Press Release: Introducing The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS Lens

I remember that the very first time I encountered Micro Four Thirds systems cameras and lenses in a trade show, Olympus was demonstrating just how much smaller and lighter its telephoto zoom lenses were compared those made for so-called “full frame” and “full format” 35mm sensor system cameras. 

This lens, had it been available when that trade show was on, would have been a superb example of why M43 has so much to offer with its 200-800mm focal range in a package the average human being can actually pick up and use without breaking one’s spine and afford without breaking the bank.

Introducing The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS Lens

A Superior Compact, Lightweight Super telephoto Zoom Lens Offering, 200-800mm Focal Length (35mm Equivalent)

Center Valley, PA, August 4, 2020 – Olympus® is pleased to announce the M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f5.0-6.3 IS lens, an ultra-compact, lightweight super-telephoto zoom lens that covers a broad telephoto focal length of 200-800mm equivalent[1] and is compliant with the Micro Four Thirds® System standard. This lens features the same dustproof and splashproof performance as the M.Zuiko PRO lens series, and when paired with the M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter MC-20, delivers up to 1600mm equivalent1 super telephoto shooting. This lens offers superior autofocus performance, even handheld, and in-lens image stabilization for the optimal shooting experience.

Compact, Lightweight Design

Despite being a 200-800mm equivalent super telephoto zoom lens, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f5.0-6.3 IS lens is compact and lightweight, with a length of 205.7 mm, a weight of 1,120 g6 and a filter diameter of 72 mm. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f5.0-6.3 IS lens is capable of 200-800mm equivalent1 telephoto shooting on its own, which can be further extended when paired with the optional (sold separately) M.Zuiko Digital 1.4x Teleconverter MC-14 or the M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter MC-20, for up to 1600mm equivalent1, making it possible to zoom in close on subjects that are difficult to approach, such as birds and wildlife, and delivering flattening effects for shooting that is unique to a super telephoto lens. The closest focusing distance across the entire zoom range is 1.3m and the maximum image magnification is 0.57×1, allowing superb telemacro performance when photographing small subjects such as insects and flowers. Focus Stacking[2] is also supported. This feature captures multiple shots at different focal positions and automatically composites a single photo with a large depth of field that is in focus from the foreground to background.

Focal length
35mm equivalent

Aperture Value

Max Image Magnification
35mm equivalent

M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 100-400㎜ F5.0-6.3 IS

200mm-800mm
(100mm-400mm)

F5.0-F6.3

X0.57
(X0.29)

With 1.4x Teleconverter MC-14

280mm-1,120mm
(140mm-560mm)

F7.1-F9.0

X0.81
(x0.4)

With 2.0x Teleconverter MC-20

400mm-1600mm
(200mm-800mm)

F10-F13

X1.15
(x0.57)

Superb Performance

The optical system of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f5.0-6.3 IS lens features a combination of four ED lenses[3] for suppressing color bleeding, two Super HR lenses[4], and two HR lenses[5] for bright, clear depictive performance to the edges of the image across the entire zoom range. ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) Coating is used to reduce ghosting and flaring, for clear image quality, even in poor, backlit conditions. Extensive hermetic sealing on the entire lens barrel delivers the same high level of dustproof and splashproof performance as the M.Zuiko PRO series for peace of mind when shooting in any environment.

Superior Autofocus

A rear focus system is employed to drive this lightweight focusing lens, for fast, high-precision autofocus performance. This lens is also equipped with four functional switches, designed to support handheld shooting, including a Focus Limiter switch for AF operation selection, ranging between three levels, according to the focusing distance, allowing for quick focusing and comfortable shooting, even in the super telephoto range. In-lens image stabilization on/off delivers stable handheld super telephoto shooting, an AF/MF switch and a zoom locking switch.

Pricing, Availability & Specifications

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400 f5.0-6.3 IS lens will be available for $1,499.99 (U.S.)/$2,199.99 (CAD). To pre-order, visit a participating local authorized retailer, or http://www.getolympus.com. Shipping will begin September 8, 2020. Please visit the website for detailed product specifications: https://www.getolympus.com/lenses/m-zuiko-digital-ed-100-400mm-f5-0-6-3-is.html.

Journalists who are interested in more information or review units should contact Jennifer Colucci, Olympus America Inc., jennifer.colucci@olympus.com, 484-896-5719, or visit the Olympus website getolympus.com.

Bundled Accessories

Lens Hood: LH-76D
Lens Cap: LC-72D

Separately Available Accessories

Lens Hood: LH-76D (Bundled) $39.99 (U.S.)/$54.99 (CAD)
Protect Filter: ZUIKO PRF-ZD72 PRO $79.99 (U.S.)/$107.99 (CAD)
Decoration Ring: DR-79 $24.99 (U.S.)/$24.99 (CAD)
Lens Case: LSC-1127 $44.99 (U.S.)/$44.99 (CAD)

ABOUT OLYMPUS AMERICA INC.

Olympus is passionate about the solutions it creates for the medical, life sciences, and industrial equipment industries, as well as cameras and audio products. For more than 100 years, Olympus has focused on making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling by helping detect, prevent, and treat disease, furthering scientific research, ensuring public safety, and capturing images of the world.

