Without it, I can’t say “Abdominal Nanbowan”!

Finally made up my mind and chose the one you like.

But you still need him, and I was lost in thought again.

Don't think too much, I'm just describing the process of choosing your camera and lens.

The body is easy to choose, but the lens is difficult to match, so it's a consensus in the industry. Especially the lens group is relatively old, and there are few sub-factory lens systems. Yes, I am referring to Fuji's X system.

Fuji body: true flagship

Fujifilm is a unique existence among image manufacturers. First, Fujifilm began to deploy micro-single products very early, and also established the lens group brand, Fujinon, at the same time. The second is to focus on the field of APS-C frame, and until now, it does not plan to enter the full frame.

Like Sony, when Fuji first used its "micro-single", the sensor performance was relatively average, and the overall performance was also very average. In addition, the "micro-single" did not sound so "powerful and majestic" and suffered a lot. "White eyes." Fortunately, Fuji has established a design style of "retro art", and it can be regarded as a group of "face value parties". It is a niche brand.

In order to expand, Fujifilm has adopted a dual flagship approach. The rangefinder-like retro X-Pro series and retro SLR XT series are parallel, and the second-generation product (X-T2) has caught up with the mainstream level, and reached the third-generation (X-T2). -T3) The performance has completely exploded.

▲ Fuji X-T4 is equipped with Fujinon 35mm F1.4 R old lens. Picture from: DPReview

Then to X-T4, Fuji continued to tap the 26-megapixel sensor on X-T3, and its video performance improved again, reaching DCI 4K in-camera direct recording, not to mention the addition of X-T3 users coveted The classic negative film (Classic Neg.) and bleaching effect (ETERNA Bleach Bypass) two filters.

Coupled with the improvements and optimizations in the fuselage design of Fuji X-T4, whether it is the internal specifications or the fuselage design, it can almost be said that it is the true flagship of the current APS-C field. (Sony’s A6600 is only for shoes.)

However, the fuselage is strong and strong, Fuji's lens group is another situation.

Fuji lens group: really old

Frankly speaking, Fuji has a lot of X-mount lens groups, but many of them (especially fixed focus) lenses were released immediately after the X-Pro 1 was launched, and the age is actually not too young.

▲ Fujinon 35mm F1.4 R auto focus state. Picture from: YouTube@Pixelcatcher

Take our commonly used 50mm header (35mm for APS-C) as an example, there are 4 original (or authorized) Fuji X mounts, but no matter which one will make you "love and hate".

  • Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4 R: Slow and noisy focus motor.
  • Fujinon XF 35mm F2 R WR: Can you bear the "large" aperture equivalent to full-frame F3?
  • Fujinon XC 35mm F2: Same as above.
  • Zeiss Touit 32mm F1.8: Focusing sound and speed are not much different from XF 35mm F1.4 R, and the price is slightly higher.

Except for 50mm, many of Fuji's fixed focus lenses are in a similar dilemma. The focus motor of large-aperture fixed-focus lenses is "slow and noisy", and the aperture of subsequent new lenses is slightly smaller.

The early Fuji fixed-focus lenses used traditional focus motors. Unlike the fuselage, Fuji lenses rarely innovated. Those lenses equipped with traditional focus motors have been used today. When these lenses are paired with the latest "flagship", they tend to slow down the "response" time of the entire system, especially in the state of continuous focus.

At the same time, Fuji has been reluctant to open the lens mount agreement. Without a suitable sub-factory autofocus lens to supplement, it is natural to choose the "old and slow" old lenses.

APS-C frame with a slightly awkward position

Once upon a time, APS-C format was the mainstream of the market. However, in recent years, the "full-frame" popularization revolution has been rapid, and APS-C format products are no longer in the limelight.

▲ The area of ​​the APS-C sensor is 1/2 of the area of ​​the full-frame sensor.

Although the APS-C frame product lines of the three major manufacturers of Sony, Canon, and Nikon are still emerging, the product positioning, performance specifications, and construction of the lens group are not as sincere as the "full-frame" main products.

  • Nikon: The APS-C format product Z 50 has just started, and it shares the Z mount with the full frame. In view of Nikon's own operating conditions, the outlook is not optimistic.
  • Sony: Unintentionally operating the A6x00 product line. The flagship A6600 recently launched is not sincere.
  • Canon: The APS-C frame uses a separate EF-M system, and high-end RF lenses cannot be used. The mid-range and entry-level are positioned.
  • Fuji: Focus on the APS-C camera market, the body is very competitive, but the lens group is slightly "old".

Sony and Nikon have roughly the same strategy on APS-C products. They share a bayonet and can use the same full-frame lens group, which saves the resources (manpower, capital, time) for developing lens groups for manufacturers; Yu Shuang For the machine party, the cost of use is reduced, and one lens is used for two purposes; for ordinary users, the selection of lens groups is somewhat difficult, such as price and volume.

▲ Canon EOS M6 Mark II with very accurate market positioning. Picture from: DPReview

Canon and Fuji are similar. They are both unique systems. They need to plan and build a lens group separately. The body can also be designed according to requirements. Therefore, the market positioning of Canon and Fuji’s APS-C products is more accurate.

However, Canon’s main resources are in the RF system. The lens of the EF-M system can only be regarded as a choice, and it cannot be regarded as a scale. The whole system only has a 32mm F1.4 large aperture lens. The whole system is still Was constrained by the full-frame RF system.

▲ Canon EF-M lens group adopts a unified 60.9mm diameter size.

