Unfair bashing of the Fuji 16-80mm?

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
John356 Regular Member • Posts: 162
Re: Unfair bashing of the Fuji 16-80mm?

I suspect I'll take my share of heat for this, but I can live with that...

It's always best to keep in mind that different classes of lenses will have different standards to meet. There are always compromises in any zoom lens design, particularly when the FL range is quite wide (5:1), as it is with this lens. Reading all the posts about this for quite some time, I think many people walk into this with overly high expectations and wonder why they're not seeing near prime level IQ across its range similar to what they might expect from a red badge zoom, like the 16-55 (3.5:1 range).

The longer the zoom range, the greater the compromises necessary in the lens design... it's simply a matter of physics. Reading all the furor in this forum over the 16-80 over the last few weeks, I really have to wonder whether the expectations that many people have for this lens are far in excess of what is realistic. This is a lens designed to be used in kits and offered at lower prices than Fuji's red-badged lenses, like the 16-55, which can deliver better build and near prime image quality, and do so by operating within a smaller FL range (and at a higher price).

Maybe, just maybe, it's time for some folks to get real and to set more realistic expectations. If you're expecting red badge quality, then you'll need to plan on springing for the cost of a red badge lens and probably having to live with other compromises, such as a smaller FL range and possibly no OIS (a place where IBIS really comes in handy as a way of dealing with that issue, BTW).

I'm sure I'll suffer a bit of a beating for this, but I'm fine with that. After reading a few weeks worth of whine fest in this forum over this lens, I guess I just needed to put this on the table. Bottom line: TANSTAAFL. (look it up)

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If (and it is an if ) we agree with this the only conclusion is that the 16-80 is very bad value at this time when you take current 16-55 (and 18-55?) price (special offer prices have little to do with manufacturing costs just a marketing ploy) into consideration. This is compounded by Fuji’s quality being poor on this specific lens in light of the many reports of variable IQ. I could readily purchase in Asia where prices are currently lower but the variable IQ leads me to put off local purchase until the price adjusts to correct level.


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