Fujifilm patents f/1.1 equivalent GF lens – fastest medium format lens ever!

Fujifilm patents f/1.1 equivalent GF lens – fastest medium format lens ever!
(Image credit: Fujifilm / Japanese Patent Office)

Fujifilm has designed the fastest medium format lens ever – a GF 90mm f/1.4 optic for its GFX medium format cameras, which translates to a lightning-fast f/1.11 lens with a 71mm focal length in equivalent 35mm terms.

It was only last week that Fujifilm made waves by announcing the GF 80mm f/1.7 R WR – which at that point was the fastest commercial medium format lens in the world, at an equivalent 63mm f/1.3. The GF 80mm has been officially added to the Fujifilm GF lens roadmap (opens in new tab), and is due for release in 2021. 

The new GF 90mm f/1.4 is obviously still in the development phase, so it may be some time before it reaches production – if indeed it ever sees the light of day (the manufacturer outright cancelled another recent superfast lens, the Fujifilm XF 33mm f/1.0 (opens in new tab), after it reached the public prototype stage). 

Still, the Japanese patent filing – spotted by Hi Lows Note (opens in new tab) (by way of Mirrorless Rumors (opens in new tab)) – is a tantalizing glimpse of what might come. The patent describes a lens with a true focal length of 88.78 mm, an aperture of f/1.44 and a 32.8° angle of view. 

• Read more: The 7 fastest lenses in 2020 (opens in new tab)

Aside from the Fujifilm GF 80mm F1.7 R WR, the fastest medium format lens on the market is the Hasselblad XCD 80mm f/1.9 – making the GF 90mm f/1.4 the speediest by quite some margin.

Some will quarrel that the mirrorless medium format employed by Fujifilm and Hasselblad cameras (43.8 x 32.9mm, equating to a 0.79x crop) are smaller than the full-frame medium format used by true 645 cameras like the Phase One XT (opens in new tab) (56 x 41.5mm, 0.62x crop). Even so, the fastest Schneider Kreuznach lenses for the Phase one top out at f/2.8 (an f/2.2 equivalent in 35mm terms).

Indeed, you have to look back to the classic Mamiya Sekor 80mm f/1.9 lens for a medium format lens as fast – and that still isn't quite as quick as Fujifilm's new patented lens, even in equivalent full-frame terms! (Obviously we're not counting non-commercial lenses like the Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/0.7, as most of us don't have the budget of NASA or Stanley Kubrick!) 

Read more: 

The 7 fastest lenses in 2020 – break the speed limit with glass as fast as f/0.75 (opens in new tab)
Fujifilm GF lens roadmap (opens in new tab): all the current and planned lenses for the GFX system
The best medium format camera (opens in new tab) in 2020: big sensor cameras for experts and pros

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.