Friday, July 7, 2017

Fujifilm GFX 50s

GF120mm f/8 1/3200 ISO 5000
Shot handheld
 
100% crop from above
 
GF120 f/10 1/4000 ISO 3200
Shot handheld and cropped
 
I’ve been busy using the Fujifilm GFX 50s in a way I wish I could with my Phase One XF; shooting small fast moving subjects. 
GF120mm f/11 1/4000 ISO 3200
Shot handheld and cropped
 
GF120mm f/18 1/4000 ISO 3200
Shot handheld and cropped

I've found the best way to get use to a camera/lens combination is to test it on small fast moving objects thus I picked the hummingbirds.   Sandy and I spent 4-days shooting these tiny fast moving birds using a combination of cameras.  Sandy used her Sony A7rII in burst mode which sounds like a machine gun going off; I tried the Phase One XF in “burst mode” and was lucky to get 1 in 10. I then switched to the Fujifilm GFX 50s and while not nearly as fast as the Sony it did very well for itself. 
The next two images were shot f/8, 1/2500 ISO 2000 handheld using the GF120mm

 
The following image was also shot handheld with the GF120mm with a shutter speed of 1/4000 which is the max the Fujifilm GFX 50s is capable of.  Once again these are 100% crops from the original files.
 
 
Note: The Phase One XF and 100-megapexel IQ1-100 was never meant for ultra-fast shooting.  I knew that when I tried it and expected it as well.  I tried the XF one morning for just a very short while and the images I did manage to capture are stunning. Nothing beats the IQ1-100 for image detail and you need to use it for its intended purpose; for me that’s landscape work.
GF120mm f/8 1/4000 ISO 2000
Shot handheld and cropped

GF120mm f/8 1/4000 ISO 2000
Shot handheld and cropped
 
GF120mm f/8 1/4000 ISO 2000
Shot handheld and cropped
 
I found shooting small fast moving subjects handheld easier than I expected.  I used a combination of manual and autofocus finding both equally good.
I enjoyed this endeavor so much I found I wanted a longer focal length and began looking for a lens adaptor.  I choose a FotodioX Mamiya 645 Fujifilm G-mount adaptor to adapt a Mamiya 200/2.8 APO and possibly a Schneider LS 240mm.  When factoring in the crop of the Fujifilm GFX 50s the GF120mm is close to 95mm, the Mamiya 200 will be around 158mm with the Schneider 240 coming in around 190mm.
I tried using the Schneider LS240 lens attached to the GFX by way of the FotodioX adapter and got mixed results.  While I liked the extra reach the lens gave me it came at a cost. It weights much more.  There are other issues as well; the lens shoots wide open in this case f/4 and I could only control the shutter speed and ISO.  Manual focus is tricky as the focus ring is very delicate to touch and I had to watch where I was holding it.  Get past these issues and you get excellent images.  The following images were all shot with the Schneider LS 240mm lens.
Phase One XF, IQ1-100
f/11 1/4000 ISO 1600
Shot handheld and cropped

Phase One XF, IQ1-100
f/11 1/4000 ISO 1600
Shot handheld and cropped

Things got easier when I began using a Mamiya 200 APO lens (manual focus only).  The 200 APO has a ring to manually control the aperture thus I was able to set the f/stop as well as manually focus, set the shutter speed and ISO on the camera.  I quickly noticed a weight change even using the FotodioX adaptor.  The 200 APO seems to weigh just slightly more than the GF120mm and much less than the Schneider LS 240.
Left to right, Fujifilm GF 120mm, Mamiya 200 APO and Schneider LS 240. The FotodioX is missing from the image.
 
Mamiya 200 APO f/8 1/4000 ISO 800
Shot handheld and cropped

Mamiya 200 APO f/8 1/4000 ISO 2000
Shot handheld and cropped

Mamiya 200 APO f/8 1/4000 ISO 800
Shot handheld and cropped

Mamiya 200 APO f/8 1/4000 ISO 800
Shot handheld and cropped

Mamiya 200 APO f/8 1/4000 ISO 800
Shot handheld and cropped
 

Spending so much time shooting hummingbirds with the Fujifilm GFX 50s medium format system has taught me that this is a very capable system.  I found the Fujifilm 50s to be light weight enough to handhold for several minutes at a time and using a lens adaptor more than capable of providing the reach.  While I would prefer to use the GF120mm the Mamiya 200 APO comes in a very close second.  The Schneider LS 240 works well however I don’t see me using it nearly as much mainly due to the extra weight.

One of the main reason for testing on such small subjects is that when a larger one happens along it makes it easier.  

Mamiya 200 APO f/8 1/4000 ISO 2000
 
The following is the result of 3-files merged for focus using the GF 120mm.  The files were all shot handheld in a burst mode f/10 1/4000 ISO 3200.  This is just an example of how you might use a burst mode on the GFX50s to capture something that caught your eye.
 
While I was busy testing I also took delivery of the new GF23mm.  I plan on using this later this month while visiting Buffalo NY.  The following are the only sample images I’ve produced so far. 

f/4 0.4 seconds ISO 100
Shot on tripod
 
Just a quick note of the 23mm.  I like it.  What I plan on doing is slowing down and being more careful with the focus.  While the edges looks good I feel that with proper aperture and focusing they will become even better.
We’ve covered using the Fujifilm GFX 50s shooting one of the smallest and fastest birds with success. I’ve come to like the GF120mm both as a distance and macro lens. I’ve also learned that while I can use the Schneider LS 240 lens I much prefer the older Mamiya 200 APO.  And lastly, the new GF 23mm appears to be another keeper and looking forward to using it.
Thank you as always for allowing me to share.  Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions.  Please also let me know if I can clarify anything I’ve discussed here.
 
