43 Rumors: Panasonic going to launch new f/1.2 prime lenses? Here are the patents…

https://www.43rumors.com/panasonic-going-launch-new-f-1-2-prime-lens-series-patents/

“Sigma just patented two new Micro Four Thirds lenses: 14mm f/1.2 and 35mm f/1.2. Now you will wonder…what has this to do with Panasonic? Because Sigma is known to sell those lens designs to Panasonic. The Leica 12mm f/1.4 for example is designed by Sigma…

That’s why there is a high chance the 14mm and 35mm f/1.2 prime lenses will be released by Panasonic (maybe using Leica brand)….”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The 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. Might Sigma be planning on selling its newly patented  14mm f/1.2 and 35mm f/1.2 lens designs to Olympus instead of Panasonic?

Commentary

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43 Rumors reports the possibility that Panasonic may buy Sigma recently patented 14mm f/1.2 and 35mm f/1.2 M43 prime lens designs. If so, Panasonic likely will brand them as Panasonic Leica lenses to go into its premium-quality prime and zoom lens collection. Panasonic’s Leica and Lumix lenses, however, only offer autofocus or focus-by-wire and not manual clutch focus as Olympus does with its M.Zuiko Pro lens collection.

Or maybe there is an even higher chance that Sigma is planning on selling these two new f/1.2 prime lens designs to Olympus for its top-tier M.Zuiko Pro lens collection to go with its current 17mm, 25mm and 45mm f/1.2 primes?

Sigma Corporation, like Cosina and several other mostly Japanese companies, is an OEM manufacturer of lenses for other brands and apparently has already sold lens designs to Olympus, such as the 150mm-equivalent M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f/1.8, considered to be one of the optically finest Micro Four Thirds lenses available.

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Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom lens for APS-C sensors and for adapting to M43 with Metabones SpeedBoosters, lens available in Canon EF or Nikon mounts.

Sigma apparently was known for some years as a budget lens maker but its Art range of premium lenses proved that it belongs in the ranks of professional-quality lens makers now.

Sigma’s recently released Ciné prime and zoom lens collection cements the company’s reputation firmly in place as does, on the adapted lens front, the company’s much-lauded Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art, often first choice in combo with Metabones Speed Boosters for M43 video camera users working in available darkness.

Two documentary movie and photography favourites, 28mm and 75mm

My two preferred documentary prime lens focal lengths are 28mm and 75mm in 35mm sensor equivalence and they are my first choice when buying into a new camera system.

That choice is often thwarted, though, by their equivalents’ unavailability as native lenses in some mirrorless camera systems or, in the case of Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R, an ageing lens’ quirky mechanical qualities making it next to useless for a high speed approach necessitated by the nature of my subjects and their circumstances.

28mm equivalent prime lenses by Fujifilm, Leica and Panasonic

Panasonic’s pancake prime, the Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 II, had vanished from most retailers after I tried a review loaner out and although I made some great photographs with it, its performance was suboptimal for everything I wanted to do with it, not least due to its lack of a focussing ring.

I and many other Fujifilm camera users are still waiting for the company to issue its long-rumoured 18mm update perhaps in the form of a Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R WR “Fujicron”, especially suitable for documentary photography with the X-Pro2 rangefinder camera, the X-E3 rangefinder-style camera and Fujifilm’s smaller DSLR-style cameras.

For video, though, a faster 18mm lens in the style of Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R, Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR and Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R would be the preferred option.

75mm equivalent prime lenses by Fujifilm, Leica and Veydra

Prime lenses in the 35mm sensor equivalent 75mm focal length are as hard to find in the Micro Four Thirds world as their 28mm equivalent siblings, and that relative rarity is not assisted by Sigma’s patent for a 35mm and not 37.5mm focal length lens.

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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens, one of the most versatile top-quality professional zoom lenses made, especially invaluable for its manual clutch focus and fast autofocus. I use mine resting on the 14mm or 37.5mm spot on the zoom ring depending on my project and subject.

I have used Panasonic’s Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II Aspheric Power OIS zoom lens in its previous version I form but found its 35mm long end limited for documentary work and portraiture so opted for Olympus’ stellar M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro instead.

