lunes, 15 de octubre de 2018

FUJIFILM GFX 50R : AN AFFORDABLE TOP-NOTCH MIRRORLESS EVF MEDIUM FORMAT CAMERA WITH RANGEFINDER PHILOSOPHY AND EXCELLENT LENSES


One of the most significant highlights of the very recently held Photokina Köln 2018 has been the introduction by Fuji of its 51.4 megapixel Fujifilm GFX 50R mirrorless EVF 33 x 44 mm medium format camera, a kind of rangefinder-styled version of the Fujifilm GFX 50s presented two years ago, during the Photokina 2016.


It´s been undoubtedly a bold movement by the Japanese firm at a moment in which the 24 x 36 mm format mirrorless EVF cameras have gained amazing momentum as a market trend after the presentation of the 45.7 megapixel Nikon Z7, the 30 megapixel Canon EOS R and the 47 megapixel Panasonic S1R, the announcement by Sigma that it will launch into market a mirrorless EVF full frame camera featuring a Foveon sensor, and the remarkable influence which keep on having the also full frame EVF cameras 24 megapixel Leica SL (presented in October of 2015 and boasting the best lenses ever made for 35 mm format) and the 42.4 megapixel Sony A7III (evolutive pinnacle of a series of 24 x 36 mm format mirrorless EVF cameras which started with the Sony A7 in October 2013).

The raison d´atre of the Fujifilm GFX 50R medium format camera is minimalist, with

The 33 x 44 m medium format sensor of the Fujifilm GFX 50 R features an efficient automatic cleaning system through ultrasound vibration, which was pioneered by Olympus with its E-1 Four Thirds camera in 2003. It´s also relevant the sturdy large size bayonet mount enabling the very accurate coupling of the extraordinary Fujinon GF lenses, in addition to boasting an exceedingly short flange distance of only 26,7 mm. On the lower area can be seen the twelve golden contacts making possible a high level of communication between camera body and attached lenses.

its 33 x 44 mm medium format sensor


and the extraordinary Fujinon GF lenses as a core, in addition to five further major factors :

a) Fuji´s crave for recreating in the digital scope the philosophy inherent to its famous analogue 6 x 9 cm format Texas Leicas rangefinder cameras from nineties (particularly the Fujifilm GW690 III Professional with its EBC Fujinon 90 mm f/3.5 and the Fujifilm GSW 690 III Professional with its EBC Fujinon 65 mm f/5.6) for shooting handheld.

b) The maximum feasible expansion of that concept, now in XXI Century, with a new mirrorless EVF medium format digital camera which —  unlike the aforementioned Texas Leicas MF rangefinder cameras that featured a fixed lens — can be coupled to different first-class and amazingly sharp Fujinon G interchangeable MF lenses boasting AF through contrast detection of 117 points, created from scratch to attain maximum synergy with the specific 44 x 33 mm medium format sensor.

c) To reduce both size and weight as much as possible. In this regard, Fuji has made a commendable strenuous effort with its GFX 50R, because it only weighs 775 g (including battery and memory card), that´s to say, it is 145 g lighter and 2,5 cm thinner than the previous Fujifilm GFX 50S medium format camera.

Evidently, the Fujifilm GFX 50R is not a small camera, but if we bear in mind that it is a medium format model,

The uncommon compactness for his format of the Fujifilm GFX for its sensor format is apparent in this image in which we can see from left to right : the on and off switch of the camera, the small exposure compensation wheel, the shutter release button, the big dial for shutter speeds and diaphragm priority A position. the hotshoe, the outstanding thickness of the sturdy metallic bayonet mount made in brass to get maximum endurance and reliability, the electronic viewfindernext to the strap lug and the viefinder eyepiece in the upper left area. In addition, it is a very robust camera, made in aluminium alloy, with 64 anti dust and anti humidity sealing points. Besides, this is the first model of the GFX saga of Fuji digital medium format cameras featuring low energy Blutooth technology enabling that the captured images can be very easily and quickly sent to smartphones and tablets connected to the camera through the Fujifilm remote control application.

its dimensions and weight are undoubtedly very reduced for a camera within its segment of product, and above all, it has been designed and conceived to be mostly used handheld, not on a tripod as has traditionally been usual in this type of professional stuff.


