The Fujifilm X-M1 is Fuji’s third retro-styled compact system camera. It has the same 16.3-million-pixel, APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor as its older siblings, in the most affordable X-system body yet, but does this mean a compromise has been made on image quality? Read the Fujifilm X-M1 review to find out
Fujifilm X-M1 review – Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens
Alongside the X-M1, Fujifilm released the Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens. Although this is really a kit lens, Fuji was keen to describe it as ‘a more affordable lens’ when sold separately, which is understandable given the reputation that some kit zoom lenses have gained over the years.
The new lens has a 16-50mm focal length, which is the equivalent of a 24-76mm lens on a full-frame camera. The lens aperture is a reasonable f/3.5-5.6, with a design encompassing seven rounded blades.
The lens is constructed from 12 elements in 10 groups, with three aspherical lenses and one extra-low dispersion element, which helps to reduce curvilinear distortion and chromatic aberrations The lens is also optically stabilised and has a minimum focus distance of 30cm when the camera is set to macro mode.
Unlike the excellent XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS, the 16-50mm lens has a plastic construction, although it is very well made. What is more telling of the budget build of the lens is that it doesn’t have an aperture ring, which all other X-mount lenses do, except for the XF 27mm f/2.8, which is also new. The 16-50mm lens can be used on the X-Pro1 and X-E1 cameras, but because of the lack of aperture ring these cameras must be updated to firmware version 3.00 and 2.00 respectively (visit www.fujifilm.com/support/digital_cameras/software/#firmware).
While the sharpness and resolution of the 16-50mm lens produces good results when paired with the X-M1’s 16.3-million-pixel sensor, there is noticeable curvilinear distortion. Barrel distortion at the wide end is worse than the slight pincushion distortion at the 50mm setting. The distortion seems to level out at around 40mm.
On the whole, the Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS is a nice lens for the X-M1, being small, light and sharp.