Shooting for the Stars. An Astrophotography Primer

I thought I’d stay on the photography theme a little while longer and touch on a subject I have been playing with off and on for a while now, and that is astrophotography.

I first approached this at the beginning of the millennium when I still lived on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. I had interviewed someone who as it turned out lived close by and was somewhat famous in this area of photography and videography, Steve Massey.

It Started With a Telescope

This got me all fired up and so I went out and spent serious money on a telescope and a film based Minolta SLR camera, and spent many happy hours shooting images and video of the Moon primarily.

When I moved back to Western Australia and down to the deep forests of the south-west of Western Australia, I upgraded the telescope and also abandoned the Minolta in favour of a Canon 5DS dSLR.

The absolute lack of ambient (and therefore interfering) light was offset by the amount of cloud we used to get, so the actual telescope time was minimal. And then a particularly ridiculous accident I want go into knocked the telescope and its tripod over rendering the focussing mechanism impossible to use.

Shortly after I moved back to civilisation 200Km south of Perth, and with COVID hitting decided to try and revive my damaged telescope.

The spare parts were available, but all things being what they were it took nearly 9 months to actually get them here!

In the interim, I discovered a little gizmo called the MSM, or “Move-Shoot-Move”.

And its brilliant.


A little bit of science is needed here to fully explain what the MSM does and why.

When you first get a telescope, you suddenly became Aacutely aware that the Earth moves through space, and pretty damn quickly at that. It first struck home when I finally managed to get an image of the Moon in the ‘scope that was nice and sharp. I had to go inside for something another – only gone a minute or two – and when I came back out, my image had gone!

Of course, the Earth is ripping through space at something like 500 metres per second or around 1600Km / hour at the equator. Hence the image of the Moon is moving across the field of view of the telescope at the same rate, so you get about a minute depending on the magnification of the telescope.

If you are lucky enough to be able to get, say Jupiter or Saturn in sight AND focus, then you have mere seconds.

But to get decent still shots, which require lots of light, you need more than this, so there is the dilemma.

You can buy mechanisms for telescopes to follow the earth’s rotation and also lock in on celestial objects, but this tends to get very expensive for the hobbyist

So, enter the Move-Shoot-Move (MSM).


msm-polar-aligned-side-v1-2The MSM is a small black box that mounts onto a tripod. There, that was easy.

But there is a lot more to it than that of course. You see, once it is charged up, and via various mounts, a camera attached – either DSLR or Mirrorless – the inbuilt motor rotates so that when you have locked onto a subject in the night sky, it will always stay in place as the camera rotates with the Earth.

You set the camera using either its inbuilt intervalometer or an add on one and set the aperture and ISO accordingly. If all goes well, you get shots like these.


An intervalometer is either an inbuilt function of the camera – and many have it – to tell the shutter to stay open for a specific period of time, beyond the normal 1/500th or 1/20th sec for example. To get shots like shown here, shutter times of up to 10 minutes or more are used.

The smart ones can also be set for multiple shots that are timed and other functions.

2022-12-14_16-26-48If your camera does not possess an internal intervalometer, go to your favourite camera store and ask for an external one that suits your make / model. An example of one I can recommend is the Hahnel Captur Timer Kit from  Leederville Cameras.

And while you can fluke it and get a great shot with a single image, those that are REALLY good at this stuff take many, many images of the subject in order to get as much data as possible, and then using specialist software, much of it free, “stack” these together to create a single composite image.

Polar South

Of course, there is a catch, sort of. You’ll recall when I stated the Earth’s movement rate, I was careful to clarify that this speed is “at the equator”. The Earth rotates at different rates depending on where you are, and so the MSM needs to be calibrated in order to get the exact setting.

In the Northern hemisphere this is relatively easy as they have a celestial body in the sky (where else I suppose?) called the Pole Star which to all intents and purposes is based exactly at True North. By calibrating the MSM, using a laser scope that comes with the system, to the Pole Star, you are good to go.

In the Southern Hemisphere we don’t have that luxury, and while there are ways to do this with methods using other stars, these are relatively complicated. So, there is a far better way, and it has added bonuses too.


2022-12-14_16-24-14I have mentioned the PhotoPills app before in stories, in order to calculate sun and moon rise times and locations in order to get the right positioning and timing to get specific shots.

But another piece of magic PhotoPills does is let you align the MSM quickly and easily to correctly set it for shooting deep space shots and stars. A combination of the inbuilt compass and a virtual reality overlay, with your smartphone attached via a mount to your MSM, lets you align perfectly to Polar South by simply lining up cross hairs to a central target.

With that done, you can then mount your camera, adjust the appropriate settings for aperture, ISO and the intervalometer and you are good to go.

In theory.

Final Tips

2022-12-15_15-21-30Of course, to get the perfect shot takes lots of practice and patience. I’d recommend a few things to make life easier.

  1. Initially don’t be too ambitious. Just get some shots to get a feel for what you are doing and learn what settings may be best. And make notes, or better, shoot RAW so the camera settings are embedded into the meta of each image
  2. To learn where planets, stars, constellations, asteroids, meteor showers and other stuff up there are, download a copy of the free program Stellarium for your PC, Mac, tablet whatever. It is absolutely bulging with information and can also create virtual skies based on locations and times.
  3. Get yourself a headband light that has the red-light option. This way, you’ll be able to see what you are doing but not stuff up your night sight.
  4. Use a decent tripod. The one thing you do not want to happen is for your camera to move in any way at all. I use a Miller Solo75 and can highly recommend it.
  5. The MSM is rated to a specific weight so this limits the lens you can use. Even my Canon 5DS with an 80-200mm is too heavy, so these days I use a Fujifilm X-T20 with a 16mm f/2.8 which is pretty close to what it appears the experts in the field use. But even if you have a base camera with a 28mm or something similar, you can still get some breathtaking shots.
  6. Apart from no camera movement (apart from that given by the MSM of course) the other thing that is imperative is focus. You must have your subject in absolutely pinpoint focus. Some cameras allow you to zoom into the image on the LCD for focussing, so if you have this use it. Otherwise focus to infinity but pull it back just a fraction. Some people place a piece of tape to lock the lens in place once they have that sweet spot worked out.
  7. Learn your camera. Shooting stars and planets etc is NOT the place for “A” for “Automatic!”
  8. Keep away from as much external light splatter as you can. The darker you can get it the better. Avoid streetlights, light from windows, car headlights and even the light of the Moon as much as possible.
  9. Look at as many YouTube tutorials, read as many online articles and so on as you can. There is always something to learn. There are some great tutorials on the MSM web site as a starting point, and you’ll also find some really good YouTube channels you’ll like. I started with this one.
  10. Above all be patient. Hopefully you’ll jag a great shot within your second or third attempts, but if you haven’t, just keep trying as when you do, it’s worth the wait and effort trust me!

So you want to get into manual film shooting and processing? Here’s how to start and what you need.

Some things come at you absolutely left of field and are unexpected. This was one of them.

The other day I wrote a piece about the resurgence of film photography, and I have to say, the response has been phenomenal! So many people wanted to know how to get into it, what you need and what it might cost, as well as the techniques to actually process and print film.

So I decided to write about it. The hard bits first.

The Camera

To actually shoot on film, you need a film camera, right? That goes without saying, however as the starting point for your film journey, it’s not quite as easy is waltzing into your nearest camera shop and plonking down the readies on a new Fujifilm, Canon or Nikon film based SLR say.

Why? Simply because they don’t make ‘em anymore. What they do make are disposal film cameras that are designed to be taken back to them where they rip them apart, process the negatives and then digitally print off the resultant photographs, charging a price for the privilege. And its quite profitable too just quietly.

No, the way to do it says Lachlan from Leederviile Cameras, is to go to a reputable camera dealer, tell them your needs, level of expertise and a price range, and they will be usually be able to suggest a second model they have in stock that has been checked over and / or refurbished.

