Image courtesy: Cinema5D
Because as a whole this is a well-performing, lightweight cine lens that is ideal for documentary-style shooters, it has convinced us with the following attributes in our test:
- Very good edge-to-edge sharpness in 4K throughout the range
- No focus breathing
- Minimal chromatic aberration
- Much nicer colors, contrast and image than the Canon photo lens we tested
And Photogearnews tested the this lens for stills photography:
What exactly do images from the Fujinon 18-55mm T2.9 look like? Filmmaking is all about ‘a look’. Filmmakers pay thousands and thousands of pounds to get lenses that have a certain contrast, bokeh and sharpness to them. From our initial photos the Fujinon 18-55mm T2.9 lens looks to be a great option as a manual focus lens for stills photograph. It may not be as critically sharp as a fixed lens, but the out of focus areas look smooth and beautifully rendered, and the lens has a nice natural level of contrast.
Today Fuji announced their first two E-mount Cine lenses. While still photographers have nothing to gain from that news video folks will actually scream for joy. Cine Zoom Lenses are usually very expensive but that Fuji is an exception in many ways: It’s “cheap”, it’s designed for E-mount which means it’s smaller and lighter than all other Cine Zoom Lenses. So let’s take a look at the reviews posted today:
The new FUJINON MK18-55mm T2.9 lens is a great addition for anyone using an E-mount camera for their professional work. Indeed (and thankfully) there are more lens options out there, but it looks like FUJIFILM has hit the sweet spot when it comes to lens quality, portability and price. For me personally, the maximum focal length of 55mm is a bit too short, but for others it may be perfectly OK. I also think FUJIFILM would be wise to offer the 2-lens set at a reduced price, providing a useful focal length coverage at an affordable price. All in all it is a great lens, the quality is right and knowing its limitations means having the ability to bypass them in order to achieve high-quality results.
Newsshooter added an interesting analysis about why Fuji decided to make these E-mount lenses:
There are two main reasons why Fujinon decided to only make these lenses available in E-mount.
The first is that Fujinon have been conducting research that indicated 29% of all lenses sold in the emerging production market were E-mount. Now this is still far behind the Canon EF mount which has 67%, but when they looked at the camera quantity share based on mounts, 57% of the cameras being sold were using the Sony E-mount. This really is testament to just how popular the Sony FS7, FS5, and Alpha series of mirrorless cameras have become.
The second reason has to do with the actual E-mount itself. By making the lenses E-mount only, Fujinon have been able to keep the design small and lightweight. The E-mount’s short flange back makes this possible. If they had tried to make the same lens in either PL, EF, or an interchangeable mount the physical size and weight of the lens would have been much larger. Building a constant T2.9 aperture cinema zoom with no breathing, that is parfocal weighs less than 1kg is only possible because of the E-mount.
Philip Bloom tested the lenses and writes:
The lens was an absolute pleasure to use. The focus was smooth and it has a perfect 200 degree rotation which makes it easy to focus by hand or with a focus puller. Many cine lenses are 300 degrees which is too much for a one person operator. The focus also didn’t breathe which was a wonder to behold, no changing of frame sizes when you rack focused unlike DSLR zooms! The zoom is definitely parfocal, for documentary filming this is a godsend; with DSLR zooms you are in focus, zoom in and the focus is off. There is also a lovely macro feature just like my old ENG lenses for super close focus. Oh…of course the constant aperture is a joy. Absolutely NO change in exposure when zooming in. NONE.
Here are all links to the Fujinon lens videos:
Cemetery of the nameless – FUJINON MK18-55 T2.9 sample footage by Cinema5D
CRAZY Good: We Go Hands-On With Fujinon MK 18-55 T2.9 in Sony E-Mount (Three Blind Men and An Elephant Productions)
Fujinon MK 18-55 f2.8 E-mount cine zoom first look by Newsshooter
Aperture Photographic – shot with Fujinon MK 18-55 T2.9 and Sony FS7 II by Newsshooter
Fujinon MK 18-55 T2.9 Lens Preview (TheCameraStoreTV).
BTS FUJINON MK18-55mm T2.9 Shot by Philip Bloom
FUJINON MK18-55mm T2.9 Footage Shot by Philip Bloom
Dancing in New York with the FUJINON MK18-55mm T/2.9 Cine Lens (Adorama).
