Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fuji's First Kit Zoom Is A Home Run

Fuji released along with the XE-1 a new kit zoom, which by nothing more than the virtue of an f/2.8 max aperture. The real question was of course whether the lens would measure up in other metrics, and compliments of a new review and Photozone, we can finally know.

It's very good. Not excellent, but it holds up well in comparison to other kit zooms. The resolution is fantastic, but the distortion at the wide end is significant. Again, it's as though the one thing that other camera companies have taken away from Micro 4/3 is that it is totally acceptable to produce a lens with sky-high distortion since it can be corrected in software. No. That is lazy lens design.

Similarly, the vignetting is pretty high, being well over 1-EV at f/2.8. This isn't a deal-breaker, especially with the Fuji sensor's low shadow noise, allowing the edges to be easily brought up in post. And considering the excellent resolution characteristics, only a fool would reject the lens.

My only criticism is that the lens is only a good deal if you buy it in the kit. As a stand-alone lens, it is still good for the price, $600, but not great. In the kit, it only costs $400, which is a great deal indeed.

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