As a matter of fact, the GFX 50R is much smaller and light (161 x 97 x 66 mm and 775 g with batteries) than the analogue Fujifilm GW690III (119 x 201 x 129 mm and 1,460 g), with a size roughly between the 6 x 9 cm format Texas Leica and the APS-C format Fujifilm X-E3 mirrorless EVF digital camera.

d) The location of the EVF on the back upper left corner of the camera, like the viewfinder of a RF camera, means a clear departure from the middle top pentaprism-shaped EVF sported by the FX 50S and a straightforward statement of intent by Fuji : this is a very special mirrorless EVF medium format photographic tool, whose appearance, contours and handling resemble very much both the 6 x 9 cm format analogue rangefinder Texas Leicas and the Fujifilm X-Pro 2 mirrorless EVF /OVF digital camera.

The Fujifilm FX 50S viewfinder with its 0.85x magnification is a bit better than the Fujifilm FX 50R´s one featuring 0.77x, but to practical effects that´s not a very significant difference, and the FX 50R viewfinder is also excellent, providing a sharp and brilliant image to photographers.

e) To offer a highly competitive price. Obviously, 4,500 dollars is not anything cheap to begin with.
But once more, if we consider that this is a first-rate medium format mirrorless EVF camera, it is exceedingly apparent that Fuji has made a praiseworthy endeavour to make it " affordable " , since price tags are hefty in the scope of MF digital cameras, often going beyond the barrier of 8,000 dollars, so a 4.500 dollars for the Fujifilm FX 50R is a great piece of news.

If we add to it that this camera is more responsive on being used hand and wrist than other MF models like the 50 megapixel Hasselblad X1D-50C (a prodigy of design and beauty of lines, as well as delivering superb image quality, with 16 bit colour and a dynamic range of 14 diaphragms, also highly portable, but whose autofocus and shutter release speeds are much slower than in the Fujifilm GFX 50R, without forgetting that its battery is often drained after 150 shots, while the Japanese camera´s battery endures approximately 300 shots) or MF cameras attached to digital backs.

f) A superb and very silent plane-focal horizontal travelling mechanical shutter with speeds between 4 s and 1/4000 s, which in mode B ranges between 60 minutes to 1/4000 s and another electronic one, also begetting a barely perceptible sound, with speeds between 4 s and 1/16,000 s, which in B mode encompasses between 60 minutes and 1/16,000 s.

The aforementioned mechanical shutter is able to flawlessly endure  up to 150,000 cycles, as well as delivering an exceedingly low level of vibration.

If we add to it that this camera is much faster shooting handheld than other medium format digital models like the 50 megapixel Hasselblad X1D-50C (a prodigy of design and beuty of lines, in addition to yielding great image quality, with 16 bit colour and dynamic range of 14 diaphragms, likewise pretty portable, but whose autofocus and shutter release speed are much slower than in the Fujifil GFX 50R, without forgetting that its battery exhaustes after 150 shots, while the battery of the japanese camera lasts approximately 300 shots) or MF cameras coupled to digital backs.

REAL ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF THE FUJIFILM GFX 50R IN COMPARISON TO REFLEX WITH OPTICAL VIEWFINDER AND MIRRORLESS EVF 24 X 36 MM FORMAT CAMERAS AT THE PRESENT MOMENT


From a theoretical viewpoint, a medium format camera with a bigger than 24 x 36 mm sensor should yiled more image quality than a full frame one in terms of resolving power, sharpness, capture of details, tonal gradation, dynamic range, bokeh, outstanding colours, etc.

But within the digital photography scope this is a highly complex subject in which a lot of variables come into play, and generally speaking differences in image quality between medium format cameras and the best 24 x 36 mm format cameras, though existing, are not so big as in the analogue era.

First of all, it is important to realize that digital photography has brought with it a seminal change of paradigm in terms of the image quality yielded by each format in comparison to analogue era, to such an extent that current best full frame cameras (either reflex ones with optical viewfinders like the Nikon D850, Canon EOS 5D Mark IV or mirrorless EVF 24 x 36 mm format ones like the Sony A7RIII, Nikon Z7, Canon EOS R or Panasonic S1R ) deliver medium format quality increasingly approaching to the levels of the analogue 6 x 9 cm medium format with low ISO films like Fuji Velvia 32, while the best APS-C and Micro Four Thirds cameras get image quality results comparable to 35 mm analogue format with low ISO films like Fuji Velvia 32 or Kodak Ektar 25, albeit they´re increasingly approaching to the image quality standard of the classical 127 film roll (the smallest medium format).

