Apparently Fujifilm released their mount ranking system and Sony is ranked well in APSC but bottom in full frame. It’s an interesting tactic from Fujifilm, but not a clever one as far as I am concerned. I always taken notice when people who are lagging in the technology race start claiming these types of things.
Photo from Sonyalpharumors.com
What it effectively means is that if Sony wanted to make some stupidly niche lens with an aperture larger than f/0.63, they won’t be able to. I’m sure many Sony users will be distraught and the thought of never being able to get a 50mm f/0.63 lens that would probably in excess of $10,000 and weigh as much as a 70-200 f2.8! What were we thinking when we bought into Sony mount with a limitation like that? How many commercial lenses are there out there with that aperture? Absolutely None. There was a 50mm f/0.75 on kickstarter and Canon make a 50mm and 85mm f/1.2 which are exorbitantly expensive, but both of those are still possible with the Sony. The new Nikon 58mm f/0.95 is a paltry US$6,000 pushing it into a category where only a handful of photographers can actually afford it, let alone have the capability to use an aperture that is paper thin, and Sony can technically produce this.
So, aside from the technical capabilities, what are the key reasons why I think this isn’t clever?
- Sony still has glass on full frame that is capable of far shallower DOF than Fujifilm so if you were buying based on potential to create shallow DOF, which is ultimately what Fujifilm is arguing, Sony is in a far better position.Sigma has just released a 35mm f/1.2 lens which equates to a 23mm f/0.8. Fujifilm don’t even have a 23mm f/1.2 or f/0.95, let alone f/0.8. Fujifilm have a 33mm f/0.95 coming out which will only just match the 50 f/1.4 that already exists in Sony’s lineup.
- Fujifilm is APSC and Sony is full frame. Having a fight with a full frame manufacture makes no sense whatsoever.
- Even if Fujifilm had a better lens selection available, the cost of the glass we are talking about is so extreme that its out of touch for 99.999% of the market. The f/2.8 zooms on Sony’s lineup are too expensive for most users. At the moment, users are crying out for cheaper glass, not more expensive glass.
- The size of glass that this affects is huge. Look at the size of the Nikon f/0.95 glass and then realise that Sony can still achieve this, so the lenses we’re talking about are going to be much large than this. Think about a 50mm larger than the Sigma 105 f/1.8 and ask yourself how many users would actually want that.
- Fujifilm may try argue the cost to produce glass with a larger aperure on a lens mount that is too small is higher, but so far, Sony is matching Fujifilm’s lenses from a cost per aperture/focal length perspective.
Now Fujifilm is entitled to release this sort of marketing, but the reality is that Sony is still beating Fujifilm in the mirrorless game, and doing so by a substantial margin having overtaken Nikon at number 2.
To do this, Sony has already produced a camera with a full frame sensor, IBIS and twice the battery in a camera the size of Fujifilm’s X-T3, a camera that Fujifilm claims it could not fit IBIS into…I’d say comparing Fujifilm’s technical capability with Sony probably isn’t Fujifilm’s strong point and Fujifilm may be better served focussing on getting better at their what they do than what the competition could theoretically not do.