NAB Preview: Fujifilm Premista FF zooms

Fujifilm’s new T2.9 cine zooms cover a 46.3mm image circle

The night before the NAB show opened, Fujifilm previewed their new Premista full-frame cine zooms (they were first shown off at the ASC Clubhouse a few days ago). The Premista are Fujifilm’s first large format cine zooms; they follow the company’s formula prioritizing optical excellence — Premistas are designed as prime-lens replacements — over idiosyncratic “character”. The Premistas will be available in two focal lengths, a 28–100mm T2.9, and an 80–250mm T2.9 up to 200mm, ramping to T3.5 at 250mm (the minor reduction in T-stop at full tele means both lenses share the same size, weight, and 114mm front diameters).

Premista 28-100mm zoom and 80-250mm mock-up
Premista 28-100mm zoom and 80-250mm mock-up

The 28–100mm exists in prototype form today and it’ll be shipping this summer; the 80–250 is currently only a mock-up.

The lenses share common dimensions, control placements, rotations (280º focus, 120º zoom, and 48º iris), and Zeiss Extended Data ports for lens metadata output.  They’ll weigh about 3.8kg / 4.8 lbs, and will be 255mm / 10 inches long. PL mounts are used, and flange-back is adjustable using a (normally concealed) 2mm hex socket — no shims necessary. Both lenses will cover a full 46.3mm image circle, making them suitable for “full frame” cinema cameras like the Sony VENICE.

A 28–100mm was set up on a VENICE to play with:

28–100mm on a VENICE

While the setting wasn’t conducive to an exhaustive technical evaluation (grin), it was possible to see the general performance of this lens.

Off-monitor shot
Off-monitor shot.

Insofar as I could tell, the lens is pleasingly distortion-free, and it has minimal breathing. There was no noticeable chromatic aberration, and no obvious flare: at one point Bill Bennett, ASC, took the chair, and aimed an iPhone’s LED into the lens; the 28–100mm soaked it up without a hint of internal reflections.

At wide apertures the bokeh — the appearance of out-of-focus areas — has a “cat’s eye” swirl to it. Looking at it close up, the bokeh on point sources has a bit of hard edge, and a mild “onion-ring” texture, a common indicator that aspheric lens elements are in use.

Bokeh, shot off-monitor.
Bokeh close up, shot off-monitor.

Bokeh snobs may tut-tut superciliously, but these artifacts aren’t so pronounced that they’re distracting.

All the lens controls on this prototype were buttery-smooth. I’d have no concerns about zooming or focusing live.

I’ve seen prices written up as $38,800 for the 28–100mm and $39,800 for the 80–250mm, but I also heard the figure of $58,000 mentioned by a usually-knowledgeable third party. The press release doesn’t list prices, so take all these figures with a grain of salt until I can double-check ‘em.

Disclosure: Fujifilm supplied food and drink at their press event, but that aside no compensation was paid or blandishments offered for a favorable writeup. There is no material relationship between me and Fujifilm.

Was This Post Helpful:

0 votes, 0 avg. rating

Support ProVideo Coalition
Shop with Filmtools Logo

Share Our Article

PVC Staff
Adam Wilt has been working off and on in film and video for the past thirty years, while paying the bills writing software for animation, automation, broadcast graphics, and real-time control for companies including Abekas,…