Great Colors for Portraits or Landscapes: Fujifilm GF 45-100mm F4 Review

The Fujifilm GF 45-100mm f4 R LM OIS WR is a stabilized and weather-resistant standard zoom lens for Fujifilm’s GFX Medium Format Mirrorless cameras.

Announced in January of this year, the Fujifilm GF 45-100mm f4 R LM OIS WR is a standard zoom lens for the Fujifilm GFX Medium Format Mirrorless system. It’s weather-resistant and features five stops of optical image stabilization with a focal range equivalent to 36-79mm on Full Frame cameras. The GF 45-100mm features a maximum aperture of f4 and can be stopped all the way down to f32. The lens boasts 16 elements arranged into 12 groups and includes three aspherical elements, one Super ED element, and one ED element. We had the opportunity to test a final production copy of the Fujifilm GF 45-100mm f4 in the wild prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Our full review is after the jump.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Gorgeous image quality
  • Tack sharp
  • Robust weather resistance
  • Excellent image stabilization
  • Little to no chromatic aberration

Cons

  • Vignetting, particularly at the wide end
  • Large footprint
  • Weighty, but expected for a medium format lens

Gear Used

We tested the Fujifilm GF 45-100mm f4 R LM OIS WR with the Fujifilm GFX 100, the Haida M10 Filter System, the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Pro TTL Monolight, the MeFOTO Roadtrip Leather Edition Tripod, and the Sirui SR-3204 Tripod and SR-66C Column.

Tech Specs

Tech specs for the Fujifilm GF 45-100mm f4 R LM OIS WR taken from Fujifilm’s official product page. Get it for $2,299

TypeFujinon GF 45-100mm f4 R LM OIS WR
Lens Configuration16 Elements in 12 Groups
(Includes 3 aspherical, 1 ED, and 1 SuperED Elements)
Focal Lengthf = 45-100mm (36-79mm in 35mm format equivalent)
Angle of View62.6° – 30.6°
Maximum Aperturef4
Minimum Aperturef32
Aperture Control (Number of Blades)9 (Rounded Diaphragm Opening)
Aperture Control (Step Size) 1/3 EV (19 Steps)
Focus Range[Wide] 0.65 m – ∞
[Telephoto] 0.82 m – ∞
Maximum Magnification0.13x [Telephoto]
External Dimensions: Distance x Length (Approx.)Ø 93 mm × 144.5 mm (Wide) / Ø 93 mm × 174.5 mm (Telephoto)
Weight (Approx. Excluding Caps, Hoods, and Tripod Collar Foot)1,005 g
Filter Size Ø 82 mm
Accessories IncludedLens Cap FLCP-82
Lens Rear Cap RLCP-002
Lens Hood
Lens Pouch

“Fujifilm is known for producing some of the best weather-resistant lenses on the market, and the same holds true for the GF 45-100mm.”

Ergonomics

The Fujifilm GF 45-100mm f4 R LM OIS WR is seen here mounted onto a Fujifilm GFX 100 (to the left is the included petal-style lens hood). For photographers accustomed to shooting Full Frame or Crop Sensor, the GF 45-100mm will undoubtedly look like a behemoth. Weighing 2.22lbs (1,005g), it’s heavier than all the standard zooms currently available for Full Frame mirrorless cameras on the market. Weight notwithstanding, the lens feels relatively well balanced when paired to the GFX 100 (at least when you’re holding the camera in landscape orientation).

As you can see, the GF 45-100mm is not an internally focusing lens. The inner barrel will extend forward as you zoom out towards the longer end of the focal range. The external design of the GF 45-100mm is pretty straightforward, with three adjustment rings taking up much of the external lens barrel’s real estate. The Manual Focusing Ring is situated just behind the front of the lens, followed by the large Zoom Ring and the Aperture Ring. For hybrid shooters, note that the Aperture Ring cannot be de-clicked.

The only other control you’ll find on the GF 45-100mm is the On/Off toggle switch for the Optical Image Stabilization. This switch is situated on the left of the lens between the Aperture Ring and the lens mount.

The front end of the GF 45-100mm is a minimalist affair; you’re not going to see any markings surrounding the front element (they’re engraved along the front lip of the lens). The GF 45-100mm can accommodate filters with a diameter of 82mm.

Build Quality

Fujifilm is known for producing some of the best weather-resistant lenses on the market, and the same holds true for the GF 45-100mm. We got to really put the GF 45-100mm’s weather resistance to the test, as it almost always began pouring whenever we went out to shoot landscapes. Short of taking the lens for a swim, you’re not going to have to worry about shooting during inclement weather. Aside from the Focusing Ring having less resistance than we’d like (particularly useful when manually focusing), there isn’t anything negative about the GF 45-100mm’s build quality.

“…photographers accustomed to the autofocus performance from Full Frame or Crop Sensor systems will want to temper their expectations when shooting with the GF 45-100.”

Ease of Use

Simply mount the GF 45-100mm onto your Fujifilm Medium Format camera, turn it on, adjust your exposure settings, and you’re off to the races. The large Zoom Ring is covered in rubber ridges, making focal range adjustments a breeze. As we’d previously mentioned, the Focusing Ring could provide a bit more resistance when manually focusing. The On/Off switch also allows you to quickly enable or disable the GF 45-100mm’s Optical Image Stabilization, handy when shooting long exposures on a tripod. All in all, shooting with the Fujifilm GF 45-100mm f4 is a pretty standard affair.

