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Patrick FR

Medium Format Fuji: Tell me the First Question FujiRumors should be able to answer for you!

Regarding Medium Format, the first question I'd have answered is:  

174 members have voted

  1. 1. Regarding Medium Format, the first question I'd have answered is:

    • Is it Mirrorless or not?
      19
    • Is it with Interchangable lenses or fixed lens?
      38
    • How much will it cost?
      48
    • Design: Rangefinder style or DSLR-shape?
      15
    • When will it be announced?
      22
    • What size will the MF sensor have?
      23
    • Other sensor specs like Megapixel, X-Trans or Bayer etc...
      9


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Ok fellow X-shooters. Back in May here, a source, who was right in the past, told us that Fuji is forging, in secret, a Medium Format camera. You can imagine that I'm working hard on this, but it's even harder to get any information about it. But I won't give up... I'm an Aries

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Well, I thought it could be nice to launch a poll with a selection of questions, and hear what you FXF members would have liked to be answered as first. Make your choice.... and I'll try to answer it as soon as possible.

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I'd like to know if the assumed new medium format camera will build upon an existing lens lineup like e.g. the Fujifilm-made medium format lenses from the Hasselblad HC system, or if it will get a completely new mount with new lenses.

They also had their own medium format camera in a rangefinder style.

 

I'd love for them to make a digital version of this....

 

0043 Fuji GW690III 90mm Professional 6x9 by Zebrio, on Flickr

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They also had their own medium format camera in a rangefinder style.

 

I'd love for them to make a digital version of this....

 

0043 Fuji GW690III 90mm Professional 6x9 by Zebrio, on Flickr

In my day, I had both the GSW and the GW. Incredible cameras. Oh how I would drool if they made a digital camera with a 6x9 sensor....

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Lately I've been shopping for one of the GW's myself.  If I ever stumble across one I can't not justify buying, I'll have one.  Either this or one of the 645's.  Can't quite make up my mind one which as I haven't shot much MF at all.

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At this point, medium-format is a bit of a misnomer. In film sizes, nothing under 6×4.5cm was considered medium format. 6×6, 6×7 and 6×9 were the common formats, while Fuji built a magnificent 6×8 SLR and a 6×17 panoramic camera. Current MF sensors are in essence half-frame versions of 6×4.5—roughly 4.5×3cm. The ratio between full-frame and medium-format is about the same as between APS-C and full-frame. (Note: Sensor size not only varies from brand to brand, but from model to model in the case of the Hasselflex.)

 

In 2012, The Camera Store in Calgary did a video comparing the Nikon 36MP D800 with a 40MP Hasselblad. While the Hasselblad had an edge, it was remarkably small for the difference in price and the size of the sensor. 

 

https://youtu.be/9UBTE4xpvpk

 

Fujifilm built some wonderful medium-format film cameras, and certainly has the resources to do so in the digital realm. However, the market is small and the cameras such as Hasselblad, Pentax, Mamiya and Leica are well established. An actual medium-format sensor would be one way to distinguish an identity, but unless they went to a company like Teledyne DALSA for a custom part, the part just does not currently appear to exist. Even using the current 3×4.5cm sensors, the price would cause considerable sticker-shock among consumers who feel that an X-T1 is expensive. Of course, a larger sensor means bigger and heavier lenses and camera bodies to handle them. Don't expect f/1.2 to f/1.8 lenses. Few have apertures wider than f/2.8 and they are priced accordingly.

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30x45mm is correct for the likes of the Leica S2 but comparing the Hassy 40Mb against a D800 is definitely a slanted review (unless the point was to emphasis just how stupidly expensive the low end Hassys are, in which case - fair point). Note that the hassy has a removable back which allows a larger sensor to be fitted and comparing a low end MF back against the highest end DLSR at that time must be considered as a suspect review basis.

 

The key size for MF digital backs is standardising around the 53.9x40.4mm sensor sizes as used in Phase One's backs. From personal experience of using my Fuji's, my D800E and my Linhof Techno fitted with an IQ260 and Rodenstock lenses I can assure everyone the difference with a good MF sensor is just mind-blowing.

 

If Fuji are considering an MF camera i suspect it may be a challenger to the Leica S2 rather than a Hassy or the new Phase One XF. The S2 is a DLSR including the use of a mirror to permit an optical viewfinder. The big eureka moment for me and the reason I use my Fuji's much more than I use my Nikons these days is their digital viewfinder. A Fuji mirrorless MF camera makes more design sense than the bloated DLSR type Leica S2.

 

Which format should it be.... well my personal preference would for an MF X-E3 but the trouble Fuji will have is balancing the lens weight versus the body. With a mirrorless body the lens will drag the front end down. To solve this Fuji could go for a lighter lens design but that would mean slower apertures and in a world where photographers become addicted to using f/1.8 and higher, selling an expensive f/4 lens would be challenging.

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Given Fuji's background, a fixed prime lens (lenses) in 35mm equivillent focal lengths of 35-50 may be a simpler solution and if they opted for a square format say 45mm sensor as well... Try and do too much and you compete with the likes of Linhof, Sinar and Alpa in the simple technical arena, make an overblown X100 and you encroach on your own market, while a digital 6x8 would be so heavy and have to content with Hasel etc... but maybe they are going down a unique route rangefinder style, sliding back and dedicated stitching software to do 6x12 & 6x18 images!

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Frankly speaking I am not currently interested.

 

I have shot in the past when I was an active pro, with a Contax 645 and a phase one back. I also have used, years ago, when I was working as a photographer of the Dutch Royal library, a Digital back 4" x 5” ( tri-pass)  capable of 720Mb files.

