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Fujinon GF 100-200mm F/5.6R LM WR Review

Fujinon GF 100-200mm F/5.6R LM WR

The Fujifilm Fujinon GF 100-200mm F/5.6R LM OIS WR
Fujifilm Fujinon GF 100-200mm F/5.6R LM OIS WR
is a medium telephoto constant-aperture zoom for GFX system mirrorless cameras. It covers a focal-range of 100 to 200mm while keeping a maximum aperture of F/5.6. This is only the second zoom among of GF-mount lenses. Its focal-range is equivalent to 80-160mm on a full-frame camera which gives a 30° to 15° field-of-view range. A zoom like this one is suitable for up-close portraits, street shooting and artwork photography.

The GF 100-200mm F/5.6R LM WR has a minimum focus distance of 60cm at wide-angle and 160cm at its longest focal-length, measured from the sensor. It therefore achieves a maximum magnification of 0.2X at its shorter end. With a maximum aperture of F/5.6 and the imaging circle of the GFX system, depth-of-field is moderately shallow with this lens. Like other members of the lineup, this zoom has a 9-blade circular aperture that produces smooth bokeh.

Body Design

This telephoto zoom lens is quite large for its short 2X optical zoom. It is similar in size to typical 70-200mm F/2.8 lenses for Full-Frame DSLR, although at 1050g, is significantly lighter than those. While it covers a larger imaging circle, its aperture is two full-stops dimmer, this is more a point-of-reference than a comparison.

The lens barrel of the GF 100-200mm is made of a single metal tube with both zoom and focusing being completely internal. The front accomodates 67mm filers and a supplied lens hood with sliding window to rotate a polarizer. At the back of the lens, there is a removeable tripod collar which lets the barrel rotate. There are two markings for the vertical and horizontal position but no detents to ensure exact alignment. Exactly as one would expect, the lens mount is metal. The entire lens feels very sturdy and well put together. Like all GF-mount Fujinon lenses, this one is weatherproof and freezeproof down to -10°C.

There are three rings on the GF 100-200mm F/5.6R LM WR. They cover two thirds of the lens barrel. At the front, there is a 2cm rubberized fly-by-wire focus-ring. It rotates smoothly yet with some resistance. There are no hard-stops on either end of the focus-range. See the GF 23mm F/4 review page for a detailed description of fly-by-wire focusing.

A huge 3" (7cm) ring behind the focus ring controls the focal-length. The zoom ring takes 90° of rotation to go from the short to the long end. This makes it much more precise than the GF 32-64mm F/4R LM WR, the only other zoom for GF-mount cameras. The zoom ring moves smoothly with a good amount of resistance and hard stops at 100 and 200mm. As with all mechanical zooms, it has infinite precision and is responds instantly. Numbers inscribed on the zoom-ring show 4 focal-lengths: 100, 130, 170 and 200mm. They correspond roughly to 80, 105, 135 and 160mm on a full-frame.

The third ring, right behind the zoom one, is just over 1cm wide and made of metal. It controls aperture. Fujifilm implemented a system to support every type of aperture control. The ring itself has markings in full-stops for apertures from F/5.6 to F/32. There are extremely soft detents at each 1/3-stop between markings. Beyond the F/32 marking, a red A indicates Automatic Aperture Control. With the ring set to A, the camera is either in Shutter Priority mode or in Program mode, depending whether the Shutter-Speed is set a a specific speed or Auto, respectively. A C position next to A indicates Control-Dial aperture control. When the ring is set to C, the aperture is controlled by an on-camera control-dial. This places the camera in either Aperture-Priority mode or Manual mode, depending on how the Shutter-Speed dial is set.

To avoid accidentally changing the camera mode, the aperture-ring cannot move freely between C, A and F/no positions. A small square button marked with a red line built into the aperture ring must be pressed to move the aperture-ring in a way that changes the Exposure Mode. All this seems complicated but allows photographers to choose how to work with aperture.

Two switches are found near the base of the lens barrel. One activates the Optical Image Stabilization, the other restricts AF to 5m or more. This feature reduces autofocus hunting when shooting subjects that are known to be at a distance.

Optical Performance

All Fujifilm GFX system lenses are designed to resolve 100 megapixels, including this one which is the only zoom in the lineup. This is achieved using a complex design that includes oneAspherical and two Super Extra-Low Dispersion elements. These combine to remove aberrations and produce completely distortion-free results throughout the zoom range.

The absence of distortion is equally impressive as the complete lack of vignetting. Even wide-open, illumination stays perfectly uniform throughout the focal-range. Color and contrast are impeccably rendered by the GF 100-200mm F/5.6. There are no signs of fringing or any other type of chromatic aberrations. This lens has been treated with the latest nano coatings to protect against ghosting and flare which appears to be very effective. Even with backlit subjects, contrast is extremely well-maintained.


Click on image for full-resolution

Fujinon GF 100-200mm F/5.6R LM WR Sharpness

The Fujinon 100-200mm F/5.6R LM WR shows excellent center sharpness. The center of images stays perfectly sharp from wide-open until diffraction hits passed F/22. Medium format pixels are larger and so smaller apertures can be used before suffering from diffraction compared to full-frame and APS-C cameras.

Images rendered by this zoom lens are very sharp for the major part of the frame. The wide-angle end though shows significant softness at extreme corners at moderate apertures. Softness is an issue from F/5.6 to F/10, so stopping down by 2 stops is needed to get corner-to-corner sharpness at wide angle. Absolute maximum sharpness is only acheived from F/16 to F/22.

The story is considerably better towards the telephoto end of the zoom. At 200mm, corner softness is slight but noticeable from F/5.6 to F/7.1. Beyond that, it sharpness is still minimally softer than the image center yet not enough to be an issue even for rather large prints.

What is shown below are 5 crops taken from a photograph, repeatedly captured for each combination of focal-length and aperture. The smaller pieces are cropped from the extreme corners of the image, while the middle wide crop comes from the center of the image. Select an aperture in a row for a desired focal-length to see the crops from the corresponding image. When judging quality, keep in mind that these crops come from a 50 MP image which is normally used to print an image up to 40x30". On a computer display, these may appear much larger which magnifies image defects.


Upper Left
Upper Right
Center
Lower Left
Lower Right

This Medium Format lens produces very high-quality images. Its optical performance is good yet not up to the level of the wider GF 32-64mm F/4R, the other GF-mount zoom. Sharpness is exceptional throught most of the zoom range, except at the extreme corners near wide-angle. Stopping down improves sharpness considerably yet prolongs exposures given that the widest F/5.6 aperture is not that bright to start with. Distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberrations are all virtually inexistent, while being quite resistent to flare.


Click on image for full-resolution

Fujifilm GFX 100-200mm F/5.6R LM WR

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By on 2017-08-22

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