New Fujifilm factory in the Philippines: 18 million lenses a year by FY2015

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Fujifilm just announced at their global website here that because of the “increasing demand for high-performance lenses” they now started the operation of a new optical lens factory in the Philippines. The goal: “the production to 18 million lenses a year by FY2015, […] The total investment for the new factory is 2.3 billion yen.”

After the X-M1 and the XC 16-50 / XF 27mm (produced in Thailand and China) Fuji now expands also in the Philippines. It seems that Fujifilm products will be less and little “made in Japan”. But I hope that now the company won’t annoy customers with long waiting times anymore (a lot people are still waiting for the X100S and XF 55-200!). Bad news for aficionados to the “made in Japan”, but good news for all those who switched to the X (or plan to switch) and do not want to wait eternally for new cameras or lenses.

btw, is there a lens that is not on the roadmap but you’d like Fuji to produce in this factory? Here are some suggestions from the “old” poll

best
Patrick

Should the lens be faster (and therefore bigger) than the current F2?

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XC 16-50 and XF 27mm samples at photographyblog (and X-M1 pre-order at AmazonITA)

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image courtesy: photographyblog (16-50mm)

Photographyblog just posted some sample images shot with the XC 16-50 (click here) and XF 27 (click here). They also shot the entire ISO range and posted a sample video here. The full review will come soon.

The X-M1 is now available for pre-order in Italy (with a significant price difference between the silver and black version).

X-M1 (body only or with 16-50mm)USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / DigitalRev / Pictureline EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK / PCHstore / AmazonITA

XF 27mm – USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / DigitalRev / Pictureline EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK / PCHstore / AmazonITA XC 16-50: WexUK / PCHstore

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Leica X Vario vs Fuji X-E1 (before and after Iridient) or how a software can “turn a decent camera into a pretty special one”

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Before we start, I’d like to say HAPPY BRITHDAY to Iridient (launched exactly 9 years ago). I’ve contacted Brian yesterday for the first time, asking him if there will be a Windows version of his software. He answered immediatly: “[…] I have nothing at all against Windows, but it’s unlikely there will be a port of Iridient Developer to Windows. […] That said I have had discussions in the past and will likely have more in the future regarding opportunities for someone else do a Windows version, but so far nothing concrete has come to pass.

_ _ _

Do you remember this post, where thevisualexperience explained why DPreview may be sometimes wrong when they jugde the IQ of cameras? He suggested them to use Iridient Developer to process the X-Trans files. The results with this Mac-only software are, according to him, much better than those of Adobe.

Now, here is another example. Soundimageplus compared the Leica X Vario with the X-E1. Which APS-C camera deliveres the best IQ? This was his answer before using Iridient:

BEFORE IRIDIENT

“So having consistently described the Fuji X-Trans sensor as the best image quality, taking everything into consideration (raw, jpgs, high ISO, sharpness, colour etc.) that I’ve ever used, it seems I’m now going to have to change that. The Leica X Vario now officially, here at Planet Soundimageplus at least, is the producer of the best IQ overall, that I have ever seen in a camera I own. Its taken me pretty much all day to come to that conclusion, but its been an enjoyable and informative process.”

But then he tried to process the X-E1 RAW images with Iridient and changed his opinion. He is sure that you’ll be impressed by the files that the X-Trans sensor can produce… Read the second post of soundimageplus here:

AFTER IRIDIENT

“I don’t really know what a ‘demosiacing algorithm’ is but I know what I see with my eyes. Unlike all other software conversions for the Fuji X files, there is no ‘foliage mush’ ‘smearing’ or ‘watercolour effect’ present in the converted files. The files are crisp and sharp, even without any added sharpening in the software. […] The conversions are so good that I’m able to upsize them quite dramatically to 24MP and 36MP in Photoshop, using the new resize option, with very little loss of detail. In fact the 24MP upsized files I’m producing look virtually identical to my Nikon D7100 files. […] So for me this takes my X-E1 into another league. It is pretty much like I suddenly have a new camera. In terms of image quality, I thought that my X Vario just shaded the X-E1, but now I’m not so sure.

So a £60 software programme turns a decent camera into a pretty special one and I’m going to be using the X-E1 a lot over the next few days to shoot some new images knowing that I’m going to get some pretty impressive files.”

enjoy your day
Patrick

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miXed zone: The Valley of Ghosts, X-talk, X-reviews and Iridient Developer

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Iridient Developer

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image courtesy: soundimpageplus (in the middle Iridient, at the bottom Photoshop)

1) Now also soundimageplus joined to the group of photographers who use Iridient to process their X-Trans RAF files (click here). [check also this FR-post here and vote the poll] Among the others he says that:

“You will clearly see how much more detail and sharpness there is in the Iridient Developer version, which is just from the X-E1 preset. The ACR file has sharpening added but still produces a softish ‘smeared’ result. The advantage of Iridient Developer over Aperture is that it is slightly sharper and still keeps the colour noise and moire under control. If you have a Fuji X camera and a MAC,, give it a try. I think you will be impressed.”

