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Reader Question: Super-Tele for Fujifilm GFX100S/100

Alberto D writes:

Dear Mr.Chambers,

I’m happy with my Fujifilm GFX50-R and recently I’ve purchased a Fujifilm GFX100S.

Your tests of gf lenses are spot in and I’ve sold all my Leica R lenses which were ok with my Canon EOS 5DsR but not with the GFX vignetting and others issues.

I’m using GF lenses with great pleausure 23/50/110 .

My question is having the need for a long tele way much longer than the native Fujifilm GF 250mm f/4. Which lens would you buy?

The Hasselblad 500mm f/8 APO Tele-Tessar is a good performer but with the GFX? I ‘ ve seen a good deal for a Pentax 6x7 800 in eBay what do you Think?

Many thanks your site rocks a lot of useful infos!

DIGLLOYD: first of all, be sure to stick with the electronic shutter. As Jim Kasson recently showed, EFC and mechanical shutter harm sharpness. The problems will be greatly magnified at 500mm.

My advice would be to stick with the 250mm f/4 along with the FUJIFILM GF 1.4X TC WR Teleconverter, yielding a 350mm f/5.6. Cropping the GFX sensor (43.8mm) to the 35mm-format yields the equivalent of 425mm (350 * 33.8/36 = 425mm, long edge of frame).

If the need for really long range is real, you are much better off buying something like a Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 and dedicating that to a Sony camera body. Or an Olympus E-M1X and the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25X IS PRO which gets you out to 1000mm (equivalent) with very high odds of excellent images. For sports/wildlife/action, the Fujifilm system is not a good choice.

Barring that and if the desire is for static subjects (e.g., landscape), then adapting medium format lenses can make sense, but beware of lenses that might have interactions with the sensor cover glass (reflections). Good lenses are out there from Mamiya, Pentax, Hasselblad, but I don’t have much to offer on specifics other than your odds of sharp images are far lower than with what I’ve suggested above. IMO, the Fujifilm medium format system is just the wrong tool for long reach.

The Hasselblad Zeiss 500mm f/8 Tele-Tessar looks like a very poor performer.

The Hasselblad Tele-Apotessar T* 8/500 CF looks decent, but its MTF chart shows micro contrast and contrast way below the Fujifilm GF 250/4, and outlandish astigmatism (normally I’d say it is lateral chromatic aberration but the APO designation suggests some other cause).

The Pentax 6X7 800mm f/4 Takumar I am unsure about, but it is ungodly expensive even for old used copies. And I have serious doubts about its performance. There is an ED IF version, but I cannot find good info on it.

The BEST option would be the Leica APO-Telyt series, if a quality lens adapter can be found. But they are designed to cover the 35mm frame and performance outside that area... dunno.

James K writes:

The Leitz Apo Telyt  modular system is the way to go.  Easy to adapt and easy to transport.  Top of the line image quality.  Excellent buy on the used market with good resale options.

After checking Ebay I would say that the most reasonable long lenses are the Pentax 6x7 optics.  The Pentax long tele lenses are quite good.  I used the 600mm on my Pentax 645 years ago.  

DIGLLOYD: agreed, I didn’t think of this yesterday, but assuming an adapter can be found, the Leica R super telephotos are definitely the way to go for covering the 35mm frame.

See all lens adapters for Fujifilm G Mount.

Louis F writes:

At times I use the Mamiya C 500/f5.6 lens with a Fotodiox adapter. It’s large and long while taking a 105mm filter. A RRS long lens rail helps, but ES needed for all shots as you mention. I imagine with a 102MP file and your suggested 250+1.4x setup after a crop will yield a nice file made easier by a native Fuji lens and AF. The later also travels much easier than a 500mm lens, but it also comes at a significant cost over the old MF 500mm lens.

DIGLLOYD: Mamiya lenses (some) can be excellent. But I’d bet on Leica R, above.

Nicolas S writes:

It is possible to have longer focal length for the GFX with astrographs like the very popular Takahashi FSQ 106, if transportability is not the primary concern.

Here is a photograph I took with a GFX-50s in combination with a Zeiss APQ150 refractor (with field corrector)...

Focal length 1200mm, F/d = 8. Of course not a transportable setup.


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