Introducing the Fuji XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro Lens
July 7th was an extremely important day for Fuji, and whilst it will be remembered by most as the day that heralded the arrival of the highly anticipated Fuji X-T2 camera, it is important to remember that this wasn’t the only exciting product news that we received from the Japanese firm during the course of the day’s announcement events.
Fuji also released an updated and expanded version of their X-Mount Lens roadmap, which includes three completely new units, one of which is the forthcoming XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro. The inclusion of this lens is interesting for a couple of reasons; It will be the first 1:1 macro lens in Fuji’s XF line-up, previously XF shooters had to use the XF 60mm f/2.4 macro lens, a 1:2 unit. Secondly it replaces the XF 120mm f/2.8 Macro that was present on Fuji’s previous X-Mount roadmap. This may at first seem like a strange choice given the shorter ‘working distance’ of an 80mm macro lens, and how that may affect lighting options and shooting of easily startled subjects, but such fears go out the window when you consider the new lens’ compatibility with both of Fuji’s current XF Teleconverters.
When used with Fuji’s XF 1.4X TC WR Teleconverter the lens essentially becomes a 112mm f/4.0 Macro, and when used with the XF 2.0X TC WR Teleconverter the lens will operate as a 160mm f/5.6. Essentially what the teleconverter compatability is offering shooters here is a lot of flexibility, without the burden of having to own 3 separate macro lenses. Sure you don’t get the fast aperture performance offered by standalone macro lenses at each focal length, but given the tiny depth of field available when shooting macro anyway, for most shooters this is hardly an issue. Add to that the ability to utilise your teleconverters with your existing collection of XF lenses and you can begin to see that what Fuji has chosen to do here is in fact rather clever.
The main selling point of mirrorless systems over their SLR counterparts is the compact nature of their designs, and by relying on their existing teleconverters to provide focal length flexibility, rather than simply releasing even more standalone lenses, Fuji have stuck to the mirrorless ethos of portability, giving X-series shooters all the tools they need to travel light, but still have the kit flexibility to get the shots they need. From a business standpoint this mind-set is extremely shrewd, Fuji are seen as being a market leader when it comes to APS-C mirrorless cameras, but they aren’t without their competition (Hello Sony!), a forward thinking approach to the company’s lens lines, and design ethos that favours flexibility alongside fantastic cameras such as the X-Pro2 and the new X-T2 is sure to have shooters considering a move to Fuji systems.
The Fuji XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro will be released in 2017, and you can bet we will be paying close attention to camp Fuji to bring you all related news.