Meyer-Optik Görlitz, one of the longest-established camera lens brands, has announced a version of its “legendary portrait lens” for Fujifilm X-mount cameras along with versions for Leica L-mount, Sony E-mount and Micro Four Thirds mount cameras.
“MEYER’S LEGENDARY PORTRAIT LENS IS BACK.
The Primoplan 75 f1.9 II is known for its fine progression from focus to blur, exceptional base sharpness and unique, dreamy, creamy bokeh, which lets the light magically flow together. The 75mm focal length creates a natural viewing angle and does not compress as much as longer focal lengths. Its 14 aperture blades enable the camera to create impressive blur patterns even when stopped down.”
When used on Fujifilm X series cameras with their APS-C sensors, the lens’ 35mm sensor equivalent focal length is 112.5mm while the equivalent focal length of the M43-mount version is 150mm.
Gaps in Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF lens roadmap
With Fujifilm’s XF lens roadmap still showing quite a few gaps, despite the welcome appearance sometime early 2021 of a Fujinon XF 18mm f/1.4 R WR, an XF 27mm f/2.8 II and an XF 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS, I have been looking further afield for possible alternatives to my favourite portrait focal length of 105mm in 35mm equivalent.
Nikon’s 105mm Nikkor and Micro-Nikkor prime lenses first turned me on to portrait photography during my art school days and I have missed them ever since.
I have used wider and longer lenses for some forms of portraiture, mostly wider, and have never really taken to the facial flattening effect of other portrait focal lengths such as 135mm in 35mm equivalent, although if I were a fashion and beauty photographer then I can certainly understand its popularity in those genres.
Like many of us relying on Fujifilm X-mount cameras, I have been hoping for a wide to reasonably wide aperture 70mm lens to appear on Fujifilm’s XF lens roadmap but we may be waiting for some years still.
On the off-chance that Fujifilm might just surprise us later in 2021 with, say, a stabilized native wide-aperture 70mm lens, I don’t want to spend a heap on an interim manual focus lens so Meyer-Optik Görlitz’s Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 II caught my eye when flicking through Fuji Rumors this morning.
Although 75mm is a little long for my taste, approaching 80mm to the point where one may as well consider the highly-regarded Fujinon XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro lens, the Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 II offers something that most of Fujifilm’s XF lenses do not – extreme quirkiness in defocused parts of the image coupled with high resolution where the lens’ focus is directed.
The “bubble bokeh” for which some photographers and cinematographers choose Meyer-Optik Görlitz lenses is not a trait I have desired in the past, but now that sample images from the Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 II have begin appearing online, I will be paying more attention to them to determine if it can justify considering one.
There are other manual focus prime lens alternatives, however, many of them more affordable than Meyer-Optik Görlitz’s solutions, and it is worth taking them seriously.
Check out brands like 7Artisans, KamLan, KIPON Iberit, Meike, Mitakon Zhongyi, Rokinon/Samyang/Xeen et cetera, Sigma,SLR Magic, TTArtisan, Venus Optics Laowa, Voigtlaender, and, for the well-heeled, Leica itself and its reportedly superb and accordingly expensive Leica APO-Summicron-M 75mm f/2.0 Aspheric and the even faster and pricier Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 Aspheric.
Also, searching for the elusive “Hollywood 28” or its modern-day alternative
While I am on this quirky and classic manual focusing lens search, Fujifilm’s XF lens roadmap above reminded me about Fuji Rumors’ reports that the Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 pancake lens will soon be updated with an aperture ring and possibly bundled with the Fujifilm X-E4 rangefinder-style camera sometime in 2021.
Will the new XF 27mm also be a pancake lens or, in line with the coming updated XF 18mm lens, will it grow from near pancake-size into a fully-fledged professional-quality stills and video production prime?
If not, then time to look for a 40mm-equivalent 28mm lens to go along with the 28mm-equivalent XF 18mm f/1.4 R WR.
Both are included in my list of documentary stills and video production essential focal lengths along with 21mm (14mm in APS-C/Super 35), 35mm (23mm in APS-C/Super 35), 75mm (50mm in APS-C/Super 35) and of course 105mm (70mm in APS-C/Super 35) but of all these the 28mm and 40mm equivalent lenses are the most neglected of all focal lengths amongst camera and lens makers.
Foolishly, I hope that by stating this time and again in articles like this might just persuade manufacturers to rethink their prime lens strategies but I am not holding my breath.
- B&H – 7Artisans Photoelectric 28mm f/1.4 Lens for Leica M – might this be an alternative to the rare and now unaffordable “Hollywood 28” classic though quirky lenses for moviemaking?
- B&H – FUJIFILM XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro Lens
- B&H – 7Artisans lenses
- B&H – KIPON Iberit lenses
- B&H – Meyer-Optik Gorlitz lenses
- B&H – Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 II Lens for FUJIFILM X
- B&H – Mitakon Zhongyi lenses
- B&H – TTArtisan lenses
- B&H – Venus Optics Laowa lenses
- B&H – Voigtländer lenses
- B&H Explora – 7Artisans Lenses Lend a Classic Feel to Your Modern Camera
- FJS International – NEW G.L OPTICS CANON FD MK4 SET OF 8: 14, 20, 24, 28, 35, 55, 85, 100
- Fuji Rumors – Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Primoplan 75mm f/1.9 II Lens for FUJIFILM X
- Meyer Optik Görlitz – Primoplan 75 f1.9 II
- meyer_optik_goerlitz – Instagram
- Meyer-Optik-Görlitz – Facebook
- Unititled.Net – Meyer Optic USA: Bring back the Fabulous Wonder Bokeh Lens: P 58 f1.9 – Updates: Sad news
- Wikipedia – Cooke triplet
- Wikipedia – Meyer Optik Görlitz – “Meyer Optik Görlitz (or Goerlitz; German), originally Hugo Meyer & Co., was founded in 1896 by optician Hugo Meyer (May 21, 1863 – March 1, 1905) and businessman Heinrich Schätze.”