The Fujifilm XF 18mm f1.Four is a wide-angle prime lens for the X-series mirrorless system. Introduced in April 2021 and costing $999 or 879 kilos, the XF 18mm delivers commonplace huge angle protection equal to 27mm when mounted on an X-series physique.
It’s a higher-end various to the prevailing 18mm f2 pancake lens, with an additional cease of aperture and weather-sealing, albeit bigger and roughly 50% costlier. In the meantime the brand new 18 1.Four prices across the identical as the sooner 16mm f1.Four which is equal to 24mm should you desire one thing wider. Fujifilm despatched me a pre-production pattern for my first-looks overview video beneath, the place I’ll present you all the pieces it’s good to know in regards to the lens. Since then I’ve examined a remaining manufacturing copy of the lens for my up to date pattern pictures gallery. When you desire a written model, preserve scrolling!
Above: The 28mm focal size – or thereabouts – falls roughly between the delicate 35s and wider 24s, capturing a good discipline of view whereas avoiding dramas with distortion or perspective. They’re the secure huge angle selection, superb for all kinds of topics and right now in a market flooded by new 24s and 35s, really feel virtually unique. Ironic since again within the day they had been the sometimes the second lens everybody purchased after a typical 50.
Above: At 69x76mm and weighing 370g, the XF 18mm f1.Four is analogous in measurement and virtually an identical in weight to the sooner 16 1.4. The one key distinction in dimensions is a barely narrower barrel, in flip permitting smaller 62mm filters versus 67 on the broader lens. For the file, the older 18mm f2 is a little bit narrower nonetheless, permitting 52mm filters, however most clearly it’s lower than half the size and one third the burden, so if final portability is essential, order the pancake.
Above: As a WR lens, the 18 1.Four is mud and moisture resistant, a profit each it and the 16 1.Four share over the older 18 f2 which isn’t sealed.
Above: By way of controls, the 18 1.Four is supplied with an aperture ring operating between 1.Four and 16 in a single third EV increments with a satisfying click on between them. There’s a lock button to carry it within the A place for aperture management by way of the physique if most popular, however no de-clickable choice. That stated, current Fujifilm our bodies enable silent adjustment of the aperture in film mode by way of the contact display, once more in a single third increments. There’s a considerable handbook focusing ring which turns easily and operates with motor help, though…
Above: …the lens surprisingly lacks the pull-back clutch mechanism of the 16 1.4 (seen above) and 23 1.Four that additionally reveals depth-of-field markings.
Above: Fujifilm provides the 18 1.Four with a plastic petal lens hood that twists on with a bayonet becoming, and once more the filter measures 62mm.
In my focus checks utilizing Single AFS mode at f1.4, it was fairly swift, albeit with the same old minor contrast-based wobble to substantiate at every finish – bear in mind it is a pre-production lens so could change. The lens employs a linear motor and felt fast in day-to-day use. Within the film mode with Steady AFC, the digital camera depends on phase-detect AF alone to extra confidently cease on the topic with out the contrast-based affirmation and whereas the refocusing briefly pauses at occasions, it’s just like my experiences testing different Fujifilm our bodies and lenses.
When utilizing eye detection within the film mode, the monitoring was fairly clean and correct, solely sometimes shedding me or catching-up. Sony and Canon stay the leaders at face and eye detection in films, however Fujifilm has completed a very good job and I’d be glad counting on their AF system whereas presenting a piece-to-camera.
Subsequent focus respiration the place I closed the aperture to f16 and manually targeted from infinity to the closest distance and again once more. Between infinity and round 1m, the 18 1.Four displays minimal respiration with solely the mildest magnification, however between 1m and the closest distance the respiration accelerates, turning into way more noticeable. This non-linear change will be fairly distracting should you focus throughout the transition, however should you stick with between 1m and infinity, respiration received’t be a significant problem. Once more although this was a pre-production pattern.
Above: The closest focusing distance is quoted as 20cm, or about 10cm from the entrance of the lens, permitting you to get actually near topics. Right here’s a ruler from as shut as I might focus, reproducing a topic width of 14cm throughout the body – and even at f1.Four the small print stay fairly sharp to the perimeters. I’ve numerous close-up examples later within the overview.
Above: Subsequent for a bokeh take a look at, and also you’re trying on the wider a part of the aperture vary right here beginning at 1.4, and with the lens targeted near its minimal distance. The lens renders engaging bokeh largely avoiding the sharp edges and textured blobs of lesser lenses. It’s not absolutely the cleanest bokeh I’ve seen, however stays a visual step-up from Fujifilm’s cheaper or smaller lenses.
Above: Right here’s a more in-depth take a look at the blobs which, like most giant aperture lenses, are cats-eye formed in the direction of the corners on the largest apertures, however turn out to be largely round by f2.8. Round f4 and smaller the nine-bladed diaphragm turns into extra identifiable, however once more at bigger apertures the form is pretty round.
Above: Okay, subsequent for a portrait with the aperture huge open, once more with the pre-production 18mm on an X-S10 physique. 28mm equivalents is probably not your first selection for portrait work, however wides will be enjoyable for environmental compositions the place you see extra of the environment, and should you’re cautious with the space and place on the body, you possibly can minimise distortion.
Above: Taking a more in-depth look reveals a good diploma of element round my eyes and beard.
Above: In direction of the edges you’ll see the background is rendered easily, once more avoiding the undesirable outlining or textured patterns of cheaper lenses. It’s actually a sensible choice, particularly for group photographs.
Above: Shifting additional away, right here’s my distant panorama shot, angled as all the time in order that particulars lengthen proper into the corners the place lenses battle essentially the most. I took this with the pre-production 18mm at f1.Four on an X-S10 physique.
Above: Zooming into the center for a more in-depth look reveals loads of effective element out of the gate and there’s no want to shut the aperture to spice up it additional.
Above: As you progress into the far corners, my take a look at pattern turned a little bit softer and like most bigger aperture lenses additionally exhibited some darkening on account of vignetting. Each regularly improved because the aperture closed and by f4 on my take a look at pattern, the image had turn out to be pin sharp within the corners. It’s attainable to attain this with a bigger aperture by repositioning the main target space to the nook, however I all the time carry out this take a look at with a central AF space.