Olympus’ imaging business empowers consumers and professionals alike with innovative digital cameras, lenses, audio recorders, and binoculars. The company’s precision optics and groundbreaking technology open up new possibilities for capturing life’s most precious moments. For more information, visit http://www.getolympus.com.

All trademarks and registered trademarks listed herein are the property of their respective holders, in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Olympus…True to You. True to Society. True to LIFE.

© 2020 Olympus America Inc.

# # #

1 35mm equivalent
2 Please see the Olympus website for compatible cameras
3 Extra-low Dispersion lens
4 Super High Refractive Index lens
5 High Refractive Index lens
6 Excluding tripod base plate, lens cap, lens rear cap, and lens hood

Links

Press Release: Olympus releases the long-awaited ED 12‑45mm F4 PRO and a video content creation kit with its E-M5 Mark III, New OM-D E-M5 Mark III kits

Olympus appeared to emphasize the  stills photography capabilities of its OM-D range of digital cameras more than their video features. 

I have always had a high opinion of the company’s M.Zuiko Pro professional-quality prime and zoom lens collection most especially due to their manual clutch focus mechanism which is particularly useful for moviemaking. 

Now Olympus appears determined to remind us that their camera also shoot video too, and to demonstrate that fact have released two moviemaking kits, in the UK and Ireland at least if not in the rest of the world. 

olympus_om-d_e-m5_markiii_01_1024px
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III OMD Movie Kit.

Hamburg, 05/15/2020 | Press release | Camera & audio

Olympus releases the long-awaited ED 12‑45mm F4 PRO and a video content creation kit with its E-M5 Mark III
New OM-D E-M5 Mark III kits

A few weeks ago, Olympus launched the world’s most compact and lightweight high-performance standard zoom lens M.Zuiko Digital ED 12‑45mm F4 PRO.* In combination with the also compact and lightweight OM-D E-M5 Mark III camera, unrivalled mobility is now possible. The acclaimed weather-sealing allows for shooting in all conditions. This ideal combination will be available as a kit from mid-May, for all photo enthusiasts looking for professional quality in a handy format. The new OM-D movie kit with the E-M5 Mark III and the LS-P4 audio recorder is ideal for all vloggers, filmmakers and YouTubers who rely on top quality gear and like to travel light. The kit centers around the versatile E-M5 Mark III camera with high-performance autofocus capabilities: a powerful image stabilization system and “OM-D Movie” features, which deliver an extensive array of creative options for filmmakers. Also included are the wide-angle M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm F2.0 lens and an Olympus LS-P4 linear PCM recorder, to ensure brilliantly clear sound, as well as further accessories to guarantee a worry-free video content creation experience.

At up to half the size and weight of other interchangeable lens systems, Olympus’ biggest advantage is its optimal mobility owing to the compact camera system and lenses. The combination of the high-resolution, high-performance lens line-up and powerful image stabilization results in sharp, high-quality videos and photos for a variety of scenarios.

Packing some of the latest imaging technologies in a highly compact body, the OM-D E-M5 Mark III represents these benefits to the fullest and is therefore the perfect choice for every photo and vlogging enthusiast on the go.

OM-D E-M5 Mark III 12‑45mm F4 PRO kit

One compact and lightweight lens for many possibilities

The optical configuration of the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm F4.0 PRO lens is inherited from the ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO lens, which is well recognized for its high-quality standards. Effective placement of special lenses in the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm F4.0 PRO lens allows for the world’s most compact, lightweight design*, covering a focal length from wide angle 24mm to telephoto 90mm (35mm equivalent). A small and lightweight focusing lens enables high-speed, precise AF for any subject. Aspherical lenses and ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) coating drastically reduce aberrations, ghosts, and flares for sharp, high-definition image quality. Suppressing loss of light at the edges of images makes it possible to obtain a bright, clear depictive performance over the entire image.

Superb macro capabilities

The M.Zuiko ED 12-45 mm F4.0 PRO is also suitable for macro photography with a maximum magnification of 0.25x (0.5x 35mm equivalent) across the entire zoom range. The closest focusing distance is 12 cm at the wide-angle end, and 23 cm at the telephoto end. Diverse macro effects are possible, such as Focus Stacking****, which generates a single image in the camera with a large depth of field in focus from the foreground to the background.

The perfect match

The new flexible standard zoom lens is the solution for all those who want to achieve maximum performance with as little equipment as possible. It fits perfectly to the OM-D E-M5 Mark III, which is just as flexible, compact and light. It features a weather-sealed construction, high-performance autofocus capabilities and a powerful image stabilization system, along with versatile shooting features to deliver brilliant image quality and an extensive array of creative options for photographers and filmmakers.

The OM-D movie kit

All video producers know about the importance of sound. The Olympus LS-P4 audio recorder is the perfect match for the E-M5 Mark III and helps creatives to complement their production with Hi-Res audio quality.

Why the Olympus movie kit is the ideal choice for aspiring video content creators

Advanced imaging technology in an ultra-small body and a high-quality wide-angle lens ensure the versatility modern video creators need.

Being one of the most compact and lightweight wide-angle lens kits in its class, the OM-D E-M5 Mark III with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm F2.0 lens can easily be carried everywhere to make sure no video shot is missed.