On the other hand, digital medium format cameras, either reflex with optical viewfinders or mirrorless ones featuring electronic ones, have been reaching a level of image quality steadily approaching to the 4 x 5 " (10 x 12 cm) analogue large format (though with different image aesthetics and bokeh), something that began in October of 2008, when the first functional prototypes of the medium format Leica S2 only featuring ISO 100 and coupled to a Summarit-S 70 mm f/2.5 ASPH.

After it, more medium format digital cameras from other brands appeared, like the 40 megapixel Pentax 645D in December 2010 and the 51.4 megapixel Pentax 645Z in April 2015, a context which was constantly boosted by the state-of-the-art 50 megapixel sensors made by Sony and used by Phase One and Hasselblad in their MF digital cameras.

And in June 2016, Hasselblad launched into market its gorgeous 51 megapixel X1D-50c mirrorless EVF camera featuring a 33 x 44 CMOS sensor and new XCD mount, as well as boasting a significant reduction in size and weight ( 150 x 98 x 71 mm and 725 g, with a pixel pitch of 5.29 microns).

This camera also delivers an image quality approaching to 4 x 5 " large format even more, delivering razor sharp results from edge to edge of the image and superb dynamic range, as well as capturing the most hidden details with true natural colours, with the added benefit of the narrow depth of field at the widest apertures resulting in unrivalled look and bokeh, something that also happens in the Fujifilm GFX 50S, whose production started in early 2017, and the just presented Fujifilm GFX 50R.

But whatever it may be, it´s very important to grasp that while the digital full frame sensors are pretty much the same size as the analogue 24 x 36 mm cameras of yore, the digital medium format sensors are much smaller than the analogue medium formats.

For example, the 33 x 44 mm medium format digital sensor of the Fujifilm GFX50R mirrorless EVF MF camera with 1,452 sq.mm is a 70% bigger than the 24 x 36 mm format with 864 sq.mm, but

- The 6 x 4.5 cm analogue medium format is 2.7 times bigger than 24 x 36 mm format.

- The 6 x 6 cm analogue format is four times bigger than 24 x 36 mm format.

- The 6 x 9 cm analogue format is almost six times bigger than 24 x 36 mm format.

And the evolution pace in the 24 x 36 mm digital sensors is faster than in the medium format ones, so flagship full frame cameras from Nikon, Canon, Leica, Panasonic, Pentax, Sigma, etc, will progressively have better and better sensors with smaller pixels than medium format cameras like the Fujifilm GFX50R, but breakthrough technologies will highly probably make them increasingly efficient, steadily trying to make up for the inherent advantages of larger sensors with bigger pixels and reduce distances in image quality with respect to them, including the ability to gather as much light as possible.

Nevertheless, the RAW archives recently attained by some professional photographers using the Fujifilm GFX50R (sharing the same sensor and dsp as the Fujifilm GFX 50S) medium format camera shooting handheld seem to suggest that

Detail of the upper left area of the camera (as seen from frontal position) in which can be seen from left to right : the thin knurled wheel for exposure compensation values, the shutter release button (out of focus) and the big knurled dial with shutter speeds and the diaphragm priority automatism A position. The beauty and elegance of these controls is truly unutterable.

presently it gets the upper hand in tonal and colour gradation, dynamic range, sharpness and special filmic look over the best current full frame cameras from Sony, Nikon, Canon, Leica, Pentax, etc.
But differences are not huge at all, because models like the Sony A7RIII, Nikon D850 and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV are very mature products stemming from many years of evolution and plenty of feedback by professional photographers, in addition to boasting state-of-the-art sensors and highly advanced dsp, so when coupled to top-notch lenses they also deliver extraordinary image quality.

On the other hand, it seems apparent that the Fujifilm GFX 50R MF camera doesn´t match the capabilities of the 24 x 36 mm full frame cameras from Sony, Nikon, Canon, Leica, Pentax, etc, as all-around performers able to tackle a slew of different photographic assignments with very high marks.

In addition, nobody better than Fuji knows that the Fujifilm GFX 50R MF can´t equal — to name only a few aspects — the tremendous potential and accuracy of the 3D autofocus system featured by the Nikon D850 reflex full frame camera, the upgraded AF system of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV reflex camera in symbiosis with the sensor sporting Dual Pixel Autofocus, the 425 point hybrid AF system of the APS-C format Fuji XT-3 mirrorless EVF camera, the myriad of lenses from different brands, epochs and lens mounts that can be attached through adapters to Sony, Nikon, Canon, Leica and Panasonic 24 x 36 mm format mirrorless EVF cameras, the impressive high rates of 20 fps in continuous mode of such technological wonders like the Panasonic G9 Micro Four Thirds camera, the amazing video 4K UHD 60 fps featured by benchmark cameras in this sphere like the Panasonic GH5S or the 5-axis in body stabilization of the Micro Four Thirds Format OM-D E-M1 Mark II.

