Fujinon GF 45-100mm F/4 R LM OIS Lens Review

John Riley has been capturing images with the Fujinon GF 45-100mm F/4 R LM OIS Lens for the GFX 50s medium format mirrorless camera.

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Fujinon GF 45-100mm F/4 R LM OIS Lens Review: Fujinon GF 45-100 f/4 R LM OIS WR

Fujifilm has a long and impressive history of producing unique, interesting and extremely high-quality medium format cameras and lenses. When film was the norm, their range of rangefinder cameras covered 645, 6x7 and 6x9 formats, so it is no surprise to find them producing the equally impressive Fujifilm GFX 50S camera. This offers us a sensor size of 43.8 x 32.9mm in a mirrorless design and a whole range of lenses to go with it. Latest in the line is this 45-100mm f/4 zoom and it will be especially interesting to consider whether or not this becomes a viable alternative to the top of the line "full-frame" cameras in terms of handling and quality of results. So, time to dip our toes in the water and test out the temperature, using the 51.4MP Fujifilm GFX 50S body.


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Fujinon GF 45-100mm F/4 R LM OIS Handling and Features

Fujinon GF 45-100mm F/4 R LM OIS Lens Review: Fujinon GF 45-100 f/4 R LM OIS WR

Medium format lenses do tend to be rather larger than full-frame, but as in general lenses have become bigger and heavier the difference no longer seems so great. In fact, this 45-100mm optic, equivalent to around 36-79mm in full-frame terms, does not seem overly bulky nor does it seem overly heavy despite its 1005g. The overall finish is excellent and the provided petal-shaped lens hood clips firmly and smoothly into place, confirming a high level of construction quality. There is a catch that needs to be pressed to release the hood, so it stays firmly in place without difficulty. Within the bayonet fitting for the hood, we find a standard 82mm filter thread. The overall construction of the lens is dust and weather resistant, always appreciated in our variable and unpredictable climate.

First up is the manual focus ring, electronic in operation and fairly light in action, but certainly utterly smooth. Focusing is down to 0.65m, or 2.1 feet, giving a maximum magnification of 0.13x.

Behind this is the zoom ring, mechanical this time and moving the lens in and out. The action of this is quite firm but smooth. There are clear focal length markings of 45mm, 60mm, 80mm and 100mm.

Fujinon GF 45-100mm F/4 R LM OIS Lens Review: Fujinon GF 45-100 f/4 R LM OIS WR
Moving further towards the camera body we have the very fine and accurately click stopped aperture ring, offering manual selection on the lens in one-third stop intervals, an “A” setting in red that allows automatic setting of the aperture by the camera and an "A" setting in white that allows manual aperture setting but via the camera body. There is a locking catch that prevents accidentally moving from one choice of method to another. Because of the sensitivity of the control on the camera, this reviewer finds the use of the manual selection on the lens by far the most effective way to proceed.

One final control remains the selector to engage the OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) feature. Fujifilm claims a 5 stop advantage, but this reviewer found that 4 stops were more realistic for the highest standards.

Optical construction is 16 elements in 12 groups, including 3 Aspherical, 1 ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) and 1 Super ED. The diaphragm comprises 9 rounded blades for improved bokeh. Fuji's Super EBC coating technology is well established and generally effective at suppressing flare.


Fujinon GF 45-100mm F/4 R LM OIS Lens Review: Fujinon GF 45-100 f/4 R LM OIS WR

Although this lens is relatively compact by today's standards, it is also true that it is a very far cry from the minuscule 35-80mm kit lenses that were used at one time with 35mm film SLR cameras. However, lenses are now far more complex. In this case, handling is about the same as any high-end DSLR, helped by the mirrorless design of the Fujifilm GFX range of cameras. Focusing is very fast, crisp and accurate. In summary, in terms of handling this is a very easy to use and rewarding package that is a pleasure to handle.


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