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The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?

  
 
speedgraphic
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


I'm looking at getting a 100S soon to use mostly as a scanning camera. I have that lens figured out.

I'm likely going to adapt various M and F mount lenses for fun. I'd like however to own one native GF lens for no-compromise images. What's your favorite? It seems like they all have pros and cons. The 55/1.7 looks perfect save for the reports of slow focusing and, with that in mind, cost. It should be basically perfect for that money IMO.

That leaves the 63, 45, and 50 pancake in the range of versatile primes. Not really a zoom guy.

Suck it up and get the 55?

TBH I'd get the Hasselblad and the 55/2.5 but...no pixel shift, no deal. Scanning requires it.

(I will be getting the Nikon AF adapter so in theory I could just consider the 58/1.4G...I understand it does well on the GFX?)



Feb 08, 2024 at 03:54 PM
kenbennett
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


I see that all your suggestions are primes, and they are all excellent, of course. So it really depends on your use, but if I could have only one GFX lens it would be the superb 45-100 f/4 zoom. I could shoot 80% of my work with that.




Feb 08, 2024 at 05:06 PM
Rand47
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


The 55 is brilliant. But it’s heavy and isn’t particularly fast focusing. If those two parameters are not deal breakers, it would be hard to beat.

On the other hand, the 45mm f/2.8 is brilliant! Faster focusing, light, small, versatile. It’s one of my favorite lenses.

The GF zooms are on par with primes, albeit slower. As Ken says, above, the 45-100 is a “go to” lens on my GFX cameras and it VERY versatile. While I’m also not particularly a “zoom person” I think you really should give the 45-100 a good look.

Rand



Feb 08, 2024 at 07:37 PM
bobby350z
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


GF lenses wise, 110mm f2, period. But if you don't shoot approx 85mm FF equivalent, it does you no good.


Feb 08, 2024 at 07:55 PM
_Refraction
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


speedgraphic wrote:
I'm likely going to adapt various M and F mount lenses for fun. I'd like however to own one native GF lens for no-compromise images. What's your favorite? It seems like they all have pros and cons. The 55/1.7 looks perfect save for the reports of slow focusing and, with that in mind, cost. It should be basically perfect for that money IMO.


If you aren't constrained by needing a versatile lens and want the ultimate "no compromise" lens in the GF range, then I think it has to be the 110/2. My sample is stunning, and superior to both my 55/1.7 and 250/4 (although they are close).

speedgraphic wrote:
That leaves the 63, 45, and 50 pancake in the range of versatile primes. Not really a zoom guy.

Suck it up and get the 55?


I have the 63, 45 and the 55 - haven't tried the 50. I also have the 32-64, 45-100 and 35-70 due to (i) convenient sales, (ii) wanting to see if the hype about the 45-100 and later the 35-70 was real, and (iii) being indecisive and hating the hassle of selling gear.

So if you want versatile as opposed to no compromise, I reckon it's a toss up between the 45 and the 55 (to reiterate - I haven't tried the 50). For my samples, the 55 has a slight but definite advantage in resolving power and contrast (or "pop" if you think of it that way) until they've both been stopped down a bit, I haven't tested exactly where mine start to converge but I think it's somewhere around f/4-f/5.6.

Focusing speed - much of a muchness for me to be frank - neither is winning any races unless it's the masters' games/senior olympics. Again I have not tested them rigorously but I have shot them back to back extensively to get a subjective feel, and I think my 55 is slightly faster with the GFX 100 II (haven't done a back to back with the 100s)...but in speed terms it's like sitting in a bus at the lights, next to another bus, and idly wondering who's going to pull ahead by the next stop.

Distortion - the 45 seems to have more close up, but it's never bothered me though this is a matter of taste - I leave it uncorrected.

Versatility - I was initially surprised by how much tighter the 55 felt; I've preferred the 35mm FF equivalent field of view for a long time so some of that might be habit. And when I went back to the 45 after a few weeks shooting with the 55 it felt almost oddly wide. But for general use I would stick to the 45, and also for more environmental portraits where I need the greater field of view more than I need the wider aperture or additional contrast/"pop" of the 55.



speedgraphic wrote:
(I will be getting the Nikon AF adapter so in theory I could just consider the 58/1.4G...I understand it does well on the GFX?)


This might also be a worthwhile option although from the samples I have seen, this lens design prioritises a "smoother" rendering with less corrected spherical aberration for a different drawing style than the 55, particularly in the bokeh.




Feb 08, 2024 at 08:43 PM
_Refraction
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


Rand47 wrote:
The GF zooms are on par with primes, albeit slower. As Ken says, above, the 45-100 is a “go to” lens on my GFX cameras and it VERY versatile. While I’m also not particularly a “zoom person” I think you really should give the 45-100 a good look.