Needless to say that the maximum 3 fps burst in continuous mode is light years from those mirrorless EVF 24 x 36 mm cameras from different brands, while their top flash synchronization speed of 1/125 s is far behind the 1/250 s flash sync of the Sony A7RIII and the Leica SL, and its video Full HD 30 fps, albeit more than enough for a medium format camera like this, whose priority is to get the maximum feasible image quality, it doesn´t reach the quelitative level of the 4K UHD 30 fps video of the Sony A7RIII.

But in my humble opinion, it doesn´t matter at all, because

Back view of the Fujifilm GFX 50R in which you can see the 3.2 inch and 2,360 million dots touchscreen.

the Fujifilm GFX 50R medium format mirrorless EVF camera was not conceived to do things at full speed, but to get the maximum feasible image quality shooting handheld, with operating tenets thoroughly grounded in the rangefinder Texas Leicas of late nineties but with much smaller size and weight, a wide range of extraordinary MF interchangeable autofocus lenses available, a top quality sensor, a very fast and powerful dsp, a very good electronic viewfinder and a truly classic and elegant appearance grealy resembling the one featured by a rangefinder camera.

THE OPTICAL QUALITY OF THE LENSES AS A FUNDAMENTAL INGREDIENT FOR SUCCESS

Right off from the bat, Fuji attitude with this camera has been very wise and it doesn´t want any kind of war against the powerful firms that will lead the full frame mirrorless EVF cameras segment (Sony, Canon, Nikon, Leica and Panasonic).

Fuji does know very well that its

Detail of the upper left area (seen from its forward area) of the Fujifilm GFX 50R, in which can be seen the shutter release button located beside the on / off swith, the great dial with shutter speeds and selection of automatism with diaphragm priority on top right of the image and the wheel for exposure times compensation on the upper left zone. The beauty of all of these controls is timeless and strongly inspired by the analogue era, in the same way as the finishing accuracy of components.

Fujifilm GFX 50R is a medium format niche camera in itself, because of its rangefinder appearance and working way, the extraordinary image quality it delivers, its commendable compactness for a MF camera with a big 33 x 44 mm sensor, its superb native FG MF lenses designed from the ground up to maximize symbiosis with the sensor and the very good electronic viewfinder placed on top back left area of the body, as in classical RF analogue cameras.

The upshot of it is that albeit lacking a rangefinder, the Fujifilm GFX 50R medium format mirrorless EVF camera with its interchangeable lenses is from a conceptual viewpoint the most similar digital camera to the analogue Mamiya 7 and Mamiya 7 II models created hitherto.

And in the same way as happened with those wonderful analogue 6 x 7 cm medium format rangefinder cameras, Fuji has given top priority to the design of top-notch lenses yielding impressive and second to none image quality in the sphere of digital medium format, with the exception of the Leica S MF lenses designed by Peter Karbe, that because of their stratopsheric optomechanical quality keep on being the benchmark, though logically, with a much higher price.

But with its extraordinary GF lenses, Fujifilm has greatly reduced distances, in addition to having designed and built them in such a way that they will flawlessly synergyze with future MF cameras of up to 150 megapixels.

Fuji perceives that in addition to the quality of the MF digital sensor and the dsp, the most fundamental factor for the success of its GFX 50R will be the optomechanical level of its lenses.

Not in vain, Fuji has got a tremendous optical know-how and experience harking back to the days of analogue photography, when it designed and manufactured a number of world-class lenses, particularly for large format and medium format analogue cameras, like the Fujinon 240 A portrait objective (which could be coupled to 4 x 5 " — 10 x 12 cm — and whose weight was of only 245 g, as well as being attacheble as a standard lens with 5 x 7 — 13 x 18 cm — LF cameras and as an angular to 8 x 10 " — contact of 20 x 25 cm —  LF cameras), the Super-EBC Fujinon 60 mm f/4 for the Fuji GA645 AF medium format rangefinder camera and many others.

