Super-Tele Fujifilm GF 500mm f/5.6 Lens Doubles the GFX System’s Reach

A black DSLR camera with an attached long zoom lens is placed on a black surface, partially illuminated to highlight its details. The camera and lens have a sleek and professional design, creating a striking contrast against the dark background.

After adding a 500mm telephoto lens to its GFX lens roadmap last September, Fujifilm has finally fully revealed the longest Fujinon GF lens ever: The Fujifilm GF 500mm f/5.6 R LM OIS WR.

The GF 500mm is a super-telephoto prime lens designed for GFX users who need a bit more reach for diverse subjects like landscapes, wildlife, sports, and even street photography or portraits. Although, in the latter case, photographers might need walkie-talkies to chat with a subject.

A close-up side view of a Fujifilm GFX camera equipped with a large Fujinon lens. The camera and lens are set against a black background, highlighting the details and controls on the lens and body. The image emphasizes the professional and sleek design of the equipment.

The GF 500mm f/5.6 is the New Longest GFX System Lens

Thanks to the GFX system’s 0.79 times crop factor, the GF 500mm is equivalent to a 396mm lens in 35mm format. The GF 500mm is the new longest GFX lens; twice as long as the previous top dog, the GF 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR.

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It’s Also the Biggest and Heaviest, Although Not By Much

“GF 500mm is an exciting addition to the GFX System because it combines incredible range with the power of the system’s 102 megapixel sensor,” explains Victor Ha, vice president of Electronic Imaging and Optical Devices Divisions, Fujifilm North America Corporation. “GF 500 mm’s compact, lightweight design and super telephoto focal length enable photographers to create images in impeccable detail they may not have previously dreamed was possible.”

Terms like “compact” and “lightweight” are all relative. The GF 500mm is a big, heavy lens within the existing GF lens lineup, but it is not especially heavy given its focal length and image circle. The GF 500mm f/5.6 weighs 1,375 grams (3.03 pounds) and is 246.5 millimeters (9.7 inches) long.

Two black, professional camera lenses are placed side by side on a dark background. The lenses are sleek and feature various control dials and focus rings. The lens on the left is slightly larger than the one on the right.
GF 500mm (left) versus the GF 250mm (right)
Close-up view of two camera lenses with large glass elements, positioned diagonally against a dark background. The lenses, reflecting subtle hues of green and orange, showcase their intricate design details and barrel markings.
GF 500mm (front) and GF 250mm (back)

While 43 millimeters (1.7 inches) longer than the GF 250mm f/4, the GF 500mm f/5.6 is only about 50 grams (1.8 ounces) heavier. This is thanks to a relatively small front element group — big glass weighs a lot — and a magnesium diecast barrel.

Impressive Optical Engineering

Regarding the optical design, the GF 500mm includes 21 elements arranged across 14 groups, including two Super-ED elements and five ED elements. There are just two elements at the front of the lens, where the glass is the widest. By the way, the lens accepts 95mm screw-on filters. These two elements, the only two in the GF 500mm more than 50 millimeters in diameter, weigh under 160 grams (5.6 ounces).

Close-up view of a camera lens showing the glass elements and reflecting light. The text on the lens reads "FUJINON GF LENS 500mm 1:5.6 R LM OIS WR Ø95mm." The image highlights the intricate details of the lens construction.

Lightweight Glass Ensures Swift Autofocus

The reliance on mostly small-diameter optics not only helps keep the lens small and light but also ensures fast autofocus performance. Fujifilm promises that the GF 500 mm’s linear motor drive delivers focus as fast as 0.31 seconds on the latest GFX cameras. The focus lens is less than half the weight of the one found in the GF 250mm, which is itself a pretty swift lens.

The minimum focusing distance is 2.75 meters (nine feet). The lens includes a focus limiter switch if photographers aren’t planning to focus on a close-up subject.

Close-up shot of the control switches on a camera lens. The image shows several switches labeled "OFF ON OIS," "FULL .5m-∞," and "PRESET AFL L AF." The lens surface features textured grips and metallic rings, highlighting its intricate design.

Six Stops of Stabilization

The GF 500mm f/5.6 also includes optical image stabilization (OIS) to keep photos sharp, even at the telephoto focal length. The OIS system promises up to six stops of shake correction.

Works With Teleconverters, Physical and Digital Alike

The lens also works with the GF 1.4x teleconverter introduced alongside the GF 250mm f/4 lens. With the TC attached, the GF 500mm becomes a 700mm f/8 lens, 553mm in 35mm terms. Fujifilm also touts the digital teleconverter function of its high-resolution GFX cameras, including a 35mm crop mode.

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The GF 500mm works with the GF 1.4x TC

This crop mode, which is 61 megapixels on Fujifilm’s 100-megapixel cameras, like the brand-new GFX 100S II, allows the lens to be used with 500mm and 700mm “35mm format” focal lengths. A 26-megapixel APS-C crop also turns the lens into an 800mm f/5.6 without the teleconverter.

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For outdoor shooters, it is also worth noting that the GF 500mm is weather-sealed, as indicated by the “WR” in the model name, which stands for weather resistant.

Pricing and Availability

The Fujifilm GF 500mm f/5.6 R LM WR OIS will be available next month for $3,500 ($4,725 CAD).

Image credits: Fujifilm