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Fuji X-Pro1 — Fujinon XF Lenses on X Mount

Fuji X-Pro1

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

The new Fujifilm X-Pro1 (see specs) is another ALLVIEW camera announced with three lenses, and around eight to arrive within 2 years.

Fuji clearly has in mind a very serious effort with this camera, and I predict that the X-Pro1 and its follow-ons will set a new bar in the compact pro-quality genre, competing favorably with the Leica M9, but being far more accessible in price.

Fuji says this about their new lenses:

Designed especially for the X-Pro1, the FUJINON XF Lens series promises enhanced resolution and light volume in image edge areas as well as reduced chromatic aberration for exceptional image quality.

Featuring an all-glass aspherical lens and other elements, the lens is polished to perfection and treated with Super EBC coating. Holding the high-quality metal barrel and operating the precision-machined 1/3-step aperture ring is a sensation that fires the desire to capture every scene.

For photographers who seek the peak of photographic excellence, FUJIFILM raises the curtain on a new era of interchangeable lenses and unveils a premium lineup of 3 single-focal length lenses.

Fuji has always made excellent optics, so one can hope for very high image quality. See the Fuji special site for the X-Pro.

It is telling that the first three lenses are all prime lenses, showing that Fuji is serious about making the X-Pro1 an enthusiast and pro level camera.

The initial lens lineup includes:

  • XR 18mm f/2 R (27mm equivalent).
    52mm filter size, 116g, 1:7.1 close focus, 7 groups / 8 elements with 2 aspherics.
  • XR 35mm f/1.4 R (53mm equivalent).
    52mm filter size, 187g, 1:5.9 close focus, 6 groups / 8 elements with 1 aspheric.
  • XR 60mm f/2.4 R Macro (91mm equivalent).
    39mm filter size, 215g, 1:2 close focus, 8 groups / 10 elements with 1 aspheric, 1 ED element.

Weights are without lens caps or lens hood.

Leica M, Zeiss ZM, Voigtlander M-mount lenses

There will be an M-mount adapter for the X-Pro1, which further increases the value of the X-Pro1 system to shooters with those types of lenses.

X mount

Fuji has introduced its X-Mount for the X-Pro1.

Taking full advantage of the mirrorless design, the mount boasts a short 17.7mm flange focal distance, a wider opening and deeper mounting of the lens, resulting in reduction of back focus distance to the minimum possible while achieving high resolution extending to the image edge areas.

A wider opening and deeper mounting of the lens — distance between the rearmost lens element and sensor. Reduction of the back focus distance and collection of light straight from the lens enhance resolution by preventing loss of light volume.
XF18mm / Back focus distance: 11.0mm
XF35mm / Back focus distance: 21.9mm
XF60mm / Back focus distance: 21.0mm

When a FUJINON XF lens is mounted, all lens information is instantly communicated to the body, integrating them into a seamless, responsive instrument.

A short backfocus is NOT necessarily a good thing for minimizing color shading with Leica M mount lenses; the Sony NEX-7 has a flange focal distance of 18.0mm, and it has severe trouble with lenses 28mm and wider.

Fuji comments about the “incidence angle of light” with the 18mm f/2, which suggests that color shading and resolution loss could be an issue with Leica M-mount lenses:

The final element, positioned as closely to the sensor as possible, makes the incidence angle of light reaching the sensor smaller, and reduces vignetting and color shading, while helping to keep the lens's overall size small.

Whether this is an issue on the X-Pro1 with M-mount lenses remains to be seen; color shading and loss of resolution involve the sensor and sensor cover glass, and a prediction cannot be made from the flange focal distance alone. I suspect that the X-Pro1 will prove superior to the Sony NEX-7 with M-mount lenses.

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