As a matter of fact, during most of XX Century, Fuji was along with Schneider-Kreuznach at the forefront in the design and manufacture of large format lenses, getting optical glass of maximum quality using very expensive platinum crucibles to prevent particles getting into the glass as always happened when conventional clay crucibles were used, as well as implementing very stringent quality controls and enhancing a perfect synergy between the Odawara factory turning out 200 varieties of raw optical glasses for LF objectives and the Omiya factory turning them into finished products with its state-of-the-art EBC (Electro Beam Coating), receiving up to 11 exceptional uniform and thin coatings on key elements of the optical formula, as happened with such legendary LF lenses like the Fujinon LS 210 mm f/5.6, 300 mm f/5.6 and 420 mm f/8 LF portrait lenses which clearly outperformed the Tessar type LF lenses in high resolution, rich gradation, detail definition and colour balance.

Therefore, Fuji has designed and manufactured since 2016 seven different first-class objectives (six primes and a standard zoom) featuring linear motors enabling fast, accurate and silent AF, as well as being weather and dust resistant which can be used with its Fujifilm GFX 50R medium format mirrorless EVF camera :


- The Fujinon GF 23 mm f/4 R LM WR, a super wideangle lens with a focal length equivalent to a 18 mm in 35 mm format.

Featuring 15 elements (two aspherical, one Super ED and three ED)  in 12 groups, it is a stellar performer in landscape and architectural photography, thanks to its excellent correction of distortion, its ultra high resolving power in center, borders and corners, and its great sharpness. 


 This is a state-of-the-art lens, and from the very instant of its launching into market one of the historical benchmarks od superwideangle lenses for medium format cameras along with the 8 elements in 5 groups Biogon 38 mm f/4.5 designed by Zeiss optician Hans Sauer in 1954 for the 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 (6 x 6 cm) Hasselblad SWC and the 10 elements in 6 groups Mamiya 43 mm f/4.5 the formidable 10 elements in 6 groups Mamiya 43 mm f/4.5 ultrawide angle lens (equivalent to a 21 mm lens in 35 mm format and inspired by Ludwig Bertele´s original ten element Zeiss Biogon for 9 x 12 cm large format cameras), a true wideangle design with which the Japanese managed to beat the extraordinary 8 element Biogon 38 mm f/4.5 of the 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 (6 x 6 cm) Hasselblad SWC in terms of sharpness and lack of distortion on the corners, with maximum values of 0.04%, which meant a new step in this scope even beyond the Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 21 mm f/2.8 for the Contax/Yashica system (a stunning retrofocus superwideangle design with which the optical pundit Carl-Heinz Schuster managed to get a performance in sharpness equal to the best symmetric types).


But what Fuji has achieved with its Fujinon GF 23 mm f/4 lens is a true optical feat, since to practical effects it is 3 mm wider than the Biogon 38 mm f/4.5 and the Mamiya 43 mm f/4.5 (which significantly increases design difficulty), while simultaneously preserving its rectilinear character through an awesome reduction of distortion to negligible levels.

In addition, its mechanic construction is superb.




- The Fujinon GF 45 mm f/2.8 R WR, equivalent to a 36 mm lens in 35 mm format. It´s a very compact and lightweight objective, with dimensions of 88 mm length x 84 mm diameter, a weight of only 489 g and an optical formula of 11 elements (one aspherical and two ED) in 8 groups.
It includes Nano GI coating which reduces ghosting and flare generated by incident light coming from diagonal angles.

Detail of the lower area of the Fujinon GF 45 mm f/2.8 in which you can see on the left of the image the orange colour liberator of the locking mechanism placed on the diaphragms ring, enabling to choose aperture priority automatism, either manually on it or using the corresponding dial of the camera. The letter C in white colour refers to the option of control of f stops by the camera body, white the orange colour A letter alludes to aperture priority automatism.

Besides, six of its eleven lenses are moved during focusing by an inner focus system that assures top-notch image quality at all shooting distances, even the nearest ones, avoiding the different degrees of aberrations brought about on modifying the focusing ranges.

In addition, it features a fluorine coating in the front element to avoid the formation of moisture.

On the other hand, the correction of distortion and chromatic aberrations in this lens are extraordinary and currently probably the benchmark among the objectives for medium format with focal length equivalent to 35 mm in 24 x 36 mm format.


- The Fujinon GF 63 mm f/2.8, equivalent to a 50 mm standard lens in 35 mm format. It features 10 elements (1 of them an ED) in 8 groups and is very small, with dimensions of 84 x 71 mm and a weight of 405 g, fulfilling a a shifting of the front lens group while focusing.

This lens yields outstanding resolving power and sharpness, with astonishing level of detail on the whole image surface, including at full aperture, as well as generating a very beutiful bokeh.


