Review: Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR – medium-size wide-angle

The Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR is a relatively compact and light wide angle for the Fujifilm GF medium-format cameras. The field of view corresponds to that of a 24 mm on full frame. The lens is sharp and weather resistant.

Click on the lens for specifications, prices and test results.

TEST RESULTS Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR:

PROS

CONS

  • High image quality

  • Compact

  • Light

  • Weather resistant

  • No terrific sun stars

  • Focus not completely silent

The Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR is a terrific wide-angle lens for photographers who are looking for the highest quality and are on the go a lot.

IntroductiON

The Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR is a wide-angle lens for Fujifilm’s medium-format cameras. They use sensors measuring 33x44mm. On these sensors, the Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR gives an image that corresponds to that of a 24 mm on full frame. The brightness of F3.5 is less high than on most 24mms on full frame. Due to the larger sensor, the depth of field is slightly smaller than you get with a 24 mm on full frame at F3.5. With this Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR, you can certainly still play with the bokeh.

versatile

A wide-angle lens like this Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR is versatile. It is a beautiful lens for landscape photography, architectural work or documentary photography, where you can show people very nicely in their environment. What applies to a medium format lens more than to other wide angles is that the image quality must be virtually perfect. Otherwise, it is not worth the cost and effort of bringing along a larger system. The Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR effortlessly meets the high expectations and delivers images that sometimes make you feel like you are looking outside through a window instead of looking at a monitor.

.

BUILD

With a length of almost 10 cm, the Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR is not really compact, but for a medium-format lens, it is also not really all that big. Because it narrows towards the end, it does not look very hefty, and a weight of 510 grams is quite good. Yet this lens is largely made of a magnesium alloy instead of plastic. The lens is resistant to moisture and frost and has a large seal on the large GF mount to prevent ingress of water and dirt.

aperture ring

At the front is a wide focus ring of almost 4 cm, and slightly behind that, on a wider part of the lens, is the aperture ring. That ring runs from F3.5 to F32 in 1/3rd click stops and also has an A and C position. The ring can be locked in A and C, but it is not possible to make the aperture ring clickless. The A-mode ensures that the aperture is automatically set by the camera. In the C position, you can use the front dial on the camera to set the aperture manually.

optical design

The optical design consists of 13 lens elements in 10 groups. The lens has two aspherical elements and 2 ED elements. The diaphragm has 9 blades, and the filter size is a very modest 58mm. The lens has no image stabilization, but the new GFX bodies do. The Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR comes with a tulip-shaped lens hood that can also be mounted backwards on the lens and does not increase the maximum diameter.

FOCUSING

A strength of Fujifilm’s medium-format cameras is that the AF system is largely the same as that of the APS-C models, with all the modern capabilities you expect. This gives Fujifilm a big advantage over other medium-sized manufacturers. The high resolution of the sensors and the somewhat larger lenses required for this ensure that the performance of, for example, this Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR does not entirely correspond to that of comparable wide-angles for APS-C. The Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR focuses internally. The motor therefore does not have to move all the lens elements. The focus is therefore reasonably smooth, but you notice that it still takes a little time. You have to take that into account when taking pictures. The focus is also clearly audible. Autofocus and filming do not go well together, unless you keep the microphone away from the end of the camera. What makes this lens suitable for filming is the lack of focus breathing. That means that you get virtually no change in the field of view when shifting the focus.

manual focusing 

Manual focusing works fine. The focus ring turns lightly, but still has just enough resistance so you can clearly feel what you are doing. The shortest setting distance is 32cm, and that results in a magnification of 0.15x.

IMAGE QUALITY

Beeldkwaliteit van de Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR op volle opening.
Image quality of the Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR at full aperture.

The Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR is a sharp lens. The center sharpness and contrast are already excellent at full aperture. The corners are also good but get a bit better at F5.6, and the lens reaches all its maximum values there. The contrast is also at its best at F5.6. The sharpness and contrast remain the same at F8 and drop a tiny bit at F11 due to diffraction. But the quality is still high, and the images still look great at F11.

CA and distortion

Chromatic aberrations are hardly detectable with this lens. Even at 200%, you can barely see more than a hint of false colors. That’s particularly good on a 100-megapixel sensor. Distortion is nothing to worry about either. The lens has a trace of barrel-shaped distortion, but the lens corrections handle this well, and the end result is effectively distortion-free.

Vrijwel geen vertekening en rechte lijnen met de Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR
Almost no distortion and straight lines with the Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR
vignetting

However, the Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR does have visible vignetting at full aperture. With the lens corrections on, it gets a lot less, but at F3.5 you still see some of it. Stopping down helps, of course, and otherwise you will have to eliminate it in post-processing. If you want to do that, of course, because a little vignetting can also be very beautiful. If you correct it in post-processing, the loss of dynamic range is limited, because the medium-size sensor has a large dynamic range.

Lichtafval van de Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR op volle opening met en zonder lenscorrecties.
Vignetting of the Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR at full aperture with and without lens corrections.
bokeh

The bokeh is reasonable, but of course not of a quality that you get with a longer focal length such as the new Fujifilm GF 80mm F1.7 R WR.  The bokeh is also slightly less beautiful than you get with the brightest 24mm lenses for full frame. If that is important, you are better off opting for a 24mm F1.4 for full frame.

sun stars

The rounded aperture of the Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR ensures that sun stars are difficult to make with the 30mm, and if you do manage it, then they are not very sharp. The lens does not have much difficulty with backlight, but occasionally a little glare can occur.

 Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR
 specifications
  
field of view (diag)84°
sensor format33x44mm medium format
min. setting distance32 cm
filter diameter58mm
diaphragm blades9
image stabilizernone
dimensions (dxl)84×99 mm
weight510 gr
mountFujifilm GF
particularsweather resistant
importerwww.fujifilm.eu
list price€ 1799.00
  
resolution/109,5
contrast/109
chromatic aberration/55
distortion/55
vignetting/54
autofocus/54
flare/55
finish/109
  
final score9,2

ConclusiON: REVIEW Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR oN Fujifilm GFX100S

The Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR is an ideal wide angle for (urban) landscapes.

The quality of the Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR is excellent and fully justifies the not-low price. This lens also has no trouble with the new 100-megapixel sensors from Fujifilm. In combination with the new Fujifilm GFX100S, the Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR is a dream set for landscape photography or architectural photography, for example. Together, they weigh just over 1400 grams, which is perfectly portable and very compact for a medium-sized system. Of course, such a set costs a lot. But the costs are reasonably consistent with the top quality cameras and lenses of full-frame systems, while the Fujifilm can deliver a significantly higher image quality.