Fuji Rumors Publishes Sketches of Fujifilm X-Pro3, Fujifilm X Summit Shibuya Scheduled for 1:00PM GMT, September 20, 2019

Patrick Di Vino of Fuji Rumors has done it again with a series of rumors about the much-anticipated Fujifilm X-Pro3 and which hardware features will make it into the successor to the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and X-Pro2. 

Mr Di Vino’s sources tend to be reliable and apparently none more so than the individual who supplied Fuji Rumors with a set of hand sketches of the X-Pro3, featuring several surprises including removal of the D-Pad and the addition of a downwards hinged LCD monitor. 

Will Fujifilm supply more information about the X-Pro3 at Friday’s Fujifilm X Summit Shibuya event? 

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Fujifilm X-Pro2 black with Fujinon XF 35mm f/2.0 R WR “Fujicron” prime lens and Fujifilm X-Pro2 graphite with Fujinon XF 23mm f/2.0 R WR “Fujicron” prime lens.
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Fujifilm X-Pro1 with Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R prime lens. Although I badly needed this camera, Fujifilm’s first interchangeable lens X-Series camera, to supplement my Fujifilm X100 for use in charity documentary work, I had to forgo buying it due to its lack of built-in diopter correction, instead turning to Panasonic’s excellent Micro Four Thirds cameras with the added benefit of great video capabilities. I bought back in to Fujifilm after the X-Pro2 was released along with second generation and later interchangeable lenses that surpassed the turgidly slow focusing mechanisms of the first generation lenses including the Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R, XF 35mm f/1.4 R and XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro.

Although Fujifilm generally listens to its user base and mostly acts positively on their requests, the company has been known to make some very odd decisions and none more so than the X-Pro1’s lack of the diopter correction essential for those of us needing to wear eyeglasses while we work.

As a result of that and other problems with its first generation professional-tagged rangefinder-style camera and lenses, Fujifilm lost me as a customer for several years while I explored another of the triumvirate of affordable digital photography and video innovators, Blackmagic Design, Fujifilm and Panasonic.

The many benefits of, for example, Panasonic’s fully-articulated LCD monitors on cameras like the Lumix DMC-GH4, DMC-GX8, DC-GH5, DC-GH5S, DC-G9 and more recently the coming 35mm sensor-equipped Lumix DC-S1H, became readily apparent when using these cameras for documentary stills photography and video.

Going from full articulation to the many and various one, two and three-way tilting monitors is feasible but uncomfortable, with too many sacrifices to be made in losing that key functionality and if every pro-level hybrid camera followed Panasonic’s lead then I would be very happy.

But then, cameras with fixed monitors or no monitors at all are not outside the bounds of usability either, so long as one does not need them for work in a wide range of genres from studio-based still-life to architecture, portraiture and documentary cinematography and photography, as I do.

I can do without any form of articulation on the X-Pro3’s LCD monitor if Fujifilm improves its electronic viewfinder way beyond the X-Pro2’s often irritating EVF, but I would most certainly need to add an X-T3 to my kit for everything else other than documentary photography or turn to Panasonic to affordably fill the gap.

I can do without the X-Pro’s D-Pad on an X-Pro3 so long as the camera’s Q Menu allows access to all the camera’s essential functions.

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Leica M-D (Typ 262), without LCD monitor or function buttons. Radical purism for those who can afford it.

I can do without yet another analog film simulation so long as the X-Pro3’s video functionality is improved beyond that of the X-Pro2’s pointlessly crippled video, as I was reminded this afternoon when in a situation that could just as easily have demanded recording video as much as stills depending on a possible sudden turn of events.

I can do without in-body image stabilisation aka IBIS on the X-Pro3 so long as the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR proves to be the one-lens documentary cinematography and photography solution I have long been hoping for.

I look forward to learning more about the X-Pro3 and hope that Fujifilm has not taken an absurdly purist approach in imitation of, for example, Leica and its monitorless M10-D.

As much as I love Leica M-Series rangefinder cameras and lenses, and have a long history with them dating almost back to my start in professional photography during the analog era, most of what I do these days demands more of a camera than some sort of perverse ideological purism.

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Limited edition black Contax G2 with Zeiss Planar 45mm f/2.0 T* prime lens. Image by Japan Camera Hunter.

Leica was not the only maker of rangefinder cameras throughout the long history of analog photography, and the Leica M-Series is not the only role model available.

 

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Adobe Australia’s ‘The Big Picture’ Free Filmmaker Development Program Needs to be Available Throughout Australia, Not Just Melbourne During 2019’s St Kilda Film Festival

Adobe Australia is presenting an educational program during the St Kilda Film Festival in Melbourne on  Saturday and Sunday the 22nd and 23rd June 2019, and it is, apparently, entirely free of charge. 

