This is a first for me and for this blog. A small review of the Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4R OIS
I really don’t plan on making this a habit since there are tons of other sites out there that does it so much better than I would ever do. However I feel that I can contribute with something to people who, like me, has the X-Pro1 with primes but want to add the zoom lens for added photographic flexibillity.
This is NOT a scientific review at all. This is just my impressions, and some insight into what it means in terms of my creativity photography wise. I will off course be posting samples as I go along.
Look and feel
There’s no doubt about it, this lens is gorgeous.
Well built, solid feeling, and just the right amount of torque in the switches and focus rings. It has just the right heft to its weight, and fits the X-Pro1 build perfectly.
The aperture ring is without markings, and has a nice slight click to it. There are two switches on the lens, one for the Optical Image Stabilizer and one for Aperture Priority/Shutter Priority.
The included lens hood is a pedal type plastic hood. Not as great as the metal ones included with the primes, but there are nice third party ones available dead-cheap on ebay.
The lens has a nice chrome ring between the manual focus ring and zoom ring, makes it look really good, and exclusive. This is sold as a kit lens with the X-E1, but in no way does it feel like a cheap kit lens. It really feels like a well crafted piece of equipment.
This is where it gets interesting. As a guy who is solely into prime lenses because of their ability to deliver uncompromised sharpness in a given range and their usual faster aperture, a zoom lens has never really been on my shopping list for camera systems. One thing I do like about the zoom is the added flexibility and portability. So with this is mind I read numerous reviews from “real-world-usage” to “pixel peeping” on this lens. All seemed to agree that the lens is a very good, and very sharp zoom lens.
I really agree on the sharpness. Fuji has made a great lens which is dead sharp at the centre, and only minimal fall-off towards the edges. I don’t see much vignetting either, I actually tend to add my own in post-processing when needed, since there really is none.
In regards to the auto focus, this lens is MUCH faster at focussing than the XF 35mm f/1.4 prime lens. Focus snap is almost instant at 18mm, and still fast at 55mm. This all due to the linear focus engine that Fuji put in this lens. Very welcome addition when shooting street shots, and you want to catch that exact moment. This really is one of the strong points of this lens.
Optical image stabilisation (OIS). The OIS on this lens is nothing short of superb. I can actually handhold this lens a 1/1 sec. and get no motion blur at all. This is really great. It does NOT compensate for a faster aperture when photographing moving subjects, but it really does make a difference in those indoor, late night, low light shots.
A great example of the OIS efficiency is the shot to the left of my wife and kids.
It was shot at night in near darkness. I was on my own bike riding along while taking the shot handheld at 1/17 sec, f/2.8, 18mm. Damn near instant focus lock on my wifes face, and an amazing lack of motion blur. IMPRESSIVE!
On the X-Pro1
The lens looks really great on the X-Pro1. Even better than on the X-E1 in my opinion. The balance in weight and size is simply better.
Using the OVF with the lens isn’t really recommended, but it is doable. Using the EVF is the way it’s meant to be used.
I really think fuji has a problem with its auto ISO setting on the X-Pro1. This lens is stuck at 1/30 sec shutter when using auto ISO in low light settings. This is due to Fuji’s algorithm of prioritizing lower ISO numbers prior to shutter speeds. At 18mm it’s ok, but at 55mm it’s unusable. They NEED to fix the auto ISO, so the user can set a minimum shutter speed. It’s in the x100/x100s so WHATS KEEPING THEM!!
The aperture of f/2.8-4 is really usable even in low light coupled with the X-Pro1’s amazing ISO capabilities. You get great shots in almost any condition, without having to rely on flash.
- Well built lens.
- Great sharpness throughout the frame. Very good at the center.
- Fast autofocus.
- Plastic lens hood
- No fixed aperture. (Would have LOVED a fixed f/2.8 through the zoom range much like the Canon EFS 17-55mm f/2.8 )
- Stupid 1/30 sec shutter speed at Auto ISO on the X-Pro1. (Need to be fixed by camera firmware, Come on Fuji!)
Below I have gathered some images with all kinds of different settings to show of the versatile nature of this lens. I really do think that this lens produces GREAT images in all sorts of environments.
