Fantastic interview with X-Series product planner, and certified photo master expert, a moniker that makes the fact this interview was conducted in Japanese gloriously obvious. Mr. Takashi Ueno reveals more on why Fujifilm opted for APS-C instead of full frame, and their lens strategies. Here are some highlights.
We have official confirmation on the red badge:
Yes, the red badge series are the zoom lenses intended for the professionals.
Regarding the XF 56mm f/1.2:
If the minimum working distance had been 40cm with the compromise on the image quality on the peripheral parts, then we had to extend the focus lens movable range. And as a result, the lens will be bigger and autofocus speed will be slower.
Our priority was to create a lens that has high resolution from corner to corner and that has adequately fast autofocus, so the minimum working distance became 70cm, which is enough for portrait photography – its presumed purpose.
I personally haven’t heard any complaints about the minimum focusing distance of the XF 56mm f/1.2, and in fact, it’s 15cm closer than an 85mm lens from Nikon. The impact on AF pace with closer focusing distances is interesting though, and explains the the necessity of a quad-linear motor in the XF 90mm f/2, which focuses as close as 60cm.
And Ueno’s recommend first lens for photographers new the X-Series?
I would recommend the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 as the gateway to the X series. As I said earlier, although the lens is a kit lens for starting out, it doesn’t mean that the image quality has been compromised.
While the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 is nowhere to be found in my Recommended Kits, I can certainly vouch for its quality. The image used in my masthead1 is a panoramic captured with the first interchangeable Fuji kit I owned, the X-E1 and XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit lens. You could do a lot worse that this kit lens. →
- I’ve attempted to update this image on a number of occassions, but I’m always unsatisfied with anything else I place there. I love the fact it came from my first interchangeable Fuji, and is a testament to what the first generation of X-Series is capable of.↩