Lens Review: Fujifilm GF 32-64mm f4 R LM WR (Fujifilm GF Format)

Fans of the 24-70mm lens option will reach for the Fujifilm GF 32-64mm f4 R LM WR 

Despite the fact that I have an eternal hatred of zoom lenses, I couldn’t stop reaching for the Fujifilm GF 32-64mm f4 R LM WR lens during my review period with it. It’s versatile for sure, and despite its slow aperture it allows a photographer to have a whole lot of focal lengths with a constant aperture without needing to go back and forth to change lenses. As it is, most of the GF lenses are pretty slow, so I don’t feel as bad using a lens like this. With what is essentially a 24-50mm f3 lens, you’re getting an option that will surely give you comparable depth of field equivalency when you compare it to a 24-70mm lens; but not with the light gathering abilities. And for some odd reason, I keep wondering whether or not the engineers have been considering this. Medium format is really geared towards using the cameras and lenses with off-camera flash. I mean, look at the ads on this website–they’re for editorial work!

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very versatile range
  • Close focusing
  • Weather sealing
  • Build Quality
  • Image quality is nice
  • Very sharp lens

Cons

  • Slow aperture
  • Slow focusing due to the Fujifilm GF system

Gear Used

We tested the Fujifilm GF 32-64mm f4 R LM WR lens with the Fujifilm GFX 50s and Flashpoint lighting.

Tech Specs

Specs for the Fujifilm GF 32-64mm f4 R LM WR  taken from the Fujifilm Website

Type GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR
Lens configuration 14 elements in 11 groups (includes 3 aspherical and 1 extra-low dispersion element and 1 super extra-low dispersion element)
Focal length (35mm format equivalent) f=32-64mm (25-51mm)
Angle of view 81°-46.3°
Max. aperture F4
Min. aperture F32
Aperture control
  • Number of blades : 9(rounded diaphragm opening)
  • Step size : 1/3EV (19 steps)
Focus range 50cm – ∞(Wide), 60cm – ∞(Telephoto)
Max. magnification 0.12x
External dimensions : Diameter x Length* (approx.) * distance from camera lens mount flange ø92.6mm×116mm(Wide)/145.5mm(Telephoto)
Weight* (approx.) *excluding caps and hoods 875g
Filter size ø77mm
Accessories included Lens Cap FLCP-77 Lens rear cap RLCP-002 Lens hood Lens case

Ergonomics

The Fujifilm GF 32-64mm f4 R LM WR lens is perhaps the GF system’s largest lens so far available on the market. As a professional oriented lens, it has a whole lot built in to appeal to a variety of professional photographers. For example, there is a big aperture ring on it. The aperture ring is towards the back of the lens with the zoom ring in front of that and the focusing ring yet again in front of that.

And as you can see, it’s mostly black.

When zoomed all the way in, the lens becomes around 1/3rd larger. That isn’t bad at all. But you need to remember that this is a large lens. I wouldn’t attach it to my camera and put it in a small compartment of my camera bag. In fact, you physically can’t.

The Fujifilm GF 32-64mm f4 R LM WR lens has rings that are a plasticy rubber. They’re nicely textured and feel very solid.

Build Quality

Like the rest of the Fujifilm Gf lineup of glass, the Fujifilm GF 32-64mm f4 R LM WR lens is weather sealed. The exterior is made of a hardened plastic that gets cold like metal and feels like metal. But it isn’t metal. If this lens were metal, it would be too heavy and no one would buy it. With that said, this lens survived a bit of snowfall. The mount has a rubber ring around it that prevents the effects of inclement weather to a point.

Ease of Use

Perhaps this is Fujifilm’s most complicated GF lens to use. It has a constant aperture, an aperture ring, and is a zoom. If you want aperture control via the camera a la Canon style, then you’ll need to set this lens to C mode. Personally speaking, I prefer the aperture dial and because I use it mostly in a staged environment that’s just fine. But if you need to use it for documentary style work where you don’t want your eye out of the viewfinder then set it to C mode.

Autofocus

Of all the Fujifilm GF lenses, this one had the least misfocusing issues with the exception of the company’s 63mm f2.8. That means it has a reliable autofocus communication with the GFX 50s. But as it is, it still is a snail compared to many 35mm format cameras and lens equivalents. But for medium format, it is a speed demon. Granted, it isn’t always an accurate speed demon. It’s tough to justify it for documentary work, but it surely is possible. Expect around an 85% hit rate. With low light portraiture, it will vary. With studio portraiture that has controlled lighting, you’ll be fine. I tend to use the GFX’s face detection and eye detection. But when that fails me, the autofocus points work fine enough. The smaller they are, the slower they are but with greater accuracy.

Image Quality

This isn’t an amazingly bokehlicious lens like some of the Fujifilm GF prime lenses, but it still is quite nice. There is little to no technical issues with the lens and color rendition has always been something dependant on the camera more so than with their lenses. With that said, this lens can surely benefit from image stabilization in some way or another.

Bokeh

The bokeh from the Fujifilm GF 32-64mm f4 R LM WR lens is made possible due to the fact that it can focus so closely. Indeed the bokeh is nice, but I still don’t find it as creamy as some of the faster lenses that Fujifilm offers for the GF format. As it is, I still want even faster aperture lenses.

Chromatic Aberration

In my tests, I couldn’t find any major issues with chromatic aberration. Distortion is correctly only ever so slightly; and that’s on the wider end. On the longer end, it’s negligible to completely non-existent–as it should be with a medium format system.

Color Rendition

When you work with the Fujifilm GF 32-64mm f4 R LM WR lens, you’re at the mercy of the film simulation you’re working with. Luckily this can be changed in post production. But as a lens, the Fujifilm GF 32-64mm f4 R LM WR lens is very neutral with a slight lean more towards the saturated side than the other Fujifilm GF lenses with the exception of the 23mm f4.

Sharpness

I’m amazed and shocked at how sharp this lens is. Honestly, it’s really quite amazing that it’s so highly capable of producing such sharp images even without a flash. When flash output is added, it’s even crazier. It isn’t 120mm f4 sharp, but it’s not too far behind. Stop this lens down to f11 for its best sharpness. Or just don’t stop it down at all if you’re using natural light in a low light situation.

Extra Image Samples

Conclusions

Likes

  • Sharp images
  • Versatile
  • Fairly lightweight for what it is
  • A true bread and butter medium format lens

Dislikes

  • Still wish it had a faster aperture.
  • The GFX system needs autofocus upgrades

The Fujifilm GF 32-64mm f4 R LM WR lens is a fantastic lens. As Fujifilm’s version of the venerable 24-70mm f2.8 lens, this will require a lot more light, and for you to slow down when you shoot. The autofocus is what is holding this lens back. It sports sharp output, nice bokeh, versatile colors, weather sealing, and is more or less a lens you’ll always want to keep on your camera. During my time with it, I really fell in love with the Fujifilm GF 32-64mm f4 R LM WR lens. But for what it’s worth, I like prime lenses more. Now if only they’ll just make faster lenses.

The Fujifilm GF 32-64mm f4 R LM WR lens receives five out of five stars. And at this price point, it surely deserves it.