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Fujifilm announces 500mm F5.6 R LM OIS WR tele for medium format

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Fujifilm announces 500mm F5.6 R LM OIS WR tele for medium format


Photo: Fujifilm

Fujifilm has announced the GF500mm F5.6 R LM OIS WR, a relatively lightweight, compact super-tele prime for its GFX medium format system.

The 500mm delivers a 396mm equivalent angle of view in a lens that’s 247mm (9.4″) long and weighs 1,375g (3.03 lbs). It has built-in image stabilization rated to give up to 6.0EV of correction.

The design features 21 elements in 14 groups, including 5 extra-low dispersion (ED) elements and 2 Super ED elements. It can be used in conjunction with the company’s 1.4x teleconverter to give a 700mm (554mm equiv) angle of view with F8 maximum aperture.

Photo: Fujifilm

The lens uses a small internal focus design with a linear motor to make AF speed usefully fast. It has a focus limit switch that restricts focus to the range between 5m (16.4′) and infinity, to speed AF still further. Fujifilm says the lens is suitable for sports and wildlife as well as landscape, street and cityscape photography.

Fujifilm says the lens is designed for the 102MP sensors it uses in its GFX 100 models.

Press Release:

Super Telephoto Powerhouse: Fujifilm Introduces FUJINON GF500mmF5.6 R LM OIS WR Lens

VALHALLA, N.Y., May 16, 2024 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Electronic Imaging Division, today announces the latest lens in its GFX System line of digital camera and lens products – FUJINON GF500mmF5.6 R LM OIS WR (GF500mm), a super telephoto prime lens designed for photographers who primarily specialize in distant, moving subjects in genres ranging from wildlife and outdoor sports to landscape and street photography. GF500mm can create images up to 500mm (equivalent to 396mm in 35mm format), making it the lens with the longest range in the lineup of GF lenses to date.

“GF500mm is an exciting addition to the GFX System because it combines incredible range with the power of the system’s 102 megapixel sensor,” said Victor Ha, vice president, Electronic Imaging and Optical Devices Divisions, FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “GF500mm’s compact, lightweight design and super telephoto focal length enable photographers to create images in impeccable detail they may not have previously dreamed was possible.”

By miniaturizing a typically large and heavy super telephoto lens and achieving high-speed and high precision autofocus, GF500mm enables super telephoto photography in sports, wildlife, and bird photography, where high mobility is required. With incredible image stabilization sensing accuracy and optimal mechanical design, it achieves powerful image stabilization with up to 6.0 stops1 of compensation. Users can comfortably enjoy handheld image making in the challenging super telephoto range, where camera shake is likely to occur.

Product Features:

Telephoto capabilities beyond what the naked eye can see

  • By combining GF500mm with the FUJINON Teleconverter GF1.4X TC WR, users can expand the GF500mm’s focal length, achieving a maximum focal length equivalent to 700mm (equivalent to 554mm in 35mm format).
  • With a lens construction consisting of 14 groups and 21 elements, including two Super Extra-low Dispersion (ED) lenses and five ED lenses, GF500mm effectively suppresses chromatic aberration specific to super telephoto lenses and achieves high resolution performance. It accurately depicts a level of detail beyond what the naked eye can see.

Lightweight yet durable design

  • In contrast to the usual heft of large format telephoto lenses, GF500mm tips the scales at only 1,375 grams (3.03lbs)2. In addition to its lightweight design, GF500mm’s optimal arrangement of ED lenses and Super ED lenses minimizes chromatic aberration that is likely to occur with miniaturization, enabling GF500mm’s compact size, light weight, and high-resolution performance.
  • GF500mm is temperature resistant down to -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit), and its weather-resistant structure features sealing at 18 points on the lens barrel. Furthermore, the front element of the lens is coated with fluorine, providing water-repellent and anti-smudge capabilities.

Fast, accurate autofocus

  • While maintaining high resolution performance, GF500mm adopts an inner focus system that incorporates a small and light focus lens and drives the focus group using a linear motor. This enables a fast and silent autofocus (AF) with a minimum delay of approximately 0.31 seconds3.
  • The user’s desired focus can be shifted to a pre-defined location via the Focus Preset button4.
  • The GF500mm also features the Focus Limiter function (a setting within the Focus Range Selector), allowing users to restrict the lens’s AF range to shorten AF time when photographing a subject that is generally at least 5 meters (16.4 feet) away.

Pricing and Availability:

FUJINON GF500mmF5.6 R LM OIS WR lens is expected to be available in June 2024 at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $3,499.95 USD ($4,724.99 CAD).

For more information, please visit https://fujifilm-x.com/en-us/products/lenses/gf500mmf56-r-lm-ois- wr/.