The Festival organizers describe the Adobe Presents: The Big Picture program thus: 

The 2019 St Kilda Film Festival‘s two-day filmmaker development program covers everything you need to know about making a short film, from inception to distribution and everything in between.

Sounds great, but I want to see this program or something even better offered all around Australia or at least in Sydney. 

How about it, Adobe? 

When I was a kid growing up in another state of Australia, there were two possibilities there for training in film and television, a film and television institute and the state branch of the national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Minorities needed not apply.

The institute was for wealthy, Anglo white boys from the “right” background and the cadetship at the ABC was for not-so-wealthy Anglo white boys from the “right” background or something very close to it.

This was a state still dominated by its Anglo Ascendency and having money and the “right” background remain the prime requirements for getting through the door.

Heaven help you if you were poor, ethnic, indigenous, working class, rural, non-male, of a certain age, a member of the LGBTQI community or some combination of these.

Heaven help you if the stories you wanted to tell fall outside the approved types or genres.

Heaven help you if that meant breaking the rich, white, non-ethnic male dominant narrative which we all perfectly well know is far from the only one that needs to be shared and the near-total dominance of which has lead to the dangerous state of the world today.

Pity if you have been discriminated against all your life, always coming up against closed doors, and yet are still trying to make a positive change for yourself and for those whose stories you need to tell.

Pity if you don’t have the cash or the means to take out a loan to move interstate and get yourself into a course at AFTRS, a university, a private college or some other film, television and digital media training organisation.

Even when Metro Screen in Sydney was operational, its short courses in various production skills were unaffordable for those without the “right” background.

That is why I was pleased but disappointed when I spotted mention of Adobe Presents: The Big Picture on social media.

An overview program like this is certainly better than nothing even if it is not as in-depth and as hands-on as one might like.

An overview program like this is certainly better than the nothing that is accessible to those of us not from the “right” background.

Adobe Presents: The Big Picture – two-day program

 

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Panasonic UK Lumix Ambassador Nick Driftwood Shares His Lumix S1 Custom Modes Settings File for Video

UK Panasonic Lumix ambassador and longtime video innovator Nick Driftwood is kindly sharing his custom settings file for shooting NTSC and Pal video with the newly-released Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 35mm sensor format hybrid stills and video camera. 

Creating settings like these can be a painstaking enough business with Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds cameras and even more so with the Lumix S1 given it offers a total of thirteen, yes thirteen, custom settings slots as opposed to the five of its smaller-sensor siblings. 

Mr Driftwood has my gratitude for creating this settings file and even more so for making it available for free instead of a fee, at his Nick Driftwood’s Filmmaker Emporium

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Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R with Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4.0 zoom lens.

As I discovered last week, the Lumix S1 and S1R are great cameras for stills photography though I have yet to try them out for video.

Mr Driftwood confirms my observation about the S1’s photography capabilities, and he has more to say about it as a video camera:

This is a great camera for photographers with its 24MP FF sensor offering really good low light performance – its very clean even at 10000 ISO!

But it also translates over to decent looking video with its 4K 24p, 25p, 30p, 50p, 60p performance. Then there’s also the brilliant 4K/6KPhoto mode that can shoot 60fps in 4K/ 30fps in near 6K (for example 4:3 aspect mode is 4992×3744 pixels).

Switching around manually all these settings can be tiresome, so, I wanted to invite users to take a look at the custom mode features where you can set and store all your favourite settings and recall them in an instance. It saves so much time being able to load settings all in one go!

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  • Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 and DC-S1R cameras, lenses and accessoriesB&H

Third-Party Adapted or Native Lenses for Documentary Stills and Video, and Portrait Photography, in APS-C and M43?

I try to buy the most appropriate photography and video production hardware and software that I can afford, and no more and less than what I need for the things I do. 

There are several reasons for that: I am a self-funded independent creative with limited means like most of that ilk, have limited space for safely and securely storing hardware, and I can only carry so much gear with me on location without paying a penalty in potential physical damage or at least neck and shoulder pain. 

Lastly, gaps still remain in manufacturers’ offerings of cameras, lenses and accessories for my chosen sensor formats and camera types, which right now include Fujifilm APS-C and Blackmagic Design and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras. 

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Sigma lenses on special at the local Camera House camera store.

This morning I walked past the sole remaining local camera store, a small Camera House outlet, and saw that it is discounting a number of Sigma lenses at the moment.

As illustrated in the snapshot above, the store is offering discounts on native M43 lenses including Sigma’s 19mm, 30mm and 60mm f/2.8 DN Art lenses as well as the company’s apparently excellent 18-35mm and 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom lenses with Canon EF mounts for APS-C sensors.

At the moment I am considering what new lenses may be useful in order to lift my portrait photography and documentary video game now that Fujifilm has come out with the X-T3 and Blackmagic Design has released its Blackmagic Raw codec, “world’s fastest RAW format with better quality and better features!”.

