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First generation Fuji X lenses on 40MP sensor body?

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Apologies if this question has been addressed previously however I did not find anything using the search function.  There are rumors of 40MP sensor X cameras coming, starting with an H2 sometime in the near future. These have me wondering if my first generation XF lenses will offer maximum resolution on such a sensor, or if I should slowly start migrating to the latest equivalent lens series?  My lenses are all the fastest f-stop versions if that matters.  I thought I read a couple years ago Fuji mentioning that 24MP was near the max capability of XF lenses but cannot find it.  I am sure their second generation lenses are fine at 40MP if they indeed are releasing such a sensor based X body, but how about their earlier lenses?    



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I read this somewhere once and it made sense to me. Can’t remember the source but the article was addressing this question of could a sensor out resolve a lens (or vice versa). The author had an equation which I’ll reproduce below:

          Image resolution = (sensor resolution) x (lens resolution)

Basically, the author was saying if you improve either of the items on the right side of the equation, you improve the item on the left side of the equation.


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Well yes, if a sensor outperforms a lens, that is great.  But if the latest Fujifilm XF lenses resolve better on a 40mp sensor than the first generation lenses, I will upgrade.  I wish I could find the article quoting Fuji that their lenses were near their max at 24mp.  And if I am going to replace my lenses I would like to start now before the newer canera bodies are for sale, as I am sure the original lens values will drop.

Edited by Weegie
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Take a look at the MTF or similar test, done by some of the independent labs, comparing your current lens(es) to the one(s) you are thinking about getting to replace them. If the charts are the same, the new sensor will get the same results ( resolution, ca, coma, etc. ), you will not be gaining.

The advantage the new lens gives would be in areas such as auto focus speed. The forums are littered with tales from those that swapped their older lenses only to regret the decision.

We do not know for certain (there are rumors they will) that the new sensors will be in the xf-mount line as well as the gf-mount line.

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In the past Fujifilm rep's have stated that XF lenses were designed for up to 32MP which at that time (the 24MP was just introduced) seemed like an abundant margin. It's not that all newer lenses are able to resolve higher resolutions. The 16-80 for instance is a fine lens when you look at the center, but only average in corners and near the edge. Esp. at longer focal lengths. Primes like the 35/2 and the 80/2.8 are probably better equipped to resolve a 40MP sensor. However, it's clear that Fujifilm has a lot of MkII lenses to go...

However, whether a lens is able to resolve the megapixels of the sensor doesn't tell the whole story. Many Fujifilm fans rave about the 35/1.4 where, in all honesty, the character of the lens is partly because of some optical flaws. In fact, some Leica shooters are paying top dollar for vintage lenses that aren't very sharp at all. It's the particular look they're after. So, if you love a lens, don't worry whether it can resolve all 40MPs. You'll hardly notice the difference between 32 and 40MP anyway.

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This is a good question, but I think it leads down a bit of a rabbit hole. Lens resolutions are expressed as digital quantities of an analog distribution of light. As Herco pointed out, lenses may not exhibit uniform sharpness across its entire area, and I think most, if not all, don't. Therefore, that digital expression of lens resolution may not be accurate when rendered by a sensor of greater resolution, meaning one's perception of the resultant photo might not match the expectation the lens resolution measurement would suggest.

What I'm trying to say is be careful what you wish for, because I suspect a 40MP sensor will be happy to expose the weaknesses of any lens one puts in front of it, new or old. And on what medium will one view all this resolution? I'm sure Fujifilm is likely to optimize the new lenses to the new sensor, whether it be by optical or firmware means. I have always suspected Fujifilm enhances the performance of its native branded lenses with a little in-camera processing help, and if that's the case, I think it does a great job.

Does anyone here think the existing X-Trans sensors don't render good photos? I know 40MP is going to produce more pixels to peep, but will that equate to better photos? I don't know if one will see it unless large prints are made from the files. Computer monitors are what, 96 dots per inch? Consumer level photo printers are 600, or maybe 1200 dots per inch? 


Edited by itchy shutter finger
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Fujifilm may be able to tweak the very latest lens offerings a bit with firmware updates, but there is a hard physical limit to that. They would really need to release brand new, unknown, never seen before glass to go beyond the limits imposed by the current xf-mount lens limitations, maybe putting them into the gf-mount type of lenses.

Towards the last part you are referring to, Canon still uses 300 dpi for their printers and Epson is at the 300/600 dpi point. Be careful to remember dpi and ppi are different things and nozzle jet-dots are different still.

This linked article discusses more of that.

I saw an interview on Luminous Landscape a very long time ago where Bruce Fraser was discussing this and made his comments with tongue firmly planted in cheek and twinkles in his eyes.


“Bruce used to say that the normal viewing distance for a photographer is limited only by the length of their nose.”

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