How good is this ridiculously big lens? In this first impressions review I’ll take you through some of my findings and share a handful of raw files for all you pixel peepers out there. All shot on the fancy new Fujifilm GFX 50R.
I’m not gonna bore you too much with the technical aspects of this lens cause odds are you’ve already got that covered. The Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR is a G Mount autofocus lens for the Fujifilm GFX system. It comes with optical image stabilisation, a focus range limiter, a few focus recall buttons for you to quickly go to a focus distance you have preset and lastly one massive hood. The hood locks in and requires the press of a release button to come of, which in my opinion is great.
The lens might look a bit scary at first and you might think you need to get a gym card before using it but it’s actually a lot lighter than it looks. Much like the Fujinon GF 110mm F/2 it’s surprisingly un-heavy, cause well it’s not actually light weight in that sense. It’s still a 1425g chunk to haul around. It also screwed up my gear packing system cause it doesn’t fit properly in the current bag.
On the FUJI GFX 50R camera body it naturally feels front heavy, but it’s actually not that bad. However if you plan on using this lens for long periods at a time you’re better off with the GFX 50S, which has a much deeper and more solid grip. But I bet it dosen’t feel well balanced there either.
As you guide that viewfinder up to your eye and put your hand under the lens it’s just super solid and you can almost feel that it will deliver bad ass quality. And so it does. Make no mistake about it, the Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR is a true marvel of a lens. And the fact that the stabilisation works so well makes the lens useful at shutter speeds way slower than you’d expect with a tele like this.
I’ve been an avid Nikon user for 20 years, and still am, and I’ve basically used all pro lenses available for that system and with the exception of the Nikon 105mm F/2.8 MICRO VR, I have never seen stabilisation like this. It’s brutal. So, Unless you have been zippin too much coffee or is proper hungover there’s no problem shooting handheld at 1/15 sec with this beast. That might not sound impressive but with that focal length on a medium format sensor that is some serious shit.
As for the quality and performance of the glass I have nothing but a silly smile and two thumbs up to give you. I’m not sure what kind of obscure black magic Fuji has built in to the lens or the GFX 50R but I see absolutely no CA with this lens. As the raw files will confirm if you want to check. Amazing, and so is sharpness and focus speed. I mostly shoot static or slow moving subjects so focusing speed is never an issue anyway. But the sharpness, it’s truly a marvel.
So before we head on to some sample photos, why does one invest in a lens like this, cause it’s quite the chunk of dough we’re talking about. Well, for me it comes down to epic background drop and bokeh, reducing frog perspective and lastly of course the insane image quality it delivers. Since I’m disabled and use a wheel chair, all my shots suffer from frog perspective. To reduce that I tend to position myself far from the subject. The use of a tele lens still let’s me create shots with a sweet background drop off and less frog factor. Something that cannot be done as good with the Fujinon 110mm F2, even though it’s a killer lens in its own right.
Since this is a first impressions review it pretty much ends here. I will of course continue to use the lens in my professional workflow for a few weeks and get back to you with a more in-depth review. As of now however, I’d say that if you got the GFX system and need a killer tele for portraits, fashion shoots or what ever floats your boat, this is the winner and worth every penny.
The following shots are just everyday shots taken in down town Malmö, Sweden. The pics on the site are pretty harshly compressed so the raw file is linked in each caption. Have a look and let me know what you think about the lens if you’ve got it.