 

Nice though all of this was for professional use, I don’t think that I would ever need much more than the X-T1 is giving me at the moment.

 

However, my first and foremost question would be.....how much?

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I suppose my first question would be "will it be replacing something in the current range (X-Pro1) or a totally new range of kit?"

 

Personally I have no need for such kit, and not sure I ever will, given I prefer a walk around kit that I can fit in my pocket and a higher ISO. MF tend to come with lower ISO capabilities.

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They should definitely take inspiration from their GL690 interchangeable lens rangefinders from the 70s. But since a whole new lens mount maybe prohibitive, they should do the X100 route - start with a 35-40mm equivalent fixed lens, and then add adapters or two different versions (28mm equivalent & 40mm equivalent, like their GF670).

 

I LOVE the GF670 and also used their GA645zi before and it would make perfect sense to adapt one of those to the digital equivalent (45mm x 45mm format maybe?).

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Honestly I can't understand, why the first question should be "how much?". It is clear, that these kind of body can't cost less than 7000-8000$.

So it is obvious that there is a small niche of people who could actually afford one. For them, maybe, it is more logical to ask "Will it be the interchangable of fixed lens camera?".

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>>> But since a whole new lens mount maybe prohibitive, they should do the X100 route - start with a 35-40mm equivalent fixed lens, and then add adapters or two different versions (28mm equivalent & 40mm equivalent, like their GF670).<<<

 

 Agreed.

 IMO, the cleanest, most viable entry into this market would be to produce a series of *relatively*  inexpensive ,compact, fixed-lens  medium format " travel" cameras  much as  they did with their old GS/GA 645 and 690 series-     ie: a large sensor X100.

 

That should  be a solid ,potentially lucrative, niche market that's very much  untapped at present.

To this  day, my most frequently used and most loved film camera remains a well worn, GS645 folding rangefinder.    

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>>> But since a whole new lens mount maybe prohibitive, they should do the X100 route - start with a 35-40mm equivalent fixed lens, and then add adapters or two different versions (28mm equivalent & 40mm equivalent, like their GF670).<<<

 

 Agreed.

 IMO, the cleanest, most viable entry into this market would be to produce a series of *relatively*  inexpensive ,compact, fixed-lens  medium format " travel" cameras  much as  they did with their old GS/GA 645 and 690 series-     ie: a large sensor X100.

 

That should  be a solid ,potentially lucrative, niche market that's very much  untapped at present.

To this  day, my most frequently used and most loved film camera remains a well worn, GS645 folding rangefinder.    

 

 

Exactly that. This was my exact comment when I first heard of this rumor.

 

It makes sense to capitalize on the concept Fuji themselves started, that of the X100.  It also makes sense to use the existing "crop MF" Sony sensor, which has shown impressive low light performance among other things. Or, probably, use a more up to date incarnation of this chip, if available. Of course, using a latest X-Trans treatment on this sensor should furhter enhance its performance. We can also be confident on the lens performance, this being Fuji.

 

A compact MF will be unique but also much more desirable as a second system, for other system users. Nobody would invest in a system with costs running well over 10K for a body plus a modest lens selection. OTOH, if Fuji manages to sell a compact MF at price levels similar to the Leica Q, plus offer a couple of high quality focal length converters (see X100 again), I can see a variety of photographers being interested.

 

The (film) body GA645 format is superb, easily a better option for travel and documentary photography than any high end FF ILC or DSLR. But also having a leaf shutter, makes genres such as fashion and portraiture (using high sync speed flash), still life, etc, highly applicable.

 

Finally, from a more practical and realistic viewpoint, such an investment would be rather low-risk; at the very least I believe it would easily break even, while an all out assault with a system camera would take years to take off and would be very high risk, considering the very competitive market landscape (on high-end cameras) coming in the next few years.

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In fantasyland.

 

These threads, with respect, based on things that aren’t there are the equivalent of the fantasy soccer league.

 

Despite the remote possibility that Fuji officials might be reading this, if a camera like the one postulated here would be already in the pipeline you are likely to see one but on Fuji’s terms non the wish list that one could distill from the many fora, if not, I certainly doubt that they will take much notice if not in general terms.

 

I am sure that Fuji has focus groups around the world upon which they base their marketing strategy and that we might contribute in a minor way but since they have no control on who we are ( for all they know we might all be working for SONY here) our lucubrations don’t have much statistical value.

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Well, first, there are several reasons for thinking that there may indeed be a mirrorless medium format camera in the works.  It is a rumour site, right? With several announcements from sources who have been reliable in the past?  Plus, Zack Arias who's hand-in-glove with Fuji also publicly called for such a camera.  I think we all know that this is speculation, and it's fun to speculate!

 

Second, if the OP --- the admin of the site who posted the original rumour --- states that he will try and get answers to questions, I don't think that asking when we might hear the answers to those questions is totally unreasonable, do you?

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No but reading the incredibly varied “ requests” any time a fantasy thread is started and especially the “ votes” for this that or the other make smile if not laugh.

 

This camera, if it exists, has been at least 3 years in the pipeline before arriving to the customers.

 

Industrial production is not a democracy.

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Of course it isn't, silly!  But, have you read the thread title?  This is meant to be about asking a supposed source for information about the (speculated) camera.

 

It's not a feature request thread.

 

The poll doesn't list any features.

 

It's just about information.  I was just curious when or if we were actually going to get any answers about this.  Perhaps we just need to wait for Photokina next year... 

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