FUJINON 3.5cm F2 was introduced in 1954.
FUJINON 5cm F1.2, which was released at the same time as the 3.5cm F2, appears very appealing looking at the spec, but FUJINON 3.5cm F2 was the center of attention back then. The lens was the world's first ever to have maximum aperture of F2 at the angle view of 35mm.
Looking back at the product information and reviews of the time reveal wording such as "(Unordinary) way of using bright wide angle lens" or "New field of view".
The way we perceive "wide angle lens" has changed since then. It has gotten wider and we see 35mm angle of view only as the gateway to the wide angle lens.
Lenses have also become larger in diameter. With the XF Lens, the maximum aperture is F1.4 with the 35mm angle of view. But keep in mind, the way we design lenses have not changed.
FUJINON always seeks for the new "field of view" and new "way of using bright wide angle lenses".
What we are trying to achieve now, 60 years later, is a razor-sharp large diameter lens with the aperture wide open: a lens that is sharp and bokeh-rich at the same time.
Razor-sharp image quality with high resolution leading out to out focus with a beautiful gradation. The peak is high and the gradation is very smooth forefront as well as in the background. This is what we are trying to achieve upon designing large diameter XF lenses.
Designing such lens was not simply possible just up until recently. Because of the way SLR or rangefinder focusing work, there was an inevitable difference on the where the image was actually focused. The margin of error had to be considered. But with the mirrorless structure focusing work on the image plane itself. And the X-Trans CMOS sensor has high resolution even at super high frequency. So it was simply natural that the current FUJINON speed lenses were created.
Continue to read episode 3:
"Rebirth of the Legend" episode 3