I would not recommend buying online through eBay or Gumtree in this instance as a film camera is an even more precision piece of equipment than a digital one due to the moving parts necessary for film transport etc.

Reputable brands from my experience include Minolta, Pentax, Olympus and of course the aforementioned Fujifilm, Canon and Nikon.

The model I started with was a Minolta SRT101 (pictured). I have seen a few around the traps in great condition for under AUD$250.

The other thing to be aware of is that not all film cameras are equal. Unlike a digital camera that stores images on an SD card (usually), film cameras of course use film, and the best to get is a camera that is 35mm compatible. But you see, if you didn’t know this, you have ended up with another film size based camera that would make the processing of the film and the printing much harder. These include 110, 120 and even 2 1/4 square.

The next thing to consider is what lens to use on the camera, and you are best guided here again by the dealer says Lachlan. You don’t want to buy a camera that has a lens totally unsuitable for the type of photography you want to do – and this applies equally to dSLR and mirrorless digital cameras too of course.

Film (or Fillum if you like)


A selection of Ilford monochrome film and printing paper

Now that you have the camera sorted, you next need some film. Unlike a digital camera where you set the ISO in the camera, with film, you buy the film that has the ASA rating you need for the job at hand. In case you are wondering, ISO replaced ASA but they are effectively the same thing, the name was changed to represent an international rating.

For everyday outdoors photography ISO/ASA 100 or 200 film will be fine. For sports photography I’d jump to ASA 400. Again, check with your camera dealer as to the best advice for which film based on your shooting circumstances.

There is also the brand of film to choose to consider. At this time, I am concentrating on monochrome (black and white), and to me, over many, many years of usage, I’d recommend Ilford film. Ilford has been around forever and so, despite the downturn in film usage over the “digital era” they survived so they must have something right, yes? Unlike say Kodak, who initially went bust. If you are thinking of colour, I like Fujifilm followed by Agfa by the way.

Again, unlike digital, film can also be bought in different emulsion, colour saturation and gran types. For example, Fujifilm has Provia, Velvia, Astia and Classic Chrome.

In the early days of your film experiences, I would basically ignore these side tracks and get used to shooting and processing film before getting into these finer points.

I’ll skip the nuances of shooting film over digital in this article – that’s for maybe another time. Suffice to say best start learning about aperture, shutter speed, using a light meter, depth of field etc. There ain’t no “A” for Automatic here folks. This is REAL photography!


The next thing then is to get the film processed; in other words, get the exposed film from the inside of the camera into a negative form you can use to make actual pictures.

This process involves chemicals, developing tanks, trays, water baths and a distinct absence of light! The last thing you want is to expose the raw exposed film to ANY light as this will destroy whatever is on the negative post shooting.

Developing Kit

An Ilford/Paterson film developing kit

I was lucky when I started as an 11 year old, as my dad owned a photographic studio and therefore had all the gear necessary. I asked Lachlan at Leederville Cameras what the best way was to get all the bits and bobs you need, and it turns out there are starter kits you can buy put out by companies such as Ilford and Paterson containing all the goodies you need, including comprehensive “How To” instructions for about $180.

In short, you process the film inside a light proof tank using set of chemicals. Once this is done, the film is washed and allowed to dry before the next process.

These kits contain a special light proof bag with hand holes that allow you to remove the film safely from its cannister and get it into the developing tank on a special spiral mechanism.


An EnlargerNow this is normally the real fun part; watching an image slowly appear as you hold your breath and see the results of your work for the very first time. Did I get the framing rate? Is it in focus? Is it light enough. Dark enough? Contrasty enough?

In terms of correct exposure, there are some tricks of the trade you can use that, in name anyway, have moved over to the digital Photoshop world such as Dodge and Burn.

But there is a small catch. In order to do these things in this way, you need to print the photo manually using a piece of equipment called an enlarger. This allows you to expose light through the negative and a lens onto photo sensitive paper. This paper (and it comes in various sizes depending on the size photo you want) is then subjected to a developing fixing and washing and drying process to get the final result.

And the catch? Black and White and Colour enlargers are almost impossible to buy new these days. My research shows they do exist but are usually a special order that can take months to arrive and for an unknown cost at time of purchase, being subject to variances in exchange rates, freight costs and so on.

So, we are back to the second-hand market again, and hopefully, also again, your friendly local dealer will be able to assist and advise accordingly. Brands to look for include Paterson, Durst and Leica units. A quick look at eBay found a few there and they range in price from $150 to just under $1000.

To do darkroom enlarging (yes, we are back to a dark room, but this time you can use a special red light so you can see what you are doing), you’ll also need an area in the dark room for some developing and washing trays and access to running water, plus the ability to string up a line so you can peg your prints to it to dry.

PlustekAnother easier, but nowhere near as fun, option is to get a negative scanner. This is an electronic device that reads your developed negatives and creates a JPG or TIFF file from each image which can later be printed on a good inkjet printer.

I have little experience of these so asked Lachlan at Leederville Cameras and he suggested either Plustek 8100 ($599) or Plustek 8200i ($899) models are the go here.

At least, they are a good starting point, and if you do get the whole manual film processing bug, you can get into the enlarger / printing thing later.


There is a huge satisfaction doing a shoot on film, processing the negatives, and then manually printing the shots. When you get to see that perfect photo gradually at the end of the process, there is no way rummaging a computer folder of hundred of images can compare.

I guarantee it!

Quick and easy just using your smartphone may be, but just as there is no comparison between a microwaved ready meal and a dish you prepared lovingly from scratch, so I don’t think you can beat this basic form of photography to its digital counterpart.

And seriously, it’s not that hard.




FUJIFILM Australia Announces NEW Fujifilm X-T5

Fujifilm has announced the launch of the mirrorless digital camera “Fujifilm X-T5” (X-T5) in November 2022, the latest addition to the X Series of mirrorless digital cameras known for their compact and lightweight body and superior image quality based on the company’s proprietary colour reproduction technology.

X-T5 features fifth-generation devices, back-illuminated 40.2MP sensor “X-TransTM CMOS 5 HR”*1 and the high-speed image processing engine “X-Processor 5,” in its compact body which is smaller and lighter than the previous model*2, as well as advanced features including the 5-axis in-body image stabilisation of up to 7.0 stops*3. This is the new standard camera for still photography, delivering superior performance and mobility.

Performance enhancement achieved in the X-T5 include improved image quality, ISO125 as a standard sensitivity, the fastest shutter speed of 1/180,000 sec and the use of Pixel Shift Multi-Shot to expand photographic variations. Other features include the Smooth Skin Effect, Subject Detection AF capable of detecting animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, planes, and trains, and AI-based high-precision auto white balance, assisting users in producing high quality images.

The camera inherits X-T Series’ signature center viewfinder style and dial operation design. A 1.84-million-dot three-way tilting LCD screen is a new addition, making it more comfortable than ever before to shoot in vertical position or at waist level. These extensive array of performance and features is packed into a 557g body*4, which is even lighter and more compact than the previous model. The X-T5 will be a perfect companion to cover a wide variety of photographic genres from street and documentary photography, in which its portability is a major asset, to landscape and portraiture photography, which demand superior image quality. Other features that add comfort to the user experience include the ability to record 10-bit 4:2:2 video at 6.2K/30P, the viewfinder magnification of 0.8x, 3.69-million-dot EVF and dual SD-card slots.


Fujifilm’s twin flagship models “Fujifilm X-H2S” (released in July) and “Fujifilm X-H2” (released in September), which cover both stills and videos, are now complemented with the X-T5. Fujifilm’s enhanced product lineup will continue to cater to the diverse needs of photographers and videographers.

“The new X-T5 camera offers photographers that classic X-T Series design and love of using dials combined with the latest technology whilst also being compact and lightweight”, said Shaun Mah, General Manager of the Electronic Imaging & Optical Devices Division of FUJIFILM Australia. “This camera also qualifies for our 3 Year Warranty, giving photographers peace of mind whilst capturing that decisive moment,” added Mah.

