FOR ALL MY POSTS ON THE FUJI X-T1 - CLICK HERE
FOR ALL MY POSTS ON THE FUJI 18-135mm LENS - CLICK HERE
With it's large zoom range, weather sealing and image stabilisation to die for, the Fuji 18-135mm is a remarkable feat of optical and mechanical engineering. Add in the fact that it's pin sharp and reasonably priced and you have one of the best 'superzooms' ever to come off an assembly line.
It really is like having a set of high quality primes in one lens. It's not the fastest but in terms of image quality it's spectacular. It used to be that for ultimate quality primes were the way to go, but with the selection of zoom lenses I currently have from Leica, Panasonic / Leica, Sony / Zeiss and this one from Fuji that is rapidly becoming unnecessary. Of all of them I rate the Panasonic monster lens on the FZ1000 as the most daring, the most ambitious and the most useful. But for drop dead quality, class and some of the best rendering I've ever seen from a zoom lens, this Fujifilm XF18-135mm f3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Lens takes some beating.
And you know what? I've used nothing that does beat it. The files it produces would satisfy the most demanding user and for someone like me who shoots outdoors in good light, it's such a useful and creative tool, allowing me to frame precisely to produce images with impact. Attached to my X-T1 today it produced some terrific files, sharp across the frame and with spot on colour. And I've written it before and I'll write it again, if you own a Fuji X camera and you don't have one of these or are about to get one, why not?
SHOOTING STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY WITH THE FUJI 18-135mm ZOOM LENS
As someone who makes a living shooting stock photography, it's not hard to see that a zoom lens is really useful. The above selection of images is typical of what I might shoot in a day. Using the whole range of the lens has given me the opportunity to pick out some strong graphic compositions ideal for selling as stock on picture library websites.
Witt the 'bricks' shot I was able to pick out the houses 'stacked' on top of each other, this with the lens at 104mm. The woodland path and the boats going through the lock are at the wider end of the zoom. The path was shot at 1/18 sec. f/7.1 ISO 400, showing the value of the lens's IS system. Even more impressive in this regard is the shot of the water and the rocks. This was shot at 1/9 sec. f/9 ISO 400 allowing me to get a nice blur in the water. As you can see the rest of the image is pin sharp, showing just how good the Image stabilisation is. Hand held, this is remarkable.
So the 18-135mm zoom has performed in an exemplary fashion in a variety of shooting situations and proved it's worth. I am particularly impressed by that IS. I've always thought that Fuji have the best stabilisation system I've ever used and this confirms it.
So as the title says, this is a great lens. In the next few days I'm going to be testing it against some of my other Fuji X lenses, including the 23mm f/1.4, 56mm f/1.2 and the 10-24mm, 18-55mm and 55-200mm zooms. My suspicion is that it will turn out to be one of the sharpest of them all. Stay tuned for that.