Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR

 
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45mm $1,499
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image of Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR

Updates:
: Field Test & Gallery Images added

 

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Field Test

This excellent 35mm-equivalent prime lens strengthens GFX lineup

by Jeremy Gray | Posted 02/02/2018

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/8.0, 1/70s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The Fujifilm GF 45mm f/2.8 is the sixth lens in the Fujifilm GFX system, following up on last summer's GF 23mm f/4 and GF 110mm f/2. Arguably, those two lenses were more exciting additions due to their unique qualities. On the other hand, a 35mm-equivalent lens is simply a must-have for any camera system. I've never had a 35mm prime in my own kit, but no matter your camera of choice, a good general-purpose wide angle prime lens is a nice addition.

Like other lenses in the GFX lineup, the GF 45mm f/2.8 employs a straightforward design with weather sealing, a manual aperture ring and a fairly hefty price tag. Let's see if the GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR can deliver the same kind of optical quality and great handling as the other GF lenses I've used.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Wide prime lens with a 35mm-equivalent focal length
  • f/2.8 to f/32 aperture
  • 9-bladed rounded diaphragm
  • 11 lens elements across 8 groups with 1 aspherical and 2 ED elements plus Nano GI coating
  • Linear motor autofocus
  • 17.7-inch (45 centimeter) close focus with 0.14x magnification ratio
  • 3.5 inches (88 millimeters) long with a diameter of 3.3 inches (84 millimeters)
  • 17.3 ounces (490 grams)
  • Weather, dust and freeze resistant
  • US$1,700 retail price
Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
The weather sealing and freeze resistance works great!
f/2.8, 1/125s, ISO 320.

Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Lens Design and Handling

The GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR lens follows the same basic design as the rest of the GF lens lineup. This means that it has a dedicated aperture ring; ridged, rubber focus ring; features weather sealing for dust, moisture and freeze resistance; and a semi-gloss black finish.

The GF 45mm f/2.8 is a small and lightweight lens by GFX lens standards. It weighs 17.3 ounces (490 grams) and is 3.5 inches (88 millimeters) long with a 3.3-inch (84 millimeters) diameter. The lens balances very nicely with the GFX, and if you wanted to use the GFX without a grip or the detachable EVF, it actually makes a pretty compact combo (relatively speaking, of course).

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review -- Product Image

There is no wasted space on the GF 45mm f/2.8's lens barrel. The aperture ring is about three-quarters of an inch wide (just over 20 millimeters) and the focus ring, which rotates very smoothly by the way, is just under 1.5 inches (around 40 millimeters) wide. It includes a petal-shaped lens hood, which works well although it doesn't have the same excellent button-locking mechanism as some other GF lens hoods and has a 62mm filter thread.

Overall, the GF 45mm f/2.8 looks good, feels good and has great balance with the GFX 50S camera. It is a premium prime and feels that way when you use it. Image stabilization would have been a welcome addition since the GFX has no in-body image stabilization, but that's a pretty minor complaint for a fast wide prime lens.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review -- Product Image

Optics and Image Quality

The GF 45mm f/2.8 lens is fairly simple when it comes to its optical construction. The lens has 11 elements across 8 groups and a single aspherical element. There are also a pair of ED elements in the mix and Fujifilm's Nano GI coating. The lens features a 9-blade rounded aperture diaphragm for pleasing, smooth out of focus areas.

