I was lucky enough to pick up a two week old Fuji XF16-80 for half price. What a bargain and delighted I am to have found it. Side by side the lenses are a fair bit different and despite what others may say, connected to my XT2 the newer lens is substantially bigger and heavier.
I wanted for my XT2 a Weather Resistant lens and this is the main reason for me buying this lens as now I have a package I can use in South West Ireland in most weather conditions. I was also expecting the extra reach of the 80mm lens, 120mm 35mm equivalent to be useful. But I was myself a little disappointed with a simple test outside of my office window.
Of course there is a difference but in lot’s of cases nothing that a good pair of legs could not sort out.
On the wider end the 16mm and 18mm focal lengths are not enormously dissimilar.
So the reasons that I got the 16-80mm lens are two, it has weather resistance, which is, in my book a useful thing to have on at least one of my lenses and lastly, OIS. Image stabilisation. Since I started shooting video with Fuji, I have almost stopped using a tripod. The OIS on the 18-55 is four stops and on the newer 16-80 it’s 6 stops. This allows me to hand hold the camera in virtually every situation avoiding having to carry a tripod at all. Its a no brainer.
Fuji XF16-80 and the XF18-55 which one
If you are thinking of buying this lens, for me in this not too technical review those two reasons are the only two reasons. I love the 18-55 it’s tiny and you can take it anywhere, as long as it’s not raining. The extra reach of the newer lens is not enough of a reason to get it. Just the WR and OIS are for me the deciding factor, I am keeping the 18-55 for travel as it is considerably smaller and feels lighter.
Both great lenses.