XF18-120mm – Meet The “Worst” Lens of 2022

If you are aware, DPReview TV has done it again. Yes, this is the second time DPReview commented that the Fujifilm XF lens is not sharp, and unfortunately, XF18-120mm f4 is that lens. The first one was back in 2020 and they commented that the XF50mm f1 was soft.

Fuji X-S10 . Fuji XF18-120mm @ 120mm . f4 . 1/480″ . ISO 160 . Classic Neg
Fuji X-S10 . Fuji XF18-120mm @ 120mm . f4 . 1/950″ . ISO 160 . Classic Neg

In DPReview TV, they have this culture in which they will share their thoughts on the best and worse cameras and lenses at the end of every year with some alcohol.

So what are the comments? While Chris mentioned that it is a decent lens, Jordan was disappointed with the lens as it is not sharp and it should be sharper to take full advantage of the X-H2’s 8K video recording capability or the X-H2S’ 6.2k open gate.

Fuji X-S10 . Fuji XF18-120mm @ 43.2mm . f4 . 1/1600″ . ISO 160 . Classic Neg
Fuji X-S10 . Fuji XF18-120mm @ 45.4mm . f4 . 1/420″ . ISO 160 . Classic Neg

This sparks quite a lot of discussions in various forums. Some videographers are worried & wonder why, some are outraged, and some simply ignore it. Usually, I belong to the last category. But I have a few friends who actually want to buy this lens and they want to use it for photography purposes. So I just hope to address some concerns with this post.

The first thing about this lens is that it is designed with videography and videographers in mind. As suggested by many videographers out there, videography lenses that are optimized for video are often not sharp. Even if it is a sharp lens, videographers will need to do something to soften the sharpness. What fascinates me is that the “worse lens” comment actually came out from Jordon and he is a videographer shouldn’t he know why the lens is not sharp-sharp?

I shall stop talking about videography (because I am no expert) and share from my photography standpoint. I do not own this XF18-120mm but I do test the lens out and used it for slightly over 2 weeks. Deep in my heart, it is a very good general-purpose lens with decently sharp across all focal lengths and with adequate contrast. Among all the non-red badged lenses, It is probably one of the best zoom lenses coming out from Fujifilm. Very good control of chromatic aberration and vignetting is an additional plus point to the lens.

If you are looking for an all-rounder lens and you do not mind having a power-zoom lens like this one (it has 3 ways of zoom functionalities) and missing out on the slightly wider focal length like 16mm, I strongly recommend you to try it out in your local camera stores for your consideration.

Fuji X-S10 . Fuji XF18-120mm @ 120mm . f4 . 1/640″ . ISO 160 . Classic Neg

But then again, sometimes you need to take their comments with a pinch of salt. After all, they are kinda drunk in the show.

Fuji X-S10 . Fuji XF18-120mm @ 108.9mm . f5.6 . 1/350″ . ISO 160 . Classic Neg

Thank you for reading.

1. All the shots taken here are shot by me.
2. Most of the shots are straight out of the camera with some shots edited via In-Camera Raw Processing.

3. The opinions are based on my experience. If there is any mistake, please kindly drop me a message and I will gladly make the amendment.
4. I reserve ownership of these images, if you wish to use my images, please notify me.

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