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Reader Comments: Fujifilm GF 55mm f/1.7

Fujifilm GFX100 II | Fujifilm GF 30mm f/5.6 TS | Fujifilm GF 110mm f/5.6 TS | Fujifilm GF 55mm f/1.7 WR.

Bright-ring bokeh is one poor aspect of the Fujifilm GF 55mm f/1.7.

Fujifilm GF 55mm f/1.7

Roy P writes:

Capture One does a good job of analyzing an image for magenta fringing and correcting them quite effectively, independently of lens profiles. Of course, it won’t get rid of rings around out of focus points of light.

The 55/1.7 could very well replace my 50/3.5. The 55/1.7 is about 2” longer and almost a pound heavier than the 50/3.5, but Fujifilm certainly gives you more glass: the 55/1.7 has 14 elements and 9 diaphragm blades vs. 9 elements and 9 blades for the 50/3.5.

Fujifilm also claims the “55mm utilizes a powerful DC motor and precision GMR sensor for fast and accurate autofocus”, so presumably it will keep up with the GFX100 II. I don’t think the 80/1.7 and the 110/2 have this faster AF motor in them – these lenses don’t autofocus worth a damn on the GFX100S, and I don’t know how they will fare on the 100 II.

So the new 55/1.7 would seem to be the first GF lens that can tango with the GFX100 II (perhaps the 250/4 can too, I don’t know). That alone would make this lens worth buying for me, if the optics are good, since this is a focal length I use a lot. Compared to the 50/3.5, this lens is about the same focal length, but two full stops faster. That is a big difference for both shallow DOF and for available light photography.

I suspect Fujifilm will start an upgrade or replacement cycle for most of the popular GF lenses to keep up with the 100 II. Some, like the hideous 45/2.8, will likely be completely redesigned. I wouldn’t mind seeing the 80/1.7 and the 110/2 with new AF motors too.

I’m hoping Fujifilm will continue its $300-500 off discounts, and we will see the 55/1.7 at a $500 off discount. So far, all the GF lenses have been offered at discounted prices except the 20-35 and the 250 f/4. Not sure why precisely those two lenses have never been offered at discounted prices!

DIGLLOYD: there are necessarily more elements, and more sophisticated elements in an f/1.7 lens than an f/3.5 lens, it being cubicly more challenging to deal with just one stop more lens speed for some aberrations.

Every camera vendor claims fast and accurate AF—that’s meaningless marketing hype. And given the dismal AF precision and dismal AF accuracy of the Fujifilm GFX100S, it would not be hard to improve. But maybe there is something substantially new and better with the Fujifilm GFX100 II and the 55/1.7? This seems unlikely unless Fujifilm has finally unf*cked the asinine reliance on the PDAF system to also include CDAF to fine-tune the result.

It’s not clear to me that there is a new AF motor technology here... isn’t every lens motor DC power? And what is "powerful" other than probably needing to move a big lens element around. What I want to hear is high precision and accuracy.

I also wonder how much distortion will be involved. It is awfully lame that an allegedly pro lens does not have any published distortion graph*, since distortion correction is destructive to image sharpness. Distortion is not even mentioned and that is concerning. BTW, publishing a computed-not-measured fantasy MTF graph is a semi-fraudulent exercise for both those reasons (distortion correction degrades MTF, and real lenses vs imaginary ones in the computer).

With no raw files published (why?!), I cannot tell yet. I always suspect a company is hiding something when I see JPEG only—such as correcting color aberrations and distortion, etc. Not publishing raw files is a consumer-oriented approach—even Leica now includes RAW files most of the time.

* No mention of optical distortion. BTW, someone marketing should spell-check the copy: "distorton-free highlights”.

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