It would seem releasing great and very desirable optics has now become Fujifilm’s habit. Several months ago, we were very excited about Fujifilm’s updated lens roadmap – it promised we’d see some truly spectacular lenses. No myriad of only slightly different super-zooms, no tenth kit zoom to be seen. Whoever is responsible for planning future lens releases at Fujifilm, they are doing a mighty good job. And here’s some good news – the official lens roadmap has just received an update to shed some more information on what awaits Fujifilm X-mount system users.
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. The last time we saw an update like this one, it promised the following zoom lenses to be released in late 2014/early 2015 (the XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R OIS is already out). There are a few changes worth noting:
- XF 16-55 f/2.8 R WR – this lens 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! Since the last roadmap update, the specs of this lens have changed slightly – unlike before, there’s no mention of optical image stabilization. However, that omission is offset by weather sealing, which certainly makes it a tempting choice for Fujifilm X-T1 users.
- XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR – 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. Just as with the XF 16-55 f/2.8, Fujifilm now hopes to add weather sealing to the design. On top of that, Linear Motor (LM) should help with focusing speed and quietness.
- 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.
You may have noticed I deliberately skipped two lenses. One of them is the upcoming XF 16mm f/1.4 R. Previously, it was specified as a “high speed wide angle lens”, which we correctly assumed to stand for “16mm with an aperture of f/1.2 or f/1.4”. As a 24mm f/1.4 (in terms of 35mm equivalent field of view and light gathering), it now completes Fujifilm’s set of f/1.4 primes, something most compact camera system manufacturers can’t boast about.
The second lens is the XF 90mm f/2, 35mm equivalent of 135mm f/2 lens (in terms of field of view and light gathering). 135mm focal length is one of the classic choices for portraiture and I’ve seen a lot of photographers ask for such a lens.
Why Release a Roadmap?
Fujifilm X-mount system can still be considered to be fairly young and, as such, not all photographers feel comfortable investing into it. Fujifilm realizes that – the roadmaps are there to show such customers that the company is working hard on expanding the system and providing the users with all the necessary optics that they might need. It also gives us a chance to plan forward and compare not only what is currently on offer, but also what is soon to come. So far, Fujifilm has managed to deliver what was promised. Personally, I am very impressed by what they are doing. For once it seems that the people behind the X-mount system are actually photographers. Here’s hoping they keep it up.
Great, for once we know what to expect!
As a wedding photographer there’s a good reason to stick to full-frame. I know it’s silly, but a large 70-200 lens with a hood on it impresses people more than a tiny Men In Black-like device for shooting people. So for a big part it’s also an image vs confort choice.
Remember that field of view and light gathering are similar, but depth of field will be deeper with these lenses also, meaning that it still won’t give that full-frame f1.2 shallow depth of field. More like f1.8, which is very good, but F2 will be like F3 (f2.8). I would love it if they could come out with a f.95 lens which would give a close look to full-frame 1.4 lenses. This is assuming a 1.5 crop factor.
Only for the exact same framing. If your distance to subject is the same then that would not be true. You’d have a 1.2 bokeh with a tighter crop. But in reality the differences in many of these comparisons is millimeters to a centimeter or two. Hardly worth worrying about.
Well it means that in studio situations you can get closer to your subjects and still have good out of focus backgrounds.
What kind of shots are you doing in a studio where you’re needing such razor thin DOF?
It’s hard to explain. Here’s a video. It’s not about razor thin dof. I don’t feel like getting in a pissing match, just wanted people to know that sensor size does matter. A medium format camera gives you a much different feel to the images vs a full-frame. So the same goes for crop sensor vs full-frame.
Sorry didn’t realize the video would do that in the blog!
I’ve seen that video. It’s misleading in my opinion. But again, only true if you’re framing the subject identically on different formats. Certainly there’s benefits to m43, APS, 35mm, etc. it’s just that many people think that a 35mm frame a) makes them a better photographer or b) makes their camera “better” or “pro”
I just like it when people say they need it because of a bonafide photographic need or just say they wanted it because they wanted it.
Everything you say is true, Neil, but does it really need saying? It kind of reminds me of preachers who are always railing against sins that nobody in their congregation are committing. Nobody has written anything to suggest they need this (otherwise good) advice.
Thanks for the updated road map, any chance of seeing any lens tests, partivularly the 23, 56 or the latest weathersealed zoom
Michael, that’s definitely in the works – just have to finish a few reviews first…
I’d be interested if they could do some nice telephoto primes.
The 90mm is coming. That’s a telephoto prime. Some people would call the 56 and 60 telephoto prime, too. Or do you mean super telephoto?
