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Fujifilm Fujinon GF 80mm f/1.7 R WR Lens Review

John Riley has been putting the Fujinon GF 80mm f/1.7 R WR lens to the test on the Fujifilm GFX 100S to find out just how good it is at capturing photos.

|  Fujifilm GF 80mm f/1.7 in Interchangeable Lenses
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Fujifilm GF 80mm F1,7R WR Front Oblique View | 0.3 sec | f/16.0 | 68.0 mm | ISO 100

Fujifilm has a long-established pedigree with medium format cameras and lenses, from the rangefinder film cameras in 645, 6x7cm and 6x9cm formats to the current GX range of digital mirrorless cameras. Now this new lens adds to the range a short telephoto with a uniquely fast, bright f/1.7 maximum aperture. This suggests huge potential for beautiful bokeh and wafer-thin depth of field and could be an extremely versatile option for a wide variety of subjects. Let's couple the new Fujinon GF 80mm f/1.7 R WR lens with the mighty Fujifilm GFX 100S and see if it is up to the demands of the massive 102MP sensor.


Fujifilm Fujinon GF 80mm f/1.7 R WR Handling and Features

Fujifilm GF 80mm F1,7R WR On GFX100 | 0.3 sec | f/16.0 | 40.0 mm | ISO 100

Weighing in at 795g, the lens is chunky but does not seem unduly heavy nor does it seem out of place with the GFX 100S body. The two gel together nicely, leaving us with one of the most user-friendly approaches to medium format available. The quality of construction is very high.

Starting at the front, there is a provided bayonet fit round lens hood that clips easily and positively into place. A catch secures it, and there is no tendency for this to be unintentionally released. Within the bayonet fit is the large fluorine-coated front element and a conventional 77mm filter thread. The fluorine coating helps to repel dirt, grease and moisture. The lens is also weather-resistant, these days almost an essential requirement for any lens intended to be used in the field.

The manual focusing ring is broad and has a good grip. Being electronic, it is also utterly smooth in operation. Focusing is down to 70cm, giving a maximum magnification of 0.15x.

Although something that most medium format cameras have in common, there is a feeling that closer focusing would be an advantage. This is where zoom lenses for smaller formats have one of their strengths.


Fujifilm GF 80mm F1,7R WR On GFX100 Top View | 1 sec | f/16.0 | 48.0 mm | ISO 100

The aperture ring is gorgeous in operation, as it usually is with Fuji lenses. The choice is there to set the aperture on the ring, smoothly click stopped at one-third of a stop intervals, or set the ring to A where the shutter speed would be set by the camera and the aperture automatically set, or to C where the aperture is set using one of the command dials on the camera. This is a matter of personal choice and full marks to Fuji for offering every option. There is a release catch to secure the ring in the A or C positions.

Optical construction is 12 elements in 9 groups, including 2 Super ED (Super extra-low dispersion) and one aspherical. The diaphragm has 9 blades for improved, smooth bokeh. Fuji's EBC multi-coating works flawlessly as always.

AF is achieved using a DC motor, which is fast and accurate. A gentle whirring sound can be heard, but this is not particularly loud or intrusive. AF speed is moderate but locking on is very reliable. There is no image stabilisation in the lens, nor is any needed as the camera has its own built-in sensor-shift system that is extremely effective.

Fujifilm GF 80mm F1,7R WR On GFX100 Front View | 1/4 sec | f/16.0 | 48.0 mm | ISO 100

80mm is a modest telephoto lens on this format, giving a “35mm equivalent” field of view of 63mm. However, this is enough to make rendering of portraits very attractive and to aid a slightly more selective crop to images in general. The f/1.7 aperture is amazing in that lower ISO values can be used in darker conditions and, provided that depth of field is adequate for the subject, much smoother shadow detail can be maintained. This is of course partly due to the lens and partly due to the inherently smooth 102MP images.

Let's have a look now to see how the lens copes with those huge image files.


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