Under the trend of "people follow the crowd in full-frame", the market share of APS-C products is gradually decreasing. Manufacturers are unwilling to spend more energy and money in this "segmented" category, and consumers are more willing Spending on full-frame products that are in line with the general trend, naturally APS-C cameras and corresponding lens groups are gradually declining.

The assistant factory lens becomes the rescuer

The sub-factory lens can make up for the blank of the original lens group, such as filling the focal length and filling the large aperture, it can also bring higher cost performance, and even "overtake" the original lens against the trend.

When the sub-factory lens works well with the original camera, it is easy to achieve a win-win situation. A more "famous" example is the "Three Musketeers" of Sigma.

  • 16mm F1.4 DC DN (equivalent to 24mm)
  • 30mm F1.4 DC DN (equivalent to 45mm)
  • 56mm F1.4 DC DN (equivalent to 84mm)

Currently, the three lenses of Sigma support a total of three mounts: E, EF-M and M4/3. Among them, the original lenses of the E and EF-M mounts can compete with almost none of them, and neither have the same specifications nor There are few apertures of the same specification, even if you look at all the lens groups of the E mount, there is no such cheap lens.

Sigma’s three fixed-focus card positions are very accurate. Each of the focal length, aperture, and price has been cut to the point. With its own efforts, it has improved the happiness of users of A6x00 and EOS M series cameras, and made the next-door lens available without a second factory. Fuji users left envious saliva.

▲ Nianji Iida, director of the imaging department of Fujifilm.

Not only drooling, foreign Fuji users are still petitioning Fuji high-level communities in the community, hoping they will open the X-mount protocol. Initially, in order to safeguard their own interests, Fujifilm executives stated that "we have launched a lot of Fujinon lenses and have not yet opened up agreements to third-party vendors."

However, the voice of the masses was too loud, and finally Nianjiu Iida, the director of Fuji Imaging Department, made it clear in a recent DPReview interview:

  • Fuji plans to open the X-mount protocol;
  • The old lens Mark II will definitely be updated but there is no specific timetable;
  • The old lens Mark II version may redesign the optical structure and mechanical structure.

On the other side, Sigma said that as long as Fujiken opens the X agreement, it will promote the production of the X-mount "Three Musketeers" (it is nothing more than changing the "butt").

It seems that Fujinon's use of the sub-factory lens has become "invisible"?

Fuji finally compromises with the market

Friends who have been following the image circle all year round may say that this year the domestic manufacturer Viltrox has launched three X-mount lenses with similar specifications to the Sigma "Three Musketeers" and the price is less than two thousand yuan.

Vitrox’s three lenses can indeed meet the demand, but these three lenses are developed based on "reverse engineering", that is, "cracked", and have not been authorized by Fuji. There is a high degree of uncertainty in the future. Through the fuselage upgrade, there will be some problems with lens adaptability, and how long the lens firmware can be maintained.

▲ The size of the first batch of Vitros lenses is not compatible with the X-Pro 3 and will damage the body. Fortunately, Vitros recalled the modifications in time to reduce the risk of use. Picture from: Fujirumors

Nowadays, the camera market has shrunk year after year, but there are still new forces such as the L-Mount Alliance (Sigma, Leica, Panasonic) joining, the plate becomes smaller and the cake becomes smaller. If you want to continue to eat the cake, you need to find more growth points and more detailed Sub-market.

Recently, Fuji has launched a new mid-range series X-S10, which is a product for video demand, abandoning "retro design elements" in appearance and turning to traditional PASM turntables. Fuji X-S10 can be said to be the least Fuji-flavored camera on the one hand, and on the other hand, it can also be said to be the product that best meets the current market needs. The return to the traditional PASM turntable is also for more consumers (such as the previous SLR user).

Relatively speaking, Fujifilm does not have the "stubbornness" and "rigidity" of traditional Japanese camera manufacturers, and is willing to listen to the voice of users, otherwise Iida will not disclose the "open bayonet agreement" for a long time.

▲ Fuji X-S10 Picture from: DPReview

As mentioned before, Fuji Camera is considered a niche brand, and Fujifilm is not a large enterprise. Their business coverage is far less than that of Canon, Nikon, and Sony. Initially not opening the bayonet agreement was mainly for the purpose of maximizing benefits, and the lens performance at that time did not lag far behind and would not affect the experience of the entire system. Now it is obviously for market and influence considerations to open the mouth.

The agreement to close and reopen the bayonet mount has been done by Sony on the full-frame E mount. For the benefit of the early days, the FE mount has a period of exclusivity. It was not until 2018 that it was gradually opened to third-party manufacturers. At that time, it coincided with the release of the "full-frame new benchmark" α7M3. With the sub-factory's cost-effective lens, a wave of "full-frame popularization" was completed together.

▲ Fuji X-T4 with Fujinon 18-55mm movie lens. Picture from: bhphoto

Today, Fujifilm's APS-C products have been able to compete with some quasi-professional machines in terms of video performance. While expanding the product line, the opening of the bayonet agreement can also be regarded as some measures to benefit the market during this "special" period.

To authorize the subsidiary factory to produce X lenses, for Fuji, it actually loses a certain amount of profit (affecting the sales of its own lenses), but in the long run, it actually helps Fuji expand some potential people; for the subsidiary lens factory, it is equivalent to New selling points have been added and market influence has been expanded. For our consumers, more sub-factory lenses are definitely good news, giving us more high-quality and low-cost options.

"Fujisan, why not do this win-win situation?"

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