Exercising the Ghost of Fujinon

Fuji X-T2 with Fujinon 18-135 lens. ISO200, f/11.0, 1/125″.

It’s almost a year since I purchased a used Fuji X-T1 and Fujinon 18-135 lens. I loved the X-T1 and fairly quickly upgraded to the X-T2. The Fujinon 18-135 was though a complete disappointment.

I remember returning home following the first outing where I had shot the scene above. I downloaded the images to my computer to review, but something didn’t look quite right. I zoomed in to 100% and to my horror the image looked odd. It was kind of soft without any camera shake. In the words of my wife, it looked like a watercolour painting.

After a lot of investigation with different RAW converters, I concluded the 18-135 wasn’t a good lens. I had read a lot of similar stories on the internet and had read a lot of reports which said it was the weakest in the Fuji line up. In the end, I returned the lens and invested in the 16-55 and 55-200.

Recently, I decided to have another try with the 18-135, purchasing a new example. Initial test shots appeared promising but it’s not until you use a lens in the field that you understand its weak points.

I have now had a couple of outings with the lens and have concluded that I love it. Sure, I would like to go to 24mm equivalent at the wide end, but you can’t have everything. I’m really enjoying the results and the earlier image sharpness problems seemed to have vanished with this particular lens. It isn’t the best performing Fuji lens in my line up by a long way but it has other redeeming features that mean I’m keeping it this time.

2 thoughts on “Exercising the Ghost of Fujinon

    1. In the past I had been quite critical of the 18-135 and I wanted to put the record straight. I’m now very impressed by this lens. The results are very sharp and detailed. It’s at least on a par with the 18-55 that came with the X-T2 but its much more flexible. I hate changing lenses when I’m out in the hills so had previously tended to use a Sony RX10 for such trips. After buying this lens again, I will probably be taking the X-T2 more often for trips into the mountains. I suspect I did have a poor copy previously.

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