I was a news shooter for a number of years, and cut my teeth on parfocal, constant aperture lenses with built in macro control and a manual iris. Once you get used to the advantages such a lens provides, it’s hard to make the transition into using lenses designed primarily for still cameras and giving up all that control.
Now however, Fujinon is bringing all of those features back to the market for owners of Sony E-Mount crop sensor cameras. The minimal flange distance of the Sony mirrorless cameras allowed Fuji to bring their MK units to market at a much smaller physical size than would be necessary for reflex cameras. Physics being what they are with a Super 35 sized imager, you can’t get a B4 zoom range in one lens, so they are starting off with two lenses: an 18-55mm that is already for sale, and a 50-135mm that arrives in July.
Speaking of 2/3″ B4 lenses, Fujinon is also launching three 4K lenses for shoulder mount ENG/EFP cameras. Stosh Durbacz and I talked about the evolution of B4 lenses from standard definition, to high definition, and now through to 4K. Given the small size of a 2/3″ sensor, it is even harder to design a lens that is sharp corner-to-corner for a tiny chip than it is for say, a full frame camera. He sent along a test image that shows an HD lens placed on a 4K camera may, under ideal conditions, be able to resolve 4K in the very center of the lens, but maintaining that resolution out to the corners is where the HD lens (on the left) falls apart very quickly. Horses for courses as they say.
Full disclosure: Fujinon provided me with a free exhibition pass to get into NAB this year. I took advantage of it too late, and had to pay NAB a $50 “late” fee anyways, so the pass was kind of moot. Aside from that consideration, I have not been paid for this (or any) of my NAB 2017 coverage.