Being able to shoot 4K raw video on a small, affordable, dedicated M43 video camera with the potential of RED camera quality is exciting especially as we are seeing so many documentaries and fiction TV shows now being shot on the latter and they look terrific even when broadcast at 1080p.

Fujifilm’s X-T3 and for that matter the older X-Pro2 produce excellent quality X-Trans raw files that rival images from 35mm sensor cameras and I am gradually settling on Fujifilm cameras for portrait photography in particular as well as documentary photography especially in available light, or more often available darkness.

I would love to make portrait photographs on Fujifilm’s medium format sensor-equipped GFX cameras given their output appears to rival 4″x5″ sheet film in image quality but the cost of GFX cameras and lenses is a factor especially when all I would really need for medium format portraiture is a camera something like a view camera but without view cameras’ back and lens board movements.

Perhaps Fujifilm may eventually release the rumored modular compact GFX body that could be used in a stripped-down form as if it were a minimalist view camera, then all one would need is a set of two lens for portraiture, one medium wide for environmental portraits and a medium telephoto with macro capabilities.

Back to the here and now, however.

I continue to use M43 cameras alongside Fujifilm APS-C cameras for documentary and portrait photography, each for its particular strengths and differences.

I publish images shot on both together in the same project, and one is hard put to tell which image comes from what sensor when seen at web page and social media sizes.

Printing them large for gallery show exhibition may well reveal something very different, which is why I am leaning towards Fujifilm X-Trans APS-C at the moment.

Then there is the question of the best and most affordable X-mount lenses for documentary video, given Fujifilm’s reportedly excellent MKX18-55mm and 50-135mm T2.9 X-mount cinema zoom lenses are out of reach.

Fujifilm needs its own equivalent to Panasonic’s in-development Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 zoom lens which looks terrific for documentary photography and video.

Its focal length range in 35mm sensor terms of 20mm through to 50mm is tailor-made for most work in the genre and such a lens only needs to be supplemented with a wide aperture telephoto prime or zoom lens when 50mm is not long enough.

In the meantime, perhaps I need to further research adapted rather than native lens solutions, and look at the equivalent focal lengths available when adapting Sigma’s 18-35mm and 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom lens to APS-C and M43 via third-party adapters with and without optical elements to widen its field of view and open up its maximum aperture.

Time to get out a calculator and do the maths.

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DPReview: Open letter to Panasonic: Innovations in manual focus could make Lumix S a winner for cinematographers

https://www.dpreview.com/opinion/3202272540/open-letter-to-panasonic-long-overdue-innovations-in-manual-focus

“Jack Lam is a cinematographer based in Beijing and Hong Kong. His body of work includes TV commercials, seasonal TV drama series and theatrical feature films. His commercial clients include Cathay Pacific, Lenovo, Airbnb, Alibaba, and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. He also works with DJI as a design consultant for their cinema products….

… As a working cinematographer, I am super excited by Panasonic’s announcement of the Lumix S mirrorless camera system. The Panasonic GH5 is so well-designed, it has become a reliable workhorse for many video shooters. I have no doubt a full-frame version of it will be amazing, and everything I read about the S1/S1R confirms that.

However, Lumix S has the potential to become much greater that what we see in this product launch. With this brand new camera system, Panasonic has a unique opportunity to create the perfect small camera system for professional cinematographers. But doing so requires Panasonic to address a long-standing problem that is overlooked by all other camera makers, as well as some rethinking of conventional ideas on camera design.

This missing feature – one that can become a potential killer feature for Panasonic – is good manual focus control for video….

… I want MF control that is simple, accurate, reliable, repeatable, predictable, measurable and ergonomically sound. It should also be wireless-capable and highly integrated as part of the camera (so that we can keep the camera small and don’t need to add six other accessories just to pull focus). Do you know of any small (DSLR/mirrorless) camera in the market that fulfills all of the above requirements? I have found none.”

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Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 35mm sensor mirrorless camera with Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro OIS standard zoom lens.

Commentary

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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 Pro, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro and Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 Pro professional prime lenses with manual clutch focusing, brilliant for shooting video or stills where accurate focus is absolutely critical.

Please note that Jack Lam’s open letter was written late 2018 before the official launch of the Panasonic S1 and S1R cameras and lenses, before detailed specifications were released.

The elephant in the room of mirrorless and DSLR hybrid cameras is manual focusing, and it is pleasing that Mr Lam has addressed it in depth.

The autofocus capabilities of modern mirrorless cameras have been steadily improving for use in stills photography, but I often find myself flipping over into manual focus whenever starting off with autofocus when shooting video, no matter how much innovation has gone into each camera’s video autofocus functions.

The problem of manual focusing limitations in cameras is further compounded by the manual focusing and focus pulling limitations of the lenses that are made for them, with their reliance on non-linear focusing control rings or lack of focusing rings altogether.

