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Time for a Fuji Monochrome Camera? Too late?


Heccie Thump

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I have seen discussions in the past about whether Fuji should bring out a Monochrome only camera to go toe-to-toe with Leica, and I am one of those who think they should.  I would love to have a mono specific body that will take my lenses.  I already shoot a lot of my pictures using the Acros simulation and love the results, but having a specific body designed from the bottom up to take mono would be a step up.

However, with the recent release of the Pentax K3 Monochrome camera I am starting to think that Fuji may have missed the boat.  Even if they decide to go down that line, by the time they produce the camera and ramp up production and marketing I suspect that a large portion of the market may be already invested in other models.

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It would be liable to be a very niche product. Probably not worth Fuji setting up the production line. I would like the Pentax camera to be a success but I don't think that they will sell many units. That is no problem for Leica, who have always specialised in low volume high price.

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I think it'd be very neat. High pixel count and no demosaicing. I'd want one!

 

But I agree it might be hard to make a go of it, a niche product. And of course I'd want it configured like the X-T cameras with traditional controls on top!

Wow, I shot a lot of Pan-X, Plus-X and Tri-X. So much I was winding my own cartridges, and developing them two at a time back-to-back on the wire spool, the way Minor White taught.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In ye olde days of film I had to carry two bodies if I wanted to shoot in  colour and mono. A right pain in the back. Medium format was better as the camera had interchangeable film backs. But would I want to back to that? Not really. Only if the gains were more than the loss. I am not convinced that they are.

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On 5/20/2023 at 4:23 AM, jlmphotos said:

I would LOVE a Medium Format GFX Monochrome camera.  I'd be FIRST in line.  And, I'll add that if it has the body of the 50r so much the better!

I am with you on that Medium Format GFX Monochrome camera, traditional dials, 50 or 100MP - oh my what a dream camera, slightly less boxy and smaller body than 50r - I would be VERY happy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I wouldn't be surprised if they do. However, I can't imagine how they would go about choosing which camera to base it on. Whichever they went for they would upset many many people by choosing the "wrong" camera.

I would assume it's just a case of using an existing sensor without a filter, and developing firmware, but that's probably highly simplistic, but if Ricoh/Pentax can do it and think it's worthwhile then I'm sure Fujifilm can.

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  • 5 months later...

I'd also be interested in adapting Fuji lenses to some other monochrome camera. They make them for telescopes, for example, and there was one on Amazon for $300 that I contemplated getting just to experiment. It wouldn't have all sorts of things the Fuji cameras have, but it'd be true monochrome. I could also adapt simple lenses for ultraviolet and infrared photography (the Fuji lenses likely have significant limits beyond visible light, especially ultraviolet, and their chromatic aberration might be awful, as they're not designed for that use).

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3 hours ago, Astigmatism said:

I'd also be interested in adapting Fuji lenses to some other monochrome camera. They make them for telescopes, for example, and there was one on Amazon for $300 that I contemplated getting just to experiment. It wouldn't have all sorts of things the Fuji cameras have, but it'd be true monochrome. I could also adapt simple lenses for ultraviolet and infrared photography (the Fuji lenses likely have significant limits beyond visible light, especially ultraviolet, and their chromatic aberration might be awful, as they're not designed for that use).

That sounds like fun.

This might interest you, the comments to the article offer some low cost approaches:

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/3980259504/the-magic-of-ultraviolet-nature-and-macro-photography

But, are you sure about the lenses’ transmittance being the problem? Film cameras and a lot of CCD based digital astro cameras typically need a UV filter somewhere in the image train, usually screwed onto the front of the lens. Most CMOS digital cameras have a UV filter as part of the protective “glass” just in front of the sensor, so putting one on the lens is unnecessary. Hence, it is not a concern as much for the lens makers.

https://petapixel.com/uv-filter-guide/

Please post some results!

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On 11/21/2023 at 12:24 PM, jerryy said:

But, are you sure about the lenses’ transmittance being the problem?

Well, yes and no. There's going to be upper and lower wavelength limits somewhere. They could be transmission limits, or extreme out-of-focus limits because chromatic aberration has blown up so far outside the visual range. Or they could be sensor limits, that is, an image detector usually needs some minimum photon energy to detect the photon (an exception being thermal energy sensors such as thermopiles or pyroelectric sensors such as the ones used in thermal cameras).

One exploration I pondered would be getting a narrow f number spherical first surface mirror, such as were common in slow Newtonian telescopes of perhaps 50 years ago, where they'd not bother to figure the mirror into a paraboloid, relying on the narrow f number to make the image useable instead. I could use such a mirror to turn a sensor into a macro camera by putting the mirror one radius away (so two focal lengths away) and placing the sensor and the object being photographed as close as possible to each other. That way there'd be no transmission limit in the optics, and only whatever was built into the sensor, and of course the air path and the reflectivity of the mirror.

We have a chicken and egg conundrum here. I'm not sure what wavelengths would be fun to play with, so I don't know the system requirements.

Here's a paperback I got recently that is somewhat of a guide:

https://www.amazon.com/Exploring-Ultraviolet-Photography-NearUltraviolet-Adventures/dp/1682031241/ref=sr_1_1?crid=P633OKDU8CB&keywords=ultraviolet+photography&qid=1701010570&s=books&sprefix=ultraviolet+photography%2Cstripbooks%2C88&sr=1-1

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35 minutes ago, Astigmatism said:

One exploration I pondered would be getting a narrow f number spherical first surface mirror, such as were common in slow Newtonian telescopes of perhaps 50 years ago, where they'd not bother to figure the mirror into a paraboloid, relying on the narrow f number to make the image useable instead. I could use such a mirror to turn a sensor into a macro camera by putting the mirror one radius away (so two focal lengths away) and placing the sensor and the object being photographed as close as possible to each other. That way there'd be no transmission limit in the optics, and only whatever was built into the sensor, and of course the air path and the reflectivity of the mirror.

We have a chicken and egg conundrum here. I'm not sure what wavelengths would be fun to play with, so I don't know the system requirements.

Before you jump into the fun and agony of grinding your own glass, you might be able to test some of your thoughts by getting a few mirror lenses and seeing how well the thought meets the reality. A lot companies carry new and used mirror lenses of various focal lengths and aperture / f-stops.

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