The FujiFilm 18mm F1.4 vs. 16mm F1.4 | Which Lens is Right For You?

Which is better for you — FujiFilm 18mm F/1.4 vs. 16mm F/1.4 ? Finding the perfect wide angle takes practice, so let's help you save some time.

There are several phenomenal wide-angle prime lenses for the FujiFilm X-mount, but two of them have been getting quite a bit of attention lately. The OG, FujiFilm XF 16mm F1.4 R WR, and the recently released XF 18mm F1.4 R LM WR. Depending on what you capture, one of these two lenses may be the perfect addition to your kit — but how do you know which is right for you? This comparison will highlight the notable differences and pull from my personal experience to guide you in the best direction. Let's get started!

Photo by Gajan on the 16mm.

Photo by Gajan on the 16mm.

Photo by Gajan on the 16mm.

Photo by Gajan on the 16mm.

Need To Know:

This lens has an equivalent focal length of 24mm in the full-frame perspective, noted as the best lens for the X-mount due to its image quality and unique build. It carries a weather-sealing metal body like the 18mm F1.4, but a manual focus clutch with a fixed rotation and hard stops making it easier to pull focus. Despite being on the market for many years, the lens's optical quality holds up exceptionally well and will satisfy the general population. At its current price, this is not an inexpensive product, and the autofocus will feel dated in select environments.

What We Love:

Quality Unmatched

Fantastic image quality.

Clarity

Manual focus clutch with hard stops

No Vignetting

Minimal distortion despite its ultra-wide perspective

The Details:

Brand: FujiFilm

Product Type: Primary Lens

Best For: You may hit the ceiling with this lens in your workflow if you capture footage. I would mainly recommend this lens to those focused on landscape, architectural, and travel photography.

 

What We Rate

Weather

Leave it in the studio Chance of Rain You’re going to get wet Take it in a storm

Build Quality

Cheap What You’d Expect Solid Top of the Line

Image Quality

Is that even in focus? Passable Sharp Tack Sharp

Skill Level Required

Just getting started Upgrading from Kit Lens Shoots regularly Professional

Weight

Ultra Light Light Average Heavy

Size

Pancake Prime A Little Zoom Dad Lens

Aperture Range

Slow Decent Speed Fast Super Fast
Fuji 16463670 XF16mm F1 4 RWR moment thumbnail

Fujifilm

XF 16mm F1.4 R WR Lens

Looking for a fast and wide prime for your FUJIFILM X-mount mirrorless camera? The XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR is a 24mm-equivalent wide-angle specifically for you

Buy for $849.95

Photo by Gajan on the 18mm.

Photo by Gajan on the 18mm.

Photo by Gajan on the 18mm.

Photo by Gajan on the 18mm.

Need To Know:

This new 27mm equivalent lens has three aspherical elements, which translates to fantastic sharpness corner to corner, even at wide apertures. The XF 18mm is smaller, lighter, and inherits an aperture ring alongside a traditional focus ring. Additionally, the 18mm has a linear focusing motor that translates to stupid-fast focusing speeds noticeably faster than the 16mm. It's a modern lens that can take advantage of current FujiFilm bodies. Though sharing the same price as the XF 16mm F1.4, this lens feels light years ahead at times. The 4mm gap in equivalent focal lengths may not feel like much; however, it feels like the difference is more in practice. While it most likely has to do with the difference in the angle of view being higher, the 18mm feels less distorted in many situations and primarily when focusing at equal distances.

What We Love:

As Good A It Gets

Possible the best image quality in a FujiFilm lens.

AutoFocus Rules

Incredibly fast focusing speeds.

Angle Diversity

More versatile perspective.

 

What We Rate

Weather

Leave it in the studio Chance of Rain You’re going to get wet Take it in a storm

Build Quality

Cheap What You’d Expect Solid Top of the Line

Image Quality

Is that even in focus? Passable Sharp Tack Sharp

Skill Level Required

Just getting started Upgrading from Kit Lens Shoots regularly Professional

Weight

Ultra Light Light Average Heavy

Size

Pancake Prime A Little Zoom Dad Lens

Aperture Range

Slow Decent Speed Fast Super Fast
Moment Fuji 16673794 XF18mm F1 4 R LM WR thumbnail

Fujifilm

XF 18mm F1.4 R LM WR Lens

Looking to get close and wide with your Fuji? The FUJINON XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR prime will be your new versatile, high-quality, portable, weather-resistant friend

Buy for $999.00

I've spent a lot of time with the 16mm and never felt like the image quality was lacking. I said it before and will repeat it — this lens shoots wide, but not garishly wide that you wouldn't use it for environmental portraiture. It works wonderfully for video if you're not relying too much on autofocus. However, the new 18mm brings much to the table.

If you plan on shooting in fast-paced environments, like street photography or events, I'd argue that the 18mm F1.4 is the better option. If your primary focus is photography and a more comprehensive perspective is critical to you, especially if you value a bit of tasteful distortion, the 16mm offers an excellent balance between optical quality and perspective.

Personally, the 16mm ticks all the boxes for me at this time, but I may upgrade to the 18mm depending on how the next few productions go. It was awe-inspiring and paired nicely with modern FujiFilm bodies. Whether it was a casual walk in my community or a robust fashion project in the studio, I never felt like I had to work harder to get the most out of this lens. If you're rockin’ between these two lenses, I'd recommend you give the 18mm a test drive and ask yourself if you feel like you need a broader perspective. While the XF 16mm F1.4 is an excellent offering from FujiFilm, they've truly outdone themselves where I believe this new 18mm is the best wide-angle lens they make.

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