Thursday, November 18, 2021

KASE Clip-in filters for the GFX

 

I have a love-hate relationship with filters. I love the look they give, yet hate the space they take up.  I’ve got lenses ranging from a Canon 24mm TSE to the GF250 and each lens needs a different size filter ring.

I’ve used screw-in filters when I first began and while they work well you need to be very careful when attaching them as if you don't, you end up stripping the threads risking damage to the filter (no big deal) and/or the lens (huge deal). I’ve had filters that felt as if they had been welded to the lens which isn’t a good feeling.

I stopped using screw-in filters several years ago and began to use square and rectangle ones.  These filters all need a special holder to place the filter on as well as a ring that screws onto the lens. While the ring still attaches to the lens like the screw-on filters, they are generally much larger and offer a better grip; so far, I’ve never had an issue with any ring.


Example of two different filter systems. The H&Y system in on the left, the KASE clip-in is in the plastic case (which hold 4-filters).

The system on the left allows for a single filter to fit on multiple lenses using the same adaptor. All you need is the proper sized ring. Six-lenses with different filter sizes require 6-seperate rings. The KASE clip-in system fits between the sensor and rear element of the lens; there's no requirement for different sizes to fit the front.

The bag on the left contains 6-filters, 6-rings, and 1-adaptor. The plastic case on the right is actually 2-cases. The top case holds 4-filters and the bottom holds 1.

I’ve lost track of the filter systems I’ve used; I have a large bag sitting in my closet that contains one system I stop using when I adapted to the H&Y system. The H&Y has proved the smallest (until now) and I can fit the filters, filter holder, and rings in a small bag that fits inside the roller I use for the GFX.

The KASE clip-in filters are slightly larger than a silver dollar and drop right into the space over the glass protecting the sensor. The lens is attached as you normally would with no effort. The widest lens I now have is the Canon 24mmTSE and there is no vignetting. 

The filter on the left is a (100x100mm)10-stop glass filter while the right is also a 10-stop glass filter, and there's the silver dollar for size comparison.

Clip-in filters are not new as they’ve been on my radar for some time. The concept is to place a filter between the sensor and lens. No special holder. No rings. No vignetting. And a very small filter kit.


It might be a little difficult to tell apart; the upper image shows the filter in place while the bottom image is without the filter.

KASE filters have been offering clip-in filters for various 35mm systems and I was just made aware that they are now offering them for the Fujifilm GFX systems. I liked the concept so much I ordered one to test and ended up ordering a complete set. 

There are some issues with sunspots of the image. The very first test I took using the 6-stop filter and the Canon 24mm TSE produced a spot that I could see in the viewfinder. Granted I was taking a shot almost directly facing the sun didn’t help.

I was able to do a fast fix in Photoshop

I tested the effectiveness of stacking filters using a combination of a KASE clip-in and the H&Y filter system.  Using a GF32-64, KASE clip-in 4-stop filter and an H&Y 15-stop filter.  The clip-in was placed beside the sensor at the rear of the lens and the 15-stop on the front using a 77mm filter ring, filter attachment, and a 100x100mm filter.  


My interest in this test was seeing what if any issues arise from using 2-filters; 1-at the rear and 1-on the lens front. 32mm f/4 2-minutes and ISO 200. It appears that there will be little to no issues if/when I decide to stack filters.

I have a trip coming up to Moab and plan to use the KASE system either by themselves or stacking with the H&Y.

Not finish yet....

We’ve had great skies the past couple of days allowing for a better test of the filter system. I used a 4-stop filter the entire time changing the front filter. The testing was done using a Fuji GFX100s and a combination of a GF32-64 and Canon 24mm TSE with a Kipon adaptor.  No processing was done other than to resize the image from 3786x2839 to 1000x750 then adding a black border making the overall image 1200x950.


Very slight vignette upper right & left corners but then again there were 3-filters used. 




I’m extremely pleased with the KASE Clip-in filter system for the GFX100s;  I can use the same filter on multiple lenses without the worry of having to change the front lens ring thus making for a compact system. I still plan on using the H&Y system to supplement my filter choices however I see the KASE quickly becoming my “go-to” system. 


Don


 




Thursday, November 11, 2021

Leica Q2

 


We recently searched for the “perfect” point and shoot camera for us. I purposely put quotes of perfect as what that means to us mayn’t mean the same to you or anyone else. We wanted a small, lightweight, single lens, full frame 35mm system.  We also wanted a lens in a focal length that would be to our liking.  We also didn’t want to mess with a lot of battery issues and have little interest on shooting video.