*1 X-TransTM is a trademark or registered trademark of FUJIFILM Corporation.

*2 Mirrorless digital camera “FUJIFILM X-T4”

*3 When the FUJINON Lens XF35mmF1.4 R is mounted

*4 Including battery and memory card

  1. Fujifilm X-T5 Product Features
  2. Featuring the 40.2MP X-Trans™ CMOS 5 HR sensor and the high-speed X-Processor 5 image processing engine to deliver the highest image quality and resolving performance in the history of the X Series

(1) The X-T5 features the back-illuminated 40.2MP sensor “X-TransTM CMOS 5 HR.” The use of an improved image processing algorithm delivers advanced image resolution without compromising the S/N ratio to achieve superior image quality. The X-Trans™ CMOS 5 HR sensor can take in more light efficiently thanks to its improved pixel structure. ISO125, which was an extended ISO level in the previous model, is now available as a standard option. And exposure time is controlled in high precision, allowing users to set the shutter speed as fast as 1/180,000 sec. This means large aperture lenses can be used wide open in a greater variety of conditions.

(2) This camera features the Pixel Shift Multi-Shot function, which quadruples image resolution and produces accurate colour reproduction, ideal for commercial photography and digital archiving of cultural assets. The IBIS mechanism is used to shift the image sensor at high precision to carry out automatic shooting of 20 frames in a single click of the shutter. The dedicated software “Pixel Shift Combiner” processes the captured frames to generate an image containing approx. 160 million pixels.

(3) The Smooth Skin Effect, which automatically smooths the skin tone, is also featured, reducing post-processing workload required in portrait photography so that images can be finished at an advanced level of perfection much quicker than ever before.

(4) The X-T5 features Auto White Balance based on Deep Learning technology. AI technology has boosted the camera’s ability to automatically determine white balance, by accurately recognising warm light colour.

(5) The X-T5 comes with 19 Film Simulation modes, including “Nostalgic Neg.,” characterised by high saturation and soft tonality. Users can use Film Simulation presets, designed for various subject types and scenes, as if they were choosing photographic film.

(6) The X-T5 supports the HEIF image format, which delivers 10-bit image quality in files up to 30% smaller than standard JPEGs straight out of camera.

  1. Hardware, design and operability that provides powerful support for content creation

(1) The X-T5 features the 5-axis in-body image stabilisation of up to 7.0 stops. Users can shoot hand-held even in low light conditions such as nightscape photography. The IBIS mechanism is also used to shift the camera’s image sensor in high precision to facilitate the Pixel Shift Multi-Shot function.

(2) The subject detection AF, based on Deep Learning technology, can detect animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, airplanes and trains with AI technology. The system automatically tracks a subject while maintaining focus, so that users can concentrate on shutter opportunities and framing.

(3) The X-TransTM CMOS 5 HR sensor has a greater number of phase detection pixels than the previous model, resulting in an improved ability to attain AF-S focus on a high frequency subject, providing accurate autofocusing in situations where AF-S is typically used, such as landscape photography and portraiture. The use of an improved AF prediction algorithm offers stable focusing also in the AF-C mode.

(4) The X-T5 features three dials on the top panel for controlling ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation. Users can check and change camera settings even before powering on, as with the case of the aperture ring, featured on most XF lenses.

(5) A new feature of the camera is the 1.84-million-dot three-way tilting LCD. It makes it easy to shoot in vertical position or at waist level, allowing photographers to shoot at various angles. 

(6) The camera is equipped with a high magnification 3.69-million-dot EVF with 0.8x magnification. Compared to the previous model, the viewfinder has improved suppression of parallax and distortion, which typically occurs when an eye position becomes displaced while using the viewfinder.

(7) Evolved IBIS mechanism and other parts, including EVF, has resulted in a compact body that weighs just 557g. Optimised operability of dials and buttons has led to a reduced form factor and coupled with the camera’s weather resistant structure allows photographers to use the X-T5 in any conditions with peace of mind.

  1. Featuring extended video functions

(1) 6.2K movies can be recorded internally at 30P in 4:2:2 10-bit colour. X-T5 features the 4K HQ mode, which uses 6.2K over-sampling to produce high quality video, while taking advantage of the high resolution sensor to deliver video in superior image resolution.

(2) X-T5 supports F-Log2, which records an expanded dynamic range of 13+ stops. This range is wider than current F-Log, broadening post-production potential.

(3) When combined with an Atomos HDMI device, the RAW video output from the X-T5 can be recorded as 12-bit Apple ProRes RAW*5 at frame sizes up to 6.2K and frame rates up to 29.97fps. And when combined with Blackmagic Design Video Assist 12Gs, the RAW video output from the camera can be recorded as Blackmagic RAW at frame sizes up to 6.2K and frame rates up to 29.97fps.

*5 Apple ProRes is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the United States and other countries.

  1. Optional accessories

Hand grip “MHG-XT5” (designed for the X-T5)

This grip substantially improves users’ ability to hand-hold the camera when a large-aperture lens is mounted. The hand grip does not have to be removed to change a battery or SD card. The base can be used as a plate compatible with the Arca-Swiss quick release system.


  1. Product name, release date and price


Product name

Release date

RRP (including GST)

Fujifilm X-T5

November, 2022


Fujifilm X-T5 and XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS kit


Fujifilm X-T5 and XF16-80mmF4 R OIS WR kit


FUJIFILM announces new FUJINON HZK25-1000mm broadcast zoom lens

FUJIFILM has announced the development of the FUJINON HZK25-1000mm (HZK25-1000mm) broadcast zoom lens, which boasts the world’s highest*1 40x zoom and the world’s longest focal length*1 of 1000mm.

The HZK25-1000mm is a box-type broadcast zoom lens in the dual format, supporting two types of large image sensors. It can be mounted on cameras equipped with the Super 35mm sensor or the even larger sensor equivalent to 35mm full frame*2. The lens achieves optical performance which exceeds 4K. It also facilitates the use of cinema cameras which is becoming increasingly common in the broadcast industry, offering cinematic visual expressions such as shallow depth-of-field for beautiful bokeh in live coverage of sporting events and music concerts. The HZK25-1000mm is due to be released in the spring of 2023.

Today, in the broadcast industry, cinema cameras equipped with a sensor larger than the industry’s mainstream sensor*3 are increasingly used in live coverage of sporting events and music concerts, amidst the growing needs for immersive cinematic expressions involving the use of bokeh and high dynamic range. However, cinema camera lenses are optimised for shooting movies and TV commercials, and therefore have a smaller zoom magnification ratio than that of broadcast lenses. They also require a specialist in focus operations, which is uncommon in the broadcast industry. For these reasons, there has been a demand for a high-magnification zoom that supports a large sensor and can be operated in the same way as box-type broadcast lenses.

The new HZK25-1000mm is a broadcast zoom lens that uses optical technology, nurtured over many years, to deliver the world’s highest 40x zoom and the world’s longest focal length of 1000mm. It is designed in the dual format, supporting two types of large sensors. The lens normally works with the Super 35mm sensor, and also supports a sensor equivalent to 35mm full frame by way of activating the built-in expander*4 to expand the image circle by 1.5 times. It offers the added benefit of maintaining the same angle of view in both sensors.

On the wide-angle side, the lens provides F2.8 aperture, enabling cinematographic visual expressions with shallow depth-of-field and resulting beautiful bokeh. The use of large-diameter aspherical lens and fluorite lens*5 controls various forms of aberration thoroughly to achieve optical performance which exceeds 4K. The lens maintains the operation of broadcast lenses involving zoom demand and focus demand even when mounted on a cinema camera. It can also be used with a variety of existing accessories*6. Furthermore, the lens features an image-stabilisation mechanism based on FUJIFILM’s unique “ceramic ball roller” system to accurately compensate for on-set vibrations and wind-induced movements for operation stability.

