Initial Impressions: Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR (Fujifilm GF)

For portrait photographers, the Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR will be very tempting

Portrait photographers who are looking to get the most out of their new Fujifilm GFX 50s were no doubt thrilled when the GF 110mm F2 R WR was announced. This lens is equivalent to 87mm on a standard 35mm full frame DSLR, so as you can imagine, it is an ideal prime choice for portrait shooters who love that ~85mm field of view.

As well, thanks to the lens being a WR lens, you can be sure you are safe taking the lens out into the elements. That is a huge selling point for natural light and outdoor portrait shooters who need to rely on their lenses to hold up when the weather man gets it wrong and you end up getting soaked unexpectedly.

We recently had our first opportunity to have a look at the GF 110mm F2 R WR so we are here today with our initial impressions of the lens ahead of our full review.

Tech Specs

These are the official specifications for the Fujifilm GF 110mm F4 R WR lens as posted on Fujifilm’s website.

Type GF110mmF2 R LM WR
Lens configuration 14 elements 9 groups (includes 4 ED elements)
Focal length (35mm format equivalent) f=110mm (87mm)
Angle of view 27.9°
Max. aperture F2
Min. aperture F22
Aperture control ·        Number of blades: 9(rounded diaphragm opening)

·        Step size: 1/3EV(22 steps)

Focus range 0.9m – ∞
Max. magnification 0.16x
External dimensions : Diameter x Length* (approx.)
* distance from camera lens mount flange
ø94.3mm×125.5mm
Weight* (approx.)
*excluding caps and hoods
1,010g
Filter size ø77mm
Accessories included Lens cap FLCP-77
Lens rear cap RLCP-002
Lens hood
Lens pouch

Ergonomics

Assuming that you are coming from a full frame or crop sensor camera, the GF 110mm F2 will no doubt be possibly the largest 85mm equivalent lens you have set your eyes on. But don’t let the size fool you. Fujifilm has managed to maintain a fairly lightweight lens here, which is great considering how chunky and heavy some 85mm lenses are.

Starting at the front of the GF 110mm F2 you will see a 77mm filter thread, meaning you will still be able to make use of any screw-on filters you had with your DSLR kit. Moving back down the lens we find a focusing ring, which is on par with others we have felt on Fujifilm GF prime lenses. The resistance is solid and the focusing speed while manually focusing is rather consistent.

Moving down from there we come to the standard Fujifilm aperture ring, where you can choose automatic or any aperture on the lens ranging from F2 to F22. This functions as expected and if you are familiar with any of Fujifilm’s XF or GF lenses this will be familiar to you.

As far as how the lens feels in the hands, due to its length, one might wonder about how it balances with a GFX 50s, but we can report that this is not an issue at all. The lens sits well on the GFX body and the focusing ring is in a good spot for portrait shooters who wish to manually focus a shot to get good results from the natural position they hold the lens with.

 

Build Quality

This is one of Fujifilm’s WR lenses, which to those of you familiar will know means this is their way of saying the lens is weather sealed. The lens has good seals and should be able to stand up to inclement weather and dust, so you can take this out on your photo walks or to your outdoor portrait session with a clear mind. Even if the weather man gets the forecast wrong, you are covered.

The lens feels really well built too. Everything from the focusing ring to the aperture ring feels premium and made with the utmost care. Which, let’s be honest, is something that better be the case when you are spending as much on this lens as you are. The lens mount itself is also made well and feels solid. We really can’t complain about the build quality of this lens at all. If you have a premium 85mm lens for your DSLR then you will not be disappointed with the 110mm F2 in the slightest as far as build quality is concerned.

Autofocus

We were only able to play with the 110mm F2 for a few minutes following our meeting with Fujifilm, and only within the confines of the office we met  in. So our ability to test the AF performance of this lens was fairly limited. However, we did test it, and we can report that the lens performed as well as we expected. The GFX50s is not the most advanced AF system in the world and MF is known for its slow focusing speed. That said, this lens was able to focus quickly and accurately in an office setting, under dim light, and on stationary subjects.

We need to do more extensive testing of this lens in the real world for our full review when we get our hands on the lens, so stay tuned for that. But for now we will just say that in our experience this lens focuses as well or better than any other GF lens we have tested to this point.

 

Ease of Use

This is a Fujifilm lens, and this is a prime lens. It is about as easy a shooting experience as you could expect. The lens goes onto the camera smoothly and comes off just as easily. The shooting experience in a portrait setting is great. We really feel this lens will be an ideal choice for photographers looking for a go-to portrait lens in the GFX system. The constant F2 aperture means that using this lens in any situation will be familiar and simple enough. The only things you have to worry about on the lens is turning the focusing ring and making sure the aperture is set to your preferred setting. Otherwise this is a very ‘plug and play’ shooting experience.

 

Image Quality

We were not able to review any of the images we shot with the 110mm F2 on our own, so a full suite of sample images will be coming in our full review once we get our hands on our review unit. In the meantime, here are a few samples provided by Fujifilm, and you can see more of them over on Fujifilm’s website – here.

Image by Fernando Moleres

Image by Joshua Loh

First Impressions

It is always interesting to see how a new lens system evolves around the cameras they are designed to pair with. Fujifilm has been great about developing lenses for their X-Series that fit the needs of the photographers using their system, and even in its infancy, they are on the right path towards earning that same reputation with the GF series lenses.

The GF 110mm F2 R WR is a lens that will be ideal for portrait photographers and should do well to be a nice addition to other photography niches as well. We obviously have more testing to do on this lens before we can recommend it completely, but we think it is safe to say that if you are getting a GFX 50s and are looking for a portrait lens, this needs to be near the top of your list of considerations.