Fujinon GF110mm f/2 R LM WR lens

      Photo Review 8.9


      In summary

      The GF 110mm f/2 R LM WR lens is best suited to portraiture, and the environmental sealing makes it ideal for photographers who work outdoors, including those who shoot weddings and social events.

      Its fast f/2 maximum aperture means that it’s relatively large and heavy and takes up quite a bit of space in a camera bag. It also makes for a very narrow depth of focus at the widest aperture settings and this can mean quite errors in focus or in technique will be magnified.

      The lens delivers outstanding detail and smooth tonal transitions,  both in front and behind the subject. The smaller, lighter body of the  GFX 50R  is likely the most comfortable partner for this lens, on which it is very nicely balanced.


      Full review

      Announced in April 2017 and released in June that year, the Fujinon GF 110mm f/2 R LM WR lens covers the same angle of view as an 87mm lens on a 35mm camera, making it ideal for portraiture. Its f/2 maximum aperture makes it the fastest of the three lenses we received with the GFX 50R camera and its weather-resistant design makes it suitable for outdoor use. Like other GF lenses we’ve reviewed, this lens can also be used at temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius.

      The Fujinon GF 110mm f/2 R LM WR lens, shown without end caps and lens hood. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      The optical design of this lens (shown below) is relatively complex, consisting of 14 elements in nine groups and including four ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens elements. One Super ED lens and three ED lenses, arranged in a  careful balance on either side of the iris diaphragm, combine to suppress spherical and chromatic aberrations and deliver high resolution across the image frame.

      The optical design of the Fujinon GF 110mm f/2 R LM WR lens, showing the positions of the exotic elements. (Source: Fujifilm.)

      Internal focusing is achieved by driving the focusing elements through a linear motor, which is both fast and near silent. This ensures aberration fluctuations due to changes in shooting distance are suppressed.

      The iris diaphragm has nine rounded blades close to create attractive bokeh both in front of and behind the subject, along with the characteristic  expression of out-of-focus areas that marks medium format lenses. Like other GF lenses, this lens includes the lockable A and C positions on the aperture ring that enable the lens aperture value to be changed via the command dial on the camera body.

      Who’s it For?
      With a street price of around AU$4000, this lens is targeted mainly at professional photographers. It’s best suited to portraiture, and the environmental sealing makes it ideal for photographers who work outdoors, including those who shoot weddings and social events.

      Its fast f/2 maximum aperture means that it’s relatively large and heavy and takes up quite a bit of space in a camera bag. It also makes for a very narrow depth of focus at the widest aperture settings and this can mean quite errors in focus or in technique will be magnified.

      Its overall length of 125.5 mm and 1.01 kilogram weight make it comparatively large and heavy, although it’s marginally shorter and lighter than the AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR, which is a popular’ take everywhere’ lens. We found it reasonably well balanced on the GFX 50R body we used for our review.

      However its size and weight made it virtually impossible to change lenses on the run. It’s best to put the camera on a solid surface before making a lens change.

      Build and Ergonomics
      Build quality is of a high standard and this lens has the low-gloss, semi-matte finish that characterises the GF lenses. The lens barrel feels like it’s made from metal, although it may be made of very high quality polycarbonate that is also cool to touch and feels very solid.

      The front element has a diameter of approximately 50 mm and is set slightly back from the filter ring, which is threaded to accept 77 mm filters.  The outside of the filter ring has a bayonet mounting for the large, cylindrical lens hood, which is 85 mm long and can be reversed over the lens barrel for transport and storage. A locking button keeps it in place.

      The focusing ring is 50 mm wide and begins about 16 mm behind the front edge of the lens barrel. It is almost entirely covered by a thickly ridged grip band that rotates smoothly but is well damped. Because focusing is driven from the camera, the ring can be turned through 360 degrees when power is off.

      Manual focusing requires a fair amount of rotation, so when shooting at wide apertures it’s not as easy to focus as some other lenses. In AF mode the lens often failed to find focus with close subjects in our tests. Autofocusing at close distances could be slow.

      Fortunately, the large focusing ring makes it easy to fine-tune focus, aided by the in-camera assistants (magnification and focus peaking). We found it’s often best to use manual focus to home in on the subject then switch to auto for fine tuning – provided the AF sensor(s) are positioned correctly. This isn’t always a given with this lens.

      The lens barrel angles inwards before straightening out to provide space for the aperture ring, which begins 27 mm behind the trailing edge of the focusing ring. The leading edge of this ring has aperture values stamped on the lens barrel at full stop intervals with 1/3EV click-stops in between. The aperture range extends from f/2 to f/22 with the A (Auto) and C (Control) positions marked beyond the f/22 position.

