LockCircle Announces Innovative First Cage for Fujifilm X-T2, Excludes Vertical Power Booster Grip

The very first cage for the Fujifilm X-T2 is about to appear. Italian camera cages and accessories maker LockCircle first came to notice via its self-named camera body cap for the Canon EOS camera range, born from director of photography Dante Cecchin’s “idea to design the most over-engineered and priced body cap, the LockCircle“. A range of other unique products soon followed including BirdCage, LockPort, MatBox, PrimeCircle ciné lenses, MicroMega, MetalJacket for Leica SL and now, the Cage Kinetics XT2 Professional. 

LockCircle’s Cage Kinetics XT2 Kit, minus optional accessories like top handle, hot shoes, MicroMega nameplate and rod riser, MicroPort and more.

I have yet to see any of LockCircle’s products – the company has yet to find a distributor in Australia though B&H Photo Video is listed as a LockCircle reseller – so please regard this article as a notification and not as a recommendation.

LockCircle is taking pre-orders for the Cage Kinetics XT2 Professional and its accessories options with availability slated for end of April, with shipping worldwide. A special promotional discount applies to the first 10 pre-orders, of US$199.00 plus shipping or €189,00 plus VAT and shipping.

LockCircle Cage Kinetics XT2 Professional, with LockPort, MicroPort and MicroMega Accessories

Purchasers may wish to add accessories to the basic Cage Kinetics XT2 Kit, and a list is available in the Cage Kinetics XT2 Professional downloadable PDF. Most notable is item LPFLEX-KIT-XT2, the Flex Port Micro HDMI to Full Size HDMI Adapter as well as XT2-MP, the MicroPort XT2.

LockCircle LockPort XT2

The Fujifilm X-T2, in common with most current hybrid cameras on the market other than the coming Panasonic Lumix GH5, is equipped with a somewhat vulnerable micro HDMI port for external monitoring and recording. Repairing damaged HDMI mini and micro ports is costly and time-consuming so any solution that takes the strain off them can only be a good thing.

LockCircle’s solution looks well-conceived and manufactured, reducing strain on the HDMI cable while adding a full HDMI to mini HDMI adapter, enabling cabling camera to monitor/recorder with full-size HDMI cables.

LockCircle’s LockPort XT2 for adapting and securing the X-T2’s micro HDMI port and MultiPort XT2 for adapting and securing the camera’s micro USB 3.0 port are available for direct connection to the X-T2 without needing a cage, as a dual kit or as separate items.

Observations

LockCircle’s Cage Kinetics XT2 Professional appears to be the very first cage for the Fujifilm X-T2 to leave the drawing board and become available for pre-orders. Other cage makers are still in the design phase or have not made it known whether they will be making cages for the X-T2 at all.

I encourage all cage makers to take the Fujifilm X-T2 Super 35 camera seriously now that Fujifilm has created two new cinema zoom lenses for E-Mount now, X-Mount later, the Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9 and MK 50-135mm T2.9.

In recent interviews Fujifilm staff members have restated their commitment to improving video functions in their flagship Super 35/APS-C and other cameras and over time they will doubtless be delivering on that promise. I hope they have taken Paul Leeming’s recommendations for improving the X-T2 for filmmaking seriously and will be implementing them soon.

Although the Panasonic Lumix GH5 is the Super 16/Micro Four Thirds 4K camera of the moment, especially given its Dual IS and 5-axis IBIS stabilization that will be of enormous benefit to independent moviemakers wanting to break free of gimbals, monopods and tripods, Fujifilm’s X-T2 has the potential to become a go-to tripod-mounted Super 35 movie production camera given the renowned quality of Fujinon lenses and the beauty of Fujifilm’s X-Trans sensors’ colour rendering.

Lock Circle has designed an intriguing cage in the Cage Kinetics XT2 Professional, but it has one glaring omission in its lack of provision for the X-T2’s Vertical Power Booster Grip.

Without the grip attached, the X-T2 is limited to 10-minute clips instead of the 30-minute recordings possible with the grip beneath the camera. Monitoring audio also requires the battery grip as the headphone jack is located there and not on the camera itself.

Shooting 4K eats power and having two extra batteries attached to the camera is a real advantage. Another current limitation of the X-T2 is that it requires an external monitor/recorder for shooting in F-Log, Fujifilm’s flat logarithmic camera profile.

Once Fujifilm solves those problems I am sure more moviemakers will take the X-T2 and its successors seriously as viable Super 35 production cameras. The loss of Samsung’s excellent NX1 and NX500 4K Super 35/APS-C hybrid cameras and indeed their whole camera design and manufacturing division has created a big hole in the market that Fujifilm can fill if they wish.

Meanwhile LockCircle’s Cage Kinetics XT2 Professional signals that they have already been taking the X-T2 seriously, though I hope that LockCircle and other cage makers too will be coming up with cage designs integrating the Vertical Power Booster Grip into the mix.

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Tech Notes:

Header image composite made with Affinity Photo then exported as a TIFF to Alien Skin Exposure X2 where I applied the Damaged Daguerrotype preset along with Cyanotype split-toning, in homage to the BBC’s Britain in Focus: A Photographic History documentary series.

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