How Good/Bad Is the Fuji 16-50 3.5-5.6 Kit lens?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Dave Jenkins, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins FujiXspot Rookie

    16
    Jul 15, 2015
    Dave Jenkins
    Looking at the soon-to-be-released Fuji XT-20. It's $200 cheaper with the 16-50 f3.5-5.6 lens than with the 18-55 f2.8-4 lens. I know the 18-55 has a decent reputation, but how good/bad is the 16-50? I like the range better.

    Of course, I would like to get the 16-50 f2.8, but that is far out of my reach at this time.
     
  2. Andy Garcia

    Andy Garcia FujiXspot Regular

    26
    Jan 15, 2016
    Guanacaste, Costa Rica
    Andy Whiteman
    Hi Dave. I use the plastic fantastic 16-50mm all the time on an XE2. I have no experience of the 18-55mm or any other Fuji lenses as I use "vintage" Nikon and Konica Hexanon lenses as I can't afford the top line Fuji stuff. Personally I think it's a great lens. It's very light and for me makes great photos. I'm considering the 55-230mm version too. Here's a recent photo taken a few days ago. Shot in RAW, L/R and Luminar. 9 2 17 Sunset 2-.
     
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  3. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    They seldom come up secondhand... I know, I've been looking. That should tell you something...
     
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  4. Luke

    Luke FujiXspot Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    854
    Jan 31, 2013
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    between the extra $200 in your wallet and the extra 2mm on the wide end, I think I'd go for it. And I've had and loved the faster. more expensive one and loved it. But I haven't seen a bad shot with the 16-50 (well, that's not true, but nothing that was the fault of the lens :laugh1:)
     
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  5. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    503
    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    When I first bought my X-T10, I bought the XC 16-50 and 50-230 zooms. Trust me, they are just fine. While the apertures are a bit slower than the more-expensive XF 18-55 and 50-200mm zooms, optically the XCs are still right there. The XC's have no aperture rings, either, so in that sense they are more like typical modern DSLR-style lenses. They are lighter than the XF's, so that's a bonus. I eventually bought the XF zooms and some primes for my X-T10. I gave my XC zooms to my nephew along with my X-A1 camera. All continue to give good service to this day.
     
  6. theoldsmithy

    theoldsmithy FujiXspot Regular

    95
    Feb 4, 2013
    Herefordshire, England
    Martin Connolly
    I had a 16-50 on an X-E1 and was very pleased with it. So much so that I'm seriously considering a refurb XT10 with the same lens (or the mk ii version anyway).
     
  7. Haswell

    Haswell FujiXspot Regular

    70
    Oct 20, 2016
    Paul
    Although not having owned one, I find it hard to believe Fuji would release a bit of kit that was not a good advertisement for their lens range.
     
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  8. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    Fuji does not make a bad lens. They make lenses which are better than others in their lineup. But there is not one bad lens in the X system.
     
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  9. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Given it's a "gateway", I don't think they would produce a bad example. The only lens in the system that consistently attracts negative comments is the 18, which is one of the original lenses released with the X-Pro1 and in line for a makeover. I would also point out that it isn't bad, but the rest of the lineup is that good...
     
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  10. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    There's a theory I have about the 16-50: In some ways it makes a much better pair with a few primes (down the road when you have the scratch) than the XF18-55. (I say this as the happy owner of the XC 50-230). The XC 16-50 is “slow” enough aperture-wise that you’re not going to try to use it in low light situations, you know? It’s not even close enough to do much except long exposure when shooting inside at night. The 18-55, though, has decent OIS and has 2.8 on tap at the wide end, which CAN pull off some low light stuff, so you sometimes find yourself deciding to go ahead and use it instead of a prime, to get the focal length flexibility. That really muddies the waters… the primes – whether Fuji’s XF stuff, mostly at 1.4, or like Rokinon’s stuff at f2 – will do a much better job in low light than the XF 18-55 hunting around between 2.8 and 4.


    So it’s off the table for evening work. And that’s fine. It’s clean and simple, and you know you’re going to use something else when the lights go down. I don’t bother using the 50-230 beyond dusk. There’s rarely any point, with 6.7 and up on tap. So the XC 16-50 might be ideal in that regard… cheaper, much lighter, and perfectly good in daylight. Throw $300 at a rokinon prime or two, and you could assemble a lot of capability for not a lot of dough.
     
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  11. davidzvi

    davidzvi FujiXspot Regular

    66
    Apr 24, 2014
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    That's a very good way of looking at it. I'm just stepping my toe into the Fuji X pond. But one of my concerns has been that I wanted the 18-55 for "the step above kit" lens features. But I much prefer the 16mm on the wide end. I currently shoot Nikon and Micro 4/3s with just an X70. And while not intentional, it seems I've basically done exactly this with my Micro 4/3 kit: 14-140 zoom + 17 & 25 & 42.5 f/1.7-8. (Plus a 12-32 and 7-14).

    I did try an X-M1 with the original 16-50 a few years ago. It seemed kind of slow, but that may have been the X-M1 more than the 16-50.
     
  12. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Feb 15, 2013
    Hood River, OR
    Kyle
    I don't know if you saw it, but literally the day after I posted that, I wound up using (and loving) the XC 50-230 in a pretty dark indoor night time event. So, basically, never listen to me. :)

    32935849275_075ab077e8_b. KBRX9893 by gordopuggy, on Flickr
     
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  13. davidzvi

    davidzvi FujiXspot Regular

    66
    Apr 24, 2014
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    No I hadn't. But in addition to the X70 and good bit of m4/3 stuff I also have a complete Nikon FX kit I use professionally for events. At this point I'm not looking to replace my professional stuff so for something like the speaking event I'd probably just grab something from that bag. I know not everyone has that option.
     
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  14. battleaxe

    battleaxe FujiXspot Regular

    97
    Jun 17, 2014
    California
    Does Version II offer anything different vs the first version?
     
  15. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    503
    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Not much. Fuji mumbled something about smoother operation and improved build quality when it came out. The Mark II version of the 16-50 allows closer focusing distances than the Mark I version. But, functionally, the 50-230 shouldn't be much different between the two versions.
     
  16. davidzvi

    davidzvi FujiXspot Regular

    66
    Apr 24, 2014
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Fuji says improved image stabilization compared to the Mark I (3.5 stops vs 3.0) with better build quality and smoother operation. About what you'd expect from a 1.5 year refresh. I don't recall hearing about issues with the Mark I, but I wasn't really listening for any either.
     
  17. battleaxe

    battleaxe FujiXspot Regular

    97
    Jun 17, 2014
    California
    Like what is exactly better with built, the mount itself? I take coating and AF is the same?
     
  18. davidzvi

    davidzvi FujiXspot Regular

    66
    Apr 24, 2014
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    I have no idea, just repeating from the announcement on DPReview. Couldn't find anything on the Fuji site.
     
  19. HNEPLX

    HNEPLX New to FujiXspot

    2
    Feb 2, 2013
    Netherlands
    It is a fine lens (for a kit lens). It is the sharpest of all kit lenses I have used and I have owned and used most of them (Nikon, Pentax, Sony E, Samsung NX, Olympus & Panasonic). It's totally fine for outdoors. A very nice walk around lens. For indoors in dimly lit conditions you’d need to get a “faster” lens except perhaps for shooting at 16mm where f/3.5 gathers quite a lot light.

    Here is one sample shot at 16mm, f/3.5, 1/15 sec, ISO4000:
    Artists-Audience_2_Jul13'14-H.