Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR

 
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Updates:
07/19/2018: Field Test & Gallery Images posted

 

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Field Test

The longest lens in the GF lens lineup delivers fantastic image quality and usability

by Jeremy Gray | Posted 07/18/2017

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/4, 1/640s, ISO 250.
This image has been modified. Click here for the RAW file.

Introduction

The longest lens in the GF lens lineup, the new 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR lens is a roughly 200mm-equivalent prime lens well-suited to a wide variety of photographic subjects. Not only is it up to the task of making many types of images, it's also a very well-built, pro-oriented lens with many interesting optical features.

Key Features

  • 197.5mm equivalent telephoto lens
  • 16 lens elements in 10 groups, including a Super ED element and a pair of ED elements
  • Linear autofocus system with internal focusing
  • Focus preset buttons
  • Removable tripod collar
  • 82mm filter thread
  • Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) rated for five stops of correction
  • Weather-resistant construction
  • Compatible with the new GF 1.4x teleconverter
  • Retails for around $3,300 USD
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review -- Product Image

Construction and handling

The GF 250mm f/4 lens is very well-built, with a water, dust and freeze-resistant construction. It is quite large, the largest GF lens yet, and is fairly heavy. It has dimensions of 4.25 x 8.01 inches (108 x 203.5 millimeters) and weighs 3.14 pounds (1.42 kilograms). Its lens hood adds about four inches (100 millimeters) to the overall length. Despite its large size, however, it balances quite nicely on the GFX, particularly when using a vertical grip.

The lens has numerous bells and whistles as well. There are four focus preset buttons, which can also be assigned to handle AF-L and AF functionality. These buttons are located in 90-degree increments around the end of the lens barrel. In addition to the preset switch, there's also a focus limiter switch and an OIS switch. Like other GF lenses, the lenls has a rubber focus ring -- which is just over two inches (five centimeters) wide -- and a ridged aperture ring.

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review -- Product Image

One of my favorite features of the lens is its removable tripod collar. The tripod foot is rugged and works well, but when you don't need it, it's very easy to remove. You rotate a knob a short distance and then you can split and pull the tripod collar from the lens barrel. Another notable aspect of the lens' design is its lens hood, which has a slot allowing you to easily rotate an 82mm front filter without removing the hood. It's a nice touch.

Overall, the lens is very well-built. Sure, it's pretty large and heavy, but that's to be expected for a 250mm medium format lens! Importantly, it balances nicely and appears well-suited to handle the rigors of a professional workflow.

Optical design and image quality

Featuring 16 lens elements across 10 groups, the GF 250mm f/4 lens has quite a lot of glass. There is a Super ED element and two ED elements to help ensure optical quality and reduce issues with respect to aberrations. Speaking of which, I found no noticeable issues with chromatic aberrations when using the GF 250mm lens.

Sharpness

The Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 lens is very sharp wide open, particularly in the center of the frame. Only at the extreme edges of the frame do you see a decrease in sharpness and a very small decrease, at that. It's not very noticeable even when viewing images at 100 percent. At f/5.6, the lens is superbly sharp in the center and very sharp in the corners. I found f/5.6 to be the best overall aperture for the GF 250mm f/4 lens as there is a bit of a drop in sharpness at f/8 and beyond. At f/11, the lens is still capable of producing reasonably detailed images, but at f/16 and beyond, diffraction is quite extreme.

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/4, 1/1000s, ISO 100.
100 percent center crop from RAW file processed with Adobe Camera Raw default settings. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/5.6, 1/550s, ISO 100.
100 percent center crop from RAW file processed with Adobe Camera Raw default settings. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/4, 1/1000s, ISO 100.
100 percent bottom left corner crop from RAW file processed with Adobe Camera Raw default settings. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/5.6, 1/550s, ISO 100.
100 percent bottom left corner crop from RAW file processed with Adobe Camera Raw default settings. Click here for the RAW file.

Vignette

There's a moderate amount of vignette when shooting wide open, with or without the 1.4x teleconverter. By moving down a single stop, the vignette is reduced to very low levels, and there would be very few real-world situations in which the vignette would be noticeable.

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/4, 1/125s, ISO 1600.
Vignette test shot. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/5.6, 1/120s, ISO 3200.
Vignette test shot. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
1.4x teleconverter, f/5.6, 1/100s, ISO 3200.
Vignette test shot. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
1.4x teleconverter, f/8, 1/50s, ISO 3200.
Vignette test shot. Click here for the RAW file.