The camera’s in-body 5-axis image stabilization system ensures that moving images look even clearer and sharper by compensating for unwanted camera-shake.

Olympus’ highly precise 121-point all cross-type on-chip Phase Detection autofocus (AF) system brings out the full potential of the distinguished MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) mechanism, enabling fast and quiet autofocusing in M.Zuiko lenses without “jumping” focus. Thus, the focus in a film scene can no longer be lost, the result: sharp results in almost any situation or environment.

With the E-M5 Mark III’s swivel touch LCD, creatives and vloggers maintain full control of the framing and background as well as quick and easy access to a control panel with the most important settings – even when taking a selfie shot or holding the camera high or low.

Due to the direct and easy connection of the E-M5 Mark III with Olympus’ acclaimed LS-P4 sound recorder, video enthusiasts have the choice to record sound directly onto the movie file and upload it right away, or to combine sound and video in post production. Full compatibility and easy synchronization are guaranteed since both the camera and the audio recorder are genuine Olympus products.

Superior sound makes any movie better: The Olympus LS series ensures crisp, brilliant audio for video

The Olympus LS series is renowned for its compact, sleek design and exceptional sound quality. Offering better-than-CD quality recording allowing for a frequency spectrum of up to 20Hz – 20kHz, the LS-P4 ensures a rich stereophonic sound.

At loud volumes, the capability of handling sound pressure levels (SPL) of up to 120dB without clipping as well as the acclaimed Olympus noise cancelling system come into play.

With a near perfect sampling rate of up to 96 kHz/24-Bit sound PCM, FLAC or MP3 recording***** (and playback), the LS-P4 is a feature-packed high-resolution audio recorder. It brings together high quality of sound with ultimate ease of use and flexibility – making it the ideal companion for video production on the go.

With the new firmware Version 1.10 for the LS-P4, a Slate Tone function has been added to make sound file editing / video synchronization easier, while the new Test Tone feature supports users in adjusting the recording level for optimal results. By using Olympus Workspace Version 1.3 it is easy to replace the audio files of the recorded video to High res sound recorded by using Slate Tone.

An included Joby GorillaPod and further accessories take the versatility and convenience for video creators to the next level

In addition to the E-M5 Mark III camera, the high-quality M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm F2.0 lens, a metal lens hood to minimize the risk of reduced contrast and flares from sunlight, the Olympus LS-P4 sound recorder and further useful accessories; the new movie kit includes a Joby GorillaPod to place the camera on almost any surface or to support hand-held shooting.

When capturing sound for video, the LS recorder may be used as separate hand-held device or, utilizing the included shock mount adapter (Olympus SM2) and 3.5mm cable (Olympus KA335), as a flexible microphone on top of the camera to save on synchronization efforts in post-production. The included windshield offers protection from wind noises when filming outdoors.

For more information on shooting video content with Olympus cameras and sound recorders please visit www.olympus.eu/video_sound.

Availability & pricing

The new OM-D 12‑45mm F4 PRO kit is available from mid of May at an RRP of 1,599.00 EUR. The OM-D movie kit is available now at an RRP** of 1.999,00 EUR. The included OM-D cameras and M.Zuiko lenses come with a free six-month warranty extension****** when registered via the MyOlympus platform at http://my.olympus.eu.

Selected accessories

The OM-D E-M5 Mark III is fully compatible with Olympus’ extensive range of Micro Four Thirds lenses and accessories, including tailor-made camera bags, electronic flashes and the free image editing and workflow software Olympus Workspace and smartphone app OI.Share.

More information at www.olympus.eu/accessories.

Product specifications are subject to change without notice. Please check the Olympus website at www.olympus-europa.com for the latest specifications.

* As of February 12, 2020. World’s most compact, lightweight standard zoom lens with a constant aperture value.

** Recommended Retail Price

*** With M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO at a focal distance of f=100mm (35mm equivalent: f=200mm), halfway release image stabilization: Off, frame rate: high speed. CIPA standards compliant on 2 axes (Yaw and Pitch).

**** Supported cameras: OM-D E-M1 Mark III. A firmware update is required for the following camera models: OM-D E-M1X, OM-D E-M1 Mark II, OM-D E-M5 Mark III

***** 96 kHz/24-Bit only possible when recording in PCM or FLAC format.

****** Six months on top of the statutory warranty in the country of purchase.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III OMD Movie Kits with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4.0 Pro zoom lens

Links

DPReview: Fujifilm XF 8-16mm F2.8 WR LM Review (video)

There’s no doubt that the Fujifilm XF 8-16mm F2.8 is a beautifully built lens. It’s also quite heavy, and at £1750 / $1900 it’s a pretty serious investment. Is the expense worth it? Chris and Jordan take to the hiking trails of Alberta to answer that question….

Commentary

Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR ultra wide-angle zoom lens is beautifully built and delivers beautiful results, but it may not be the best solution for everyone needing ultra-wide focal lengths.

Its size and weight demand mounting it on a vertical battery-equipped Fujifilm X-T3 at the very least with the now-discounted Fujifilm X-H1 providing better balance than the slightly smaller and lighter X-T3.

If the X-H1’s OIS-equipped replacement, the X-H2, is in Fujifilm’s production pipeline then it may be wiser to wait for that to appear sometime late this year or more likely early next if the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR is an important lens in your gear kit.