Even so there are times I miss the 90mm focal length equivalent so have Olympus’ M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 Pro high on my M43 lens wishlist, also due to the manual clutch focus featured in all M.Zuiko Pro prime and zoom lenses making them invaluable for professional moviemaking and photography work.

Given a choice between a manual focus or manual clutch focus lens and a fly-by-wire autofocus or autofocus/manual lens, I will choose the manual or manual clutch focus lens same as I will choose a pair of fast primes over a zoom lens that includes both focal lengths.

There is no denying, though, that some projects demanding stealth, speed and small camera bag transportation can benefit from carrying just one top-quality zoom lens like the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro or the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro.

Designed by Sigma for Olympus or Panasonic?

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Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 Aspheric Power OIS lens, apparently designed by Sigma. It has focus-by-wire manual focus or autofocus and can often miss the mark despite Panasonic’s DFD focussing system.

It is too early to tell whether the 43 Rumors folks are correct about Sigma’s 14mm and 35mm f/1.2 lens design patents being intended for Panasonic.

I am hoping upon hope that the eventual destination will be Olympus and its M.Zuiko Pro lens collection.

Panasonic seems disinclined to replace its lenses’ linear and non-linear fly-by-wire mechanisms with the far more capable manual clutch focus mechanism used in Olympus’ M.Zuiko primes and zooms, and Fujifilm’s 14mm, 16mm and 23mm wider aperture trio for that matter.

Panasonic insiders have told me they constantly receive requests from professional users for manual clutch focus lenses but the company seems set on its current path if its apparently Sigma-designed 12mm, 15mm, 25mm and 42.5mm wide aperture Leica-branded lenses are any indication.

I wish to see Olympus adding to its M.Zuiko Pro collection with 14mm and 37.5mm focal length lenses as well as 10.5mm and 12mm focal length prime lenses.

Sigma’s 70mm-equivalent 35mm f/1.2 lens is not quite my preferred focal length but at least it fills the gap between the current 25mm and 45mm M.Zuiko Pro lenses.

Now let’s see Olympus fill the other gaps in its M.Zuiko Pro collection.

Links

Image Credits

Header image concept and quick hack by Carmel D. Morris.

Image inspired by The Expanse TV show currently on SyFy channel soon moving to Amazon, and Cooke Optics’ famous matched sets of evenly-spaced top-quality cinema prime lenses.

I wish to see all lens makers emulate Cooke’s example with sets of manual or manual clutch focussing prime lenses in evenly spaced focal lengths.

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olympus_m.zuiko_digital_ed_12-100mm_f4.0_is_pro_06_1024px_60pc
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.

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  • Leica APO-Summicron-M 75mm f/2 ASPH. LensB&H
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Kickstarter: Kamlan 28mm F/1.4 Standard Prime Lens for Mirrorless Cameras

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kamlan/kamlan-28mm-f-14-standard-mirrorless-prime-lens?ref=478061&token=28710d49

“Recreate what your eyes see. Kamlan 28mm F/1.4 Prime Lens delivers superior optical quality along with super low chromatic aberration…

… Normal lenses are valued because they provide a natural angle of view that is similar to what the human eye sees. The images they produce are very relatable and engaging because they feel like scenes people have seen. The focal length is extremely versatile for a wide range of applications – from landscapes to portraits to street photography. In recent years, many people have thought of the 50mm focal length (on full frame) as“normal”, but in times past a normal lens was actually closer to 40mm. The Kamlan 28mm f/1.4 offers a great “normal” focal length and a large maximum aperture at a bargain price…. “

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Machang Optics’ KamLan 28mm f/1.4 APS-C Standard Prime lens available in Canon EOS-M mount, Fujifilm X-mount, M43-mount and Sony E-mount.

Commentary

A new Chinese maker of affordable premium-quality manual-focus lenses has entered the scene with Shenzhen-based Machang Optical Co.’s KamLan brand launching a Kickstarter campaign for its Kamlan 28mm F/1.4 Standard Prime for mirrorless cameras in the APS-C and Micro Four Thirds sensor formats in Canon’s EOS-M mount, Fujifilm’s X-mount, M43-mount and Sony’s E-mount.

