Fuji XF16-80 and the XF18-55 which one

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.


Side by side the lenses are physically a lot different.

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.

Fuji XF16-80

16-80 at 80mm focal length

18-55 at 55mm focal length

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.

16-80 at 16mm focal length

18-55 at 18mm focal length

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.

Read my ideas on the X100 series of cameras

Why you should not buy the X100 series from Fuji

Why you should not buy the X100 series from Fuji, is an interesting question, seeing as it is probably the camera that set Fuji back up in business. There have been five versions of the camera:

X100, X100S, X100T, X100F and the current X100V

Currently on Adverts ie for 340€

And what fantastic little cameras they have all been in their allotted time scales. However the reason that maybe a buyer should think of not buying one of these cameras is simple, the XE series of cameras. The XE1, XE2, XE2S and the XE3, are all very similar in specification to each of the X100 cameras, they are not identical but very close. The advantage of the XE series of cameras is simple, if you ever wanted to you can change lenses. So you have a huge range of Prime lenses and Zoom lenses available.

Why you should not buy the X100 series from Fuji

Looking on the second-hand market today here in Ireland I see that I can pick up a X100S for 340€ which to me sounds like a very good price and I would be tempted. However on the same site I can pick up an XE2 body for 220€ and a XF27mm lens for 160€, yes it is 380€ and therefore more expensive, however the XE2 body allows me to choose my lens which has to be a huge swing in choice. The XF27MM lens is F2.8 compared to the 23MM F2.0 so the lens is faster on the X100, but picking up faster lenses or Zooms is simple enough. An example currently being an XF18mm F2.0 for 250€ currently on line.

Currently on Adverts ie for 220€

Whichever X100 body you would be interested in has a close equivalent in the XE range, buying the XE just makes more sense. However, so far the XE3 has been the last version in the range so the most recent X100V is the only real X100 that has an advantage in as much as so far Fuji have not released a newer XE camera, the water resistant capabilities of the X100V would be of huge interest to some users.

Sold on Adverts ie for 160€

X100 series from Fuji

Currently on Adverts ie for 249€

Whatever camera you decide to buy, enjoy it, its about the image , not the camera….

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Mt Ventoux off road ascent

So having already done Mt. Ventoux from Malaucene twice and Sault once I was looking to do Ventoux for a fourth time. However having recently competed in the 3 Peaks Cyclo Cross race I was keen to find an off road ascent. Having recently spoken to Richard Allen from “Here Come the Belgians” I found out about the Piste de Graviers Blancs (the track of the white gravel) which starts from Bedoin and goes to the Chalet Reynard, leaving the last 7ish KM to the top on the road. After some research I found out that at about 15KM there is a junction on the Piste de Graviers Blancs where you can turn left on to the Piste de Tetes Chauvre, which then takes you to within  4KM of the summit on the Malaucene road, this is what I decided to do.

We arrived a day early and parked the van between Malaucene and Bedoin not far from the top of the Col de Madeleine on the Bedoin side.  The next morning after a fair few glasses of Van-Rouge the night before, I free-wheeled down to Bedoin to start my ride, not much of a warm up for what was about to start. Riding up from Bedoin and trying to find the start was the hardest bit, luckily I had spent a bit of time the previous night looking for it. It seems strange that it is so hard to find, almost as if the locals don’t want people to go up this way. The piste de graviers blancs is exactly that and the start was quite slippery so I had to push the bike around a few corners that where like riding on marbles. Once the first K was done though all is good and the whole thing is ride able. I was on my cross bike with 35MM Landcruiser tyres and had a 38 chainring and huge 42 rear sprocket which I used a fair bit.

I was never really sure I was on the right route until I got to the aforementioned junction, however I found the track so good I just decided to keep riding it, as long as it was 1. still going up and 2. I kind of new it was going roughly in the right direction. I actually thought it was going up and around to the Malaucene road much lower.

Anyway once the road got to the junction for the tete de chauve I knew I was good. This track was not as steep and once upon a time was tarmac so the riding was much quicker, in fact once you get to this junction there is only just over 8KM to go half of which is on the road.

The whole way up I only saw one jeep, even once I got to the last 4KM on the road, I only saw two cars, it was the end of October though. I think a cross bike would almost be certainly the quickest bike to do this on. I created a segment from Bedoin to the top and find that I am the third quickest, the two before me were both on mountain bikes and a lot younger that me so I think the cross bike was the right choice. If I ever go back (almost certainly) I would like to ride up and down this way. However riding down on your own would be a bit risky as there is nobody to be seen on this route so a crash on your own could turn into a bit of an epic adventure.


Mt Ventoux off road ascent

If you have not seen it before a video about the bike, a Viner Super Prestige Sram Rival Cross bike

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