1 According to CIPA standards, pitch/yaw direction.
2 Excluding lens cap, hood, and tripod mount.
3 AF speed on the telephoto end, using a CIPA Guideline compliant measurement method and when mounted on the FUJIFILM GFX100 II mirrorless digital camera with Phase Detection AF and High-Performance Mode selected.
4 To operate the “SET button,” “focus control button,” and “focus select switch” on the FUJIFILM GFX50S, it is necessary to update the camera body to version 3.10 or later.

Fujinon GF500mm F5.6 R LM OIS WR specifications

Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size Medium Format (645)
Focal length 500 mm
Image stabilization Yes
CIPA Image stabilization rating 6 stop(s)
Lens mount Fujifilm G
Aperture
Maximum aperture F5.6
Minimum aperture F32
Aperture ring Yes
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Aperture notes Rounded blades
Optics
Elements 21
Groups 14
Special elements / coatings 2 Super ED, 5 ED elements
Focus
Minimum focus 2.75 m (108.27)
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Linear Motor
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Physical
Weight 1375 g (3.03 lb)
Diameter 105 mm (4.13)
Length 247 mm (9.72)
Sealing Yes
Filter thread 95 mm
Hood supplied Yes



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Halide announces Kino, a “Pro Video Camera” for iOS

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Halide announces Kino, a “Pro Video Camera” for iOS


Lux, the team behind the Apple Design Award-winning photography app Halide, has announced Kino, an app that it claims will bring pro-level video tools to iPhone users.

The developers state that Kino is intended to give users complete control in both automatic and manual shooting modes based on some clever built-in logic. The app includes a feature called AutoMotion, which automatically sets a 180º shutter angle in order to create cinematic motion blur. An ‘Auto’ label turns green when the settings are just right, letting you know you’re good to go. If the camera can’t achieve a 180º shutter, such as when shooting outdoors in bright light, you may need to add an ND filter to allow the shutter to lock onto the correct angle.

Another headline feature is Instant Grade, which takes advantage of Apple Log, available on the newest iPhone 15 Pro models. Apple’s camera app records Log footage in ProRes format, which creates large files and requires editing to finalize color; Instant Grade will allow users to apply color presets directly to Apple Log footage as it’s being captured and saves the recordings in the more efficient HEVC format, allowing for cinematic video straight out of camera. The app includes color presets from pro colorists, but users can import their own LUTs into the app as well.

Kino includes color presets created by professional colorists.

The app also includes advanced features, such as the ability to save files into either Apple’s Photos app or to a specific file location, composition guides, audio levels, USB-C storage compatibility, RGB waveform, manual focus with peaking, WB/AE lock, exposure compensation and a lockable user interface.

For beginners who may not be as familiar with a video-first workflow, the app will include free lessons on the basics of shooting video.

Kino is available beginning today at a promotional price of $9.99, though the company indicated that the price will increase to $19.99 “a few days after launch.”


Buy now:




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Sigma CEO talks market trends, the challenge of innovation and the future for APS-C

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Sigma CEO talks market trends, the challenge of innovation and the future for APS-C


Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki

Photo: Richard Butler

“All camera and lens manufacturers have to be innovative,” says Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki, but “technology competition among manufacturers may not always be beneficial to customers… Easier to use interfaces, compact and lightweight bodies for enhanced portability, or some other specifications might be more important.”

In the second part of a wide-ranging interview conducted at the CP+ show in Yokohama in late February, Yamaki talked about current state of the market, the need for innovation and the challenges of delivering that innovation.

State of the market

“Last year was not so bad,” he says, when asked about the state of the market: “It looks like the trend of the shrinking market has hit the bottom.” But he suggests this may not continue: “For the time being, many photographers are now switching from DSLR to mirrorless, which will sustain the market. However, after they switch to mirrorless cameras, I worry that the market could shrink in the coming years.”

“One reason for my concern is the increasing average price of cameras and lenses. I truly appreciate the passion of the customers who are still spending so much money on cameras and lenses. However, I’m afraid that not so many customers can afford such high-priced cameras and lenses, so we’re still trying hard to keep the retail price reasonable.”

“I’m afraid that not so many customers can afford such high-priced cameras and lenses”

“Especially these days, the younger generation takes huge amounts of photos with smartphones. While we can expect some of them to switch from a smartphone to a camera, many may find the price gap too wide, and challenging to make the switch.”

Yamaki also expresses concern about some of the tech trends he’s seeing: “Investing in the development of more advanced technology is crucial. However, it’s equally important to focus on our customers.”

“We’ve seen some cameras with very technically impressive specifications, but I worry that they’re not always capabilities that many photographers really need. Moving forward, I speculate that more user-friendly specifications might mean more to customers. Easier to use interfaces, a compact and lightweight body for enhanced portability, or some other specifications might be more important.”

The challenges of innovation

Sigma has launched some ambitious and unusual lenses in recent years, including the 14mm F1.4 DG DN. Yamaki describes astrophotography, for which it’s designed, as the most challenging subject.