Until independent makers of affordable optics such as 7 Artisans, Cosina’s Voigtlaender brand, DZ Optics’ Kerlee brand, HandeVision’s Ibelux brand, Irix, Kowa’s Prominar range, LomographyMeyer Optik Görlitz, RokinonSigma, SLR MagicVenus Optics’s Laowa brand, VeydraYongnuo, Zhong Yi Optic’s Mitakon brand and Zonlai started becoming better known outside their home countries, with some releasing dedicated premium APS-C manual-focussing lenses, the APS-C format had received little to no lens maker love compared to the 35mm sensor format aka “full frame” or “full format”.

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The benchmark for perfect normal. Minolta Rokkor-M 40mm f/2.0 M-mount lens for the famous, much-coveted Minolta CLE 35mm analog rangefinder camera, successor to the Leica CL. Image by SuperB Japan Camera.

I am interested in Kamlan’s 28mm f/1.4 APS-C offering due to its equivalence to 40mm in the 35mm sensor format, often described as the “perfect normal” or “perfect standard” focal length.

The desire for non-35mm-sensor-format “perfect normal” lenses has most often been met with slower pancake-style lenses such as Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 in APS-C and Panasonic’s Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 II Aspheric in M43.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 and Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 II pancake lenses, equivalent to 40mm

Both lenses appear to be intended for compact camera users relying on autofocus as they lack manual focus rings and their size makes them unsuited for attaching the step-up rings and 77mm or 82mm fixed or variable neutral density filters required for professional video production.

Until the KamLan 28mm f/1.4 APS-C Standard prime, small size seems to have been a common theme with 40mm equivalent lenses starting off with the legendary though short-lived Leica Summicron-C 40mm f/2.0 released for the Leica CL compact 35mm analog camera.

Minolta later released its own version, the  Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm f/2.0, to go with the Minolta CLE camera which carried on and evolved well beyond the Leica CL’s achievements.

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Matched sets of manual focus lenses are a boon for documentary photography and video. Illustrated: the first four lenses from the Leica M 0.8 cinema lens set by Leica Camera sister company CW Sonderoptic, in the 21mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm and 50mm focal lengths, all with 77mm filter diameters.

Machang Optics’ KamLan APS-C lens range appears to be taking a very different approach, one more suited for precise manual focussing and thus video production, with a range of current and coming wide aperture manual-focus prime lenses including the 15mm f/1.8, 21mm f/1.8, 28mm f/1.4, 32mm f/1.3 and 50mm f/1.1 Mark 2.

If they prove to be well-matched in terms of colour and optical correction the KamLan lenses may well make for a good set of video lenses for Fujifilm camera users.

APS-C new product roadmap 2018 for KamLan brand manual prime lenses.

In their 35mm sensor equivalents, these lenses will be 22.5mm, 31.5mm, 42mm, 48mm and 75mm, a fine set of focal lengths suitable for feature and high-end documentary cinematography.

When Fujifilm made it clear they were about to take video seriously, I wondered if they would be upgrading their current offerings for video capability and adding new focal lengths to fill in the focal length gaps.

If that does not happen, then Machang Optics’ KamLan APS-C lens range may provide a great alternative.

Will the folks at Machang Optical Co. be issuing a boxed set, as it were, of these five lenses in future?

Will Machang Optical Co. be offering a ciné version of all these lenses, with clickless aperture ring, geared for use with follow-focus devices and with 77mm or preferably 82mm step-up rings attached for use with fixed or variable neutral density filters?

Will they come out with a 10.5mm lens so that Micro Four Thirds users can have a six-lens set that includes a 21mm equivalent, an essential super-wide establishing-shot focal length, and so APS-C users can have a 15.75mm equivalent lens?

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The ever-popular Voigtlaender Nokton 40mm f/1.2 Aspherical lens for Sony E-Mount cameras.

