Fujifilm 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 Lens Review


In our Fujifilm XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 review, we’ll explore the latest standard prime zoom lens.

The XF 16-50mm is a new breed of kit lens designed to suit the newer, higher-resolution 40MP X Trans 5 image sensors.

The original Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS kit lens was included in the box with many of Fujifilm’s best X Series cameras.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Fujifilm 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8

Fujifilm 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8

Solid, compact, and versatile zoom that performs exceptionally well in a wide variety of situations.

Often regarded as one of the greatest kit lenses ever, the XF 18-55mm has been a fan favorite since 2012.

Fujifilm announced the new XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 internal zoom kit alongside the Fujifilm X-T50 at the recent Fujifilm X Summit 2024 in Sydney, Australia.

Everyone is asking if this new zoom can match the old lens in terms of expectations, performance, and image resolution.

It’s a tough act to follow, and everyone has their eyes on the successor to the Fuji throne!

It’s also essential to keep in mind that not all kit lenses are best left at home.

Let’s pull the covers off this new lens and see what Fuji has created.

Fujifilm 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 Specs

 

Pros

  • Solid weather-sealed build
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Zoom contained within the barrel
  • Optically sharp
  • Excellent focus performance
  • Perfect all-purpose lens
Cons

  • Max apertures are a little narrow
  • No OIS
  • Focal length – 16-50mm (24-76mm full-frame equivalent focal length)
  • Angle of view – 83.2°-31.7°
  • Maximum aperture – f/2.8-4.8
  • Minimum aperture – f/22
  • Minimum focus distance – 24cm (9.45″)
  • Maximum magnification – 0.3x (Telephoto)
  • Filter size – Ø58mm filter thread
  • Lens configuration – 11 elements in 9 groups (includes 3 aspherical and 3 ED elements)
  • Dimensions – Ø65mm×71.4mm (2.56″x2.81″)
  • Weight – 240g (0.53lb)

Build & Ergonomics

A black Fujinon XF 16-50mm camera lens with a hood, placed on a wooden surface with a dark background.A black Fujinon XF 16-50mm camera lens with a hood, placed on a wooden surface with a dark background.

The Fujifilm XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR is a surprisingly compact yet robust standard zoom.

At just 240g (0.53lb), the lens is well-suited for newer Fujifilm models, such as the X-T5 or X-T50.

However, the lens feels just at home paired with the smaller, more compact X-E4 camera.

The older XF 18-55mm kit lens weighs a little more at 310g (0.68lb), yet it has the same external dimensions.

The key difference between the two lenses, aside from one launching over a decade ago, is that the XF 18-55mm featured an external zoom, pushing the length to 97.9mm (3.85″) at the tele end.

Fujifilm’s engineers and optical lords of the glass designed the XF 16-50mm with an internal zoom.

As a result, the lens barrel doesn’t extend when zooming to the telephoto end of 50mm.

Silky smooth and textured rings control the short zoom travel distance, manual focus, and manual aperture.

Close-up shot of a Fujinon aspherical camera lens set against a wooden background.Close-up shot of a Fujinon aspherical camera lens set against a wooden background.

When zooming the lens from 16 to 50mm, the front element retracts at around 28 mm.

While the lens features a weather-resistant structure, it always makes me nervous to see an internal zoom without a protection filter on the front end for fear it will suck dust or moisture inside.

Given that the Fujifilm XF 16-50mm LM WR lens is a zoom, the clicky aperture ring doesn’t feature f-stops. However, it does feature a lock to set the aperture ring in the Auto position.

Interestingly, Fujifilm didn’t include optical image stabilization (OIS) in the new internally zooming lens.

I understand they consider this a kit lens suited to the newer X Series cameras, most of which feature In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS).

However, the lens is also an ideal all-purpose lens that pairs beautifully with any older X Series camera.

As the Fujifilm XF 16-50mm LM WR is more expensive than the original kit offering, it’s a missed opportunity.

Besides that, it’s an excellent lens for a wide range of photography genres.

Focus Performance

A Metro train stopped at a station platform. The train features a blue and white design with the word "METRO" on the side. Overhead power lines and empty tracks are visible.A Metro train stopped at a station platform. The train features a blue and white design with the word "METRO" on the side. Overhead power lines and empty tracks are visible.

Fujifilm X-T50 + XF 16-55mm f/2.8-4.8 | 16mm | 1/500 SS | 1250 ISO | f/8 |

I found the Fujifilm XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR standard zoom lens to focus incredibly quickly.

Regardless of being paired with the new, fast, and high-resolution FujifilM X-T50 or the older X-E4, the focus was snappy and highly responsive.

The lens houses fast linear motor focusing to deliver high-precision autofocus – hence the LM in the product name.

It also features a 0.3x magnification at the 50mm telephoto end and a minimum focus distance of 24mm.

Fujifilm claims that the XF 16-50mm captures half life-sized macro images at the minimum focusing distance.

