There are lots of lenses for medium format photographers available for Fujifilm GF format. For anyone who wants something bigger than full-frame, they might reach for the new Fujifilm GF 20-35mm f4. It’s especially great for a photographer who doesn’t want to do post-production and instead wants to have the photo be a distortion-free in camera as possible. That’s what it seems they’re getting at least with this lens.
We got to spend a bit of time with the new Fujifilm GF 20-35mm f4 lens at a press event set up by Fujifilm. And when I say a bit of time, I mean it was in my hands for less than 20 minutes.
Editor’s Note: This coverage is thanks to Fujifilm working with the international press. Many of us were flown in from around the world and put in hotels paid for by Fujifilm. I chose not to stay in a hotel as I live in NYC. The models were all compensated by Fujifilm.
Taken from our original coverage.
- 16-28mm equivalent
- 14 elements in 10 groups
- 3 aspherical, 1 aspherical ED, and 3 ED elements
- Close focusing of 0.35m
- 9 aperture blades
- Weather resistance
- 82mm filter thread
- 725 grams
- $2,499 at Adorama
Here’s a look at the Fujifilm GF 20-35mm f4. On the top area you’ll immediately be able to spot a lot of controls. There are three rings and each has a rubber textured area around it. The top one is the focusing ring. Behind that is the zoom ring, which is the largest ring and also takes up most of the body. This naturally helps with gripping the lens.
Behind that is the clicky aperture ring. This lens stays at a constant f4 throughout the zoom range. According to MMCalc, the Fujifilm GF 20-35mm f4 is a 15.8-27.65mm f3.187 full-frame equivalent. With that said, it’s almost an f2.8 lens, and it’s almost a 16-28mm equivalent.
Like other GF lenses, the Fujifilm GF 20-35mm f4 has an A-mode setting so that you can operate it from the camera. But I doubt most folks would do that if they’re shooting Fuji.
Just so you know how ginormous this lens is, it has a 82mm filter thread.
Here’s another view of the lens without its lens hood, which is very small.
The Fujifilm GF 20-35mm f4 has weather-resistance, so when it’s attached to a GF body it’s bound to work quite flawlessly. In addition to that, the lens is surprisingly small and feels very balanced on the Fujifilm GFX 100s. It also has internal zooming so it doesn’t grow very large. Still, you surely know it’s not a full-frame 35mm lens. It’s larger for sure.
Ease of Use
The Fujifilm GF system is designed for a more advanced photographer. And the Fujifilm GF 20-35mm f4 has all the complexities a typical Fujifilm lens would have with the aperture ring and all. But if you’re an experienced photographer, this won’t be an issue.
We tested the Fujifilm GF 20-35mm f4’s at the venue Fujifilm booked for the event. We used it with the GFX 100s’ face detection while photographing the venue. Overall, it’s pretty fast, but full-frame equivalents are faster.
In reality, I don’t see photographers buying this lens for the speed.
The unit we tested had the card port door taped shut, so we couldn’t put a memory card in to take images home. However, the patron saint of Fujifilm (also known as Billy Loung) volunteered his wonderful face for us. The image quality proved to be very nice, but we still have to do a lot of other tests with this lens.
Overall, I think the GF 20-35mm f4 will be a nice addition to the GF lineup. But I, like many other photographers, also think Fujifilm needs more innovative lenses. For the medium format space, they’re innovative, but the GF lineup tries to convince full-frame 35mm photographers to move up. And if they’re getting more or less the same lenses, why would they?
We’ll have to see.