Fujifilm Updates X-Mount Lens Roadmap

It seems like ever since the first Fujifilm X-mount camera was launched, the X-Pro1, we can’t help but admire the progress Japanese manufacturer has been making. And it is not just the release of well thought-through line-up of cameras Fujifilm’s relentless attempts to improve models with firmware updates. Not just the pleasing design or quality of lenses. It is also what they have in store for us in the upcoming year. Fujifilm has just updated its X-mount lens roadmap for 2014 (and the start of 2015). And it looks bloody brilliant.

Fujinon-lens-roadmap-2014-2015


The Lenses

If the new roadmap is to be trusted (and it should be given that the latest XF 56mm f/1.2 R lens is right on time), in a year the X-mount Fujinon lens line-up should consist of at least 17 lenses not counting those developed by other manufacturers for the system. And those are not re-releases, oh no. You won’t see three different super zooms. Just the one, XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R OIS. Genuinely different lenses, then. Mighty impressive for a compact camera system that will be barely three years old by that time. But then, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Instead, here is a closer look at the list of contenders. Mind you, specifications might still change, yet this list should give you a pretty good idea of what Fuji’s got in store:

1) Fixed Focal Length Lens

2012 and 2013 were the years of mostly prime Fujinon lenses as the manufacturer focused its efforts on providing a versatile range of compact, high quality optics. The fact that there is only one prime lens planned for the second half of 2014 shows that Fujifilm has not forgotten zoom lens users, too, and seeks to target as many audiences as it can.

So, the single prime lens. Specifications are unclear at this point, but Fujifilm defines it as a high speed wide angle lens. Rather mysterious, you say? Not at all. Of course, this is just me guessing, but given that there are now 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.2 full-frame equivalent Fujinon prime lenses, I feel quite confident in saying that, as far as fast aperture wide angle lenses go, only a 24mm f/1.4 equivalent is missing. Don’t take my word for it, we will have to wait a while longer before it is certain. That said, a 16mm f/1.4 lens would be very welcome and a serious blow to other compact camera systems should they not provide a comparable optic by that time.

2) Variable Focal Length Lenses

  • XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R OIS – the first of the new batch of lenses to greet us this year, there is nothing all that spectacular about this super-zoom, at least on paper. Interestingly, it is designated as an XF lens and not the lower-end XC type. It is now known that the lens will be sealed against dust and moisture.
  • XF 16-55 f/2.8 R OIS – as thus far predicted by Fujifilm, this high-speed standard zoom lens will follow the previously mentioned super-zoom shortly after. When used, it will act similarly to how a 24-85mm lens would on a full-frame camera and will be designed as an alternative to 24-70mm class lenses. As you can see from the specifications, it will most likely target professional photographers and, assuming it will perform on the level we expect Fujinon lenses to, might just lure a few more DSLR users to embrace Fujifilm X system as the main one. Looking at the lens line-up, that certainly seems to be one of Fuji’s goals! It is now known that the lens will be sealed against dust and moisture.
  • XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R OIS – as a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is an ever-present companion to a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, this constant aperture zoom lens is a natural sibling to the aforementioned XF 16-55mm f/2.8 lens with basically the same target audience (professionals). It will surely be among the biggest and heaviest Fujinon X-mount lenses. The full-frame equivalent focal length is 75-210mm. If you are primarily a zoom lens users, this lens coupled to the upcoming XF 16-55mm f/2.8 and the already-current XF 10-24mm f/4 lens should help you cover more or less any situation except for when you might need a longer focal length (wildlife photography) or a macro lens. It is now known that the lens will be sealed against dust and moisture.
  • Super Telephoto Zoom Lens – I mentioned wildlife photography? Well, perhaps Fujifilm has something in store for those who need more reach than 210mm full-frame equivalent. It is hard to say what sort of lens this will be, so we will just have to wait and see. Expect it to be officially announced January next year.

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Avatar of Romanas Naryškin About Romanas Naryškin

A student and a wedding photographer with a passion for cinematography and writing. You'll see me buying film even when there's no food in the fridge. Follow me on Google+, Facebook or visit my wedding photography website to see some of my work.