- The Fujinon GF 32-64 mm f/4 R LM WR, equivalent to a 25-51 mm lens in 35 mm format. This extraordinary standard zoom features 14 elements in 11 groups (three aspherical, 1 ED and one Super ED), a 9 blade rounded diaphragm, and delivers top image quality comparable to wideangle primes from 24 and 35 mm wideangle lenses to 50 mm standard ones, in addition to exhibiting a commendable correction of vignetting, chromatic aberrations and distortion.

It´s true that its f/4 relatively slow luminosity (roughly equivalent to f/3 in 35 mm format) is inferior to the usual widest f/2.8 aperture — gathering more light —  of professional 24-70 mm standard zooms for 24 x 36 mm full format cameras, but it is enough, because the 33 x 44 mm MF sensor generates shallower depth of field than 24 x 36 mm format ones (though differences in this regard are much smaller than with analogue 6x4.5 cm, 6 x 6 cm and 6 x 9 cm medium formats) and besides, the remarkable performance of the Fujifilm GFX 50R at high and very high isos turns an f/4 maximum aperture into a very efficient one.

This is a top class zoom sporting an excellent inner focus through the front group, whose most forward element doesn´t turn.

Furthermore, its mechanical construction is state-of-the-art, with really praiseworthy precision and turning smoothness, as well as boasting 10 sealing points against humidity, rain and dust.

It is a big lens, but not excessively large at all for medium format sphere, with dimensions of 116 x 93 mm, a light weight of 875 g and filter size of 77 mm.

It isn´t less true that a 32-84 equivalent to a 25-71 mm in 35 mm format, also covering the portrait lens range, would have been better, but the design and manufacture of a MF zoom with the same great optomechanical performance stretched 21 mm more would have meant a much higher production cost, weight and price.

As to its AF, it is no slouch at all, fast and accurate for a medium format camera, with good precision hit rates around 88%, though clearly slow if compared to the AF speed of the best standard 24-70 mm f/2.8 zooms for 24 x 36 mm format mirrorless EVF cameras from Sony, Canon, Nikon, Leica and Panasonic, which will also outperform it in hit rates.

Regarding its bokeh, it is good, though a far cry from the amazing silky smooth out of focus rendering delivered by the fastest Fujifilm GF prime lenses.

This zoom is a neutral lens clearly optimized to yield impressive sharpness, almost on a par with the best GF primes, at the cost of the preservation of a bit of visible distortion at the 32-42 mm shortest range and a relatively small f/4 widest aperture.


- The Fujinon GF 110 mm f/2 R LM WR, equivalent to a 87 mm in 35 mm format. It features 14 elements in 9 groups (including 4 ED) and a 9 blade round diaphragm, with dimensions of 94.3 x 125.5 mm, a weight of 1010 g and filter size of 77 mm.

A stellar performer medium telephoto lens for portraits, whose very high resolving power highlights the areas in focus, while its sublime and creamy bokeh at f/2 and f/2.8 apertures generates unique rendering of the out of focused zones, as well as begetting a three-dimensional effect.

Its AF is very fast, accurate and quiet, thanks to the linear motor.


This state-of-the art lens, able to focus from 90 cm to infinity, delivers an exceptional image quality, exhibiting a stunning correction of both spherical and chromatic aberrations thanks to a painstaking and very smart location of its four top quality ED elements (two of them in the most forward groups of the optical cell and the other two in the middle groups).

Its f/2 maximum aperture allows for extensive control over depth of field for producing selective focus imagery, and also benefits working in low light conditions.

The Fujinon GF 110 mm f/2 R LM WR is the flagship of the Fujifilm lineup of GF medium format lenses, and has meant a significant increase in optical performance and bokeh in comparison to previous top-notch MF objectives with similar aims like the 7 elements in 5 groups Carl Zeiss Planar FE 110 mm f/2 from 1977 with excellent anastigmatic flatness of image field for analogue Hasselblads 205 FCC, 203 FE and 201F medium format cameras, the 6 elements in 5 groups Takumar 105 mm f/2.4 Super-Multi-Coated  from 1971 for the 6 x 7 cm Asahi Pentax analogue medium format camera, the also 6 elements in 5 groups Hasselblad HC 100 mm f/2.2 for the Hasselblad H-System digital medium format cameras.

It´s evidently a big lens, but it balances well with the camera body and its grip, and it is not at all excessively large for a medium format objective, with a feeling in hand similar to the 1025 g Canon 85 mm f/1.2L II USM.


