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Getting in close and personal can open up a brave new world of creative photography, especially with a purpose-designed macro lens.

Fujifilm X-Series photographers can now avail themselves of a new Fujinon XF 80mm f2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro lens, with a focal length equivalent to 122mm on a full-frame sensor.

The maximum aperture is f2.8, typical of macro lenses, and it offers a 1:1 magnification factor, a first in the X-Series interchangeable lens range. What this means is that the size of your subject in real life is reproduced as life-size on the sensor.

The new lens supports hand-held shooting thanks to an Optical Image Stabilizer system suppressing 'shift shake', which is perhaps a Fujifilm word for camera shake! However, OIS will be welcome as everything is magnified when you photograph at close distances, including camera shake, er, shift shake.

The lens also provides a fast and silent autofocus system using linear motors and a Floating Focus System. This divides the focusing lens elements into a "Front Focus Group" and a "Rear Focus Group", and drives them depending on the shooting distance required.

A newly developed "Ball Slide System" also controls lens movement by using ceramic balls along the guide rail. This makes it possible to achieve high image quality from the centre to the edge, Fujifilm claims.

The focus lens groups move within the lens barrel, meaning that the physical length of the lens does not change, unlike some other macro lens designs. Therefore, there is no need to worry about accidentally touching the object you are photographing.

The aperture and focusing rings have been designed to be comfortable and easy to use. The lens is also weather and dust resistant and can operate in temperatures as low as -10°C, so it is suitable for use in a wide range of outdoor shooting conditions.

A fluorine coating has also been applied to the front lens element to repel water and dirt, further improving the toughness of the lens.

The lens offers compatibility with the 1.4x Teleconverter (XF1.4X TC WR) and 2.0x Teleconverter (XF2X TC WR), so it can be used as a telephoto macro lens.

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