Following many years of developing and supplying broadcast lenses that address broadcast camera operators’ refined needs, FUJIFILM became the first in the world to release a 4K-compatible broadcast lens in 2015. The company has since established a lineup of 8K-compatible broadcast lenses to lead the industry in raising video image quality. In the cinema industry, FUJIFILM began building its lineup of cinema camera lenses in 2009 with the launch of the HK Series. Of five lens series currently on offer, the Premista Series of cinema camera zoom lenses compatible with large-format sensors*7 is embraced by frontline producers of movies and TV commercials due to its superior image resolution and advanced operability. FUJIFILM will continue to develop and supply high-performance lenses and accessories that facilitate their easy operations, thereby catering to the diversifying needs of frontline video professionals.

FUJINON HZK25-1000mm broadcast zoom lens

Main features

(1) World’s highest 40x zoom and world’s longest focal length of 1000mm

  • This is a broadcast lens, developed with optical technology nurtured over many years. It delivers the world’s highest 40x zoom covering from 25mm in wide angle to the world’s longest 1000m in ultra-telephoto.
  • The use of the built-in expander shifts the focal length by 1.5 times to 37.5mm–1500mm, allowing users to capture a far-away subject in the size as intended.

(2) Supporting the Super 35mm sensor and a sensor equivalent to 35mm full frame

  • This is a dual format lens, compatible with two large sensors that are mainstream among cinema cameras. The lens normally works with the Super 35mm sensor, and also supports a sensor equivalent to 35mm full frame by activating the built-in expander to expand the image circle by 1.5 times.
  • When mounted on a camera equipped with a sensor equivalent to 35mm full frame, the lens delivers its maximum optical performance while maintaining the same angle of view as that of the Super 35mm sensor.

(3) Cinematic visual expressions with beautiful bokeh

  • With the use of large-diameter aspherical elements and fluorite elements, polished precisely, various forms of aberration are controlled thoroughly to achieve optical performance which exceeds 4K. Ghosting, lens flair and colour bleeding are also suppressed to deliver natural yet high-definition footage.
  • The lens has the maximum aperture of F2.8 on the wide-angle end despite being a high magnification lens that supports a large sensor. This enables filming in low-light conditions, such as an indoor concert.
  • The optical design application “FOCUS,” developed by FUJIFILM, has been used to simulate how the background is rendered out of focus. Out-of-focus areas were separated into several layers to examine bokeh textures to achieve bokeh that naturally goes out-of-focus from the focal plane into the background. This produces the cinematic expression which makes the subject stand out.

(4) Latest image-stabilisation mechanism

  • The lens is equipped with an image stabilisation mechanism based on FUJIFILM’s unique “ceramic ball roller system”. It not only provides advanced image stabilisation against on-set vibrations and wind-induced movements, but also controls swing-back to facilitate stable filming.

(5) Operations involving zoom demand and focus demand

  • The lens can be used in the same style as broadcast lenses involving zoom demand and focus demand while being mounted on a cinema camera. It can also be used with existing accessories designed for box-type broadcast FUJINON lenses.
  • It also supports multi-camera operations, filming with multiple cameras at the same time to support efficient live production.

FUJIFILM will be showcasing the HZK25-1000mm in the “InterBEE 2022” international broadcasting equipment exhibition at Makuhari Messe (Chiba Prefecture, Japan) from November 16 to 18, 2022.

New Fujifilm lenses

FUJINON GF20-35mmF4 R WR Lens

FUJIFILM Australia is pleased to announce the launch of the FUJINON GF20-35mmF4 R WR lens (GF20-35mmF4 R WR) in September, 2022. It will be a new addition to the lineup of interchangeable GF lenses designed for the GFX System of mirrorless digital cameras, incorporating a large-format sensor*1 approximately 1.7 times larger than a full-frame 35mm sensor.

The GF20-35mmF4 R WR is a zoom lens covering the focal length range from the ultra wide-angle (UWA) 20mm to the wide-angle 35mm (equivalent to 16mm – 28mm in the 35mm format). The UWA coverage captures information-dense subject matter such as wide expanses of landscapes or cityscapes with precise details in high resolution. The wide angle of view, which is far broader than the human field of view, can photograph a subject at a close distance to the camera. The convenience of having the constant F4 open aperture across the zoom range is coupled with the compactness and lightweight of the lens design. It is perfect for users who travel for many hours in search of vast expanses of wilderness, as well as for shooting a full view of a small room.

“Fujifilm’s years of experience and extensive lens design have come together in the GF20-35mmF4 to produce a remarkable zoom lens that delivers standout UWA performance and handling as the latest addition to the GFX System”, says Mr Ryuichi Matoba, the new CEO of FUJIFILM Australia Pty Ltd.

“Photographers will be able to enjoy the widest angled lens in the GFX System to capture a unique perspective like never before and to push the limits of their creativity”, adds Shaun Mah, General Manager of Electronic Imaging and Optical Devices at FUJIFILM Australia.

The GF20-35mmF4 R WR consists of 14 elements in 10 groups, including three aspherical elements, one ED aspherical element and three ED elements, effectively controlling various types of aberrations to provide advanced image resolving performance. The new lens is applied with the Nano GI (Gradient Index) coating that effectively controls angled incident rays to minimise ghosting and lens flair, thus achieving greater image clarity.

The GF20-35mmF4 R WR’s ultimate compact design means it weighs just 725g despite being a constant F4 UWA zoom lens. UWA lenses tend to be huge, but Fujifilm has designed this lens compact to make it more comfortable for landscape photographers who spend many hours outdoors.

*1 An image sensor that measures 55mm diagonally (43.8mm x 32.9mm) and is approximately 1.7 times larger than a 35mm full-frame sensor

1.Product features

  • UWA zoom lens that extends the wide angle region of GF lens lineup in pursuit of premium image quality

The new lens covers focal lengths from the UWA 20mm to wide angle 35mm (equivalent to 16-28mm in the 35mm format), that is the widest in the lineup of FUJINON’S GF lenses to capture information dense subject matter in a wide expanse of landscape or cityscape and to take advantage of the unique perspective of a wide angle lens.

The GF20-35mmF4 R WR consists of 14 elements in 10 groups, including three aspherical elements, one ED aspherical element and three ED elements, effectively controlling distortion and chromatic aberration to achieve advanced image-resolving performance. This is why the lens can present, in superior precision, all information of subject matter recorded within the wide angle of view.

The lens is applied with Fujifilm’s unique Nano GI Coating technology. It seamlessly changes incoming light’s refractive index as it enters the lens to mitigate light reflection, thereby effectively reducing ghosting and lens flair even when there are angled incident rays.

 (2) Compact design that brings portability to large format equipment

The lens is structured almost symmetrically with the aperture at the center to achieve optimum aberration correction and compact lightweight design at the same time. The short flange focal distance, a unique characteristic of mirrorless photographic equipment, has been utilised to the maximum extent to perfect optical design that has the optimum balance between image quality and weight/ size. The lens weighs just 725g, and measures approx. 112.5mm. The use of the highly versatile 82mm filter thread means users can choose from a variety of filters when shooting landscape. The Inner Zoom system is adopted to keep the full length of the lens constant, contributing to its lightweight and ease of zooming.

A total of four aspherical elements are used in each of the lens groups to optimise the overall number of elements and their configuration, thus efficiently correcting aberrations to maintain advanced image quality while keeping the compact form factor. The concave lens surface of strong curvature, typically seen in UWA lenses, is applied with specialised coating with even thickness to reduce ghosting which occurs when coating thickness is uneven.

Magnesium alloy is used for components around the lens mount to make it lightweight and robust at the same time. The shape of components has been updated to keep the lens mount area slim and to accommodate the Inner Zoom system to keep the lens length constant. These features make the lens easy to hold and manoeuvre, unlike other traditional bulky UWA zooms.

(3) A rugged lens that is dust and weather resistant and capable of operating at temperatures as low as -10

The lens barrel is weather-sealed in 12 places to ensure dust- and weather-resistance as well as the ability to operate at temperatures as low as -10℃. The front lens element is applied with a fluorine coating to repel water and offer protection against stains. This means users can enjoy the lens with peace of mind to shoot landscape in snow-blanketed fields, in the tropics, or outdoors in harsh weather conditions.

