I’ve been shooting the Fujifilm system for about 1 1/2 years now, full time for the last 9 months (I still have my Canon system, but that’s for another time)
When I got my Fuji X-t1, it came with a “kit” lens, an 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens. This lens was getting some great reviews (for being a kit lens) and as I started to shoot the Fuji, seeing the results from this lens, I really liked the results and didn’t see a reason to change. It was small, lightweight and produced some amazing shots. This focal length on the Fuji is my “go to” length for most anything so this lens gets a lot of use.
Fast forward to this year….I’ve been shooting the Fuji full time now and looking to extract every last bit of performance from the system that I can. As I’m looking at my equipment, the “kit” lens seemed to keep popping up as something that I could improve.
Enter, the Fujifilm 16-55mm f/2.8. I had been looking at this lens for a while now and seeing others shoot this lens with outstanding results. However, the reviews I was reading didn’t show it as a clear winner over the kit lens. Sure it was an improvement and everyone loved it who shot it, but it just wasn’t a “no brainer” for me. Check it out HERE
There are a couple of reasons why I hesitated to pick up this lens….1) It’s heavy, weighing somewhere north of 2 lbs (compared to a little over 1/2 lb for the kit lens) 2) it’s expensive, costing north of $1000 and 3) it doesn’t come with image stabilization.
On the plus side, it has a constant aperture of f/2.8 and it’s weather resistant. Both of which are very important for landscape folks shooting in the PNW. And, it’s optics are outstanding, edging out the kit lens in IQ in every test.
With the pros and cons outlined and measured, I made my decision. I acquired the new lens and I couldn’t be happier. Sure it’s bigger and heavier than the kit lens, which sort of defeats one of the arguments that mirrorless cameras are smaller, but i don’t mind. I’ve got a great pack to carry it in and the extra size/weight don’t bother me.
Will I “miss” image stabilization? I feel confident in saying “no I won’t”. I expect that I will use this lens almost exclusively on a tripod (where I turn off IS anyways), so not having it won’t be missed and it might actually be a benefit in longer battery life (no IS draining batteries)
For my travels, I will keep the 18-55 f/2.8-4. It’s an outstanding lens and so light! Seriously, traveling with that lens and the 55-200, I don’t need to bring anything else. Super small and lightweight package.
I haven’t had an opportunity to get out in the field and use this lens, but i do have an upcoming outing planned for the Gorge in a couple weeks.
No regrets and only happiness as I fill out my bag and plant both feet in the Fujifilm world.
(originally published 2/21/16)