Lens Sharpness, Contrast and Color Rendition
As I take already pointed out, the XF 16-55mm f/2.eight has one of the most complex optical designs Fuji has developed to date for the Fuji 10 system. With a whopping 17 elements in 12 groups, this lens is full of drinking glass elements for not only yielding maximum sharpness, but likewise for correcting various aberrations. Specifically, the three aspherical lens elements in the lens help in decision-making spherical aberration and distortion, while the iii actress-depression dispersion (ED) lens elements are present for reducing both lateral and axial chromatic abnormality. Have a await at the below illustration of the lens construction, which shows the above-mentioned special elements:
As yous will come across further downwardly below, the Fuji XF 16-55mm f/2.eight lens is a very precipitous lens, particularly when compared to other Fuji X zoom lenses. In fact, the lens is sharper than many of the Fuji prime lenses! Its corner performance might appear weaker in our MTF charts, but when combined with Adobe’due south born lens profiles, optical corrections certainly assistance in yielding very good corner to corner sharpness in images. And since the Fuji X-T1 utilizes the X-Trans sensor that has no anti-aliasing filter, y’all get the maximum performance out of this lens when information technology is fastened to it. Dissimilarity is excellent and colour rendition is superb, as expected from Fujinon lenses.
Due to the fact that Adobe software automatically applies optical corrections to Fuji’south RAW files, information technology is impossible to properly evaluate lens performance. Since I measure MTF using Imatest and DCRaw (which does not apply such corrections), the below numbers reflect the raw, uncorrected performance of the XF 16-55mm f/2.8. Results are very comparable to what one would get with Photo Ninja and other third political party software that utilise DCRaw and like RAW processing engines.
Let’s accept a wait at the Imatest numbers:
At 16mm, the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 is extremely abrupt in heart of the frame at the widest aperture of f/ii.viii. Very few Fuji lenses can accomplish this level of sharpness, then it is certainly impressive. At that place is a drop in sharpness away from the center towards the mid-frame and in that location is a further drop in sharpness towards the corners, but that’southward expected from most zoom lenses.
As we zoom towards 23mm, sharpness starts to drib a little. Peak functioning is still at the largest apertures, slowly getting worse at f/4 and smaller. Mid-frame and the corners look very similar to those at 16mm.
At 35mm, we now have reduced sharpness at f/2.8 and the sharpness now peaks at the f/4 marking. The lens performs worse overall at this focal length, with mid-frames and the corners still staying pretty strong overall.
The lens gets worse towards the longest range and that’s where we run across a sharpness drop throughout the image. Mid-frame and corner performance are definitely impacted and the lens cannot quite resolve as much item anymore, even when stopped down to f/iv.
So keep the higher up in mind when y’all are out shooting – the lens is the sharpest at its widest focal length and its sharpness slightly deteriorates towards the longer end at 55mm. Nearly probable you lot will not see much sharpness difference in the field, since the to a higher place numbers are still pretty high even for the longest range, merely if you are afterward maximum particular, the shorter focal lengths are going to requite y’all a tad more detail.
Overall, there is not much to complain about this lens in terms of sharpness. And if you shoot JPEG, or you take RAW files into Lightroom for processing, you will find that the automatic lens corrections will make the images look even amend. Unfortunately, Lightroom still tends to show strange-looking artifacts when images are sharpened, and so based on my tests, I would say that Photograph Ninja is probably the next best thing to SOOC JPEG images.
Lenses such equally the XF sixteen-55mm f/2.8 are non designed to yield the best looking bokeh, because they are not optimized similar portrait lenses are and the f/2.viii aperture limits how much you tin put out of focus at close range. At the long stop of 55mm @ f/2.8, you can become some nice subject separation with somewhat smooth backgrounds, but the aspherical elements in the lens are going to make those bokeh highlights appear a bit edgy, with onion rings inside. So while y’all can employ this lens to become some good portrait shots, if your goal is to capture more pleasant-looking portraits, take a good wait at something like the XF 56mm f/one.ii or its APD version instead – those are going to exist much more than practical for portraiture.
Fuji did a bang-up job in making sure that the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 does not endure from heavy vignetting similar some other zoom lenses in the similar focal length range do. And indeed, the vignetting operation of the lens is excellent. As you lot can see below, the most amount of vignetting yous will go at maximum discontinuity @ 16mm and even that does not expect bad at all, at just one.30 stops of light loss in the extreme corners:
And here is the worst case scenario at 16mm, infinity focus:
If vignetting bothers y’all in images, information technology is really piece of cake to ready in mail-processing software like Lightroom and Photoshop, so information technology is certainly non a concern.
Ghosting and Flare
The Fuji XF 16-55mm f/2.eight comes with a couple of avant-garde blanket technologies that significantly reduce the occurrence of both ghosting and flare when a bright source of light reaches the front element of the lens. Fuji practical HT-EBC (Loftier Transmittance Electron Axle Blanket) to the entire area of the lens surface, in addition to utilizing the newly developed Nano-GI (Gradient Alphabetize) coating technology which also helps reduce diagonal incident lite. I have used the lens in pretty high contrast scenes with both the dominicus in the frame and outside the frame and I did not meet whatsoever problems in my images. Take a look at the below photo, captured with the dominicus in the frame:
However, when including bright sources of low-cal in the frame at smaller apertures by f/viii, y’all might witness something called a “blood-red dot flare“, which can be very distracting to expect at:
This happens as a result of internal reflections and curt flange distance, and it is something that can be normally seen on pretty much every mirrorless photographic camera. So if you run into that in your images, keep this in mind and endeavor to apply larger apertures to avoid the problem.
The amount and the type of baloney depends on what focal length y’all are shooting. The lens starts out with butt distortion at 16mm and equally you lot zoom in towards 23mm and longer, it switches to pincushion distortion. The highest corporeality of butt distortion is registered at 16mm, with around 4.93% change, while the highest amount of pincushion distortion is at 55mm, every bit shown in the below Imatest results based on RAW images:
Chromatic aberration levels are reasonably low, as illustrated below:
Allow’due south motility on to lens comparisons and see how the lens stacks up against other Fuji X lenses.