Come closer

My Fuji family has just expanded with the addition of a new lens, the Fujifilm XF 18-135mm zoom. This sits aside the 18-55mm kit lens that came as standard with my Fuji X-E1 back in 2012, and the 60mm macro lens.

There is a comprehensive array of lenses for the Fuji compact system, with this zoom one of the more heavyweight offerings. Its substantially greater focal range offers the chance to bring distant objects and views closer, and hang back in street photography situations.

My first observations with this piece of glass is that it feels quite weighty attached to the light body of my camera. The instinct is to cradle it with one hand while carrying it around my neck. The manual zoom ring gives quite a lot of resistance, but it needs time to loosen up. Another practicality is that my camera bag has become heavier, there’s less space in it and will have to be replaced if the family expands any further.

I went into central London and conducted a simple test using the BT Tower – a prominent city landmark – to prove the lens’ zooming prowess. The left-hand image (below) is at 55mm, the extent of my usual kit lens. The right-hand one was taken at the full 135mm, and the difference is obvious.

BT Tower

As a photographer who likes capturing tall structures and landscapes, this should be worth its weight in gold. Whether the 18-135mm lens will become my standard remains to be seen. And it’s weather resistant, but I have a phobia of exposing my camera to wet weather which is not likely to change. These are just initial impressions and a full review with technical specifications can be found on Ken Rockwell’s site.

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