Although most Fujifilm X-line lenses have earned high praise for their build quality, exceptional optical performance, and color accuracy, there is one lens that is unanimously considered as one of the best lenses Fujifilm has ever produced. The name of the legend is Fujinon XF16mm F1.4.
As with most of the XF lenses, 16mm has a functional aperture ring. What sets this lens apart from other Fujinon offerings build-wise, is the peculiar focusing ring that is built in a way, that by pulling it back, you activate manual focusing, also retracted focusing ring reveals the integrated depth of field scale for a more precise manual focusing experience. The way the ring retracts and pops back into autofocus mode is strangely satisfying! This is a professional grade lens and has weather-resistant sealing, the effectiveness of which I had a chance to test in several rainy wedding shoots.
I could go on about the coatings and aspherical elements, but we all know what is the main question regarding this lens. Why it has garnered so much love in the Fujifilm community? And the answer is obvious as soon as you take a look at the images it renders. It is sharp from corner to corner even with the aperture wide open at 1.4. I have owned A LOT of lenses but the images I got from Fujinon XF16mm F1.4 technically were nothing short of breathtaking. Even the simple test shots in front of the Fujifilm store stunned me so much that I was reaching for my wallet after only 5 minutes of testing the lens.
16mm focal length is 24mm in full-frame equivalent and has become very popular for wedding photographers in a 24/56mm two-camera setup. Also, it is often used by street photographers who are not afraid to approach their subjects closer than usual. Make no mistake, 16mm focal length challenges you to be way closer and out of the “nifty-fifty” comfort zone. It is quite wide but the fast 1.4F aperture provides a great subject separation from the background. Also, this lens has a very short minimum focusing distance of only 5.91″ / 15 cm and you can get a look that is very close to macro.
If you are looking for the highest quality lens, it does not get better than this. If you shoot street photography, landscape, family vacation, or even portraits, this lens will blow you away with its high-quality build and image rendering.