First Look: FUJINON MK 18-55mm T2.9 & 50-135mm T2.9 by BHphoto.
Shooting with the Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cinema lens by Dpreview.
Sony Japan announced their new SF-G SD card series. The SDHC UHS-II cards has a reading speed of 300 MB/s and a writing speed of 299 MB/s. It will start shipping out on April 24. The 128GB will cost 49,000 YEN (around $400), the 64GB card 25,000 YEN ($220) and the 32GB card 15,000 YEN ($130). The price includes the Data recovery software “Memory Card File Rescue”.
Sony also released a new SD card reader “USB W – S1” compatible with USB 3.1 and read speed of 300MB/s.
Well what a surprise! Fujifilm announced two new Cine lenses which will be available in native E-mount too!
Fujifilm launches the “MK lens” series of innovative cinema lenses
– delivering advanced optical performance, ultra-compact and lightweight design and excellent cost performance Growing demand for powerful equipment for movie production by emerging cinematographers such as online movie
FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) has unveiled the MK series of new cinema lenses, which boast advanced optical performance, ultra-compact and lightweight design and excellent cost performance. The FUJINON MK18-55mm T2.9 (MK18-55mm), a standard zoom lens with the focal length of 18-55mm is the first MK lens to be released in early March 2017. In the summer, this will be followed by the launch of the FUJINON MK50-135mm T2.9 (MK50-135mm), a telephoto zoom lens offering the focal length of 50-135mm, thus together covering the most frequently-used range of focal lengths from 18mm to 135mm.
The rapid growth in popularity of movies made by emerging cinematographers in recent years including corporate and commercial movies on the Internet and other venues has increased the opportunities of shooting movies using cinema and regular digital cameras, and it boosts demand for high-performance cinema lenses that deliver high resolution and advanced scene-depicting capability. Cinema lenses are the optimal choice to achieve a shallow depth-of-field and a beautiful bokeh. However, since they are typically large, heavy and expensive, those involved in online and other lower cost movie production often opt for interchangeable lenses for digital cameras, which are more affordable and mobile. The problem is that interchangeable lenses for digital cameras are designed primarily for shooting still images, and therefore prone to focus shift and optical axis shift while zooming, and so on. In response, Fujifilm has been working on developing new cinema lenses that offer advanced optical performance with compact size and operability to meet the needs of creative emerging cinematographers.
The MK lenses joining our cinema lens lineup inherit the FUJINON cine lenses’ advanced edge-to-edge optical performance and low distortion*1, and yet boast compact and lightweight design as well as the level of outstanding cost performance that has never been seen in conventional cinema lenses until now.
The MK series offers fast lenses with T2.9*2 speed across the entire zoom range, enabling a shallow depth-of-field as well as a beautiful bokeh effect. The lenses are compatible with E-mount*3 cameras with the Super 35mm*4 / APS-C sensor and the X Mount used in Fujifilm’s “X Series” of digital cameras (APS-C sensor). They achieve advanced optical performance despite their compact and lightweight body by incorporating the benefits of short flange focal distance*5 into optical design to the maximum extent. The use of optical and mechanical design optimized for dedicated movie lenses minimizes focal shift and optical axis shift while zooming, and lens breathing (change of angle of view during focusing) that are typically observed in interchangeable lenses for digital cameras. The lenses feature three rings to enable manual and independent adjustment of focus, zoom and iris (aperture), all with the gear pitch*6 of 0.8M (module). The focus ring can rotate fully up to 200 degrees to facilitate precise focusing. This design makes the lenses comfortable to operate.
Fujifilm will firstly release the MK18-55mm (focal length of 18-55mm) for the E Mount in early March, followed by the MK50-135mm (focal length of 50-135mm), also in the E-mount this summer. Their X Mount versions (focal lengths of 18-55mm and 50-135mm) are being developed for launch by the end of this year.
MK18-55mm (E-mount) Under development] MK50-135mm (E-mount)
FUJINON lenses offered by Fujifilm have been used at movie / CM / TV production sites around the world for their advanced scene-depicting capability. Tapping into its optical, high-precision processing and assembly technologies that have been nurtured over the years in the cutting-edge field of movie production, Fujifilm will introduce the “MK lens” series to the current lineup of the “HK / ZK / XK lenses” to meet the diverse needs at the movie production frontlines.