It’s important to note that it’s not a macro lens, nor does it feature a focus limiter for macro photography.

However, at the 50mm focal range with the 24cm (9.45″) minimum focus distance, you get clean focus with a 1:3 ratio.

In low-light settings, the Fujifilm XF 16-50mm kept pace with and foiled my attempts to trick its autofocus despite its narrower aperture.

Overall, it’s a fast autofocus lens that never misses a beat.

Image Quality

Wide pathway with steps on the left, a Ferris wheel in the background, and autumn trees lining the right. A person is walking in the distance.Wide pathway with steps on the left, a Ferris wheel in the background, and autumn trees lining the right. A person is walking in the distance.

Fujifilm X-T50 + XF 16-55mm f/2.8-4.8 | 16mm | 1/250 SS | 320 ISO | f/8 |

The Fujifilm XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 delivers excellent image quality throughout the 16-50mm (24-76mm FF equivalent) zoom range.

Despite being labeled a ‘kit lens,’ it can capture stunning images with crisp edge-to-edge sharpness, especially at 16mm f/2.8.

Image sharpness at 50mm is also good; however, it delivers cleaner results at f/5.6 over f/4.8.

At the 16mm wide end, the field of view opens up to 83.2° to deliver incredible landscape, architecture, and dynamic images.

With the lens zoomed to 50mm, the 31.7° field of view is tight, making it ideal for portraiture, products, and food photography.

I really appreciate that the wide angle is a bit wider than the older kit option.

The Fujifilm XF 16-50mm delivers clean images with minimal impact from lens flare or chromatic aberration.

Subject separation is defined with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 at the 16mm end, and the background blur is pleasing.

One of my gripes with the lens is that the max aperture is f/4.8 at the 50mm zoom end – I think it’s too narrow.

As a result, achieving background blur is still possible, but it’s not as smooth when trying to shoot portraits or close-up images.

The original Fuji kit lens features a maximum f/4 aperture at the 55mm end.

Fujifilm 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 Sample Images

Here are some sample images taken with the Fujifilm XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8, using a Fujifilm X-T50.

A building with circular windows on a gray facade and rectangular windows on a brick section stands next to a wide, green lawn under a cloudy sky, with trees in the background.A building with circular windows on a gray facade and rectangular windows on a brick section stands next to a wide, green lawn under a cloudy sky, with trees in the background.

Fujifilm X-T50 + XF 16-55mm f/2.8-4.8 | 18mm | 1/500 SS | 400 ISO | f/8 |

A view from the top of an escalator leads down to a modern train platform with multiple tracks. The station features metal and glass architecture.A view from the top of an escalator leads down to a modern train platform with multiple tracks. The station features metal and glass architecture.

Fujifilm X-T50 + XF 16-55mm f/2.8-4.8 | 16mm | 1/125 SS | 2000 ISO | f/8 |

Close-up of a branch with a few remaining red leaves and clusters of small brown seed pods against a blurred background of more branches and foliage.Close-up of a branch with a few remaining red leaves and clusters of small brown seed pods against a blurred background of more branches and foliage.

Fujifilm X-T50 + XF 16-55mm f/2.8-4.8 | 50mm | 1/250 SS | 400 ISO | f/4.8 |

A curved modern building by a river with a covered pedestrian bridge extending toward a skyline of tall buildings on a cloudy day.A curved modern building by a river with a covered pedestrian bridge extending toward a skyline of tall buildings on a cloudy day.

Fujifilm X-T50 + XF 16-55mm f/2.8-4.8 | 16mm | 1/125 SS | 200 ISO | f/8 |

A person in a green jacket is holding a Fujifilm camera and taking a photo indoors against a gray background.A person in a green jacket is holding a Fujifilm camera and taking a photo indoors against a gray background.

Fujifilm X-T50 + XF 16-55mm f/2.8-4.8 | 35mm | 1/60 SS | 3200 ISO | f/5.6 |

A paved walkway curves through a modern campus with lined buildings and trees under a cloudy sky. Large rocks are placed on the grass beside the path. The atmosphere is calm and quiet.A paved walkway curves through a modern campus with lined buildings and trees under a cloudy sky. Large rocks are placed on the grass beside the path. The atmosphere is calm and quiet.

Fujifilm X-T50 + XF 16-55mm f/2.8-4.8 | 19mm | 1/250 SS | 400 ISO | f/10 |

A purple swamphen with blue feathers and a red beak walks on a wet, wooden deck.A purple swamphen with blue feathers and a red beak walks on a wet, wooden deck.

Fujifilm X-T50 + XF 16-55mm f/2.8-4.8 | 50mm | 1/500 SS | 400 ISO | f/4.8 |

How I Tested the Fujifilm 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8

Close-up of a Fujifilm X-E4 camera with a Fujinon XF 16-80mm lens, lying on a wooden surface.Close-up of a Fujifilm X-E4 camera with a Fujinon XF 16-80mm lens, lying on a wooden surface.

