Fuji Rumors: VOTE NOW the SIGMA Lens You Want for Fujifilm X – Commentary

https://www.fujirumors.com/vote-now-the-sigma-lens-you-want-for-fujifilm-x/

In a recent interview, Top Fujifilm manager Toshihisa Iida said that Fujifilm is opening X mount to third parties, and that Tokina will be the first company to offer autofocus lenses for the Fujifilm X system….

I have placed my vote for the two current Sigma APS-C lenses  most want the company to redesign and make for Fujifilm X-Mount cameras, and if more than two votes were permitted by Patrick DiVino’s survey then I would vote for several more.

The two Sigma APS-C zoom lenses I most want to see redesigned for Fujifilm X-Series cameras

There is little doubt that these two APS-C/Super 35 zoom lenses have proven popular amongst users of a range of camera systems and sensor formats for stills photography and video, whether adapted or in native mount versions.

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Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming with his Blackmagic Design Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, 8Sinn cage and Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art zoom lens attached with Metabones Speed Booster EF-to-MFT adapter.

The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom is the most popular of the two and is often seen in use in its Canon EF-mount version attached to cameras made by Blackmagic Design, Panasonic and Fujifilm via adapter or natively.

The lens is designed for APS-C/Super 35 sensor-equipped cameras, and is currently available in Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K, Sigma SA and Sony A mount.

Both Art lenses are also made in three-gear cinematography versions in Arri PL, Canon EF and Sony E mounts, available for purchase at B&H separately or as a pair with customised hard case.

Both lenses are also available at B&H as a kit for Sony E-mount cameras with Sigma MC-11 Mount Convertor /Lens Adapter to convert Canon EF to Sony E.

If a similar kit were already available with Sigma convertor/adapter for Fujifilm X-mount cameras, one might be sorely tempted.

But it is not, and there are good arguments for both lenses being redesigned and made native with typical X-mount features such as aperture rings but that can be used clicked with 1/3-stop detents or completely clickless, your choice set with the flick of a switch.

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens

Equivalent in 35mm sensor camera terms from 27mm through to 52.5mm, this lens includes some of my most-used stills and video documentary focal lengths such as 28mm, 35mm, 40mm and 50mm.

With a maximum aperture of f/1.8, it is well-suited to the indoors available darkness in which I often find myself.

It would become my most-used lens for documentary work, to be supplemented with Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R for scene-setting shots, or, if talking Sigma APS-C lenses then the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM may be suitable provided a Fujifilm X-mount version is made.

In 35mm sensor terms, the Fujinon is equivalent to 21mm and the Sigma zoom is equivalent to a range of 15mm through to 30mm.

Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens

I have long been hoping Fujifilm would release one of my favourite portrait focal lengths, 70mm, as a fast prime lens with closeup capability, but my hopes continue to be dashed each time the company updates its lens roadmap.

In 35mm sensor terms, this lens is 105mm and is the focal length with which I became a portrait photographer.

Sigma’s 50-100mm f/1.8 zoom is equivalent in 35mm terms to 75mm through to 150mm, thus including another popular portrait focal length, 90mm, which is equivalent to 137mm.

Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 90mm f/2.0 R LM WR prime receives high praise as does the Fujinon XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR prime lens, but the Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 zoom would take the place of three useful portrait and documentary focal lengths at a fraction of the cost of three Fujifilm-made lenses.

The ongoing lack of a professional-quality Fujifilm 18mm prime lens

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Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R prime lens.

Fujifilm Australia staff members often confirm that the lens customers want to see radically updated is the Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R, a lens I love and hate, with the emphasis on the latter.

Love is too strong a word for this 28mm-equivalent prime lens, so let’s use “like” instead.

I know some photographers adore it for its many old-fashioned optical and mechanical quirks but for me it is an irritating disappointment.

I have often asked Fujifilm to replace it with a compact Fujicron-style lens for documentary photography or a manual clutch focus Fujilux-style f/1.4 lens for available darkness work and especially for video.

In my Leica M-Series analog rangefinder days I relied on a Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 Aspheric lens mounted on my prime camera with a Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 Aspheric lens in reserve for available darkness documentary photography.

Incidentally, if I could only have two prime lenses for video work, then I would choose a 28mm equivalent and a 40mm equivalent, or in APS-C terms, 18mm and 27mm.

Fujifilm makes neither focal length as manual clutch focusing primes, much to my ongoing moviemaking disappointment, but I often carry the compact Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 and 18mm f/2.0 R on a pair of Fujifilm rangefinder cameras when needing to be discrete and in the street or places where I don’t want to be noticed, but I would not use either prime lens for video.

Fujifilm makes three excellent primes equally suitable for video and stills photography, the manual clutch focusing Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R, XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR and XF 23mm f/1.4 R but there are no signs the company is serious about extending its manual clutch focus lens range any time soon, whether with primes or zooms.

Shame, given Fujifilm’s recent emphasis on great quality Super 35 video with the Fujifilm X-T4 and the coming Fujifilm X-H2.

If Sigma can be persuaded to make an aperture ring-equipped 18-35mm f/1.8 X-mount zoom then that can help with available light or darkness video work, leaving Fujifilm to finally pull its collective fingers out with a Fujicron-style XF 18mm lens that does need to be faster than f/2.8.