ISO 6400 – 55mm – f/4.0 – 1/125 sec
ISO 1250 – 18mm – f/2.8 – 1/125 sec
ISO 400 – 55mm – f/4.0 – 1/2000 sec
ISO 400 – 42.5mm – f/4.0 – 1/680 sec
ISO 400 – 18mm – f/2.8 – 1/640 sec
ISO 400 – 55mm – f/4.0 – 1/160 sec
ISO 500 – 18mm – f/2.8 – 1/30 sec
ISO 400 – 55mm – f/4.0 – 1/45 sec
ISO 400 – 34.3mm – f/3.6 – 1/35 sec
ISO 400 – 55mm – f/4.0 – 1/80 sec
ISO 400 – 18mm – f/3.2 – 1/240 sec
ISO 400 – 18.8mm – f/3.2 – 1/1.100 sec
ISO 400 – 19.6mm – f/5.6 – 1/950 sec
ISO 2000 – 55mm – f/4.0 – 1/30 sec
ISO 400 – 55mm – f/4.0 – 1/70 sec
The Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4R OIS is a great allround performer. As a kit lens, it’s one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. As a stand alone zoom lens it’s up there among the best of the normal range zooms IMHO. It would be perfect if it had a set aperture at about f/2.8.
It’s very reasonably priced, and you get a lot of lens for your savings. If you, like me, is considering the prime XF 18mm f/2.0, I would instead recommend that you buy the 18-55mm since it delivers on par image quality, it’s faster at focussing, and you get some added flexibility.
This lens is really great for street photography. The good fast AF coupled with one of the best OIS’s I’ve ever used makes it joy to use. The images it produces are sharp throughout the range and delivers great “pop”.
This is a great addition to my X-series system.
Thanks for this! You answered a lot of questions I had about this lens.
Glad you found it useful 🙂
great review and lovely photos…………I have the 35mm prime and am considering adding the zoom to my kit…….
Thank you Aidan. You won’t regret the purchase!
Thanks for your mini review on the 18-55. I have been using the lens for a few weeks now and I conclude with your thoughts.
I also have the 35mm for my XPro-1 and they make a handy kit.
Thank you for reading, Henry. Great pictures on your site.
Great galleries man. *thumbs up*. just got my 18-55 mm lens today. I had no time to use it really yet, but first impressions are great though!
Are you editing them in LR in RAW?
Thank you Bruno! Thank you for stopping by, and reading 🙂
I use jpg’s from camera. the x-trans RAW is still not being processed to my satisfaction. I run the .jpgs through LR 4.4 🙂
Yeah i heard about that issue with raw. Some say, C1 is the one to go and other stick with LR4. I find LR ok, but sharpening should be kept to a minimum. Well I keep shooting RAW + fine 🙂 Happy easter!
Thanks for the review, after reading this you made me reconsider waiting for the 23mm, 18-55 would make a great travel lens. Enjoyed your photos too!
thanks for review, going to buy xe1 after few weeks so was thinking should i get that kit lens or skip it 🙂 and after reading “old lens on xpro” ill definitely pick some old Russian glass for it 🙂 cheers
Thank you for stopping by. Yeah go for the russians… great glass for a steal!
Great pictures. I own this lens with X-E1, but been a bit disappointed as I have yet to nail the camera settings for getting good jpgs. Your post processing is also outstanding. Would really appreciate if you can share (a new blog pos?) your camera settings and post processing workflow.
Thanks very much.
Thank you very much.
I actually have a blog post nearly finished on how I do my black and whites 🙂 I’ll attach some custom LR presets to that post.
Looking forward to your new b&w processing blog post. Thanks and truly appreciate your willingness to share your presets too.
Do you have the link to that B&W post you mention. I’ve had a little hunt around your site but can’t seem to find it.
Absolutely stunning photos btw. A real inspiration.
I never got around to making it 😀 – I will at some point though…..hopefully! 😀
Thanks for this, for two days I have been trying to decide whether to get the 18mm f2 or this one, in the end I did go for the zoom, like you, I much prefer primes and thats all i use with my canon, BUT the whole point of me having the xt1 was to be more flexible, take it out and about and not keep changing lenses, so i got over my zoomophobia and bought it. It hasn’t arrived yet so I was checking oiut more reviews and found yours. May i say your photos are amazing! Love Them! And also felt, after reading your review, that I have definitely made the right decision…. PHEW!!!Thanks for your review
Thanks. I know the lens is great. Considering it for my X-Pro1. I did have a concern about the lens and the OVF. Probably a small nit pick given the pluses. Will see if the shutter speed issue has been resolved with firmware updates. (1/30 sec shutter speed at Auto ISO.) The does have OIS, so that mitigates the issue. Or, as I’ve quickly researched before posting this , the workaround is to go manual.
Here’s a link to a video that speaks to the Auto ISO issue:
Thanks Jonas – this is exactly the place I am at with my Fuji journey in 2017, so has been an useful view from a real photographer on this lens.
I use a full frame Nikon and long lenses for Wildlife stuff, but having taken a small Fuji X10 compact on vacation and loved using it – along with the filmic image it produces. This has prompted me to look further into the Fuji system, and I have recently got hold of an X-T1 and 35mm f2 prime lens a combo I am enjoying immensely..
I now need a versitile family/holiday/ travel lens to compliment the prime 35mm. I was thinking of the 18mm but I try this zoom as it seems to be a better all round bet.