Valhalla, NY—Kenji Sukeno, president of Fujifilm Corporation, announced the company will substantially increase its interchangeable-lens production capacity in response to a growing demand for mirrorless digital cameras.
Additional production facilities will be set up at the Taiwa factory of Fujifilm Optics Co., Ltd. FFOP is a subsidiary that produces cameras and lenses in Japan. Moreover, the new facilities will be operational in stages starting in September 2018. This expansion will boost the production capacity by approximately 70% in 2020, when all of the new facilities go fully operational.
Fujifilm entered into the mirrorless digital camera market in 2012. The company has continued to expand the lineup of its X series APS-C mirrorless digital cameras. In addition, in March 2017 it introduced the Fujifilm GFX 50S, a medium-format mirrorless camera. The 50S features a large sensor 1.7 times the area of a 35mm full-size sensor. Based on Fujifilm’s unique color reproduction technology, it also boasts an “elegant design and outstanding operability,” according to Fujifilm.
Furthermore, Fujifilm tapped into the optical technologies nurtured through the production of Fujinon lenses used in the broadcasting and cinematography industries to develop interchangeable lenses for its mirrorless cameras. The current lineup includes 36 models, with sales expanding at the rate of more than 20% per annum. The current production expansion is part of a strategy to achieve further sales growth of interchangeable lenses for both the X and GFX series.
In addition, a large-scale clean room with a cutting-edge clean room analyzer is one of the facilities Fujifilm is installing. Other facilities will use AI and IoT to improve accuracy in optical adjustments. This will enable advanced productivity in manufacturing ultrawide-angle lenses and large-diameter lenses. These lenses require a high level of image-resolving performance.
Scheduled Interchangeable-Lens Production
After the upgrade, the Taiwa factory will employ the production technology of skilled workers to manufacture not only GF lenses but also interchangeable lenses that require high manufacturing skills. They include a just-announced ultrawide-angle XF zoom lens with an f/2.8 maximum aperture and a 12–24mm-equivalent focal length range.
Also scheduled for production is a large-diameter telephoto lens Fujifilm is developing for use during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It will have a maximum aperture of f/2.0 and 305mm-equivalent focal length.
The interchangeable lenses manufactured at the Taiwa factory will be labeled with “Made in Japan” quality and distributed worldwide.