Whenever possible I invest in lenses that have manual clutch focus mechanisms and hard stops at each end of the focussing scale, but these lenses can be far and few between in any camera system.

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Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R prime lens with manual clutch focus, equivalent to 21mm in the 35mm sensor format.

Lenses manually focused via control rings are more common, whether the option of switching from non-linear to linear operation is offered in cameras’ firmware or not.

Given a choice, I will always select a manual clutch focus lens over autofocus-only or control ring-only lenses, but then there is another factor, the all-too-common lack of an aperture ring.

The ideal lens for me has both, with a switch for clickless and clicked operation of the aperture ring being the best option for riding exposure in variable light.

I write about this stuff as often as I can but I am nobody and no camera manufacturer pays attention to what I have to say.

It may be a different matter for Jack Lam.

I hope that Panasonic is not the only camera and lens maker that may read Mr Lam’s open letter.

I want Blackmagic Design, Fujifilm and Olympus to read it and act positively upon it too.

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Olympus O-MD E-M1X camera with fully-articulated LCD monitor. I relish having fully-articulated monitors on my Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras and use them constantly for photography and video. I am not so enamoured of the two-way, three-way and non-articulating monitors that have been appearing on recent cameras by other manufacturers including Fujifilm, Sony and now Panasonic in its S Series cameras. Full articulation, please, camera makers. 

Manual focus and focus-pulling for video with mirrorless hybrid camera should not have to suck.

I am beyond tired of it sucking on the cameras that I try out and consider for purchase.

I am tired of having to mention it all the time in my articles in the hopes of things changing for the better.

I am sure that my contacts at the camera and lens companies are tired of me and reportedly many others asking them to lift their game.

Mr Lam makes a number of other excellent suggestions on page two of his article as published by DPReview, or you may wish to read it at source, at Mr Lam’s The Right Lens web log below.

For good measure, here is his list of other necessary features, all of which I agree with:

Other Good-to-have Features

While we are at it, here are some good-to-have features that I’d like to see in the Lumix-S system. But they are not nearly as important as a good focus control system.

– GH5-style Flip-out Screen. It is already so good. Don’t change it.

– High-bright Screen. Make it viewable under sunlight. I know it eats battery and heats up quick. But it really is super useful outdoor.

– Internal ND

– 4K 10-bit Log 60fps

– Build-in Video Transmitter or make it an add-on module that is highly integrated with the camera. Monitoring thru WiFi isn’t reliable enough. (I know I am getting greedy…)

– Sturdy, Positive-locking Lens Mount. For the time when we do use a cinema lens. (Just like the mount upgrade option on the Canon C300 MK2)

– Ergonomics. For the video-centric pro model, please, don’t make it too large, otherwise the whole talk about small cameras getting good focus control becomes moot. At least give us one video-centric model with DSLR-like form factor. And please, for god’s sake, don’t make it shaped like the Canon C100 / C300. They have the worst ergonomics.

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Bounce-Back and Sore Eyes: Why to Choose Black-Bodied Cameras Over Half-Silvered Ones

I have been trying out a Fujifilm X-T3 loaded up with the latest firmware in order to shoot some HLG video footage and further try out the camera’s radically improved autofocus functionality which will reportedly be getting better again in a future firmware update, possibly in April this year. 

The first X-T3 I borrowed was half silver and half black while the current loaner is all black, and what an unexpected and pleasant difference that has made.

I made great use of the silver X-T3 in a two-day documentary photography project and shot quite a bit of footage with its Eterna and F-Log picture profiles, on location in available darkness and the brightest of high UV sunlight.

Each time, halfway through the day I would notice my eyes becoming sore and by day’s end the soreness would be unbearable, especially in my right eye.

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Plenty of reflective silver. Fujifilm X-T3 minimally rigged for video with Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS kit zoom lens, 58-77mm step-up ring, variable ND filter and lens cap for protection in your camera bag when out walking about.

I am ambidextrous and tend towards right eye dominance though that is not exclusive, and with DSLR-style cameras always use my right eye to view through their electronic viewfinders.

I had attributed the unaccustomed soreness to the slowly worsening eyesight of my ageing myopic eyes, and had feared the worst for my eyesight despite recent eye tests showing expected slow, steady but not marked deterioration in vision.

I wondered whether using an EVF camera might be the cause of the soreness given I own two Fujifilm viewfinder cameras, an X100 and an X-Pro2, and use their optical viewfinders in preference to their EVFs.

But then I also have two Panasonic Lumix EVF cameras, one viewfinder-style and the other DSLR-style, and have never experienced problems like this with either of them.

This week, after extensive use of the black X-T3 for shooting video and stills, I am reluctantly coming to the conclusion that the silver X-T3 and its highly reflective silver-coloured magnesium upper body might be the reason for my previous and constant eye soreness.

