperture manual-clutch-focus primes for all my documentary moviemaking and photography, the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom would provide a range of my most-needed focal lengths – 18mm, 23mm, 27mm, 56mm and 70mm.
In 35mm sensor format terms, that is 28mm, 35mm, 40mm, 85mm and 105mm, and a limit of 120mm at the long end will account for those rare times my feet are unable to do the zooming.
Fuji Rumors has republished images and information about the northern hemisphere fall aka autumn 2019 (southern hemisphere spring 2019) release of the XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR including these from Japanese website capa.getnavi.
Many thanks to Fuji Rumors for the slide translation:
Fujinon XF 10-24mm R OIS, Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS X-Mount, Fujinon XF 14mm R and Venus Optics Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D for architecture and documentary
Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS zoom lens.
Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R prime lens with manual clutch focus.
Fujifilm VF-X21 External Optical Viewfinder for Fujifilm X70, for use with 21mm and 28mm equivalent lenses such as the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R and XF 18mm f/2.0 R.
Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS X-Mount prime lens.
Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens with Fujifilm X-Mount.
I have a longterm project coming up where I need to document the construction of a house from greenfield to completion, and I need to expand my stills photography kit for that and a number of other upcoming stills and video projects.
Right now I have no idea what my budget will be, given the economy-wrecking predations of the Australian banks and real estate agencies over the past couple of years, but there are at least two options.
Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R with Fujifilm VF-X21 external optical viewfinder for my X-Pro2.
Fujifilm MHG-XT3 Metal Hand Grip
Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip
Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS
Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR
Breakthrough Photography 72-82mm knurled brass step-up ring x 2
Breakthrough Photography lens cap, 82mm x 2
Breakthrough Photography X4 UV filter x 2
Fixed or variable neutral density filters, 82mm diameter
There are other lenses available that receive good reviews and are suitable for architectural photography though they are too ultra-wide for documentary photography, the Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS X-Mount at 18mm equivalence and Venus Optics Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D at 13.5mm equivalence in the 35mm sensor format.
If only one lens it is to be, then the minimalist option makes sense as I rather like the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R’s 21mm equivalence for figures in landscapes, emotive close-up documentary shots, and architectural and cityscape work.
This lens will need Fujifilm’s VF-X21 viewfinder sitting on top of my X-Pro2 as a 14mm field of view falls outside the X-Pro2’s 18-56mm optical viewfinder bright frames and the X-Pro2’s EVF is not what I would like it to be.
Will the X-Pro3 improve upon that and other weak points?
If there is budget enough, then of course I would prefer the maximalist option camera and lens plus upgrading my ageing post-production facility.
The X-T3 plus grips and two zoom lenses, with the addition of my three current 23mm, 27mm and 56mm Fujinon prime lenses, makes a good Super 35mm video set-up combined with Fujifilm’s X-Trans 120-rollfilm quality stills.
The Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS is an ageing lens design, however, and lacks weather resistance and appears to be at its best optically speaking from f/8.0 rather than closer to f/4.0.
I want to see Fujifilm bring it up to current standards with a Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom that will make a great match with the coming Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom lens, giving the equivalent of 15mm through to 120mm in the 35mm sensor format.
“Panasonic is displaying the new 10-25mm f/1.7 at the CP+ show. But thewy [sic] did not disclose any detail yet about pricing and shipment start….”
If Panasonic gets everything right with this lens it will be in high demand by available light/available darkness documentary photographers and videographers relying on Micro Four Thirds hybrid video/stills cameras like Panasonic’s Lumix DC-G9, Lumix DC-GH5, Lumix DC-GX9 and more, as well as videographers using the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K.
I have written elsewhere on this website about this lens and others in the same ballpark, but if this lens is to have everything I want then it needs:
Choice of clickless and clicking aperture stops
Manual clutch focus
Optical image stabilization aka OIS
As the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 is still in development, any images released at the moment must be considered to be of pre-production or dummy models and we can only speculate about the lens’ actual specifications.
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds
Thanks to Fujifilm Australia, I have been lucky enough to try out the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR ultra-wide zoom in combo with the amazing Fujifilm X-T3 DSLR-style camera and its VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip.
My primary motivation in requesting the loan was so cinematographer/director Paul Leeming could use the X-T3 to shoot video footage in order to create a custom Leeming LUT Pro for it.
He did the same for my X-Pro 2 camera, and I am looking forward to eventually relying on Paul’s various Leeming LUT Pro 3D look-up tables to quickly and easily combine footage from those two cameras with video shot with my Panasonic cameras and, hopefully, Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K.
At the moment I am using the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR for stills photography and for a self-funded independent documentary photographer and moviemaker I believe it is stills to which this lens is best suited.
Reason number one?
The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR does not permit attaching circular filters.
Large and costly adapters are required in order to attach square or rectangular filters in front of the lenses convex front element, though someone may come up with a similar adapter for attaching wide diameter circular filters to it.
Another large and costly solution is to invest in a matte box, though which one may be best is beyond my current knowledge and experience.
As a budget-driven documentary video solo operator I need to keep my equipment load and expenses down so I rely on circular variable ND filters.
My current VNDs are built with ageing technology, and more recent ones are reportedly sharper, more colour-neutral and offer a greater range of filtration density stops for today’s sensors.
I want to find the best contemporary VND, need a great set of fixed density NDs for less run-and-gun style projects, and I want to upgrade from 77mm to 82mm to future-proof for coming bigger lenses.
All that aside, I absolutely love the results I have been getting with the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR.