My experience with the XF 8-16mm f/2.8 proves it to be an excellent solution for architectural photography where street furniture, trees and other buildings dictate using the widest focal lengths to get closer to your main subject and bypass non-removable visual noise.

I have used it successfully for documentary photography in the middle of dense crowds, though there were times I would have preferred the lens had optical image stabilization built-in for when the light dropped and slow shutter speeds were necessary to support deep focus via smaller apertures.

In bright sunlight, photographing landscapes was a pleasure and the lens lapped up fine detail but its lack of provision for attaching screw-on filters meant I was unable to try it out as a video lens and I am not in the market for large, heavy and expensive third-party filter adapters or even larger and costlier matte boxes.

If you need an ultra-wideangle for documentary photography and video then I highly recommend the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R which is small and light enough for use with an ungripped X-T3 and would work well on an X-Pro2 with a Fujifilm VF-X21 external optical viewfinder sitting on its hotshoe.

If a range of wide-angle focal lengths is necessary as well as portability and stabilization then I recommend the Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS lens especially it is stopped down below f/5.6 and preferably f/8.0, and this lens will not eat into your savings anywhere near as much as the otherwise excellent Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR.

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on the links below and purchasing through them or our affiliate accounts at B&H Photo Video, SmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

  • FUJIFILM VF-X21 External Optical ViewfinderB&H
  • FUJIFILM X-H1 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body with Battery Grip KitB&H
  • FUJIFILM X-T3 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • FUJIFILM VG-XT3 Vertical Battery GripB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR LensB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS LensB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 14mm f/2.8 R LensB&H

Photoism by Mastin Labs: Which Film or Preset Should I Use? A Guide by Mastin Labs.

https://www.mastinlabs.com/photoism/articles/which-film-or-preset-should-i-use-a-guide-by-mastin-labs

Mastin Labs’ Kodak Everyday Original is now available for Capture One Pro. Will Mastin Labs’ other film simulation preset packs also be migrated over to Capture One Pro, one of the most popular top-quality raw image processing applications?

“Film is a 127-year-old medium with many contributors throughout its history. Unlike digital capture, film stocks were not made to accurately reflect reality, but to offer different aesthetic choices to the photographer.

Factors such as the culture where the film company was located and who was available at the time as test subjects greatly determined the characteristics of each film stock. This is one of the reasons that Kodak films render colors differently compared to Fuji films (for example.)…

PLEASE NOTE: Any film can technically be used for any subject or lighting condition, but if you pair the right film with the right subject, you’ll get ideal results….”

Commentary

I follow either of two essentially different paths when processing my raw stills photography files, based on available time and emotional effect.

If time is of the essence and I must quickly process a collection of selects from a project, in effect a set of proofs ready for client viewing or social media, then I always choose to apply film simulation aka emulation presets through software like DxO PhotoLab and its siblings DxO FilmPack and DxO ViewPoint, Alien Skin Exposure X4, Capture One Pro equipped with film styles from 1style.pro, or several other such options including film emulation look-up tables aka LUTs.

My choice of host application and film emulations depends on what films are available which combination and it can vary a great deal.

If there is plenty of time for slower, more thoughtful processing and experimentation with a range of possible looks, then I will spend some time in products like Skylum’s Luminar and Aurora Pro exploring their many highly original, unconventional filters and controls to follow in entirely new image processing directions.

Most of the time, though, time is of the essence and I would rather be creating new images rather than editing older ones.

Capture One Pro is one of the two raw processing applications I am most likely to turn to when time is limited, beside DxO PhotoLab and its plug-ins, and it is good to see film simulation presets specialist Mastin Labs supporting it now.

Kirk Mastin’s presets are rather pricey compared to others, but I have read nothing but praise for them from photographers working digitally as well as in analog photography.

I have yet to try Mastin Labs’ first collection for Capture One Pro, Kodak Everyday Original consisting of presets based on Kodak Ektar 100, Kodak Gold 200 and Kodak Tri-X 400 as well as tone profiles, custom white balance settings, and 35mm and 120 roll film grain simulations.

The analog films upon which this set is based are not necessarily my first choice though I shot Tri-X film in 35mm, 120 and sheet film formats for many years during my magazine editorial photography and corporate photography careers.

The Mastin Labs presets I am more likely to want to use these days are included in their other collections – Fujicolor Original, Fujicolor Pushed, Ilford Original, Portra Original and Portra Pushed – so I hope that we will see these collections released for Capture One Pro in future.

Meanwhile, there are other ways of achieving acceptable analog film simulation or something similar in a number of host applications including Capture One Pro itself, and the list of links below points to some of them.

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on the links below and purchasing through them or our affiliate accounts at B&H Photo Video, SmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

  • Phase One Capture One Pro B&H

DPReview: EXCLUSIVE: Hands-on with upcoming Fujifilm XF and GF lenses [Including Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom lens] – UPDATED

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/9472614833/exclusive-hands-on-with-upcoming-fujifilm-xf-and-gf-lenses

“…We’re in Dubai, where Fujifilm is showing off pre-production and prototype samples of three upcoming lenses – the GF 50mm F3.5 – a compact, lightweight standard lens for medium format – the XF 16mm F2.8, and the XF 16-80mm F4 – both of which [were] designed for the company’s range of APS-C format X-series cameras.