  1. Product name, release date and price

Product name

Release date

RRP (including GST)

GF20-35mmF4 R WR

September 2022


FUJINON XF56mmF1.2 R WR Lens

FUJIFILM Australia is pleased to announce the launch of the FUJINON XF56mmF1.2 R WR (XF56mmF1.2 R WR) in September, 2022. It will be a new addition to the lineup of interchangeable XF lenses designed for the X Series of mirrorless digital cameras, which are renowned for their compact and lightweight design and outstanding image quality delivered with Fujifilm’s proprietary colour reproduction technology.

The XF56mmF1.2 R WR is a fast prime lens with the mid-telephoto focal length of 56mm (equivalent to 85mm in the 35mm format). It succeeds the popular F1.2 open aperture of its predecessor (FUJINON XF56mmF1.2 R; the “previous model”) with significant improvement in minimum focusing distance, image-resolving performance and beautiful rendering of out-of-focus background. Areas in focus show every detail in high resolution, while its open aperture can produce beautiful bokeh in the background to make the subject stand out, giving added definition to the image. The previous model was popular for portrait photography due to its F1.2 open aperture and mid-telephoto characteristics. With the new lens minimum focusing distance is improved to facilitate table-top photography and can also cater to a wide variety of shooting situations including street photography.

“With an ultra fast F1.2 aperture and high image quality with gorgeous bokeh and excellent autofocus capabilities, the XF56mmF1.2 R WR truly delivers for portrait photographers whilst being compact and lightweight for easy handling” says Mr Ryuichi Matoba, the new CEO of FUJFILM Australia. “Our FUJINON lens technology continues to evolve, and we are pleased to be launching an improved version of such an iconic model”, says Shaun Mah, General Manager of Electronic Imaging and Optical Devices at FUJIFILM Australia.

The XF56mmF1.2 R WR consists of 13 elements in eight groups including one ED element and two aspherical elements to achieve improved image-resolving performance over the previous model. Eight elements are used in the focusing group to minimize chromatic aberration, spherical aberration and comatic aberration to produce advanced image-resolving capability from MOD to infinity. The minimum focusing distance is reduced to just 50cm from the sensor surface, 20cm shorter than the previous model.

1.Product features

(1) Outstanding image-resolving performance and stunning bokeh

Metal molds used to manufacture the aspherical elements are polished to within one-hundred thousandth of a millimeter, that are capable of reducing the onion-ring effect in bokeh. The lens design, consisting of 13 elements in eight groups including two aspherical elements and one ED element, suppresses various types of aberration including chromatic aberration and spherical aberration to achieve edge-to-edge image sharpness and smooth background bokeh.


The lens also uses three highly refractive elements, as part of the focusing group of eight elements to minimise chromatic aberration and comatic aberration. The result is advanced image resolution from MOD to infinity.


This is the first Fujifilm lens to use 11 diaphragm blades to achieve a near-perfect circle in the aperture*1, with the previous model featuring seven. The new model provides a near-perfect circle even when the lens is stopped down only slightly from being wide open to create beautiful bokeh in a wide range of situations.


*1 As of September 9, 2022


(2) Unrestrained photographic approach with the fast mid-telephoto lens

The new lens is a perfect choice for portraiture as it gives clear separation to the subject from its background. In addition, the minimum focusing distance has been reduced to just 50cm*2, 20cm shorter than the previous model, thanks to its improved resolving capability at MOD. The appeal of this fast mid-telephoto prime is its suitability for a great variety of situations beyond portrait photography.


*2 Distance from the sensor surface; The minimum distance from the front end of the lens is approximately 41cm.


(3) AF function driven by an evolved DC motor for fast and accurate autofocus

A DC motor is used to drive the focusing group of eight elements and aperture unit for precise autofocusing. The lens can attain focus quickly and accurately to seize a decisive photo opportunity even when shooting with a shallow depth-of-field, in which accurate focusing is essential.

The use of a bearing mechanism has successfully reduced friction that arises when the DC motor is driving lens elements. The reduction of lens-driving friction means minimal motor noise.



(4) Advanced practical usability with dust and weather resistance and capability of operating at temperatures as low as -10°C

  • The lens is designed to take maximum advantage of the compact and lightweight X Mount System, weighing just 445g and measuring 76mm despite being a fast prime lens with the open aperture of F1.2.


  • The lens barrel is weather sealed in 9 places to ensure dust and weather resistance as well as the ability to operate at temperatures as low as -10°C. The front lens element is applied with fluorine coating to repel water and offer protection against stains. Users can enjoy the lens with peace of mind to take photos outdoors in rainy or dusty conditions.


  1. Product name, release date and price

Product name

Release date

RRP (including GST)

XF56mmF1.2 R WR

September, 2022



DJI RS-3 Combo Gimbal Kit – First Looks Pt 2

I had fully intended this First Looks to be in only 2 parts, but as things transpired, it is turning into a 3-parter if not 4.

 The reasons why will become clear as you read on…

Once you have the Ronin RS 3 gimbal assembled, the next step is to balance it with your specific camera. This is usually a four-part process and involves putting the camera on the quick release plate, removing things such as lens caps, straps and whatever, and adding anything that is to be on the camera eg a light, mic or other accessory.

In my case with the Blackmagic Pocket Camera 6K Pro  (BPCC 6K), this only meant removing the strap and adding the Canon 50mm lens sans lens cap of course.

From there it is usually a simple matter of adjusting the camera on the Tilt, Roll and Pan axes to get a perfect balance. This entails unlocking the relevant axis motor followed by the arm (roll, tilt or pan) and sliding the camera and base plate along until it is balanced, that is, neutral in position and not tilting forward backwards or left and right. Once each axis is balanced, you would then normally get the gimbals motors to check themselves and apply the correct tensions – an automatic calibration process.

And this is where the trouble started.  After 90 minutes of what should have been a 3 minute job, I still couldn’t get the BPCCC 6K Pro balanced. As soon as one axis was balanced, the next would bang up against the extremities of the gimbal.

I even stripped the gimbal back to its components and started again, but to no avail.

There were three courses of possible action. The first was to send an email to DJI Support to make sure I wasn’t missing something. At this point I have to say that the support folk at DJI are second to none and are always back to me within 24 hours and often less.

I have yet to hear back (it’s only been 20 minutes) but I have enacted a plan B which I was going to do anyway. According to the list of supported cameras, the BPCC 6K Pro is supported by the DJI Ronin RS 3, but there is no camera control. The Ronin PS 3 Pro version does support camera control.

But the list of Fujifilm cameras fully supported by the RS 3 is large, and so a second email was sent to the nice people  at Fujifilm to see if they would be happy to send me a camera that I can test with full control.

Thirdly, in order to at least get the RS 3 in operation, I added my Canon 5D to the base plate (with the aforementioned Canon nifty 50 lens).

Now this is worse than the BPCC 6K Pro in a sense as it uses USB-3 so is never going to work with any sort of camera control, but I did at least get a balanced camera on the rig. And it only took 5 minutes.

Once that was done, the auto calibration kicked in nicely and I was also able to add the briefcase mount as you can see in the photo.

Now I am going to have a play with the various modes and become familiar with them, and hopefully, very hopefully, I can have a camera that will take full advantage of the magic of the RS 3 by weekend and also get the BPCC 6K Pro working on it by tomorrow.

But at least I can at least start getting a feel for how it all comes together and fits into a workflow.

Stay tuned either way…

PS: I understand there is stock available at Videocraft



New from Fujifilm Australia: X-H2S mirrorless. flagship model and new lenses too!

FUJIFILM Australia has announced the launch of the mirrorless digital camera “Fujifilm X-H2S” (hereinafter X-H2S) in July 2022. The camera joins the lineup of X Series mirrorless digital cameras, which are renowned for their outstanding image quality for both stills and video, delivered with Fujifilm‘s proprietary colour reproduction technology.

