Lightweight, compact and an easy to use telephoto zoom for the GFX series of cameras. Fujifilm have created a lens with superbly sharp optics, especially at infinity and in the corners where other lenses of this type usually suffer.
I took a pre production sample of the GF 100-200 to Morocco at the end of 2018 on a recce for this forthcoming workshop in April 2019 and I must admit I was not expecting to like the lens because of the rather slow f/5.6 optic. I must learn not to be prejudiced because wow, I was pleasantly surprised indeed. I found that wide open the lens delivered some decent separation in my portraits and having the ability to zoom to fine tune my compositions made the whole shooting experience easy.
1. Morocco offers up some fantastic shooting locations and I took a bit of time out between scheduled shoots to give this lens a try. It was not part of the plan but I got a last minute call from the Fujifilm UK team and the lens landed on my desk an hour before I left for the airport. Of course curiosity got the better of me so I took some shots to get to know how this lens performs. I am shown here with my GFX on a tripod but in general use this body and lens combination would be equally suited to hand held shooting or in conjunction with a monopod.
2. The location pictures here and the behind the scenes pictures shown above were taken by Mohammed Kamal (MK) my co explorer. We climbed up through several abandoned kasbahs to find perfect locations for our workshop in April.
The OIS (optical image stabilisation) worked a treat and the autofocus was fast and precise. I was pleasantly surprised every time I picked up the camera with this lens attached. It just feels right. I’ve no idea why I felt surprised because I had plenty of experience of the excellent, yet underrated XF 55-200mm lens for the X series. Fujifilm have proven that they can deliver superlative optical quality time after time even with ‘kit’ or less expensive lens offerings. I’ll be interested to read other reviewers findings and to test out a final production copy.
3. Top: These shots taken with the GF 100-200mm lens set to 100mm Below: These 200mm shots for comparison were taken from the same spots as the top two.
4. The arid landscape in the mountain regions of Morocco turns a lush green in the spring. The small villages and rural areas don’t appear to have changed much over the centuries with donkeys and mules still carrying the load out in the fields. These shots were all taken with the GF 100-200mm lens at various settings. I used a tripod for the shot bottom left but hand held the other three.
5. I love the textures and tones of the old Morocco up in the Atlas Mountains. I used the lens at f/5.6, 200mm with the camera set to ISO 200 and 1/500th second. Click on the picture to see a full size, compressed sample of this shot. Bear in mind this is from a pre production lens.
6. This high pass over the Atlas Mountains to Marrakesh has been a trading route since ancient times.
7. Every bit of fertile land is cultivated in Morocco. The water levels in this river change dramatically and in April they will be in full flow from the melting snow on the mountains.
If this lens were the f/4 optic that I’d have hoped for it would be at least double the weight and that would lose a lot of its appeal. This is a lens that will certainly suit landscape and travel photographers alike. The GF 100-200mm is much lighter than it looks so it will tuck away in a rucksack or shoulder bag quite nicely. The detail that this lens captures is astounding and the useful, uncompromising 2x zoom range makes this a perfect long lens for many shooters.