Click through for an exclusive first look at all three, including detailed specifications….”

Staffers at the Amazon-owned photography hardware review site DPReview got their hands on three upcoming lenses for Fujifilm’s G and X series cameras at Gulf Photo Plus aka GPP’s GPP Photo Week 2019 in Dubai. Here is the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom lens.

Commentary

As time is inching towards the release sometime in the first half of 2019 of Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 “travel” zoom lens it is terrific to get some idea of its size and features and other it may provide a solution for own needs as a documentary photographer and videographer.

I am self-funded, only able to carry a small amount of hardware on each project, and must work within ongoing limitations – thanks for nothing, Australian banksters, for blowing our refinancing out of the water after you were found out for your crimes by the Royal Commission into banking.

I must be able to get the most out of the hardware I carry and it must be able to help me create good enough movies and videos without the benefit of cases full of equipment, assistants and crews, and the big budgets that I never had anyway when working as a magazine editorial and corporate photographer during the analog era.

Gaps in their offerings

As two relatively new camera and lens systems, Fujifilm’s APS-C sensor format X system and medium format G system  still have gaps in their offerings, especially for documentary types like me who prefer to rely on fast prime lenses with all the manual controls that can be had.

Not to say that I do not appreciate zoom lenses now that their optical, mechanical and image quality are so good nowadays.

I also use and love Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds cameras and Olympus’ M.Zuiko Pro lenses, with my most-used lens being the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens and, had it been released at the time I bought my first Panasonic camera, I may well have chosen the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.0 OIS Pro zoom lens instead.

Slower zoom lenses are fine so long as you supplement them with moderately wide and moderately long fast aperture prime lenses for available darkness documentary work and portraiture, and Olympus offers three of  them in its M.Zuiko Pro range at the moment, with more to come I hope.

Going fast to begin with

At the time I bought my first interchangeable lens Fujifilm camera, the company did not offer a standard zoom lens like those above made by Olympus or their Panasonic equivalents, so I invested in a Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R and Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R, well answering my fast aperture moderate long and wide needs.

Another longstanding need has been for a professional quality 18mm prime lens equivalent to 28mm in the 35mm sensor format and 14mm in the Macro Four Thirds sensor format.

With little sign of Fujifilm offering such a lens any time soon, I have had to consider other possibilities including adapting an EF-mount Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom lens to X-mount, but this solution is best suited to DSLR-style cameras like the X-T3 rather than the rangefinder-style X-Pro2 that is much more effective for hardcore immersive documentary photography.

Interest piqued

My interest in the coming  Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS zoom was piqued when I borrowed a Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 kit zoom lens for my first tryout of the X-T3.

I loved its 18mm widest focal length, rarely used the lens at 23mm and 55mm as I was also carrying my X-Pro2 equipped with either of those two lenses, and would have loved access to longer focal lengths than 56mm for those times I could not get close enough.

DPReview’s hands-on with the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom provides a reasonably reliable impression of the lens in its shipping form and confirms it has a marked, clicking aperture ring and weather resistance, though no manual clutch focus or, probably, no clickless option.

The X-T3’s firmware offers the ability to switch focus-by-wire from non-linear to linear so I will be giving that feature a tryout during my current X-T3 loan period over the coming days.

Two out of three

Two out of three ain’t bad for the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom.

As I am not a fan of the neither fish-nor-fowl 16mm focal length, equivalent to 24mm in the 35mm sensor format, the Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR “Fujicron” lens is not on my wishlist which is topped by the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R annual clutch focus prime lens to tackle the ultra wide end of things and has a 58mm filter diameter, meaning I can easily add a knurled brass Breakthrough Photography step-up ring for my neutral density filters when shooting video.

Although I would prefer to have a set of wide-aperture manual-clutch-focus primes for all my documentary moviemaking and photography, the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom would provide a range of my most-needed focal lengths – 18mm, 23mm, 27mm, 56mm and 70mm.

In 35mm sensor format terms, that is 28mm, 35mm, 40mm, 85mm and 105mm, and a limit of 120mm at the long end will account for those rare times my feet are unable to do the zooming.

Postscript

Fuji Rumors has republished images and information about the northern hemisphere fall aka autumn 2019 (southern hemisphere spring 2019) release of the XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR including these from Japanese website capa.getnavi.

Many thanks to Fuji Rumors for the slide translation:

Fujinon XF 10-24mm R OIS, Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS X-Mount, Fujinon XF 14mm R and Venus Optics Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D for architecture and documentary

I have a longterm project coming up where I need to document the construction of a house from greenfield to completion, and I need to expand my stills photography kit for that and a number of other upcoming stills and video projects.

Right now I have no idea what my budget will be, given the economy-wrecking predations of the Australian banks and real estate agencies over the past couple of years, but there are at least two options.

Minimalist:

  • Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R with Fujifilm VF-X21 external optical viewfinder for my X-Pro2.