The X-H2S is the new flagship model boasting the highest performance of any X Series camera to date. This has been made possible by the new stacked-layer back-illuminated 26.16MP “X-TransTM CMOS 5 HS sensor, capable of reading signals 4 times faster than the previous modeI, and the high-speed “X-Processor 5” boasting double the processing speed of the previous modeI.

“The new camera is all about high-speed performance. It also offers photographers and videographers many new functionalities to provide peace of mind when capturing any decisive moment,’’ said Shaun Mah, General Manager of the Electronic Imaging & Optical Devices Division of FUJIFILM Australia. “This camera could not have come at a better time, as it qualifies for the new 3 Year Warranty announced in May, so Fujifilm customers get even more value at an accessible price,” added Mah.

The X-H2S features an evolved AF system to enable continuous high-speed shooting up to 40 frames per second, a newly-developed subject-recognition AF technology, and capability to record 6.2K/30P and 4K/120P video. Other features include the five-axis in-body image stabilisation that offers up to a 7.0- stop advantage, highly-robust magnesium body, hardware that incorporates operability improved from the previous model, as well as extensive interface options including the new slot for a CFexpressTM Type B card and an optional file transmitter (sold separately). The new camera caters to the diverse photographic needs of professional photographers and videographers in categories including sports photography, bird photography and other on-location work.

Key product features

Best capability to track a moving subject in the history of the X Series to capture decisive photo opportunities

  1. The camera is equipped with a back-illuminated stacked-layer 26.16MP “X-TransTM CMOS 5 HS” sensor, the fifth generation of X Series’ image sensors. It has signal readout speed about 4 times faster than the current model to achieve blackout-free continuous shooting of up to 40 frames per second. The camera controls phase-detection pixels independently from image display during the burst mode. This triples the number of calculations in phase detection information from the current model and enables high-speed focusing even during high-speed continuous shooting of 40 frames per second, thereby significantly improving AF accuracy in the burst mode.
  2. The use of the new sensor and the processor is coupled with an increased built-in memory buffer capacity to dramatically increase the number of frames that can be continuously recorded in the burst mode. When using the electronic shutter, the camera can shoot over 1,000 frames continuously at up to 30fps in JPEG and 20fps in RAW.
  3. The EVF uses a high-resolution 5.76-million-dot OLED panel with a magnification of 0.8x. The smooth viewfinder with the frame rate of approx. 120fps also offers improved visibility, thanks to strong suppression of distortion that can occur when an eye position becomes displaced while using the viewfinder, thereby enabling accurate tracking of subject movements.

Substantially evolved AF performance with the use of new devices and enhanced algorithm

  1. The new devices and improved prediction algorithm for AF have led to a major boost in the camera’s capability to track a moving subject and autofocus accurately in Zone AF or in low-contrast conditions. This means a continuously moving subject can be accurately tracked, an ideal feature for sports and wildlife photography.
  2. The new image processor features a subject-detection AF function, developed with Deep Learning technology. It detects and automatically tracks not only the human face /eyes but also animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes and trains to maintain autofocus. Users can concentrate on photographic opportunities and framing, as the camera can keep a targeted subject in focus constantly.

 Evolved video performance to cater to diverse needs

  1. Use of the new sensor and processor has enabled saving high-definition video at 6.2K/30P 4:2:2 10bit internally, possible while retaining extensive colour information. The camera also supports filming high- speed 4K/120P video so that momentary actions of fast-moving subjects can be presented in smooth slow-motion with fine details.
  2. The sensor‘s readout speed during video recording has been reduced to as fast as 1/180 seconds. The rolling-shutter effect is well controlled to present a moving subject naturally.
  3. X-H2S supports three Apple ProRes codecs: ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422, and ProRes 422 LT. When recording ProRes, X-H2S also supports proxy recording such as ProRes 422 Proxy, streamlining the overall workflow from filming to post production.
  4. AF performance for video recording has been enhanced. The camera supports the AF+MF function in the video mode and offers the subject detection AF function also during video filming.
  5. Another new feature is F-Log2 capability with dynamic range expanded up to 14 stops. The greater dynamic range than the current F-log broadens post production potential.
  6. To cater to the needs of professional photographers, the camera has a new heat-dissipating structure to substantially increase the maximum video recording time and enable recording 240 minutes of 4K/60P video. Users may attach the optional cooling fan “FAN-001” to enable extended video recording even in high-temperature conditions.

Hardware/design/operabiIity to assist users’ shooting experience

  1. The camera features an all new five-axis in-body image stabilisation mechanism, which offers up to 7.0-stop advantage thanks to the new processor and a new sensing control function. Users can comfortably choose to hand hold the camera to shoot active situations such as sports or in low light conditions.
  2. The new camera inherits the popular design features of the X-H1, such as a large prip that works well with large lenses, an LCD display on the top panel for users to check settings at any time, and a highly robust camera body that withstands heavy professional use. Furthermore, user feedback has been reflected to bring more improvement in operability:
  • The shutter release button’s operational feel has been adjusted to improve operability when it is half-pressed, helping users release the shutter exactly as intended.
  • The design of the larpe prip, one of X-H1’s popular features, has been improved to make it easier to hold when using a long or large aperture lens.
  • A standalone video recording button has been added for enhanced video operability.
  • A 1.62-million-dot vari-angle LCD monitor that allows for ease of use when not using the EVF or when vlogging.
  • Compared to previous models, the X-H2S offers improved operability with its buttons and dials, e.p. improved button materials and load adjustment to the AF ON button, so that users can handle the camera exactly as intended.
  1. Shutter durability has been further improved, withstanding 500,000 actuations in the company’s testing.
  2. The camera features dual memory card slots supporting CFexpressTM Type B and SD UHS-II cards. Use the CFexpressTM Type B card with high-speed data processing performance to draw out the full potential of X-H2S’s fast continuous shooting and video performance.

FUJIFILM Australia Announces the NEW FUJINON XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR Lens

FUJIFILM Australia is pleased to announce the launch of the “FUJINON Lens XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR (XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR) in July, 2022. This lens joins the extensive lineup of interchangeable XF lenses designed for the X Series range of mirrorless digital cameras, which are renowned for their compact and lightweight design and outstanding image quality delivered with Fujifilm’s proprietary colour reproduction technology.

The XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR covers focal lengths ranging from the telephoto 150mm to the super-telephoto 600mm (equivalent to 229mm – 914mm in the 35mm film format). It supports teleconverters and, if fitted with the XF2X TC WR, its range is extended up to 1200mm (equivalent to 1828mm in the 35mm film format), allowing flexible framing while shooting distant subject matter, including wildlife and sports.  Furthermore, the lens boasts a lightweight design, plus fast and highly accurate AF, and offers perfect operability with the NEW Fujifilm X-H2S and its subject tracking performance even at the super-telephoto end.

Super-telephoto range is prone to image degradation with axial chromatic aberration, however, the XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR benefits from its construction, consisting of 24 lens elements in 17 groups including three ED elements and four Super ED elements, to deliver an advanced level of image resolution and edge to edge clarity across the entire zoom range.

The XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR has been designed with a focus on being lightweight. The result is a non-extending Inner Zoom lens that weighs just 1605g and has minimal shift in weight distribution for a stable grip and better balance. Users are assured of easy use even during extended photographic expeditions for wildlife or sports photography.. The fast AF system, driven by a linear motor, attains a perfect focus quickly and accurately even in the super-telephoto range and even when fitted with a teleconverter, where focusing is difficult due to a shallow depth of field, thereby assuring the ability to capture a decisive moment.

