FUJIFILM Unveils Smaller, Lighter Cinema Lenses

The Optical Devices Division of FUJIFILM is trying to solve the problem of heavy, unbalanced camera rigs for digital cinema with the introduction of a new series of compact and lightweight zoom and wide-angle lenses in the E-mount (Super 35mm sensor) format that provide high optical performance at an affordable price.

The new MK Series of cinema lenses include the Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 zoom, with an 18-55mm focal length and the Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9. Both lenses offer fast lenses with T2.9 speed across the entire zoom range, enabling a shallow depth-of-field.

The MK lenses are designed to maintain consistent color temperature with all Fujinon cinema lenses, which simplifies color grading. The series also inherits the Fujinon cine lenses’ advanced edge-to-edge optical performance and low distortion. The MK18-55 and MK50-135mm weigh in at a light 980-grams/2.16 lbs. with front diameters of 85mm and lengths of 206mm. The MK18-55mm’s minimum object distance (MOD) is .85 meters/2.78 feet, while the MK 50-135mm’s MOD is 1.2m/3.93 feet.

Tom Fletcher, Director of Sales, Optical Devices Division of Fujinon said that the rapid growth in popularity of content produced by emerging cinematographers has expanded the use of cinema and digital photographic cameras.

“The heightened need for programming has, in turn, boosted demand for high-performance cinema lenses, which are ideal to achieve a shallow depth-of-field and a beautiful bokeh,” he said. “However, since they are typically large, heavy and expensive, those involved in online and other lower cost productions often opt for interchangeable lenses for digital cameras, which have been more affordable and mobile. The problem is that interchangeable lenses for digital cameras are designed primarily for shooting stills, and therefore prone to focus shift and optical axis shift while zooming.”

The compact and lightweight MK18-55mm lens helps solve the problem of heavy, unbalanced camera rigs for digital cinema.

The compact and lightweight MK18-55mm lens helps solve the problem of heavy, unbalanced camera rigs for digital cinema.

Only one matte box and one filter size are needed between the lenses. Time-saving features include a macro function that allows for a broader range of close-up shooting, and gears for the three rings are positioned in the exact same place, which eliminates the need to re-position accessories when switching lenses.

The lenses each contain a Flange Focal Distance adjustment function (the position of lenses’ image-forming plane can be adjusted according to each camera’s flange focal distance—the distance from lens mounting reference plane to sensor) to achieve optimal camera and lens matching. The short flange focal distance contributes to the lenses’ compact size and lightweight.

The iris supports seamless adjustment that is free of clicking. This enables precise exposure adjustment without any sound from clicking between T-stops.

The lenses also feature three rings for manual and independent adjustment of focus, zoom, and iris (aperture), with the gear pitch (the distance between gear teeth) of 0.8M. The focus ring can rotate fully up to 200 degrees to facilitate precise focusing. In addition, the MK lenses are compatible with E-mount cameras with the Super 35mm/ APS-C sensor.

The company said new X-mount versions of the MK lenses (with focal lengths of 18-55mm and 50-135mm) used in the Fujinon X Series line of digital cameras (with APS-C sensors) are now being developed for launch by the end of this year.

The Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 zoom, with an 18-55mm focal length will be available in early March for $3,799. The Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 will be available in the summer. No price was given.

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