First Impressions: Fujifilm GFX GF50mm F3.5 R LM WR

Fujifilm FUJINON GF50mm
The Fujifilm GF50mm F3.5 R LM WR could be the perfect street, walk-about, and environmental portrait lens for the GFX series.

Fujifilm recently announced a new lens for their Medium Format cameras: the Fujifilm GF50mm f3.5 R LM WR. We were fortunate enough to get our hands on a pre-production version of the Fujifilm FUJINON GF50mm f3.5, and we got to spend a few hours with it out on some sunny streets. This normal/standard lens has an approximate equivalent focal length of 40mm, and an equivalent aperture of f2.8 if you were to compare it to 35mm Full Frame offerings. This lens should excite those who use GFX cameras for street photography and environmental portraiture. Join us after the break to see some sample images, and to read about our first impressions of this new lens.

While we only got to spend a few hours with the Fujifilm FUJINON GF50mm f3.5 R LM WR, we came away with smiles on our faces. This small, lightweight lens proved to be a joy to walk around the hot, sunny streets with. The lens features Fujifilm’s highly regarded weather sealing, and it has nine elements in six groups, along with nine rounded aperture blades. There is also one aspherical element inside the small body. When the Fujifilm FUJINON GF50mm f3.5 hits the market, it promises to be an excellent choice for those who shoot street, environmental portraiture, and documentary images. Below you’ll find the full technical specs, some sample images, and our first impressions of this pre-production lens.

Note: This article represents our first impressions of this lens, and it is NOT OUR FULL REVIEW. It is merely our first impressions of the pre-productions lens. Please keep this fact in mind when viewing the sample images in this First Impressions post. In the interest of transparency, we mention statements like this to build trust with our audience, as we have for the past 10 years. Our full review of this lens will be coming at a later date when we have our hands on a full production model.

 

Technical Specifications

 

Lens configuration

9 elements in 6 groups
(includes 1 aspherical element)

Focal length
(35mm format equivalent)
f=50mm
(40mm)

Angle of view
57.4°

Max. aperture
F3.5

Min. aperture
F32

Aperture control, umber of blades, step size
9 (rounded diaphragm opening)
1/3EV (20 stops)

Focus range
(from the sensor surface)
0.55m and beyond

Max. magnification
0.1x

External dimensions:
Diameter x Length (approx.)
(Distance from camera lens mount flange)
Φ3.31in x 1.89in (84mm x 48mm)

Weight (approx.)
(excluding the lens cap, lens hood, and hood
cap)
335g (11.8 oz.)

Filter size
φ62mm

 

Gear Used

The Fujifilm FUJINON GF50mm f3.5 R LM WR was used on the Fujifilm GFX 100.

 

Ergonomics

 

As we mentioned above, the Fujifilm FUJINON GF50mm f3.5 R LM WR is an incredible small lens for Fujifilm’s Medium Format cameras. The lens is light, and because of this, it is effortless to handle. Here is a picture of the lens without the hood attached. As you can see, the front element of this lens is pretty small. The overall size and weight of this lens really lend itself to photo walks, street photography, and many more genres where you’re going to be shooting for long periods of time.

Fujifilm FUJINON GF50mm

Here’s the lens with the screw-in lens hood attached. The hood is made from the same metal as the lens, and it screws in easily. The hood comes with a tiny (no doubt easy to lose) lens cap as well. Here you can also see the manual focus ring and the aperture dial. The only control on the lens itself is the switch that locks the aperture ring in auto mode. The lens feels great on the GFX 100, and we’re sure it will feel equally as nice on the Fujifilm GFX 50S and the GFX 50R.

Build Quality

 

Fujifilm FUJINON GF50mm R LM WR

The Fujifilm GF50mm f3.5 is a solidly built lens. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has handled any of the previous GF lenses. You’ll find very grippy rubber on the focus ring, and you’ll notice that the aperture control dial is made from beautifully machined metal. The body of the lens feels nice in the hands, and changing the aperture with the dial gives a satisfying click as it snaps into place. The manual focus ring is very smooth to turn, which makes it pleasant to use. The lens has 10 points of weather-sealing, and according to Fujifilm it will operate in temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C). While we did not get to try the lens in inclement weather, we’ve no doubt it will hold up like other Fujifilm lenses.

 

Ease of Use

Photographers will be happy to know that the Fujifilm GF50mm f3.5 is a very user-friendly lens. Take off the lens cap, the rear cap, attach it to your camera and away you go. The aperture dial is easy and satisfying to use, as is the focus ring. There is really only one switch on the lens itself, which is used to lock and unlock the aperture dial from auto mode. The GF50mm f3.5 R LM WR is minimalistic by design and that makes the lens easy to use overall.

 

Autofocus

In our short tests, the Fujifilm GFX GF50mm f3.5 R LM WR proved to be a snappy performer on the GFX 100 in the few hours we got to spend with it, but keep in mind our experience is anything but in-depth. While out and about, we found the lens to focus quickly and silently. There is a very faint whirring as the focus motor does its thing, but you really have to listen for it. The lens had zero issues focusing on stationary objects and tracked mobile objects well, and we never noticed any hunting. The performance was excellent for a Medium Format lens.

 

Image Quality

We had just a few short hours with the lens, so we made the most of our time with it. All of the images shared below were taken with a pre-production version of the Fujifilm FUJINON GF50mm f3.5 R LM WR while it was attached to a Fujifilm GFX 100. The photos have been minimally processed, with only overall exposure changes being made. There has been no retouching and no color correction. These were shot with the standard color profile on the GFX 100. The images are sharp, the bokeh is smooth and creamy, and we did not see any chromatic aberration. We will, of course, test the lens in more scenarios when we get our hands on a final version of it. By posting the images like this, you’ll be able to judge the quality of the images for yourselves.

Fujifilm FUJINON GF50mm R LM WR

Fujifilm FUJINON GF50mm R LM WR

Fujifilm FUJINON GF50mm

Fujifilm FUJINON GF50mm

First Impressions

Keep in mind that this is a pre-production model of this lens, and remember that we only got to spend a few hours with the Fujifilm FUJINON GF50mm f3.5 R LM WR. Having said that, we came away from our time with this lens with a very positive outlook. This lens is well built, focuses quickly, offers excellent sharpness wide open, and renders colors nicely. In the right situations, the bokeh that it delivers is pleasing. We cannot wait to get our hands on a final production model of this lens so that we can test it more thoroughly. The Fujifilm GF50mm f3.5 R LM WR will hit shelves on September 26th, 2019 with a retail price of $999.95. For more information about the Fujifilm FUJINON GF50mm f3.5 R LM WR, you can visit the official Fujifilm website.