Autofocus

In terms of autofocus, the Fujifilm GF 45-100mm f4 was quick and accurate under most conditions when paired with the GFX 100. By Medium Format standards, the autofocus performance was downright snappy. However, photographers accustomed to the autofocus performance from Full Frame or Crop Sensor systems will want to temper their expectations when shooting with the GF 45-100. You’ll get the most out of the GF 45-100mm when there’s plenty of light available.

“If it’s sharpness you’re after, the GF 45-100mm delivers in spades.”

Image Quality

Fujifilm lenses have always been well regarded for their image quality, and the images produced by the Fujifilm GF 45-100mm f4 did not disappoint. With that said, we did notice some vignetting in the images produced with the GF 45-100mm, particularly when shooting wide open. This can be easily corrected during post-production though, and will likely be automatically adjusted once lens profiles are patched into Capture One Pro. Distortion was very well controlled: we didn’t notice any in our images.

Bokeh

Despite having a maximum aperture of f4 (roughly equivalent to f3.2 in Full Frame), out of focus areas appear smooth and pleasing thanks to the GF 45-100mm’s nine rounded aperture blades. This renders point light sources as round bokeh balls towards the center of the frame, turning slightly oblong as you move towards the periphery. You’ll notice some onion rings within the bokeh balls, but only when pixel peeping. Bokeh fiends wanting even creamier bokeh will want to reach for the faster primes available for the GFX system.

Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberrations were very well controlled with the Fujifilm GF 45-100mm. While we did detect slight purple fringing in extreme examples, they were negligible and easily corrected during post. Distortion was basically a non-issue as well: we didn’t detect any when working with the raw files in Capture One Pro. Well done, Fujifilm!

Color Rendition

Colors in straight out-of-camera images produced by the Fujifilm GF 45-100mm tend to appear quite neutral, but the film simulation that you’d be using along with your white balance setting can have a huge effect on how colors appear in your images. If rich and vibrant colors are more to your liking, rest assured that the raw files give you plenty of latitude during post-production.

Sharpness

If it’s sharpness you’re after, the GF 45-100mm delivers in spades. Subjects in focus will appear tack sharp throughout the entire frame even when shooting wide open. During our tests, we saw the sharpest results at around f11-f16. Stopping down all the way to f32 will dull the razor sharpness somewhat, but that’s to be expected.

Extra Image Samples

Here are some additional sample images shot using the Fujifilm GF 45-100mm f4 R LM OIS WR lens. These images were processed using Capture One Pro 20, ranging from color grading, cropping, levels adjustment, and/or perspective correction. As a matter of ethics, none of the sample images seen within this review have been retouched so that you can judge the quality of the images produced using this lens for yourself.

Conclusions

Likes

  • Stellar image quality
  • Sturdy construction
  • Versatile focal range

Dislikes

  • We wish it wer a brighter lens

Overall, the Fujifilm GF 45-100mm f4 R LM OIS WR is an excellent addition to Fujifilm’s GFX lens lineup. Covering a Full Frame equivalent focal range of 36-79mm, this lens essentially serves as the GFX System’s 24-70mm f2.8 zoom. This means the same benefits and drawbacks inherent to most 24-70mm f2.8 zoom lenses also apply to the GF 45-100mm. What you’re getting in terms of versatility you’re giving up in terms of light gathering capability. Due to the lens having a maximum aperture of just f4, you’re going to have to slow the shutter speed down accordingly. Thankfully, the excellent OIS within the GF 45-100mm does an admirable job of keeping things steady. I was often amazed at how consistently sharp my images were despite shooting at shutter speeds that were sometimes slower than half that of the corresponding focal length. As someone who drinks coffee as if it was water, this truly surprised me.

The Fujifilm GF 45-100mm f4 R LM OIS WR will make a fine addition to any GFX shooter’s arsenal. The weather sealing is outstanding, allowing you to keep shooting even in less than ideal scenarios. The focal range is versatile, making the lens suitable for landscapes and portraits alike. Images are tack sharp with neutral colors and bokeh that should be pleasing to most. Those on a bokeh-rich diet, however, will want to reach for Fujifilm’s faster primes. If you’re ever faced with the restriction of only being able to bring one lens with you while out shooting with one of Fujifilm’s GFX bodies, the GF 45-100mm f4 is probably the one we’d recommend.

The Fujifilm GF 45-100mm f4 R LM OIS WR zoom lens for the Fujifilm GFX Medium Format Mirrorless system earns five out of five stars. At US $2.299.95, it’s an excellent value capable of delivering reliable, all-around performance. It’s available now from Amazon.

Pauleth Ip

Paul is a New York City based photographer, creative, and writer. His body of work includes headshots and commercial editorials for professionals, in-demand actors/performers, high net worth individuals, and corporate clients, as well as intimate lifestyle/boudoir photography with an emphasis on body positivity and empowerment. Paul also has a background in technology and higher education, and regularly teaches private photography seminars. When not working on reviews and features for The Phoblographer or shooting client work, Paul can be seen photographing personal projects around NYC, or traveling the world with his cameras in tow. You can find Paul’s latest work on his Instagram over at @thepicreative.