Camera - - WHAT’S NEW -

IT’S A SIGN that things are go­ing well when a cam­era maker an­nounces ex­pan­sion plans for its lens pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity. Fu­ji­film says that grow­ing de­mand for its X mount mirrorless cam­era bod­ies has made it nec­es­sary to in­vest in in­creased pro­duc­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties at its Taiwa fac­tory at Sendai in north­ern Ja­pan. This will de­liver a 70 per­cent in­crease in pro­duc­tion vol­ume by 2020. The new fa­cil­i­ties at the fac­tory – which is op­er­ated by Fu­ji­film Op­tics Co. Ltd. – will in­clude a much larger and more ad­vanced clean­room area and more so­phis­ti­cated equip­ment for au­to­mated test­ing and ad­just­ment.

Two new XF series mod­els have been an­nounced for launch­ing later this year, while a fur­ther three have been added to the X mount roadmap for launch in either 2019 or 2020. The im­me­di­ate new ar­rivals are an XF 200mm f2.0 R LM OIS WR fast prime tele­photo (equiv­a­lent to 300mm) and an XF 8-16mm f2.8 R LM WR ul­tra-wide zoom (equiv­a­lent to 1224mm). Due some­time in 2019 is an XF 16mm f2.8 R WR com­pact widean­gle prime (equiv­a­lent to 24mm) and a XF 16-80mm f4.0 R OIS WR stan­dard zoom (equiv­a­lent to 24120mm). In 2020 Fu­ji­film is promis­ing an XF 33mm f1.0 R WR, equiv­a­lent to 49.5mm, which it says will be the world’s first mirrorless cam­era lens with aut­o­fo­cus­ing and a max­i­mum of f1.0. By the end of this year, the Fu­ji­film X mount lens sys­tem will num­ber 28 XF and XC mod­els plus three tele­con­vert­ers.

The new 200mm f2.0 fast tele­photo will be avail­able in a kit which in­cludes a new matched tele­con­verter, the XF 1.4x TC F2 WR, which will de­liver the equiv­a­lent of a 420mm f2.8 su­pertele­photo. The lens it­self has a mag­ne­sium al­loy ex­ter­nal con­struc­tion with weather-proof­ing and in­su­la­tion, en­abling op­er­a­tion in sub-zero tem­per­a­tures down to -10 de­grees Cel­sius. Ad­di­tion­ally, the ex­posed sur­face of the front el­e­ment has a flu­o­rine coat­ing to help bet­ter re­pel mois­ture and dirt. The matte sil­ver fin­ish is de­signed to help re­duce in­ter­nal heat build-ups when shoot­ing in high­tem­per­a­ture lo­ca­tions or sea­sons. It fea­tures a new ‘Fo­cus Pre­set’ func­tion for the in­stant se­lec­tion of pre­set fo­cus­ing dis­tances. The op­ti­cal con­struc­tion com­prises 19 el­e­ments in 14 groups and in­cludes two ex­tra-low dis­per­sion (ED) types and one su­per ex­tra-low dis­per­sion type. Fu­ji­film says the lens’s op­ti­cal im­age sta­biliser can pro­vide up to five stops of cor­rec­tion for cam­era shake. Other notable fea­tures are a nine-bladed di­aphragm, a min­i­mum fo­cus­ing dis­tance of 1.8 me­tres and a screwthread fil­ter di­am­e­ter of 105 mil­lime­tres. Weigh­ing in at 2265 grams, the new XF 200mm f2.0 fast tele­photo will be avail­able in Aus­tralia in Oc­to­ber priced at $8999. The new 8-16mm zoom also has a weather-sealed and in­su­lated con­struc­tion with a flu­o­rine coat­ing on the front el­e­ment. The op­ti­cal con­struc­tion com­prises 20 el­e­ments in 13 groups of which, not so sur­pris­ingly, no fewer than 13 are spe­cial types. These in­clude four as­pher­i­cal types to cor­rect for dis­tor­tion and spher­i­cal aber­ra­tions, with six ED types and three su­per ED types to help min­imise lat­eral chro­matic aber­ra­tions. There’s also an el­e­ment which pro­vides cor­rec­tion for cur­va­ture of field, while the rear sur­faces of both the front el­e­ments have a ‘Nano GI’ multi-coat­ing to elim­i­nate (so says Fu­ji­film) ghost­ing and flare. The XF 8-16mm f2.8 ul­tra-wide zoom will be avail­able lo­cally in Novem­ber, priced at $3199. For more in­for­ma­tion on Fu­ji­film’s X mount mirrorless cam­era sys­tem visit www.fu­ji­film.com.au

XF 200mm f2.0 R LM OIS WR

XF 8-16mm f2.8 R LM WR ul­tra-wide zoom

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