16-55 vs 16-80: at an impasse

Started Nov 19, 2019 | Discussions thread
xtm Senior Member • Posts: 1,380
Re: 16-55 vs 16-80: at an impasse

lewiedude2 wrote:

Jerry-astro wrote:

xtm wrote:

Lens_Goat wrote:

Back when I shot Sony, the allure of Fujifilm's dials and retro-styling was dogged. I had to convert. I told myself I would do so once the 16-80 was released. Needless to say, I caved 11-months before the 16-80 would find its way into my hands.

Last December, I bought my XT-3 with the 16-55 and I have taken many cherished pictures with it. It's a bit hefty for my liking but I have gotten by hiking in the mountains with it. All the while, the specter of the 16-80 has (to a small extent) tempered my enjoyment of the 16-55. Will this marvelous lens prevail in the end or give way to the 16-80?

Once I got the shipping receipt for my 16-80, I figured I would at last get closure. Unfortunately that hasn't exactly been the case. Comparing the 16-80 to the 16-55 has exposed both the strengths and weaknesses of the 16-55.

Contrary to what one YouTuber said, who now has no credibility in my book, the 16-80 is not sharper than the 16-55. At 1:1, the difference in sharpness is salient. Particularly at the wider end of the zoom range. Here are two pictures, taken on a tripod, to prove my point:



Even stopping down to f/8, the 16-80 fails to catch up. But, do the smeary details at 1:1 really matter in the end? I do like to crop but I don't think anyone will notice most of the time. The images of the 16-80 look clear and detailed at normal viewing angles.

In spite of its inferior sharpness, the 16-80 has many things going for it. It feels perfect on the XT-3. It reveals how bulbous and front-heavy a lens the 16-55 is. The 16-80 also exhibits less barrel distortion than the 16-55. Perhaps the camera is programmed to more aggressively correct the 16-80's distortions. Focus is snappy and OIS seems to work very well.

So, I'm at a loss. Unfortunately -- owning both is not an option I wish to consider. In nearly a year since I've taken to shooting Fuji, these are the only two lenses I've purchased. I rather expend what little discretionary income I have on something different than a 2nd mid-range zoom. Perhaps the 10-24? Perhaps one of the revered primes?

Any advice would be welcome but ultimately I need to make the decision for myself. In a way, I wish the 16-80 were my first Fujifilm lens. It's a damn fine lens and I would not have the frame of reference to see where it is deficient.

The two images look identical to me. I have the 16-55 and now feel a little buyers remorse. I have no 16-80 to compare it with but based on these samples, they look identical to me. The 16-55 is good but I could use the extra range. I tried to zoom in in these two images but can’t see any difference. What am I supposed to be looking at?

The difference certainly isn’t huge, but to my eyes, the 16-55 image looks somewhat better. How much of that is due to processing or other factors vs. pure IQ is hard to determine just from looking at these examples. However, it’s obvious enough to me that it might influence a buying decision (or at least increase my comfort with having gone with the 16-55 years ago).

Identical? 16-55 on the left. It isn’t even close.

Ok thank you!!! So apparently I have to use the Loupe tool to see the difference. It is a big difference indeed, BUT only if you use the loupe. I could not see much difference when viewing at 100% though. But thanks

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