The Fujinon GF 110 mm f/2 R LM WR is a formidable lens for available light conditions, editorial work, candid portraits on locations, theatre photography, stage photography, weddings, etc, and will enhance even more the already fantastic levels of resolution and tonality inherent to the Fujifilm GFX 50R medium format camera.



- The Fujinon GF 120 mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Macro, equivalent to a 95 mm lens in 35 mm format. It features 14 elements in 9 groups (including 3 ED) and its front element features a fluorine coating.
Its dimensions are of 89.2 mm x 152.5 mm, a weight of 980 g, and a floating focusing system in symbiosis with two linear motors enabling a fast, accurate and silent AF.

This mid telephoto macro lens also sports an efficient 5 stop image stabilizer optimizing handheld shooting.

It´s a great lens for photographing speficic details of plants from very near distances, with very shallow depths of field at f/4 and f/5.6, being able to shoot handheld thanks to its highly efficient stabilizing system and AF accuracy.

And it is also a very good lens for portraiture, both in studio and outdoors, and for architecture imagery to highlight characteristic zones or items and compress perspectives.


- The Fujinon GF 250 mm f/4 R LM OIS WR, equivalent to a 200 mm lens in 35 mm format. Its optical formula features 16 elements in 10 groups (including two ED and one Super ED), 9 circular blade diaphragm, dimensions of 200 mm x 108 mm and a weight of 1.43 kg.

It´s also available a 7 elements in 3 groups GF 1.4x teleconverter with dimensions of 27 mm length x 82 mm diameter and a weight of 400 g, which turns it into a 350 mm f/5.6 lens, equivalent to a 280 mm lens in 35 mm.

In addition, it also boasts the 5 stop image stabilizer.

Fujinon GF 50 mm f/3.5 R LM WR, a new lens which will start being commercialized in 2019 and will increase even more the compactness of the Fujifilm GFX 50R + coupled lens. The philosophy of this combination has its conceptual and operating roots in the Leitz Elmar 50 mm f/3.5 designed by Profesor Max Berek and connectable to the Leica screwmount cameras made from 1925.

- The Fujinon GF 50 mm f/3.5 LM WR (equivalent to a 40 mm lens in 35 mm format), one of the new objectives of the roadmap of lenses for the Fujifilm GFX 50R.

It was presented by Fuji during the recent Photokina 2018 in Cologne (Germany) and will be launched into market in 2019 with the likewise new Fujinon GF 100-200 mm f/5.6 LM OIS WR (equivalent to a 80-160 mm in 35 mm format), and in 2020 will appear the


Fujinon GF 45-100 mm f/4 R LM OIS (equivalent to a 35-80 mm in 35 mm format).

MARKET CHANCES OF THE FUJIFILM FX 50R

The 51.4 megapixel Fujifilm GFX 50R is a great medium format digital camera, oozing unique personality and character, remarkable compactness for its product segment, the appearance of a rangefinder camera, an excellent 33 x 44 mm MF sensor, a very good viewfinder and superb native lenses, some of them world reference-class in its scope, like the Fujinon GF 110 mm f/2 R LM WR (equivalent to a 87 mm in 35 mm format), the benchmark along with the 7 elements (two of them aspherical) in 5 groups Summicron-S 100 mm f/2 ASPH (equivalent to a 80 mm in 35 mm format) and the Fujinon GF 23 mm f/4 R LM WR (equivalent to a 18 mm in 35 mm format).

A bigger sensor should mean some major advantages over 24 x 36 mm mirrorless EVF cameras and even play in another league in terms of resolving power, sharpness, tonal gradation, richness and fidelity of colours, shallower depth of field at the widest apertures, smoothness and beauty of bokeh, etc.

But as aforementioned, differences in image quality between medium format digital cameras and digital 24 x 36 mm full frame format cameras are much smaller than differences between medium formats and 24 x 36 mm format in the analogue era, because for example the 33 x 44 mm format sensor of the Fujifilm FX 50 R is " only " a 70% bigger than a 24 x 36 mm one, while the analogue 6 x 4.5 cm MF was 2.7 times larger, the 2 1 /4 x 2 1/4 (6 x 6 cm) was four times larger and the 6 x 9 cm was almost six times larger.

