Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Fuji GFX 100s

It has been almost 12-months since our last blog on May 22, 2020 and what a year it has been. The bright spot for me is good health for my family and friends and the announcement by Fujifilm of the new and highly improved GFX100s.  

One of the first test images
March 29, 2021
GF 23mm 1/250 ISO 50

I adopted the GFX50s early April 2017 and first wrote about it here. I soon found that there was very much to like about the system and within a matter of months sold my Phase One system. Fast forward to 2019 when Fuji released the GFX100-100 megapixel camera. I wrote my first impression on the GFX100 here. While I was disappointed in the size of the body I was never disappointed in the files.

Taken the same day as above same settings.

I had been planning a trip to Petra Jordan and since I had sold the GFX50s shortly after getting the GFX100 I felt the need for a lighter/smaller camera and picked up the GFX 50r. I thought the 50r was a good compromise in physical size. Sadly, that trip never took place and the 50r sat on the shelf using it only once before selling it.

March 29, 2021
23mm f/8 1/250 ISO 400

Fuji announced the GFX100s and that announcement instantly caught my attention.  All the great attributes of the GFX100 in a much smaller package. One of the reasons I made the choice of leaving Phase One was the sheer weight of the system. The GFX50 series counters that and the GFX100 while lighter was nevertheless large and weighty. The GFX100s is much smaller than the GFX100 while keeping all the great attributes that I liked so much.  I was originally going to wait before placing an order however a hike in frozen mud in early February persuaded me to place the order (thinking I would not receive one until mid-summer).  Boy was I surprised when I got it in March!

There’s been much written about both the GFX100 and 100s and I won’t do it here. Suffice it to say that both are simply great cameras and offer stunning files. Both have a place and since I hope to travel again the lighter/smaller formfactor of the 100s suites me better. All the lenses I’ve used since the GFX50s work just as well on the 100 and 100s and I’ve actually added a new one.

I had the chance to try a Canon 17mm TSE using a Cambo adaptor on the GFX50s shortly after I got the camera in 2017. While I liked the lens I did not like the adaptor and decided not to adopt either. I’ve thought about using a Canon TSE since; feeling the weak link was the adaptor. I began researching adaptors recently and found several to my liking. Since the Canon TSE is a manual lens I didn’t need to worry about autofocus. I did however need a “smart adaptor” to communicate between the 100s and lens to set aperture control.  I found several on the market and decided to try a Kipon autofocus lens mount found here

April 28, 2021
2-shot with Canon 24mm TSE f/8 1/160 ISO 50
Top images centered bottom image raised to limits.

I’ve been testing the GFX100s as well as a Canon 24mm TSE using the Kipon as an adaptor with great success. I came across something else while researching adaptors; a company called ROGETI, ROGETI offers among other equipment a frame that fits around the Canon 24mm TSE allowing you to use the camera body to flat stitch a 4-shot panorama.  It doesn’t add that much weight or bulk and can be easily removed to use the tilt function of the lens. They offer a frame that fits both the 17 and 24mm TSE and another for the 50mm. I’ve written the company asking about the possibility of the 90mm TSE and haven’t heard back as yet.

End result of the images...

I’m testing the ability to do a 4-shot panorama.

May 3, 2021
Canon 24mm TSE no movements
f/3.5 1/8 ISO 500
Upper Right

Lower Left

Upper Left

Lower Right

Each frame was at f/3.5 1/8 ISO 500 and measure 11648x8736 pixels at 300 dpi.

Finished pano converted to black and white.

The finished stitched image measures 15541x12643 pixels at 300 dpi. I kept the image as is showing the slight imperfection on the lower left side, upper left side and lower right bottom. Not too bad for an initial test.

Just in case you wanted to see what the camera looks like here it is...

Let me sum this up. The camera is just as good if not better than the GFX100. I have all the things I liked about the GFX100 in a much smaller package.

The Canon 24mm TSE is stunning. It has a large enough image circle that I can use it with movements and if I'm careful get minimal vignette.

The Kipon lens adaptor works well with no issues. The adaptor has communicated flawlessly with the lens and 100s supplying the metadata in the files and allowing me to shoot as if I were using a GF lens.

Finally the ROGETI does exactly what I wanted it to do - allow me to flat stitch multiple files.

In short I highly recommend everything. 

More to come...


On a side note: Please consider clicking the link to B&H found on the right as this helps in a very small way.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Friday, May 22, 2020

100-megapixel waterdrops

Getting setup

One of our first images using the GFX100

f/8 3-seconds ISO 100 GF120mm
We began shooting waterdrops about 2-years ago using a 50-megapixel Fujifilm GFX50s and upgraded to a 100-megapixel GFX100 about 6-months ago.  I’ll admit that shooting waterdrops with the GFX100 wasn’t high on our to do list. The GFX100 is perfect for landscape, nature and wildlife and it wasn’t until recently that we even thought about shooting waterdrops again.
f/8 2-seconds ISO 50 GF120mm
We’ve been using the same lens; the GFX120 with and without the MCEX-45G or 18G extension tubes. Likewise, the flashes remain the same as we used previously.
Changing the water color as well as the background can change the outcome significantly.
f/8 3-seconds ISO100 GF120mm
f/8 2-seconds ISO 100 GF120mm
The one item that has changed is the method of dropping the water. We went through about three different systems before finding one that works best for us; the MIOPS Splash Waterdrop kit.
f/8 3-seconds ISO 100 GF120mm
f/8 3-seconds ISO 100 GF120mm
Set the MIOPS up on a tabletop tripod and drop into a small bowl of water. Connecting the MIOPS to a flash is easily done with one cable. The remaining flashes are slaved to the main flash which gives us between 2 and 3 flashes should we wish to use them. The MIOPS is connected to our Android cellphone.
f/8 3-seconds ISO 100 GF120mm
f/8 3-seconds ISO 100 GF120mm
The app on the phone controls the size of the drops, delay in dropping as well as the flash delays. The camera sits on a Platypod tabletop pod along with using a QR plate, Arca Swiss head and occasionally a focusing rail. We also can’t forget the wired remote to the camera.
f/8 3-seconds ISO 50 GF120mm
f/8 3-seconds ISO 50 GF120mm
Just a note on settings. Remember, this is medium format thus the camera setting will differ from that of a 35mm camera. We routinely use 2-flash units but sometimes 3. The f/stop is normally set at either f/8 or f/11 for the GF120. While we've included the shutter time please remember that this is the total time between opening the shutter, pressing the drop button then closing the shutter. One hand holds the shutter release - one hand is pressing the drop button on the phone. The timing in reality is much faster.  

We had been using our garage as the wet studio however it can get ungodly hot here in Tucson and just this year moved into the kitchen.

We'll be doing more as the summer progresses so please stay tuned. Feel free to leave a comment or question and we'll get back to you.

Sandy & Don