Bokeh

Bokeh is an important aspect of many prime lenses and while it can be difficult to objectively assess the quality of bokeh, we can see that there is a good amount of consistency with respect to out-of-focus rendition. In the test shot below, we see mostly round out-of-focus elements across the entire frame. To my eyes, the bokeh displayed by the lens was certainly good.

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
1.4x teleconverter, f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 2000.
This image has been modified. Click here for the RAW file.
As you can see in this image, the GF 250mm f/4 lens can capture images with some nice bokeh. Given the length of the lens and the maximum f/4 aperture, you do need to get close to your subject and have the background quite far back for the best results, but you can nonetheless achieve pleasing background blur.
 
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
1.4x teleconverter, f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 1250.
This image has been cropped. Click here for the RAW file.
This image shows how specular highlights in the background are generally kept quite circular, even when they're near the edge of the frame. Note the top right corner in particular, the lens does a good job keeping areas like this pleasing to the eye and not warped or distracting.

In The Field

When using the GF 250mm f/4 lens in the field, its somewhat robust size and weight did prove occasionally taxing, but its autofocus performance and OIS performance were very good.

Autofocus

The GF 250mm f/4 has a linear autofocus motor and is an internally-focusing lens. The autofocus system is a bit slow when focusing on a close subject but is fast in many other situations. The lens features an updated autofocus mechanism that locks the linear motor position when the camera is powered off, meaning it can retain the focus distance when turning the camera on and off, which is a nice feature. This isn't the case with other GF lenses.

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/4, 1/800s, ISO 400.
This image has been modified. Click here for the RAW file.

Ultimately, the lens seems to be held back by the GFX's autofocus performance rather than its own, as it's certainly on par with other GF lenses with respect to focusing speed and accuracy. Continuous autofocus is not great, but again, I believe this likely due to the GFX's slower contrast-detect AF system rather than the GF 250mm lens itself.

Close focus distance

The GF 250mm f/4 lens has a close focus distance of 4.59 feet (1.4 meters). This results in a maximum magnification of 0.22x, which isn't bad and is quite similar to other GF lenses. It's a far cry from a macro lens, but it allows for photographing small mammals, such as the bird above or flowers with decent success.

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/4, 1/500s, ISO 500.
This image has been modified. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
1.4x teleconverter, f/11, 1.2s, ISO 100.
Close focus test image with teleconverter attached. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/8, 0.5s, ISO 100.
Close focus test image. Click here for the RAW file.

Optical Image Stabilization

The GF 250mm f/4 lens features Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), joining the GF 120mm f/4 Macro lens as the only other stabilized lens in the GF lineup. The stabilization system is rated for five stops of correction, and it certainly performs well. Using OIS, it's not difficult without a tripod to capture sharp images at 1/30s or even slower.

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
See above for shooting information.
OIS test comparison. Click here for the OIS ON RAW file.

In addition to allowing for sharper shots at slower shutter speeds, the OIS also does an excellent job of stabilizing the image through the viewfinder, which can be useful when trying composing a shot or tracking a subject. With that said, in my experience, the OIS seems to drain the battery life considerably faster than when shooting with other lenses. It may not just be the OIS, but perhaps also the autofocus with the larger GF 250mm f/4 lens. In any case, the already-not-great battery life of the GFX-50S is noticeably reduced when using the GF 250mm f/4 lens. In the grand scheme of things, it's a small price to pay for a stabilized, sharp image.

Shooting with the GF 1.4x TC WR teleconverter

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review -- Product Image

Alongside the GF 250mm f/4 lens, Fujifilm released the GF 1.4x TC WR teleconverter. The teleconverter costs $849, which is quite expensive for a teleconverter, and is currently only compatible with the GF 250mm f/4 lens. With the 1.4x teleconverter, the effective focal length becomes 350mm, which is equivalent to a 276.5mm lens in 35mm-format terms. Further, as is typical with 1.4x teleconverters, you lose a full stop of light-gathering capability, making it an f/5.6 prime in this case.

The teleconverter itself is very well built, featuring a solid lens mount and weather sealing like the 250mm f/4. With the teleconverter, full electronic communication is maintained, meaning that you have full autofocus, metering and optical image stabilization functionality. The teleconverter adds nearly a pound (14.1 ounces/400 grams) to the full set-up, but not too much length. Technically, the teleconverter is 3.2 inches long, but a considerable amount of the teleconverter goes inside the GF 250mm lens, so the effective length increase is less than half of that.

