Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR

 
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Updates:
09/25/2019: Field Test & Gallery Images added

 

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Field Test

A compact and impressive GFX prime lens

by Jeremy Gray | Posted 09/25/2019

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/6.4, 1/20s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The seventh prime lens and ninth lens overall in the GFX lens lineup, the new GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR is the most compact and lightweight of them all. Weighing only 11.82 ounces (335 grams) and offering a pancake-like design, the 40mm-equivalent prime lens has been designed for general walkaround photography. It may not be the fastest optic in the GFX lineup with a maximum aperture of f/3.5, but during my hands-on time with the lens, it proved to be a solid all-around lens, especially for its $1,000 price point. Let's take a closer look at the GF 50mm f/3.5 lens and see how it performs during real-world shooting.

Key Features and Specs

  • Compact prime lens for the Fujifilm GFX system
  • 40mm-equivalent focal length (57.4-degree field of view)
  • Aperture range of f/3.5-f/32
  • Weighs 11.8 ounces (335 grams)
  • The lens is only 1.89 inches (48mm) long
  • Nine lens elements in six groups, including a single aspherical element
  • Weather-sealed design
  • Dedicated aperture ring
  • Includes a screw-in lens hood with dedicated filter thread
  • Maximum magnification of 0.1x
  • Rounded nine-blade aperture diaphragm
  • A relatively affordable price (for a GF lens) of $1,000 USD

Lens Design and Handling: Smallest, lightest GFX lens to date has impressive build quality

Having shot with every available Fujifilm GF lens, I have grown used to generally large and heavy lenses, save for a couple of the existing prime lenses. Using the GF 50mm f/3.5 is a different experience, given its compact, pancake-like design. The lens is somewhat similar in size to older 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 prime lenses for full-frame cameras and reminds me of my old AF-D Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens. The lens' diameter reaches its maximum point (3.31 inches (84 millimeters)) at the lens mount, and its thickness tapers off toward the front element. The clicked aperture ring is located on the widest part of the barrel and has full stop markings from f/3.5 through f/32.

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Product Image

The focus ring is a little smaller in diameter than the aperture ring and works perfectly well. It has a very nice resistance to it, meaning that it doesn't feel loose nor too stiff. Like other GF lenses, it's a focus-by-wire system and therefore doesn't include a built-in focus scale because focus throw depends upon the speed with which you rotate the ring.

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Product Image

The lens itself has a 62mm filter thread but also includes an interesting lens hood. Rather than a bayonet-style hood that clicks onto the front of the lens, the GF 50mm's hood screws into the lens' filter thread. This adds a very thin piece of metal to the end of the lens which shields the front element such that the new opening is just 43mm wide. Despite not extending far from the front element, the lens hood works well. The lens therefore comes with two front lens caps, a 62mm one and a smaller 43mm one.

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Product Image

The GF 50mm f/3.5 lens may be compact and lightweight but it feels rugged and durable. The lens is weather resistant and includes a gasket around the lens mount in addition to nine other seals. Despite its compact stature and relatively affordable price point, the quality feels just as good as any other GF lens. The lens balances well on my GFX 50S, but I must imagine it'd be an excellent pairing for the somewhat more compact GFX 50R or the new GFX 100.

Image Quality: Very good sharpness, even when shooting wide open

The GF 50mm f/3.5 has a pretty simple optical design, using only nine elements organized into six groups and includes only a single aspherical element. This straightforward design results in impressive image quality.

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/3.5, 15s, ISO 6400.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file. While not an ideal lens for night photography -- no native GF lens is really that well-suited to night sky shooting, actually -- the GF 50mm f/3.5 can work with a high enough ISO. The lens doesn't display much by way of comatic aberration, which is nice.

Sharpness

All of the below images and crops used for sharpness evaluation were processed in Adobe Camera Raw with default settings and exported as high-quality JPEG files.

At its widest aperture of f/3.5, the Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 lens delivers very sharp images, particularly in the center of the frame. Much of the frame shows excellent detail. When considering the extreme corners of the frame, performance does noticeably drop off, but not too badly and only really at the extremes. There is a bit of blur and some extra fringing in the corners.