Key product features

Fujifilm’s longest super-telephoto zoom lens

  • The new lens covers Fujifilm’s longest focal length range, from the telephoto 150mm to the super-telephoto 600mm (equivalent to 229mm – 914mm in the 35mm film format), making it a perfect choice for wildlife, birds and sports photography.
  • The lens, consisting of 24 lens elements in 17 groups including three ED elements and four Super ED elements, thoroughly suppresses axial chromatic aberration, typically seen in super-telephoto lenses. It delivers a high level of edge-to-edge image-resolving performance across the entire zoom range.
  • The HT-EBC coating, typically used in broadcast lenses, has been applied on all elements to achieve high transmittance and low reflectance despite containing 24 lens elements.
  • It supports “XF2X TC WR” and “XF1.4X TC WR” Teleconverters. When coupled with the XF2X TC WR, this lens covers focal lengths range from 300mm to 1200mm (equivalent to 457mm – 1828mm in the 35mm film format).

Lightweight design, enabling extended shooting in a variety of situations

  • It weighs just 1605g despite being a super-telephoto zoom reaching up to 600mm (equivalent to 914mm in the 35mm film format). Two Super ED elements are used as frontmost elements to keep the lens barrel small while maintaining an advanced level of image-resolving performance. The use of the Inner Zoom system means the lens barrel has a plain, non-extending structure. The result is a lightweight lens that zooms easily with no shift in weight distribution.
  • The lens body is matte silver to mitigate its temperature increase during operation. This reduces the risk of lens heating even during photography in sweltering heat, giving users peace of mind.
  • Magnesium alloy is used for the internal base frame that supports the lens structure to keep the weight low and make it robust at the same time.
  • The lens barrel is weather-sealed at 19 locations to ensure dust- and weather-resistance and the ability to operate at temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius. It can withstand use in a variety of environments, even in rough weather.

 5-stop image stabilisation mechanism

  • At the super-telephoto 600mm focal length (equivalent to 914mm in the 35mm film format), the longest in Fujifilm’s lineup, the degree of camera shake becomes too great to be controlled with in-body image stabilisation and therefore it becomes necessary to apply a fine optical axis adjustment in the lens before an image is formed on the sensor. The XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR features a high-precision sensing and control system to deliver a 5-stop optical image stabilisation mechanism, one of the strongest for super-telephoto zooms, making it easier than ever to shoot at the super-telephoto range, most susceptible to camera shake. Users can take full advantage of the mobility of the compact X Mount when shooting super-telephoto photography hand-held.

Multiple functions for fast, silent and easy AF operation

  • The lens uses the Inner Focus system, which drives the compact and lightweight focus lens group with a linear motor to achieve a fast and silent AF. The focus is attained quickly and precisely in just 0.25 seconds even in the hard-to-focus super-telephoto range, ensuring the ability to capture a decisive photo opportunity.
  • The Focus Preset function is featured so that the lens remembers the focus for a location pre-defined with the SET button. Users can keep shooting without having to re-adjust focus on a targeted subject.
  • The Focus Limiter is another feature, allowing users to restrict the lens’ AF range. This can effectively shorten AF time when photographing a subject that is 5 metres away or more. The Focus Limiter can be activated with the Shooting Distance Range switch.

FUJIFILM Australia Announces the NEW FUJINON XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR Lens

FUJIFILM Australia is pleased to announce the launch of the “FUJINON Lens XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR” (hereinafter XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR), due to go on sale in September, 2022. The new lens joins the extensive lineup of interchangeable XF lenses designed for the X Series mirrorless digital cameras, renowned for their compact and lightweight design and outstanding image quality delivered with Fujifilm’s proprietary colour reproduction technology.

The XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR covers focal lengths ranging from the wide-angle 18mm to telephoto 120mm (equivalent to 27mm – 183mm in the 35mm film format). The highly versatile 6.7x power zoom in a compact design facilitates a variety of shooting situations, including landscape (wide angle) and portraiture (telephoto). Furthermore, the lens is capable of producing premium-quality movies thanks to the advanced video performance Fujifilm has nurtured over many years in the fields of broadcast and cine lenses. This lens caters to high-quality imagery for both stills and videos in a variety of situations.

The XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR is a power zoom lens that offers the constant maximum aperture of F4.0 across the entire range from wide angle to telephoto and maximum magnification ratio of x0.2 to capture close-up shots.

The XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR lends itself well to filming video as it supprosess change in angle of view during focusing and optical axis shift during zooming. Users can zoom and focus with peace of mind while filming video, thus facilitating premium quality video production. In addition to the regular zoom and focus rings, the lens is equipped with additional video features i.e. a variable zoom/focus control ring and a zoom button for constant zooming. These versatile video functions have only been made possible thanks to the expertise of the FUJINON Lens brand.

The lens provides hybrid shooting capability for any scene in both stills and videos.

Key product features

Broad range of focal lengths for superior stills and videos

  • The XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR consists of 15 lens elements in 12 groups, including three aspherical elements and three ED elements to effectively suppress spherical aberration, distortion and chromatic aberration for excellent image-resolving performance. Users can precisely capture fine details during information heavy landscape photography at wide angle, as well as telephoto close-ups of subjects such as in portraiture. 
  • Optimum positioning of the focus lens suppresses focus breathing optically. Advanced technology, on which FUJINON cine lenses are built, reduces change in angle of view during focusing in video-filming to offer a superior filming experience.
  • The aspherical elements and ED elements are effectively positioned to achieve the 6.7x zoom ratio and compact design, while also offering the maximum aperture of F4.0 across the entire zoom range.
  • The optimum positioning of the aspherical elements enables close-up photography at the maximum magnification ratio of x0.2 with the minimum working distance of just 46cm from the front most lens element across the entire zoom range.

Fast and highly accurate AF

  • The XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR uses the Inner Focus system, which drives the compact and lightweight focus lens group with a linear motor. The compact design of the focus lens group facilitates precision AF at approx. 0.02 seconds, ensuring that users do not miss a decisive moment.
  • The XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR’s focus tracking performance is dramatically improved when it is mounted on the Fujifilm X-H2S, also announced today. The lens supports the camera’s high speed focus drive mechanism to maintain a natural focus on a moving subject even during video-filming.

Diverse video-filming functions for easy video production

  • The aperture drive control has been updated to successfully suppress exposure shift linked to aperture adjustments. When the level of luminosity changes, the aperture transitions smoothly so that users can comfortably film a scene with a rapid change of brightness.
  • The lens features a zoom.focus control ring, which allows users to control zooming or focusing at variable speed. During video filming, users can control the pace of zooming or focusing exactly as they intend for greater freedom.
  • The lens also comes with a zoom button ,which can drive zooming at a constant pace, allowing anyone to master video production that involves zooming.
  • When combined with the mirrorless digital camera, the Fujifilm X-H2S and optional accessory FT-XH, also announced today, the XF18-120mmF4 LM PZ WR can be used to remotely film videos. The lens and camera used with it can be controlled online in a browser to enable multi-camera shooting with limited staff availability.

Compact and lightweight design for advanced mobility

  • The aspherical elements and ED elements are effectively positioned to achieve a lightweight design, weighing just 460g and measuring 123.5mm in length, making it easily portable to facilitate agile filming.
  • The use of the Inner Zoom system means the lens barrel has a plain, non-extending structure. The result is a lightweight lens that zooms easily with no shift in weight distribution. Additionally, instead of the conventional cam barrel, in which the lens barrel rotates, this lens uses a smooth power zoom mechanism that drives the zoom lens group linearly with a stepping motor to achieve high quality zooming with no optical axis shift across the entire zoom range.

Dust and weather-resistant structure capable of operating at low temperatures

  • The lens barrel is weather-sealed at 13 locations to ensure dust- and weather-resistance and the ability to operate at temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius, allowing users to shoot in any situation with peace of mind.


FUJIFILM demonstrates efficiencies of FUJINON Zoom Lens Metadata for virtual production

FUJIFILM is showcasing the latest lens technology facilitating virtual production and augmented reality technologies and capabilities in partnership with Mo-Sys and APG Media, as well as introduce attendees to several FUJINON cinema and broadcast lens products and accessories at NAB 2022.