Performance with the teleconverter is quite good. There is not a considerable decrease in sharpness, thanks in part to the teleconverter's optical design, which features seven elements across three groups. Even shooting wide open (at f/5.6 effective aperture with the teleconverter attached), the 250mm f/4 produces very sharp images across the entire frame. It's rather impressive that there is almost no sharpness lost when using the teleconverter, at least none that is noticeable in real-world use.

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
1.4x teleconverter, f/5.6, 1/480s, ISO 100.
100 percent center crop from RAW file processed with Adobe Camera Raw default settings. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
1.4x teleconverter, f/8, 1/250s, ISO 100.
100 percent center crop from RAW file processed with Adobe Camera Raw default settings. Click here for the RAW file.

Real-world samples

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
1.4x teleconverter, f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 400.
This image has been modified. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
1.4x teleconverter, f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 400.
100 percent crop from the above image. Click here for the RAW file.
As you can see, even wide open with the 1.4x teleconverter, the GF 250mm f/4 lens can produce images with superb detail.
 
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/4, 1/500s, ISO 500.
Click here for the RAW file. In this image, the background was quite close to the subject, but the lens did a good job blurring the background. The flower in the foreground was also quite close to the subject.
 
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
1.4x teleconverter, f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 2000.
This image has been modified. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
1.4x teleconverter, f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 1600.
This image has been modified. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
1.4x teleconverter, f/6.4, 1/500s, ISO 2000.
This image has been modified. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
1.4x teleconverter, f/5.6, 1/400s, ISO 500.
This image has been modified. Click here for the RAW file.

Field Test Summary

An excellent telephoto prime lens for the Fujifilm GFX system

What I liked:

  • Very good build quality
  • Excellent sharpness, with and without the new 1.4x teleconverter
  • Generally good autofocus performance
  • Good Optical Image Stabilization

What I didn't like:

  • Quite heavy in real-world use
  • The most expensive GF lens to date
  • The teleconverter is expensive, too

Overall, the Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR, along with the 1.4x teleconverter, is a very good addition to the GF lineup, particularly for those in need of some telephoto reach with their GFX system. While the GFX itself is not well-suited for wildlife or sports photography, the GF 250mm f/4 does allow photographers the opportunity for such work, and its performance is certainly up to the task if you can work around the camera's limitations. The GF 250mm f/4 lens is an excellent telephoto prime lens capable of capturing very good images across a wide range of shooting situations, both with and without the new 1.4x teleconverter.

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/4, 1/9s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click here for the RAW file.

 

• • •

 

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR - Overview

(From Fujifilm lens literature) FUJIFILM North America Corporation has announced the launch of the FUJINON GF250mmF4 R LM OIS WR, a lens that expands the telephoto range for the FUJIFILM GFX 50S medium format mirrorless digital camera system.

When combined with the GFX medium format sized sensor with an area approximately 1.7 times larger than 35mm format, the GF250mmF4 R LM OIS WR lens achieves exceptional image quality. Composed of 16 lenses in 10 groups, this lens delivers unsurpassed color reproduction, three dimensional image quality, as well as ultra-high resolution and rich bokeh.

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR product image

In addition, this telephoto lens is equipped with a powerful five-stop optical image stabilization and a new focus preset function, which allows the photographer to instantly activate focus settings previously saved in the lens memory. With a rugged, lightweight magnesium alloy lens barrel designed to be dust and weather-resistant, the GF250mmF4 R LM OIS WR is capable of operating in temperatures as low as 14°F/-10°C. The front lens element has a fluorine coating designed to repel water and dirt even under tough outdoor conditions.

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR product image

FUJINON GF250mmF4 R LM OIS WR Lens Key Features:

  • Ultra-high image quality achieved with 16 lenses in 10 groups, 1 super ED lens and 2 ED lenses.

  • Powerful five-stop optical image stabilization to maximize high image resolution.

  • Silent, high-speed autofocus operation and new mechanism to fix linear motor position when turning power off or when in playback mode. Available with new GFX 50S firmware.

  • Made with magnesium alloy, ensuring a robust, durable body.

  • Dust and weather-resistant design capable of operating in temperatures as low as 14°F/-10°C.

Availability and Pricing
The new FUJINON GF250mmF4 R LM OIS WR lens will be available in Late May 2018 for USD $3,299.95 and CAD $4,124.99.

Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR

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