Fujifilm GFX50s experience days ~ pictures

Nov 19, 2017 | Continuous Lighting, Flash, GFX, Location, Studio | 28 comments

Over the past 7 months I’ve been giving potential Fujifilm GFX50s shooters the benefit of my experience with the camera at special retailer event days. I’ve been setting up picture opportunities so that attendees can to put the GFX through it’s paces. All the events have been hosted by authorised GFX retailers and here are a few pictures I have captured at the last three sessions.

These first two pictures were taken during a Clifton Cameras event at Frampton Manor in Gloucestershire.

1. A simple silver brolly and a Broncolor Move head was what I used for this portrait. The flash head was set at 1/4 power so it had an output of about 300Ws. I would have normally used my Godox AD600 at 1/2 power for this shot however we were encouraged to use a flash system the host Clifton Cameras supplies. GF 32-64mm lens. (Full exif data in the comments at the bottom of the page)

 

2. I use the same lighting set up here as in shot 1 above. I showed the attendees from the Royal Photographic Society how I recreate sunlight for editorial style shoots.

The next set of pictures were taken at Portland Works Studio in Sheffield at an event hosted by Harrison Cameras. They asked me to demonstrate the camera to two groups of potential Fujifilm GFX users. I must say at this point that although the events are arranged by the camera shops, I am sponsored by Fujifilm UK and they meet my fee and expenses. Thank you Fujifilm UK.

3. I used the glancing sunlight to light these shots of Stephanie Dubois in the old stainless steel works. GF 32-64mm lens.

 

04. 50/50 lighting doesn’t normally work well in my opinion but here it is fine because of the determined look and the fabulous dynamic range of the Fujifilm GFX50s camera revealing the shadow detail so beautifully. GF 32-64mm lens.

 

05. A little while later and the sun was gone so I used a couple of Godox AD200 units to light Stephanie in the shot on the left and a Godox AD600 in a softbox to light Stephanie in the shot on the right. We added snoopy to the shot on the left for good compositional balance.

 

06. In the studio zone at Portland Works Studio I used a Lupo 1000LED spotlight with a Scattergel to light both Stephanie and the background and then added a Lupo 650 LED spotlight as a kick light.

 

07. For both of these shots I used a single striplight softbox with a 600Ws studio head to light these portraits of Stephanie. My old Triflector came in handy too.

After Sheffield it was London and the Cameraworld Live event. I had booked TV presenter MarieFrançoise Wolff to model for me and I lit her with Godox AD200 and AD600 flash units.

8. Placing the light behind MarieFrançoise and relying on reflected light to be our key light gave this dramatic sunlit look. GF 110mm at f/2, ISO 100, f/2, 1/1000th second.

 

09. I used a more normal one light set up here (top left) and a three light set up (bottom and right).

 

10. Just one pool of light is all you need to create an interesting portrait. Godox AD200 with softbox and grid.

If you would like me to show you the potential of the Fujifilm GFX contact your nearest Fujifilm GFX retailer and ask them to investigate the opportunities. In the meantime I have a new video coming out in December 2017 showing How I use the Godox AD200 and AD600 flash units on location. If you would like to get advanced access and a discount code be sure to sign up for our newsletter here.

 

28 Comments

  1. Ahmed Gencal

    Hi.What can i say about your work.Just fabulous.:)
    I am between 120mm and 110mm for landscape work and as i understand from your comments 110mm is a better caliber lens.What i like to ask is; Do you think Contax 120mm macro is even better then GF lenses? Ok i know that it is a 1:1 macro lens but what about sharpness,contrast resolution and colors.Are they all better than gf glass on GFX? I am asking this becouse most of the people says 120mm macro contax is the sharpest tele lens ever been built.So if it is like that i will invest on the adapter and contax lens to use on GFX.
    tHANK yOU

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thank you Ahmed for the compliments. The 110 is my choice for portraits but the GF 120 is perfect landscapes and macro down to 1:2 I have the Contax 120 on a Steelsring adapter. I use it for 1:1 macro shots for corporate clients. Back in the day the Contax was the best. However this modern Fujifilm glass has better design and materials. The GF120 will deliver superior results.

      Kind regards, Damien

      Reply
    • Steve Dixon

      Hey Damien,

      Hope you’re doing well. Apologies for resurrecting an old post/comment, but just wondered what your long term thoughts are now on using the Contax 645 120mm f/4 macro with the Steelsring adapter?

