One of the core promises of the mirrorless Fujifilm GFX 50s is to make medium-format as accessible in the field as it is in the studio. On January 17, Fujifilm revealed a new lens designed to deliver on that promise. The GF 100-200mm F5.6 R is a weather resistant, relatively lightweight, 2x telephoto zoom with impressive optical image stabilization rated for 5 stops of shake reduction.
At about 2.3 pounds, the midrange telephoto lens — which has a full-frame equivalent focal length of 79-158mm — is perhaps not a lightweight by the standards of smaller formats, but to put it into context, it’s only about 3 ounces heavier than the GF 120mm F4 prime lens. That gives outdoor photographers a workable zoom range requiring barely any extra heft, while the high-powered stabilization motor means you could also leave the tripod at home, saving even more weight.
Optically, the GF 100-200mm is composed of 20 glass elements that are organized in 13 groups. Two extra-low-dispersion elements and a single aspherical element are used to control chromatic aberration and field curvature, respectively. The nine-bladed aperture features a maximum f-stop of f/5.6 throughout the entire zoom range and can be stopped down to f/32. The lens features a close-focus distance of 0.6 meters, or about 2 feet, and uses a 67mm front filter thread.
Additionally, wildlife photographers will be pleased to learn that it is compatible with Fujifilm’s 1.4x teleconverter, which is also weather resistant, giving more reach without sacrificing durability.
Autofocus is achieved with the latest Fujifilm linear motor, advertised as being both quiet and fast. From using other LM-equipped lenses, the quiet we can attest to — but in our experience, focusing speed on the GFX 50s is always limited by the camera, which relies on a slow contrast-detection autofocus system. However, with Fujifilm’s prototype GFX 100-megapixel concept camera advertising phase-detection autofocus, we expect current GF lenses will perform faster on future cameras.
At $2,000, the new lens is priced right where we would expect it for GF zoom; the sole other zoom in the series — the GF 32-64mm f/4 — currently sells for about $2,085. The GF 100-200mm f/5.6 will be available in late February 2019.
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