Rand


Every time I see reports like this, I wonder if my 45-100 is a bit of a dud and I lost the sample variation lottery . Mine is definitely not on par with 45 or 63, let alone my 55, and the 100 long end is blown out of the water by my 110. I rented another one from Lensrentals which was a bit better at the short end and weaker at the long end than mine, but still not the equal of my primes.

This isn't to say that either sample was poor in absolute terms - it's a very solid lens once stopped down a bit and the images are still quite good - but they aren't prime like in my use.

On the other hand - I seem to have won the sample variation lottery for my 32-64 which is excellent (though I wouldn't describe it as prime like except in the central area performance).



Feb 08, 2024 at 08:51 PM
Makten
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


The 55 is a bit heavy for general walk-around use, but I still use it for that just because I like the results so much. If I intend to stop down I most of the time choose the 35-70 for its light weight and better performance against the light. Haven't touched the 45, 50 and 63 since I got the 55.

The 55 has a drawback that is seldom mentioned: Flare and low contrast when shooting into strong light sources. And it doesn't always go away when stopping down either.






  GFX50S II    GF55mmF1.7 R WR lens    55mm    f/1.7    1/5s    800 ISO    0.0 EV  




Feb 09, 2024 at 02:28 AM
Makten
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


On the other hand; it does "medium format look" better than anything else.






  GFX50S II    GF55mmF1.7 R WR lens    55mm    f/1.7    1/200s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  






  GFX50S II    GF55mmF1.7 R WR lens    55mm    f/1.7    1/500s    100 ISO    +0.7 EV  




Feb 09, 2024 at 02:30 AM
Peire
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


Either GF 55/1.7 or GF 110/2.Better both.


Feb 09, 2024 at 03:31 AM
CKrueger
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


I like a “wide normal”, so the 55/1.7 is my native vote.

I use a Nikon 58/1.4, because it’s a ton cheaper, I love its rendering, and I can also use it on my Z cameras. It’s a bit sloppy in the corners at f/1.4 on GFX, but that calms down considerably by f/2, and it’s very well-behaved, but still has a nice OOF rendering by f/2.8. The worst of it is that the Fringer FX adapter is good, but not quite as good as native for AF. It’s a slight difference, but I will occasionally get a miss/hunt that I wouldn’t have gotten with native.

I also use a Tamron 45/1.8 in EF, which performs so well it could easily be officially sold as a native lens, and a Minolta 58/1.4. I like to think of the Minolta as a 58/2, with a special setting called “1.4” that engages the biggest “black pro mist” filter you’ve ever seen.



Feb 09, 2024 at 06:47 AM
 


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olegkin
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


Either GF30, or GF45 depending on your taste. Both are brilliant. Both are relatively cheap on used market. GF30 is such a sweet under-appreciated lens. You will get the rest of them later


Feb 09, 2024 at 07:13 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


But you say that you want to use this magical lens for film scanning? There is NO GF lens that will excel for that. None. You'll need a dedicated macro lens that goes at least to 1:1 and beyond if you want to copy 35mm frames one the GFX, and you do not need pixel shift to get great film copies.


Feb 09, 2024 at 07:55 AM
vineyard
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


Peter Figen wrote:
But you say that you want to use this magical lens for film scanning? There is NO GF lens that will excel for that. None. You'll need a dedicated macro lens that goes at least to 1:1 and beyond if you want to copy 35mm frames one the GFX, and you do not need pixel shift to get great film copies.


No, he said he has that lens (for scanning) figured out. He's asking about an additional lens.

OP, I`d grab the 55/1.7. It's a great lens, very versatile.



Feb 09, 2024 at 12:48 PM
envydd
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


I agree with many on this thread: One lens to rule all is 55/1.7 .... ticks off every box except for the weight. Having said here is my subjective opinion

GF45: need to see why people are crazy about it - just bought one here
GF50: super compact esp w 50R it can be a X100MF, only issue is f/3.5, else ideal lens.
GF55: Awesome but heavy for a carry on when I am on a work trip etc.
GF63: awesome rendering and sharp (as good as my 110). However it's slow and can have motor issues. I bought it used from someone who repaired this once.

Recent sunset walk in Lisbon during a stopover with just GF50:
here



Feb 10, 2024 at 12:31 PM
envydd
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


Makten wrote:
On the other hand; it does "medium format look" better than anything else.



45/2.8 is wider and a stop less bright. Would they be close for purposes of the look?




Feb 10, 2024 at 12:57 PM
Makten
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


envydd wrote:
45/2.8 is wider and a stop less bright. Would they be close for purposes of the look?



I would not really choose based on anything else than focal length in that case. They are IMO too far apart to be substitutes for each other (I think the real difference in focal length is more than 10 mm).
The 45 has pretty similar rendering but is possibly a bit more "3D". With less background blur of course, which means you can't separate the subject from the background at as long of a distance.



