Fuji now claims their XF lenses cannot cover a 35mm sensor, Sony and Panasonic full frame cameras are “possible”

Full frame senor inside Fuji's XF mount

After yesterday's post about a recent statement from a Fuji representative that some XF lenses are compatible with a full frame sensor, the same Hiroshi Kawahara from Fujifilm told a completely different story to dpreview:

It has also moved to quell suggestions that its XF lenses are ready for a full-frame X-mount camera. 'It would not work - XF lenses could not be used with a full-frame sensor,' said Hiroshi Kawahara, operations manager of Fujifilm's product planning division.

Maybe something got lost in translation?

A reader took the time and tried to fit a full frame sensor in a Fuji X-E1 camera body based on existing press images and real camera dimensions - as you can see from the picture above, the Fuji XF mount cannot fit a full frame sensor inside (thanks James).

Full frame senor inside Sony's E mount

With all this full frame sensor talk, Sony did not miss the opportunity to remind us that their E-mount can support a 35mm sensor in this interview with IR:

Q: Well, obviously very different form factors. I guess the question is does a rangefinder-style full-frame interchangeable lens mirrorless makes sense?

A: Well, I think everyone understands that if we can make the VG900, we could make a still camera variant of that. But what’s really on everyone’s mind, I would imagine, is an E-mount interchangeable lens camera together with E-mount full frame interchangeable lenses, and that’s a different discussion. But can the camera be made and can it use full frame A-mount lenses? Yes, the product in the context of the VG900 was already announced. We have them on display here. But I think what those who are suggesting that a full-frame E-mount camera be developed is a full frame E-mount camera together with E-mount lenses that would operate with it and offer full frame coverage. And all one has to do is to look at the RX1 disassembled model and see the optical challenge that would represent.

Panasonic also joined the party and said in a recent interview with EOSHD that a full frame mirrorless camera is possible with their technology:

Q: Megapixels was the main target of the consumer, then it was ISO noise, now sensor size is coming in and maybe dynamic range. Are there any plans for a full frame mirrorless camera, 35mm?

A: [Smiles] Already we release many many Micro Four Thirds lenses. I think it is possible with our technology, but we have to have MANY discussions on how to sell a mirrorless full frame camera.

Photograph: Koelnmesse

All of this full frame mirrorless camera talk intensified after Sony announced the first compact full frame camera at the 2012 Photokina show in Germany.

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  • AM


    • spam

      Fuji never said current lenses would cover FF. They said they considered making a mirrorless FF, not even that it would use the current mount. All the major companies (maybe except for Leica) consider making a FF mirrorless, how could they not? The problems occure when some representativ start being honest and state the obvious to the press which takes the statement as an intent to actually make such a camera.

      • read the AP interview linked in my post – they said that some WA lenses will not be full frame compatible, which means that the rest are

  • e_impact

    Too bad Fuji is not clear in their communications. It also seems there is a demand miscalculation on their part. Quick changes though – just a few months of XPRO1 euphoria and already there is a feeling Fuji is being overtaken quickly.

    • Je ne comprends

      These two pictures could not explain the problem!
      The sensor is behind the lens mount!
      From the front can not hold, does not mean that the inside can not be.
      You can look at the Hasselblad X-PAN, the camera mount diameter is small, but the image size is 24 × 65mm

      • Donji Hogfan

        My thoughts exactly!

      • Dolph Lundgren

        It’s not the mount, stupid!

        • fegw

          FF specific lenses with XF mount can be designed though, no?

          • Dolph Lundren doesn’t get it, he’s just a washed up hollywood star/meat head.

            You can have a smaller mount with a bigger image circle.

          • jon

            how can u have that at minimum flange?

  • FMJ

    I highly doubt Panasonic would do FF at all. m4/3 is selling great, their lens are getting stronger…..

    Sensor manufacturing wise, they are not the greatest…. probably a FF sensor that lacks dynamic range? poor jpeg? lol

    • James

      That was true of the old sensors but the new Sony m4/3 sensor in the OMD and GH3 is great.

  • All this full-frame sensor babble is just that – babble. We have reached a point in terms of megapixel count and image quality where the only photographers who ‘need’ a 35 mm-size sensor are those who have a bag full of legacy lenses that they want to use at their original focal length, presumably Canon or Nikon lenses – or Leica lenses – that they want to use fully functionally on Canon, Nikon, or Leica bodies. But when APC-size sensors can provide the image size and quality provided by a camera such as the Fuji XPro1, with Fuji lenses or other lenses with adapters, the issue of a “full-size” sensor becomes no more relevant than the idea of wanting to shoot 4×5 sheet film in a 35 mm film body.

    Move on, folks, the world – and photography – have changed. And I say this as someone who has been shooting for more than 50 years, as someone who loved my film Leicas and Nikon and Canon SLRs.

    • +5

      Agreed, FF is new medium format. I see no need for FF or more MP as long as image quality and DR continues to improve.

