Venus Optics has launched the Laowa 17mm f/4 Zero-D GFX lens, a wide-angle lens for Fujifilm GFX camera system. Announced way back in spring last year, the world’s widest rectilinear lens is finally available for orders.
You can tell Photokina’s coming. The announcement rumours are coming through thick and fast right now. Since the Nikon Z6/Z7 announcement, we’ve seen full frame mirrorlesss announcement rumours for Canon and Panasonic. And we’ve already seen one from Fuji for the impending X-T3.
But it looks like Fuji has another trick up their sleeve. The Fujifilm GFX 50R, a new “affordable” medium format mirrorless camera. Fuji Addict reports that it’s expected to be announced on September 23rd, and the first photo of the new camera has been leaked on Weibo.
There is little doubt that mirrorless is the big thing currently happening in photography. Even Nikon and Canon are finally starting to seriously (we hope) make the switch. One of the main names in mirrorless, Fujifilm, seems to be struggling to cope with the demand. So, they’re expanding their Taiwa factory in Japan to increase production.
It’s Fujifilm’s turn to make their new announcements this week, and they’ve got some that GFX medium format shooters are going to enjoy. First up, there’s the new Fujifilm GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR lens. It has a field of view equivalent to just under a 200mm lens on a 35mm body. So suitable for both longer distance outdoor portraits, as well as shooting closer wildlife.
But to help with the wildlife side of things, there’s also the new GF 1.4X TC WR teleconverter. Priced at an eye watering $849, it’s not exactly cheap, but if you shoot medium format digital, the word “cheap” probably isn’t in your vocabulary. Fuji haven’t forgotten macro shooters in the new announcement, though, offering both new 18mm and 45mm extension tubes.
Fujifilm have announced an update to the mid-range model in their rangefinder styled mirrorless lineup. The new Fujifilm X-E3. It comes with the 24MP X-Trans III sensor found in the X-Pro2. This brings it in line with other models like the entry level X-A3 and recently released X-T20 and X100F. Fuji are also releasing two new lenses. One for the X system, and one for GF medium format.
The X-E3 shoots 4K UHD video, or 1080p at up to 60 fps. It sports a 3″ touchscreen LCD, comes with all the film simulation modes we’ve come to expect, and also includes Bluetooth connectivity for low power transfer and remote control from your phone.
Adapters that let you mount a lens from one camera system to a body of another are nothing new. Even so-called “Speed boosters” which allow you to get much of the benefit of full frame lenses on crop bodies have been out for a while now. The new Magic Format Converter from Laowa, though, takes things in the opposite direction. Putting smaller format lenses onto larger format sensors.
The adapter gives the ability to mount full frame Nikon and Canon lenses onto the Fuji GFX-50S medium format camera. There are a couple of other adapters out there that can also do this, too, but with one big issue. Nikon & Canon lenses don’t cover the complete GFX sensor. So, your image is cut off at the corners. This adapter compensates by expanding the image out to fill the frame.
Having models at camera demo events isn’t all that strange. It doesn’t happen at most of them, but it’s not unusual. Especially with cameras marketed towards fashion and portraits. Somebody at Fujifilm UK, however, decided that just bringing out a model wasn’t good enough for the Fujifilm GFX 50S, though. Oh no, she had to be topless, too.
Fujifilm UK held a paid event that would let photographers try out the new medium format GFX 50s. It started as many do, with a technical talk. Then they were to bring out a model. That way photographers to try out the new camera for themselves. It caused at least one photographer, Danny North, to leave immediately. He then went on a Twitter tirade to voice his displeasure.
Fujifilm have today announced two new X-Series cameras, the X100F and X-T20, along with a new XF 50mm f/2 R WR lens. The X100F represents the fourth generation in the X100 series and comes with the 24.3MP sensor found in the higher end X-Pro2 and X-T2 cameras. The X-T20 also comes with the 24.3MP sensor and shoots 4K video. The X100, however, is limited to only 1080p.
Fuji have also given up the price for their new medium format GFX camera. At $6,499 for the body alone, it’s certainly not a cheap camera. Compared to its nearest neighbour, though, the Hasselblad X1D, there’s a rather substantial difference. On paper, there’s very little difference between the two, although there are a couple of big ones for some potential buyers.
Fujifilm seem to be going all out on the GFX hype, presenting us with a slew of videos. The first started in September with the initial announcement. We saw a few more new ones last week showing off its capabilities, and now they’ve released seven more. This time around, there seems to be a bit more of a focus on landscapes and commercial work.
So, in no particular order of preference we meet, Victor Liu, Minoru Kobayashi, Luciano Romano, Romeo Balancourt, Per-Anders Jörgensen, Ivan Joshua and Gary Heery. Each of them takes us through a typical shoot using the GFX. It seems that the mirrorless medium format camera could potentially offer some very stiff competition to higher end DSLRs as a daily workhorse.
Adobe Lightroom has always faced some stiff competition against Phase One’s Capture One for medium format shooters. Even many photographers using DSLRs have made the switch. If you were hoping to use Capture One with the new Fujifilm GFX, though, you may be out of luck.
Imaging Resource seems to think that Phase One are feeling a little threatened by Fuji’s new mirrorless. But I don’t necessarily think that’s true. At least, no more threatened than they’ve felt about other medium format cameras in the past. According to Phase One support, support is unlikely to come as they don’t want to support “direct competitors of our core business”.