I have had no eye soreness with the black X-T3 at all.

Of course, this observation about the difference between the two versions of the X-T3 is a deduction and not the result of any form of scientific test, but it is something worth thinking about when I am in a position to invest in my own X-T3 and the coming  Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom lens.

I had been wondering whether my eye soreness was the product of the EVF in the X-T3, and was worried the problem might rule out investing in an X-T3 or any other DSLR-style Fujifilm camera, but the electronic viewfinder clearly is not the source of that problem.

Postscript

I used the black X-T3 in a wide range of lighting conditions throughout the weekend, in bright high-UV sunlight, deep shade and in poorly-lit train stations and experienced none of the eye soreness that I had when using the silver X-T3.

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  • FUJIFILM X-Pro2 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
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  • Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR – to be released later in 2019.

Thinking about the The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7

Contemporary computer-aided lens design has done wonders for zoom lenses since I first tried some out in my Leica rangefinder days on the lovely but lonely Nikon F3 I kept for the times I needed to rent focal lengths outside my core set of Leica M-System prime lenses.

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Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 zoom lens on Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Micro Four Thirds camera. Photograph by Joshua Waller of ePHOTOzine.
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The 3-zoom lens kit has long been a staple of photojournalists and especially newspaper photographers for some years. Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM, Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS and Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lenses.

By the time a backpack containing the standard newspaper photographer’s zoom lens trio was handed to me when I signed up to shoot freelance for one of the large publishers, zoom lenses were considerably improved although I am ashamed to admit that I continued to mostly rely on my own 35mm and 120 roll film rangefinder cameras and 4”x5” view cameras with which I had shaped my way of seeing and photographing over so many years before.

Now that I am no longer answerable to employers and do not have to take on up to three to five editorial portrait assignments per day, delivering stylistically and technically predictable results day in, day out, I can try out other ways and means and develop in new directions.

That includes zoom lenses after relying solely on sets of matched primes for so long.

The first two Micro Four Thirds lenses that I tried out…

The very first lens I tried when considering buying into the Micro Four Thirds camera system was a Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 Aspheric Power OIS and the second was an Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro.

I chose the Olympus for several reasons including its brilliant manual clutch focus mechanism, weather-resistant all-metal construction, handy L-Fn button on the camera-left side of the barrel, great feel and balance on a GH4 or a GX8 as I would discover later, and the clincher was its beautiful optical performance all across its longer focal length range wide open and stopped down.

The lens’ only downside is a small amount of moustache-shaped optical distortion that can easily be corrected via firmware for in-camera JPEgs and raw processing software for raw files, with distortion barely noticeable when shooting video.

I did not know that Panasonic’s then soon-to-come DFD autofocus system would apply only to Panasonic lenses and that firmware updates would not add support for the L-Fn button to all Panasonic cameras, and on balance I remain glad I chose the 12-40mm because my bacon has been saved many times due to its swift and sure manual clutch focusing.

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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.0 IS Pro, an excellent choice for travel and daily walkabout requiring a longer focal length range than kit and other zoom lenses.

The one thing that might have tipped me towards the 12-35mm is its optical image stabilization, but then Olympus later came out with the OIS-equipped M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.0 IS Pro, and although it does not activate Dual IS 2 when attached to a GH5, its image stabilization works well enough for my needs.

The difference between an f/2.8 and an f/4.0 maximum aperture is not huge when shooting outdoors in good light and I would always pack a wide maximum aperture prime lens to accompany either zoom.

And then with Panasonic’s pre-photokina 2018 in-development announcement of the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7, the game changed.

The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7

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Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 wide angle zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras.

With the lens currently undergoing development and possibly far from release sometime in 2019, the 10-25mm apparently includes some features I have long been hoping for in a Panasonic zoom lens for photography and video.

Here is what we know so far and what I also want to see in this lens:

  • f/1.7 right across the focal length range.
  • An aperture ring that is clickless for accurate exposure under constantly changing light but I would also like it clicked for stills photography without having to look at the lens.
  • 77mm filter diameter for 77mm neutral density filters or a lightweight brass 77mm-to-82mm step-up ring by Breakthrough Photography for 82mm filters.
  • Prime quality performance at all focal lengths.
  • Leica optical and mechanical quality.
  • Some of my favourite and most-needed focal lengths for documentary stills and video – 10.5mm, 14mm, 17.5mm, 20mm and, less often, 25mm. In 35mm sensor terms that equates to 21mm, 28mm, 35mm, 40mm and, less often, 50mm.
  • Alas, no optical image stabilization so when stabilization is a necessity it will need to be used with IBIS camera bodies.
  • Hopefully, improved depth-from-defocus aka DFD in all G, GX and GH cameras’ firmware, DFD being Panasonic’s alternative to the more common PDAF aka phase detection autofocus.

