A new patent, discovered by Egami, suggests that Fujifilm could be working on a new 20mm F/1.8 equivalent lens for their X-Series. The machine translation of the patent is imperfect, leading to some possible misunderstandings, but from what I could gather, it looks like Fuji tried to somehow slip this patent under the radar by scaling down to a 1mm optical system. Egami speculates this is to throw off patent trackers and other lens manufacturers. Some reports seem to indicate that the lens itself will be a 20mm F/1.8, which seems to be a mistake.
According to the Egami translation, if you extrapolate this 1mm optical system to an actual APS-C size, the lens comes out to 13mm or 14mm with an aperture of F/1.8. This is also notable due to the significant savings going on right now on Fuji’s XF 14mm F/2.8 ($500 off), as it points to the possibility that the Japanese firm could be attempting to clear stock ahead of this new lens announcement.
The patent describes a lens made up of 11 elements in 9 groups with 4 of them being ED elements. If you extrapolate the length, you get somewhere in the neighborhood of 40mm, compare that to the current 27mm F/2.8 which is ~23mm long, and you can get an idea of how big this potential lens could be. Egami notes that improvements to the design could likely shorten the length further.
As with all discovered patents, there is no guarantee that this lens will ever see market, in fact, history proves chances are much more likely it won’t. But that doesn’t make it any less interesting to discuss. If Fuji is planning is release a 20mm F/1.8 equivalent lens this would be a big deal for Fujifilm shooters, and being one of them myself, you can count me excited for this potential announcement.