The answer might be the GF50mm f/3.5 lens
If someone is about to get into the Fujifilm GFX system or wants to add a GF lens to their collection, they might be wondering about what choices they have. Fortunately for them, there are multiple choices available.
Much like the XF-mount lenses for the X-series cameras, Fujifilm has been expanding the GF-mount lens options. There aren’t quite as many available as there are for the X-series, but the selection keeps growing. One of the newest options is the GF50mm f/3.5 prime lens.
I finally had time to borrow the GF50mm from Fujifilm Canada during my holiday break. This is a time when I’m not shooting much for work, so I actually have time to shoot for myself. A perfect time to try a new lens.
The GF50mm is the smallest GF-mount lens available. While not quite a pancake lens, it is pretty compact. With a full-frame equivalent of 40mm, it is in between the GF45mm (35mm equivalent) and the GF63mm (50mm equivalent). I believe that Fujifilm’s intention is that the 50mm will make a great walking around lens. It is. I stuck it on the front of my GFX 50S after receiving it and I rarely removed it for the three weeks I had it. I took it with me on walks around the neighbourhood and downtown city streets and it travelled with me on a Gulf Island excursion. I can easily see it as the only prime lens for travel or as part of a small kit of two or three lenses. I carried it, along with my GF100-200mm lens, on a weekend trip to Pender Island. I liked the symmetry of having 50, 100 and 200mm to shoot with.
If I was just starting out with the GF system, the GF50mm f/3.5 would be the first lens I would consider.
So if this a multiple choice quiz, what are the other options? The obvious alternative to this lens is the GF63mm f/2.8 prime. A less obvious option is the GF32-64mm f/4 zoom. I own both of these lenses, so I was able to asses the relative merits of all three lenses.
For walking around, my choice would be the GF50mm. A little wider than the GF63mm and a lot lighter and smaller than the zoom, the GF50mm is an ideal lens for life on the streets or just anywhere you might travel. For shooting in low light, the GF63mm lens is the best option, because it is the fastest of the three lenses. As it is not much larger than the GF50mm, there isn’t much of a trade off for size and weight. In terms of versatility, it’s difficult to beat the GF32-64mm lens. It’s not ideal as a walk-around lens, but for nearly everything else, it’s great. And, it gives a wider option than any GF lens except the GF23mm lens.
A nice feature of the GF50mm lens is that it is weather sealed. It rained for many of the days that I had it, so this feature was thoroughly tested! f/3.5 is relatively fast in medium-format terms and is plenty fast when shooting outdoors. Image quality is up to that of the other GF lenses. In other words, excellent.
So when I ask myself the question posed above, I would definitely consider buying this lens, if I didn’t already have the GF63 and GF32-64 lenses. If I was just starting out with the GF system, it would be the first lens I would consider, since along with the GF63, it is the least expensive native lens available. In any case, I know I wouldn’t go wrong if I did opt for the GF50mm f/3.5 lens: small, light and excellent image quality add up to a great choice. One among many.
Below, are some images captured as I walked around my neighbourhood, in town and along a few ocean edges.
NB: All sample images captured with the Fujifilm GFX 50S, fronted with the GF50mm f/3.5 lens.
2 responses to “Multiple choice”
Great photographs! I would love to know your opinion of using a FUJIFILM XF 35mm f/2 R WR Lens as opposed to a FUJIFILM XF 50mm f/2 R WR Lens on an X-series camera.
Robin, I think that the XF35 is more versatile than the XF50. Both produce great images, but the 50 might be a bit long for walking around. It is a good, inexpensive option for portraits. If you are looking for a second prime lens to carry around on the street or for traveling, I would suggest one of the wider lenses, such as the XF23mm f/2 or XF18mm f/2 lens. Overall, the XF35mm f/2 lens is my first choice if I was to use just one lens.