The 16mm F1.4 is the newest wide angle lens from Fujifilm. On an APS-C camera like all the current x-series cameras it gives you the same field of view a 24mm lens would on full frame. This makes it great for those who love to shoot architecture and landscape, especially since this lens is also weather sealed. Although I do enjoy shoot architecture I didn’t have a lot of time do that kind of work while I had the lens. I mostly did some street and some travel type images during my trial run.
At approximately 375g and a 67mm filter size this is not a small and light lens by Fuji glass standards at least. The extra size is easily noticeable over my general everyday 23mm F1.4 lens. This is to be expected of course all things considered. On my X-T1 the lens still had good balance and I could comfortably shoot with it all day. However on a smaller body like the X-T10 I found the camera a bit front heavy. You have to hold the lens with one hand for extra stability when shooting with a smaller camera. I suspect the same would hold true on the X-1 Pro or X-E2. Part of this weight of course means that the build quality is top notch. Exactly what you expect from a fast prime lens. There is a nice marked aperture ring that is good and clicky. The focus is nice and large and has the same push pull clutch manual focus selector as the 23mm lens. There is usable depth of field markings for zone focusing too which is nice.
I found the autofocus on this lens to be quick, at least on both the X-T10 and X-T1. I never found that I was missing shots due to slow or hunting autofocus even in reasonably low light. That said it is slower than some of the other primes just due to the extra weight of the glass. As I said the manual focus ring is large and smooth so I was using manual focus a lot and enjoying it with this lens.
Before getting my hands on the lens early reviews all said the lens was amazingly sharp. Thankfully of course those people were correct. I shouldn’t be surprised based on my experience with the 35mm and 23mm lenses though. Sharpness increases a bit as you stop down but even wide open I found sharpness to be enough.
Some will wonder how the bokeh is on a lens this wide. You won’t be able to get same level of separation as with say the 35mm F1.4 of course. However if you shoot a F1.4 and get reasonably close to your subject you can still get some pretty razor find depth of field going on. For a lot of my work though how shallow the lens can get is not so much an issue. For others though this will be important.
Colour rendering is what you expect from a Fuji X system prime. If you have the 35mm , 23mm or 56mm you know what you’re getting into on that front.
So if you’ve gotten this far you probably have a pretty good idea if you’re going to want this lens or not. The lens is built like a tank, has great image quality and handles quite well at least on the X-T1. The only two down sides at the large size of the lens, but that’s probably not an issue for most people. The other of course if the price. At the time of writing this the price is approximately $1000 Canadian plus taxes. Although that’s quite a lot of money I don’t think it’s out of line. I know it is not a totally fair comparison but it’s very close in price to a lens like the Sigma 24mm F1.4 full frame lens.