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  • Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM LensB&H
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  • Veydra 19mm T2.2 Mini Prime LensB&H – APS-C cinema prime with 38mm equivalence, currently available in feet or meters scales for Sony E-Mount, apparently also produced in Fujifilm X-Mount according to a hint at the Veydra website.
  • Veydra Mini Prime 6 Lens Master Lens Kit with 6 Lens Case (MFT Mount, Feet)B&H – includes 16mm and 32mm focal lengths, either side of the 20mm ideal of 40mm equivalence.
  • Veydra Mini Prime 6 Lens Master Lens Kit with 6 Lens Case (MFT Mount, Meters)B&H – see above.
  • Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f/1.2 Aspherical Lens for Leica M-Mount B&H
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  • Voigtlander Nokton Classic 40mm f/1.4 MC Lens for Leica M-MountB&H
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Fujifilm USA: Fujifilm Introduces the New Fujifilm X-T100 to X Series Mirrorless Camera Lineup

http://www.fujifilmusa.com/press/news/display_news?newsID=881421

“FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the debut of its new FUJIFILM X-T100, a compact interchangeable lens camera with a sleek design. Available inBlack, Dark Silver, and Champagne Gold, the new X-T100 offers a host of features including a high magnification electronic viewfinder, horizontal tilting rear LCD screen, built-in Bluetooth® technology for quick and easy image sharing and an extended battery life allowing up to 430 frames per charge. In addition, the X-T100 weighs just 448g with anodized coating on aluminum top cover, delivering a simultaneously retro and luxury feel….”

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Fujifilm X-T100 in Champagne Gold, Dark Silver and Black.

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Fujifilm Global: Fujifilm announces firmware updates for X-H1, X-T2, X-Pro2, X-E3 and X100F coming soon

http://www.fujifilm.com/news/n180412_03.html

“FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) will release free firmware updates for the FUJIFILM X-H1 (“X-H1”), FUJIFILM X-T2 (“X-T2”), FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (“X-Pro2”), FUJIFILM X-E3 (“X-E3”) and FUJIFILM X100F (“X100F”) X Series digital cameras. Due for release late April and May, the updates reflect the feedback received by FUJIFILM X Series users with regards to improving usability and adding new functions….

… FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (Ver.5.0.0) – due May 2018

1. Enlarged and customizable indicators or information
The upgrade allows users to enlarge indicators and information in the viewfinder and/or LCD monitor. This upgrade will also enable users to customize the location of where the information is shown on the display.

2. Enhanced Phase Detection AF
Latest updates to the AF algorithm provide the following performance enhancements

(1) The low-light limit for phase detection autofocus has been improved by approximately 1.5 stops from 0.5EV to -1.0EV, raising the precision and speed of autofocus in low-light environments.
(2) The range at minimum aperture has been expanded from F8 to F11. For example, even when using the XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with the tele converter XF2X TC WR, phase detection autofocus can now be used.
(3) Major improvements have been made to the AF-C performance while operating the zoom, which provides major benefits when shooting sports and other scenarios in which the subjects moves unpredictably.
(4) Finely-detailed surface textures of wild birds and wild animals can now be captured at high speed and with high precision as a result of improvement in phase detection autofocus.

3. Addition of “Flicker Reduction”
For enhancing the quality of indoor sports photography, the upgrade allows users to reduce flicker in pictures and the display when shooting under fluorescent lighting and other similar light sources.

4. Addition of “Select Folder” and “Create Folder”
Enable to choose the folder in which subsequent pictures will be stored. And also enable to enter a five-character folder name to create a new folder in which to store subsequent pictures….”

fujifilm_mhg-xpro2_hand_grip_x-pro2_01_1024px
The brilliant Fujifilm X-Pro2 optical viewfinder aka rangefinder camera with Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder, Fujifilm MHG-XPRO2 metal hand grip and Fujinon XF 23mm f.2.0 R WR lens brings the digital form of classic rangefinder photography to the rest of us in a relatively affordable form. It handles like a cross between a Leica M-series camera and a Fuji analog 120 roll-film “Texas Leica” but with all the benefits, bells and whistles of a cutting edge digital hand camera. Excellent for documentary photography and photojournalism.

Commentary

Fujifilm has done it again with its commitment to continually improving the functionality of most of its cameras long after their initial release with firmware updates that squash bugs, introduce major new features and update major and minor core functionality.

As an X-Pro2 owner my interest in the current round of announced and already released firmware updates is primarily to do with that camera but I note the usefulness of Fujifilm’s updates for the X100F, X-E3, X-T2 and X-H1.

I am grateful that with X-Pro2 Firmware Version 5.00 Fujifilm will be adding the ability to enlarge information and indicators in the X-Pro2’s remarkable Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder and its LCD monitor as some, under the current firmware, are a little too small to be as useful and easy to read as they could be.