We were surprised that the field wasn’t that large. We settled on two cameras that were close enough to warrant closer inspection. Both were small light weight systems with focal lengths we liked. We quickly found flaws with one; crappy battery and a button layout that turns on video by accident.  Turns out the battery is outdated and has limited power; we’d have to have multiple batteries and from what we read multiple chargers. The accidental video was a no go from the start. Seems that the manufacture placed the video button in a place that caused many people to accidentally engage without their knowledge. That left us with one system.

The Leica Q2 isn’t cheap. Actually, no Leica is cheap; they are however, well made with outstanding color rendition.  We could have saved a few thousand dollars buying the runner up and making it work for us however we didn’t. And I glad.


When we decided on the Leica Q2 we were then left with another difficult decision; which one. Color or black and white. I love black and white and often will render our files to black and white using either Capture One or Topaz Studios. I’ll admit to leaning towards a black and white system however the adult side (Sandy) pointed out that it’s better to have one camera that can do both. And yes, while I could capture in B&W by shooting in JPEG instead of RAW I would be just as happy if there were no option for JPEG as I never use it.


We've had the Q2 for several weeks now and are still getting used to it. The 28mm focal length is great as is the ability to crop in at 35mm, 50mm and 75mm (losing resolution at 30MP, 15MP and 6,6MP per crop). While I can see using the 35 and 50mm mode I really don’t see the 75mm being used much at all.

The files open in Capture One (I’m currently using 21) with no effort. I’ve processed the black and white images completely in C1 before saving to Adobe Photoshop CC to downsize to JPEG and adding watermarks for the Web.


 Auto focus has been no problem and I’ve even played with the macro function. I have been using the Q2 in full auto mode, auto focus, auto ISO, and auto aperture. I’ve played with the manual focus and found it easy to use.  The battery life has not been an issue and thus far I see no concerns for an additional battery.

It might have been the most expensive camera on our list however buy smart, buy once and save.



Sandy is still waiting for her GFX100s and has decided on her lens; the 35-70. We’ll share more about this just as soon as Sandy has her new system.


We just began testing a KASE Clip-in filter kit for the GFX100s. This kit caught our eye several months ago however it was only recently that we found they were now offering the kit for the Fuji GFX line. The filter is placed between the sensor and lens and is very small. Check back in awhile for more information.


Sandy & Don



Friday, October 29, 2021

Jumping Ship from Sony to Fuji

 

"Rush Hour"
Sony A7rIV FE 100-400@300mm

Those who have followed us know we've used several camera systems. Don has used a Canon, Mamiya, Phase One, Leica, Sony and Fuji while Sandy has used Canon and Sony. Don began using a Fuji shortly after the release of the GFX50 and has stayed true to the GFX system ever since. Sandy replaced her Canon with a Sony shortly after the A7r was first released. Which brings us to this – Sandy has decided to make the move from 35mm to medium format and will begin using a GFX100s just as soon as her order is filled.

"Black Sand Basin"
Sony A7rIV FE 24-70@24mm

Sandy’s decision is partly based on the sensor size and ease of setting changes with the GFX vs the Sony A7rIV.

We just returned from a trip to North Yellowstone where we captured landscape and wildlife. We had plenty of time to speak about the two systems and Sandy finally admitted to wanting to try the GFX100s.  Her concern was that once she tried it she’d like it so much that she’d want it. Guess what happened!

Sony A7rIV FE100-400@400

This blog contains the last images Sandy captured using her Sony A7rIV and her first using a GFX100s.



The plan is to share the GFX100s until Sandys arrives. We’ll share the lenses between us with the possibility of getting a spare lens of Sandys choosing; either a 32-64 or the newer 35-70.



Something else became clear to us on this trip. We hate using a cellphone as a point and shoot. While it’s a great device to capture GPS location the small sensor of the camera does not lead to any meaningful images to print; yes they’re great for the web but we want to print too.

This lead us to a conversation of what makes a perfect point and shoot camera for us. We wanted a camera with fixed lens, shooting full frame 35mm with decent resolution. Don did the research and decided to grab a Leica G2 and add it to our kit. The purpose of the G2 will be to have a camera close by for when we want to grab a fast shot without the need to stop, unpack the Fuji attach a lens and shoot. While there will be times we still do this, the plan is to use the G2 in place of the cellphone for a much better file.

We have several road trips planned for the upcoming year and look forward to sharing.

As always, feel free to comment or ask questions.

 

Sandy & Don