Fujifilm releases the FujinonXF18mm F1.4 R LM WR, its latest wide-angle X-mount prime

Fujinon XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR
(Image credit: Fujifilm)

The Fujinon XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR is the 39th interchangeable lens from Fujifilm, a pretty remarkable achievement in itself. There is an 18mm lens in the range already, but it’s a much more modest 18mm f/2 ‘pancake’ lens. The new XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR aims much higher, promising the best possible image quality in a lens that’s also compact, light and portable.

• Read our hands on Fujinon XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR review

It joins a small series of premium f/1.4 lenses from Fujifilm, slotting in just above the widest – the XF16mmF1.4 R WR (24mm equivalent) – and below the next lens in the f/1.4 range, the XF23mmF1.4 R (35mm equivalent). There’s also an XF35mmF1.4 R (50mm equivalent).

The XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR sounds very close in specifications to the older XF16mmF1.4 R WR, so if you have that lens already, this one might not tempt you. But for new buyers weighing up one against the other, the new XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR could be very tempting. The XF16mm is six years old now, and the new lens has a sleeker design, a slightly lower weight and a sophisticated optical design and AF system.

The Fujinon XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR is designed to offer excellent optical performance, light weight and weatherproofing, all at the same time. (Image credit: Fujifilm)

Fujinon XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR key features

The Fujinon XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR offers an equivalent focal length of 27mm in full frame terms, so it’s a fast wide-angle prime that Fujifilm suggests is ideal for everything from landscapes and cityscapes to portraits, weddings and low light photography.

The optical construction consists of 15 elements in 9 groups, including three aspherical lenses (one up on the older 16mm f/1.4 lens) and one ED elements.

The autofocus system is interesting. This lens has an internal focusing group of six elements moving in unison and with a maximum travel from closest focus to infinity of just 2.5mm. This is powered by a linear motor, and Fujifilm claims it can focus from its closest distance to infinity in just 0.25sec, with autofocus speeds as fast as 0.04sec in regular shooting.

The Fujinon XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR is just 75.6mm long, weighs 370g, has a 62mm filter thread and can focus right down to 0.2m – or just 0.11m from the front of the lens. (Image credit: Fujifilm)

Fujifilm’s other priority was to design a lens that was not just fast, but light and portable too. To that end, the XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR is just 75.6mm long and weighs 370g. Despite that, it has a metal lens barrel and weather seals at 8 locations, and is designed to work at temperatures down to -10 degrees Centigrade.

The filter size is a relatively modest 62mm (modest for an f/1.4 wide-angle) and there’s an aperture ring covering the full f/1.4-f/16 aperture range with a locking ‘A’ position for program AE and aperture-priority exposure modes. There will be an optional rectangular aluminium LH-XF18 Lens Hood too.

The Fujinon XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR's size means it should be a good fit on smaller cameras like the new Fujifilm X-E4, not just Fujifilm's flagship models. (Image credit: Fujifilm)

Fujinon XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR price and availability

The Fujinon XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR will go on sale in late May 2021 at a price of $999, £879 in the UK, and AU$1,749 in Australia.

Read more:

Best Fujifilm lenses
Best Fujifilm cameras
Best wide-angle lenses
Best mirrorless cameras
Best lenses to buy

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com