 
Don
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Photographing New Mexico

Sony A7rII FE24-70
70mm f/13 1/200 ISO 50
 
Fujifilm 50s GF32-64
32mm f/8 1/800 ISO 100
 
We recently spent a couple days exploring a small portion of New Mexico where Billy the Kid once roamed.  The above images were captured along Route 60 as we headed east towards New Mexico. 
The VLA outside of Socorro NM
Sony A7rII FE70-200 GM
112mm f/11 1/200 ISO 50 (slight crop)
 
Fujifilm 50s GF 120mm
f/8 1/640 ISO 100 (slight crop)
 
We hadn’t been to the area before and were uncertain what we’d find and considered this trip more scouting than anything else. 
Abo NM
Sony A7rII FE24-70 GM
35mm f/8 1/200 ISO 50
 
Fujifilm 50s GF 32-64
64mm f/9 1/125 ISO 100
 
In the past Don would have taken both the Phase One XF and a Sony A7rII using the Sony as a scouting camera and the XF for more “serious” work. That’s changed with the Fujifilm 50s as he is able to do double duty with it using it as both a scouting tool and for serious work.  While he's certainly glad he had the Fuji Don did have an occasion to miss the 100-megapixel IQ1-100; next time he'll bring both…
Route 60 near Willard NM
Sony A7rII FE 24-70GM
f/8 1/500 ISO 50 (slight crop)
 
Route 60 near Willard NM
Sony A7rII FE 70-200GM
108mm f/8 1/640 ISO 50 (slight crop)
 
Route 60 near Encino NM
Sony A7rII FE24-70
69mm f/11 1/500 ISO 50

Our plan was to stay in Fort Sumner NM and drive 14-miles east to Taiban in order to photograph an abandoned church.  We stayed on Route 60 driving east stopping whenever and wherever we saw anything of interest; which there was plenty.
Salt ponds, Route 60 near Willard NM
Fujifilm 50s GF 32-64
32mm f/11 1/500 ISO 100
 
Negra Road, Rt 60 Encino NM
Fujifilm 50s GF 32-64
32mm f/8 1/640 ISO 100
 
Abandoned ranch on Negra Rd Encino NM
Fujifilm 50s GF 32-64
32mm f/8 1/1000 ISO 100
 
We couldn’t have asked for better conditions driving east on Rt 60.  The light was perfect and the clouds were wonderful.  A little east of the windfarm is Negra Road.  Turning off the 60 onto Negra we saw what appeared to be an old ranch house in the distance.  
Negra Road NM
Sony A7rII FE 70-200 GM
70mm f/8 1/640 ISO 50 slight crop
 
We found the house abandoned with little glass left in the windows.  The yard was overgrown with weeds and littered with rusty objects.  We also found an old clothesline in the backyard.  We had been thinking of doing a shoot using a red union suit and white diapers and just happened to have them in the truck.  The rest as they say is history…
Sony A7rII FE24-70 GM
24mm f/10 1/500 ISO 50
 
Fujifilm 50s GF 32-64mm
32mm f/8 1/800 ISO 100
 
The main purpose of the trip was to find and photograph an abandoned church in Taiban NM.  We had originally planned on staying 3-nights in Fort Sumner hoping to get at least one-day of good shooting conditions. Little did we know that the day we arrived would satisfy all our needs as a huge storm was developing to the west heading right in our path.  We took a couple images shortly after finding the church before returning to Fort Sumner for lunch and resting from the drive.
Sony Ar7II FE24-70 GM
24mm f/8 1/640 ISO 50
 
Fujifilm 50s GF 32-64
34mm f/8 1/160 ISO 100
(processed using Topaz Labs)

Later looking out our window we saw a beautiful sky that we simply could not pass up.
Sony A7rII FE 24-70 GM
70mm f/8 1/200 ISO 50

The First Presbyterian Church of Taiban New Mexico.  Built in 1904
Sony A7rII FE24-70 GM
24mm f/5 1/250 ISO 125
 
Sony A7rII FE24-70 GM
32mm f/5 1/250 ISO 125

Fujifilm 50s GF32-64
32mm f/4 1/400 ISO 100
 
Fujifilm 50s GF32-64
32mm f/4 1/320 ISO 100
 
Fujifilm 50s GF32-64
32mm f/4 1/320 ISO 100

Four days after returning home Don returned to New Mexico to capture what remains of old Route 66 west of Albuquerque.
San Fidel NM
Fujifilm 50s GF32-64
50mm f/8 1/1250 ISO 100
 
Sunrise on Route 66 near Gallup NM
Fujifilm 50s GF32-64
38mm f/5.6 1/200 ISO 100
 
Near Chamber Arizona
Fujifilm 50s GF32-64
60mm f/8 1/200 ISO 100

One last image showing a “before” and “after” of what has become a typical Fujifilm 50s file. 
Fujifilm 50s GF32-64
64mm f/11 1/1000 ISO 100
 
We’ve driven thru New Mexico however never really stopped and explored the state until this trip.  We are planning a more extended stay soon.

Thank you for allowing us to share and as always, your thoughts, suggestions and questions are welcome.

 

Sandy & Don