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Fuji X-Pro1 Sensor — Prospects for Leica M, Zeiss ZM Wide-angle Lenses

Fuji X-Pro1
Fuji X-Pro1

B&H Photo has the 16-megapixel Fujfifilm X-Pro1 and the Fuji 18mm ƒ/2, 35mm ƒ/1.4 and 60mm ƒ/2.4 lenses available for pre-order.

The new Fujifilm X-Pro1 has an intriguing 16.2-megapixel APS-C “X-Trans CMOS” sensor design without an anti-aliasing (blur) filter. Note that the Leica M9 is 18 megapixels, so the linear resolution is very similar.

See my discussion of moiré in Fuji X-Pro1 Sensor Design — No Anti-Aliasing Filter for Sharp Images. In short, the lack of an AA filter potentially offers very high performance.

But wait— there is a fly in my soup. I have since learned that the Fuji X-Pro1 has a 2.5mm thick sensor cover glass (same as the Sony NEX-7). My testing of wide angle rangefinder lenses on the Sony NEX-7 shows that ray angle issues with sensor cover glass result in color shading and degraded sharpness off-center (badly degraded with some lenses, tolerable with others).

In short, wide angle Leica M and Zeiss ZM lenses are unlikely to perform to their potential on the Fuji X-Pro1. 35mm and longer focal lengths should be good, but 28mm and wider are likely to offer sub-optimal performance, depending on the particular lens (and ray angle is not the sole determinant).

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