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Fuji XF 18-135mm


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Hello there,

I recently 'beefed up' to the Fuji 18-135mm zoom for my X-E1 and gave it a quick spin just recently. I wrote a few initial impressions here:




I already have the 18-55 kit and 60mm macro. Where would you think of going next? And how about non-native lenses that sit well with the Fuji system?


Many thanks for your advice in advance,


With best wishes from Mike

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Hi Mike,


I'm mainly use Prime Lenses, although looking forward to getting the XF100-400


As far as non-native lenses I'm having fun with some old (35 year+) Pentax K mount lenses, a 50mm F/2 and a 135mm F/3.5.

I got the lenses from a friend, and picked up an adapter on ebay for ~£10.


I have linked in the non native lens section to my flickr where I got some test shots

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HI there


I love the 18-135mm its a great travel lens


Where next really depends on what you like to shoot. If you shoot wildlife or want more reach then the 50-230/55-200/50-140(with TC) or 100-400.


I don't get the impression thats what you are after but I mention if for completeness.


For me there are two-3 lens you should think about next and these fall under two categories.


1) 35mm F1.4 you have all the versatility you could want with the 18-135 18mm is plenty wide enough for most situations you have a macro(ish) lens all you are missing is a low light monster and the 35mm is such a supremely versatile prime that will allow you to do so much and also if you were travelling with a 2 lens kit the 18-135 and 35mm is great little combo, add the 60mm in for a 3 lens kit and there is not much you can't shoot except very long or ultra wide.


2) 10-24mm or 14mm the 18mm of your 18-135mm is very useful (the 18mm on the 18-55 is slightly better but not by a huge factor) I would sell the 18-55mm and get the 10-24 or 14 depending on your budget/space consideration so you have an ultra wide option.


Personally I find the 18-135mm plus 35mm and 10-24mm is my ultimate travel kit I can fit all 3 lens into a Tenba DNA 8 messenger bag, I have ultra wide covered, I have a fast normal prime and I have the 18-135mm as a walkaround lens and for portraits its a great lens in the 70-90mm range, sharp as thats the sweet spot of the zoom and while you don't get background blur from aperture at that zoom you start getting compression blur and so it works well for portraits at a pinch, Its never going to hang with the 56mm or 90mm primes but it does the job if you want to keep lens to a minimum. Swap the 10-24mm for the 14mm and its an even lighter and more portable kit. That is a great option. I only went for the 10-24 for two reasons flexibility and because I shoot video occasionally and I have high hopes for the next generations Fuji video capabilities and the 10-24mm is ironically hands down the best ultra wide for video in the mirrorless world.




1) Threaded filter, most other ultra wides from other manufacturers don't have a filter ring so ND filters become a pain.

2) Constant aperture zoom.

3) Super flexible focal range 16mm - 35mm essentially and that is great for the video I shoot which is mainly bands in tight spaces. the 35mm for close up details shots compliments this lens very well. If you have not desire for video or for width below 14mm then get the prime.


However conclusion the next lens I would buy would hands down be the 35mm F1.4 it is still the lens I judge all other in the range by. I still prefer the rendering of it to that of the 56mm and even the 90mm its an awesome lens. There is a lot of hype around the 35mm F2 as its weather sealed and slightly better built (focus ring smoother, aperture ring tighter) but no-one looks at a beautiful picture and says wow I bet that was taken with a lens that had a smooth focus ring. Give it a couple of years and the hype has died down and people will realize the F1.4 is the daddy and the F2 is a great lens if you value compactness and weather sealing highly due to the style of shooting you do.




Disclaimer - I have shot extensively with all the lens mentioned above except the 14mm/50-140mm/35mm F2 and 100-400mm, the first three I have used in a shop the other is too new for me to have got anywhere near.

Edited by gordonrussell76
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Consider adding a wide angle lens. I have the 14 mm and am happy enough with its performance to not be tempted by the newer 10-24 zoom or 16 mm prime. I tend to use fast primes for lower light photos or when I want more subject separation and the 18-135 as the standard zoom.

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[...] at $1800 its a laughable joke of a lens :(


It's priced correctly for something that is the somewhat "equivalent" of the Nikkor 200-500 F5.6E lens. It's not bad at all I would say for something that has longer reach while still have a decent size for its range.


The Image comes out quite nicely both from short and long ends. the OIS is as good as in the 18-135 zoom lens. Plus it gives Fuji shooters something that was severely lacking, meaning longer range.


Is it as good as a prime lens ? Nope, but do we have anything else to replace it or even remotely compare it to ? Not really either.


The lens is sharp enough at both ends and contrast nicely too. I really don't get your grippe against that lens. Please name me a single long range zoom of its price range that produce better image than it and we can start talking.


The 100-400 lens is akin to the 18-135, it's a lens of compromise, you get a slight dip in IQ but gain a lot more in practicability.

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Ive used and tested all the Fuji X lenses,   at $1800 its a laughable joke of a lens :(


Hmmm..... First bad comment  I have seen about the 100-400.  I am sure there are more, but for the most part I hear nothing but praise.  I have not had a chance to try it out, but would love to.  I do agree though with the small amount of long distance shooting I do I am not able to justify the $1800.  I must say though from the posts I have seen it is well worth the price, hopefully it will go down to a point I can justify the expense.  Likely I may end up renting it once in a while.


In the mean time I LOVE my 18-135, I find the versatility amazing.  I like to walk the outdoors and find it can do anything from close up on flowers to most wildlife I see.  I do admit I could use more reach at times but the lens as it is does 90% of what I prefer.

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I like the versatility of the 18-135mm. I own it, but whenever possible I try to use other lenses. I find the that the contrast in fine detail for landscapes is lacking and it seems to require a lot more dehazing in RAW than other lenses. In another thread, the issue of quality control came up with this lens and I tend to agree. It's not made in Japan like many of the other Fuji lenses and other people haven't had the same issues that I mentioned above. Part of this could also be due to my being an early-adopter and buying it immediately upon release. The production line may have fewer QC issues now.


Where this lens really shines though is the stabilization! This is a shot taken in Mammoth Cave with all of the lights out except for a small lantern that the guide lit up. Handheld, f/5.6, half second, no problem! The 5 stops of stabilization are why this lens stays even though I rarely use it.



DSCF5465 copy by Oren Darling, on Flickr

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