Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR Review

October 19, 2017 | Mark Goldstein | |

Introduction

The Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR is an ultra-wide-angle prime lens designed specifically for the Fujifilm GFX 50S mirrorless camera. This lens features a focal length of 18mm in 35mm terms making it ideal for landscape and architecture photography, an aperture range of f/4-f/32, 15 elements in 12 groups including including 2 aspherical, 1 Super ED and 3 ED elements, 9 rounded aperture blades, a high-speed linear AF motor, and a dust-, freeze- and weather-sealed physical construction. The Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR retails for around $2599 / £2399.

Ease of Use

With a maximum diameter of 89.8mm and a length of 103mm, the Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR is a ultra-wide-angle prime lens that's very well-suited to the GFX 50S camera that we tested it with. Weighing in at 845g, it's quite a heavy lens, but proved to be well-balanced on the GFX 50S.

As with the other GF lenses that we've reviewed, the Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR boasts excellent build quality. The lens is dust, freeze and moisture resistant and it features a metal bayonet. The Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR lens is comprised of 15 elements in 12 groups including 2 aspherical, 1 Super ED and 3 ED elements. It accepts 82mm filters via metal threads. There is no built-in optical image stabilisation in this lens.

Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WRThe Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR lens mounted on a Fujifilm GFX 50S

Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WRThe Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR lens mounted on a Fujifilm GFX 50S

Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WRThe Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR lens mounted on a Fujifilm GFX 50S

Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WRThe Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR lens alongside a Fujifilm GFX 50S

The focus ring is generously wide, smooth and beautifully well-damped in action without being loose, and has a ridged, rubberised grip band. There are no “hard stops” at either end of the 38cm-infinity focus range though. It has a large rotation angle which enables precise focusing and moves smoothly without any play. Two different focusing aids are provided - auto magnification and focus peaking. In conjunction with the GFX 50S' high-resolution electronic viewfinder, we found it very easy to accurately determine critical sharpness.

Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WRThe side of the Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR lens

Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WRThe front of the Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR lens

Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WRThe rear of the Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR lens

When it comes to auto-focusing, the GF 23mm f4 R LM WR is a very quiet performer on the Fujifilm GFX 50S that we tested it with thanks to the linear motor, and it's also pretty fast too, taking about 0.25 second to lock onto the subject in good light. We didn't experience too much "hunting" either, with the lens accurately focusing almost all of the time.

Focusing is usefully internal and manual focusing is possible when set via the camera body. Full-time manual focus override is available at any time simply by rotating the focus ring, if specified in the menu system, or you set the focusing switch to M, C or S.

Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WRThe side of the Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR lens

Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WRThe side of the Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR lens

The Fujifilm GF 63mm f2.8 R WR lens has a traditional aperture ring on the lens barrel, which allows you to set the aperture in 1/3 steps, complete with full aperture markings. The aperture is also shown in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen. The aperture ring is nicely damped and makes a distinctive click as you change the setting. The aperture ring toggles between auto aperture control (the ring is set to A) or manual aperture control (the switch is set to one of the aperture values) or the C (Command) position which allows you to set the aperture via the camera body rather than the lens.

Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WRThe Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR lens in-hand

A soft cloth bag and a large plastic petal-shaped lens hood are supplied in the box.

Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WRThe Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR lens with the supplied lens hood fitted

Focal Range

The 23mm focal length gives an angle of view of 99.9 degrees on a 35mm full frame sensor, which is equivalent to a focal length of 18mm.

 Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WRField of view at 23mm

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberration (purple fringing) is a non-issue with the Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR lens, only appearing in very high contrast situations.

Light Fall-off and Distortion

Light fall-off is noticeable wide open at f/4, though this can easily be corrected in Photoshop. Stop down to f/8 and the vignetting is already much less prominent, but it is still visible when shooting pale scenes that fill the frame.

Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WRLight fall-off at 23mm

Macro

A minimum focus distance of 38cm and a maximum magnification ratio of 0.09x doesn't make the lens very useful for shooting close subjects. This image is uncropped and shows how close you can get to a Compact Flash card.

Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WRClose-up performance

Bokeh

With a maximum aperture of f/4, the Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR isn't the fastest of lenses, but it still manages to generate smooth out of focus areas thanks to having 9 rounded aperture blades. Bokeh is however a fairly subjective part of a lens’ image quality, so check out these 100% crops to see the Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR’s bokeh quality for yourself.

Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR
   
Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR Fujifilm GF 23mm f4 R LM WR

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.