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Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR Aperture Series @ 70mm: Fresh Snow on White Mountain Forrested Hills

I had thought that fortune had smiled upon me with an excellent lens sample that was strong across the whole zoom range... but clearly my enthusiasm was premature.

This aperture series from f/5.6 to f/11 evaluates the Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR at 70mm on a 3D landscape scene. Sharpness across the field is of key interest, and we see that the classic rule of zooms applies: weaknesses and lens symmetry are almost always seen somewhere in the zoom range, and with lens skew.

Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR Aperture Series @ 70mm: Fresh Snow on White Mountain Forrested Hills

Includes images from f/5.6 to f/11 at up to full camera resolution, plus crops.

Is it THAT hard to deliver a quality build in a lens? I’ve seen too many marginal samples of GF lenses. And like most, I do not have the time or budget to try 4 or 5 samples.

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm mid-range lenses

Fresh Snow on White Mountain Forested Hills
f8 @ 1/400 sec electronic shutter, ISO 100; 2022-03-28 15:27:26
Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR @ 57.3mm equiv (70mm)
ENV: White Mountains, altitude 7800 ft / 2377 m, 32°F / 0°C
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, +20 Whites, +10 Clarity, diffraction mitigating sharpening

[low-res image for bot]

Claude F writes:

Mine is off at 70. The bottom across the frame is tilted or skewed, not sure which but my concession is that I will crop in at that focal length.

DIGLLOYD: we landscape photographers often have to accept some level of inferior lens performance.

Dr S writes:

There is an old saying......"if something seems too good to be true, then, most likely, it is too good to be true!"

I will be able to be more adequately determine sharpness after getting my eyes "fixed."  At present it is a difficult and lengthy task to do so.  

In the meantime I may not really know how good or poor my lenses really are.  I did send back an 80mm GF lens for lens skew but it was pretty obvious.  I don't know what subject matter photographers  use the GFx for the most but I will say for fashion, studio, wedding, etc. I'm sure it does well with most lenses.

DIGLLOYD: yep. The rule of thumb with zoom lenses is that . I’ve never seen an exception in which the zoom is good everywhere, though until thiif a zoom performs well over 2/3 or so of the zoom range, you have a good copys series, I thought I had gotten that holy grail.

However, that rule has often been taken to mean optical design performance; it’s actually much harder in that a zoom might have a strong and weak end in terms of design compromises. But add-in manufacturering tolerances and it gets uglier. The de facto practice is loose Q /A and to let the customer find the bad samples (zoom or prime!), and for that reason it’s awfully hard to find a good performing zoom. Or prime. The $20K to $40K cine lenses are likely exceptions.

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