So far, 2021 has been a good year for new photo lens releases—including these “worth a second look” lenses from Fujifilm, Panasonic, Ricoh and Sigma featured below. Fortunately, the year is still young and we look forward to seeing this trend continue throughout the coming months.
New Lenses from Fujifilm’s Fujinon GFX and X-Series
Along with the introduction of the 102-megapixel GFX 100S, Fujifilm recently introduced several lenses including the Fujinon GF80mm f/1.7 R WR for its large-format GFX series cameras. With a 0.79x crop, this translates to a 63mm focal length. Combined with its fast f/1.7 aperture, 3.9- inch long body and 1.75 pound weight, this lens will be especially appealing to wedding and portrait photographers. It’s also dust- and weather-resistant and Fuji promises beautiful bokeh and edge-to-edge sharpness.
Next up, the little Fujinon XF27mm f/2.8 pancake lens, weighing in at a mere 2.9 ounces and measuring just 0.9 inches deep. In addition to its low profile (which is perfect for some of Fuji’s smaller X-series mirrorless cameras), we expect fast autofocus from this lens along with lovely bokeh. It has an aperture ring with an F-stop scale and the ability to lock the ring in the Auto position. Not surprisingly, it’s dust- and weather-resistant. We especially like that it comes with a dome-shaped lens hood and a hood cap—a great alternative to its standard lens cap (also included with the lens).
Another lens for Fuji’s popular X-series mirrorless cameras, the Fujinon XF70-300mm f/4-5.6 R LM OIS WR features up to 5.5 stops of image stabilization. It is, of course, weather-resistant and its 35mm-equivalent focal range of 107-457mm, offers a lot of versatility—from portraits to wildlife. Add Fujinon’s XF1.4X or XF2X TC WR teleconverters to get even more reach for those challenging super telephoto shots.
The 70-300mm lens is relatively small and lightweight, too, measuring 5.21 inches in length, 2.95 inches in diameter and weighing 1.27 pounds.
New from Panasonic: The Lumix S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Macro OIS Telephoto Zoom
The Panasonic LUMIX S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Macro OIS telephoto zoom lens is designed for the Lumix S series full-frame cameras. This L-mount lens offers a dual image stabilizer that works with the S-series’ in-body image stabilization to deliver 5.5 stops of IS.
Macro capabilities are excellent with a minimum focusing distance of 0.54m. At 300mm, the lens provides 0.5x magnification. This translates to half life-size still and video. Add bokeh created by its 11-bladed iris diaphragm and this lens gains even more appeal regardless of whether you’re shooting telephoto or macro.
Dust-, splash- and freeze-resistant, the front element is protected by fluorine coating which repels water and oil and also makes it easy to clean smudges. At 1.75 pounds and 5.83 inches in length, the lens has a little heft to it but should be well balanced with one of Panasonic’s S-series cameras.
(Keep an eye out for three new f/1.8 L-mount lenses, which are now under development.)
Ricoh/Pentax: A Trio of K-Mount Prime Lenses
Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation has announced three HD Pentax-FA lenses in its Limited Lens series—a 31mm f/1.8, 43mm f/1.9 and 77mm f/1.8.
Available in silver (above) or black, all three lenses feature the Pentax-original HD coating to help prevent flare and ghosting. A protective coating on the front lens surface repels dust and stains. And, thanks to a rounded diaphragm, these lenses promise lovely bokeh.
Constructed from aluminum, all three lenses are compact and lightweight. The 31mm lens at 12 ounces is the heaviest but measures an easily portable 2.6 x 2.7inches. The 77mm is the next heaviest at 9.7 ounces and measures 2.5 x 1.9 inches. At 5.5 ounces and a body size of 2.5 x 1.1 inches, the 43mm is the smallest of the trio.
All are equipped with an aperture ring and come with a lens case for protecting the lens in a camera bag or stored on a shelf. The lenses will be available in April.
Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma’s latest addition to its wide-ranging lens line, the 28-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary, will be available for Sony E-mount and L mount cameras in March. The design is based on Sigma’s 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art lens but by shifting the minimum focal length to 28mm, the new lens is—to date–the smallest (4.2-inches in length) and lightest lens in its class. At 16.6 ounces, it’s almost a pound lighter.
In addition to its portability, the lens offers a number of features that make it a good choice for a variety of shooting situations. These include: a constant f/2.8 throughout the zoom range, dust and splash proof design, a stepping motor, to name just a few. And, at $899, the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 won’t break the bank.
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