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/3.5, 1/1100s, ISO 100.
Sharpness Test Image. This image has been converted and processed in Adobe Camera Raw with default settings. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/3.5, 1/1100s, ISO 100.
Sharpness Test Image. 100 percent center crop. This image has been converted and processed in Adobe Camera Raw with default settings. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/3.5, 1/1100s, ISO 100.
Sharpness Test Image. 100 percent bottom right corner crop. This image has been converted and processed in Adobe Camera Raw with default settings. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

When stopping down the lens to f/4, center sharpness increases very slightly and corners are slightly less blurry, although still less sharp than the center of the frame.

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/4, 1/850s, ISO 100.
Sharpness Test Image. 100 percent center crop. This image has been converted and processed in Adobe Camera Raw with default settings. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/4, 1/850s, ISO 100.
Sharpness Test Image. 100 percent bottom right corner crop. This image has been converted and processed in Adobe Camera Raw with default settings. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

At f/5.6, resolution improves slightly again in the center of the frame, but the difference is slight. When we look at the corners of the frame, however, the improvements are more pronounced. Essentially gone is the slight blur, and there is more visible detail in the extreme areas of the frame.

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/4, 1/420s, ISO 100.
Sharpness Test Image. 100 percent center crop. This image has been converted and processed in Adobe Camera Raw with default settings. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/4, 1/420s, ISO 100.
Sharpness Test Image. 100 percent bottom right corner crop. This image has been converted and processed in Adobe Camera Raw with default settings. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

At f/8 and f/11, performance is similar to f/5.6 with perhaps slightly less fringing in the frame. At f/16, diffraction becomes quite noticeable, with a blur obscuring fine details across the entire frame. At f/22 and f/32 in particular, the image is very soft.

Overall, the GF 50mm f/3.5 lens delivers very good image quality. Even when shooting wide open, the lens has excellent resolving capabilities. For optimal performance across the entire frame, stopping down to f/5.6 or f/8 is recommended. With that said, the wide-open performance certainly proved impressive. Compared to other GF lenses, the GF 50mm f/3.5 performs well.

Vignette

When considering light falloff with the GF 50mm f/3.5 lens, it performs okay, but there is noticeable vignette, even when stopping down. Fortunately, in many real-world shooting scenarios, the vignette is not obtrusive and further, it is easy to correct.

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/3.5, 1/170s, ISO 100.
Vignette Test Image. This image has been converted and processed in Adobe Camera Raw with default settings, save for a reduction in Clarity to reduce fine detail. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/3.5, 1/125s, ISO 100.
Vignette Test Image. This image has been converted and processed in Adobe Camera Raw with default settings, save for a reduction in Clarity to reduce fine detail. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/3.5, 1/125s, ISO 200.
Vignette Test Image. This image has been converted and processed in Adobe Camera Raw with default settings, save for a reduction in Clarity to reduce fine detail. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

In the Field

The GF 50mm f/3.5 lens not only offers impressive optical performance, the lens also delivers solid all-around autofocus performance. Even on the GFX 50S, a camera not known for particularly speedy autofocus, the lens focused quickly and accurately. The lens has an linear focus motor and unlike the GF 63mm f/2.8 lens, it is also internally focusing, meaning that it doesn't change in length as it goes through its focus range.

Speaking of focus range, the lens can focus as close as 1.8 feet (55 centimeters). This somewhat long close-focusing distance results in a maximum magnification of just 0.1x, meaning that the GF 50mm f/3.5 is far from a macro lens. Its close focus distance should work fine for many types of shooting, but certainly not for close-up work. Further, the lens does not have built in optical image stabilization, although given its focal length, this is not much of an issue overall, especially not when shooting on the new stabilized GFX 100 camera.

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/4, 1/1800s, ISO 250.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file. This is about as closely as you can focus the GF 50mm f/3.5 lens, meaning that it is not the best option for close-up shooting. If a flower is large, like this sunflower, it can work okay, but it will not be well-suited for close-up photography of small subjects.

In the field, the GF 50mm f/3.5 lens feels very good. The lens is light, compact and very easy to carry around for extended periods of time. Not only is it easy to use, but it is also capable of producing very nice images. With that said, the maximum aperture of f/3.5 can be slightly limiting in low light (although only slightly), and the out of focus rendition of the lens is fine, but not very impressive.

