Two years ago in a meeting with Fujifilm, I asked the Marketing Director for Fujifilm USA if anything like 24mm focal length at f1.4 would be coming our way. She very clearly stated “No.” Lo and behold though, Fujifilm announced the 16mm f1.4 lens earlier on and we foundnd it at our doorsteps. This is the company’s first weather sealed prime lens and with the 1.5x crop factor comes out to 24mm f2.1 when translating it into full frame depth of field and equivalency.
Like their other wide angle primes, Fujifilm gave this lens a snap back manual focus ring to make it more appealing to street photographers and candid shooters. We’ve had the chance to play with the new lens for a few days now, and so far it’s shaping up to be one of our favorites.
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Fujifilm’s 16-55mm f2.8 LM WR is a lens that was missing from the company’s lineup for a little while, but has since surfaced. The equivalent of the more professional grade f2.8 general zoom lens, the Fujifilm 16-55mm f2.8 LM WR incorporates weather sealing, a real aperture ring, and a bunch of awesome features.
The lens features 14 weather seals, nine aperture blades, and three ED and Aspherical elements. For a standard zoom lens with a constant aperture it has a lot going for it–not to mention being in front of Fujifilm’s excellent X Trans Sensors.
For most photographers that use Fujifilm’s system professionally, this is a must-have. But for the rest of us, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.
Editor’s Note: Fujifilm sponsors our Xpert Advice series that appears monthly on this site; but out reviews are still our own opinions.
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Artisan Obscura is another one of the companies jumping into the pool of elegant and beautifully designed accessories for cameras. The company was started in 2013 after being an idea in 2012;, but they had more than just manufacturing pieces of art for cameras in mind. They’ve partnered with a non-profit company in their local Denver area to find a way to give back to the community.
“We utilize responsibly sourced wood and keep our footprint small, which isn’t that difficult as our products are small enough that we can get about 30+ soft shutter buttons out of a 1″x8″ block of wood!” is what the company states on their website. Yes, all of their soft shutter releases and hot shoe covers have a bit of swag, but they also carry with them a fine sense of elegance and craftsmanship.
Think about it: how many of you could easily take a piece of wood and turn it into a beautiful button with smooth texture, a nice feel overall, and how many of them could you make by hand each day?
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We’ve got the Fujifilm 16-55mm f2.8 R LM WR lens in for review right now. When the lens was first announced, we syndicated photographer David Kai Piper’s blog post about it. Now that we’ve got it in we’re putting it through its paces.
So far: I personally am not a major fan of the way it feels. To be fair though, I say this about every single zoom lens. I’m very much a prime lens shooter and this feels like a big, chunky, Campbell’s Soup beefy type of lens that most other folks may digg if they’re into the cow. It’s a bit heavy to use with the X Pro 1, though it still feels balanced. What’s great about this lens though is that it’s got a full aperture ring like the company’s other higher end zoom optics.
As far as the image quality goes, we haven’t seen anything like this. This lens makes photos from the older sensor sing with details and quality. The bokeh could be smoother, but we’ve also only spent a number of hours with the lens as of the writing of this piece.
More product feature images and sample images are after the jump.
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Owners of the Fujifilm X Pro 1 should know that according to Fuji Rumors, a top Japanese source is saying that the company will release the successor camera towards the end of the year. However, there are a bunch of other cameras that are bound to come out in the space in-between–but these will primarily target the lower end of the X series spectrum with the exception of a toned down version of the X-T1 also on the roadmap.
According to their post, the purported specs of the Fujifilm X Pro 2 will be:
– APS-C sensor (TS + ASwN + AS)
– 24MP sensor (ASwN) – More than 16MP (ASwN)
– dual SD card slot
– coming late 2015 (TS + ASwN)
– tilt screen (AS)
– WiFi (AS)
– Non organic ASP-C X-Trans sensor (ORS)
– Price about 20% to 30% more expensive than the X-T1 (AS)
By nature of how Fujifilm operates, this means that the X Pro 1 may still see a couple more firmware updates as the company is steadfast on delivering the latest innovations that they can to their older cameras. I’m a Fujifilm X Pro 1 owner, and I still love it to death.
Fujifilm is also relatively slow to change their sensors, and to be honest they don’t really have to. The company makes arguably the best APS-C sensors in the market that in some ways even outdo certain full frame offerings when it comes to performance. Sony and Nikon have already started to venture into the 24MP APS-C sensor area and both tend to get a bit too noisy at high ISOs for our liking. But we’re really hoping that that isn’t the issue with this newly talked about Fujifilm sensor.
Fujifilm has been knocking out great viewfinders on its cameras, from the hybrid optical sight on the X100s and the incredibly large EVF in the X-T1. Now it seems Fujifilm is looking into patenting an optical viewfinder that zooms in to match the focal length of the attached lens. Fuji is calling this technology a “real-image zoom viewfinder” and supposedly it will come with optical elements in at least three groups that allows the viewfinder to change its focal length.
In the patent drawing, the Fujifilm camera has two optical elements labeled Sb and Sc that move back and forth to magnify the optical image. Supposedly this real-image zoom viewfinder will be able to match what the image sensor sees through the lens. Despite the extra bits of glass Fuji claims this new viewfinder will remain compact without sacrificing the optical performance of the viewfinder.
The zooming optical viewfinder is a very interesting piece of technology we imagine to would be a shoe in for the rumored X-Pro 2. Currently the X-Pro 1’s OVF can only magnify its viewfinder magnification from 0.37x to 0.60x when using a 35mm or 60mm lens. With a hybrid system that zooms, the viewfinder could be a much more effective framing device as the current technology only overlays a smaller highlighted box denoting the focal length.
Of course there’s still a lot of complexity behind this system that ultimately could make it amazing if it all works. We’ve got our hopes up Fujifilm will find some way to create something awesome out of this patent, but we’ll hold off believing in it too much until we’re actually holding it in our hands.
Via Photography Bay