Fujifilm GF 35-70mm F4.5-5.6 WR Review

October 12, 2021 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Fujifilm GF 35-70mm F4.5-5.6 WR is being marketed as "The Gateway to Quality" and we can certainly see why.

This is a brilliantly compact, lightweight zoom lens for Fuji's ever-expanding medium-format system at an amazingly low price-point, especially if you buy one bundled with the equally new GFX 50S II camera body.

The GF 35-70mm is a sharp lens in the centre throughout the zoom and aperture range, although you need to stop down to get similar sharpness at the edges of the frame.

It exhibits almost no chromatic aberrations, has negligible distortion at either end of its range and is capable of producing nice bokeh, despite only having an f/4.5 maximum aperture.

Vignetting at wide-open apertures is the only real optical issue of note, although it's easy enough to remove in post-processing. Alternatively stopping down the aperture by 3 stops solves this problem altogether.

The high-speed stepping AF motor makes it suitable for everything from wide-angle landscapes to portraiture, whilst manual focusing is a pleasure thanks to the well-damped focusing ring and the on-camera focusing aids.

As with Fujifilm's X-series lenses, the build quality is excellent, although we did miss having Fuji's usual traditional aperture ring, which is the main sacrifice that has been made in order to make this lens quite so compact.

The Fujifilm GF 35-70mm F4.5-5.6 WR proved itself to be a no-frills, versatile and above all portable lens that delivered excellent image quality, all for under £$1000.

Compared to its main rival, the similar GF 32-64mm f4 R LM WR, the new GF 35-70mm is much smaller and less than half the weight, whilst costing a whopping £$1300 less at full retail price.

The main sacrifices are the slower maximum apertures, particularly at the telephoto end, and the lack of a physical aperture ring, but we'd live with those and spend the money on an extra prime lens instead.

As such, it's something of a no-brainer for both complete newcomers to the GFX system and for those who are already invested who are looking for an all-in-one zoom that delivers the goods.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 5