I am looking forward to the coming enhancements to the X-Pro2’s Phase Detection Autofocus although I tend to prefer using back-button autofocus in Manual mode for precision focussing when shooting documentary stills in available darkness.

The X-Pro2 is nothing if not versatile given its four different viewing methods – LCD, OVF-only, EVF-in-OVF and straight EVF – that effectively make it four cameras in one, and I use it for a range of other subjects and shooting conditions which call for improved AF-S and AF-C focussing functionality.

As the cliché goes, my X-Pro2 may well feel like a while new camera again, yet again.

The addition of a flicker reduction feature will also be very welcome.

I am based in a country with 50 Hz mains power and despite following the common advice to select shutter speeds that are multiples of 50, banding or flicker can be a constant problem especially in places lit by ageing fluorescent lights or mixed lighting that includes flickering light sources.

The ability to choose folders or enter five-character folder names on my SD cards is one the usefulness of which I have not considered but it may be worth trying if I am shooting two or more different subjects or projects in the same day to otherwise needing to keep files clearly separate.

X-Pro2 Firmware version 5.00 does not, however, include improvements that we have been waiting a long time for now.

Foremost of these is pixel-level view of photographs to ensure accurate focus of critical image elements, an essential professional-quality feature even the X-E3 comes with straight out of the box.

Second is exposure zebras for fast and accurate exposure-to-the-right aka ETTR, instead of the blinkies that appeared in an earlier X-Pro2 firmware update.

Blinkies on already shot images are fine when chimping in poor visibility but diabolical when actually shooting.

The X-Pro2’s blinkies often drive me mad especially when used in conjunction with focus peaking for manual focussing which also blinks in unison, a needless distraction that should, at the very least, be able to be switched off in the menu settings.

Thirdly, the EVF badly needs improving if that can be done in firmware alone so that its clarity and colour cast can be made to approach if not match the quality of non-Fujifilm EVF cameras such as those made by Panasonic or by Fujifilm in its also-flagship X-T2 and X-H1 cameras.

If this problem with the X-Pro2’s EVF is a hardware issue, then I hope it will be fixed in the X-Pro3 when it arrives, perhaps, sometime in 2019.

Missing feature number four is the ability to apply picture profile customizations to video in the same way currently exists for JPEGs.

I am grateful to Fujifilm for finally giving us the long-promised 4K video in X-Pro2 firmware version 4.00 but they forgot that decent quality video also requires the ability to customize Noise Reduction, Highlight Tone, Shadow Tone, Color and Sharpness exactly the same as exists in Fujifilm’s other stills and video-capable hybrid cameras.

Lastly, and as firmware wishlist item number five, I would love to see the X-H1’s Eterna film simulation come to the X-Pro2 as a more viable alternative to Fujifilm’s more stills-appropriate film simulations.

Other useful features come to mind but these five are first and foremost for me as a documentary stills and video creator who needs all her cameras to be as capable and as feature-rich as possible.

As a purely self-funded independent visual storyteller, I no longer have the commissions nor the budgets to maintain a number of different camera systems in parallel, nor do I have the physical strength to carry two complete sets of cameras and lenses with one for stills and one for video on any given project.

Accordingly, each camera system that I have must be capable of producing good enough stills and good enough video as the project, the subject and the often unpredictable circumstances of the day demand.

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Fujifilm 64GB Elite II Performance UHS-II SDXC Memory Card

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Venus Optics: Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D [Fuji X, Sony E, Canon EF-M mounts]

http://www.venuslens.net/product/9mm/

“This exciting prime provides ultra wide-angle coverage up to 113° angle of view which is the widest in its class. The tiny size & light weight match perfectly with mirrorless cameras and are suitable to use with gimbals. 2 aspherical elements plus 3 extra-low dispersion elements successfully correct the chromatic aberration, realize a close-to-zero distortion & deliver a corner to corner sharpness….”

laowa_9mm_f2.8_zero-d_superwideangle_x-h1_top_1024px_60%
Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens with Fujifilm X-Mount on Fujifilm X-H1 camera.

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DPReview: Fujifilm interview: ‘We want the X-H1 to be friendly for DSLR users’ – COMMENTARY

https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/6430541330/fujifilm-interview-we-want-the-x-h1-to-be-friendly-for-dslr-users

“… How did you decide on what video features to include in the camera? Some expected features – like zebra – are missing.

