Fujinon GF 110mm F/2R LM WR Review
Fujinon GF 110mm F/2R LM WR
The Fujifilm Fujinon GF110mm F/2R LM WR
Fujifilm Fujinon GF110mm F/2R LM WR is a bright medium focal-length prime for the GFX system of mirrorless cameras. With a maximum aperture of F/2, this is the brightest lens available natively for the GF-mount. Its 110mm focal-length is equivalent to 88mm on a full-frame, making it ideal for portraits. Within the GFX lineup, it competes with the Fujifilm Fujinon GF120 F/4R LM OIS WR Macro
Fujifilm Fujinon GF120 F/4R LM OIS WR Macro which is equivalent to a 96mm lens. The main difference is that the 110mm is two full stops brighter, while the 120mm has close-up capabilities.
The GF 110mm shows a 28° field-of-view. Given a minimum focus-distance of 90cm, its maximum magnification is 0.16X. The F/2 maximum aperture makes it exceptionally bright for use in low-light situations. A 9-blade circular-aperture makes it capable of producing beautiful rounded bokeh. The use of 4 Extra-Low Dispersion elements enable bokeh to be rendered uniformly both in back and in front of the focus-plane.
Bright lenses tend to be heavy for any format and Medium Format just pushes this even further, so the GF 110mm F/2 is no exception. This one in particular weighs just over 1kg. It is 95mm wide and 126mm in length. It certainly looks large and feels heavy. When used at bright apertures, the depth-of-field is so shallow that minimum movements can push it out-of-focus, so a tripod is highly recommended when using this lens.
This prime lens is built as a single-piece metal lens barrel with a silky black finish. The barrel widens about halfway to accommodate the large front lens element. There is a filter-thread at the front which accepts 77mm filters. At the back, the lens mount is made of metal too. The GF 110mm F/2R is built like a tank within a weatherproof and freezeproof body designed to keep working down to -10°C. This lens has an entirely internal design and does not change lens or rotate while focusing.
This lens has two rings. Near the front, where the lens barrel is wider, there is an extra-large rubberized focus-ring. The ring is fly-by-wire, just like other Fujinon GF lenses. The ring turns very smoothly with some resistance to minimize accidental changes. Manual Focusing is extremely precise as many complete turns of the focus-ring are required to drive focus across its range. This lens does not have stops at either end of the focusing range.
The second ring, near the base of the lens, 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/2 to F/22. There are extremely soft detents at each 1/3-stop between markings. Beyond the F232 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 Exposure Modes, 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. This lets the photographer choose between using an aperture-ring or a control-dial to change aperture. Using the control-dial option is sensible unless it is also assigned to another function. In such case, the dial must be clicked to switch between parameters which becomes modal and quite error-prone.
Fujifilm expects their GF 110mm lens to resolve every detail the GFX-50S can capture with its 50 megapixels Anti-Alias-Filter-Free sensor. With its optical design which includes 4 ED lens elements, this lens is completely distortion free. It also shows no vignetting at any aperture.
This lens has an exceptional rendition of colors. Micro contrast is also very well captured towards the center of the frame. Near edges though, softness reduces contrast in fine details. The optical formulation also shows impeccable resistance to flare and no signs of chromatic aberrations.
Fujinon GF 110mm F/2R LM WR Sharpness
The Fujinon GF 110mm F/2R LM WR is sharp in its center. Details are captured with incredible definition from F/2.2 to F/20, leaving only a very slight amount of softness at F/2 and F/22, the latter being a consequence of diffraction. Edges and corners though do not fare so well. There is severe softness from F/2 to F/6.4, although it smaller apertures are marginally better. Between F/7.1 and F/11, corners are somewhat soft yet usable for all but the largest print sizes. From F/13 to F/20, sharpness is very good which justifies even more using a tripod with this lens.
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.
Fujifilm designed and built a lens for portrait photographer with the GF 110mm F/2R LM WR. The lens itself is sturdy and highly functional. Its optical formulation delivers on several key issues by rendering absolutely smooth bokeh, resisting flare, being imprevious to chromatic aberrations and capturing fine contrast near the center of the frame.
This medium telephoto lens is clearly the underperformer of the GFX system. When considering its intended use of portraiture which typically blurs backgrounds beyond recognition, it could work very nicely given how good sharpness is around the image center. Still, having to stop down so much to get acceptable corner softness diminishes its fit for other types of photography.
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