Is the XF18mm f/2 still worth buying in 2019?

The very small 18mmF2

Hey guys, hope your all well. So this is the first review blog I have done and it’s basically two weeks of owning the 18mm F2 and what I have found so far. Spoiler alert, this little lens is absolutely brilliant, so don’t listen to rubbish people say about it!

So, why did I buy the 18mm F2? Well, its all the 35mm F1.4’s fault! Yes, that’s right, I blame a lens for me buying another lens. Its all due to the way the 35 renders an image. The photos this lens produces have a special quality that I just can’t put my finger on, but wow! This made me think, I wonder if the other two original lenses (35mm, 18mm and 60mm are the original X-series lenses released) produce shots of similar quality. Needless to say, I had to try them out.

I’ll start with this, I’m no pixel peeper, shooting brick walls looking for distortion and all that rubbish. I test a lens by getting out and about and using it as I would normally! So ye, I don’t shoot many brick walls. Sorry! What you will see in this post are images I have taken in my normal situations on the street taking street photos! Nothing technical, just how does the lens performs.

Another side point is that every review of this lens is old and on one of the older Fuji cameras. I have been shooting the lens on my X-T3. I think this is useful for people to know how this lens does on the newer camera bodies. So let’s dive in.

Auto Focus
I can confirm it works! Very well! Yes, it’s not the worlds fastest lens. Yes, it’s a bit noisy. Yes, the front lens element moves a little bit. So What! None of that matters, because not once do I feel like I’ve missed a shot due to the autofocus speed. If I have missed a shot its been my fault, not the lenses! So let’s throw that idea in the bin. This lens does focus fast enough for use in 2019, and I would imagine that any of the newer cameras will perform very well with this lens!

Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF18mmF2 . f/2.8 . 1/500″ . ISO 800 – Snappy autofocus lets me get shots like this

Sharpness
I can also confirm that this lens is sharp! Very sharp! Again, is it the worlds sharpest lens? Nope. Is it useable at a professional level? Absolutely! I love this lens. Like I said, I am not a pixel peeper but if I was, I wouldn’t have a single problem with this lens. For the purpose of this review, I have cropped into some of the shots I have taken to check sharpness, and wow, it’s sharp! Remember I am using the Jpegs straight from the camera so haven’t added any stupid sharpening in Lightroom. Just as it was when it left my camera.

Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF18mmF2 . f/2.8 . 1/125″ . ISO 1600
Notice the texture in this guys skin and the wood grain in the bench. This a 100% crop from an image! Impressive.

Size and Weight
Possibly the best selling point of this lens! It’s tiny and very lightweight! Remember that this is a 27-28mm full-frame equivalent F2 lens! You compare a full-frame lens of similar specs to this lens and look how much bigger the full-frame lens is. It’s baffling to me how Fuji make these lenses perform so well in such a small package? As a street photographer and travel photographer, the fact that this lens is so super small is amazing! On the street, my X-T3 and this lens make a tiny set up most people don’t even give it a second glance. I recently went on a small trip to an island with friends and the 18mm hardly took up any space at all. Winner!!!!

Bokeh
Not something you buy a wide-angle for necessarily but, it’s a bonus to know that the out of focus areas do look nice. To get a really blurry background with a wide-angle lens you have to get very close to your subject, again not something I’m doing very often, if at all. But, when you do have a little bit of depth of field control, the bokeh this lens produces is nice. This is a shot that shows the bokeh of this lens pretty well.

Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF18mmF2 . f/2.8 . 1/1000″ . ISO 800 – Check the background in this image. It’s not the smoothest creamiest bokeh in the world, but it’s nice! It falls off really nicely in my opinion.

Overall Image Quality
So, this is pretty much my most important aspect of any lens. Nothing else matters at the end of the day, as long as the lens produces nice images. The technicalities don’t matter (just my opinion remember). Does this lens give me what I need from a wide-angle lens for street photography? 100% YES! I love it! I have only been shooting with it for 2 weeks so I have a lot more shots to make with this lens! Here is my favourite shot so far with the 18mm. A classic street photo, very happy with this one.

Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF18mmF2 . f/2.8 . 1/709″ . ISO 160 – I love this shot! The 18mm worked perfectly in this situation! It’s nice and wide to give some context to the shot, that’s important. The subject is interesting. The reflection adds interest! Overall, it’s a nice shot and the 18mm helped me get it.

I’ll wrap the review up there guys! I’m sure you can see from the shots in the review, that this lens just performs! I will post some shots that I have taken with the 18mm over the last few weeks and the bottom so you can see a few more examples.

If you shoot street or travel a lot and need a wide-angle lens, hey, if you shoot weddings and need a wide-angle lens. Do not look past this little gem! You can find it at a great price used and it’s even pretty cheap brand new these days! I would advise anyone to look at this lens and pick one up! It’s awesome and I love it. Thanks for reading guys!

YES, THE 18MM IS STILL WORTH BUYING!

Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF18mmF2 . f/4.0 . 1/64″ . ISO 800
Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF18mmF2 . f/2.0 . 1/64″ . ISO 1250
Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF18mmF2 . f/2.0 . 1/64″ . ISO 1250
Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF18mmF2 . f/2.0 . 1/500″ . ISO 1250
Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF18mmF2 . f/2.0 . 1/125″ . ISO 800
Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF18mmF2 . f/2.8 . 1/125″ . ISO 400
Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF18mmF2 . f/2.8 . 1/500″ . ISO 800
Fuji X-T3 – Fuji XF18mmF2 . f/2.8 . 1/800″ . ISO 160
Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF18mmF2 . f/2.8 . 1/1710″ . ISO 160
Fuji X-T3 – Fuji XF18mmF2 – f/2.8 . 1/1105″ . ISO 160
Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF18mmF2 . f/2.8 . 1/500″ . ISO 160
Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF18mmF2 . f/2.8 . 1/5000″ . ISO 160

"I'm Arran, creator of FUJIFEELS and general photography addict. I carry my camera pretty much everywhere I go. I shoot all sorts of things but, professionally I'm a wedding photographer and my main personal work revolves around street photography."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The maximum upload file size: 96 MB.
You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other.
Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.