The Fujinon GFX 50mm F3.5 Is Fujifilm’s Lightest GFX Lens Yet
Earlier today, Fujifilm unveiled its lightest, smallest medium format lens yet. The GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR expands the lineup of lenses available for the GFX series mirrorless medium format cameras, adding an incredibly portable, almost pancake-style 50mm that weighs only 335g (11.8 oz.).
The Fujinon GFX 50mm F3.5 is Fujifilm’s Lightest GFX Lens Yet
The lens is scheduled to ship on September 26th, 2019 at an MSRP of $1,000. To learn more about the new Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR lens, head over to the Fuji website or pre-order yours on Adorama today.
The Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 R WR lens is a new wide angle lens designed for the digital medium format Fujfilm GFX system. It has a full-frame equivalent focal length of 24mm (and its maximum aperture has an equivalent depth of field to a f/2.8 aperture). Fujfilm claims the lens is capable of fully realising the image quality potential of the GFX100, which is a 100MP camera. What we appear to have then is a lens well suited to big scenes produced on a big scale, particularly landscape photography. Compact and lightweight, weather resistant, silent internal autofocus, virtually no focus breathing and Fujfilm's, signature clicked aperture ring, this lens seemingly has it all. Today's street price for the Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 R WR is around 1,650 / $1,700. That's around the same price as Pentax's similar medium format lens and around half the price of Hasselblad's like-for-like XCD lens. Within the GF range of lenses, there is already the Fujfilm GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR. This lens is around 30% more expensive, but does offer a small zoom range, equivalent to 25-50mm. Read on to find out about our experience with the Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 R WR.
Optically, the GF50mm lens was a treat to shoot with. Although technically a pancake design lens, this lens feels somewhere in between a regular prime and pancake lens. The GF50mm is still a reasonably large lens in comparison to full-frame or APS-C; but in the medium format world, this lens is compact. Like many pancake lenses, the front element is tiny (approximately 26mm diameter), while the rear element is larger (approximately 43mm diameter). Because of this design, Fujifilm includes a threaded (62mm) metal lens hood with a tiny 43mm lens cap. Moreover, even with this pancake design, the GF50mm is only 2/3 of a stop darker than the GF63mm f/2.8.
Optically the GF50mm lens was excellent. It has great edge-to-edge sharpness wide open, very little light fall-off, almost no distortion, and controls chromatic aberration under harsh lighting situations. The micro-contrast and rendering of the GF50mm are different from the GF63mm, but not in a bad way. Optically the GF63mm is slightly sharper than the GF50mm at the same aperture, but both lenses are top-notch. If I had to choose which lens I would use for portraits, I would pick the GF63mm. However, as a daily lens for street and lifestyle photography, I would pick the versatility of the GF50mm. I am curious how this lens will perform on the GFX100 or GFX100S; but my guess is that it will scale up nicely, just like the rest of the GF lenses.
With the introduction of the GFX50R, a rangefinder-style medium format camera, it became apparent there was a need for a smaller, pancake-style lens which would match the relatively portable and travel-friendly design of the GFX50R. This is when the GF50mm F3.5 lens R LM WR came to the fore.
As an owner of the GF45mm F2.8 and someone who has shot quite extensively with the 63mm F2.8 lens, the question arises as to whether the brand-new GF 50mm F3.5 is worth considering as the only walk-around, everyday lens.
I especially appreciated the 50mm F3.5 lens when taking portraits. With the GF45mm F2.8 I often found it was too wide for the purpose. The GF50mm F3.5 was just right. I was able to frame my subject comfortably but also include enough complementing elements. In this regard, the GF50mm F3.5 worked beautifully.
As someone who teaches photography around the world, travelling light and simple has always been my priority. When I travel, I usually do so with one camera and one lens only. Could the GF50mm F3.5 replace the GF45mm F2.8 for my travels?
When Fujifilm announced the GF50mm F3.5, the most fitting camera was the GFX50R despite the fact that I am more familiar with the GFX50S. A few months back, when I was testing the GFX50R, I liked the camera but when paired with the GF45mm F2.8 and the GF110mm F2 I found them together slightly unbalanced and difficult to shoot for an extended period. I left with one thought. If only Fujifilm could do the pancake-like lens for the GFX50R it would be a dream travel and street photography combo.
The GFX50R was not the only camera I paired this lens with. I also decided to test it on my GFX50S. Up to now it had been the GF45mm F2.8 lens that never left my camera, with the exception of some portraiture work I did with the GF110 F2 lens. The first time the GF50mm F3.5 was announced I had to face the dilemma: 45 or 50? Should I switch? Of course, the main point of such a recast would be to make the system lighter and smaller.