Image: Sigma

He uses the recently announced 500mm F5.6 as an example of customer-focused innovation. “Canon and Nikon had similar lenses for DSLRs. They achieved it by using diffractive lens elements,” he explains: “Instead of using one powerful diffractive element, we used multiple special low-dispersion [SLD] glass. We used one SLD and three FLD elements. By using multiple special lenses, we could achieve a similar effect. That’s how we can make it so compact and lightweight.”

But this approach isn’t simple, he says: “It requires lots of very high manufacturing technology and skill, but because we have a very good factory and our optical designers trust the capability of our factory, we were able to go for this design.”

“In most cases, we are the first to use new types of glass, and once they see Sigma use that lens element, they start using it.”

“This trust is really, really important,” he explains: “Lens polishing is still a unique process that has a lower yield. Normally, in something like electronics, the yield ratio is something like 99.99996 percent, or something like that. But when it comes to lenses, for example, in our case, because our yield is so high, our yield ratio from the start of the process to the end is close to 90%. So if we plan to build 1,000 units of a specific lens, we have to start polishing 1,100 pieces, and during the process, about 10% of the lens elements will fail and have to be scrapped.”

A question of trust

“That’s the reason why other companies hesitate to use new glass elements. They are uncertain about the yield ratio. In most cases, we are the first to use a new type of element, and once they see Sigma use that lens element, they start using it. I’m very happy to play such a role. Sigma is kind of the guinea pig in the lens industry: they use Sigma as an experiment, and if we prove it, they use it.”

This commitment to pushing the use of new glass types reflects Yamaki’s wider vision of the company’s role. This can be seen in the ambitious lenses it’s recently introduced aimed at astrophotography, he says.

“First of all, I believe it’s one of Sigma’s missions to create niche products. If we only concentrate on standard products and release lower-priced versions, it’s not good: we would not be able to contribute to the development of the photography culture. As a lens manufacturer it’s our mission to develop such niche lenses that satisfy a specific target group.”

“Secondly, most lenses are so good, maybe much better than people’s expectations. But only astrophotographers are never satisfied: they’re so keen for quality! They’re looking at the shape of stars in the corners. Star images are the toughest, most challenging subject, or let’s say, the most nasty lens chart. You can see all kinds of aberrations in star images. That’s why we want to show what we can do with our capability. So lenses for astrophotography is my personal strong passion to show the capability of Sigma’s technology.”

The future of APS-C

Yamaki says the audience for its I-series of full-frame lenses, such as the 17mm F4 DG DN pictured, is similar to that for the DC DN range of APS-C primes. However, it doesn’t sound like there are plans for I-series-style versions of the DC lenses.

Image: Sigma

With all this talk of niches, we steered the conversation towards the DC DN primes. We wanted to know whether he sees the users of these lenses as distinct from those of the mid-priced i-Series full-frame primes, which feature metal bodies and aperture rings.

“I see they are very similar customers: those who value compactness and image quality. These customers often live in big cities and use public transportation a lot. So they cannot carry around big, heavy equipment in the car. They have to carry it around in their bags.”

Despite this, it doesn’t sound like there are any plans to refresh the DC DNs with more i-Series-like designs: “Those who want full-frame can use the I series lenses, while those who are happy with APS-C cameras can use the many lightweight DC DN lenses,” he says.

But, while we won’t expect APS-C primes with aperture rings for X-mount or the Nikon Z fc any time soon, Yamaki’s comments about his commitment to APS-C bode well, given the announcement that it’ll make lenses for both Nikon’s Z mount and Canon’s RF system:

“Our plan is to have a relatively complete range of lenses for APS-C sized sensors.”


This article was based on an interview conducted by Dale Baskin and Richard Butler at the CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan.



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Sigma CEO talks market trends, the challenge of innovation and the future for APS-C

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Sigma CEO talks market trends, the challenge of innovation and the future for APS-C


Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki

Photo: Richard Butler

“All camera and lens manufacturers have to be innovative,” says Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki, but “technology competition among manufacturers may not always be beneficial to customers… Easier to use interfaces, compact and lightweight bodies for enhanced portability, or some other specifications might be more important.”

In the second part of a wide-ranging interview conducted at the CP+ show in Yokohama in late February, Yamaki talked about current state of the market, the need for innovation and the challenges of delivering that innovation.

State of the market

“Last year was not so bad,” he says, when asked about the state of the market: “It looks like the trend of the shrinking market has hit the bottom.” But he suggests this may not continue: “For the time being, many photographers are now switching from DSLR to mirrorless, which will sustain the market. However, after they switch to mirrorless cameras, I worry that the market could shrink in the coming years.”

