This new, compact, and extremely versatile lens ought to be a terrific addition to a lot of photographers, and we have the opportunity to shoot a pre-production version for a couple of days. The lens features 6-stops of Picture Stabilization, the most of any Fujinon lens, making it great for reduced light usage, despite its own f/4 aperture. It also has a minimum focusing distance of just 35cm, enabling photographers to receive nice close-up photos when zoomed into 80mm. With its 9-blade curved aperture, the bokeh balls are nice and smooth, and the overall bokeh is tender and pleasing without being too distracting.
The OIS is designed to automatically detect if the camera is used on a tripod, and consequently there is absolutely no switch to turn the OIS on/off. In fact, there are no buttons on this lens in any way. The focus ring will be focus by wire, and while some may prefer the push/pull clutch ring like a few lenses have, the resistance is nice and manually focusing when shooting videos is a breeze. The zoom ring has a nice amount of resistance for this, despite being somewhat hefty, there’s no zoom creep when the lens is pointed down, eliminating the need for a zoom lock. The lens is also weather sealed in 10 spots throughout the barrel, making it great for those who shoot in inclement conditions. With some zoom lenses that package in greater than 4x optical zoom, the telephoto end of the zoom range can occasionally be a bit soft. On this lens, the sharpness from 40-80mm is top notch, and I found myself using the telephoto range of the lens more so than the wide end. While 16mm is usable for wide angle photographs, I would like the 10-24 or 8-16 for landscape photos.