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

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-120mm F4 LM PZ WR hands on 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.

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. 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 Fujifilm X-H2S, I can verify that is fully compatible with the camera’s subject detection system. So far, I’ve only directed this combination towards people, but the camera was quick to spot eyes in the frame even when they were very small in the scene.

The focus is also swift and the focus/zoom mechanism seems to work well, but I want to spend much more time with the lens before I make any firm conclusions.

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