I very much hope that the Panasonic Leica 10-25mm f/1.7 will feature manual clutch focus to support easy focus pulling for video and fast, accurate snapping into sharp focus for photography.

I wonder if a longer companion zoom lens might be in the offing after the release of the 10-25mm?

If so, I would love to see an equally great zoom lens include at least 25mm, 37.5mm, 42.5mm, 45mm and 52.5mm, which in 35mm sensor terms equates to 50mm, 75mm, 85mm, 90mm and 105mm.

A zoom lens pair that goes all the way from 10mm through to 52.5mm, in 35mm equivalent terms 20mm through to 105mm, would fill almost my documentary moviemaking and photography needs.

While I do use longer focal lengths than 105mm in 35mm from time to time, the vast majority of my work is done between 21mm and 85mm with the occasional jump to 100mm or thereabouts.

Leica showed the way with a full set of well-spaced focal lengths…

leica_summilux+_lineup_21-90mm_square_1920px_80pc
Leica worked out the best prime lens focal length line-up for documentary photography and photojournalism in 35mm years ago and it remains the benchmark and role model for other lens makers to this very day. The only focal length missing from this lens collection is 40mm, which Leica made for the Leica CL rangefinder camera which was later taken over by Minolta as the Minolta CLE with 40mm standard lens as well as a 28mm and 90mm lens. Too many contemporary lens makers leave out 28mm and 75mm lenses and their equivalents for other sensor formats. Why? Both these focal lengths are the most essential for documentary photography and photojournalism.

Although I remain dedicated to the idea of having a well-spaced set of pro-quality fast matched prime lenses with manual clutch focus, the reality is that the makers of both M43 systems that I rely on these days, Fujifilm and Panasonic for cameras and Olympus for lenses, may take years to assemble such a lens collection, if ever.

Far better to offer us top-quality zoom lenses that can do almost everything, such as the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7, so we can get to work without having to pine for prime lenses that may be far off on the horizon or zoom lenses that cover far more focal lengths than we actually need at the cost of undue expense and weight.

I look forward to learning more about Panasonic’s Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 as its development progresses and hope it really will be the zoom lens I was hoping for when I first got into the Micro Four Thirds system for moviemaking and photography.

The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 would, of course, be a terrific lens for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K provided you have a gimbal handy for those times when stabilization is a must.

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With Gaps in APS-C and Micro Four Thirds Native OEM Lens Offerings Still, Should I Look at Adapting Manual Focus Prime Lenses?

It was only a matter of time, I suppose, before I started looking seriously at the possibility of adapting old and new manual focus lenses to my current and possible future mirrorless APS-C and Micro Four Thirds cameras for stills photography and cinematography, and particularly the latter.

leica_summilux+_lineup_21-90mm_square_1920px_80pc
Leica worked out the best prime lens focal length line-up for documentary photography and photojournalism in 35mm years ago and it remains the benchmark and role model for other lens makers to this very day. The only focal length missing from this lens collection is 40mm, which Leica made for the Leica CL rangefinder camera which was later taken over by Minolta as the Minolta CLE with 40mm standard lens as well as a 28mm and 90mm lens. Too many contemporary lens makers leave out 28mm and 75mm lenses and their equivalents for other sensor formats. Why? Both these focal lengths are the most essential for documentary photography and photojournalism.

There are several reasons.

Using two different mirrorless sensor systems can get costly due to their lack of a common mount.

Mirrorless camera systems as such are relatively new and it takes time to build up a decent collection of native prime and zoom lenses in all the focal lengths that all users need.

It apparently took Canon thirty years to build its current lens collection.

I cannot wait anything like thirty years for Fujifilm, Olympus and Panasonic, makers of the lenses I currently use, to build fully-fledged lens collections minus the glaring gaps that are really annoying me right now.

Their priorities are not necessarily mine, and as a documentary moviemaker and photographer who learned her trade during the analog era with cameras and lenses that mostly do not exist anymore, I was lucky enough to develop my ways of seeing and working with manual focus prime lenses, and manual exposure and manual focus cameras, and while I appreciate the advantages of auto-everything, am not completely reliant upon it.

Auto-everything can actually slow the process of seeing and shooting down by placing undue reliance on cameras and lenses to do what a well-practised eye and pair of hands can often do faster.

Simplicity has its value especially when allied with speed.

That is why I often recommended new photography students invest in fully manual secondhand cameras instead of high end professional gear when I was teaching photography during the analog era, and why I recommend that friends wishing to learn photography today invest in the closest thing to fully manual digital cameras and lenses that exist today.

That is no mean feat though given that the more affordable digital cameras seem to be the most automated, and that digital cameras only last so many years before too many shutter actuations and too many failed buttons and burnt-out circuitry render them useless.

