Reviews |Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-120mm F4 LM PZ WR

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-120mm F4 LM PZ WR Review

Fujifilm Fujinon XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR review
Review

Price when reviewed

£899

$899

Our Verdict

With an effective focal length range of 27-183mm, a constant aperture of f/4, internal focusing and zooming, and a weight of just 460g, the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-120mm F4 LM PZ WR makes a very appealing lens for run-and-gun video.

Some Fujifilm fans may miss the aperture ring, but the lens is less likely to be moved if the aperture is adjusted via a dial on the camera. The focusing is also quiet and smooth while the image quality is excellent.

For

  • Wide focal length range
  • Constant f/4 aperture
  • Power zoom

Against

  • No aperture ring
  • Unstabilised

What is the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-120mm F4 LM PZ WR?

The Fujifilm Fujinon XF18-120mm F4 LM PZ WR has the X mount and is designed for use on Fujifilm’s X-series cameras including the new Fujifilm X-H2S announced at the same time and the even newer 40MP Fujifilm X-H2. As these cameras have an APS-C format sensor, the XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR has an effective focal length of 27-183mm, making it suitable for shooting a wide range of subjects. While it can be used for stills, the power zoom function makes it especially well-suited to video recording.

Specification

  • Product type: Telephoto zoom lens
  • Mount: Fujifilm X
  • Focal length: 18-120mm
  • Effective focal length: 27-183mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/4
  • Minimum aperture: f/22
  • Construction: 15 elements in 12 groups (3 aspherical elements and 3 ED elements)
  • Diaphragm blades: 7
  • Minimum focus distance (from focal plane): 60cm
  • Maximum magnification: 0.20x
  • Stabilisation: No
  • Filter size: 72mm
  • Dimensions (diameter x length): 77.3mm x 123.5mm
  • Weight: 460g
Fujifilm Fujinon XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR review

Features

The Fujifilm XF 18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR is constructed from 15 elements arranged in 12 groups with 3 aspherical elements and 3 ED (extra-low dispersion) elements. These elements help keep the size of the lens down while maintaining image quality into the corners and reducing aberrations and distortion.

Enticingly, the lens has a constant maximum aperture of f/4, which means it’s possible to shoot at f/4 whatever focal length is set and the exposure settings won’t change during zooming. It should also ensure good subject separation at the longer focal lengths or when close to the 60cm nearest focusing distance.

Focusing is achieved using a compact, lightweight focus group that is driven by a linear motor system. This operates internally so the lens doesn’t change length during focusing and the front element doesn’t rotate. Fujifilm has employed some of the technology used in its Cine lenses to ensure that focus breathing is suppressed, which means the angle of view shouldn’t change when the focus shifts. Similarly, the focus shouldn’t adjust when the focal length is changed.

The zoom, which can be driven by a powered mechanism, is also internal so the lens doesn’t extend during zooming. That’s especially handy if the camera is mounted on a gimbal because the weight doesn’t shift dramatically, upsetting the balance.

It’s worth noting two things that the XF 18-120mm F4 LM PZ WR doesn’t feature, image stabilisation and an aperture ring. However, some Fujifilm cameras, including the new X-H2S and the Fujifilm X-T4 have in-body stabilisation and it’s possible to set the aperture using a dial on Fujifilm cameras.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR review

Build and handling

When we look at an object with view to picking it up, we make a subconscious assessment of its weight to prepare our muscles. Despite being told that the Fujinon XF 18-120mm F4 LM PZ WR is ‘surprisingly light’, I was still surprised by how light it is when I picked it up for the first time. It actually weighs 460g, which isn’t insubstantial, but it’s still light for the appearance and size of the lens.

Despite this lightweight build, the Fujifilm XF 18-120mm F4 LM PZ WR feels well made and it’s weather-sealed, which means you don’t need to worry too much if the weather isn’t perfect during a shoot – provided its on a weather-sealed camera like the X-H2S.

