Fujifilm Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR review: Go long or go home!

The Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR is currently the longest telephoto lens in the growing GF line-up for the medium format Fujifilm GFX system

5 Star Rating
Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

I’ve been highly impressed by every Fujinon GF lens I’ve tested and the Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR is no exception. This telephoto prime delivers super-special image quality and all-round performance.

Pros

  • +

    Spectacular image quality

  • +

    Fast, virtually silent autofocus

  • +

    5-stop optical image stabilization

  • +

    Classy handling and controls

Cons

  • -

    No de-click switch for aperture ring

  • -

    Fairly weighty

  • -

    No Arca-Swiss profile in tripod foot

  • -

    Typically expensive for a GF lens

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

Fujifilm is enhancing its long-term reputation as a high-quality photographic company, stretching back to 1934, with a growing line-up of fabulous Fujinon GF lenses for its highly acclaimed medium format GFX system cameras. The Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR takes its place as the longest telephoto lens so far, with an ‘effective’ focal length of about 200mm in full-frame terms (198mm to be precise). And if that’s not long enough for your liking, the lens is also compatible with the GF 1.4X TC WR teleconverter, which boosts telephoto power to 280mm, equivalent to 277mm on a full-frame camera with a smaller image sensor. Naturally, you’ll get the usual 1 f/stop reduction in aperture rating when adding the teleconverter.

As a medium format lens, the GF 250mm needs to produce a relatively large image circle, catering to a bigger image sensor. (Image credit: Matthew Richards)

With Fujifilm’s more established APS-C format X system, stretching back to 2011, there’s a relatively large selection of lenses to choose from, not only own-brand Fujinon but also with lenses from independent manufacturers. The medium format GFX system is relatively recent, launched in 2017. As such, there are fewer lenses to choose from but the range includes plenty of top-quality prime lenses, a handful of zooms and a couple of new tilt-shift lenses. If you’re in the market for a telephoto prime, this GF 250mm is the most obvious option, the next steps down in telephoto reach being the GF 120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro and GF 110mm F2 R LM WR, with full-frame effective focal lengths of 95mm and 87mm respectively.

Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR: Specifications

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Mount optionsFujifilm GF
Lens construction16 elements in 10 groups
Angle of view12.5 degrees
Diaphragm blades9
Minimum aperturef/32
Minimum focus distance1.4m
Maximum magnification0.22x
Filter size82mm
Dimensions108x204mm
Weight1,425g

Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR: Price & Availability

Compared with crop-sensor cameras and even full-frame bodies, medium format cameras require a much larger image circle from lenses, to cover the larger sensors. That means relatively large-diameter glass elements and, coupled with the kind of quality photographers expect from a medium format system, that equates to big price tags. It’s no surprise that this is an expensive lens, retailing for around £2,799/$3,299.

Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR: Design & Handling

The optical design is based on 16 elements arranged in 10 groups, so there’s a lot of glass in this lens. To enhance contrast, clarity and color quality, while minimizing unwanted aberrations, the lens features two large-diameter ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements towards the front of the optical path, and a Super ED element a little further back. As I’d expect from this class of lens, it has a fully internal focus mechanism so the front element (and 82mm filter attachment thread) neither extend nor rotate throughout the focusing range. Autofocus itself is driven by a fast and virtually silent linear stepping motor. That’s generally preferred nowadays, as it enables fast and snappy autofocus for stills along with smooth transitions when shooting video.

The aperture ring has a locking switch for Camera and Auto positions. It operates in 1/3rd f/stop click steps but there’s no de-click option for shooting video. (Image credit: Matthew Richards)

You might feel there’s a bit of a question mark over the lens having an f/4 aperture rating rather than a faster f/2.8 aperture. However, medium format is a different game to full-frame, and the choice of f/4 enables a tight depth of field at this focal length, while avoiding the lens becoming too heavy and unwieldy. As it is, the lens is no lightweight, measuring 108x204mm and weighing in at 1,425g. As such, it comes complete with a tripod mounting collar, which can be completely removed if you’d rather ditch it for handheld shooting. With that in mind, the lens also features a 5-stop optical image stabilizer.

There’s an extensive array of control switches and buttons, enhancing handling and feeding the creative flow. (Image credit: Matthew Richards)

I like the extensive range of controls featured in the lens. Like many Fujinon lenses in both X and GF mount variants, it has an aperture control ring. This comes complete with a switch for locking it in the Camera-control and Auto positions, along with 1/3rd f/stop click steps for the whole range of f/4 to f/32. However, there’s no de-click option, which would be an advantage when shooting video. Just behind the aperture ring and within easy reach, there’s an autofocus range limiter switch which can lock out the short range closer than 5m and an optical image stabilizer on/off switch. Just below these are an autofocus switch with AF-Lock, Preset and AF positions, plus a Set button, which you can use to lock in a focus distance in Preset AF mode. Up front is a rank of four customizable AF-On or AF-Lock buttons, evenly spaced around the lens barrel for natural use at any camera orientation.

