The video world is changing. If you thought you'd never be able to have a cinema lens because you couldn't afford it, think again, because Fujifilm just released their Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9 zoom glass. It will surprise you with its features and price tag.
Cinema lenses are quite a different beast both inside and out. Glass is the most important element in the photography and video ecosystems. For video, the requirements for lens quality and features are much higher, as is the intolerance to optical defects.
An affordable product in the cinema lenses market is a glass that is in the sub-$5,000 price range. This is what cinema primes usually cost. The price of a zoom lens is often way higher because there are many more required features. Zoom lenses for video should not change their size when changing the focal length, nor should they have to change focus based on changes to focal length (the parfocal property). The zoom movement has to be smooth from beginning to end without any jump we see in still lenses.
Here comes the great news. Fujinon MK 18-55 T2.9 zoom lens is capable of all that and is available for preorder for only $3,799 at B&H. I say, "only," because it's an incredibly low price compared to other high-end zoom lenses.
These are some of the features of the lens:
- Designed for 4K video
- Compatible with a Super 35mm/APS-C sensor
- Comes with an E-mount, i.e. it will natively work with Sony cameras
- Fujifilm says it doesn't have any lens breathing
- Zoom is nice and smooth
- Macro focusing capability at the flip of a switch (impressive feature for that price)
- Lightweight and compact (less than one kilogram)
- The lens is parfocal
- Has a flange focal length adjustment mechanism (in case you use it with adapters on other camera mounts)
Here is a test footage by Phillip Bloom:
In another video, Phillip Bloom discusses the features of the lens:
I am quite excited to see such a product on the market because this opens the possibilities of the low-budget filmmakers to finally own cinema zoom glass.
Oh, and if you think still lenses are just fine, read my other article about the differences between cinema and stills glass.