Damned with faint praise.


"As the first weather-resistant lens for the XF system, the new Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR offers an appealing combination of versatile zoom range, good image quality, excellent construction and handling, and fair value for money

At 18mm the centre is pretty sharp wide open, with peak performance achieved in the f/4-11 range. Diffraction sets in at around f/16, with its effects becoming more visible at f/22.The edges are not so good, though, being soft at f/3.5-f/5.6 and not sharpening up until f/8, with f/11 the optimum setting. 

 Priced at £749 / $899, the Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is certainly not a cheap lens, but it does feel built to last, delivers good images whilst offering a very versatile focal range, and could conceivably take the place of several much more expensive primes if you don't mind the rather slow maximum apertures. 

Centre sharpness is very good throughout the zoom range, only requiring the user to stop down by one f-stop the lens to get the best results. Edge sharpness proved to be a little disappointing at the 18mm setting, although it thankfully improves at the other focal lengths.

The maximum apertures of f/3.5-5.6 are on the slow side, although the seven-blade iris diaphragm achieves some appealing bokeh effects none-the-less. Vignetting is practically a non-issue, and chromatic aberrations are only noticeable by their almost complete absence. There is some slight barreling at the 18mm wide-angle focal length, but very little pincushion distortion of note at the 135mm setting.

The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR benefits from a fairly fast and pleasingly quiet auto-focus mechanism, generously wide zoom ring and a welcome aperture ring which makes it quick, easy and precise to set this key element of exposure. The lens mount is, thankfully, made of metal and, thanks to an internal focusing (IF) system, the front element and filter thread does not rotate on focus, which is very good news for those using polarisers and ND grads on a regular basis.

The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR doubles up as quite a useful macro lens. The close-focus point is at 0.45m from the sensor plane and the maximum magnification is 0.27x at full telephoto.

It's "recommended."

And yes it's a pretty typical and fair and balanced review. But in a nutshell this is pretty much why I've embraced the Nokia Lumia 1020 Smartphone. Because everything is a compromise, so why not have a compromise that's cheap, simple and easy to use and is enjoyable, fun and a pleasure to shoot with, has a spectacular screen that shows me exactly what I'm getting, weighs very little, needs no bag to carry it and it's lenses (none), has no lens caps to loose, doesn't require chargers, extra batteries and three different kinds of raw processing software to get decent results, has more pixels, needs no external storage cards, gives me no disadvantage whatsoever in terms of my picture library sales, doesn't have a sensor that attracts dust, produces images that are the equal of and in fact in many cases better than many DSLR / Mirrorless / CSC alternatives, allows me quick and easy access to cloud storage, file transfer and the possibility to upload the images to wherever I want quickly, easily and without taking endless hours in Photoshop and is almost entirely 'fiddle-free' ??

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