Comments

  1. 1
    ) John

    This article excites me and has me leaning towards a Fujifilm XE-1 in the future when I can justify the cost. I’ve been sticking with my ‘long in the tooth’ D70 and 3 lenses quite a while and am itching to upgrade.

    • 14
      ) Cheng K

      If you mean X-E1, it is in fact a very affordable camera. Think about this way. Now you can get it from BHPhoto for USD949 with the 18-55mm lens. The same store sells the lens alone for USD695. So the camera is only USD254. Cheers!

  2. The other lens I’d like to see is something like a 150mm f2 (actual focal length).

    • 8
      ) Shawn Young

      Agreed, even a f/2.8, in a pinch even an f/4. Without it, I can’t ever see myself getting excited about X-mount.

      And it’s not like Fuji can’t do it optically–some of their extant offerings are very, very good.

  3. 3
    ) Lester

    All of this is dead the day nikon or canon comes out with a mirrorless body that can take all their legacy glass as well as new bespoke collapsible lens. I had an xe1. I liked it but it was slow and it was just just too expensive to buy and maintain 2 lens systems.

    • 4
      ) Frederick

      If Nikon comes out with a mirrorless body, it better be full frame because their DX lens offerings are not as good or as deep as Fuji’s.

      • 5
        ) Lester

        They can bring out both DX and FX. And the Nikon DX lens dont need to be better than right now. THey just need to be good enough till the next update cycle. Also people already own them.

        • 6
          ) Neil

          And by the time they introduce such a camera, the other mirror less players will have iterated several times over. The x-e2 is much better than the 1 (I have both). The next even better. The bar is being raised. And Nikon and canon are leaking customers to other players currently. Hard core zealous brand loyalty is not going to be enough.

  4. 7
    ) Shawn Young

    No prime past 60mm (what, 90 mm full-frame eq.) in the planning?

    Fail.

    • 9
      ) Frederick

      60 mm is 90 mm full-frame eq. The new 56 1.2 is approximatley 85mm full-frame eq. A 135 2.8 prime would be nice though.

  5. 10
    ) Abbilder

    I would like to see a 70 F1.8 or F2 more priced like the 35 than the 56. I liked 105mm ob fullframe more for portraits than 85mm. And together with the 18-55 Zoom or the 35 it would cover a broader range.

  6. 11
    ) Marcelo Tezza

    Romanas, i would like to clarify something.
    When you say:
    “Of course, this is just me guessing, but given that there are now 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.2 full-frame equivalent Fujinon prime lenses, I feel quite confident in saying that, as far as fast aperture wide angle lenses go, only a 24mm f/1.4 equivalent is missing.”

    The equivalence of this lenses are correct about focal length but, the apertures are not equivalent in the same way, so the 56mm 1.2 will not have the same DOF of a 85mm 1.2 at the same apertures.
    Please do not take this as a troll coment or whatever some people may think, but its important to know.
    Thanks.

    • Marcelo,

      you are correct, in terms of both DOF and angle of view, the new XF 56mm f/1.2 is similar to an 85mm f/1.8 lens on a full-frame camera. It is something I’ve mentioned a number of times and chose not to repeat myself here. What is important is that in terms of light-gathering ability, it is still an f/1.2 lens.

  7. 13
    ) justme

    Still no real 1:1 macro lens. :-(

    I would love to own a Fuji X someday, but as a macro enthusiast I’m still waiting. Something around 100mm f2.8 1:1 magnification and weather sealed to complement the X-T1 in the field.

    M43 have 2 good macro lenses, especially the Oly 60mm f2.8 Macro which I have used and it’s very nice. Canon has many macro choices of course, 60mm, 65mm, 100mm, 180mm etc. All Fuji has is the 60mm f2.4 which is not a real 1:1 macro lens. :-(

    Really sad there isn’t one on the roadmap.

    • 15
      ) Cheng K

      And now there is the Macro/Portrait lens Zeiss Touit 50mm F2.8, but alas it is as dear as my X-E2… :(

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