Maximalist:

  • Fujifilm X-T3
  • Fujifilm MHG-XT3 Metal Hand Grip
  • Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip
  • Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS
  • Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR
  • Breakthrough Photography 72-82mm knurled brass step-up ring x 2
  • Breakthrough Photography lens cap, 82mm x 2
  • Breakthrough Photography X4 UV filter x 2
  • Fixed or variable neutral density filters, 82mm diameter

There are other lenses available that receive good reviews and are suitable for architectural photography though they are too ultra-wide for documentary photography, the Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS X-Mount at 18mm equivalence and Venus Optics Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D at 13.5mm equivalence in the 35mm sensor format.

If only one lens it is to be, then the minimalist option makes sense as I rather like the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R’s 21mm equivalence for figures in landscapes, emotive close-up documentary shots, and architectural and cityscape work.

This lens will need Fujifilm’s VF-X21 viewfinder sitting on top of my X-Pro2 as a 14mm field of view falls outside the X-Pro2’s 18-56mm optical viewfinder bright frames and the X-Pro2’s EVF is not what I would like it to be.

Will the X-Pro3 improve upon that and other weak points?

If there is budget enough, then of course I would prefer the maximalist option camera and lens plus upgrading my ageing post-production facility.

The X-T3 plus grips and two zoom lenses, with the addition of my three current 23mm, 27mm and 56mm Fujinon prime lenses, makes a good Super 35mm video set-up combined with Fujifilm’s X-Trans 120-rollfilm quality stills.

The Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS is an ageing lens design, however, and lacks weather resistance and appears to be at its best optically speaking from f/8.0 rather than closer to f/4.0.

I want to see Fujifilm bring it up to current standards with a Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom that will make a great match with the coming Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom lens, giving the equivalent of 15mm through to 120mm in the 35mm sensor format.

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  • Breakthrough PhotographyB&H
  • FUJIFILM VF-X21 External Optical ViewfinderB&H
  • FUJIFILM X-Pro2 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • FUJIFILM X-T3 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • FUJIFILM MHG-XT3 Metal Hand GripB&H
  • FUJIFILM VG-XT3 Vertical Battery GripB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS LensB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 14mm f/2.8 R LensB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS LensB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 23mm f/1.4 R LensB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 56mm f/1.2 R LensB&H
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  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO LensB&H
  • Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS Lens for Fujifilm X-MountB&H
  • Venus Optics Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D Lens for Fujifilm XB&H

Trying Out Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R WR Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens on the Fujifilm X-T3

Thanks to Fujifilm Australia, I have been lucky enough to try out the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR ultra-wide zoom in combo with the amazing Fujifilm X-T3 DSLR-style camera and its VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip.

My primary motivation in requesting the loan was so cinematographer/director Paul Leeming could use the X-T3 to shoot video footage in order to create a custom Leeming LUT Pro for it.

He did the same for my X-Pro 2 camera, and I am looking forward to eventually relying on Paul’s various Leeming LUT Pro 3D look-up tables to quickly and easily combine footage from those two cameras with video shot with my Panasonic cameras and, hopefully, Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K.

fujifilm_vg-xt3_vertical_battery_grip_04_1024px_80pc
Fujifilm X-T3 with VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujifilm XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens.

At the moment I am using the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR for stills photography and for a self-funded independent documentary photographer and moviemaker I believe it is stills to which this lens is best suited.

Reason number one?

The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR does not permit attaching circular filters.

Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR

Large and costly adapters are required in order to attach square or rectangular filters in front of the lenses convex front element, though someone may come up with a similar adapter for attaching wide diameter circular filters to it.

Another large and costly solution is to invest in a matte box, though which one may be best is beyond my current knowledge and experience.

As a budget-driven documentary video solo operator I need to keep my equipment load and expenses down so I rely on circular variable ND filters.

My current VNDs are built with ageing technology, and more recent ones are reportedly sharper, more colour-neutral and offer a greater range of filtration density stops for today’s sensors.

I want to find the best contemporary VND, need a great set of fixed density NDs for less run-and-gun style projects, and I want to upgrade from 77mm to 82mm to future-proof for coming bigger lenses.

All that aside, I absolutely love the results I have been getting with the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR.

It balances well on a battery grip-equipped X-T3 whereas it is far too large and heavy for an ungripped camera.

I cannot comment on how it works with a gripped or ungripped Fujifilm X-H1 as I have yet to experience that particular camera.

I wish the X-T3 had the X-H1’s in-body image stabilization aka IBIS and optical image stabilization on the 8-16mm lens would have been terrific.

The X-T3’s ungripped body makes for a great companion camera to my X-Pro2 as I discovered during my first X-T3 tryout late last year, equipping the latter with a Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 alongside the former with my Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R attached.

Adding a Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip to the X-T3 turns it into a great handheld portrait camera with the addition of my Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R.

But I digress.

The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR is the first Fujifilm Red Badge zoom lens I have tried, and so far it looks like it adheres to the common praise heaped upon the Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R WR, that it is like having a set of top quality primes at your disposal but all in the one lens.

The widest lens I have ever used until now was the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R, equivalent in 35mm sensor terms to one of my favourite focal lengths for immersive documentary photography and video, 21mm.

The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR goes well beyond that excellent and affordable little lens with a focal length range from 12mm through to 24mm in 35mm sensor terms, the latter not one of my preferred focal lengths by any means.

