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