Lets hope that the new primes are also weatherproof lenses, this would make a killer combination.
It sure would be nice if all manufacturers did roadmaps
It would be nice for photographers but there’s an economic reason to not do so and I wonder if these kinds of user-friendly policies are contributing to Fuji’s lack of profits!? If they continue these policies but stop making cameras because they’re not making any money, that doesn’t really help anyone.
Disclaimer: I have no idea what their numbers look like other than what I’ve read. Perhaps they’re doing just fine.
Explain what that economic reason might be — many companies pre-announce or hint at their upcoming products, some companies allow you to beta their product before it hits the retail stores. It certainly isn’t because they are worried Canon might find out, they each have 100 spies working at each others company. The real reason may be that they do not want to tip their hat is because of public scorn from not releasing a product people want (like a D400/D9300 or 7D Mk II) and instead giving us what they perceive we need (Like another 18-XXX zoom lens).
Let’s say that Nikon has 10,000 24-70 2.8 lenses in stock. If they announce they are going to release a VR version, six months from now, who would buy those lenses?
Two years ago, Nikon came out with the D4, D800, and D600 cameras. If everyone knew that, in advance, how many people, who bought the D4, would have waited for the D800 instead? How many people, who bought the D800, would have waited for the D600 instead?
Using a roadmap would force the manufacturers not to overstock their supply
chain, the D300s has been dead marketing wise for years yet the supply
chain has been jammed full of them. Up until they discontinued the D300s
here in the US they were still charging $1679.00 for it. They already had
the D7000, D7100, D800, D600, D610 come to market and were still wanting
full price for a product that was for all intents and purposes dead. The
way they get rid of the older model is to discount them, the same way GM
and Ford do at the end of the model year. It’s not a new concept, they
would just have to adjust the way they do business something they need to
do anyways. Their business model is broken.
I’m not saying they should or shouldn’t. My original point was, and remains, that Fuji’s customer-friendly policies haven’t translated into profits yet. If they eventually do, great. If not…
…and still no sign of full frame.
Most Fuji X professional owners who I know and I know quite few, have no lust for full frame. Some sold their full frame Nikon’s and Canon’s to go Fuji X CSC. I am not a pro, but sold my D800 and retained my Nikon DX dSLR’s with FX lenses for wildlife. Absolutely no regrets, full frame quality in a portable high grade camera.
Isn’t that rather stating the obvious?
If these people had a lust for full frame, they would not have bought a Fuji.
I use two D800e’s for serious work, but also have a Fuji XE-1 for happy snaps when I am out and about.
Good. There’s no need for it. “full frame” doesn’t magically make photographers better.
Nothing makes a photographer magically better.
It’s down to talent and hard work – equal parts of each.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that I’m going to (partially) disagree with you. Becoming a better photographer is ALL hard work. Talent was there at the beginning and never improves.
As Calvin Coolidge once famously said: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
“isn’t this stating the obvious?”
Betty – Not completely stating the obvious as forums are regularly posting from folks who say the want to buy Fuji, but not until a Full Frame arrives. Whether these are dreamers who knows. I think to differentiate brands by defining them as capable for “serious work” is a little unfair to many CSC camera brand owners. I kept my D800 for 6 months after I embarked on Fuji X and only sold it as it hadn’t come out of the cupboard in all that time. It was the Fuji X-T1 + the 10-24mm lens which told me I had no need for the D800. However, that’s not to say that Fuji X is top notch in all areas, I kept my D7100 and all my FX glass for wildlife.
“Nothing makes a photographer magically better. It’s down to talent and hard work – equal parts of each.”
So, on that basis it doesn’t really matter what camera one has! I would agree with the statement, but not as a reason to select a Full Frame over an APS-C
Putting aside my minor quibbles, I don’t see his statement regarding “talent and hard work” resulting in your statement that “it doesn’t really matter what camera one has.”
Gear doesn’t make you a better photographer but it does help to make better photos and, in some cases, make photos possible that wouldn’t be with lesser gear. These are two separate issues and, ideally, you would want to be the best possible photographer with the best possible gear for your photographic goals.
Ditto. I’m sure the Fuji is fine, but probably not for wildlife closeups yet. I’m sure we could probably use a 2x converter with a 300mm lens but I don’t see a 300mm yet. Gear does matter. Big heavy cameras are good for some things! Fuji would be most awesome for street photographers. I’m sure people are snapping these up for the endless flash sync also. Full-sun off-camera strobe photos. Drool.
Such a reasonable fellow. It must have something to do with your name! :-)
There will be no full-frame…
Sadly, you’re probably right.