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Gear Rumors

Tamron 85mm F/1.4 VC Incoming? Fujifilm Medium Format System On The Way?! {Daily Roundup}

By Anthony Thurston on January 25th 2016

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements.

Tamron 85mm F/1.4 VC Patent Discovered

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Sigma’s Art series of lenses has been the talk of prime lens lovers for the last couple years, with the last remaining ‘major’ focal length being an 85mm F/1.4. Tamron joined the premium prime lens game this year with their new SP 35mm and 45mm lenses, and if a new patent is any indication, they could be looking to one up Sigma and come out with an 85mm first.

This all comes from a new rumor report over on Canon Rumors, where the a new patent from Tamron has surfaced featuring a new 85mm F/1.4 prime lens design featuring Tamron’s image stabilization technology, VC or Vibration Compensation.

Obviously, a patent on its own means nothing, but given Tamron’s strong entry into the prime lens market in the second half of this year with their 35mm and 45mm F/1.8 lenses, a push to expand that line and keep the momentum going would not be surprising. An 85mm makes sense too; the general 35mm and 50mm focal lengths are covered in their two current offerings, and short of going wider with a 24mm or 16mm, the only other real direction is more telephoto.

That and the Sigma angle that I mentioned above. Tamron obviously knows and has heard, the same murmuring from the community for a refreshed Sigma 85mm as we have. So an opportunity to one-up their rival and come to market with a high-quality 85mm F/1.4 prime lens would be a nice feather in their cap.

An announcement would likely come towards the second half of the year, and being as this is a Photokina year, a Photokina announcement would seem the most likely. Should be interesting to see how this pans out.

Fujifilm Medium Format System Coming?

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We heard directly from Fujifilm last week at their big X-Pro2 announcement event regarding their testing of medium format. It was only a matter of time until the rumors started popping up, and today we have one for you.

According to a new report over on Fuji Rumors, the story told at Fuji‘s event was not the whole story. They say one of their top Japanese sources has confirmed to them that Fuji is indeed working on a medium format system and that the system has gotten the green light from upper management.

The rumor goes on, though at this point from a new anonymous source (get your salt out), to say that this new medium format system could be ready to be announced as soon as this year, likely at or around Photokina in September. If Fuji was going to make such a big announcement, Photokina is definitely the place to make it.

A new Fuji Medium Format system, priced somewhere in that $4,000 to $10,000 range would be a huge deal. Honestly, though, for me it doesn’t really get my juices flowing unless there is an even more budget option in that ~2500-3000 range (around the price of a mid-high end full frame DSLR/MILC).

But I am getting ahead of myself again. Very interested to see how this rumor shakes out over the next 6 or 7 months.

More On The X-Pro2

I am excited to get my hands on Fuji‘s new X-Pro2 and look forward to sharing my thoughts on it with you. But in the meantime, I wanted to highlight some more of the initial thoughts videos coming out. This time the above video from DP Review, which offers another great look at Fuji‘s next generation camera.

What are your thoughts on today’s roundup? What news/rumors did we miss? What would you like to see covered in future roundups? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. adam sanford

    I don’t know what’s *more* overdue:

    1) A FF Nikon with the Sony A7R II sensor in it
    2) The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art
    3) The Canon non-L 50mm f/nooneknows IS USM

    But Tamron is making money off of #2 and #3 not happening yet. Good on them.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      yep, several very smart moves by Tamron.

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    • Paul Nguyen

      I think the Canon will be an f/1.4, because looking at their lineup, that’s the one that fits in most with the 35/2 IS and 28/1.8 IS. If anything, however, I think the Canon 85/1.8 is due in for a refresh (it’s over 20 years old now isn’t it?) and it’d be nice if that got the IS treatment too.

      That said, I think the 85mm focal length is interesting. There are already plenty of great options. The Canon 85mm f/1.8 is a very cheap lens that performs better than expected. The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G is an absolutely stellar lens that’s one of the sharpest on the Nikon platform. So if Sigma were to release an 85mm f/1.4 ART (or Tamron, also), they’d have to not only compete with the Canon 85/1.2L and Nikon 85/1.4G from above, but also the 85/1.8 lenses from below, necessarily making it a very difficult battle and very different to how they just came in and undercut the 35/1.4 and 24/1.4 markets.

      Economically (and I’m an economist), being stuck between two products is undesirable and it makes sense 100% from a business POV why Sigma has chosen to go after a 24/1.4 (same strategy as the 35/1.4 – undercut) and 20/1.4 (carve out a new market) over the 85/1.4 market.

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    • adam sanford

      Apples and oranges to me on the 85mm front. The Canon 50 and 85 non-L USM lenses are lovely size/weight/price but are riddled with known AF issues (on the 50) and chromatic shenanigans (on the 85). Both need the 24/28/35 ‘non-L IS refresh’ update treatment badly to compete.

      So until those are available, I think a Sigma 85mm Art would fly off the shelves at their typical $899 asking price.

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    • Michael Young

      That’s true for almost all of the markets Sigma and Tamron play in. There are always cheaper options below them and more expensive ones above them. There’s a Nikon 35/1.8G (FX), and a 35/1.4G, but people want 1.4 at a cheaper cost. It’d be no different than the other focal lengths. I don’t think Sigma is too concerned about the 85/1.4 b/c they already have a really good 85/1.4, it just doesn’t say ART on it. Their FF zooms (24-200 ranges) are a bigger issue than their primes lineup.

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    • Jason Keefer

      The current Tamron line up is significantly more flexible than their Sigma counterparts. Almost macro close focusing, weather sealed, VC…. Just as sharp in the center, sharper in the corners…. couple hundred less dollars shelled out (in the U.S.A. at least). It’s a no brainer. The only thing keeping people off of the Tamron models so far….. Sigma hype train.

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    • Michael Young

      Jason, It’s not 100% just hype, I think everyone has a different reason for why they like a lens or company. Some like the color, focusing (speed and accuracy), or maximum aperture. I’ve seen some people choose the Sigma over the Tamron simply b/c the Tamron struggles with CA.

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