Is This a New Era for Fujifilm Zoom Lenses?

There are a few announcements today at the Fujifilm X summit. And two of the bigger ones have to do with the new Fujifilm zoom lenses. Today, we’re getting two new zoom lenses from Fujifilm. The company is announcing their 150-600mm f5.6-8 R LM OIS R. There’s also the new 18-120mm f4 LM PZ WR lens. The latter is a powerzoom designed for content creators and journalists that need to shoot while on the move. Overall though, Fujifilm is answering the calls that many photographers have asked for for a while now.

Fujifilm 150-600mm f5.6-8 R LM OIS R Tech Specs

  • 82mm filter thread
  • 1605 grams, which is 3.5 pounds.
  • Internal zooming
  • Up to 5 stops of OIS at 600mm.
  • Fujifilm says that it’s weather-resistant
  • 4 Super ED and 3 ED lens elements
  • $1999

Fujifilm 18-120mm f4 LM PZ WR Tech Specs

  • 72mm filter thread
  • 460 grams
  • Power zoom for still and movie shooters
  • $899

What Do we Think?

It’s nice that Fujifilm zoom lenses are still being made and that they’re trying new things. For the most part, I don’t really think I know anyone that has Fujifilm zoom lenses. I mean, if you buy into the camera system, you’re probably just going to get the prime lenses. Sure, the constant aperture zoom lens are nice. But they need to be better. Fujifilm needs to make f2 or even f1.8 zoom lenses at this point instead of making them constant f2.8 or f4 lenses. This is even more important since the X series is an APS-C camera system. We’re getting a bit of the exception here with the 150-600mm lens that changes only by a full stop throughout the zoom range. Honestly, that’s remarkable. Though realistically, the Fujifilm camera will need really good image stabilization and high ISO output to make the most of it. A 900mm equivalent lens at f8 will need at least 1/1000th to make it steady. But with 5 stops of image stabilization in place, I’d be really surprised to see if it can shoot at 1/125th and get no camera-shake.

This lens will be targeted to the sports and wildlife photographer. And we’re really curious to see how it performs.

But arguably the more exciting lens is the new Fujifilm 18-120mm f4 LM PZ WR. This is one of those Fujifilm zoom lenses that we’re positive will accompany a journalist on their gigs. It’s a powerzoom, and perfect for video shoots and much more. And at f4, it will have a depth of field of around f6 on a full-frame camera. By all means, photographers and videographers won’t have much reason to stop it down. Instead, you’ll have to use a circular neutral density filter. I can surely see Fujifilm photographers using their primes and then switching to this one lens when they need to start shooting video. I also think it will be very useful for wedding photographers who want to use Fujifilm as their only system. But they’re going to have to wait until September to see how it does.

While I know photographers are more excited about prime lenses for Fujifilm, these new lenses are well worth talking about. It really means that Fujifilm is going after content creators very hard. And honestly, I’m not sure how they’re going to do. Canon, Sony, and Panasonic have been catering to that crowd for years. Why would someone use Fujifilm? 

One thing is for sure though, I’m very positive that more and more Nikon shooters are going to start moving away and coming to Fujifilm with lenses like these.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.