My best friend asked me the other day for a camera and lens recommendation so she can learn to be a serious photographer after years of relying on cellphone cameras for snapshots and simple visual records.

What is the most stripped down, durable and simple digital camera out there now, one where automation gets entirely out of the way or does not even exist at all?

She told me she may be coming into a little money if some property sells, and so is prepared to spend some decent cash if the deal comes off.

The answer was clear, a Leica M10 or M10-P.

Although I learned to be a photographer using much lower end cameras, in fact incredibly lower end cameras, as a kid in the country, I learned the most and the fastest when I discovered Leica M-System rangefinder cameras by watching an American photographer using one then bought my own secondhand Leica M4-P with Summicron-M 35mm f/2.0 lens.

Another secondhand Leica M4-P followed along with an Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 lens for magazine assignments and I slowly and surely added several other M-System lenses after borrowing a few different lenses from the friendly local Leica dealer in order to understand which focal lengths best fit my needs and way of seeing.

I am not so sure if I want my best friend to go though the long, slow and costly process of trying out different focal lengths to see which best suits her as I did.

Leica lenses are as pricey as Leica cameras, and the secondhand market here is scant in both.

Perhaps I should consider recommending another well-regarded lens maker to her, such as Voigtlaender or Zeiss, whose M-Mount lenses are still made new in a variety of focal lengths?

Both brands are imported by Sydney-based companies and, hopefully, lenses may be available at their premises to see and try before she buys.

Better yet, both brands’ M-Mount lenses are highly regarded by professional users though I have yet to experience using either for cinematography or stills photography.

I need to remedy that lack.

I also need to think further about how to fill the gaps in my own lens collection.

Fujifilm and Panasonic make M-Mount adapters for their cameras as do a number of third party manufacturers.

I have no problem with the idea of using manual-only lenses now that push-button magnification and focus peaking work so well on cameras made by both companies.

Having one set of 35mm sensor format manual lenses that can be adapted for either camera system holds its appeal and its challenges.

My preferred two-camera, two-lens set-up for documentary photography comprises the 28mm and 75mm focal lengths in 35mm sensor format.

In Fujifilm APS-C, that is equivalent to 18mm and 50mm.

In Micro Four Thirds, that is equivalent to 14mm and 37.5mm.

While Fujifilm makes a very nice 50mm Fujicron style lens, its 18mm is, well, disappointing.

Neither Olympus nor Panasonic makes a 14mm lens, or at least not one that appears to be available to purchase any more, and no MFT lens maker has a 37.5mm lens in its collection.

Might I be able to fill the gaps with a 14mm or 18mm M-Mount lenses on the wide end and 35mm, 40mm and 50mm lenses in mid-range?

We shall see.

If quirky turns out to be my best friend’s thing, some of the Chinese lens makers release M-Mount prime lenses as do other third-party lens makers based in Europe and Asia.

There are other options too.

Director/cinematographer Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT One fame built up a large vintage prime lens collection by scouting Berlin flea markets for EF-Mount lenses he could stop and rebuild, adding adapters and step-up rings to them so they can easily be swapped in and out of his Panasonic Lumix GH5 cinematography camera rig.

Third-party adapter makers producing X-Mount adapters have begun appearing so Fujifilm’s cameras no longer feel quite so under catered-for.

More research is called for, but it is good to know there are options and that there are alternatives to continually begging Fujifilm, Olympus and Panasonic to make the prime lenses I need.

Fuji X Forum: Complete Overview over the available and upcoming Fuji X-Mount lenses – Commentary

https://www.fuji-x-forum.com/topic/998-complete-overview-over-the-available-and-upcoming-fuji-x-mount-lenses/?page=1

“Posted September 1, 2015 (edited)
Fujinon (Native Lenses) (29 in total)

Fujinon lens designation translation: R: aperture ring – – LM: linear motor – – OIS: optical image stabilization – – WR: weather resistant – – APD: apodization filter – – – – Super EBC: electron beam coating, also called electron beam physical vapor deposition…”

fujinon_xf_8-16mm_f2.8_02_1024px_80pc
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR wideangle zoom lens on Fujifilm X-H1 with VPB-XH1 Vertical Power Booster Grip. I use  the Complete Overview over the available and upcoming Fuji X-Mount lenses at Fuji X Forum for information about Fujifilm’s Fujinon and third party lenses for Fujifilm cameras.

Commentary

Three of the most useful free Web-based online tools that I often use here at ‘Untitled’ are Camera Size’s Compact Camera Meter, Points in Focus’ Depth of Field (DoF), Angle of View, and Equivalent Lens Calculator, and the Complete Overview over the available and upcoming Fuji X-Mount lenses at Fuji X Forum, compiled and updated by quincy.

Quincy’s Fujifilm X-Mount OEM and third-party brand lenses lists are kept up to date and are drawn upon by Patrick at Fuji Rumors for articles, and I go there when I need to research current and coming X-Mount lenses for my articles.