The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR’s focal range is particularly well-suited to cityscapes and ‘burbscapes, though it can handle documentary shots in a pinch provided you set it at 16mm and watch out for weird volume distortion of people and objects too near the corners of the frame.

Some of that corner volume distortion can be corrected in post-processing with DxO ViewPoint but that can also introduce other distortions in the centre of the photograph.

I would rather have a pro-quality 18mm lens for immersive documentary work, but Fujifilm has yet to update its current quirky 18mm offering or release the coming Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom lens.

In my analog days I often made architectural photographs with 4”x5” sheet film cameras as part of corporate photography assignments, and as it was a sideline rather than a speciality did not have the set of wide-angle large format view camera lenses I would have liked.

The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR gives me all of those focal lengths and more.

Shooting architecture with a small handheld camera is a very different dynamic than doing it with a tripod-mounted field camera.

The small camera’s fast and easy mobility means one feels free to dart all around the subject and the zoom lens makes it so fast and easy to try out plenty of alternative camera positions.

I often found myself using the lens at its widest focal length when street furniture, signage and random objects and people got in the way.

So long as you keep a keen eye on potentially detrimental volume and perspective distortions due to distance from and angle of view to the subject, you will do fine.

On the other hand, if you want radical perspective and even more radical near/far object size comparisons, select one of the lens’ wider focal lengths and distort to your heart’s content.

The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR is possibly the sharpest lens I have ever used, with excellent resolution and micro-contrast.

Whether using Adobe’s Enhance-equipped Camera Raw 11.2, previous versions of Camera Raw or another raw processor or image editing application, its unsharpened raw files are impressive onscreen.

If adding sharpening in post-processing, go easy with it and you may also wish dial down your in-camera sharpening for certain subjects if you are a JPEG user.

The Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR zoom lens makes for a superb addition to your Fujifilm lens collection if your work demands ultra-wide focal lengths, though its current high pricing will give some pause to stop, think and postpone purchase.

Many video-oriented users of Fujifilm APS-C/Super 35 cameras may be better off considering the Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS zoom lens for one or more of its most prominent differences – price, size, weight, optical image stabilization and not least the ability to easily mount circular filters of 72mm diameter or larger.

In terms of focal length, one loses 2mm at the wide and gains 8mm at the long end with the 35mm sensor equivalent of 15mm to 36mm, thus providing my preferred documentary photo and video focal lengths of 14mm, 18mm and 23mm or in 35mm sensor terms 21mm, 28mm and 35mm.

Add a medium-to-long zoom lens or some longer primes and you have most bases covered.

The Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS zoom lens is reportedly not as sharp or as high-resolving as the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR and I have read complaints about its lack of corner sharpness at certain wider apertures, so I hope it will be one of the lenses Fujifilm considers for revision in the very near future.

If the Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR meets your needs despite its inability to take a screw-on filter and lack of OIS, and its price is beyond your budget, wait for the discounts and sales seasons or for Fujifilm to substantially drop its price.

If price is no object and if I were a full-time architectural photographer, this would be my number one and possibly only lens for the job.

Gallery, Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR on Fujifilm X-T3

Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR at 16mm and 8mm

The XF 8-16mm f/2.8 for architecture with the X-T3’s 3D Electronic Level indicator

fujifilm_x-t3_electronic_level_manual

One of the great X-T3 features rarely if ever covered in the many reviews of the camera is its optional 3D level indicator that can be assigned to a function button.

I have long wished that all Fujifilm cameras had the same always-on 3D level indicator that Panasonic puts in its cameras so that levelling shots involving parallel verticals is made better than guesswork.

Without much if any fanfare Fujifilm has upgraded its electronic level function from just displaying a simple virtual horizon, and if one assigns Electronic Level to a function button then the function becomes even better, a 3D electronic level that displays roll and pitch indicators.

I assigned Electronic Level to the X-T3’s front function button and, when pressed, its 3D form appears onscreen as an overlay for a fixed period so you can quickly tilt your camera in 3D space to avoid what they used to call “keystoning” of buildings.

I found myself using the 3D Electronic Level all the time when photographing architecture and street views, though sometimes I would run my images through DxO ViewPoint after raw processing in order to further refine perspective and volume deformation.

DxO ViewPoint works as standalone software as well as a plug-in in Photoshop and Photoshop-savvy image editing software, as well as a plug-in in DxO PhotoLab which does not, regretfully, support Fujifilm X-Trans raw files.

Links

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  • FUJIFILM X-H1 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body with Battery Grip KitB&H
  • FUJIFILM VG-XT3 Vertical Battery GripB&H
  • FUJIFILM X-T3 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR LensB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS LensB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 14mm f/2.8 R LensB&H

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.

_5780135_1024px_80pc
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
  • FUJIFILM X-T3 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR – to be released later in 2019.

Fujifilm Global: Fujifilm announces firmware updates for the FUJIFILM X-T3

http://www.fujifilm.com/news/n190214_04.html

“… FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) will release new firmware updates for the FUJIFILM X-T3 (“X-T3”) X Series digital camera in April.

Firmware Version:
[ FUJIFILM X-T3 Ver. 3.00: April 2019 ]

1.Strengthened the accuracy of face / eye detection AF performance

The AF algorithm has been improved along with the accuracy of face / eye detection AF. The ability to detect faces in the distance has been enhanced by approximately 30% and AF tracking is now more stable, even when an obstacle appears in the way. The improvements in AF are applicable to both still photos and video recording.