Feb 10, 2024 at 01:39 PM
_Refraction
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


Makten wrote:
The 45 has pretty similar rendering but is possibly a bit more "3D". With less background blur of course, which means you can't separate the subject from the background at as long of a distance.


Agreed, though I'd say the 55 renders a bit more like the 110 (for better or for worse - there's a similar nervousness in the transition zone bokeh with things like foliage at the "wrong" distances).

I would have preferred a 45/1.7 with linear motors, but it is what it is, and the 55 performs well enough that I'm still happy with it.




Feb 12, 2024 at 04:39 AM
Makten
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


_Refraction wrote:
Agreed, though I'd say the 55 renders a bit more like the 110 (for better or for worse - there's a similar nervousness in the transition zone bokeh with things like foliage at the "wrong" distances).

I would have preferred a 45/1.7 with linear motors, but it is what it is, and the 55 performs well enough that I'm still happy with it.



Yup, most of the GF primes have a rough transition zone. Exceptions are 50/3.5 and 80/1.7. Don't forget that it gets much better when stopping down a bit though, which is fine on the fastest lenses.



Feb 13, 2024 at 02:32 AM
speedgraphic
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


Peter Figen wrote:
But you say that you want to use this magical lens for film scanning? There is NO GF lens that will excel for that. None. You'll need a dedicated macro lens that goes at least to 1:1 and beyond if you want to copy 35mm frames one the GFX, and you do not need pixel shift to get great film copies.


1. This post is in reference to a general purpose lens. I have already made my selection for a scanning lens.
2. 35mm film is only one format among many, but if you wanted to scan it with a 44x33 sensor it would be wise to use the central portion of the sensor and employ pixel shift to increase resolution. This will mitigate the risk of softness in the corners due to imperfect macro lenses.
3. When performing high end scans pixel shift is absolutely prerequisite. The increased resolution is great, but the overall reduction in noise is even more important. Detail at 100% magnification is just obviously better. I scan for clients and they expect the best possible reproduction of the film original, as do I.

My current plan is to use a Sigma ART 70mm Macro and set the camera to shoot in 1:1 aka 33x33mm. I'll scan in 2 bites and stitch. This will be useful for 35mm and 645. For formats larger I have an Eversmart Supreme II which is much better than the best camera-scan solution and much easier to work with. It's 5600ppi max resolution is a little bit low for 35mm and 645. A great 35mm scan would probably be captured using the above method and then downsampled to 8000ppi. This should produce something roughly equivalent what you could expect out of an Imacon, but hopefully a bit nicer. TBH with normal 35mm films you're already pushing what's possible but it's good to avoid upsampling when you're targeting a 44" printer.



Feb 13, 2024 at 02:09 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · The One GF Lens to Rule Them All?


speedgraphic wrote:
1. This post is in reference to a general purpose lens. I have already made my selection for a scanning lens.
2. 35mm film is only one format among many, but if you wanted to scan it with a 44x33 sensor it would be wise to use the central portion of the sensor and employ pixel shift to increase resolution. This will mitigate the risk of softness in the corners due to imperfect macro lenses.
3. When performing high end scans pixel shift is absolutely prerequisite. The increased resolution is great, but the overall reduction in noise is even more important.
...Show more

Yeah, I missed the part where you have your scanning stuff worked out. And I'm going to disagree with you regarding pixel shift. It absolutely is not necessary if you're using the right lenses and using the full frame of the GFX. Sigma 70mm ART? I guess if that's all you have but a far better choice for a 1:1 capable macro is a Contax or Pentax or Mamiya, and even better than those because you can go closer than 1:1 is the Rodenstock 105mm Float lens on a focusing bellows. How do I know? Glad you asked. I have the Sigma 70mm and did some testing with it early one when I got my first GFX but have not used it a single time, not even for testing once I, first, the unbelievably great Contax 645 120mm f/4 Macro, and secondly, the aforementioned Rodenstock APO 105mm f/5.6.

Here's where it gets interesting though. Copying (and to be sure, we're not scanning, we're copying) 35mm onto the GFX format requires you to go to about a 1:37 ratio to fill the frame, and when you do (and dial that magic floating element group to the appropriate number) those film copies are damned near actual 8000 ppi (3.17micron aperture) drum scans from my Howtek Hi-Resolve 8000, which, having compared to your Eversmart, well, let's not go there because the Eversmart is a really inferior scanner compared to the Howtek in terms of hardware and optical resolution, tonal gradations and especially in terms of real world dynamic range.

So, yes, you actually can get drum scan quality if you've got the right gear and you know how to use it. It sounds to me like a lot of this is still in the theory stage for you and you haven't exactly tested and compared it all out yet.

It may be that you're more than satisfied with the Sigma, which is a pretty good lens, but if, like you say, you're scanning for clients, I would imagine they would want better, but maybe not. Who knows?




Feb 13, 2024 at 03:10 PM
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