Today, Fujifilm announced one of the lenses it had showcased for the first time last year at Photokina: the Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR. Panasonic, too, shared an exciting announcement for GH4 users at the NAB show in Las Vegas. It officially announced a new firmware update which will add some interesting new functionalities for video to the camera.
Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4
The XF 16mm is a weather-sealed prime lens with a fast aperture of f/1.4 and covers the equivalent focal length of 24mm (full frame/35mm format). It is the third prime with a fast 1.4 aperture in addition to the 23mm and 35mm. The lens is similar in size and weight (375g) to the 56mm f/1.2. It has interesting characteristics including:
- a minimum working distance of 15cm
- a shifting focus ring to quickly switch to manual focus
- a depth of field scale (even though it looks very small like the one on the 23mm)
- a weather, dust and freeze proof down to -10°C.
On the inside, the lens features an advanced design. There are 13 elements in 11 groups, two aspherical and two Extra low-Dispersion elements. There are two types of coating to reduce ghosting and flare:
- HT-EBC coating (Fujifilm’s proprietary) is applied to all lens surfaces
- Nano GI coating is applied to the rear surface of the first group.
The 16mm also includes an autofocus system composed of three parts:
- A floating Focus System driven by two focus groups that work in conjunction according to the working distance
- A Rear Focusing System to enhance high-speed autofocus
Fujifilm claims that the autofocus is as fast as 0.11sec thanks to a built-in high-torque DC coreless motor.
There are already some first impressions online. Here are the most interesting:
- Max De Martino: The 16mm WR is dedicated to those who love the bright and wide angles of quality and it certainly will be a good ally for those who, like me, often find themselves fighting with problems of light, especially for weddings. Check out his review here.
- Ivan Joshua Loh: For me its definitely on par with the XF23mm. Actually I hate to say this because the 23mm is one of my fav XF lens; I think the 16mm may be a tad sharper. And for those who thirst for bokeh; its is very creamy and dreamy. Check out his article here.
- Flemming Bo Jensen: I work as a commercial music photographer shooter, and I have used the Fujinon 14mm F2.8 lens very often when working music events and it is absolutely a great lens. But it is only aperture F2.8 and sometimes it is so pitch black in these clubs that I need F1.4 to capture what tiny bit of light there is. (…) After using this lens at two club nights, there is no doubt for me. This is the perfect wide angle for music photography! Check out his article here.
- Ben Cherry: For me, I found this lens inspired me to get creative (a common trait I find when using primes) and as a result I set up shots that I wouldn’t have normally considered… Check out his article here.
You can also check out FujiRumors for links to other articles and to read Rico Pfirstinger article as well. The XF 16mm should be available in mid-May 2015. An additional lens hood (sold separately) will be available in September.
Firmware upgrade for the Panasonic GH4
A few days ago, Panasonic announced a new firmware (version 2.2) for the Lumix GH4 that improves the video functionalities of the camera by introducing anamorphic 4:3 mode. This means that the GH4 will be able to shoot video by using the entire sensor surface (up until now it cropped the sensor in 16:9 when shooting video). The result is an image that is stretched on the horizontal but when stretched out on an editing timeline, you will get a cinemascope aspect like 2.39:1 or 2.35:1. It will be compatible with anamorphic lenses. In this mode the camera will record at a resolution of 3328 x 2496. There will be the possibility to set the recording format, birate and luminance. The camera will also output the anamorphic format in 4:2:2 10-bit through its HDMI port. However in order to fit the height constraints of standard 4K footage, it will be downscaled to 2880 x 2160 and have black bars on either side.
Photographers might also be interested to know that the firmware also enables 1/16000s shutter speed when using the electronic shutter. The new firmware is scheduled to be released in late April 2015.
Last but not least, there will also be a further firmware that will introduce a true S-Log functionality similar to the Sony A7s, which will allow you to record the image with the highest possible dynamic range and colour grade the footage in your editing software.
Below you can watch a preview of all these new features at the Camera Store TV.