Quick comparison of the 18-55 vs 16-55

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Flat view
Arjun_R_1 Forum Member • Posts: 74
Quick comparison of the 18-55 vs 16-55

As the title says, this is a brief comparison of my XF 18-55 and XF 16-55. This is not a scientific comparison, I tried to replicate shooting conditions between both lenses but I was handholding the camera in each shot so it's not exact. UV filter was on both lenses but the one of the 18-55 is older (maybe this affected my results a bit, maybe not).

I decided to have a little Christmas tree showdown as I found the rendering differences between the two lenses were quite interesting. The XF 16-55 seems to be much more contrasty compared to the XF 18-55, and my copy of the XF 18-55 seems to be more affected by the lighting in the background than the other lens.
Since I've heard so much about the IQ of the XF 18-55, I was curious to see if other people's experience was different and how their copy compared to the XF 16-55 (if they owned both).

All shots were captured in Velvia with the same settings (except the 55mm pic where I was at a slightly higher ISO with the 16-55). I'll add some thoughts on each comparison pic but would like to hear your thoughts on this (casual) comparison.

XF 16-55 at (roughly) 18mm

XF 18-55mm at 18mm

18mm comparison:

Images seem much more contrasty with the XF 16-55. Strangely, the XF 18-55 seems to do a tiny bit better on the extreme corner of the picture (bottom left) with the little bear on the floor, maybe this was a focus issue. I feel the XF 18-55 could have a touch of contrast and almost get the same look at the XF 16-55 here. Detail seems to be a bit better on the XF 16-55 (to be expected).

XF 16-55 at 35mm

XF 18-55 at 35mm

35mm comparison:

I think my XF 16-55 copy performs stronger at 35mm than at the wide end. I think this image is a clearer win for the 16-55, as the image seems to be sharp across the whole frame and the corners do much better than the 18-55. If you look at the little bear in the bottom left, it's much clearer.

XF 16-55 at 55mm (ISO 500)

XF 18-55 at 55mm (ISO 320)

55mm comparison:

Again, I think it's a big difference when viewing at 100%. The image is sharper across the frame and doesn't suffer from as much glare as the XF 18-55. Sharpness in the centre is a bit better than the 18-55 but the sharpness at the top of the image is noticeably different. I tried to frame these as closely as I could, but it wasn't exact.

Also, as I was making this comparison, I turned around and saw a little bird was perched on a feeder outside. I decided to take a quick pic:

XF 50-230 with sharpening via Topaz Sharpen AI

XF 50-230 with sharpening via Topaz Sharpen AI

I guess the lesson to learn is, gear comparisons and pixel peeping are fine but don't forget to look outside the window once in a while

 Arjun_R_1's gear list:Arjun_R_1's gear list
Fujifilm X-T4 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8R LM WR Fujifilm 50-230mm II +2 more
Flat view
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow