My XF16 Story Part One

I have my go too focal lengths.

I’m sure you do to.

I’m mainly a ‘fifty’ guy (which means 35mm -give or take- on the Fuji)

I don’t mind thirty five (again 23mm on the Fuji) don’t mind it at all, and I can work up to ninety (so that’s 60mm on the Fuji) quite happily.

But get me out of my comfort zone and the world through the viewfinder seems a little alien.

When Fujifilm where due to lend me the 23 and 50 F2 WR primes, there was a bit of a mix up and I ended up with the XF16 (and the 56 APD) instead.

So I wasn’t sure what to make of it, I know many of you love this lens and I can see why.

But it’s not really a focal length that gets me excited.

So this following review wont be much of a review!

I just don’t feel that I can do this bit of glass enough justice, but I will however try my best!

When I can fit a lot into the frame, it can all become a bit too much for my feeble brain to process.

If you look at my work, you might notice I tend to compose in couples and threes, occasionally things like three pairs but only on special days 🙂

For me to use a lens that fits nearly everything in, requires a different way of me seeing, and that’s hard work!

And please you must understand, (and I’m NOT trying to boast of lord it up over anyone) I didn’t buy the XF16, I didn’t even ask to borrow it! I turned up at Fujfilm for my pre-arranged meeting to collect the XF23/50 F2 primes only to be told, my contact was out of town on an corporate event and he had all lenses with him.

Now I’d have quite happily gone home empty handed at that point, it’s a privilege to be loaned camera equipment, not a right. But the guy covering for the guy who was out of town, made a call, sent me away to the café across the road (free Wi-Fi and Swiss Roll to die for. Recommended) and then told me to pop back as he’d found a couple of lens for me too borrow.

And this is how I ended up revisiting the XF56APD and getting my hands on the XF16.

Now I’m not completely stupid. I read the Facebook groups and the Forums.

Many of you out there adore the XF16. Just because it’s not my preferred focal length and nor did I ask to borrow it, PLEASE don’t start complaining to me ok?

I mean I still took the time to write it all up 🙂

At first I wasn’t going to write it up! I just knew that I couldn’t do it justice, I had no lenses to compare it to and I didn’t wanna pi55 anyone off criticising their baby.

So if I get the inevitable questions hey Adam, 16 or 10-24. Adam what you recommend? 14 or 16 I’m not your guy. Sorry.

So… where does this leave me?

Well this leaves me with a story to tell about getting out of my usual way of seeing a shot, trying something new and finding out how I got on.

And that was worth my time, so I hope it is yours?

Despite what I’ve said above, I was actually excited to try the 16 I mounted it straight away and took a shot of Fujifilm’s foyer


This is (obviously) when I first noticed how wide the 16 was, my nose was pretty much pressed up against the glass here 🙂 🙂 🙂

I left Fujifilm’s offices, and started the (long and hot) walk back to town.

One of the first things that struck me about the 16 was the physical size, this is a very large lens!

Although lighter than the 56, the 16 is physically larger, for example the 16 takes a 67mm filter, whereas the 56 takes a 62mm filter.

The large lens, combined with the X-Pro2 (and X-Pro1) meant that the optical viewfinder was severely blocked by the lens.

I didn’t take a shot of the OVF blockage (that idea didn’t come to me until I did the 23/23 review and although I’ve published that review already, the events here actually occurred before) but trust me, it looks like the chicxulub crater in there 🙂

I didn’t take a wide open ‘titled wall’ test shot to observe any vignetting (my apologies, I’m really not sure why) but I did shot at F5.6


With all the lens corrections turned off, we see why the 16mm is so big. It’s pretty straight and true in there. This is highly commendable for such a short focal length! Remember folks – just because 16mm looks like 24mm on a FF camera, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s really 16mm. Kudos.

So where does that leave us?

Me with a lens that I didn’t ask for, in a focal length that I wasn’t used too at all.

I had no similar length lenses to compare it too, and I didn’t even manage my usual suite of test shots.

And “worse” (sic) than that – I was loaned the 16 alongside one of my fav lenses, the 56APD. This was a bit of an ad-hoc loan from Fujifilm, so I had no idea how long I’d be able to keep the lenses for…. so I was a lot more drawn to shooting with the APD.

If you stopped reading now, then I’d understand 🙂

But what it does leave me with is a story to tell of how I tried to hammer and bend myself into a 16mm mind-set and how my images progressed as I used it.

I hope you’re join me next time as we continue our wide angle journey!

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