The New Fujinon GF 80mm f/1.7 R WR Lens
The Fastest Medium Format Lens Ever Created
Weak link in Medium Format
Before today there were only three “fast” lenses in the Medium format marketplace. Two are for large heavier bodies, the Leica S 100 f/2 and the Hasselblad HC 100 f/2.2. The third, and fastest lens, is the Hasselblad XCD 80mm f/1.9. With the release of the new Fujinon GF 80mm f/1.7, FujiFilm now takes over the lead in speed/ resolution combination in the Medium Format marketplace. It is significant to have a lens body combination with 100mp resolution and f/1.7 speed. And it fills a hole that our industry that clients have been asking for since day one.
Where it sits in the FujiFilm Line Up
|GF 63mm f/2.8 R WR Lens||GF 80mm f/1.7 R WR Lens||GF 110mm f/2 R LM WR Lens|
|Lens Configuration||10 elements in 8 groups|
includes 1ED element
|12 elements in 9 groups|
1 aspherical and 2
|14 elements in 9 groups
includes 4 ED elements
|Angle of view||46.9°||37.7°||27.9°|
|Number of blades||9||9||9|
|Minimum Object Distance||0.5m||0.7m||0.9m|
|Step Size||1/3EV (22steps)||1/3EV (23steps)||1/3EV (22steps)|
Why it matters to this photographer
My shooting style has two needs. For architecture and and landscape I use a 150mp Phase One on a Cambo Technical camera. This yields the highest quality images of any digital system I have ever used. However, as a photographer I always want a camera with me. I have always wanted a high resolution system with strong dynamic range with a lens that delivers the ultimate bokeh. Secondly, price and size matter with this second system. I want to have it in my car, in my computer bag, or anywhere I go. Clearly taking a 50k system does not fit that need and secondly, there are no fast lenses. Now with the GFX 100s and the GF 80mm f/1.7, I might have the perfect combination of weight, size, speed, and cost.
Having it in my hands
We were very fortunate to have the new GFX 100s and the GF 80mm for 24 hours last week. But it was just a tease. We each were all able to test it in situations where we would use the combination personally. Being a GFX 50s user, I was one of those users who really disliked the GFX 100 user interface. I felt that it was over engineered and over complicated compared to the smaller body. Now having the 50s size, weight, and interface but with the 100mp resolution and dynamic rage, this fits my personality perfectly. And Furthermore, I have the speed and bokeh of a f/1.7 lens.
The second hurdle for me for my testing besides the short time period is that I am exclusively a Capture One raw format photographer. Since it is impossible for C1 to have profiles or even recognize raws of a yet to be announced camera, I stripped the metadata and replaced the camera data with GFX 100 data. This means the color was not perfect but I look forward to having the real profiles in March when it ships.
FujiFilm is proud of their ED (extra low dispersion) glass technology. The ED technology helps eliminate chromatic aberrations in their line of lenses. This new lens has 2 SuperED elements and is the first prime lens to have 2 SuperED elements in its design. Never has any manufacture been able to come anywhere close to this quality and speed in a MF lens. And quite frankly, the first few images I process illustrate just how well Fujinon lenses perform.
Typically the fastest lens in a line up is also the heaviest. For comparison you can see the size in an image attached above. In comparison of weight, the lens is smaller and lighter than half the lenses in the line up. It is 10% lighter than the 32-64mm and about 5% shorter and lighter than the 23mm. So any FujiFilm user can understand how balanced it feels and how it can be the perfect addition to their camera bag.
Bokeh Bokeh Bokeh
Can you say beautiful dropped out backgrounds combined with a razor sharp but shallow plane of focus? Tell me what you think….