Connect with us

Camera

Fujifilm creates GFX 100S II, $5000 compact medium format camera

Published

on

Fujifilm creates GFX 100S II, $5000 compact medium format camera


Photo: Fujifilm

Fujifilm has announced the GFX 100S II, a faster version of its $5000 GFX model with a nicer viewfinder, subject recognition AF, pixel shift high-res mode, enhanced video capture tools and uprated image stabilization.

Fujifilm says the sensor isn’t the higher-speed chip included in the more expensive GFX 100II, but it’s still been able to squeeze up to 7fps shooting out of the S II, compared with 5fps from its predecessor. Image stabilization is now rated as giving 8.0EV of correction, rather than the 6.0 of the original 100S.

And, while it doesn’t have the removable, 9.44M dot viewfinder of the GFX 100II, it gains a 5.76M dot viewfinder, a major improvement from the 3.69M dot panel of the 100S. The viewfinder is also larger, with 0.84x magnification, rather than 0.77x in the previous version. It also refreshes faster and can operate at up to 120hz.

Photo: Fujifilm

Like the existing GFX 100S, the 100S II can shoot 4K video (UHS or DCI) at up to 30p, but its 10-bit 4:2:2 options now extend the maximum quality up to 720mbps. It can also output Apple ProRes 422 footage over its USB-C port to an external SSD.

Beyond this the camera’s video support tools are significantly enhanced, with tap-to-track autofocus in video mode, waveform and vectorscope displays and the newer F-Log2 profile. It’s also compatible with Atomos’ AirGlu BT Bluetooth timecode syncing system and can output a data stream over its HDMI socket that can be encoded as ProRes RAW or Blackmagic Raw with the appropriate Atomos or Blackmagic external recorder.

As well as subject recognition AF, the GFX 100S II gains the Reala ACE Film Simulation and camera-to-cloud function that allows direct upload of stills and video to Adobe’s Frame.io collaboration and sharing platform.

Vs GFX 100II

Compared with the more expensive GFX 100II, it lacks the nicer viewfinder and the ability to remove it and mount it on an articulating cradle. It also uses a smaller battery and SD cards, lacks an Ethernet port and full-sized HDMI socket, can’t be paired with a battery grip or fan unit and tops-out one frame per second slower. In return, the GFX 100S II is around $2500 less expensive.

The GFX 100S II inherits the grippier ‘bishamon tex’ pattern on its rubber surfaces, bringing it into line with the 100II. At 883g (oz), it’s a fraction lighter than the GFX 100S.

The GFX 100S II will be available from June at a price of $4999.95.

Press Release:

Lightweight, High Speed: Fujifilm Introduces FUJIFILM GFX100S II Mirrorless Digital Camera

VALHALLA, N.Y., May 16, 2024 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Electronic Imaging Division, today announces the latest addition to its GFX System mirrorless digital camera lineup, FUJIFILM GFX100S II (GFX100S II). This new camera harnesses the image quality and key functionality from the larger GFX100 II mirrorless digital camera, in a smaller, lighter GFX System body designed for image makers who want to expand their system and/or are seeking an entry point into large format photography.

“Our GFX System continues to revolutionize ultra-high-resolution, large format image making by taking it out of specialist studio environments and putting into the hands of passionate creatives across all genres, styles and applications,” said Victor Ha, vice president, Electronic Imaging Division and Optical Devices Division, FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “GFX100S II is the natural next step in the evolution of the product line that specifically caters to the needs of photographers who have wanted additional autofocus performance and responsiveness from their GFX100S cameras. We feel we’ve really delivered in that regard and done so in a way that allows it to keep its compact form factor, which means it can make an appearance in almost any creative setting.”

GFX100S II is equipped with a new, high-performance GFX 102MP CMOS II large format sensor1 approximately 1.7 times larger than a 35mm full-frame sensor, and paired with Fujifilm’s latest high- speed image processing engine, X-Processor 5, all housed within a compact body and weighing approximately 883 grams (31 ounces)2, making it the lightest digital camera in the GFX System.

GFX100S II offers rich tonal expression and three-dimensional rendering capabilities, made possible by the unique characteristics of the large format sensor, with AI-based subject detection. It features fast and highly precise autofocus (AF) and continuous shooting speed of up to 7.0 frames per second3. The in-body image stabilization (IBIS) function achieves a maximum of eight-stop4 five-axis performance, the best in the GFX System. In terms of video performance, users can create vibrant and smooth 4K/30P videos, allowing for high-quality video production as well.

