Writer's note: the original article was posted here at on 1 June 2018 and the most updated and full version (I did not include the full set of sample photos here) will always be at keithwee.comWith my foot still recovering post surgery from the addition of 6 screws to keep everything in place, I somehow had the audacity to say “yes“ to the question of whether I wanted to take the 7th lens in Fujifilm’s medium format series for a spin.
And here it is in full glory, all 1425 grams of top notch optical prowess mounted on the GFX50S.
The full name goes on as : GF250mm F4 R LM OIS WR and the…
R refers to the aperture ring on it,
LM means Linear Motor (the focusing system which directly moves lens elements in an non-contact state, enabling silent operation and excellent response we first saw in the XF90mm F2),
OIS means the lens is equipped with a in-built stabilisation, and in this case a powerful 5 stops.
WR refers to that the lens is weather sealed, and it is sealed in 18 different spots all around the magnesium alloy body. The GF250mm is even freeze proof down to -10°C which is pretty selfish as I don’t think even I will survive such a temperature.
In 35mm-equivalent terms, the lens provides a focal length of approximately 198mm and if you want more reach, there is a GF1.4X TC WR, a 1.4x teleconverter that bolsters the lens’s focal length to 350mm, or approximately 277mm in 35mm equivalent terms, the trade-off being a one-stop reduction in maximum aperture.
Other info you might want to know:
- 16 elements in 10 groups, with 2 ED elements and 1 super-ED elements.
- Angle of view: 12.5°
- Aperture: F4 to F32
- 9 aperture blades (rounded diaphragm opening)
- Focus range: 1.4m to infinity
- Max. magnification: 0.22x
- Dimensions: Dia 108mm x L 203.5mm
- Weight: 1,425g
- Filter size: 82mm
The GF250mm was one lens that had me fumbling for the manual to read in some time to figure out what were the 4 mysterious buttons near the front element, and these are “focus control buttons”. These buttons act as a half-press on one’s shutter release, and is basically a back button focus placed on the front of the lens. Honestly, this was pretty unexpected and a very useful function to have.
The behaviour of the AF, and hence the focus control buttons, is set using the AF mode switch on the lens.
1. In AF position, the focus buttons will act as a half-pressed shutter release
2. In AF-L position, the focus buttons will lock the focus while in AF-C mode on the camera
3. In Preset position, the focus buttons will use the preset focus point that you can store in the lens using the “SET” button near the switches.
The tripod collar has also improved in design, unscrew the main knob and a click is all one needs to remove the whole collar in a fluid motion as opposed to past designs which now seem comparatively time-consuming in design to work with.
With this out of the way, yes, this is the heaviest lens from Fujifilm I’ve ever held in my hands and it is basically one lens that people who see it will walk away from you on the streets.
I am never much a telephoto user, preferring to work with 35mm and 90mm focal lengths and thus did find the prospect of handling a 198mm equivalent daunting, but even so – the GF250mm soon proceeded to blow all my expectations away when I started forcing myself to work around its MFD of 1.4m and focal length.