In an interview with DPreview, Iida Toshihisa mentions that Fujifilm has opened up their mount to third-party support, specifically mentioning the coming Tokina lenses.
“Do you plan on opening the X-mount up to third-party lens manufacturers?
Yes. Kenko Tokina actually already announced three lenses for X-mount, with autofocus. Many customers want more lenses, and we want to satisfy that need.”
You can read the full interview here: Dpreview
When I reported on Tokinas announcement of the new lenses for the X-Mount, I mentioned not knowing if these new Tokina lenses would officially support autofocus of if they would have to hack it. As you probably know, to develop and hacking autofocus technology from a certain company is technically illegal since that information is held protected by patents, but yet no company has sued a third party lens company that we know of.
Why This Is Extremely Good News
One of my biggest complaints about the Fujifilm system (and I think many others share this same complaint), is the lack of fast modern lenses. Fast meaning lenses that are like f1.2 or f1.4. Typically I think of fast lenses as anything under about f2 by full-frame standards, but that description is obviously open for debate.
But fast also means quick autofocus and autofocus tracking capabilities.
Currently, all the Fujifilm f1.4 lenses do not have modern microcomputers to maintain quick AF-C CDAF autofocus and struggle in some situations, nor are they weather sealed. The lenses are amazing in terms of character but are behind in terms of technology.
Compare that to the similarly priced Nikon Z f1.8 lenses which produce an f1.2 APS-C depth of field equivalency, have very little focus breathing, are weather-sealed with all internal focus elements that allow them to be significantly more versatile for today’s photographer that often requires good photo and video performance from their gear.
By allowing Viltrox or Tokina to make new f1.4 lenses, this takes some pressure off Fujifilm to fill in those gaps quickly so they can continue to expand their product lineup. This is very cool, and very smart.
This is actually legitimately one of the big reasons I jumped into the Nikon Z system. I wanted nice f1.8 lenses that were useful in any situation and Fujifilm only offered f2 good do-it-all lenses which would give you a bokeh equivalency of like an f3 or something, which still, isn’t bad for video, but I would like a lens that could do a little more than that for a do-it-all system especially since I shoot so much in low light.
Now these new Tokina lenses won’t be the holy grail, but they will be cool and Tokina is a very good brand and they make good stuff and have very good focus technology. I’ve heard they even make some lenses for Pentax, and while Pentax is sort of a meme at this point, their gear is some of the most rugged camera gear ever made.
Also, keep in mind that Viltrox and Tokina share similar optical formulas. I’m not sure where they got these formulas from if it’s a partnership or what, but these Tokina lenses will be of slightly higher quality based on materials and build quality. There is more to a lens than just optics, so be careful about seeing people say Tokina lenses are just rebadged Viltrox lenses. I’ve written about this before and it’s not really the case at all, but yes, they share the same optics and produce the same IQ.
So why the delay, what’s taking Fujifilm so long to update their old lenses?
I now have a theory!
Fujifilm Lens Resolution Limits
Fujifilm lenses likely have a resolution limit, and if they increase the megapixels in their next X-H2 so that it can do 8k video, they’ll likely have to bump the resolution capabilities of their fast lenses to match. Unless their current lenses can handle 34MP from an APS-C sensor. But I bet you, their current f1.4 lenses will see their limits tested at 34MP and I bet you, Fujifilm has been waiting for higher MP sensors before updating their older lenses so that they will be good to go for the next 10-15 years.
And by the way, I can almost bet you the X-H2 will do 8k. Which means at least a sensor around 38MP. Fujifilm has to do 8k video if they want to stay relevant with Japan broadcast moving to 8k this year, and with the Olympics delayed, they have an opportunity to deliver a camera that is 8k broadcast Olympic ready if they hustle.
So I bet you, the X-H2 will be ready for the Olympics so long as Covid-19 doesn’t gain function and destroy human civilization before then.
This is such great news. Fuji has a great lens lineup, but it will only be made more attractive by third party lenses. Cheaper lenses means more people in the Fuji ecosystem which is a win for everyone.
Yes, it’s very exciting. Hopefully Sigma gets on board. I’m glad Tokina lenses will have full AF support. I’ve always loved their rendering with those bluish flares.
In an interview, a Fujifilm UK manager Andreas Georghiades said that the current lenses are good around 32MP.
I want the Sigma 56mmf1.4 and Tamron 70-180mm F2.8.
I thought I read that somewhere, that’s what gave me the idea, but I finally found the article and thanks. I looked for like an hour for that quote and couldn’t find it.
Hi Alik, do you think Fujifilm will release a 32MP Sensor and not the upcoming 42MP SONY Apsc one? Reason being 32 is not enough for 8k video as 33.2MP would be the minimum. Unlikely that Fuji refreshes the whole lineup at once.
Yeah, no you’re probably right, I was just throwing out numbers without doing math. I think you actually need the minimum of like 36-38MP or something for 8k broadcast, depending on the sensor dimensions. But it also depends on the spec they go with because there is a broadcast 8k standard that is really like 7.6k which I think comes out to the 38MP or 39MP or something with a 3:2 sensor. Or they could go a true 8k.
Does this mean third-party X-mount lenses can also have optical stabilization? There’s an opening for more telephoto options.
I would think it’s possible. Sigma makes OS lenses for various cameras.
I do wonder if the XH2 could be doing 8K in the future. But I also really don’t care. I mean hell that would be so much data to store. I would never use it unless it’s a super short video of some land/city scapes.
They might keep it 400Mpbs I would think. If they start getting too big they’ll have to go to CFexpress or something.
8k doesn’t mean more data. Bitrate is responsible for that. 8k 100Mbps will have the same data as 1080p 100Mbps. What’s cool about 8k though is that a 4:2:0 sampling will turn into something more like 4:4:4 when properly scaled to 4k in a 16-bit sequence. That’s the real beauty of 8k is how much better it makes 4k if you do a proper scale.
I’m working on a post now, but Sony has made this Quad Bayer sensor which was just put in the Mavic Air II. Basically, they take a 12MP sensor and divide each pixel into 4. So if you had something like an A7sIII you could still shoot 12MP with crazy low light by using the 4 pixels as one for each color array, or the data from each individual pixel and pump it up to a 40MP sensor and get 8k. We’ve been talking about what the next A7sIII might be, I think this could be it. Maybe we could see something like this in the X-H2 too. That would be cool, although I think they already have a sensor lined up for the X-H2 that is not quad Bayer.