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/3.5, 1/680s, ISO 100.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file. The GF 50mm f/3.5 lens does a decent job with rendering an out-of-focus background. Bokeh is consistent, albeit not as smooth as a lens such as the Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8.
 
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/5.6, 1/600s, ISO 250.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file. If you focus closely, the GF 50mm f/3.5 lens can do a decent job of creating background blur, even when stopped down slightly.

That is, of course, the tradeoff with a lens such as the GF 50mm f/3.5. You are giving up light gathering and beautiful bokeh in exchange for an affordable, compact medium-format prime lens. Fortunately, while there are some compromises to be made, there are no compromises when it comes to resolving power and build quality.

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/6.4, 0.6s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/5.6, 1/30s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/3.5, 1/170s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file. The GF 50mm f/3.5 lens does a very nice job controlling lens flare.
 
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/16, 1/500s, ISO 125.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file. In this additional example of the GF 50mm f/3.5 dealing with lens flare, it does a bit worse, but this is about as challenging of a scene as I would ever photograph.
 
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/5.6, 5.3s, ISO 500.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file. The GF 50mm f/3.5 lens produces nice pointed starbursts with points of light such as the street lights across the river.
 
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/5.6, 18s, ISO 500.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 250.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/8, 20s, ISO 200.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/6.4, 9s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/6.4, 1.7s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/6.4, 1/55s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 

Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Field Test Summary

An impressive prime lens for GFX owners searching for a lightweight lens

What I like:

  • Good build quality
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Very good resolving power
  • An affordable price for a GFX lens
Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/6.4, 18s, ISO 250.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

What I didn't like:

  • Can't focus very closely
  • Maximum aperture of f/3.5 can occasionally be limiting

The Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR lens is a solid addition to the GFX lens lineup. It is a compact, lightweight prime lens that delivers good sharpness and overall image quality. While it may not be perfect for every type of photography, it can do a lot quite well and is a particularly good option for GFX owners who enjoy walking around with their medium-format cameras -- it's a particularly good match to the smaller GFX 50R camera. Dedicated landscape and portrait photographers may want to look at more versatile and/or faster GFX lenses, but for general all-around shooting, the GF 50mm f/3.5 is a nice option. Plus, its price is hard to beat.

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Fujifilm GFX 50S at 50mm (40mm equiv.), f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 400.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

 

• • •

 

Product Overview

(From Fujifilm lens literature) The Electronic Imaging Division of FUJIFILM North America Corporation has announced the release of its FUJINON GF50mmF3.5 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.

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review -- Product Image

Lenses in the GF family deliver astonishing image resolution and rich tonal reproduction, made possible by the outstanding optical design and production technology FUJIFILM Corporation developed to process lens surfaces at sub-micron level precision. The GF lenses bring out the full potential of the FUJIFILM GFX 50S and GFX 50R mirrorless digital cameras, and they fully support the 100MP image sensor of the recently launched GFX 100. Coupled with Fujifilm's unique color reproduction technology, these lenses deliver world-class image quality.

The GF50mmF3.5 R LM WR's weather-sealed construction makes it dust and weather resistant and capable of operating in temperatures down to 147°F (-10°C), allowing shooting even in challenging conditions while maintaining optimum reliability.

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review -- Product Image

The addition of the GF50mmF3.5 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.

Some of the main features of the new lens:

Engineered to provide incredible image quality
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. GF50mmF3.5 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.

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review -- Product Image

Lightweight and versatile for any shooting situation
Weighing in at just 11.82oz, GF50mmF3.5 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.

Be ready for unpredictability with quick, responsive, and near-silent autofocus.
Having fast and quiet autofocus is critical when you're roaming the streets looking to capture that perfect image. With a linear motor moving the focusing element quickly and precisely into place, this lens will be your go-to tool for reliability, speed and sharpness.

Fujinon GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Review -- Product Image

Weather resistant to keep the images coming
Work fearlessly in dusty or damp conditions and keep peace of mind when in freezing or terribly hot, humid conditions. Weather sealed in ten places along the barrel, the GF50mmF3.5 R LM WR is capable of operating in temperatures down to 14°F (-10°C).

The GF50mmF3.5 R LM WR lens will be available September 26, 2019 in the U.S. and Canada for a price of USD $999.95 and CAD $1,299.99.

 

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