It's official: NO OIS for 16-55 f2.8 WR

Discussion in 'Fuji' started by Boompa, Jan 6, 2015.


    I own the 50-140 f2.8 (and it is SUPERB!) and was eager to buy the matching 16-55 f2.8... but looks like I'm going to pass w/o OIS. :frown:

    Who knows? Maybe the IQ will be so much better than the 18-55 I'll have to buy one, but NOW it's going to take some convincing whereas I would have already pre-ordered the lens today if it had OIS.

    We'll see.
  2. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    At the risk of sounding like a contentious old fart - good. OIS can be a blessing but it can also be a curse. It is not a focus-shake cure-all. A lens such as the 16-55 should not NEED OIS to have a high hit rate, particularly given it's fast aperture, intended market and likely use.

    I am not a great fan of zooms. I have the 18-55, 18-135 and 55-200 and they all benefit from OIS for one reason or another - one is light and slow, one is heavy and slow, and one is long and slow - but the 16-55 is a different proposition. The finest, sharpest zoom lens I ever used was a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 28-85mm f3.3; it had no OIS - it hadn't been invented then - but married to a Contax RX or RTSlll you were ready for pretty well anything. It's specs are not dissimilar to the Fujinon...

    So no, I'm not bothered one whit by an OIS-free 16-55 - in fact, bring it on.
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  3. Matero

    Matero Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Bill, couldn't say it better!
  4. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    This is true, but it's also equally true to say that no lens actually needs OIS/SSS/VR etc etc. The question is whether any given lens benefits from having it. While generally longer, heavier lens benefit more than shorter lighter ones, it doesn't follow that there is no benefit in the latter case, just that there is less benefit and that the trade-offs in terms of size, weight and (allegedly) image quality become more significant.

    Not that I actually care that much, you understand. OIS or not, this lens is not on my shopping list.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Covey22

    Covey22 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 3, 2012
    The OIS decision was probably not an easy one. Addiing OIS would have added weight and bulk to a lens whose system is characterized by lightness and small footprint.

    Personally, I see this as being the same case the as a system I know better - Nikon - when they released their 17-55/2.8 DX with no VR. I've shot that lens, it's just as big and heavy as the FX 17-35/2.8, sharp as hell and the color rendition superb, but I can honestly say, there were times where I would have killed to have VR on it, especially on the odd paying job.

    Old-time shooters (and I'm from manual film SLR days so I'm one of them) sometimes call it a crutch, but hey, that's what they said about auto-rewinders, AF and matrix metering when it first came out. Technology isn't a crutch if it's useful - it's an innovation. :biggrin:

    That being said, I'm not invested enough into Fuji to completely replace my DSLRs. But I'm glad to see this lens come out - it's a great development and a sign that Fuji is very serious about their development map to build a robust imaging system - both cameras and optics.
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  6. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    I must say I'm a bit surprised that a premium lens like this doesn't have OIS. But I don't know that it would be all that important to me personally. I often forget to even turn on the stabilization on my Pentax K-5 and K-5 IIs. OIS won't take the place of good technique.
  7. john m flores

    john m flores All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    It sure can help though. I was playing around with an adapted 300mm lens on my Q7 last night, ~1400mm EQ. With IS, a monopod, and EVF loupe, and good technique, I was able to consistently squeeze off sharp shots at 1/30. I turned off IS and couldnt get a single sharp shot.

    It's interesting to watch the evolution of Fuji's system. It is, in many ways, the mirrorless equivalent to the Pentax K DSLRs-high quality, smallish, and with a decent mix of primes and zooms.
  8. EasyEd

    EasyEd Regular

    Dec 22, 2010
    Hey All,

    Just crank the ISO.

    To me these super fast lenses are often just hold-overs from the days of film when low light capability meant faster lenses since films were not that fast. Today's cameras have phenomenal low light capability due to improvements in ISO performance. About 7 8 months ago I saw a guy at local big box store trying to convince himself to buy a costly 2.8 70-200 for his D70 (had the F4) because he wanted more low light capability. What is wrong with this picture? He could gain far more low light capability by going to a modern body at a much lower price but he seemed to be stuck in the old paradigm. The question really is is chasing that one stop over an F4 worth it if you can gain 2 3 maybe more stops with a new body? How many dollars is one lens stop worth in todays fast changing ISO world? Is the goal pictures in the dark? Now these fast lenses may or may not have some image quality characteristics that make them worthwhile.

    All that aside this will likely be a stellar lens but I lean toward stabilization so probably not of interest to me.

    I'm wondering if Fuji actually has a camera (like hopefully an X-E3 - no hump please) we know nothing about under development with in body stabilization? I would not be surprised. Then I may be very interested.

    • Like Like x 2
  9. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    I still have my old Q-to-K adaptor. I've been thinking about picking up a Q7 body for exactly that kind of thing.
  10. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    I found that 1-handing the 18-55 with the OIS on was very effective at taking out that last little bit of camera shake I got while shooting from a moving bicycle. And I tend to do that often, so ... I really can't see spending so much more for this newer, "better" normal zoom without OIS. I get all the arguments. I often find 2.8 to be enough, but when it's a dim room, man oh man does either 2 more stops or some stabilization help. Having good technique while riding that kid-laden bike and 1-handing a camera... it still helps ever so much to have OIS.
  11. While I would agree that OIS isn't absolutely NECESSARY over the 24-84mm (equivalent) range of the new Fuji lens, I will say that as you stretch out toward 84mm it can be useful in some situations. With an increase in ISO comes compromises in IQ even on the best cameras and in challenging lighting situations you may need to use ALL the tricks: Higher ISO, fast lens *AND* slower shutter speed. OIS can make an impossible shot possible. But moreover- while we may not *NEED* power windows or cruise control on our cars, most of us have come to expect them as near-standard features. I think the majority of today's photographers feel that way about stabilization- ESPECIALLY in a premium $1200 lens such as this one.

    As Ed suggested above, perhaps Fuji is anticipating an in-body stabilization system soon, such as the 5-axis system on the recently announced Sony A7II.

    Either way, unless the glass is something TRULY extraordinary in the new 16-55, it's difficult to imagine paying basically double the price (given the price of the 18-55 when purchased with a body) to gain 2mm at the wide end, and a fixed 2.8 all the way to 55mm as opposed to f4.0 on the "kit lens." And what you gain with the 2.8 aperture at 55mm is probably MORE than offset by the lack of OIS, since the 18-55 MAY save you as much as 4 stops which can mean both lower iso AND slower shutter speed.

    That's the joy of a free market: A company puts a product out there and we ALL get to decide what will be best for us.

    For now at least... I'm passing on the new 16-55 pending seeing detailed reviews.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    ^ that.