“We are connecting with our industry colleagues in person at NAB 2022 and exhibiting our world-class lens range with this critical group of industry experts,” said Stosh Durbacz, national sales manager, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Optical Devices Division. “We are also excited to bring attendees into the world of virtual production and augmented reality on site by displaying and demonstrating products designed to improve production workflows.”

FUJIFILM’s role in the growing world of virtual production and augmented reality is on display in partnership with Mo-Sys—renowned creator and manufacturer of advanced and innovative camera robotics and virtual production technologies—and APG Media, industry experts on LED videowall technology.

Using FUJINON broadcast and cinema lenses with Mo-Sys StarTracker camera tracking technology and a state-of-the-art 1.5mm pixel pitch LED wall from APG Media, FUJIFILM is showcasing an end-to-end LED production workflow, highlighting the benefits of designing a solution specifically for cinematic and broadcast virtual production.

“More than ever, and within the last two years especially, virtual production and augmented reality have proven to be a growing, important part of our industry,” said Durbacz. “We are proud to partner with Mo-Sys and APG to educate the NAB Show community about the technology and capabilities available and required to accommodate the needs of this emerging market segment.”

FUJINON product debuts at NAB 2022 include:

  • 4AF (Auto Focus) lens for fast and accurate subject-tracking performance, placed on a Mo-Sys U50 Remote Head.
  • Large Format Premista Series cinema lenses with new Chrosziel Drive Unit and ZEISS eXtended Data, a unique technology that creates opportunities to streamline and increase the accuracy of the lens data.
  • Portable broadcast zooms equipped with S10 digital drive units to support modern remote and robotic shooting needs.
  • UA125x8 4K-compatible broadcast lens with the world’s highest*[1] zoom ratio of 125X
  • 5 portable 4K broadcast lens with Super 35 Musashi expander, delivering an incredible range of 24-1100mm at a relatively light weight, ideal for wildlife, sports and any environment where reach and portability is needed.
  • Updated zoom and focus controllers for FUJINON box and portable lenses.

[1] As of November 13, 2019, according to FUJIFILM data


Review: Fujifilm GFX 50SII

Holden and Ford. Mac and Windows. Big Mac and the Whopper.

The world is full of products where there are camps on two sides of a fence. And so it is with cameras.

Nikon and Canon.

But thankfully as I have discovered, that is not where the story ends at all, as sitting in the wings and more than able of slugging out with these two is Fujifilm. And in this particular case, the Fujifilm GFX50SII.

And having had a play for a few weeks, I am impressed and suggest that anyone looking for a large format camera also put this on the “must have a look” list alongside the probable Nikons / Canons you intend to take a gander at.

So what do you get?

Well for starters, it has a 51 megapixel 44 x 33mm CMOS sensor that has a “pixel shift” hi-res mode to give 205 megapixel images. This means you can stack 16 images together and each has had a fractional shift of the sensor.

And to keep things nice and steady there is 5 axis in-camera stabilisation, although I think I’d be using a tripod when trying this.

For film makers, you get full HD 1920 x 1080 at 29.97/25/24/23.98 and 50fps of up to 120 minutes (depending on the size of the SD card of course.). Fujitsu also says this recording time is dictated by ambient conditions however.

Almost mandatory for filmmakers, there are separate headphone and mic sockets.

Note though, there is no 4K.

I won’t bore you with a detail of all the specifications – of which there is a lot – as they can be seen here.


Instead, I am more interested in the physical characteristics of the GFX 50SII.

The body is fitted with a Fujitsu G mount which means you have access to a decent range of lenses. My review unit came with a 35-70mm which I had intended to use with the MSM star tracker, but as luck would NOT have it, for the period of the loan all we got was either cloudy skies or ones filled with smoke from bushfire burn off!

In the hand the GFX 50SII is solid without being too heavy. And with the 35-70 lens is nicely balanced I feel.

There is only a single rotary dial that is dedicated to exposure mode thus freeing up space on the top of the body of the camera for a large sub-LCD. Other controls include a thumb wheel on the rear and a selection of buttons for tasks such as the Main Menu, drive selection, AEL, AF and display. And of course the GFX 50SII has the famed Fujifilm Q setting for customisation of controls.

The large touch screen LCD on the rear of the camera extends out as well as being dual tiltable and is very clear and crisp. The viewfinder is fixed however, and I would have liked it to also have a tilt capability.

Ancillary port access (USB, mini-HDMI, audio, charging etc) is via flaps on the left and the twin SD card slots are similarly accessed on the right. The battery is covered by a bottom access hatch and a hot shoe is mounted on top of the viewfinder. All port covers are rubber flanged for weather sealing.

In use, I found the GFX50SII to be a user-friendly camera; the menu system was intuitive and flexible, all controls were accessible and importantly of course, the imagery – both still and video – was excellent as I’d expect from Fujifilm equipment. Battery life is good for around 440 shots according to the manufacturer.

One thing I did note, and I see other reviewers also found this, the auto focus seemed to be a tad on the slow side.

The only other drawback I see is the lack of 4K capability which in this day and age I do find somewhat odd.


The body alone for the GFX 50SII retails for around AUD$6399 and with the 35-70 lens as supplied to me for an additional AUD$800 in a package deal.

I accept at this level of camera, it is never going to be an impulse buy, and yes, Canon and Nikon users do tend to be rusted on to their brand. But if you are thinking of taking the step up to a large format camera from, say a 4/3rds model or similar from the likes of Sony, Panasonic, Olympus etc, then you owe it to yourself to at least have a look at the GFX 50SII.

I feel Fujifilm cameras tend to be a well-kept secret; maybe I am wrong, but the brand does seem to get a little lost in the noise and that is a huge shame. The models that come out of the Fujifilm factory are really very, very good and the GFX 50SII is no exception.

As I say, the only disappointments are the lack of 4K and the fixed EVF. In all other aspects it compares more than favourably with the Canon EOS R5 or Nikon Z7 in my opinion.

FUJIFILM Australia Joins ABE And Will Exhibit At ABE 2022

FUJIFILM Australia has joined ABE, the world class media and entertainment industry association and will be exhibiting at their bi-annual ABE event from 9 to 11 August at Doltone house in Sydney.

At ABE 2022 FUJIFILM will be showing its comprehensive range of optical devices from large to super small aperture lenses, including lenses for 8K and 4K high-definition broadcasting, interchangeable lenses for digital cameras and cine lenses that are beloved by professional creators all over the world. There will also be hands-on demonstrations of the very latest products including the full range of award-winning FUJINON Premista large format lenses.

FUJIFILM Australia General Manager – Recording Media, Optical Devices, Industrial Products & Life Sciences, Marc Van Agten, explained, “With being able to attend the larger overseas tradeshows currently in limbo, there is a real need for a quality local show where manufacturers can demo their latest products and network with the entire industry. Put simply ABE is that show. It is a well targeted and marketed event with high quality conference content. In comparison to other events ABE in particular also represents great value for money as the show is very much about the networking, building relationships and being able to demonstrate the latest in technology without breaking the bank. The attendees are plentiful and of a very high calibre and there just isn’t another local show that rivals it.”

FUJIFILM will also be showcasing their wide range of recording media products including the very latest LTO-9 data cartridge at ABE 2022.  

FUJIFILM LTO-9 data cartridge

Van Agten added, “The lenses we will be demonstrating, including the Premistas, are arguably the best in the world. As far as recording media products are concerned, we will be demonstrating products including magnetic LTO tapes capable of extremely large capacity, for the recording, management and storage of massive amounts of data. The LTO tape is just one of our solutions to customers’ data challenges.

The move to join ABE is a solid and strategic one for FUJIFILM as Marc Van Agten concluded, “FUJIFILM will be demonstrating our very latest and best technology and solutions at ABE 2022 and making the very most of the networking functions, so we encourage anyone interested in broadcast and cine lenses and recording media to join us there. It will be the local show of the year.”

There will be a pre-ABE cocktail function at Luna Park in April and a drinks, cocktail and networking function during ABE itself at Doltone House.