I have been struck by how the number of third-party X-Mount lenses keeps increasing, with most of them being manual focus lenses often designed and manufactured by Chinese companies, but so far my biggest ongoing disappointment with the Fujifilm X-Mount system remains unassuaged by Fujifilm itself as well as by third-parties making native or adapted X-Mount lenses.

Other than Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R semi-pancake prime lens, nobody but nobody is making a prime lens that is equivalent to 28mm in the 35mm sensor format.

This searing blindspot is not just a Fujifilm X-Mount APS-C problem; it applies to the Micro Four Thirds sensor format as well wherein Olympus does not make a 14mm lens at all and Panasonic’s Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 II pancake lens appears to have gone missing in action from many retailers.

The 35mm sensor format’s 28mm focal length and its APS-C and M43 equivalents of 18mm and 14mm respectively has been a staple of the documentary, photojournalism and street photography genres for years now including those when I relied on them on Canon, Leica and Nikon rangefinders and SLRs, but it seems that contemporary lens makers just do not give a damn.

Yes, one may wish to slap a 14mm, 18mm or 28mm inclusive zoom lens on to one’s camera as I do with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 and the excellent Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro or the usually underestimated Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f3.5-5.6 Aspheric Mega OIS collapsible zoom lens, but using those focal lengths on a zoom and as a prime lens are two very different things.

Especially if the said prime lens allows easy setting of hyperfocal distance via manual focus or manual clutch focus mechanisms like those in some Fujinon prime lenses and Olympus’ excellent M.Zuiko Pro primes and zooms.

Today I found myself back at Fuji X Forum’s Complete Overview over the available and upcoming Fuji X-Mount lenses to see if any Chinese third party lens makers have added a 28mm equivalent to their current or future ranks lately but sadly it remains no go.

There are some close but no cigar choices for non-Fujifilm cameras, such as Panasonic’s Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 Aspheric prime lens, but for now I will stick with my two M43 zoom lenses rather than fork out for yet another no-cigar substitute.

What I am really after is a decent 18mm prime lens for my Fujifilm X-Pro2 for use as my number one documentary lens.

Given the premium price Fujifilm charges for its elderly Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R, no way am I going to throw good cash down that particular black hole.

Getting back to close but no cigar, independent cinema lens company Veydra lists a 19mm Mini Prime cinema lens amongst its options, and it is available with a Duclos-designed Fujifilm X-Mount that can be DIY-attached onto an M43 version of the lens.

Sigma released a 19mm f/2.8 Art lens in the M43 and Sony E mounts some years ago, but the company has never shown signs of coming out with a Fujifilm X-Mount version.

The Sigma lens is affordable but the Veydra costs over twice the price of Fujifilm’s 18mm.

Veydra’s is an excellent geared cinema lens but its greater size and wide front diameter compared to the Fujifilm and the Sigma makes it a poor choice on my X-Pro2 given I rely on the camera’s excellent optical viewfinder for documentary photography and oftentimes video too.

This ongoing dilemma would not be one if Fujifilm simply went along with their customers’ longstanding request for an updated 18mm lens but I often find myself wondering if the company even cares for its documentary, street photography and photojournalist customers.

Two X-Pro2 cameras equipped with an 18mm lens on one and a 50mm lens on the other is, in my experience, the closest one can get to a perfect two-camera, two-lens documentary photography and photojournalism set-up.

Why provide half of the equation, Fujifilm, when you could so easily give us both even if each lens might be Fujicron-style f/2.0 compacts instead of the maximum versatility of f/1.4 manual clutch focussing alternatives?

The problem of Fujifilm’s ageing, substandard Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R lens

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leica_q_(typ_116)_01_1024px_80pc
Leica Q (Typ 116) digital camera with fixed Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 Aspheric lens. This or the Fujifilm X100F with wide-angle convertor lens may be another solution to the lack of a decent 18mm lens for Fujifilm cameras.

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  • Fujifilm 18mm f/2.0 XF R LensB&H – The least impressive Fujinon X-Mount lens in Fujifilm’s collection and one that badly needs to be replaced with a new Fujicron-style lens or better yet a wide aperture manual clutch focussing alternative for professional photography and video work.
  • Fujifilm M Mount Adapter for X-Mount CameraB&H
  • Leica CL Mirrorless Digital Camera with 18mm Lens (Black)B&H – This APS-C rangefinder-style camera with interchangeable 28mm equivalent lens is another possible solution to the ongoing problem of Fujifilm’s substandard Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R lens.
  • Leica Q (Typ 116) Digital CameraB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH. LensB&H
  • Sigma 19mm f/2.8 DN Lens for Micro Four Thirds CamerasB&H – Sigma, please make a Fujifilm X-Mount version of this lens.
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