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Fujifilm’s newest medium-format lens is lighter than a can of soda

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Medium format is known for both image quality and bulk — but Fujifilm’s latest GFX series lens is the company’s lightest medium format lens yet, making camera-lens combos that are even lighter than some full-frame DSLRs. Announced on Thursday, July 18, the Fujinon GF 50mm F3.5 R LM WR is designed to match the resolution of the GFX bodies all in optics that weigh less than 12 ounces. The company says the lightweight design makes the lens ideal for street and landscape work.

The 50mm lens, equivalent to a 40mm on a full-frame camera, is designed from nine elements in six groups and a nine-blade aperture. The optics, Fujifilm says, are designed for maximum resolution, including the 102-megapixel sensor of the GFX 100, and also support the reproduction of rich tones. One aspherical element is used to fight spherical aberration and barrel distortion. The company says the lens is made with technology that allows for sub-micron precision for optimal image quality.

The lens’ autofocus motor is designed for both speed and discrete, quiet performance. Fujifilm says that the autofocus is near silent with minimal focus breathing for video.

The optics and autofocus motor are wrapped in a body that’s less than two inches long. Weighing 11.8 ounces on its own, paired with the GFX 50R, the combination weighs 39.2 ounces — lightweight for the notoriously large medium-format category. High-end full-frame DSLRs like the Nikon D5, by comparison, weigh nearly 50 ounces without a lens. The lens is also weather-sealed against dust and moisture.

The lens is the lightest yet in the GFX series, which now includes ten optics — seven prime lenses, two zoom lenses, and a teleconverter. The new lens sits close to the previous GFX 45mm f2.8, trading a narrower aperture for a lighter design. The prime lenses now include a 23mm, 45mm, 50mm, 63mm, 110mm, 120mm, and 250mm, along with the 32-64mm and 100-200mm zoom lenses.

Fujifilm’s medium format mirrorless series is lighter than traditional medium format cameras, thanks to the mirror-free design, but they still typically have a weight disadvantage over full-frame mirrorless cameras as a trade-off for that larger sensor. The new lens is compatible with the GFX 50S, 50R and new GFX 100.

The new Fujifilm GFX 50mm F3.5 R LM WR will make its debut on September 26. The lens is expected to retail for about $1,000.

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