Vast majority of the cream of the crop 24 x 36 mm format mirrorless EVF feature now between 40 and 45 megapixels (42.2 megapixel Sony A7RIII, 45.7 megapixel Nikon Z7 and 47 megapixel Panasonic Lumix S1R) and between 24 and 30 megapíxels (24 megapixel Leica SL and 30 megapixel Canon EOS R), but highly probably there will be new mirrorless full frame EVF flagship models before two years, so in terms of resolution the Fujifilm GFX 50R will be equalled by the 24 x 36 mm format cameras within a relatively short time.

As a matter of fact, the best full frame cameras of Sony, Nikon and Panasonic currently almost reach it regarding that side, and along with the Leica SL and the Canon EOS R are much more versatile cameras than the Fujifilm GFX 50R, particularly in photographic genres like sports, wildlife, street photography, aircraft photography and others, in addition to boasting much faster autofocus systems both with static subjects and moving ones.

And of course, the assortment of lenses available for the 24 x 36 mm format EVF cameras is huge thanks to their big mounts and very short flange distance, making possible to couple a lot of native lenses designed and manufactured for them by many firms, and even a host of AF and manual focusing lenses from different brands and epochs through adapters.

On the other hand, the new Nikon S and Canon RF lenses for the Nikon Z7 and Canon EOS R are extraordinary, specially the highest aperture ones like the Noct Nikkor 58 mm f/0.95, the Canon RF 50 mm f/1.2 and the Canon 28-70 mm f/2 zoom, which have followed the telecentric route pioneered in the 24 x 36 mm format mirrorless EVF segment by Leica with its Leica SL in October of 2015, so this category of product will attain new and amazing levels of image quality reducing distances with respect to medium format even more.

Nikon, Canon and Panasonic have greatly optimized their lens mount design in their new full frame mirrorles EVF cameras and have also presented many extraordinary lenses for them. They are still to mature photographic systems, but will evolve at full blast, while other flagship 24 x 36 mm format mirrorless EVF cameras like the Sony A7III, Sony A9 and Leica SL will be keep on yielding impressive results.


Anyway, the Fujifilm GFX 50R medium format camera will slightly but clearly prevail regarding amazing clarity, detail and dynamic range in fashion, portraiture, landscape, travel photography, studio and product photography, specially when coupled to fabulous GF primes like the Fujinon GF 110 mm f/2 R LM WR, the Fujinon GF 23 mm f/4 R LM WR and others, differences that will be more visible in big enlargements on paper from 50 x 70 cm.

Besides, the choice of famous chemical emulsions (Fuji Velvia, Fuji Provia, Fuji Astia, Fuji Acros, etc) simulations available can be a bonus if properly selected, with the steady possibility of achieving unique filmic colour reproductions with exquisite image aesthetics.

With respect to the Fujinon GF 45 mm f/2.8 R WR lens (equivalent to a 35 mm f/2 in 35 mm format) and the Fujinon GF 65 mm f/2.8 (equivalent to a 50 mm f/2 lens in 35 mm format), both of them are superb, very small and light, weather sealed, exceedingly sharp in center, borders and corners at every diaphragm and focusing distance, get excellent image quality and can yield extraordinary results in the hands of experienced profesional photographers, as proved by Kevin Mullins.

But in my humble opinion, both of them should have been f/2 lenses (equivalent to f/1.4 in 35 mm format), enhancing even more their great bokeh potential highlighting the photographed persons or items, in addition to further fostering the creative possibilities at full aperture, focusing one the photographed persons or subjects and leaving out of focus a significant part of the surrounding area.

Because though getting the field of view and depth of field equivalent to 35 mm f/2 and 50 mm f/2 in 35 mm format, the light gathering obtained by the Fujinon GF 45 mm f/2.8 and the Fujinon GF 65 mm f/2.8 are of a f/2.8 lens.

Fuji needs to increase the maximum luminosity of its wideangle and standard lenses for its Fujifilm GFX 50R if it wants to mark bigger qualitative differences and image aesthetics inherent to traditional analogue medium format with respect the 24 x 36 mm format mirrorless EVF cameras.
Whatever it may be, the great effort made by Fuji to approach medium format to professional photoraphers with the GFX 50R camera at an " affordable " price of 4,500 dollars, along with its second to none in optomechanical performance array of MF lenses between 2,900 and 1,600 euros is highly meaningful and praiseworthy.

Besides, Fuji doesn´t need to sell as many medium format cameras (since its most profitable business is in the APS-C domain, with models like the Fuji XT-2, XT-3, X-Pro 2, etc) as full frame mirrorless EVF ones Sony, Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, etc, perhaps this very special camera can sell in interesting and profitable though obviously not massive quantities.