Fuji GF 50mm f/3.5: first impressions

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Just a quick report following a single, short session with this lens which turned out to be very pleasant indeed.

If you’d read about the GF 35mm f/3.5 lens before then you probably know its main raison d’être is to provide portability to the GFX system. And at the expense of 1 or 2 stops of light gathering potential, since its maximum aperture is f/3.5.

Now, I don’t know about you, but for me f3.5 is more than enough. I mean, having faster apertures all the way to f/1.4 on hand would obviously cause no harm and give you a larger window to play with, but if that’s at the expense of portability –  and of course it is, as we are talking medium format size lenses here – then I’m perfectly fine with f/3.5.

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The photos above were taken at the Kun Iam Tong temple in Macau. Interiors were dark, but shooting at f/3.5 was not a problem. I mean, nowadays the high ISOs are so good – crank it up and that’s it. More so with a medium format sensor. And this applies to subject separation as well. It worked out quite well.

In full-frame terms, this lens is the equivalent of a 40mm. I’m mostly a 35mm guy, so would I prefer a 35mm equivalent lens? Psychologically, maybe yes. But objectively, I just started shooting and adapted my framing to what the lens provided. In some occasions the extra 5mm width of a 35mm would probably help, but in the end – not a show stopper.

A note on portability

The GF 50mm f/3.5 is actually just a few grams – 70 to be precise – lighter than my other Fuji lens, the GF 63mm f/2.8. So it’s not that I felt a day and night difference. I kinda feel the portability claims from Fuji and some reviewers to be a bit exagerating. Yes, it’s portable, but it’s not overly more portable than the GF 63mm f/2.8.

I’d say both are equally portable – and remarkably so for a medium format system – with the GF 50mm f/2.8 offering an extra bit by being shorter.

More to come

Yes. Need more mileage, need to clock more hours with this lens. Full review will come, stay tuned.

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