Honestly, we couldn’t add zebra because of hardware constraints. The processor cannot support it. It requires too much processing power. At this time, we’ve achieved the best possible performance for the processor….

Is 8-bit capture enough, for F-Log recording?

There are 10-bit cameras on the market, but we recommend using Eterna to short-cut the recording process. We think 8-bit is enough for good quality….”

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Fujifilm X-H1 with Fujifilm VPB-XH1 Vertical Power Booster Grip

Commentary

With the X-H1 Fujifilm has successfully pulled off the in-body image stabilization that we were told was simply not possible, and what a success Fujifilm’s IBIS appears to be with a maximum of 5.5 stops for non-stabilized lenses like the Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R.

The X-H1 specifications list includes other useful new features including feather-touch shutter button, internal F-Log, Eterna movie film simulation, touchscreen, flicker reduction and 68 weather resistance sealing points on the camera body with a further 26 on the battery grip.

With the X-H1 positioned as a hybrid for stills photographers and independent moviemakers, the camera’s other specifications are something of a compromise and that is also due to being equipped with the same X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor and X-Processor Pro used in its older Fujifilm siblings such as the X-Pro2 and X-T2.

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Right now the Fujifilm X-Pro2 fills many of my documentary photography needs and I am looking forward to the next versions of Fujifilm’s X-Trans sensor and X-Processor Pro coming to the X-Pro3 as well as the X-T3 and X-H2. I have been hanging out for a companion for my X-Pro2 for wider lenses than 18mm and longer lenses than 56mm, but if the X-H2 comes with the essential features left out of the X-H1, then I may choose an X-H2 instead. Time will tell.

The rumor sites have reported, though, that the Fujifilm X-T3 DSLR-style camera will be announced later in the year at photokina and will have a new X-Trans sensor of between 24 and 30 megapixels, and a new X-Processor Pro, although no IBIS.

With a more powerful processing engine on the way, Fujifilm may be able to add three crucial features missing from the X-H1 – exposure zebras, 10-bit 4:2:2 4K video and 4K 60fps – to its successor, presumably to be named the X-H2.

I am hoping that this new sensor and processor will find its way into the successor to my beloved X-Pro2, probably to be named the X-Pro3, along with a much improved electronic viewfinder (EVF) to match the already high quality of the X-Pro2’s Advanced Hybrid optical viewfinder and monitor.

The X-Pro2 is the almost perfect, affordable documentary photography and photojournalism rangefinder camera and I am looking forward to adding wider and perhaps longer Fujinon X-Mount lenses to my kit for use with a brighter, clearer and more colour-accurate EVF on a zebra-equipped X-Pro3.

The X-H1 is a remarkable advance in Fujifilm’s DSLR-style offerings and will be snapped up by those of us still able to work commercially or with large enough budgets to acquire each new camera that appears.

Being a self-funded documentarian nowadays, I have to be more cautious with new gear and so am looking forward to the X-H2 and especially the X-Pro3.

Links

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B&H Explora: Using Optical Viewfinders on Cameras that Already Have Viewing Systems – COMMENTARY

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/tips-and-solutions/using-optical-viewfinders-on-cameras-that-already-have-viewing

“… My attraction to optical viewfinders has to do with visual simplicity. Specifically, when composing a photograph, I don’t want to have to peer through a barrage of backlit numbers and flashing icons. I want zero distractions—I don’t want my subject bordered by a Broadway theater marquee….”

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Leica Brightline Finder M-21 optical viewfinder for 21mm lenses (14mm in APS-C and 10.5mm in M43)

Commentary

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

The appearance of this article by Allan Weitz is a timely one given I am currently contemplating buying a Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R ultra wide-angle prime lens for my Fujifilm X-Pro2, for architectural and documentary photography.

I had hoped to use this beautifully optically-corrected 21mm equivalent (in the 35mm sensor format) lens to shoot high quality 4K video on my X-Pro2 too but have set this plan aside after finding that Fujifilm dropped the ball on allowing us to customize picture profiles and especially sharpness settings in their recent 4K video firmware update for the X-Pro2, doing a Canon by crippling a long-promised, much-needed functionality.

