Rumors have been swirling that Fujifilm will be replacing the trusty XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS kit lens – and now a leaked image of its replacement has emerged.
Kit lenses are the optics that come with a camera body in a bundle or 'kit', and typically have a standard zoom range with a variable aperture. When it comes to the best Fujifilm cameras using the X mount, it looks like the kit lens of choice will soon change to the new Fujinon XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR.
That's according to a report by Fuji Rumors, which has been quick to let us know about the changing of the guard, with the new XF 16-50mm not just set to become the new standard kit lens, but to replace the XF 18-55mm altogether.
The XF 18-55mm is a much-loved lens by Fujifilm shooters, but there are some specific reasons behind the change. Images of the new XF 16-50mm have been leaked online, providing us with some new details and specs to provide an insight into why.
The first and most obvious change is the range, with the Fujifilm XF 16-50mm providing a slightly wider focal length at the short end and a more compacted long end. The aperture has also changed, still variable but with a range of f/2.8-4.8 instead of f/2.8-4.
Looking at the leaked images, you can also extrapolate that there is a lack of OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation). The need for OIS is likely reduced due to the increased stabilization that is now available in new camera bodies.
These changes so far seem a little tame, but there are two additions to this lens that (if true) will make it a welcome upgrade as a kit lens – the first being the fact that it is weather-sealed.
Weather sealing – or, as Fujifilm calls it, weather resistance (WR) – is vital for most photographers, especially those shooting outdoors in temperamental weather conditions. Many photographers purchase cameras to photograph outdoors so we don't want to worry if we get caught in a light rain. WR enables us to keep focused on image-making, knowing that the camera and lens will be protected – a major improvement!
The second reported addition is that the lens will be able to take advantage of the full 40MP resolution of newer X-series cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-T5. The current XF 18-55mm kit lens is not on the list of optics capable of resolving the full megapixel count, meaning it is not able to capture the maximum sharpness that these cameras offer. This will be rectified with the new XF 16-50mm.
A number of useful changes, but there are some features that will remain. The aperture ring, like on many of the XF lenses, will stay, along with the linear motor, ensuring quick and efficient autofocus.
Although coming from a generally reliable source, these are all still rumors and nothing official has been announced by Fujifilm. However, it is looking pretty likely that this lens will be coming at the beginning of 2024 – and will be a big improvement to the current standard kit lens offered.