Given the success of the Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR, despite its maximum aperture being darker than the f/2.0 of its Fujinon XF 23mm f/2.0 R WRFujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR and Fujinon XF 50mm f/2.0 R WR Fujicron-style siblings, a Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.8 R WR should do just fine for documentary stills, leaving the serious 18mm available darkness video work to Sigma along with the other focal lengths in its 18-35mm f/1.8 Art zoom lens.

I also want this for Fujifilm X-mount: Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art macro lens

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Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art macro lens.
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Nikon Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 manual focus, manual exposure macro lens with 1:2 magnification.

Fuji Rumor’s Sigma X-mount lens poll limited respondents to choosing two lenses but I would have chosen three if permitted.

Having learned to be a portrait photographer by using the art school’s Nikon Micro-Nikkor 105mm and 55mm lenses close-up and at normal portrait distances, I have long been looking for an X-mount equivalent to my favourite of the two, the 105mm.

Until this rumor and poll surfaced at Fuji Rumors about the possibility of Sigma opening up to making Fujifilm X-mount versions of its lenses, I had resigned myself to looking for a suitable manual focus 75mm manual lens to adapt to X-mount.

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Voigtlander Nokton 75mm f/1.5 Aspherical lens.

B&H currently lists two affordable 75mm Leica M-mount lenses, the 7artisans Photoelectric 75mm f/1.25 and the Voigtlander Nokton 75mm f/1.5 Aspherical lens, and a range of M-to-X-mount adapters are available, some with close focus capability.

I have no problem with the idea of using manual-only lenses for close-up and portrait work, but autofocus with good manual focusing extends the usefulness of any lens.

So, Sigma, will you be making good on the desires of many Fujifilm camera users for Fujifilm X-mount Sigma lenses?

If so, Sigma, please add the 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens, the 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens and the 70mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art macro lens to the top of your list.

Mirrorless Comparison Compares Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 17mm and 45mm f/1.2 with Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm and 45mm f/1.8 Primes

Longtime popular mirrorless camera website MirrorLesson’s Mirrorless Comparison spinoff has published early but complete comparisons of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 Pro lens and its Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 predecessor, and the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 Pro lens and its Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 predecessor. 

The M.Zuiko Pro f/1.2 prime lens triad: 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, all with their focussing rings drawn back to emphasise their manual clutch focus mechanisms.

These sorts of side-by-side tryouts are useful when assembling an optimal set of lenses for any camera system, and are something I would love to do myself with more of an in-the-field as-close-to-real-life-as-possible tryout, less of a techie pixel-peeping and specifications-comparing spiel.

Given my relative lack of access to the range of gear I would want to try out and write about, I am glad that others out there in the northern hemisphere do have access to items of interest, like MirrorLessons’ Wales-based Heather Broster and Mathieu Gasquet, and are great at more technical reviewing.

Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 17mm and 45mm f/1.2 primes and their f/1.8 counterparts

I learned to select camera systems first by the quality of their lenses, second by the functionality of their camera bodies and those principles remain in force despite the digital era’s constantly evolving hardware and software technologies.

Lens choice should be based on genre, camera shape and size, and other shooting stills, video or both.

In my case (mostly) available light documentary, small to medium size mirrorless rangefinder and rangefinder-style cameras when possible, and both video and stills, often in the same project.

I do appreciate the smaller Micro Four Thirds and APS-C lenses, especially the pancake and “Fujicron” lens designs, for allowing me to be discrete and unobtrusive when shooting in public but find manual clutch focus lenses invaluable when shooting video and for critical focus with fast apertures and longer focal lengths.

Most lenses in the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro collection feature filter diameters of 62mm or more, wide focussing rings suitable for follow-focus devices and lens bodies large enough to grip well.

Video brings other lens features into consideration, too, especially when shooting in the great outdoors under bright sunlight or with fast sensors of 400 ISO and over.

That is when you need to add neutral density filters to your kit as a top quality variable ND filter, or a set of fixed ND filters, or both, along with a set of aluminium or better yet brass step-up rings.

Most professionals standardize on 77mm or 82mm diameter filters then add step-up rings to their lenses allowing for fast and relatively easy lens and filter swapping.

Some add Xume System magnetic lens adapters and filter holders for greater safety and speed when swapping variable or fixed ND filters.

One thing to bear in mind when shooting video outdoors on sunny days is that variable NDs with maximum densities of 6 stops may be inadequate, so please consider variable NDs with higher density values such as the Aurora-Aperture or SLR Magic products in the list at the bottom of this page.

Alternatively, if choosing fixed NDs then space them well and ensure the highest density is 10 or more stops for shooting in bright sun with high ISO sensors, an even more important consideration with Panasonic rumoured soon to be announcing a new low-light version of the GH5 with higher base ISO sensor than the current GH5’s 200 ISO.

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  • Aurora-Aperture PowerXND 2000 Variable Neutral Density 1.2 to 3.3 Filter (4 to 11 Stops)B&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8 LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8 LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 LensB&H
  • Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH. LensB&H
  • Sensei Pro Aluminium or Brass Step-Up RingsB&H
  • SLR Magic 82mm Self-Locking Variable Neutral Density 0.4 to 1.8 Filter (1.3 to 6 Stops)B&H
  • SLR Magic 86mm Solid Neutral Density 1.2 Image Enhancer Filter (4 Stop)B&H – add this to the SLR Magic variable ND above to convert its density range to 5.3-10 stops instead of 1.3-6 stops.
  • XUME Lens Adapter and Filter Holder Pro KitB&H