Translated Fujifilm Aniversary X and GFX Interview

Fujinon XF 33mm f/1.4 R LM WR
B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama
Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R LM WR
B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama
Fujinon XF18mm f/1.4 R LM WR:
B&H Photo / Amazon /MomentAdorama

Fujifilm has been doing a lot of Japanese content that has to be watched via google translate. I do not recommend you give it a try and I did the best I could without reading into what is being said too much, but you can get a good idea of what both parts of this lengthy interview have to say. In short, there is a focus on size and performance with X mount that is somewhat constrained by price while GFX is pushing the upward boundaries of size and price while offering peak performance.

  • Fujifilm recently refreshed its f/1.4 lineup for Fujifilm’s 10th anniversary
  • Early lenses were not dust/drip-proof
  • One of the first lenses designed was the 18mm f/2 which was made to be compact and works out to about 27mm
  • The XF35mm f/1.4 was another lens developed for launch with high image quality and it was designed to be as small as possible too
  • The DC motors that were originally used for CFAF were quite loud, but the new redesigned lenses use linear motors which are quieter
  • The redesigned 18mm and 35mm are to be sold alongside the original 18mm and 35mm since the 18mm is a pancake and the 35mm is considered a god lens so it can’t really be taken away or replaced
  • The 23mm is for people that want to get closer than the 35mm or 33mm allow and it has excellent close-focus performance
  • Many lenses try to have it all but the 18mm, 23mm, and 33mm all perform well for all tasks
  • The 18mm, 23mm, and 33mm are all a little larger than the original lineup
  • Lens communication has improved substantially
  • Updated lenses should have apparent advantages and if they are larger they need to remain a tolerable size
  • It’s hard to improve the performance of a lens enough to replace it and update the family
  • Performance is now uniformly excellent across the 18mm, 23mm, and 33mm
  • The 16mm f/1.4 is also a beloved lens that would not be easy to replace
  • Optical designers must improve designs within price, performance, and size constraints
  • IF you don’t restrict yourself it is easy to improve optical design
  • Lenses should fit comfortably in your hand
  • Fujifilm has worked to develop a locking mechanism for free-floating elements in lenses that are powered off
  • Lens sealing has gotten much better
  • Lens hoods are designed to go on easier now

  • The lens’s ability to move elements effectively affects resolution and it is hard to get across to users these kinds of advancements
  • The 23mm is very sharp and there are aberration trade-offs as a subject moves closer to the lens that has to be balanced for sharpness
  • The 35mm is a god lens but the 33mm has super soft bokeh
  • The 18mm is a very bright and sharp lens
  • The lenses are designed to have even blur in front and behind a subject
  • Getting a light lens to AF quickly can be difficult and it is easier to do with heavier lenses sometimes
  • The optical design is very tricky and it is good to work with manufacturing to help hit price, performance, and size constraints
  • Designing for accuracy and easy of manufacturing is probably a recent change in Fujifilm’s philosophy
  • Even if you have a great design it doesn’t mean the factory will accept your design without it being reworked
  • Third parties help add diversity since not everything can be done at home
  • It is better to increase choice for customers
  • Offering a lot of glass helps to attract users
  • Fujifilm just cant make a bad lens or 3rd parties will capitalize on it
  • When Fujifilm finds out the pricing of third parties it can be painful for them to compete
  • It can also be a pain for 3rd parties to compete with Fujifilm’s lineup
  • Fujifilm is always aiming for 10 years from now
  • GF lenses are super high quality and other lenses will be clearer in the future thanks to GFX
  • GFX is about 4x the size of APS-C and even though it started at 50MP it is now above 100MP
  • GF lenses were designed to resolve above 100MP to make them more future proof
  • The 26MP of APS-C has its own unique design requirements
  • The size constraints of APS-C make it hard to design for more megapixels while keeping the size compact
  • It’s very difficult to design lenses for size constraints
  • There are 17 lenses in all including the 3 announced lenses for GFX
  • GFX still is missing a lot of glass and Fujifilm will address the gaps
  • Large format isn’t a large part of the market so Fujifilm was concerned about going into a bigger format sensor, but GFX has sold well
  • Fujifilm has to make sure GFX was designed to sell because it was a big investment of time and resources
  • Fujifilm is grateful they decided to go large format instead of full-frame
  • Originally Fujifilm thought maybe 10 lenses and later 17, but the sales and demands are pushing the growth of GFX
  • Fujifilm has very demanding customers
  • There are a lot of lenses they could do for GFX, but still working on what to prioritize
  • Making APS-C lenses more compact with closer focusing distances is pretty easy to do
  • APS-C is smaller than full-frame, but it can offer completely superior image quality to full-frame
  • There is more of a clear difference between APS-C and 44×33 Large format GFX which is why they went 4x the size of APS-C
  • Fujifilm is good at high image quality
  • Fujifilm tried to develop its own x transformer and they are working on a lot of film simulations now
  • X mount is high image quality with a compact size

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