Monday, November 4, 2013

The Epidemic Of Crap Mirrorless Lenses Continues Unabated

I love Fuji. I will probably be buying my first Fuji camera soon, maybe the upcoming X Pro 2, and appreciate their focus on the enthusiast.

That said, even Fuji has partaken of the odd habit in the mirrorless world of designing and building crappy lenses and then correcting those lenses in software. This applies to all aspects of bad lens design: aberrations, distortion, vignetting, and even flare. Micro 4/3 has been the absolute worst, with many of their lenses being full-priced while having distortion and vignetting that would cause a Leica engineer to literally crap their pants. And I mean literally literally. Poop would leave their butt and drop into their pants. This would be amazing because Leica is German, and as we all know, Germans do not poop. They just hold it until they die of old age.

Oh, right. Fuji. Well, Fuji had produced some lenses with less-than-ideal characteristics. The 18mm had noticeably bad distortion, and the 60mm macro had difficult-to-correct pincushion distortion. But Fuji has truly outdone itself with its very own overpriced piece of crap, the 16-50mm.

But, you may ask, how could a $400 lens be overpriced? That's not too expensive. Well, it is. The 16-50mm produced an eye-watering seven-point-two-percent distortion at 16mm. As Photozone points out, that's nearing fish-eye territory. The distortion is so bad that the corrected distortion is nearly 1%. Good god, Fuji!

Perhaps if the resolution was amazing, but it's not. It is decidedly average. And the average in this category includes lenses that cost $200 and are superior in every single way.

This is a major disappointment from a company that has done nothing but innovate and price their products well. I suppose that every company makes a mistake now and then. I just hope that this is Fuji's first and last.

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