      The lens barrel extends for a further 17 mm before stepping in to the chromed metal lens mount, which is very solid. A rubber ring encircles the barrel at the step-in point to keep out moisture and dust.

      Although this lens is large and heavy (1,010 grams), it is well matched to the GFX 50R and the combination feels well balanced. The lens is supplied with front and rear caps plus a cylindrical lens hood and a soft carrying pouch.

      The review lens turned in a good performance in our Imatest tests, with JPEGs captured near the centre of the frame falling just short of meeting expectations for the 51.1-megapixel sensor in the GFX 50R camera. This is no mean feat with such high resolution.

      Edge resolution was a little lower towards the edge of the frame, which is to be expected. Raw files captured at the same time comfortably beat expectations both near the centre of the frame and towards the periphery.

      The highest resolution was between f/2.8 and f/4.5 and there wasn’t much difference between centre and edge figures across most of the aperture range, although they naturally became closer as the lens was stopped down. Interestingly, resolution remained relatively high at the smallest aperture settings, although diffraction began to have an effect from about f/6.4 onwards. The graph below shows the results from JPEGs recorded in our tests.

      Lateral chromatic aberration was entirely within the negligible range and very low, as shown in the graph of our Imatest results below. The red line marks the border between ‘negligible’ and ‘low’ CA. We found no evidence of coloured fringing in any of our test shots.

      Because Fujifilm cameras apply lens corrections automatically, we had to assess distortion and vignetting in RAF.RAW files, which are uncorrected. Both were low enough to be considered negligible.

      The review lens was relatively immune from flare, even in extreme lighting conditions. Very slight veiling flare appeared when the sun was within the image frame, although contrast was retained throughout most of it.

      Autofocusing was also reasonably fast across most of the focus range, although the lens often began to hunt at close focusing distances.  At f/2 the depth of focus is so narrow that any movement by the photographer or the subject is magnified and shots will be unsharp.

      If you opt to focus and then re-frame a shot, even a small shift between focus capture and shutter release can result in the subject being soft. This problem persists until about f/3.2 when the depth of focus is wide enough to cope with such errors.

      The f/2 maximum aperture can be an advantage when shooting in low light levels because it allows the camera to be hand held at ISO settings that are relatively noise-free. Autofocusing with this lens can produce more audible noise than the other lenses we tested, which are relatively quiet.
      We found bokeh (out-of-focus blur) to be generally quite attractive at wider apertures. For subjects in front of the main focus point, blurring was normally smooth and outlining was minimal. Highlights  behind the main focus point showed clear outlining, although fortunately without evidence of layering.

      Between f/2 and about f/4 the transition from in-focus to out-of-focus is nice and smooth. From that point highlights began to develop harder outlines and become more oval-shaped towards the edges of the frame.


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      Picture angle: 27.9 degrees
      Focal length equivalent in 35mm format: 87mm
      Minimum aperture: f/22
      Lens construction: 14 elements in 9 groups (including 4 ED elements)
      Lens mounts: Fujifilm GF (medium format)
      Diaphragm Blades: 9 (circular aperture)
      Focus drive: Linear motor with internal focusing mechanism
      Stabilisation: No
      Minimum focus: 90 cm
      Maximum magnification: 0.16x
      Filter size: 77 mm
      Dimensions (Diameter x L): 94.3 x 125.5 mm
      Weight: 1,010 grams
      Standard Accessories: Lens front and end caps, lens hood, lens pouch

      Distributor: Fujifilm Australia; 1800 226 355; www.fujifilm.com.au 



      Based on JPEG files captured by the Fujifilm GFX 50R camera.




      Vignetting at  f/2.

      Rectilinear distortion.

      Close-up at f/2, 1/350 second, ISO 100.

      Crop from the above image enlarged to 100%.

      Close-up at f/2, 1/400 second, ISO 100.

      Close-up at f/2.8, 1/200 second, ISO 100.

      Close-up at f/4, 1/105 second, ISO 100.

      1/160 second at f/11; ISO 100.

      Portrait shot in open shade;1/160 second at f/2; ISO 100.

      1/90 second at f/5.6; ISO 100.

      1/75 second at f/5; ISO 100.

      1/60 second at f/6.4; ISO 200.

      An instance where the shallow depth of focus can be used to great effect; 1/60 second at f/2; ISO 100.

      Outlined highlights in the background; 1/125 second at f/4; ISO 100.

      Additional image samples can be found with our review of the Fujifilm GFX 50R camera.



      RRP: AU$4299; US$2350

      • Build: 9.0
      • Handling: 8.8
      • Image quality: 8.9
      • Versatility: 8.7