Fuji are at it again. Not content with having just three items in the pipeline, they’ve doubled the unreleased product count with the addition of two more lenses and a teleconverter for good measure. Here are my thoughts on the latest roadmap update.
XF 120mm f/2.8 R Macro 1:1
The heads of close-up photographers everywhere are exploding. Finally a proper Macro lens that will afford us a great working distance in any weather. No more startled insects. Rain will no longer be a safe haven for flora either as this lens comes complete with weather sealing. Macro photography with this lens and X-T1 with it’s tilty screen ought to be very nice. I am interested to know about extension tube compatability though.
The XF Zeiss Killer
Whoa, what? Yeah, that descriptor might be over the top, but here’s what I mean. In my 10-24mm vs. Primes piece I said there was little if any reason to buy a Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8. There’s never really been much need for their 32mm offering in my opinion, however I was tempted by their 50mm 1:1 lens. Not anymore. I’m happy to wait for the new 120mm from Fuji, and Zeiss will have no place in my bag for now.
XF 35mm f/2 R
Fuji describe this lens as “much anticipated.” I haven’t heard a single person say “You know what I want? A slightly smaller and slower 35mm lens.” What I have heard is “Where are the weather sealed primes?” That’s the hot new feature of the 35mm f/21 for me.
One obvious question now is “where is a compact 35mm equivalent” for those who find the hulking 23mm f/1.4 unsuitable as a daily carry. I suppose the answer to that question is “The X100,” but I’m sure I’m not the only one who would like an interchangeable option that’s weather resistant.
The Leica Killer
Two deaths in one post? That’s right. I’m willing to bet even those film braggers will have a tough time averting their gaze from this little rangefinder-inspired lens. 50mm and weather sealing? It’s a street-tog’s dream. The only thing missing is that weather sealed X-Pro2 for complete weather sealed rangefinder-style goodness.
While this is the announcement I’m least excited by, I have little doubt that folks who purchased the 50-140mm hoping to do some wildlife shooting will want this converter asap. No doubt people will soon be asking where the 1.7x and 2x converters are, but just imagine the reach we’re going to have with this converter on the 100-400mm. I’m interested to know what sort of light gathering penalty our lenses are going to take with this converter. I haven’t seen that information posted anywhere.
UPDATE: Fuji have yet to officially confirm, however a reader who can math better than I tweeted that physics suggests it has to be 1 stop: 1.4x = 1 stop, 2x = 2 stops. Inverse square of the multiplier (½ light, ¼ light respectively) I wondered if the distance of the rear element to the sensor might have an affect on that, but it apparently does not.
55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 Killer
What the heck, let’s go 3 for 3. My Tele Zoom comparison is well underway, but so far the only optical advantage the 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 has over the 50-140mm f/2.8 is a little bit of extra reach. That advantage is essentially gone with the addition of the 1.4x Teleconverter. Assuming the converter doesn’t kill more than a stop of light gathering, 50-140mm f/2.8 owners will no longer need to wonder about their purchase decision, unless they find things are getting heavy.
Now, you might be wondering “Can’t I put the converter on the 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8, to bring the reach advantage back?
So. Much. Death.
Hyperbole and tech-site-mocking subheads aside, CP+ 2015 has seen some interesting new gear announced by Fuji. Will these products actually kill anything? Hardly. They will open up more photographic opportinities to Fuji shooters though, and that’s the important thing.
Now if I could just find the time to clear out the backlog of comparisons and reviews I have yet to do. As mentioned, my comparison of Fuji’s Tele Zooms is just about ready for partial publishing, and soon I’ll need to get my hands on a 16-55mm f/2.8 to compare that to some other zooms. Lots of content to come from Fuji vs. Fuji. If you haven’t already, you can follow me on Twitter for immediate updates.