Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Preparing the Fujifilm 50s for extreme conditions

I’ve begun writing this a couple days before Christmas hoping to set the ground work for what’s to come.

January 2018 will see us approximately 20-miles north of Fairbanks Alaska near Chatanika shooting the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.  We’re expecting temperatures as high as 2 as and as low as -12 and below.  Moon rise will be in the neighborhood of 7:21 am, setting by 1:27 pm with a new moon on January 16th which will be right in the middle of our stay.

I plan on using the Fujifilm GFX 50s with a combination of the GF23, 32-64 and 63mm lenses.  I’m also planning on using a Singh Ray LB color intensifier filter.  The LB combines a combination of a warming polarizer and color intensifier into one filter.  This filter will control glare and reflection while boosting shadow detail, color contrast and saturation of reds, greens and warm tones.  All in all this filter should be perfect for capturing the Northern Lights.  The filter will be attached to the lens using the Wine Country  Camera filter system and will be easy enough to manipulate if needed with heavy gloves.

I’ve been trying this combination of lens and filter for sunsets in the southwest and have been very pleased.  Time will tell if this filter is needed or will work well in capturing the Northern Lights.

The above is a sample of a “before and after” using the Singh Ray LB color intensifier filter.  The top image is the red sunset without the filter while the bottom is with the filter attached.  The same settings were used for each. GF 63mm f/6.4 1/13 ISO 100. 

The image above is what it looks like after processing in Adobe ACR and Photoshop CC.

I did run into one slight issue.  The weight of the filter system added to the front of the lens of the GF63 made the lens hunt for auto focus.  Turning auto focus off and shooting manual focus fixed the issue.

Wine Country Camera filter system with Singh Ray LB color intensifier filter attached to the Fujifilm GFX 50s.
Switching lenses to the GF 23 I found the issue of autofocus was fixed; likewise with the 32-64.
GF23mm f/4 1/80 ISO 250
Processed in Adobe ACR and Photoshop CC
Shot inside looking out
GF23mm f/4 1/5 ISO 400

Needless to say I’m very pleased with the Singh Ray LB color intensifier filter.  I’m equally pleased with the overall performance of the Wine Country Camera filter system, and looking forward to using both in Alaska.
Here’s one last test of the filter prior to Alaska.  Seeing as how Singh Ray advertises this filer as a color booster, intensifier etc., I decided to see what it would do on a cloudy sky.

Once again, a before and after shot with the GF 32-64 at 64mm f/4 1/160 ISO 100.  Top is without filter and bottom is with.  No processing has been done other than to resize and convert to Jpeg.
Next stop Alaska