It balances well on a battery grip-equipped X-T3 whereas it is far too large and heavy for an ungripped camera.
I cannot comment on how it works with a gripped or ungripped Fujifilm X-H1 as I have yet to experience that particular camera.
I wish the X-T3 had the X-H1’s in-body image stabilization aka IBIS and optical image stabilization on the 8-16mm lens would have been terrific.
The X-T3’s ungripped body makes for a great companion camera to my X-Pro2 as I discovered during my first X-T3 tryout late last year, equipping the latter with a Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 alongside the former with my Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R attached.
Adding a Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip to the X-T3 turns it into a great handheld portrait camera with the addition of my Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R.
But I digress.
The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR is the first Fujifilm Red Badge zoom lens I have tried, and so far it looks like it adheres to the common praise heaped upon the Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R WR, that it is like having a set of top quality primes at your disposal but all in the one lens.
The widest lens I have ever used until now was the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R, equivalent in 35mm sensor terms to one of my favourite focal lengths for immersive documentary photography and video, 21mm.
The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR goes well beyond that excellent and affordable little lens with a focal length range from 12mm through to 24mm in 35mm sensor terms, the latter not one of my preferred focal lengths by any means.
The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR’s focal range is particularly well-suited to cityscapes and ‘burbscapes, though it can handle documentary shots in a pinch provided you set it at 16mm and watch out for weird volume distortion of people and objects too near the corners of the frame.
Some of that corner volume distortion can be corrected in post-processing with DxO ViewPoint but that can also introduce other distortions in the centre of the photograph.
I would rather have a pro-quality 18mm lens for immersive documentary work, but Fujifilm has yet to update its current quirky 18mm offering or release the coming Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom lens.
In my analog days I often made architectural photographs with 4”x5” sheet film cameras as part of corporate photography assignments, and as it was a sideline rather than a speciality did not have the set of wide-angle large format view camera lenses I would have liked.
The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR gives me all of those focal lengths and more.
Shooting architecture with a small handheld camera is a very different dynamic than doing it with a tripod-mounted field camera.
The small camera’s fast and easy mobility means one feels free to dart all around the subject and the zoom lens makes it so fast and easy to try out plenty of alternative camera positions.
I often found myself using the lens at its widest focal length when street furniture, signage and random objects and people got in the way.
So long as you keep a keen eye on potentially detrimental volume and perspective distortions due to distance from and angle of view to the subject, you will do fine.
On the other hand, if you want radical perspective and even more radical near/far object size comparisons, select one of the lens’ wider focal lengths and distort to your heart’s content.
The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR is possibly the sharpest lens I have ever used, with excellent resolution and micro-contrast.
Whether using Adobe’s Enhance-equipped Camera Raw 11.2, previous versions of Camera Raw or another raw processor or image editing application, its unsharpened raw files are impressive onscreen.
If adding sharpening in post-processing, go easy with it and you may also wish dial down your in-camera sharpening for certain subjects if you are a JPEG user.
The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR zoom lens makes for a superb addition to your Fujifilm lens collection if your work demands ultra-wide focal lengths, though its current high pricing will give some pause to stop, think and postpone purchase.
Many video-oriented users of Fujifilm APS-C/Super 35 cameras may be better off considering the Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS zoom lens for one or more of its most prominent differences – price, size, weight, optical image stabilization and not least the ability to easily mount circular filters of 72mm diameter or larger.
In terms of focal length, one loses 2mm at the wide and gains 8mm at the long end with the 35mm sensor equivalent of 15mm to 36mm, thus providing my preferred documentary photo and video focal lengths of 14mm, 18mm and 23mm or in 35mm sensor terms 21mm, 28mm and 35mm.
Add a medium-to-long zoom lens or some longer primes and you have most bases covered.
The Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS zoom lens is reportedly not as sharp or as high-resolving as the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR and I have read complaints about its lack of corner sharpness at certain wider apertures, so I hope it will be one of the lenses Fujifilm considers for revision in the very near future.
If the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR meets your needs despite its inability to take a screw-on filter and lack of OIS, and its price is beyond your budget, wait for the discounts and sales seasons or for Fujifilm to substantially drop its price.
If price is no object and if I were a full-time architectural photographer, this would be my number one and possibly only lens for the job.
Gallery, Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR on Fujifilm X-T3
Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR at 16mm and 8mm
Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR at 16mm.
Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR at 8mm.
The XF 8-16mm f/2.8 for architecture with the X-T3’s 3D Electronic Level indicator
One of the great X-T3 features rarely if ever covered in the many reviews of the camera is its optional 3D level indicator that can be assigned to a function button.
I have long wished that all Fujifilm cameras had the same always-on 3D level indicator that Panasonic puts in its cameras so that levelling shots involving parallel verticals is made better than guesswork.
Without much if any fanfare Fujifilm has upgraded its electronic level function from just displaying a simple virtual horizon, and if one assigns Electronic Level to a function button then the function becomes even better, a 3D electronic level that displays roll and pitch indicators.
I assigned Electronic Level to the X-T3’s front function button and, when pressed, its 3D form appears onscreen as an overlay for a fixed period so you can quickly tilt your camera in 3D space to avoid what they used to call “keystoning” of buildings.
I found myself using the 3D Electronic Level all the time when photographing architecture and street views, though sometimes I would run my images through DxO ViewPoint after raw processing in order to further refine perspective and volume deformation.
DxO ViewPoint works as standalone software as well as a plug-in in Photoshop and Photoshop-savvy image editing software, as well as a plug-in in DxO PhotoLab which does not, regretfully, support Fujifilm X-Trans raw files.