Andy Westlake tries out this weather-sealed wideangle in our Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4R WR review
Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR Review: Image quality
Fujifilm’s XF lens range has gained a strong reputation for image quality, and the XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR continues in the same vein. Indeed the lens is a spectacularly good performer, giving impressively sharp images. The extreme edges and corners of the frame are just a little soft at large apertures, but this is likely only to be visible in relatively large prints (12x16in or A3+), and even then shouldn’t detract from a strong subject. Stop down to normal working apertures of f/5.6–f/8, and the lens is critically sharp across the entire frame.
Vignetting is low, and compensated by Fujifilm in JPEG processing. Distortion is practically invisible, and unlike many other CSC lenses, this is achieved by purely optical correction, rather than software correction.
Colour fringing in the corners of the frame due to lateral chromatic aberration is extremely low, but some blue or purple fringing can be seen around extremely high-contrast edges (for example, window frames when shooting interiors) while working at large apertures.
If the lens has any kind of weak point, it’s flare when shooting with the sun in, or just outside, the frame. At large apertures veiling flare can reduce contrast nearby, and at small apertures strong multi-coloured patterns can start to appear across much of the frame. Any such problems can usually be seen in the viewfinder before shooting, but there’s little you can do about them.
When working at large apertures, the lens generally renders defocused backgrounds quite smoothly and attractively. This may not be something that’s important for every shot with a wideangle lens, but for certain types of photography such as environmental portraiture, it’s a very welcome trait.