Main Features

Large format sensor with 102MP

  • Improvement to the pixel structure in GFX100S II’s newly developed 102MP large format sensor has boosted the new sensor’s saturated electrons, enabling the use of ISO 80 as a standard sensitivity. At this setting and when shooting in 16-bit RAW, the camera can create images at greater dynamic range and with lower noise than with the previous GFX model.
  • The new sensor’s micro lenses provide light use efficiency at the sensor’s edges. GFX100S II is equipped with a total of 20 Film Simulation modes, including REALA ACE mode, which combines faithful color reproduction and well-defined tonal expression.
  • GFX100S II also includes the “Pixel Shift Multi-Shot” feature, which controls the in-body image stabilization function to shift the image sensor while creating photos. By creating a 16-shot RAW file, shifting the image sensor by 0.5 pixels for each shot, and using the dedicated software, “Pixel Shift Combiner”, to combine the 16 RAW files, it is possible to generate an image with approximately 400 million pixels. Additionally, the “Real Color” mode, which captures 4 RAW files with a one-pixel shift for each image, can generate images with a resolution of 102 million pixels while suppressing false colors, in only one-fourth of the imaging time and data volume compared to the previous GFX model.

Powerful IBIS mechanism in a compact body

  • The IBIS unit combined with gyro and acceleration sensors are designed to accurately depict even the slightest movement, along with the use of image information to detect shake and improve correction precision when creating an image. The camera’s IBIS mechanism also includes up to 8-stops of 5-axis stabilization performance, allowing creators who are working handheld to reliably, confidently, and comfortably create images even in low-light scenes without a tripod.
  • The camera has a height of approximately 104mm (4 inches) and a depth of approximately 87mm (3.4 inches), similar to previous GFX System models.
  • The body of GFX100S II incorporates Fujifilm’s BISHAMON-TEX textured exterior, designed to provide comfort and grip when holding the camera.

Evolved high-speed, high precision autofocus (AF) and continuous shooting performance

  • In addition to the evolved face and eye AF achieved through algorithm advancements, GFX100S II is equipped with AI based subject detection AF, developed with deep learning technology. It can detect animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, trains, insects, and drones5, and it features an improved AF predictive algorithm compared to previous GFX System models, enabling it to handle high-speed motion tracking situations effectively.
  • With the new development of the 102 MP high-speed sensor and an exceptionally high readout speed along with a newly developed shutter drive, it achieves a continuous shooting performance of 7.0 frames per second.
  • GFX100S II is equipped with a high-magnification, high-resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF) with a magnification of 0.84x and 5.76 million dots that is designed to suppress image distortion and flow caused by shifts in the position of the eye.

4K/30P video recording capability

  • With the new sensor in GFX100S II, the standard ISO100 is available in video mode to deliver even higher image quality in video footage than on previous GFX System models.
  • GFX100S II is equipped with a tracking AF function during video recording. When using AF-C + Wide/Tracking AF, the user can easily track the intended subject, even in situations where multiple subjects are present.
  • The camera offers 4K video recording at 30 frames per second and is capable of recording in 4K/30P 4:2:2 10-bit on a compatible SD Memory Card (sold separately). GFX100S II is offers compatible recording using Apple ProResTM by connecting an external SSD via a USB Type C cable.6
  • GFX100S II is equipped with “F-Log2,” which offers a wide dynamic range of 13+ stops for recording, allowing for increased optimal flexibility in post-production, and it has the capability to record and output different video formats using different recording media and HDMI output. For example, users can record using “F-log2” onto any compatible recording media, while also simultaneously monitoring video via HDMI with any Film Simulation mode applied. This makes it easy to apply creative looks on set, but still retain flexibility for almost any post-production color workflow.
  • GFX100S II offers an accessory-free, native Camera to Cloud integration for Adobe’s Frame.io, which allows users to wirelessly connect any GFX100S III to an active internet connection, authenticate it to Frame.io, and automatically upload photos and videos just moments after they are created. This can drastically reduce the amount of time needed to reach the end of any post- production workflow. GFX100S II is the latest GFX System camera to integrate Frame.io’s Camera to Cloud technology, joining GFX100 II in offering the capability.

Optional accessories

Hand grip (MHG-GFX S)

This metal hand grip is designed to enhance grip and stability when image making with larger telephoto lenses and offers optimal convenience when using a tripod.

