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. 



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

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Fujifilm 102-megapixel GFX 100s


I’ve gotten questions of why I like the GFX format.  One of the most common question concerns my feelings coming from a full frame/larger sensor system. 

I began using medium format around 2007 using a 645 Mamiya film camera. I quickly added a used Kodak DCS Pro Back. While I no longer have the DCS I am still good friends with the person who sold it; Ken Doo. The Kodak DCS Pro worked well with my Mamiya 645AF and (if memory is correct) had a sensor size of 4080x4080 producing a whopping 16 megapixels.

My second digital back was a newly released Phase One P30+ that I compare all others to. The P30+ produced 31.6 megapixels and like the DCS a crop sensor of 1.25. The main reason I stopped using the P30+ was to begin using a Cambo technical camera system.

My third digital was a gently used 49-megapixel Phase One P45+ with a slightly larger sensor than the P30+ however still not a “full-frame” medium format. I used this back very successfully with a Cambo WRS technical camera as well as a variety of Mamiya and later Phase One 645 camera bodies.

I held off getting the fourth back until I could pick up a gently used Phase One P65. The P65+ is the first full frame digital medium format producing 60.5 megapixels. The sensor is 53.9mm x 40.4mm. I used this much like the P45+ on a combination of Cambo and Phase camera bodies.

The next big step was getting a Phase One IQ-180 digital back; full-frame sensor producing 81.13 megapixels. While I was upgrading the digital backs, I kept using the original Cambo WRS technical camera. I also kept upgrading the Phase One 645 cameras as I needed to have a full communication between the back and camera.

My sixth and last Phase One was the 101-megapixel full frame IQ1-100. The the world was turned upside down with the introduction a a mirrorless medium format camera.

I preordered the Hasselblad X1d only to cancel after it became clear to me that there was a production issue causing a major delay in shipping. The Fujifilm GFX 50s was introduced shortly after the X1d and released within a matter of months which was much faster than that of the X1d. I had wanted a smaller lightweight medium format for a trip to Hawaii and had hoped to use the X1d. Sadly that didn’t happen. On the bright side Fuji introduced and released the GFX 50s while we were in Hawaii. I didn’t get to use it there but did use the GFX on a later trip to Scotland.

I ordered the GFX 50s along with the 23mm and 32-64mm lenses shortly after returning from Hawaii. I kept using my Phase One system and sold my Cambo. My thought was to keep the Phase One system until I was certain abought the GFX. It took me less than a month; I sold my Phase One system and began using the GFX50s as my only camera system.

The GFX 50s is a much lighter smaller camera as are the GFX lenses.  I bought up the GFX50s April 2017 using it until I ordered the GFX100 in November 2019. I won’t go into my thoughts about the GFX100 as I’ve already written about them.  I also owned a GFX 50r for a brief period and simply didn’t like it as much as the GFX50s.

It’s now summer 2021; Fujifilm released the new improved GFX 100s and I am using it. The 100s is much smaller than the original 100 yet offers the same sensor and 102-megapixels. The 100s is lightweight and easy to use. The controls are different from the 100 and using a smaller single battery vs the dual battery drawer of the 100.


I like Fuji GFX lenses as they offer stunning image quality yet are smaller and lightweight (they also cost much less that those from Phase One). 

The following is a list of lenses I’ve used along with the body:

GF23mm - GFX50s, GFX100 and GFX100s – just recently sold the lens.

GF45mm – GFX50s, GFX100 and GFX100s – great lens for capturing the Milky Way.

GF50mm – GFX50r – recently sold the lens.

GF32-64 – first lens ordered and have used it with every GFX I’ve owned. Great lens.

GF63mm – Used this in Alaska on the GFX50s capturing norther lights Sold it shortly afterwards.

GF120mm – great lens for capturing macro. Lens used for waterdrops. Used with GFX50s, GFX100 and GFX100s

GF100-200 and 250 and extender. These are great lenses and serve me well with the GFX50s and GFX100 and GFX100s. Great combination for both landscape and wildlife.

Non-GFX lens:

Canon 300mm. Used this lens until the 250 was released. Large enough crop circle to make the files usable when I used it on the GFX50s in Scotland. Sold after the GF250 was released.

Laowa 17mm. Great manual focus wide angle lens with a GF mount so no adaptor needed. Recently sold.

Canon 24mm TSE. My current wide-angle lens and the reason behind selling the GF23 and Laowa 17mm. I’m using a Kipon smart adaptor and have written about it before.

Back to the question:

I’ve shot medium format with film and digital. I’ve used crop sensors and full frame sensors and returned to crop. I’ve used 16-megapixels all the way up to 102-megapixels. The sensors have been CCD and CMOS. I’ve used technical cameras, 645-mirror cameras and now mirrorless.

While I wouldn’t change anything I’ve done or used; if I were just starting out I’d opt for the Fujifilm GFX system of cameras. Easier to use, less weight, smaller footprint and won’t cost an arm and a leg; this also goes for the lenses.



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.