      Having read the original interview in Japanese yesterday, it was clear that he said FujiFilm had talked about if possible to make FF sensor with current XF lenses but it would not work. So, it was rather funny to read DPReview and on here article that stated he said it could be done; only to read this morning can not be done.

      • Mike

        With 50+ years experience, you should know the different “looks” of the different formats. For reportage or other situations where shallow depth of focus is desired, I’ll take a FF f/1.4 lens any day. Even a 2.8 zoom has more attractive shallow DOF vs 4/3.

        • Yes


          Don’t try to teach the ignorant. It’s clear that they are fine using an iphone as well… it does take 8mp pictures, doesn’t it? 🙂

          • Dummy00001

            … but most importantly – the smartphone is always with me.

            Unlike your dozens pounds of FF glass, uselessly laying at home, because you are tired to lug them around.

            Best cam is the one you have on you. QED.

  • JM

    The fact that the “hole” in the front of the camera, i.e. the lens mount, is smaller than 24×36 is completely irrelevant to the image circle produced from that lens.

    Oh and to the last poster, wanting full frame is not “babble” at all – everyone has differing requirements. Personally I would only want full frame 24×36 for my main professional cameras. I want the best low light / high ISO performance that I can possibly get. Good as the X1 Pro is, the latest full frame sensors are better in this regard. This will always be the case. Also there is more scope for using narrow depth of field with the larger sensor.

    • James

      True but if a manufacturer was designing a new mirrorless camera mount to accommodate a 24 x 36mm sensor I am sure they would use a much larger diameter mount to assist with lens design. The NEX 7 struggles in the corners. I am sure the NEX VG900 will be even worse.

      • spam

        Agree, if FF was a clear and important goal at design time then a manufacturer should make/select a mount with fairly large diameter. IMO both Sony and Fuji clearly chose a suboptimal solution for FF mirrorless (I’m not sure it’s even possible for Fuji).

        A large(r) diameter ensure that there are fewer constraints on lens design than with a smaller diameter mount. However, the E-mount is already higher than some of the NEX-bodies and an even larger mount would have been awkward on the NEX-3/5 series.

        So, a NEX-7 might struggle in the corners with some lenses due to short distance between sensor and lens, but that’s partly at least because of the lens deisgn. Short flange distance doesn’t mean the rear lens have to be close to the sensor. Sony could easily choose other designs to avoid this problem. That would in some/many cases mean less compact lenses, but that’s another problem which probably would be less of an issue on a FF camera anyway.

    • BdV

      Only want 24×36: sure. If it was 23×35 I’d feel like I was missing two chromosomes.

  • Digitalrev

    The day that i will buy a Sonuy you can “tagliarmi i coglioni”

  • trondkj

    The old Leica had a opening diameter of 39mm, less than the diagonal of the 24x36mm frame, so the opening diameter doesn’t need to be so big that the sensor fits inside it.

    • Art

      However, Leica had longer flange distance. The combination of shorter flange and narrow diameter probably means X mount is incompatible with full-frame.

  • george

    -this is really all about producing, a small improvement step edition series of cameras, with no one manufacturer way ahead of another.
    -resulting in maximizing sales over the longest period of time.
    —end of story—
    easy test of fuji lenses
    hold one over a view camera open mount, and measure the diameter of the round image on the ground glass when focused at infinity, does a 35mm frame area fit ? end of story and not complicated

  • chris

    Sounds like Fuji backtracking after accidentally letting the cat out of the bag. If the X lenses can cover a FF image as was originally suggested, they just need a different diameter rear mount and the X-FF mount needs to be larger. I think its possible, Fuji had to have one eye on FF, no way it goes all in with APS-c only – look at where Sony’s SLT’s were heading before the A99, or Pentax just spinning its wheels (not counting small volume models like the Q and 645).

    I still think Fuji does a FF X100 to compete with the RX1, sell it for $2000 and it’ll be the hottest camera of 2013.

  • mythbuster

    Everybody talking FF as the Holy Grail. This is nonsense. APS-C and M4/3 are now good enough for a 99,999% of photographers. And 2/3 ” is good enough for a 99%. If you can´t take great pictures with your Sigma DP, Fuji X100 or Olympus OM-D is because you really are a bad photographer and so better do anything else, like gardening.

    • This statement has no sense at all. For those who really need FF, it is still a Holy Grail. Experienced photographer knows for certain what differences are and he knows how to put the top effort over FF qualities. Diffraction is still here (bad for landscapes), no matter how good your lenses are and no matter what the megapixel count. Shallow DoF photography suffers as well of not having extra area over cropped matrix. For expamle: I’d love to shoot close-up portraits at f/4-f/5.6 for maximum sharpness yet getting blured background, not to mention shooting wide open. With APS-C or camera with even smaller sensor I am forced to shoot at opened aperture to get the same result.

      Didn’t I mention dynamic range, noise performance and color response? Oh boy!