Pricing and Availability

FUJIFILM GFX100S II is expected to be available in June 2024 at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $4,995.95 USD ($6,749.99 CAD). The MHG-GFX S hand grip is available at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $149.99 USD ($195 CAD).

For more information, please visit https://fujifilm-x.com/en-us/products/cameras/gfx100s-ii/.

Additional News:

Membership in C2PA7 and CAI8 and efforts to develop a system to provide context and history for digital media In recent years, it has become an important global objective to work to rebuild trust online by proving the authenticity of photographs, videos and other online content. To further this effort and enable creative and business activities to continue to flourish, Fujifilm has joined two organizations, the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA) and the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI). Fujifilm is collaborating with these organizations in their efforts to ensure that the originator of digital content can be verified online through Content Credentials.9 Through its association with C2PA and CAI, Fujifilm will assist efforts to develop a system to provide context and history of digital content by providing valuable information, such as the origin and record of content, to the digital file. Fujifilm is committed to ultimately applying this verification solution to its GFX and X series line-up10.

1 The new sensor has a diagonal length of 55mm (43.8mm in width x 32.9mm in height) which has approximately 1.7 times the area of a 35mm format sensor.
2 Including the battery and the user’s memory card.
3 When using the mechanical shutter
4 At CIPA standard compliant in pitch/yaw directions, with the FUJINON GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens mounted.
5 The ”Bird” Subject Detection setting is used to detect insects and the “Airplane” setting is used to detect drones.
6 Certain recording modes of the GFX100S II may not be fully compatible with certain types of SSDs. Consult https://fujifilm- x.com/en-us/support/compatibility/cameras/list-of-supported-memory-cards/ for a list of confirmed compatible SSDs.
7 An open, technical standards body addressing the prevalence of misleading information online through the development of technical standards for certifying the source and history (or provenance) of digital content. C2PA is a Joint Development Foundation project that publishes Content Credentials, the digital content verification system and standard.
8 A global community of media and tech companies, NGOs, academics, and others working to promote adoption of an open industry standard for content authenticity and provenance – called Content Credentials.
9 Content Credentials is essentially an “ingredient statement” for digital content that is designed to attach secure tamper-evident metadata to digital content, which can include important information such as the creator’s name, the date an image was created, what tools were used to create an image and any edits that were made along the way.
10 Scheduled to be deployed as needed through firmware updates. (Deployment schedule to be determined).

Fujifilm GFX 100S II specifications

Price
MSRP $4999
Body type
Body type SLR-style mirrorless
Body material Magnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution 11648 x 8736
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 102 megapixels
Sensor size Medium format (44 x 33 mm)
Sensor type BSI-CMOS
Processor X-Processor 5
Color space sRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter array Primary color filter
Image
ISO Auto, 100-12800 (expands to 50-102400)
Boosted ISO (minimum) 40
Boosted ISO (maximum) 102400
White balance presets 7
Custom white balance Yes (3 slots)
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
CIPA image stabilization rating 8 stop(s)
Uncompressed format RAW + TIFF
JPEG quality levels Super fine, fine, normal
File format

  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • HEIF (4:2:2 10-bit)
  • Raw (14/16-bit RAF)
  • TIFF (8/16-bit)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus

  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lamp Yes
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 425
Lens mount Fujifilm G
Focal length multiplier 0.79×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3.2
Screen dots 2,360,000
Touch screen Yes
Screen type TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.84× (1.06× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution 5,760,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic) 1/32000 sec
Exposure modes

  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)
Flash X sync speed 1/250 sec
Continuous drive 7.0 fps
Self-timer Yes
Metering modes

  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Average
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±5 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes
Videography features
Format MPEG-4, H.264, H.265
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types 2x SD UHS-II
Connectivity
USB
USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 GBit/sec)
USB charging Yes
HDMI Yes (Micro (Type D))
Microphone port Yes
Headphone port Yes
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth
Remote control Yes
Physical
Environmentally sealed Yes
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description NP-W235 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 530
Weight (inc. batteries) 883 g (1.95 lb / 31.15 oz)
Dimensions 150 x 104 x 87 mm (5.91 x 4.09 x 3.43)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes
GPS None



Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Camera

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

Published

on

By

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:




Source link

Continue Reading

Camera

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

Published

on

By

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.



Source link

Continue Reading

Camera

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

Published

on

By

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.



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Zox News Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.