Fujifilm GF 55mm F1.7 R WR Review
The new GF 55mm F1.7 R WR joins the GF 80mm as the holder of the "fastest lens for the GFX camera system" title.
The f/1.7 maximum aperture in conjunction with the virtually circular 11-blade aperture makes this lens capable of producing some gorgeous bokeh effects, even though it offers a standard view of the world rather than a telephoto one.
Whilst the effective 44mm focal length isn't as long as the GF 80mm's 63mm equivalent field of view, this new 55mm lens can focus 20cm more closely than the 80mm, making it almost as adept for portraiture and isolating smaller subjects in the frame.
Even when shooting wide-open at f/1.7, the sharpness in the centre of the image is pretty incredible, with the edges not following too far behind in the performance stakes.
There is some quite obvious vignetting wide-open at F1.7 and chromatic aberrations become apparent in high-contrast situations, but overall the image quality from this lens is first-class.
We criticised the GF 80mm lens for its slow and noisy AF system, but thankfully that's not the case with the GF 55mm, which is satisfyingly fast to lock onto the subject and quiet enough to not be noticed in more candid moments, making it well-suited to both stills and video use.
The on-camera focusing aids and large, well-damped focusing ring make manual focusing with this lens a pleasure rather than a chore, and as with every other GF lens, the 55mm has a very welcome traditional aperture ring.
One of the main things to consider if you're interested in this lens is the unusual focal length, which has been designed to perfectly match the image circle of the GFX sensor.
Slightly shorter than a classic 50mm standard lens and slightly longer than an equally classic 35mm wide-angle lens, the 44mm effective focal length proved itself to be something of a half-way house between the two that sometimes made us wish for either the longer or shorter, more classic variant.
Overall, though, the new GF 55mm F1.7 R WR is a faster, sharper, higher-performing alternative to the GF 63mm f2.8 R WR which was released back in 2017 when the GFX system was first launched.
Fujifilm have learnt a lot about since then, and it certainly shows with the excellent GF 55mm F1.7 R WR lens - it really does set a new standard in GF lenses and would be our standard prime of choice for the medium-format GFX system.
|Ratings (out of 5)|
|Value for money||4.5|