Fujinon GF 110mm f/2: The must-have G-mount lens

 

Tessa

I’ll preface this review by saying I’m an 85mm shooter; I always have been and always will be.

I started out with the Nikon 85mm f/1.4D and later jumped ship and shot with the Canon 85mm f/1.2L II. The 85mm focal length suits my style and works perfectly for my portrait and urban landscape photography. So from the time the Fuji 110mm f/2 (87mm f/1.6 full frame equivalent) was announced, I knew I’d buy one. And after looking at GFX samples and shooting with the 63mm f/2.8, my expectations were sky-high.

Does Fuji’s 110mm live up to the hype? The short answer is an unequivocal yes, and here’s why:

Autofocus

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You might have heard that medium format cameras and lenses are inaccurate and slow to focus. In many cases, that’s true. With the Mamiya 645DF+ and a Schneider Kreuznach lens, nailing focus wide open can feel as desperate as tossing a Hail Mary.

But Fuji shattered expectations with the GFX.

The 110mm is plenty fast and accurate, especially at f/2 where it matters most. The GFX uses a contrast-based focus system that reads straight from the image sensor, so unlike DSLRs, focus always is spot-on. The only time I miss is when my subject or I move after focus is dialed in.

Do you want to shoot sports or moving subjects? You’ll need to choose another camera and lens combo. But for portraiture and any slow-moving work, the GFX and 110mm offer class-leading speed and accuracy.

The main limiting factor with this lens isn’t AF speed or precision — it’s your creativity.

Rendering

Night street Chicago

Shot at f/2, the 110mm produces a depth of field close to what an 87mm f/1.6 lens would create on a full frame camera. The 110mm has gorgeous color reproduction and rendering, and in focus areas practically jump off of a screen.

While the 110 doesn’t offer the shallowest depth of field of any lens on the market, you’ll get more than enough subject separation at f/2. And let’s be real: If shooting with an ultra-shallow depth of field is your priority, you should choose another system.

For portrait work, achieving a shallow depth of field is critical, but just as important is bokeh — the quality of out of focus areas. Many lens reviews include samples that show bokeh quality from a tight headshot only. That’s fine, but if you’re like me, you’ll want to see a full-body shot as well.

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Thanks to its rounded nine-blade diaphragm, the 110mm’s bokeh is silky smooth.

Build quality

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The 110mm is rugged, hefty, and feels like it was made with the precision you’d expect from such a big-ticket item. At 2.2 pounds, it’s a lot to carry, but the results speak for themselves — believe me.

Like all other GF lenses, the 110mm has an aperture ring that can lock to either “A” or “C.” I prefer to keep the ring locked at “C” and control aperture settings from the GFX, but give the aperture ring a shot and see how you like it.

Attach the hood, and you’re sure to get some stares, but without it, the GFX and 110mm combo blends in with other cameras you see in a big city.

When it comes to handling, the 110mm doesn’t balance with the GFX as well as the 63mm f/2.8, but add a battery grip and the weight offsets.

Looking to leave the studio? Have no fear: The 110mm boasts dust and weather resistance and can take a beating.

See you out on the streets!

Sample images

Old San Juan Puerto Rico

Erin the Westie

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Mickeys

Tessa

Portrait photographer Brennan Anderson’s work combines classic photography and lighting technique with modern elegance and style. Brennan utilizes dramatic lighting and striking poses to emphasize form. He has been shooting portraits for over a decade. Brennan is available for bookings in his studio and throughout Chicago.

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