A New Wide-Angle Lens Appears: Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 First Impressions

The Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 R WR is an excellent wide-angle prime lens for photographers shooting with Fujifilm Medium Format cameras.

Photographers shooting with Fujifilm Medium Format cameras are getting a new wide-angle prime option today. The Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 R WR is the eighth prime to join the company’s G mount lens lineup. It covers a 30mm focal length, which is roughly equivalent to 24mm in 35mm Full Frame. It’s also got a reasonably bright maximum aperture of f3.5 (which equates to approximate f2.8 in 35mm Full Frame). The GF 30mm f3.5 is also weather-sealed like the rest of the lenses in Fujifilm’s Medium Format G Mount. It’s relatively lightweight and feels very well balanced when paired with one of the GFX camera bodies (we tested it with the GFX 100). We recently got to spend some time with a pre-production prototype of the Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 R WR ahead of today’s announcement. Head on after the jump for our first impressions.

Gear Used

We tested the Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 R WR lens with the Fujifilm GFX 100.

Tech Specs

Tech specs for the Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 R WR taken from Fujifilm’s official press release:

TypeGF 30mm f3.5 R WR, Black
Lens Configuration13 elements in 10 groups
(includes 2 aspherical, 2 ED elements)
Focal Length
(35mm Format Equivalent)
f=30mm
(24mm)
Angle of View84.7°
Max. Aperturef3.5
Min. Aperturef32
Aperture Control
Number of Blades
Step Size

9 (rounded diaphragm opening)
1/3 EV (19 steps)
Focus Range
(from the sensor surface)
0.32m – ∞
Max. Magnification0.15x
Weight (Approx.)
(excluding the lens cap,
lens hood and hood cap)
1.12 lb
Filter Sizeø 58 mm
Accessories IncludedLens Cap FLCP-58, Lens Rear Cap RLCP-002, Lens Hood, Lens Pouch

Ergonomics

Photographers familiar with Fujifilm’s Medium Format prime offerings will feel right at home with the GF 30mm f3.5 R WR. It utilizes the same design language found in the company’s other G Mount prime lenses. A large, rubberized manual focusing ring dominates much of the lens’s exterior. The manual focusing ring offers a good amount of resistance when turning, and the rubber ridges on the ring also make it very easy to grip. Both are helpful when fine-tuning the focus.

The Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 R WR also sports a smaller, clicked aperture ring. You can use it to dial in your aperture (between f3.5 and f32), or set it to either A or C modes. When set to A mode, your camera will control the aperture settings automatically, while C mode allows you to adjust the aperture using your camera’s customizable dials.

Aside from the manual focus and aperture control rings, you’re not going to find any other buttons or switches on the Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 R WR. A petal-shaped hood is included in the box and helps reduce flare when shooting in brightly lit conditions. For photographers planning on shooting long exposures with the GF 30mm f3.5, it uses 58mm filters. It’s a minimalist design that works.

Build Quality

The Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 R WR is solidly built and feels well balanced when paired with a GFX 100. As its name suggests, the GF 30mm f3.5 is yet another weather-resistant entry into Fujifilm’s G Mount Medium Format lens lineup. Fujifilm has consistently built some of the industry’s best weather-resistant cameras and lenses, although we didn’t get a chance to put it to the test during our brief time with a pre-production sample. Stay tuned for our upcoming full review where we’ll surely put the GF 30mm f3.5’s weather sealing to the test.

Ease of Use

The Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 is one of those lenses that just works. Simply mount it onto a Fujifilm G mount camera, flip the lens hood around, remove the front lens cap, and you’re good to start shooting once you turn the camera on. The only button you’ll find on the lens is the one that lets you set the aperture ring to A or C modes. Otherwise, you can dial in your aperture manually by turning the aperture ring. Landscape photographers will surely appreciate the big fat manual focusing ring that takes up much of the GF 30mm f3.5’s body. It offers good resistance when turning and makes it very easy to fine-tune your focus.

Autofocus

Autofocus performance on the pre-production Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 R WR we tested felt accurate and responsive during our brief time with the lens. The overall autofocus performance was excellent, especially by Medium Format standards. The only time we really found the lens to hunt was when photographing objects up close. It’s not really something that you need to worry about, however, as long as you’re mindful of the lens’ minimum focusing distance. We will need to test the GF 30mm f3.5’s autofocusing capabilities more extensively once final production units become available.

Image Quality

All sample images seen within this First Impressions article were captured using a pre-production Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 R WR prototype lens paired with the Fujifilm GFX 100. Unless otherwise stated, all of the images below are straight out of camera JPGs from the GFX 100. Color images were shot using the Velvia film simulation while monochromatic images were shot using the Acros film simulation. Select raw files were processed using Capture One 20 Pro, ranging from color grading, cropping, levels adjustment, and/or perspective correction. As of press time, lens profiles for the Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 R WR lens are not yet available in Capture One. Save for some mild adjustments done in-camera to compensate for light falloff, we didn’t notice any other significant differences between the raws and JPGs. 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.

First Impressions

Though our time with the Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 R WR prototype was quite brief, we thoroughly enjoyed shooting with it so far. It’s got the same build quality that we’ve come to expect from Fujifilm. It’s fairly lightweight as well and felt well balanced when paired with the GFX 100. Performance-wise, the autofocus was responsive and accurate. Images were very sharp and held a ton of details. The colors were rich and the bokeh was quite pleasing as well. We look forward to reviewing the Fujifilm GF 30mm f3.5 R WR lens more comprehensively once final production review units become available. Please stay tuned for our upcoming full review.

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.