2.New Face Select function

The Face Select function has been introduced to provide priority auto-focus, tracking and exposure on a selected subject when multiple faces have been detected. The priority face can be selected by using the touch screen or focus lever.

3.Faster AF speed for subjects at a distance

Thanks to the improved AF algorithm, faster AF speed is achieved when shooting from short to long distances (or vice versa).

4.Intuitive operation of touch screen

A Double Tap Setting and Touch Function has been added to the touch screen settings*. The two settings must be set to OFF to provide a better touch screen response. These new settings allow a more intuitive touch operation when shooting, AF and focus area select.

*By default, Touch Screen Setting, Double Tap Setting and Touch Function are set to all OFF.
For improved touch screen response, Touch Screen Setting must be set to ON.”

fujifilm_x-t3_15_1024px_80pc
Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujinon MKX 18-55mm T2.9 cinema zoom lens.

Commentary

Autofocus is a feature I had assumed would be nice to have rather than crucial when I first got back  into moviemaking and photography with hybrid digital cameras.

As time passed, and as autofocus steadily improved on the gear I was using through firmware updates and new camera models, I have come to see the utility value of autofocusing for stills photography and now, with the X-T3 having the best autofocus functionality for video yet of all the mirrorless cameras I have tried, it looks like it will be getting better again with April’s coming firmware update.

Improved face and eye detection is particularly welcome given I am in the process of getting back into portrait photography and manual focus with longer lenses and moving subjects does not always cut the mustard, as it were.

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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.

Clicking on the links below and purchasing through them or our affiliate accounts at B&H Photo Video, SmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

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Nick Thomas: A Memento of Life | A Fujifilm X-T3 Short Film

A MEMENTO OF LIFE | A FUJIFILM X-T3 SHORT FILM from Nick Thomas on Vimeo.

Commentary

When I was trying out Fujifilm’s X-T3 as a video camera, shooting footage at DCI 4K 10-bit 4:2:0 F-Log All-Intra 400 mbps and recording internally rather than onto an external monitor/recorder such as the Atomos Ninja V, I was gobsmacked at the quality of the images even though it was just a little short of the 10-bit 4:2:2 footage that external recording makes possible.

Although cameras that shoot raw or ProRes footage such as the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and the like are traditionally termed, well, cinema cameras, the X-T3’s footage is clearly more than good enough for many projects that independent documentary and feature moviemakers are likely to create.

It certainly is for me, and it certainly appears to be a step up from the reportedly excellent 10-bit 4:2:2 the Super 16-like Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S camera is cable of recording internally and that is apparently a step-up from the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5’s 10-bit 4:2:2 footage, also recorded internally.

We appear to now be living in the realm of ‘degrees of excellence’ and so image quality may no longer be the number one deciding factor when choosing how one may shoot a project.

Other factors such as colour science, camera size, shape, handholding ability, available lenses, rigging and more will become the deciding factors and that is no bad thing.

It is great to see what the Fujifilm X-T3 is capable of when shooting short features with it and Nick Thomas and his team have my thanks for kindly sharing their work here.

Bravo!

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    atomos_ninja_v_02_1024px_80pc
    The Atomos Ninja V 5-inch HDMI monitor/recorder, perfect for recording 10-bit 4:2:2 F-Log video footage from the Fujifilm X-T3.

    Clicking on the links below and purchasing through them or our affiliate accounts at B&H Photo Video, SmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

    • 8Sinn camera cagesB&H
    • Angelbird 256GBGB Match Pack (2 x 128GB)B&H
    • Angelbird AtomX SSDmini (1TB)B&H
    • Atomos Ninja V 5″ 4K HDMI Recording MonitorB&H
    • Atomos Handle Adapter for AtomX SSDmini (5-Pack)B&H
    • Aurora-Aperture variable ND filtersB&H
    • Bluestar Eye CushionsB&H
    • Breakthrough Photography CPL, UV and ND filtersB&H
    • Chiaro UV FiltersB&H
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    • G-Technology Atomos Master Caddy 4K (1TB)B&H
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    • Fujifilm EC-GFX Round Eyecup – B&H
    • Fujifilm EC-XH Wide Eyecup – B&H
    • Fujifilm EC-XT L Long Eye Cup – B&H
    • Fujifilm EC-XT M Medium Eyecup – B&H
    • Fujifilm EC-XT S Small Eyecup – B&H
    • Fujifilm MHG-XT3 Metal Hand GripB&H
    • Fujifilm NP-W126S Li-Ion Battery PackB&H
    • Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery GripB&H
    • Fujifilm Fujinon XF LensesB&H
    • Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
    • LockCircle camera cagesB&H
    • MindShift Grea and Think Tank Photo camera bags and accessoriesB&H
    • Peak Design camera strapsB&H
    • Phase One Capture One ProB&H
    • Røde video microphonesB&H
    • SLR Magic variable ND FiltersB&H – SLR Magic was reputed to be working on a collection of fixed value ND filters though they do not seem to have appeared at B&H yet.
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    • Sony 128GB M Series UHS-II SDXC Memory Card Kit (2-Pack)B&H
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