This straightforward optical formula results in excellent image quality across the board. The GF 45mm f/2.8 is very sharp, as we'll see in the next section, and performs well with respect to aberrations and vignetting.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/11, 1/60s, ISO 100.
Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Sharpness

Having shot with five of the six GF lenses released so far (not the GF 120mm f/4 macro lens), I was not surprised that the GF 45mm f/2.8 is a very sharp optic, particularly when considering the center of the frame. My high expectations were certainly met by the new wide angle prime. Even when shooting wide open, the GF 45mm f/2.8 is remarkably sharp. At f/2.8, the lens delivers images with incredible detail. At f/4 and f/5.6, the lens is even sharper, which is quite a feat considering its wide open sharpness. Diffraction starts around f/11, but the lens is still quite good, and then the sharpness degrades quickly until f/32, where the lens is not sharp at all. If you're using a Fujifilm GFX, you of course want great image quality and resolution, so do yourself a favor and don't stop down beyond f/16 unless absolutely necessary. For the best resolution, stay between f/4 and f/8.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Sharpness Test Image
f/2.8, 0.5s, ISO 100.
Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Sharpness Test Image
f/2.8, 0.5s, ISO 100.
100% center crop from a RAW image processed with Adobe Camera Raw default settings. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Sharpness Test Image
f/4.0, 1s, ISO 100.
100% center crop from a RAW image processed with Adobe Camera Raw default settings. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Sharpness Test Image
f/5.6, 1.8s, ISO 100.
100% center crop from a RAW image processed with Adobe Camera Raw default settings. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Sharpness Test Image
f/16, 15s, ISO 100.
100% center crop from a RAW image processed with Adobe Camera Raw default settings. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

When considering the corners of the frame, the lens is decent when shot wide open, although the loss of resolution is noticeable. By stopping down to f/5.6 or f/8, you strike the best balance with sharpness across the entire frame.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Sharpness Test Image
f/2.8, 0.5s, ISO 100.
100% top right corner crop from a RAW image processed with Adobe Camera Raw default settings. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Sharpness Test Image
f/8.0, 3.5s, ISO 100.
100% top right corner crop from a RAW image processed with Adobe Camera Raw default settings. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Aberrations

The GF 45mm f/2.8 does a very good job suppressing chromatic aberrations and issues with false color. Most lenses I shoot have at least some fringing around elements such as tree branches against a bright sky. Sometimes it's green and magenta, other times it's just a bit of purple fringing, but it's fairly common. However, all the GF lenses I've shot have done a great job at delivering clean images. This is likely partially due to Fujifilm being able to design lenses and camera software fully side-by-side as the GFX 50S is the only GFX camera available. The GF 45mm f/2.8 has no real issue with chromatic aberration and very rarely displays purple fringing, even in challenging situations.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/9.0, 1/125s, ISO 200.
Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/9.0, 1/125s, ISO 200.
100% crop of the above image. We can see a bit of purple fringing around the branches, but it's pretty minimal. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Vignetting

The GF 45mm f/2.8 has a small amount of vignette when shooting wide open, but the issue is essentially resolved by stopping down to f/4.0. Even at f/2.8, the darkening in the corners is only noticeable when shooting bare skies or images against solid backdrops. It's also easy to correct in post-processing if you desire, although I don't think it's necessary and personally wouldn't bother.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Vignette Test Image
f/2.8, 1/120s, ISO 100.
Vignette test image. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Vignette Test Image
f/4.0, 1/60s, ISO 100.
Vignette test image. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

In the Field

Focus

With its linear motor autofocus technology, the GF 45mm f/2.8 is a pretty quick lens relative to other GF prime lenses. I find it to be not quite as fast as the GF 23mm f/4, but faster than the GF 63mm f/2.8 and GF 110mm f/2. It's an internal focusing lens, so the end of the lens barrel doesn't move when it focuses, unlike the GF 63mm f/2.8. It is fairly quiet when focusing as well, although it is definitely audible.

