Hands-on with the new Fujifilm GF 80mm, XF 27mm and XF 70-300 lenses
Fujifilm released a trio of lenses alongside the announcement of the new GFX 100S and X-E4 cameras. The GF 80mm F1.7 R WR is a medium format short-telephoto lens for GF bodies, such as the aforementioned GFX 100S, while the XF 27mm R WR and XF 70-300 F4-5.6 R LM OIS WR are for the company’s APS-C X-mount cameras.
Click through to learn more about each of these new lenses!
Hands-on with the Fujifilm GF 80mm F1.7 R WR: Overview
The GF 80mm F1.7 R WR (63mm equiv.) fills the gap in Fujifilm’s medium format lens lineup; it now sits between the 63mm F2.8 R WR (50mm equiv.) and 110mm F2 R LM WR (87mm equiv.). For full-frame users, it’s a bit of an unusual focal length, but it’s also the fastest lens in the GF system at this time. So, if you’re looking for a lot of control over depth-of-field in this focal length range, the 80mm F1.7 may be the lens you’re looking for.
Hands-on with the Fujifilm GF 80mm F1.7 R WR: Design
For a medium-format lens, the GF 80mm is fairly small. Its maximum diameter is 95mm (3.7″) and it measures 99mm (3.9″) in length. The lens weighs in at a not-too-heavy 795 grams (1.8 pounds). It’s threaded for 77mm filters and includes a plastic hood.
The GF 80mm F1.7 has a faux-mechanical aperture ring, which also has a ‘C’ position to let you use the camera’s controls to adjust the aperture.
Fujifilm claims the lens is weather-sealed (hence the ‘WR’ in its name), though it does not carry any specific IP rating. A hydrophobic fluorine coating on the front element helps repel water and grime. Fujifilm claims that it can operate at temperatures as low as -10°C/+14°F.
Hands-on with the Fujifilm GF 80mm F1.7 R WR: Optics
The GF80mm F1.7 has a total of 12 elements spread across 9 groups. Of the 12 elements, 1 is aspherical and 2 are ‘Super ED’ (extra low-dispersion, which helps to reduce chromatic aberrations and color fringing).
The six-element focus group is driven by a DC micromotor. You may not find it fast enough for erratic subjects (like sugar-charged children at birthday parties), but it’ll keep up with most things and is very accurate. The lens has nine rounded-aperture blades, which helps produce impressively smooth backgrounds.
The minimum focus distance of the lens is 70cm (28″) and the maximum magnification is 0.15x; these are solid if not necessarily exceptional figures. Check out our pre-production sample gallery to have a look at what the GF 80mm F1.7 can do.
The GF 80mm F1.7 R WR is priced at $2299 and will be available in March 2021.
Now, onto the XF lenses, starting with…
Hands-on with the Fujifilm XF 27mm R WR: Overview
The XF 27mm F2.8 R WR is an update to one of our favorite X-mount lenses. This pancake lens is equivalent to 41mm, making it a good everyday lens. Fujifilm didn’t change the optics in the second-generation 27mm F2.8; rather, they added weather-sealing and an aperture ring.
The XF 27mm F2.8 R WR ships in March 2021 at an MSRP of $399, which is $50 less than its predecessor. It’s also available as a kit option for the X-E4.
Hands-on with the Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8 R WR: Design
The most notable feature on the XF 27mm F2,8 R WR is, of course, just how thin it is. The lens is just 23mm (0.9″) thick, which is the same as the original that lacked an aperture ring. It weighs in just 84 grams (3 ounces). The 27mm uses 39mm filters and includes a small metal hood.
Build quality is beyond reproach. The aperture ring is metal and feels very solid, and the aperture lock into ‘A’ mode is a nice touch if you prefer to use a control dial on the camera rather than the lens. The focus ring is small, yes, but well-damped.
The aperture ring has a lock, though it lacks the ‘C’ position found on the GF80mm F1.7. As with that lens, Fujifilm makes no claims as to just how weather-sealed the lens is, but they do say that it will function down to -10°C/+14°F.
Hands-on with the Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8 R WR: Optics
Despite its thin profile, the 27mm F2.8 R WR has 7 elements in 5 groups. It has one aspherical element, and Fujifilm has applied its ‘Super EBC’ coating to reduce ghosting and flare. The focus group is driven by a micromotor.
Autofocus is impressively quick with modern Fujifilm camera bodies, though the motor isn’t silent and the lens still extends externally when focusing. It wouldn’t be our first choice for using tracking or continuous autofocus with moving subjects, but with a recent camera body, it’s a solid-enough performer.
The minimum focus distance of the lens is 34cm (13.4″), and the top magnification is 0.10x.
Aside from its size, our favorite part about the XF 27mm F2.8 R WR is its optical quality. With a not-super-fast F2.8 maximum aperture, it’s nice to see that the lens really is quite sharp, even wide-open. It’s a great walk-around lens for tons of types of photography.
Check out our initial sample gallery from a pre-production lens to evaluate its photo quality.
Hands-on with the Fujifilm XF 70-300 F4-5.6 R LM OIS WR: Overview
While most APS-C systems have one (or more) 70-300mm lenses, this is actually the first for the X-mount. This isn’t a slow, plasticky kit lens of the kind that sometimes get bundled with low-end cameras, though: it’s well-built and full-featured.
Hands-on with the Fujifilm XF 70-300 F4-5.6 R LM OIS WR: Design
The 70-300 F4-5.6 is a relatively light and portable considering its aperture and 17 elements. The focal length is equivalent to 105-450mm. If that’s not enough, the 70-300 is compatible with both of Fujifilm’s teleconverters. The lens’ body is a mix of metal and plastic, and it feels solid in the hand. The lens has a diameter of 75mm (3″) and is 133mm (5.2″) long when collapsed. It weighs 588 grams, or 1.3 pounds.
The aperture ring on the XF 70-300 differs from that of the other two lenses in this article in that it’s unmarked and lacks any detents. Thus, when you rotate it, you must look at the LCD or EVF to see what the aperture value is. An on/off switch sits next to the dial (in this case, with an aperture graphic and the ‘A’ setting). The 70-300 also has a focus limiter that covers the whole range or starts at 5m (16ft), but you can fine-tune a focus limiter on most modern Fujifilm cameras in the menus.
The lens also has a zoom lock to prevent ‘lens creep’. What’s nice about it is that it disengages automatically if you put a little effort into turning the zoom ring.
Fujifilm says that the lens is sealed in 10 different locations (again, not making any specific claims) and will function down to -10°C/+14°F.
Hands-on with the Fujifilm XF 70-300 F4-5.6 R LM OIS WR: Optics
The 70-300 F4-5.6 R LM OIS WR has a total of 17 elements split into 12 groups. It has one aspherical and two Super ED elements. It also has Fujifilm’s Super EBC coating to reduce aberrations. The lens’ linear motor moves the focus group quickly and quietly.
This is the only lens in the bunch with optical image stabilization, which Fujifilm says can reduce shake by up to 5.5 stops. What’s more, if you attached it to cameras with stabilized bodies, such as the X-T4, the two systems work together to offer 5-axis IS.
The minimum focus distance is impressively close at 83cm (33″) and the maximum magnification is 0.33x, even at the maximum zoom setting.
Our initial impressions of a pre-production 70-300 are positive. It’s sharp, even in the corners. While we spotted some purple fringing, it’s not close to a deal-breaker. Check out our sample gallery to evaluate the photo quality with your own eyes.
The XF 70-300 F4-5.6 R LM OIS WR (say that three times fast) will ship in late March 2021 for $799.
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