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The art school’s Linhof 4×5 Master Technika Classic rangefinder metal field camera taught me the value of optical viewfinders and optical/mechanical rangefinders as well as large format sheet film photography, for documentary photography and portraiture.

I hope we do not have to wait too long for the ability to customize sharpness, noise reduction, contrast, colour, highlight tone and shadow tone for video as is permitted on all the other current and recent generations of Fujifilm cameras so I can put my X-Pro2 to work on producing great video footage to match the high quality of its stills.

The Eterna video picture profile would also be very welcome on the X-Pro2.

The X-Pro2’s amazing Hybrid Multi Viewfinder that I love using in its ERF-in-OVF mode for stills and video, with electronic rangefinder (ERF) image lower right in the camera’s optical viewfinder, can only properly handle focal lengths between 18mm and 56mm inclusive, so I must rely on the X-Pro2’s excellent though non-articulated monitor or its suboptimal electronic viewfinder (EVF) for lenses wider than 18mm or longer than 56mm.

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Graflex Crown Graphic 4″x5″ sheet film field camera for use in the hand or on a tripod.

When reading Mr Weitz’ article on optical viewfinders, I was reminded of how useful I found the OVFs on the Linhof, the Graflex Crown Graphic upon which I relied in my magazine photography career, my Rolleiflex twin lens reflex cameras and the odd borrowed specialist camera such as the superb Hasselblad XPan panorama camera and Hasselblad SWC Superwide.

The XPan was made by Fuji Camera as it was then known and marketed in Japan under its own product designations, the Fuji TX-1 and Fuji TX-2.

Leica has produced its superb but incredibly expensive external optical viewfinders for many years now, from long before the famous portrait of a young Henri Cartier-Bresson with external OVF-equipped early 20th century Leica was made.

Something I especially like about composing through an optical finder is that unlike the black-bordered, tunnel-like view of the scene you get with LCD, electronic, and conventional reflex viewing systems, optical finders allow you to see beyond the borders of the frame, which gives you a definitive edge when photographing fleeting moments.

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Fujifilm VF-X21 External Optical Viewfinder originally for the Fujifilm X70, for use with 21mm and 28mm equivalent lenses such as the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R and XF 18mm f/2.0 R on the X-70 and other cameras.

I am now in the market for a good but affordable 21mm optical viewfinder to go with the second-hand Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R that its current owner is currently using on a trip to India and hopefully the lens will return safe, sound and free of dust.

Fujifilm, Voigtländer or another brand altogether, I am looking forward to the digital version of a camera view-finding experience that I grew to love during the era of analog cameras, film, photochemicals and, sadly for me, a debilitating photochemically-derived dermatitis that prematurely ended my magazine photography career.

Roll on digital photography!

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Fujifilm X-H1: DSLR-Style Stills Camera on Steroids, 5-Axis IBIS 8-Bit 4:2:2 Video Contender, or Both? – List of Links and Videos

Fujifilm has announced the Fujifilm X-H1 photography and video hybrid APS-C Super 35 DSLR-style camera, and it comes with a range of new features and features yet to arrive and that may appear in firmware updates later in the year or not at all. 

Fujifilm also announced the long-awaited X-Mount versions of its first two affordable parfocal cinema zoom lenses for use with its X-Mount Super 35/APS-C cameras and especially the X-H1, the Fujinon MKX 18-55mm T2.9 and Fujinon MKX 50-135mm T2.9, 

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Fujifilm X-H1 with the excellent Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS kit zoom lens and Fujifilm VPB-XH1 Vertical Power Booster Grip

Fujifilm X-H1

Fujifilm Fujinon MKX 18-55mm T2.9 and Fujinon MKX 50-135mm T2.9 parfocal cinema zoom lenses

Articles & Reviews

Articles or reviews by female moviemakers or photographers with pre-announcement access to the Fujifilm X-H1 = 1 (one)

Press releases

Product Pages

Videos by Fujifilm

Fujifilm videos about female moviemakers or photographers = 3 (three), as part of the Markus&Koala celebrity and fashion photography duo.