      • mythbuster

        I am tired you FF-maniacs repeating the same once and again. Not true at all. I can get very good portraits in APS-C and beautifully blurred background with a 70 mm at f.4.0. Dynamic range, SNR and color are all problems of the past.

        • Dummy00001

          mythbuster, it’s pointless to argue rationally here. The “give us the FF” crowd is made mostly of gear-maniacs to whom the spec sheet is everything.

          Just look at what the people shoot with the FF. Pros shooting sports, wild life and nature are few and filtered out easily. Rest is just the shallow DOF junk: crappy “mess of colored blotches” background and half image OOF (either in color or BW, for a classy effect). (I have in past spent considerable time lurking on the Leica/Canon 1D/Nikon D3/D700 forums.)

          Though considering the amount of “pining for the FFjorsd”, I’m pretty sure that some vendors would release FF models.

          • Show us your mastery, oh Lord!

            You have spent so many time lurking on forums and I have spent years of old-school film study, so the difference between you and me is pretty evident, mr. Empty Words.

          • Judging by forum talk with zero personal experience is plain stupid, sorry.

        • So, where are those portraits? Or this was just bragging rights?

      • James

        35mm is nothing magical. It was always an amateur film format. It came into existence as a cheap alternative to medium and large format as it could maximize the surface are of 35mm motion picture film by having the film run through the camera sideways. I guess people have become accustomed to it like 24 frames per second motion.

        • I’m aware of how 35 mm format was risen, thank you.

  • What are an f stop and a sensor format doing in the same sentence? Of course a 35 mm lens cropped to produce a “50 mm” image on a smaller sensor will have the dof of 35 at a given f stop, rather than a 50. But in all the years I shot with Leica Ms my two favorite lenses were the 35 summilux asph 1.4 and the 28 summicron f 2. The shallow dof was just fine thank you. So the dof produced by the Fuji 35, cropped as a 50, is working out just fine for me. Would I prefer a 22 1.2 or even f 1 to a 22 1.4 to use as a 35 equiv on the X1pro? Sure. But just as photographers moved from 4x5s to 2 1/4s, and then to 35s, and adapted, I can change and adapt. I was shooting 4/3 digital, so this is a real improvement as far as I’m concerned. I have now found a system I’m comfortable with. I’m spending my time shooting, rather than jumping at every report of what Sony, Samsung, Fuji, or Whirlpool is going to release next week, month, or year.

    Over on the Leica Users Group, where hardware obsession was and still is a way of life, a young, unknown photographer named Kyle Cassidy always signed his posts, “keep pushing that shutter button; it’ll come unstuck.” It was and is great advice. He followed it and is now working on his third book of photos.

  • Young Lee

    people should start thinking of using 35mm film and medium format… They just look so much better.

  • Zaph

    It would likely cover APS-H though.

  • Dummy00001

    I’m personally OK with smaller sensor and DOF of f/2.0 and f/1.4 on the m43/43.

    To me the advantage is clearly on the 43 sensor size, since I can shoot wide open – at max of the lens’ light-gathering capability – without sacrificing much of edge-to-edge IQ.

    As blurring background goes, haven’t seen a decent example of it in ages. Background is still important and even if it is completely blurred, it still can be highly distracting. In the end, I prefer photos with background to provide context to the image.

  • JM

    In my original comment, I stated that “everyone has differing requirements”, then proceeded to state that I personally prefer the larger sensor.

    It appears that on a photographic forum that makes me some sort of zealot or maniac! A lot of hobbyists do seem to get upset very easily!

  • JM

    Just to add that, despite the hysterics of the APS zealots, I still consider that, because the APS sensor of the X1 Pro is so good, a 24×36 version would be absolutely awesome in terms of image quality and would definitely be a game changer for professional photography.

  • george

    there is a place for full frame and medium format, and that place is very big enlargements.
    35mm full frame is ideal for interiors, enormous depth of field at f-11 and sharp (medium format has it’s problems getting everything in focus)(not to mention the total lack of super wide angle lenses).

    agreed 99% of the needs can be met with aps sensors if you don’t print beyond 1 meter wide. 3 meters wide and you need much more

    side bar note, camera brands sell because professionals use them (free advertising), i have lost track of how many people have bought the consumer version of the cameras i use (Leica & Canon)

    i would love to see a fuji or sony nex in full frame, and would probably buy it

  • The larger the sensor the better the quality. Same as with film there is no getting around it.

    If you want a FF buy one, if you don’t then don’t bother. Nobody really cares what camera you have. If you want a status symbol go buy a car. If the average person would spend as much time actually improving their photography rather then comparing gear… Well I think everyone knows the answer to that.

    Well, that’s the end of my rant.

  • dick ranez

    “tis a poor workman who blames his tools!”

  • H

    When we will finally get a compact rangefinder with M bajonet, so one can use Leica or Zeiss ZM , or new M lenses on it??

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