*1 ”Distortion” refers to a phenomenon in which an image formed through a lens becomes partially contracted or extended at the edges.
*2 T-stop value is an index that indicates brightness of a lens based on its F-stop value and transmission rate. The smaller the value, the greater amount of light the lens transmits.
*3 Lens mount format developed by SONY Corporation
*4 Super 35mm is a standard format for motion film cameras using 35mm film stock, and refers to a sensor size used in many cinema cameras.
*5 Distance from lens mounting reference plane to sensor
*6 Distance between gear teeth
1. Product name and release date
“MK lens” series of cinema camera lenses
(1)FUJINON MK18‐55mm T2.9
Release date: Early March 2017
(2) FUJINON MK50-135mm T2.9 (under development)
Release date: Summer 2017
Information about MK lenses in the X Mount will be provided as soon as more details are confirmed.
See our latest lens roadmap for the X Series on February 22 for more information.
2. Main features of the MK lens series
(1) Advanced optical performance, packed into the compact and lightweight lens barrel
- The MK lenses offer advanced edge-to-edge optical performance and low distortion. They are designed with integrated color temperature with other FUJINON CINE lenses in the HK / ZK / XK series to simplify color grading*7 that is required when using a combination of multiple lenses.
- They have T2.9 speed across the entire zoom range which facilitates the increasingly popular style of bokeh effect with shallow depth-of-field. This also eliminates the need to re-adjust lighting, thereby contributing to shortening shooting time.
- The MK series will be specifically designed for E-mount cameras with Super 35mm / APS-C sensor, and X Mount (for APS-C sensor) used in Fujifilm’s X Series of mirrorless digital cameras. They achieve advanced optical performance despite their compact and lightweight body by incorporating the benefits of short flange focal distance into optical design to the maximum extent. This accommodates shooting with a limited number of people.
- (MK18-55mm and MK50-135mm are for the E-mount only and weigh approx. 980g.)
*7 Processes of correcting colors during movie editing
(2) Resolving issues associated with using interchangeable lenses for still digital cameras in movie production
- The front focusing group of lens elements and the zooming group of lens elements are driven independently from one another to suppress focus shift while zooming which eliminates the need to re-focus after zooming in or out. The optical and mechanical approach means there is no time lags as seen in an electrical control system.
- The use of the front inner-focusing system controls lens breathing (change of angle of view during focusing), so as to achieve smooth focusing in a impressive scene.
- Manufacturing technology developed for conventional FUJINON cine lenses is applied to control optical axis shift while zooming, ensuring to achieve intended composition every time.
(3) Comfortable operability provided through dedicated movie lenses
- The focus ring features a rotation of a full 200 degrees to facilitate precise focusing even when shooting with a shallow depth-of-field where a high degree of precision is required.
- The lenses feature three fully manual rings to enable independent adjustment of focus, zoom and iris. . This enables intuitive operations which cannot be attained with an electrical mechanism that typically causes time lags.
- All the operation rings have a gear pitch of 0.8M, the same as all other FUJINON cine lenses, which allows the use of all standard third party accessories for movie production, e.g. Follow Focus that enable accurate and smooth focusing.
- The iris supports seamless adjustment that is free of clicking. This enables precise exposure adjustment while also preventing camera shake from clicking as well as the clicking noise.
(4)Standardized design across the series for ease of operation
- Only one matte box between the lenses is needed with a 85mm front diameter.
- Only one filter size between the lenses is needed with a filter thread of 82mm.
- The gears for the three rings are positioned in the same place so as to eliminate the need to re-position accessories when switching lenses.
- The lenses have a macro function that allows shooting close-up to broaden the range of scenes that can be covered with one lens.
- MK18-55mm: Minimum Object Distance*8 of 0.38m (wide end)
- MK50-135mm: Minimum Object Distance of 0.85m (wide end)
- The lenses feature a Flange Focal Distance adjustment function*9 to achieve optimum camera and lens matching, thereby bringing out the lenses’ full optical performance.
*8 Distance from the image-forming plane to a subject
*9 The position of lenses’ image-forming plane can be adjusted according to each camera’s flange focal distance (distance from lens mounting reference plane to sensor)