Digital cinema completed with MKX
The X-H1 has evolved dramatically with the film simulation ETERNA. Thanks to that, the Fujifilm X series 4K video will open the door to a new type of digital cinema.
Another major project was announced alongside the X-H1: the MKX cinema lens series. The MKX is the X mount version of the sony E mount lens, a part of the MK lens series that is already on the market. The MK lens series has a high cost-performance rate as cinema lenses when considering efficiency, and has given a huge impact on this concept. Having these points, the 2 most recent MKX lenses join the lineup;18-55mm/T2.9 and 50-135mm/T2.9.
These two lenses contain everything you have come to expect from a Fujifilm X mount. The mount can communicate with the camera body, and includes aberration correction to make lens operation more efficient. Of course combination with the X-H1 is a formidable pairing.
Amazing Efficiency of MKX
The MKX cinema lenses were created for mirrorless cameras. A regular photo lens can only adjust its aperture by 1/3 step, but because these are cinema lenses, the aperture can be adjusted seamlessly. It is possible to make even more detailed exposure adjustments with these lenses. The 200-degree focus rotation angle is an essential feature of the cinema lens workflow, which relies mainly on manual focusing. The focus ring with its hard stops is an advantage not available on a still lens. The gear pitch is an industry standard 0.8mm, and it is compatible with general third-party accessories such as the follow-focus system.
Optical Performance Designed for the Cinema
The MKX’s optical performance is on a par with past high-end cinema lenses. So, there is no lens breathing (when the field of view changes as the lens is focused), and therefore it’s possible to achieve incredibly smooth focusing. With many still lenses, the field of view changes each time to be focused. But the MKX, the composition remains completely unchanged during focusing. In addition, there is no focus shift when zooming. Usually, it’s necessary to readjust the focus every time the zoom range changes, but as to the MKX, once the focus has been fixed on the subject, there will be no focus shift no matter the zoom range. Because the focus remains sharp over the entire image area, not only is it possible to use zoom action in videos, but the lens will maintain its focus when switching from a telephoto to a wide angle lens, allowing for more precise focus.
With still lenses, during zooming, sometimes the center of the composition becomes misaligned. This is an optical axis misalignment. But it won’t be occurred and the MKX keeps the subject centered at all times once it has been set.
Naturally it could be argued that there are differences between a cinema lens and a still lens. In reality, many still lenses are designed to capture that one moment in time, but when you need to record chronological video, there are some areas where they fall short. Issues like “lens breathing”, focus shift, and optical axis misalignment – things that aren’t necessarily an issue in photography – become an issue when it comes to video. This is where “cinema lenses” enter the picture. Fujifilm has thoroughly researched and developed lenses for this purpose. They have created the world’s first high-end cinema lenses for mirrorless cameras: the MK, MKX series. These are lenses designed specifically for video recording; mechanical lenses that capture subtle colors and tones and whose structure and optical design were optimized for the cinema.
Image quality that rivals prime lenses
Above all, the image quality produced by the MKX is superb.
When considering lens design, it’s obvious that the structure of a prime lens is simpler than that of a zoom lens, so the hurdle of superior optical performance is quite low to begin with. But when it comes to the 18-55mm and 50-135mm zoom lenses, which are necessary for video recording, the technology behind this type of optical performance is impressive. Of course the lenses are not as bright – they lose 2 stops compared to most prime lenses – but Fujifilm is confident in the fact that the image quality produced by the T2.9 aperture MKX outstrips that of a prime lens. Needless to say, this writer has used the MKX, and the results were simply gorgeous. Some may think that the images produced by a zoom lens might be inferior compared to a prime lens, but that way of thinking belongs in past, when technology couldn’t keep up with the craft. Once you have seen the images produced by the MKX, you will feel as though we are entering a new age. Naturally, this affects the pricing, too. These lenses boast a quality that is comparable to high-end cinema zoom lenses, plus they are compact and mobile. They really are perfect lenses.
Teaming the MKX with the X-H1
This pairing results in an exceptional digital cinema environment. It’s this “digital cinema” that Fujifilm has been striving for. Fujifilm isn’t resting on its laurels with the efficiency of these digital products; at its foundation is a harmony that resonates with what people found beautiful in analog film. Cutting edge technology has been packed into an unbelievably small housing, along with color-creation know-how from decades of experience, and it has been reborn in a 4K digital format.
Competing with Color(Tone) and Lens
The distinguishing features of Fujifilm’s digital cinema are “color (tone)” and “lens”. Fujifilm began as a worldwide distributor of silver halide film, but the company didn’t stop with photography and has expanded to gain recognition in the realm of film as well. The color reproduction know-how they acquired over the years is one that cannot be found at any other company. In recent years, many other companies have been releasing numerous digital film cameras, and we are heading into the next generation where 4K is now the industry standard. What Fujifilm has continued most to focus on is to “replicate” film in a digital format.
PROVIA, as well as other color reversal films like Velia and ASTIA, have undergone a rebirth. With the Classic Chrome and ACROS, digital has now become mainstream, and digital devices are focused on the development of film color and tonality. Mirrorless digital cameras such as the X-T2 have entered the 4K arena, but the world that Fujifilm is aiming for in its unique way is that of color reproduction based on film. Now with Eterna, the spellbinding world of film simulation created by the X-H1 will surely fascinate many.
The name FUJINON has long been etched in the history of the lens. FUJINON guarantees high performance and high quality, and now that the brand has gone digital, their XF lens has joined the ranks of superior lenses recognized the world over. FUJINON is showing no signs of slowing down with their high-end broadcast lenses, HK lenses used in Hollywood, and their cinema lens ZK series. Now they are finally ready for mirrorless. The MKX cinema lens series is poised at the starting line.
Eterna can replicate silver halide negative film for digital cinema when paired with the X-H1, and we are now at the beginning of a new world of digital cinema. The MKX, a powerful cinema zoom lens, is changing the times. A limitless future contained in the small body of a mirrorless camera.
Scenes shot with the X-H1 and MKX. Operation was unbelievably easy
The newly released MKX lenses, 18-55mm/T2.9 and 50-135mm/T2.9 enter the spotlight due to their compact size and performance
Clips shot using X-H1 and MKX. They contain an incalculable and immeasurable beauty
Introduction movie of MKX lenses