Fujifilm X-T50 + XF 16-55mm f/2.8-4.8

I paired the Fujifilm XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR lens with the high-resolution and high-speed Fujifilm X-T50 camera.

The X-T50 is Fujifilm’s latest APS-C X Series camera, boasting a 40MP X Trans 5 image sensor, X Processor 5, and 5-axis in body image stabilization.

While I’m typically a prime lens kind of guy, I really enjoyed the flexibility and versatility of this Fuji lens.

I tested the new kit lens over two weeks in and around Melbourne, Australia.

Having shot with the original XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R WR OIS lens, I was surprised at how similar the new lens is.

The Fujifilm X-T50 digital mirrorless camera and 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR lens are a match made in photography heaven.

The combo is lightweight, and the zoom range allowed me to capture cityscape shots or close-up details.

Alternatives

While Fujifilm lists the original XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit lens as a current X Mount lens, its fate is more than likely decided.

It makes sense that Fujifilm will want to promote its newest standard telephoto lens as a kit option or as the best everyday lens for beginners and enthusiasts.

If you’re looking for other lenses for your Fuji APS-C camera, it’s not the only option.

Putting aside the 12-year-old XF 18-55mm lens, the best alternative to the new offering is the Red Badge Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR.

It features an almost identical focal range; however, the constant f/2.8 maximum aperture makes all the difference, especially at the 55mm end.

Being a premium Red Badge zoom, the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 is considerably more expensive as it’s tailored to professional photography outcomes.

The image quality is pristine, and it’s an excellent choice for videography output.

The Fujifilm XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR is another great choice if you’re looking for a lens with a little more reach.

It features a 24-122mm full-frame equivalent focal range, a robust weather-resistant body, and Optical Image Stabilization.

With a constant f/4 maximum aperture, it’s not a bokeh monster.

However, when shooting various everyday scenes, image stabilization and a little more zoom reach are handy – for example, for portrait photography and when photographing food.

Value for Money

The Fujifilm XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 retails for around US$860 ($1,300 AUD).

However, the price drops considerably if you bundle the lens with the new Fujifilm X-T50 camera – this may be region-dependent.

For comparison, the older XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens retails for around US$730, and the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 goes for around $1,200.

Whether you buy the Fujifilm XF 16-50mm R LM WR as a standalone lens or in a kit, it’s excellent value for money.

It’s the best lens for pairing with an older or new X Series camera, especially if you want a single ‘do-it-all’ lens.

Consider all it offers: fast focus performance, manual control, and excellent image quality, all contained within a compact, lightweight, and weather-sealed body.

Even at full price, it’s the ideal single lens for traveling or documenting family moments and activities.

Don’t get me wrong; having many interchangeable lenses is appealing, but sometimes less is more.

FAQ’s

What is the full-frame equivalent of 16-50mm?

The Fujifilm XF 16-50mm R LM WR lens features a 24-76mm full-frame equivalent focal range.

Will the XF 16-50mm work on my older Fujifilm camera?

The XF 16-50mm R WR LM features the Fujifilm X Mount lens mount. It will connect with any Fujifilm X Series interchangeable lens camera, including older models and the newer Fujifilm X-T50 camera.

Is the Fujifilm XF 16-50mm weather-resistant?

The Fujifilm XF 16-50mm zoom lens is weather-resistant – hence the WR in its product title. While the new kit lens was revealed alongside the Fujifilm X-T50, it’s not a weather-sealed camera body. Eventually, all Fujifilm cameras will feature weather-sealing.

Fujifilm 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 Review | Conclusion

Top view of a mirrorless camera with a focus on its dials and controls, placed against a dark background on a wooden surface.Top view of a mirrorless camera with a focus on its dials and controls, placed against a dark background on a wooden surface.

Fujifilm X-T50 + XF 16-55mm f/2.8-4.8

The Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit lens has graced many a Fujifilm X Series camera over its 12-year lifespan.

It was the fourth Fujifilm X Mount lens and the first Fujifilm zoom lens of that focal length to be released.

That kind of legacy is hard to replicate, let alone replace with kit lenses.

However, the new Fujifilm XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR ticks all the boxes for build quality, performance, ease of use, and image output.

The one box it doesn’t tick is Optical Image Stabilisation.

Granted, Fuji intends to pair the new zoom with a camera body featuring IBIS, but not every Fujifilm photographer has the latest model.

Regardless, lens OIS and camera IBIS aren’t for everyone. I personally prefer not to use stabilization of any kind in my work – that’s a story for another day.

There’s no denying that the Fujifilm XF 16-50mm R LM WR lens is excellent value for money thanks to its ability to fit the bill in almost every situation.

If you’re looking for a new everyday lens or an ideal lens for travel, look no further than the Fujifilm XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR lens.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Fujifilm 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8Fujifilm 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8

Fujifilm 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8

Solid, compact, and versatile zoom that performs exceptionally well in a wide variety of situations.



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