Sibling Rivalry XF16mm F2.8 WR vs XF16mm F1.4.


Been thinking of getting the XF16mm F1.4? Now with the new XF16mm F2.8 WR in the market; our life as a photographer gets a little more complicated if you are looking for a 16mm lens in the Fujifilm eco system. Or it’s easier now to make a decision? Speed, Price, Size, AF, WR…… the never-ending questions!
Let’s start with XF16mm F1.4. It’s been in the market for couple of years now. It’s in my set-up; and I owned one. I love it as it truly an amazing lens. Some even think it’s Fujifilm best XF lens. To some extend I do agreed. 
Price is a huge factor in this shoot out. The price difference is almost double. USD$749 for F1.4 and USD399 for the F2.8 version. Does this mean the F1.4 is twice is good? If only we could do a comparison base on dollar and cents vs quality. Life is such that is a lot more complicate. 
XF16mm F2.8 mounted on X-T3
This lens work beautifully with X-Pro2


What if you already own a XF16-55mm F2.8 lens? Is there a need for another prime 16mm lens? I always name the XF16-55mm F2.8; a prime zoom. The IQ form this lens is nothing short of amazing. In my older blog post I did a comparison of this lens vs prime lenses. If this interest you; here is the link :
First of all let me share a series of side by side comparison between two lenses. This is not any scientific test rather just a fellow photographer placing it on his dining table doing a simple test between the 2 lenses.
XF16mm F1.4 @ F1.4, thus the results is more magical compare with its F2.8 siblings.
Bokeh looks better in XF16mm F1.4 at F2.8
At F4, XF16mm F2.8’s bokeh ball looks rounder. XF16mm F1.4 look sharper and bokeh is still creamier.
At F5.6 this 2 lenses are about the same.
Minimum focus distant is 17cm for XF16mm F2.8 and 15cm for XF16mm F1.4. Is 2cm a big deal? Yes, it’s a big deal for me. First I am able to get closer and thus the bokeh effect will certainly be more obvious and creamier. 
DSCF0750a 1
The box frame is shot with XF16mm F1.4. This is how much closer you could get vs the XF16mm F 2.8.
XF16-55mm F2.8. Shot at minimum focusing distant at F2.8. Still a great performer.
Below are 3 shots from 3 lenses. Each taken at F2.8. Not at their closest minimum focusing distance. A little further away. I find the XF16mm F2.8 to be the sharpest from edge to edge. 


Auto Focus speed. I would think XF16mm F2.8 is the winner here. Just by a bit. And it’s AF is also dead silent. Below are 2 video to demonstrate the AF in real situation. Both are mounted on a X-T3.
Weight and size. 155 grams vs 375 grams. It’s less than half of XF16mm F1.4 If you add a XF16mm F2.8 and XF35mm F2 the total weight is only 325 grams. As for the size; it’s a lot smaller for sure. 


Finally, the winner is XF16mm F1.4 for me. It’s a brilliant wide-angle lens with WR and with a widest F-stop at F1.4. If you already owned a XF16-55mm F2.8 lens like myself and is looking at getting a 16mm prime lens, I would certainly recommend the XF16mm F1.4. This lens will certainly expand your shooting style. As for size and weight; I can live with it for the extra 2 stops. 
If size, price and weight is you priority, XF16mm F2.8 WR certainly shine brightest. And if street, landscape and travel is up your alley; this lens is certainly an essential piece of gear in the set-up. And of course AF is faster too. I am just glad we have options to find the right lens to fit our individual shooting style and budget. I do hope after reading this blog post I didn’t confuse you even more. 

IG @ivanjoshualoh

X-T30 + XF16mm F2.8 @F10
X-T30 + XF16mm F2.8 @F5.0
X-Pro2 + XF16mm F2.8 @F2.8
X-T30 + XF16mm F2.8 @F3.6
X-Pro2 + XF16mm F2.8 @F2.8
X-Pro2 + XF16mm F2.8 @F2.8
X-Pro2 + XF16mm F2.8 @F5.0
X-T30 + XF16mm F2.8 @F22



  1. Good pictures Ivan and excellent review. I have the 16-55 f2.8 and 16mm f1.4 (a more recent purchase) and I’ve now ordered the f2.8 version for street (the f1.4 is too heavy to balance one handed – I shoot blind from the hip). Whether or not I hang onto the f1.4, I’m not sure.

    1. Once the F2.8 arrives; take some time to use it and see which XF16 works best for you. You will be in the best position to test it as both lens are in your hands. Enjoy.

  2. Thanks for the post! I haven’t found much on the new 2.8 so your perspective is really helpful. My one question is: how do you think it would do in astrophotography? I know you didn’t do a lot of intensive testing, but did you get any impressions re: chromatic aberration or coma?

  3. Have someone proofread your work before publishing. So many grammar and spelling errors make it difficult to read.

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