16-55 / F2.8 : A true workhorse

If you have read earlier posts you will know they are not that long and when it comes to kit its more about “can I achieve what I need to achieve” rather than pixel-peeping sharpness reports. This will be the same…

Image: 16-55 Mounted on X-T1 with battery grip. 18-55 alongside for comparison

16-55 with 18-55 alongside for comparison

The “standard” zoom focal length is the staple of most press photographers work, particularly in the entertainment sphere (with media walls, parties, tight sets and spaces). Since having the Fujis I have been using the 18-55 / F2.2-4 . Its good, in fact as a kit lens its great but to be honest, I HATE variable aperture lenses – most of the time my flashes are on manual and so altering the exposure as I zoom is a real pain, outside this is less of an issue (but I still hate them on principle ­čśë ).

Image: 16-55 Mounted on X-T1 with battery grip. 18-55 alongside for comparison

16-55 Mounted on X-T1 with battery grip. 18-55 alongside for comparison

I have had the 16-55/2.8 for 2 weeks and run 2 jobs through it, delivering 800 images to clients and press during that time (that does not include the deleted ones or the ones I don’t like), thats delivered images from┬áthis lens (its almost 2000 images counting all lenses). So although I have only had┬áthe lens for 2 weeks, I think I have a pretty good feel for it.

Image: 16-55 Mounted on X-T1 with battery grip. 18-55 alongside for comparison

16-55 Mounted on X-T1 with battery grip. 18-55 alongside for comparison

You can see from the images it is far bigger than the 18-55, its (obviously) heavier and feels really solid in the hand. Much like the 50-140/2.8, you feel this is a lens that will last a while, will take a few knocks and keep going (unlike some of the “plasticy” feeling lenses that a number of manufacturers are producing now to reduce costs).

Image: 16-55 Mounted on X-T1 with battery grip. 18-55 alongside for comparison

16-55 Mounted on X-T1 with battery grip. 18-55 alongside for comparison

Mounted on the front of the X-T1, the balance is a little front heavy but add the battery grip and everything feels right again, there is a certain weight in your hands and the the zoom ring feels lovely and fluid, not too lose, not too tight. With this setup, you loose a little of the weight advantage over DSLRs but its still lighter than my old Nikon/24-70 combination.

If you have used other Fuji lenses the performance is as you would expect (to my eyes) tack sharp with the colours & contrast being spot on.

Atmosphere at Festival No.6 on 05/09/2015 at Portmeirion, Gwynedd,

Atmosphere at Festival No.6 on 05/09/2015 at Portmeirion, Gwynedd

I spend a lot of time pointing cameras at light sources (you can’t beat a bit of back lighting) and I am pleased to say, it handles this really well. It does not flare nicely like the 56/1.2 it just produces little “rainbow” flares – this is the worst one I got.

Atmosphere at Festival No.6 on 04/09/2015 at Portmeirion, Gwynedd, North Wales. A musician waits in a food queue at night.

Atmosphere at Festival No.6 on 04/09/2015 at Portmeirion, Gwynedd, North Wales. A musician waits in a food queue at night.

Everything Everything plays at Festival No.6

Everything Everything plays at Festival No.6

So to sum up, I really like this lens, it feels right, it feels like it will last a long time producing the results I need. Basically its a real workhorse.