Fujifilm videos featuring actresses portraying non-professional moviemakers or photographers = 1 (one)

Videos by Retailers, Reviewers and Vloggers

Videos by female moviemakers, photographers or retail store staff members with pre-announcement access to the Fujifilm X-H1 = 1 (one)

Image Credit

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

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  • Fujifilm MKX50-135mm T2.9 Lens (Fuji X-Mount)B&H
  • Fujifilm VPB-XH1 Vertical Power Booster GripB&H
  • Fujifilm X-H1 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-55mm Lens and Battery Grip KitB&H
  • Fujifilm X-H1 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 50-140mm Lens and Battery Grip KitB&H
  • Fujifilm X-H1 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 100-400mm Lens and Battery Grip KitB&H
  • Fujifilm X-H1 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body with Battery Grip KitB&H

Fuji Rumors: Fujifilm X-H1: Full English Press Release and More Images with MK Lenses

https://www.fujirumors.com/fujifilm-x-h1-full-english-press-release-images-mk-lenses/

“In case you missed it, I have google translated to English the entire press release leaked in German as well as manually translated the full specs sheet (see below). You can also download the specs sheet in English here at my dropbox….”

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Fujifilm X-H1 with battery grip and Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS kit zoom, image released by Nokishita and republished at Fuji Rumors.

Commentary

fujifilm_rumor_x-h1_fujinon_cine_zoom_square_01_1024px_60%
Fujifilm X-H1 with Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9 X-Mount Cinema Zoom

Fuji Rumors has outdone itself on the Fujifilm X-H1 with heavily detailed specifications lists, press releases, images and size comparisons between the X-H1 and other hybrid stills/video cameras whether mirrorless or DSLR, in advance of Fujifilm’s official X-H1 product announcement on February 15.

That announcement will no doubt also include the X-Mount versions of Fujifilm’s MK Series 18-55mm T2.9 and 50-135mm T2.9 cinema zoom lenses, previously released in E-Mount versions for Sony cinema and Sony Alpha hybrid cameras in the α7 and α9 series.

I will be publishing official product photographs, specifications, and links to articles and videos by moviemakers and photographers who have been working with pre-production versions of the Fujifilm X-H1 and X-Mount versions of the Fujinon MK Series zoom lenses after Fujifilm’s announcement on the 15th and no doubt that article will be a lengthy one.

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Samsung NX1 with Samsung Premium S 50-150mm f/2.8 ED OIS zoom lens, still the benchmark for up-to-date Super 35mm hybrid video cameras, though it missed out on a fully-articulated monitor and 10-bit 4:2:2.

With the leaks by DigiCame-Info, Fuji Rumors and Nokishita, there has been much discussion and speculation at online moviemaking fora, much of it comparing the X-H1’s video specifications to Panasonic’s Lumix DC-GH5 and DC-GH5S Super 16/Micro Four Thirds cameras, and Samsung’s discontinued but still revolutionary Super 35/APS-C NX1.

All three cameras raised the bar for mirrorless video very high indeed.

This is the set of video-centric features I have been hoping to see appear in the X-H1:

  • 4K UHD and 4K DCI 200 Mbit
  • 4K 60p
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS) that works in conjunction with optical image stabilization (OIS)
  • 10-bit 4:2:2
  • Battery grip with full controls for vertical/portrait orientation
  • Decent battery sizes
  • Decent body grip
  • Decent set of of well-spaced colour-matched native X-Mount prime and zoom lenses with manual clutch focus or at least linear focus-by-wire
  • Dual memory card slots
  • Exposure zebras with ability to set percentages/IRE levels
  • External recording via HDMI 2.0+
  • Full 10-bit internal F-Log
  • Fully-articulated monitor
  • Fully-customizable picture profiles
  • In-body audio-monitoring aka headphone port
  • Unlimited recording duration
  • Viable eye and face autofocus
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Is this the camera that inspired Fujifilm’s X-H1 designers? The Contax N1 autofocus analog SLR, last in a long line of Kyocera-made Contax cameras licensing the Contax brand from Zeiss, released in 2000. Kyocera also made Yashica brand cameras.

How many of these boxes, as it were, will the DSLR-style Fujifilm X-H1 tick and how much will any non-inclusion of essential features mitigate against the X-H1 in being a viable, up-to-date video camera for the sorts of productions that warrant Super 35 image quality?

Or, will that good old Australian saying, “close enough is good enough”, be applicable enough in the case of the Fujifilm X-H1?

Links