Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS (Fujifilm) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Fujifilm X-Pro

published February 2013

Introduction

Unlike other mirrorless system providers, Fuji follows a top down approach in terms of target audience. Thus they are creating interest among professionals and prosumers first. After the release of 3 high quality prime lenses they are now tackling the mainstream market with a standard zoom lens - the Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS. You may argue that it is just another kit lens but unlike its remote cousins it is obviously one stop faster. If you buy it as part of a camera kit it is pretty affordable but its naked price tag of more than 650EUR/US$ makes it obvious that Fuji still doesn't want to play in the low end market. Interestingly the lens features an image stabilizer which is the first time Fuji has implemented this in a XF lens.

Following the tradition of its in-house cousins, the build quality of the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS is very good thanks to a tightly assembled metal body based on a metal mount. The lens hood is only made of plastic this time though. The lens extends when zooming towards the long end of the range but the front element does not rotate. Both the focus and zoom ring operate smoothly. Typical for all Fujinon lenses, there's a dedicated aperture ring with distinctive, albeit unmarked 1/3 steps. If you move it from A (=Automatic) to a specific f-stop the camera will turn automatically into aperture priority or manual mode (depending on the settings of the shutter speed dial).

The lens has a reworked internal micro-motor which is basically noiseless during AF operations - that is apart from aperture "clicking" because the camera is stopping down the lens. The AF speed is pretty good whereas the AF accuracy wasn't impressive with the initial firmware version - it improved significantly with the latest version though (as of the time of this review). That said the AF performance stays short of the mirrorless leaders (Micro-Four-Thirds that is) here. AF object tracking isn't really advisable. Manual focusing works "by wire" thus by triggering the AF motor. A focus distance guidance is provided in the camera viewfinder/on the LCD - this works quite nicely. Regarding the new OIS (optical image stabilizer) Fuji claims an efficiency of up to 4 f-stops. This may be true for lab conditions but better be conservative here - an efficiency of 2-3 f-stops seems more realistic to us (as usual).

Specifications
Equiv. focal length28-85 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.2-f/6 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction14 elements in 10 groups (inc. 3x aspherical & 1x ED elements)
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.3 m (max. magnification 1:6.7)
Dimensions65 x 70.4 mm
Weight310 g
Filter size58 mm
Hoodpetal-shaped, bayonet mount, supplied
Other featuresOptical Image Stabilizer




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