“One reason for my concern is the increasing average price of cameras and lenses. I truly appreciate the passion of the customers who are still spending so much money on cameras and lenses. However, I’m afraid that not so many customers can afford such high-priced cameras and lenses, so we’re still trying hard to keep the retail price reasonable.”

“I’m afraid that not so many customers can afford such high-priced cameras and lenses”

“Especially these days, the younger generation takes huge amounts of photos with smartphones. While we can expect some of them to switch from a smartphone to a camera, many may find the price gap too wide, and challenging to make the switch.”

Yamaki also expresses concern about some of the tech trends he’s seeing: “Investing in the development of more advanced technology is crucial. However, it’s equally important to focus on our customers.”

“We’ve seen some cameras with very technically impressive specifications, but I worry that they’re not always capabilities that many photographers really need. Moving forward, I speculate that more user-friendly specifications might mean more to customers. Easier to use interfaces, a compact and lightweight body for enhanced portability, or some other specifications might be more important.”

The challenges of innovation

Sigma has launched some ambitious and unusual lenses in recent years, including the 14mm F1.4 DG DN. Yamaki describes astrophotography, for which it’s designed, as the most challenging subject.

Image: Sigma

He uses the recently announced 500mm F5.6 as an example of customer-focused innovation. “Canon and Nikon had similar lenses for DSLRs. They achieved it by using diffractive lens elements,” he explains: “Instead of using one powerful diffractive element, we used multiple special low-dispersion [SLD] glass. We used one SLD and three FLD elements. By using multiple special lenses, we could achieve a similar effect. That’s how we can make it so compact and lightweight.”

But this approach isn’t simple, he says: “It requires lots of very high manufacturing technology and skill, but because we have a very good factory and our optical designers trust the capability of our factory, we were able to go for this design.”

“In most cases, we are the first to use new types of glass, and once they see Sigma use that lens element, they start using it.”

“This trust is really, really important,” he explains: “Lens polishing is still a unique process that has a lower yield. Normally, in something like electronics, the yield ratio is something like 99.99996 percent, or something like that. But when it comes to lenses, for example, in our case, because our yield is so high, our yield ratio from the start of the process to the end is close to 90%. So if we plan to build 1,000 units of a specific lens, we have to start polishing 1,100 pieces, and during the process, about 10% of the lens elements will fail and have to be scrapped.”

A question of trust

“That’s the reason why other companies hesitate to use new glass elements. They are uncertain about the yield ratio. In most cases, we are the first to use a new type of element, and once they see Sigma use that lens element, they start using it. I’m very happy to play such a role. Sigma is kind of the guinea pig in the lens industry: they use Sigma as an experiment, and if we prove it, they use it.”

This commitment to pushing the use of new glass types reflects Yamaki’s wider vision of the company’s role. This can be seen in the ambitious lenses it’s recently introduced aimed at astrophotography, he says.

“First of all, I believe it’s one of Sigma’s missions to create niche products. If we only concentrate on standard products and release lower-priced versions, it’s not good: we would not be able to contribute to the development of the photography culture. As a lens manufacturer it’s our mission to develop such niche lenses that satisfy a specific target group.”

“Secondly, most lenses are so good, maybe much better than people’s expectations. But only astrophotographers are never satisfied: they’re so keen for quality! They’re looking at the shape of stars in the corners. Star images are the toughest, most challenging subject, or let’s say, the most nasty lens chart. You can see all kinds of aberrations in star images. That’s why we want to show what we can do with our capability. So lenses for astrophotography is my personal strong passion to show the capability of Sigma’s technology.”

The future of APS-C

Yamaki says the audience for its I-series of full-frame lenses, such as the 17mm F4 DG DN pictured, is similar to that for the DC DN range of APS-C primes. However, it doesn’t sound like there are plans for I-series-style versions of the DC lenses.

Image: Sigma

With all this talk of niches, we steered the conversation towards the DC DN primes. We wanted to know whether he sees the users of these lenses as distinct from those of the mid-priced i-Series full-frame primes, which feature metal bodies and aperture rings.

“I see they are very similar customers: those who value compactness and image quality. These customers often live in big cities and use public transportation a lot. So they cannot carry around big, heavy equipment in the car. They have to carry it around in their bags.”

Despite this, it doesn’t sound like there are any plans to refresh the DC DNs with more i-Series-like designs: “Those who want full-frame can use the I series lenses, while those who are happy with APS-C cameras can use the many lightweight DC DN lenses,” he says.

But, while we won’t expect APS-C primes with aperture rings for X-mount or the Nikon Z fc any time soon, Yamaki’s comments about his commitment to APS-C bode well, given the announcement that it’ll make lenses for both Nikon’s Z mount and Canon’s RF system:

“Our plan is to have a relatively complete range of lenses for APS-C sized sensors.”


This article was based on an interview conducted by Dale Baskin and Richard Butler at the CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan.



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