Some of our favorite lenses come from Fujinon. The MK cine zoom series is outstanding, covering Super 35mm sensors with a focal range between 18mm and 135mm with just two lenses at a fast T2.9. We're looking forward to getting our hands on the Laowa OOOM 25-100mm T2.9 to see how they compare.
But if your budget can afford it (and you need to cover full-frame), check out the Premista zooms from Fujinon. They produce stunning images, and we know that sounds like hyperbole, but the lenses are top-notch in every way imaginable. They speak a little differently than the Zeiss Compact Zooms or flavors from Angenieux, which are both very capable lenses.
Prior to today's news, Fujinon offered Premista in a 28-100mm T2.9 or an 80-250mm T2.9-3.5. Now, Fujifilm has announced the development of the Premista 19-45mm T2.9 for large format sensors. Like the other Premista zooms, the lens will cover a 46.3mm image circle, have a 280° focus throw, and a 114mm front diameter as well as matching focus, iris, and zoom rings.
The new zoom will also carry over similar image characteristics, including color rendition, controllable flare with minimal ghosting, and reduced distortion throughout the entire zoom range. Better yet, the Premista lenses are compatible with both i/Technology from Cooke and Zeiss eXtended Data technology, the latter of which is critical in visual effects workflows including today's virtual production environment demands.
What's notable about the 19-45mm T2.9 is its size. It's shorter and lighter than the current models, dropping about a pound in weight at 7.3lbs and an overall length of about 9" (230mm).
But the focal range is an interesting choice. You always wonder what goes into those decisions. It's somewhat standard, but it would have been nice if Fujfilm stretched this Fujinon lens to 15mm, or even 14.5mm like with the HK Premier series. When you're considering a set of lenses for a job you want to make sure you're covered. When you compare Premista to the Zeiss Compact Zoom based on focal length alone, the Zeiss lenses have 15-30mm T2.9 covered. The extra 4mm on the wide end is going to come in handy. But maybe Fujifilm ran into some distortion or vignetting issues with the wider focal lengths that needed to be considered. The Zeiss Compact Zooms only cover traditional full-frame sensors, while the Premistas cover a much larger image circle.
We'll have to wait and see how it performs upon arrival. Expect the Premista 19-45mm T2.9 to ship in early 2021. If you're wondering, the lens should be looked at as a rental as opposed to buying. One Premista lens will set you back around $39,000.