Fujifilm will invest in significantly increased production capabilities at its Taiwa factory at Sendai in northern Japan which is operated by Fujifilm Optics Co. Ltd. The expansion is expected to deliver a 70 percent increase in lens production volume by 2020. The new facilities at the factory will include a much larger and more advanced cleanroom area, and more sophisticated equipment for automated testing and adjustment.

Two new XF series models have been announced for launching later this year while a further three have been added to the X mount roadmap for launch in either 2019 or 2020. The immediate new arrivals are an XF 200mm f2.0 R LM OIS WR fast prime telephoto (equivalent to 300mm) and an XF 8-16mm f2.8 R LM WR ultra-wide zoom (equivalent to 12-24mm). Due sometime in 2019 is an XF 16mm f2.8 R WR compact wide-angle prime (equivalent to 24mm) and a XF 16-80mm f4.0 R OIS WR standard zoom (equivalent to 24-120mm). In 2020 Fujifilm is promising an XF 33mm f1.0 R WR, equivalent to 49.5mm, which it says will be the world’s first mirrorless camera lens with autofocusing and a maximum of f1.0. By the end of this year, the Fujifilm X mount lens system will number 28 XF and XC models plus three teleconverters.

The new 200mm f2.0 fast telephoto will be available in a kit which includes a new matched teleconverter, the XF 1.4x TC F2 WR, which will deliver the equivalent of a 420mm f2.8 supertelephoto. The lens itself has a magnesium alloy external construction with weather-proofing and insulation, enabling operation in sub-zero temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the exposed surface of the front element has a fluorine coating to help better repel moisture and dirt. The matte silver finish is designed to help reduce internal heat build-ups when shooting in high-temperature locations or seasons.

It features a new ‘Focus Preset’ function for the instant selection of preset focusing distances. The optical construction comprises 19 elements in 14 groups and includes two extra-low dispersion (ED) types and one super extra-low dispersion type. Fujifilm says the lens’s optical image stabiliser can provide up to five stops of correction for camera shake. Other notable features are a nine-bladed diaphragm, a minimum focusing distance of 1.8 metres and a screwthread filter diameter of 105 millimetres. Weighing in at 2265 grams, the new XF 200mm f2.0 fast telephoto will be available in Australia in October priced at $8999.

Photo: Fujifilm

The new 8-16mm zoom also has a weather-sealed and insulated construction with a fluorine coating on the front element. The optical construction comprises 20 elements in 13 groups of which, not so surprisingly, no fewer than 13 are special types. These include four aspherical types to correct for distortion and spherical aberrations, with six ED types and three super ED types to help minimise lateral chromatic aberrations. There’s also an element which provides correction for curvature of field, while the rear surfaces of both the front elements have a ‘Nano GI’ multi-coating to eliminate (so says Fujifilm) ghosting and flare.

Photo: Fujifilm

The XF 8-16mm f2.8 ultra-wide zoom will be available in Australia in November, priced at $3199. For more information on Fujifilm’s X mount mirrorless camera system visit http://www.fujifilm.com.au