Behind the Lens episode one – Fujinon MK 18-55 T2.9

AbelCine have published the first of DoP Matt Porwoll’s videos exploring documentary zoom lenses. He’s going to be looking at 11 of the most popular options for factual shooting, and while he’s not explicitly comparing them against each other, he’s hoping to get an idea of the strengths of each particular choice and how and why you might use it.

A Fujinon 18-55 T2.9 lens being tested for Behind The Lens
Shout out to the GoPro mounted on the camera rig to get this shot. Nice touch!

A new standard zoom for Sony cameras?

First up is Fujinon’s new 18-55mm T2.9. Only available in an E-mount, it’s a Sony-only experience (at least until Fujinon release the Fuji X-mount version). I was lucky enough to shoot a little with the lens a couple of months ago and was impressed by the lightweight packaging, the natural colour rendition and a very useful macro mode.

A pool table, as seen in Behind the Lens episode 1
This illustration makes more sense if you see it in motion. Go watch the video already!

Matt’s video really shows how controlled the focus breathing is on the lens – the shot of the pool ball at 02:30 demonstrates this very clearly.

What is it good for?

A Fujinon 18-55 T2.9 lens from Behind the Lens episode 1
Your copy of the lens may or may not be this moody.

Matt concludes that this is a great choice for vérité filming – it’s light, it controls flare well and is sharp even wide open. The slightly lower contrast look it gives to footage is also something you should consider – personally I like this look though it might not be right for every project.

There’s also a companion 50-135 zoom planned for the lens, so when used together you’d have a pretty decent range of focal lengths available with only two lenses to swap between.

Behind the Lens episode 1: Harder better faster stronger

A screengrab showing bokeh from Behind the Lens episode 1
Nine-bladed aperture equals pretty bokeh.

This post only really scratches the surface of the video, which in turn doesn’t dive as deeply as Matt’s blog post on AbelCine’s site. Head over there for a more comprehensive look at the tech specs of the lens and more detailed thoughts on why FS7, FS5 and A7-series shooters should bear it in mind.

Have you tried the Fujinon MK 18-55 T2.9 lens? What do you make of it? And is it a rental or is it priced attractively enough that you would think about adding one to your own kit? Let us know what you think in the comments below.




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