(Image credit: Matthew Richards)

All in all, handling is excellent, thanks to the wide range of intuitive controls. The electronically coupled manual focus ring also works with smooth precision. In terms of build quality, the lens feels very solid and robust. The construction includes an extensive set of weather-seals and the lens is guaranteed to perform down to at least -10 degrees Celsius (14F).

As shown here, the tripod mounting collar is completely removable, to save size and weight and to add convenience during handheld shooting. (Image credit: Matthew Richards)

The lens comes complete with a high-quality hood which features a locking button and a sliding panel for accessing rotation-specific filters like a circular polarizer. (Image credit: Matthew Richards)

Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR: Photo Performance


Living up to its billing, autofocus is very fast and consistently accurate, and well able to track moving subjects effectively. Similarly, the 5-stop optical image stabilizer really earns its keep in handheld shooting. Image quality is every bit as good as I’ve come to expect from Fujinon GF lenses. Razor-sharpness is more than adequate to make the very most of the 102 megapixel image senor in the Fujifilm GFX 100 II, with I used while testing the lens.

EXIF: Fujifilm GFX 100 II + Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR (1/120 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200) (Image credit: Matthew Richards)

As I’ve mentioned, the 250mm focal length and f/4 aperture rating are capable of delivering a tight depth of field. More importantly, the actual quality of bokeh is wonderfully smooth, with a very natural roll-off in the transition between in-focus and defocused areas. Both axial and lateral chromatic aberrations are extremely well controlled, as is distortion. All things considered, this lens really is a top performer.

Despite the aperture rating 'only' being f/4 rather than a faster value, the lens is capable of a tight depth of field and beautiful bokeh, helped by its medium format nature. EXIF: Fujifilm GFX 100 II + Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR (1/259 sec, f/4, ISO 200) (Image credit: Matthew Richards)

Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR: Sample Images

This gallery of images was taken with the lens on a Fujifilm GFX 100 II, in and around Victoria Park, Bath, UK.

Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR: Lab Results

We run a range of lab tests under controlled conditions, using the Imatest Master testing suite. Photos of test charts are taken across the range of apertures (and zoom lengths where available), then analyzed for sharpness, distortion and chromatic aberrations.

We use Imatest SFR (spatial frequency response) charts and analysis software to plot lens resolution at the center of the image frame, corners and mid-point distances, across the range of aperture settings and, with zoom lenses, at four different focal lengths. The tests also measure distortion and color fringing (chromatic aberration).

Sharpness:

(Image credit: Future)

Sharpness across most of the frame is simply stunning, even when shooting wide-open at f/4, and remains very good at the extreme edges and corners. Sharpness gets even better if you stop down a little, but not by much as it’s so good to start with.

Fringing:

(Image credit: Future)

Color fringing is extremely well controlled. There’s virtually no fringing to be seen anywhere across the image frame, even without invoking automatic correction.

Distortion: 0.39

Typical of telephoto lenses, there’s a little pincushion distortion, but in real-world shooting, rather than lab test conditions, it’s generally unnoticeable.

Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR: Verdict

(Image credit: Matthew Richards)

Tough, weather-sealed build quality, super-fast autofocus, highly effective 5-stop optical image stabilization and spectacular image quality make this a truly professional-grade medium format lens for Fujifilm’s GFX system. I love the wide-ranging controls that enhance handling, although I can accept that videographers would like the ability to de-click the aperture control ring. Even so, this is an exceptional lens that’s well worth its exotic asking price.

Should you buy the Fujinon GF 250mm F4 R LM OIS WR?

✅ Buy this...

  • Stunning image quality
  • Good telephoto reach
  • Pro-grade construction

🚫 Don't buy this...

  • No de-click aperture option
  • Typically expensive for GF
  • Quite large and weighty

Alternatives

Fujinon GF 100-200mm F5.6 R LM OIS WR

If you prefer the versatility of a zoom lens, there’s the Fujinon GF 100-200mm F5.6 R LM OIS WR, although it has less maximum reach and is an f/stop slower.

Fujinon GF 120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro

The Fujinon GF 120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro only has half as much telephoto reach but adds a 0.5x macro magnification facility for extreme close-ups.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 


His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 


In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.