Fujifilm's new XF lens has shelter from the storm
By Simon Crisp
June 22, 2014
Fujifilm has launched its first weather-resistant XF lens for the X-series lineup of interchangeable-lens cameras. The new lens, which would pair particularly well with the weather-tough Fujifilm X-T1, offers a versatile focal range and features an impressive five-stop image stabilization system which uses high precision gyro sensors.
The Fujinon XF 18-135-mm F3.5-F5.6 R LM OIS WR will have a 27-206-mm equivalent focal range on an X-series X-mount camera. Covering wide angle to telephoto means it could be used for shooting most subjects, whether that's landscapes, portraits or even sports. However, the F3.5-F5.6 variable maximum aperture limits its light gathering ability, particularly at the telephoto end.
To make the XF 18-135-mm weatherproof, Fujifilm has used a dust-proof and waterproof structure, with weather-resistant sealing applied to more than 20 different areas. Smooth operation of the whatever-the-weather zoom lens is achieved thanks to a ventilator which has been placed on the inside of the base of the lens barrel, with the structure preventing dust particles and moisture from getting into the lens.
The new lens also boasts what Fujifilm is describing as the world's most advanced image stabilization system. This sees the XF 18-135-mm adopt high-precision gyro sensors installed with quartz oscillators, to detect movement from high frequency to low frequency bandwidths. As a result, the lens can offer optical stabilization equivalent to five stops. Such levels of stabilization are obviously very welcome if shooting in lower light situations, or at longer zooms.
Inside there are 16 lens elements in 12 groups, including four aspherical elements and two ED lenses. This is said to help achieve rich and sharp images, while reducing lens flare and ghosting. With a 75.7 mm (2.98 inch) maximum diameter, the lens remains fairly compact and measures 97.8 mm (3.85 inch) long, extending to 158 mm (6.22 inch) when shooting at full telephoto. It weighs 490 g and has a 67 mm filter thread.
The new lens is the first of three weather-resistant XF lenses from Fujifilm which are due to be launched by the end of 2014. The others will be a XF 16-55-mm F2.8 R OIS WR, and a XF 50-140-mm F2.8 R OIS WR.
The Fujinon XF 18-135-mm F3.5-F5.6 R LM OIS WR will be available from July, with a price tag of around US$900.
Product page: Fujinon XF 18-135-mm F3.5-F5.6 R LM OIS WR