Excellent Quality and Performance
This is a light weight review of the Fujifilm XF 80mm Macro lens which is well renowned for quality and sharpness. After twisting this lens onto my XT-2 I do have a few initial comments that confirm what others have said.
Feels solid and well made - Fujifilm build quality
A slower focusing lens - not for fast moving subjects
An accurate focusing lens but as stated slower
Stops autofocus and stabilization between shots - battery saver / some like it / some hate it
Heavy - Subjective depending on what other systems you use for Fujifilm it is heavy but for Nikon user not so much
The weather has been crap since I got the lens, but I had a chance to explore some outdoor macro with fill flash. It has been raining here since arrival.
I have many different macro lens and I can compare what Fujifilm XF 80 against the Tamron, Sigma, Nikon Macros.
XF 80 Construction: The Lens is well made feels solid and compares to the top line of Macros. I have no concerns about the lens weather sealing as I said it has been raining here for a solid week, the lens was working fine in the drizzle - but I keep a micro towel with me to wipe up any rain build up.
: The lens is a bit slow in comparison to my other Macros but accurate which kind of limits the versatility to non-action shooting. I tried the XF 80 with faster moving subjects and once focus is lost it simply does not reconnect 70% of the time. Is this bad? not really because most people buy this lens for a Macro lens and it excels as a Macro. It is a macro and that is where it is best suited, followed by candid portraits. The lens has a three-position focus limiter and I find that very useful when shooting depending on my focus area I am working. I will see how the focus improves once the XT-3 arrives.
Stabilization: The OIS works well but no better than other lens manufactures, the Tamron 90mm has a better stabilizer followed by Nikon then Sigma. Don't get me wrong this Fujifilm lens works very well, the Spider shot was taken handheld! One thing you notice is the clunking sound when the lens is not being powered. While operating I did not notice the noisy operation others have stated.
: The lens is super sharp - so yes it is sharp, compared to my other Macro lens - the XF 80 is in on par to super to superior sharpness in the right lighting, best used as most macros lens are in bright shooting situations. With some tweaks in the post-processing software, the images are very impressive. I use very minimal software sharpening, in general, It depends on the image, thus for this lens sharpness adjustment is only needed rarely. For contrast, I find]some added contrast adjustments can help the overall quality of the image. The bottom Line the lens produces sharp images and if you are a Macro person - I recommend this lens.
Sweet Spot: Every lens has a sweet spot where the aperture works well and with this Fujifilm 80mm Macro lens that seems to be from f/11 - f/16 for macro work and f/2.8 - 7.1 for all other shooting.
Final Thoughts: An excellent Macro lens and I can recommend it if and only if you are mostly into macro, and don't have an issue with the clunking sound or slow focus.