The glass material used to create lens in modern days have expanded in its variety, and the processing and designing technology have evolved so much.
One cannot just compare the optical performance of lenses from the past with today's lineup without acknowledging the advancement over the years.
But as we have said it before, there are things that remain the same, and are carried onto the next generation to create FUJINON lenses. One of them is the pursuit for resolution and contrast performance in high frequency component.
There used to be the phrase "Original-Schön" in the film days, meaning the focus, sharpness, and contrast look all good upon looking into film(=original) with a loupe, but once the picture has been made to a large print, the picture appears flat and pale without depth and gradation. This type of lens can only take pictures that looks "Schön (beautiful)" only in the "Original (film)" format.
Optically speaking, this happens when the contrast is only apparent in low frequency component. The picture may appear sharp upon the first impression, but resolution and contrast in high frequency range are missing, therefore the photo appears flat as the photo has been made to a large print.
The time has changed, but the basics of the Optics and Photography remain the same. And the fundamental belief of FUJINON lenses also remains unchanged. The current XF "FUJINON Speed Lens" is also in pursuit for the resolution and contrast performance in high frequency component.
Typical MTF chart uses 45 line/mm as the indicator for high frequency component resolution performance. But we, at FUJIFILM, aim for 60 line/mm for the high frequency resolution.
The detail that adds three-dimensional feel and depth to the photo exists in that range.
With today's post production technology, increasing sharpness is only 2 or 3 clicks away. But this would result in "Original-Schön" when printed. It looks sharp, but it would also looks flat. This is because it lacks the high frequency component.
FUJIFILM often showcases "3-jyo Print," a large format print, 70" x 106" in size at various exhibitions. Only lenses that have real resolution power can tolerate such large sized prints. Not the "Original-Schön". The 60 years of heritage and technological advancement are shown to prove.
Continue to read episode 4:
"Rebirth of the Legend" episode 4