Along with the usual zoom and focus rings, the XF 18-120mm F4 LM PZ WR has a jog ring or sprung ring that can be used to adjust the zoom and focus using motors. The speed of the zoom adjustment is proportional to the speed at which the ring is rotated.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR review

There’s a button marked Z/F just next to the powered zoom/focus ring to switch it between focusing and zooming. Just beneath this button, and within easy reach of your left thumb, there’s a pair of zoom buttons that can be used to zoom in or out at constant speed using the power zoom mechanism. The speed of this adjustment can be adjusted via the camera’s menu.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR review

Performance

After mounting the Fujifilm XF 18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR briefly on the 26Mp Fujifilm X-H2S and then on the 40MP Fujifilm X-H2 for this review, I can verify that is fully compatible with the camera’s subject detection system.

The focus is also swift and the focus/zoom mechanism works well, although I mainly used it for zooming smoothly while shooting video while relying on the camera’s autofocus system to keep the subject sharp.

Fujifilm’s claim that focus breathing is kept under good control is also borne out, there’s just a hint of it at the longer end of the lens.

Testing the XF 18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR on the 40MP Fujifilm X-H2 means that it was subjected to the toughest test currently possible with a Fujiflm camera, and it wasn’t found wanting. There’s a high level of sharpness throughout the zoom range. As usual, best results are seen when the aperture is closed down by a stop or two, but I would happily shoot at f/4 with the lens at any focal length. I would aim to avoid the smallest aperture settings, however, as the softening impact of diffraction is clear at f/22.

If for some reason during processing your raw files you decide to turn off the corrections that are applied automatically, you’ll see quite significant barrel distortion in images captured at the wide-angle end of the lens, and pincushion distortion at the telephoto end. But with the corrections applied, straight lines look just right.

Chromatic aberration is also controlled very well and the petal-shaped lens hood does a good job of keeping flare at bay.

Generally, the out of focus areas look very good, but you may find some soap bubble bokeh if you scrutinise out of focus areas with tiny highlights. It can make the highlights look like small rings rather than uniform circles, but you have to hunt for it.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF18-120mm F4 LM PZ WR sample images

Follow the link to browse and download full-resolution images shot using the Fujifilm Fujinon XF18-120mm F4 LM PZ WR on the Fujifilm X-H2 Please respect our copyright.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-120mm F4 LM PZ WR Image Gallery

Verdict

The Fujifilm XF 18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR is a versatile lens and while it works well for stills, it is more attractive to those who want to shoot video on a frequent basis.

I’d avoid the smallest aperture settings when possible, but the level of sharpness and is very good at other settings. Thanks to in-built correction algorithms, curvilinear distortion isn’t an issue and chromatic aberration is kept under tight control.

Further good news is that the focus is swift and accurate, but the control over manual focusing can also work very well for video. Similarly, it’s possible to zoom smoothly from one focal length to another.

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macfaddn
2 months ago

Does this lens have the same problem as older Fuji zoom lenses with constant apertures where the exposure changes while zooming?

John
John
1 month ago

Hey, this may be a novice question but I’ve been using the lens with an Xpro 3. The light meter in my camera is functioning with lens. Is it the lens, or is there a setting I need to adjust. Any help is appreciated.

John
John
1 month ago

I did, and it’s working for my 35mm lens with an aperture ring. Not sure if the lack of a ring on the this 18 -120 negates the use of the meter in camera.

John
John
1 month ago

yes, and thank you for even trying to help with this. So, in the visual UI, to the left of frame is the light meter. I normally have the ISO set to Auto and as I adjust SS or F, the meter reads up or down with regard to exposure. With the new lens, same ISO setting, the meter doesn’t respond to adjustments in SS. It does respond when I use the exposure compensation dial, but not if I adjust SS. Again, not sure if I need to adjust a setting, if because it doesn’t have the aperture ring the meter doesn’t register the same way… Have just gotten used to checking the meter when I’m shooting.

John
John
1 month ago

Thanks very much. Appreciate it.

John
John
1 month ago

Thanks very much! appreciate the help.