Shooting with the Fujinon XF 18-55mm f2.8-4 R LM OIS | Bert Stephani

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A few days ago I received my Fujifilm X-E1. As exciting as receiving a new camera may be, I was even more excited about the lens that came with it: the Fujinon XF 18-55mm f2.8-4 R LM OIS. Because I was hoping and expecting this lens to make my Fujifilm kit more flexible and all round for those times when working with primes might be too slow. Yesterday I joined another group of hunters for my “hunting project” and I decided to shoot exclusively with the new lens to give it a challenging workout in the field. The 18-55 works perfectly fine with the X-E1 and the combination is easy to handle. But I found the lens to handle better on the slightly bulkier X-Pro1. The lens doesn’t have the typical cheap feel of a kitlens. It feels sturdy and well build. The zoom action is smooth and the other controls work fine too. I’d just like a bit more friction in the aperture ring. It’s easy to accidently change the aperture without noticing it. Because this is a variable aperture lens (from f2.8 at 18mm to f4 at 55mm) there are no aperture markings on the lens like the Fujinon prime lenses. It would have been nice off course to have f/2.8 over the whole range but that would have made the lens a lot bigger, heavier and more expensive. I’ll have to get used to it but I can live with it. The Fuji’s made me rediscover the joys of working with fixed focal lengths and I intend to shoot most of my future work with those fine primes. But sometimes you get in situations were your movements are restricted and you just can’t zoom with your feet. Other times time pressure or dusty/wet conditions prevent you from changing lenses. Standard zoom lens to the rescue. Variation is often key in keeping clients happy and offering a wide AND a close shot of the same scene within seconds can definitely buy you some good karma from editors and designers. You know that this blog is not the place to read about resolution charts and corner performance. But I trust my eyes and I see that the Fujinon 18-55 produces great images which are sharp and clean with no obvious flaws. And I wouldn’t hesitate for a nanosecond to use this lens for any job within it’s focal range. Colors, contrast, bokeh seem pro-level to me…..

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