2) FR-readers Olaf and Kasia visited the Valley of The Ghosts with the X-PRO1 and X100S… don’t be scared, if you click here, you’ll just see some beautiful shots. All images were processed with Iridient 2.1 and LR: “Iridient Developer is new software, which supports the X-Trans files really well (the best demosaic so far?). We will share more about this in the upcoming posts.”

image courtesy: Olaf & Kasia

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X-talk

– The Lens Wipe contacted me at the FR-facebook page and told me: “We did an interview with Kevin Mullins who uses the X-series cameras extensively in his wedding photography. Though it would be interesting for you guys. The Lens Wipe is on iTunes or just use this link.”

X-M1

X-M1 (body only or with 16-50mm)USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / DigitalRev / Pictureline EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK / PCHstore / AmazonITA

XF 27mm – USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / DigitalRev / Pictureline EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK / PCHstore / AmazonITA XC 16-50: WexUK / PCHstore

– Ahead of their full review ephotozine published some samples shot taken with the X-M1 using the 16-50 lens here and the 27mm lens here.

– A 2 minute X-M1 preview video at the digital camera world here.

X100S

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

– X100S and infrared at digitalrelish here. “With the release of the X100S and its enhanced high ISO performance offering the possibility of going tripod-less whilst using an IR filter, I set off for a week away in the English countryside.  I wasn’t disappointed with the results from the camera. The combination of a higher resolution 16MP X-Trans sensor for more detail, the improved high ISO performance for less noise […]”

Matti Sulanto was on the streets of London with his X100S and XF1. The text is in Finnish, but the images are universal… see them here.

 X20

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

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image courtesy: eyalg

eyalg posted his well made X20 review here: “Autofocus in most conditions and situations is very fast. Instantaneous almost. Even in low light, the X20 manages to lock focus better than I expected, even when taking into account that it’s a high-end compact. In macro mode, AF is generally to slow to catch an insect without effort. I had to make several attempts to shoot a bee or a spider up close. […] Battery life is surprisingly better than advertised. I was able to take about 600 shots before having to charge the battery – that’s more than twice the official number.”

– Read thephoblographer‘s review of the X20 here: “The Fujifilm X20 is a great choice for the discerning street photographer and photojournalist. Despite its diminutive size, it packs a punch that shows itself in post. With a beautiful design and powerful innards, the X20 will get you the images you need. Just remember to get your mind out of manual focusing with this, but if you find that you absolutely have to, a tripod would be a good thing to have on hand.”

– X20 or X100S: “As you can see, the X20 and X100s are very different cameras, even though they share many similarities when it comes to design and technology such as the X-Trans Sensor. The diverse lens system and a different sensor size are the key elements that separate these two cameras from each other. It goes without saying that the X100s has been designed with professional photographers in mind, while the X20 is aimed more at the amateur/enthusiast who wants upgrade from a simple point-and-shoot.” Read it all here at mirrorlessons.

karimhaddad posted his thoughts about the X20 (or “X-junior“) here. The conclusion: “Even though I didn’t really need it, I’m still happy I bought this fun camera. It’s portable, although not small enough to fit in your pockets – unless you have some really big pockets. For you ladies, it’s small enough to fit in some of those purses you use. Most importantly, it takes some very nice pictures and gives the photographer many options to choose from. There may be some similar sized cameras that take better pictures, but I haven’t used them. I’ve played around with the X20 enough to know that it’s a great piece of kit. In many ways, the X-junior is my new walkaround.”

image courtesy: karimhaddad

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lenses

admiringlight tested the 12mm Zeiss Touit lens. The eternal question, Zeiss 12 or Fuji 14? And it’s again the Fuji! Read the whole review here.

– the German digitalcamera.de tested the new Zeiss Touit lenses. Read it here (translated version).

– Fuji 55-200 mm on a 720nm IR converted X Pro 1 at markhilliardatelier here: “As you can see as you get to f/11 we start to develop a small hot spot, but nothing that cannot be fixed.  Above f/11 the lens becomes unusable at the wide end.”

– Hand on the 55-200 at mirrorlessons here:In short, the 55-200mm is a very nice lens but I would never buy it. If you, however, feel it is the kind of lens that could meet your needs, you can check out additional photos below and the first article I wrote about his lens.

– A car race and the 55-200. See the results here at nicolaslambert in French (translated version). From the verdict: “Is it possible to take pictures of sports with its new Fuji telephoto? Yes, but …I think that to make a bet at the correct point, one must understand how the work of AF Fuji and therefore target areas with a contrast. For example, in this case here, a sticker with the lettering, the number …

FinePix HS50EXR

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR review at photographyblog. “As Fujifilm make a big play of in their marketing, the HS50EXR really is an all-in-one camera that will cope with virtually everything that you can throw at it, from macro photography to extreme close-ups of sports and nature. It also successfully mimicks the handling of a typical DSLR camera, with the obvious advantage of not having to carry several big, heavy and expensive lenses to achieve anywhere near the focal range that the HS50EXR offers out-of-the-box.

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