Cramming a wide range of focal lengths into a single lens is tricky to do — but apparently not too tough for Fujifilm to produce a 9.5mm to 437mm with enough quality to shoot 4K. On Monday, August 20, Fujifilm announced the development of a 9.5-437mm lens, that’s a 46x time zoom, for broadcast called the Fujinon UA46x9.5. Fujifilm says it’s the first 4K capable broadcast lens with such a wide zoom range — and is even daring enough to toss in terms like “portable.”
The price hasn’t been announced yet, but broadcast lenses are typically pricey — more people will probably see the results of the lens than actually be able to get hands on it. (Fujifilm says you may see the results of such a lens in sports broadcasts, nature documentaries, news and other types of video). But what’s interesting even for videographers and photographers that don’t shoot broadcast is the lens design. The lens uses a multi-group zoom, which Fujifilm says means that the lens moves multiple groups at once instead of a single group of optics. That’s what has allowed the company to develop a lens with such a wide zoom range.
A 46x zoom broadcast lens for a 2/3-inch sensor isn’t the same thing as a 46x zoom on an APS-C Fujifilm X camera or a full-frame mirrorless camera, but the zoom range is impressive regardless. Both the 46x range and the 9.5mm focal length is a first for the category, Fujifilm says. Fujifilm says the lens design also works to create vivid colors and high dynamic range while suppressing chromatic aberration or color fringing.
Fujifilm says the lens is portable — but that’s compared to other broadcast-quality zoom lenses since the lens weighs over 12 pounds. The lens also includes stabilization. The lens joins other 4K compatible options in Fujifilm’s UA series.
The lens won’t be available until January 2019, but it’s real enough for the company to showcase during the Bejing International Radio, TV & Film Exhibition held this week. Fujifilm hasn’t yet divulged a price. Other Fujifilm broadcast lenses with a wide zoom range are priced in the six-figure range — so the new 46x zoom lens is one that most of us will probably appreciate from afar watching that view go from wide to crazy close during that 4K game on TV.