The GF 45mm f/2.8 is, unsurprisingly, not a great lens for macro photography. The rest of the GF lenses - save for the GF 120mm f/4 - deliver mediocre maximum reproduction ratios, and the GF 45mm f/2.8 continues the trend. Its closest focusing distance is 17.7 inches (45 centimeters), which results in a magnification ratio of 0.14x (1:7.1). It's fine for most kinds of shooting, but it would be nice if the lens could focus closer.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Close Focus Test Image
f/2.8, 1/110s, ISO 3200.
Close focus test image. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Bokeh

The GF 45mm f/2.8 delivers nice bokeh. The out of focus rendition is quite nice and there's a smooth, pleasing transition from in-focus to out-of-focus areas. It's a lens well-suited to still life and portraiture photography, provided you don't need to get too close to your subject.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image

The GF 45mm f/2.8 produces pleasing bokeh. I like the smooth transition from out of focus to in focus and then back to out of focus.
f/2.8, 1/200s, ISO 1000.
Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

 
Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/8.0, 1/280s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/8.0, 1/280s, ISO 100.
100% crop from the modified image above. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/2.8, 1/125s, ISO 250.
Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/11, 1/125s, ISO 100.
Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/8.0, 1/125s, ISO 125.
This image has been modified. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Field Test Summary

The Fujifilm GF 45mm f/2.8 is yet another excellent addition to the growing GFX lens lineup

What I liked:

  • Robust yet lightweight design
  • Weather-resistant
  • Excellent sharpness, even wide open
  • Very good optical performance across the board
  • Quick autofocus

What I didn't like:

  • A bit of vignette when shooting wide open
  • Close focus distance is limiting

As Fujifilm continues to expand their GFX lens lineup, lenses like the GF 45mm f/2.8 are important additions. A standard wide angle prime is an crucial part of any camera system for many photographers. There's a reason that basically every camera system has a 35mm-equivalent lens. Photographers want them.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/8.0, 1/70s, ISO 100.
This image has been modified. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
f/8.0, 1/70s, ISO 100.
100% crop from the modified image above. Click for full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Photographers also want, by and large, sharp lenses. With the GF 45mm f/2.8, Fujifilm has delivered on both counts. Not only is the lens optically superb, but it is also built well and pairs very nicely with the GFX 50S camera. When you are building a new camera system from the ground up, a 35mm-equivalent prime is an important component and the GF 45mm f/2.8 delivers excellent performance.

 

• • •

 

Product Overview

(From Fujifilm lens literature) FUJIFILM North America Corporation has announced the new FUJINON GF45mmF2.8 R WR, a highly versatile wide angle lens. The GF45mmF2.8 R WR lens has a focal length equivalent to 36mm (in the 35mm format) and a maximum aperture of F2.8. With its compact and lightweight design weighing just 490g, this lens is perfect for street and documentary photography.

The new GF45mmF2.8 R WR is the sixth interchangeable GF lens to be added for the FUJIFILM GFX 50S medium format mirrorless digital camera system. Taking advantage of the mirrorless system's structure, the G Mount has a short flange back distance of just 26.7mm that reduces the back focus distance as much as possible to prevent vignetting and achieve edge-to-edge sharpness. As with all GF Lenses, the GF45mmF2.8 R WR is a professional quality lens capable of reproducing rich tones and unique colors.

With a construction of 8 groups and 11 elements using one aspherical lens and two ED lenses, the GF45mmF2.8 R WR lens is equipped to provide the highest image quality while reducing aberrations. The lens features Nano GI coating to suppress ghosting and flare, and is weather and dust resistant capable of operating in environments as cold as 14°F/-10°C. The GF45mmF2.8 R WR lens combines reliability and high performance to be the ultimate tool for professional photographers.

FUJINON GF45mmF2.8 R WR Lens Key Features:

  • FUJIFILM G Mount is compatible with the FUJIFILM GFX 50S
  • Weather and dust resistant design capable of operating at temperatures as low as 14-degrees F/-10-degreesC
  • 8 groups and 11 elements construction using one aspherical lens and two ED lenses
  • 9 blade aperture creates smooth and circular bokeh
  • Nano GI coating suppresses ghosting and flare

Availability and Pricing

The FUJINON GF45mmF2.8 R WR lens will be available in November 2017 for USD $1,699.95.

Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR

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