By Lars Pettersson FSF
The way invitations to press conferences from these guys keep popping up in your inbox, you’d think Fujifilm/Fujinon are the only game in town when it comes to lenses for cinema and television! Of course, they’re not, but they have been very active in keeping in touch with the filmmaking community in this way during the Corona crisis, and their press conferences are frequently both enlightening and enjoyable.
And this evening’s edition, moderated from Chicago, U.S.A, by Fujifilm’s Thomas Fletcher, is no exception. In addition to launching this new large-format lens, they’ve put together a very interesting -and entertaining- program on various advantages to working with zoom lenses. An hour passes quickly with the Fujinon lens team!
And, by the way, this time around the invitation was quite humorous, as it promised ”a ZOOM meeting…” ready for this? ”… about zooms!”
But we’ll cut straight to the chase: of course, the new wide-angle Premista zoom is the main event here. It’s a 19 – 45mm T2,9 full-frame zoom, and it’s 0.5 kg lighter than its other two Premista cousins. It features a 114mm front diameter, same as the other two zooms, and the gear positions are in the same place on all three lenses, meaning that lens changes will be quick and require a minimum of adjustment. Horizontal angle of view of course depends on which size sensor your camera has, but rest assured that 19mm in full format is very wide indeed. The two already available Premistas sell for about 38 -39 000 dollars list price, and the new wide zoom will be priced in the 40 000 dollar range and will be available for delivery early in 2021.
During this evening’s press conference we’re also treated to an extensive blind test, conducted by Fujifilm’s very capable Marko Messinger in Stuttgart Germany, in which the Premista zoom lenses are compared to some of the industry’s highest-performing primes. Press conference attendees are invited to cast their votes as to which lens they found the most pleasing, and interestingly the votes came out 28% (Prime) – 72% (Premista). The real point of the Blind test comparison is you’re not losing much using a Premista zoom lens when compared to a prime.
As this evening’s meeting is -as promised- about zooms, there is some additional exciting news. We are treated to a preview of an extremely long-range ( 35 – 700mm ) PL Mount Box super 35 zoom Lens, which will cover many full-frame sensors with the extender in place. Also, the company Duclos lenses offer a lens mount conversion for Fujinon MK line zooms to the RED Komodo camera, which will be available in mid-September 2020. The Fujinon MK line zooms cover the RED Komodo 6K Super-35 sensor very well. You can either send your lens in to have the mount converted by Duclos or, if you buy a Fujinon MK zoom direct from Duclos, you can get the mount conversion at no extra charge.
Fujifilm have also tested their Cabrio 20 – 120 zoom on the new Blackmagic URSA 12K camera, the result is you will get some vignetting at some settings and wide angle otherwise the Cabrio works just fine on this camera, which is exciting news as we’re talking the combination of a sub-10 000 dollar camera with a sub-10 000 dollar lens, “a lot of bang for your buck” or in other words affordable 12K cinematography within reach for a lot of owner/operators out there.