With the price point below US$1,000 let me remind you, for a medium format lens, the quality I am seeing is excellent. In fact, when I looked at the files and compared them, I was surprised how sharp this lens was. I could even argue that in the centre of the frame the GF50mm outshines the GF45mm and certainly the GF63mm (the weakest of the three).
For those of you who want to learn the craft of seeing properly and would like to enter or upgrade to medium format, the GFX50R and the GF50mm F3.5 is one of the best ways to do that. Furthermore, I would urge you not to add more lenses right away (unless there is a professional need for it) but to shoot with the combo for at least a year. Once you do so, you may well find out that the portable, light GF50mm F3.5 is the only lens you need for a while.
The Electronic Imaging Division of FUJIFILM North America Corporation has announced the release of its FUJINON GF50mm F3.5 R LM WR lens, the smallest and the lightest (11.8 oz./335g) GF lens to date, featuring a maximum aperture of 3.5 and focal length of 50mm (equivalent to 40mm in the 35mm film format). When attached to a FUJIFILM GFX 50R digital camera, the combined weight is only 39.2 ounces (1,110g), making it easily portable and an ideal choice for street and landscape photography.
The addition of the GF50mm F3.5 R LM WR expands the lineup of GF lenses to ten lenses. Complemented with various accessories, Fujifilm offers broad shooting coverage to deliver the joy of taking photographs with the GFX Series of cameras.
GFX System Cameras produce images with incredibly high resolution. This requires lenses to be precisely engineered so that they can properly resolve any image with clarity and detail. GF50mm F3.5 R LM WR consists of 9 elements in 6 groups and includes one aspherical lens element to minimize spherical aberration and barrel distortion. Crafted to produce sharp images, rich tones, and very little focus breathing, this lens is great for either still or motion capture.
Weighing in at just 11.82oz, GF50mm F3.5 R LM WR weighs less than a can of your favorite soft drink, making it the perfect companion to bring along with you for your next street photography expedition. You might just want to bring that beverage along with you since this lens is so portable.
The GF 32-64mm lens was one of the three lenses launched with the original Fujifilm GFX 50S medium format camera. This standard zoom lens covers a focal range equivalent to a 25-51mm in full-frame 35mm terms. This gives you a versatile walk-around lens option for landscape and travel photography. The GF 32-64mm is a top performer that covers a range occupied by no less than four GF prime lenses (30mm, 45mm, 50mm, 63mm). Of course, the f/4 aperture is slightly slower than the primes, but the optical performance is excellent.
So, yes, the GF 45mm is optically very good. It displays a little more distortion than the 50mm and 63mm lenses, but that is to be expected as you approach wider focal lengths. It would be nice to see a GF 45mm f/1.7 lens in the future.
Could this be the single standard prime lens you need for the GFX system? For many people, I think the answer is yes. Unless you need the f/2.8 aperture in the GF 45mm for a specific purpose, I believe the GF 50mm is almost always going to be a better purchase.
That is unless you like taking close-up photos. The one weak point of the GF 50mm is the somewhat poor 0.1x maximum magnification and 50cm MFD. The cost-saving between these two lenses is significant ($999 vs $1699), as is the size and weight savings in your bag or on your shoulder. This is the best value lens for the GFX system.
The GF 80mm f/1.7 is the fastest GF lens and one of the fastest medium format lenses ever made. With a focal length equivalent to 63mm (in 35mm terms) and an equivalent aperture of roughly f/1.3, this is a very fast semi-standard lens. I use the term semi-standard here because most people probably consider the GF 63mm lens standard, with its equivalent 50mm focal length. An equivalent 63mm focal length is somewhat unusual.
The GF 250mm f/4 is the longest, largest, heaviest (1,425g) and most expensive ($3299) GF lens. It has a field of view equivalent to a 198mm lens in a 35mm format, taking it well into the telephoto range. This can be further extended by using the GF 1.4x converter to create a 350mm f/5.6 lens equivalent to a 277mm lens in 35mm terms.
The GF 1.4x teleconverter (sometimes called an extender) is compatible with the GF 100-200mm lens and the GF 250mm lens. Note that it was initially launched alongside the monster GF 250mm, and this means that many websites, including B&H Photo, mistakenly say that it is only compatible with that lens. This is not the case. The GF 100-200mm lens was launched after the GF 250mm, and it is just as compatible with the GF 1.4x teleconverter.