Does my 16-55 have an issue?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
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allemania Regular Member • Posts: 123
Does my 16-55 have an issue?

I have had the 16-55 (bought it new) for about a year. Prior to that purchase I had used an 18-55 that came with my first Fuji body, an X-T10.

I've never felt that my 16-55 never lived up to my (perhaps unrealistic) expectations. It's not that I haven't taken some great images, but there didn't seem to be a dramatic difference in image quality between my 16-55 and 18-55.

I recently decided to fabricate a lens testing chart based on USAF 1951 images so that I could do side by side comparisons. This was a first for me and found it to be a very demanding process in terms of the precision required. I'm hoping that the two images I post here will allow forum members to give some feedback. Although I repeated the tests multiple times with both lenses over all of the traditional focal lengths (i.e. 16,18,23,35 and 55) and apertures (2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11,16), I'm only posting two images because they show the areas of my concerns and I don't want to abuse the the time of those who are willing to do a little pixel-peeping.

Let me add that, in general, I learned that my 16-55 is sharper across the frame on the wide end (18, 23) but not necessarily so on the mid to long end (35,55) than my 18-55. The latter is what surprised me and thus the reason for this post.

By the way, all images were taken indoors on a tripod mounted X-T3 with a Godox flash. OIS was turned off on the 18-55.

The following image was taken with my 16-55 at 55mm, f/4, ISO160.

Notice the softness on the left side, especially the lower left corner.  Also, the upper corners show noticeable distortion.

The following image was taken with my 18-55 at 55mm, F4, ISO 160.

Although the center seems softer, all sides and corners appear sharper to me, especially the left side and lower left corner. Overall sharpness appears more consistent across the frame.

Stopping down brings the lenses closer in image quality, essentially identical at f/8. Behavior is similar at 35mm.

If the consensus is that the 16-55 should be better than this, then I'd likely sell it and try another new one, only being sure to test lens performance while still in the return period.

Many thanks in advance for those who take the time to give feedback!


 allemania's gear list:allemania's gear list
Sony RX100 III Fujifilm X-T10 Fujifilm X-T20 Fujifilm X-H1 Fujifilm X-T3 +7 more
Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8R LM WR Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm X-T10 Fujifilm X-T3
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