The Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR is the medium format 85mm f1.4 option you’ve been waiting for!
My time with the Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR can be characterized as a really interesting one. At the moment of publishing this post, it’s the fastest lens available for the GF lineup. And in terms of typical 645 medium format, it’s a fast lens. But the GF system is a smaller format than 645, and so it’s possible to go to f1.8 or even f1.4. That would really give us a medium format look and feel a full frame 35mm wouldn’t be capable of doing. Though with a lens like this, you’re getting the light gathering abilities of f2 but the depth of field of somewhere around f1.5. Then your focal length gives you the compression of a 110mm lens but the field of view of an 85mm equivalent lens. Couple all of this with weather sealing, solid build quality, and beautiful image quality and you’re getting a fantastic lens offering. In fact, I’d be hard pressed to not call this one of the best portrait lenses we’ve tested in the right situations.
Before I go on, I want to explain my testing procedure. I used the Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR in both traditional portrait settings, with and without flash, and for documentary testing in certains settings. The reason why is because the Fujifilm GFX 50s, with its inherently not full frame medium format sensor, would lend itself well to situations like this. But this is also the digital world of photography and in some ways the GFX 50S feels caught between the old film world, with the way you need to use the camera, and the newer digital photography world. Give it enough firmware updates though and I’m sure that Fujifilm can solve the issues.
Pros and Cons
- Gorgeous bokeh
- Nice colors
- Close focusing makes it an effective tool for certain documentary applications
- It’s impossible for someone to not look good being shot with this lens
- Goes absolutely above and beyond with flash output added to the scene
- Weather sealing
- Desperately needs image stabilization
- Really large
- The Fujifilm GFX 50S needs autofocus upgrades if it’s really going to be a viable option for photographers to use it in ambient lighting
We tested the Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR with the Fujifilm GFX 50s, Flashpoint lighting, Lastolite Backgrounds, and the Tenba DNA backpack.
These are the official specifications for the Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 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°|
|Aperture control||· Number of blades: 9(rounded diaphragm opening)· Step size: 1/3EV(22 steps)|
|Focus range||0.9m – ∞|
|External dimensions : Diameter x Length* (approx.)
* distance from camera lens mount flange
*excluding caps and hoods
|Accessories included||Lens cap FLCP-77
Lens rear cap RLCP-002
Taken from our first impressions post
Assuming 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.
Fujifilm’s lenses have survived hell with me. I’ve taken them through major downpours, snow, etc. And at least for me, they’ve always lived to tell another tale. I didn’t take the Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR lens out into the rain, but it surely did take some bumps in my backpack. It’s a big lens but not heavy. If anything, I’d call it a bit unwieldy but my hands are only medium sized. If I had huge paws, then this wouldn’t be an issue at all. Still, I can hold this lens on one hand while I unscrew another lens mounted to the camera with the same hand and get almost full operation of my fingers.
The Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR lens is made of tough plastic that looks and feels like metal but isn’t. It gets cold like metal, but again it isn’t metal. For what it’s worth, a Lensbaby lens has more metal in it than this lens does. Still, it’s designed to do work and if Fujifilm gave the lens a metal exterior, it would be way too heavy. As it is, it’s a large lens.
Ease of Use
I like the aperture ring around the Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR lens which many Fujifilm and medium format film shooters will love. But if you’re more of a traditional DSLR shooter, then you’ll probably apprecaite how you can set the aperture ring to C mode so that the camera can control that setting. Considering that I still work with both Pentax and Mamiya medium format film bodies, I prefer my analog style rings and not the more Canon/Nikon style dials. With that said, I wouldn’t give this lens to a novice.
This is my absolute biggest problem with the Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR lens. It isn’t necessarily the fault of the lens but instead the camera system it is mounted to. The Fujifilm GFX 50S is good at autofocusing for a medium format camera. In fact, I’d call it the best out there. But that isn’t saying much compared to full frame 35mm, APS-C, and especially Micro Four Thirds. It can be slow, inaccurate, and feel a lot like the original Fujifilm X100 did when it came to autofocus performance. They eventually, absolutely nailed it; but this isn’t one of those cases.
I strongly recommend using this lens in a studio with controlled lighting and a modelling light. Then also consider a tripod or a fast shutter speed with your flash. Unfortunately, the GFX only syncs up to 1/125th unless you use something like the Profoto Air system.
Here’s where I get back to being in love with the Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR lens – the image quality. The image quality on the Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR lens is great. But if you look at it, you wouldn’t be able to tell it’s medium format per se. In many ways, it has the same depth of field equivalency as a full frame 35mm camera and an 85mm f1.4 lens. That’s not bad, but it isn’t using the full potential of medium format. With all that said though, Fujifilm has always been an absolutely stellar lens maker and they continue to be here.
I want you to take a look at this image above and the one down below. They’re almost the same composition but different lighting entirely. The Fujifilm lens seems shallower here partially because it’s able to focus so closely. Perhaps this helps the Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR lens get even nicer bokeh. But indeed if you were looking at almost all of these images side by side most folks probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this Fujifilm lens and a Zeiss offering. That’s surely saying something when it comes to bokeh and micro contrast! Still though, I wish this lens had a faster aperture.
In my tests, I couldn’t find any major issues with chromatic aberration. Fujifilm has baked in lens profiles too, so the camera and lens work together to ensure chromatic aberration doesn’t come to life. If you’re a person who likes to sit there and complain about this, then guess what; you can’t complain. The distortion is also absolutely negligible. In fact, Capture One didn’t find any when working with the TIFFs.
Color rendition from the Fujifilm system has always been heavily dependant on what white balance you’re using and the film simulation. I did this with Fujifilm Pro 400H and it worked out really well. This lens handles portraiture and most other situations very well because the sensor does. What I found though is that it’s by and large less saturated than some of Fujifilm’s other GF prime lenses when shooting in similar situations. Perhaps this is what Fujifilm is doing purposely to give more neutrality to the skin tones.
Jeez, this lens is stupidly sharp. The Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR lens somehow or another delivers such sharp images but with just enough softness on skin to not make you want to pull your hair out when it comes to retouching. At least that’s the case when shooting wide open. When you stop down, you’re going to; 1. Need a lot of power from a flash, and 2. Get a whole lot more details. This lens is sharpest at F11 but even so it can be thoroughly enjoyed wide open.
Extra Sample Images
- Image Quality
- Weather sealing
- GF system autofocus is holding this lens back
- While the image quality is good, I’d expect more from medium format at this point in order for it to be THAT much better than full frame. We need faster lenses from Fujifilm
The Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR lens is without a doubt one of the best lenses we’ve tested. It’s sharp, has nice bokeh, great weather sealing, and can deliver really nice colors. At the same time, I feel like Fujifilm really needs to make faster lenses for the GF format. Doing this will make it that much better than full frame 35mm. The Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR lens is clearly aimed at the portraiture community. But as an optic, I again feel like it’s being held back by the system. The GFX in time will get better with even better autofocus algorithms. The system also still needs faster lenses. If I were a professional portrait photographer, I’d use this lens more due to what the camera is capable of doing vs the high megapixel bodies from Canon, Nikon, and Sony. But then there’s the price of the body; and amazingly the lenses like the Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR lens aren’t too outrageous in many cases, but this is bordering that line.
The Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 R WR lens receives five out of five stars for what it is, but I still want to see faster glass.