      I’ve struggled to find much useful info online but this adapter (and the Fringer adapter which is the only other that offers AF and Aperture control AFAIK) is quite expensive and the Contax lenses are going for high prices these days, yet I’ve read lots of comments about poor fitting adapters or that wear loose over time (not of the Steelsring or Fringer I might add) so it feels like it could be a risk for an investment not far off the cost of say a used GF 120mm (albeit only 1:2 magnification not 1:1)

      I could look at cheaper used alternatives such as Pentax 645 or Mamiya equivalents, but wonder if I will end up being disappointed with the results on my new GFX100S’ sensor given the stunning results I get from my GF 110mm and 32-64mm lenses. Would value your opinion on quite how good the Contax glass stacks up, even though you already acknowledge the GF lenses will always be better, if it’s “good enough” for some of your professional work?

      Cheers,

      Steve

      Reply
      • Damien

        Hi Steve,

        Thanks for your message. The Contax 120mm doesn’t have AF because it is a macro lens. The Steelsring adapter worked okay but in the end, I sold the lens and the adapter. I’m just sticking to Fujifilm glass. I think the GF120 is sharper and nicer to use. Okay, it isn’t 1:1 but to be honest it is a great combination.

        Kindest regards,

        Damien.

        Reply
        • Steve Dixon

          Hey Damien,

          I suppose I knew, deep down, the answer all along! I guess that manual focus isn’t an issue for macro work but, by the time you’ve spent (currently) upwards of £600-650 on the ever increasingly expensive Contax 645 glass and then £500-600 on either the Steelsring or Fringer adapter (unless you’ve got a big set of Contax 645 lenses to use with it) it’s getting pretty expensive for just one old manual focus only lens, and even if you also own say the ridiculously expensive Contax 645 80mm f/2 (currently going for well over £2,500-3,000!!!) the autofocus I hear is a snail’s pace compared to our main GF lenses, making the GF120 macro useful for more than just macro work.

          I gather you can get the GF 120 to 1:1 magnification with the 45mm extension tube, albeit Fuji’s price for theirs is nearly £290. Given the absence of optics, leaves me wondering if it’s worth risking Viltrox or Fotodiox’s 3rd party copies but again there’s very little feedback out there and, aside from losing weather sealing it would be a very expensive way to try and save £140-150 if your GF120 comes loose and hits the floor! Don’t know why I always do this to myself as, as usual you always end up having to suck it up and pay for the real thing if you want the best eh?

          Think I may as well abandon ideas of experimenting with Pentax 645, 6×7 or Mamiya glass too for most of the same reasons; even if the lenses are much cheaper and readily available, I think I’d be kidding myself that I’d put up with manual focus only after carting around heavy lenses for not too long. Might try buying the XF 80mm f/2.8 macro for my X System cameras in the meantime but, even though that does 1:1 off the bat and I’m sure the results are great, it’s pretty hard to ‘un-see’ the quality and image feel jump from my GFX100S just yet. Maybe the weight loss will persuade me that it’s ok for long days out.

          Take care

          Steve

          Reply
          • Damien

            The great thing is Contax glass holds its value so I sold mine for a bit more than I paid for it. That covered the Ebay fees etc.

            I use the Viltrox 18mm extension tube on my GF250mm virtually all the time for head shots etc and it works fine.

            Cheers,

            Damien

          • Steve Dixon

            Mmm, that was part of my thinking about going for Contax glass over Pentax or Mamiya, though you would think that common sense would limit how much the Contax values can keep rising … but then again, people never cease to amaze me that they would pay considerably more for the Contax 645 80mm f/2 than say the GF 80mm f/1.7 for “that look”.

            Appreciate your comments about the Viltrox tubes; it’s good to hear this from someone who’s opinion’s I trust

          • Damien

            Hi Steve, People buy Contax stuff because they think that as it was once a benchmark it must still be good when in reality it doesn’t compare with the modern lens designs. It’s all fantasy. It’s a bit like comparing a 1980s Ferrari with a modern-day Nissan.

  2. Andreas Semt

    Hi Damien,

    followed your suggestion and looked at the GF 110 mm F2 gallery at http://www.lovegrovephotography.com/fujifilm-gf-110mm-f2-r-lm-wr-lens-photography-gallery/

    Apart from the fact that *all* pictures there are just beautiful, I have a question especially to the last one in the gallery (https://www.lovegrovephotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Becca-Duncan-005-1.jpg):
    Is that “real” in the sense that the model actually stood in front of the sea in the background? I mean, that 3D effect is so strong it almost seems like composed (NOT that I would postulate it is composed, I’m just baffled!)…

    Best,
    Andreas

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Andreas,

      Thank you for your kind words. Yes the shot is for real. I do not use Photoshop and I’ve no idea how to do a cut out.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien

      Reply
  3. Stephen Lawrence

    Hi Damien,

    Thank you for the article and comment replies. They are very interesting.

    Could you expand a little on your experience with the C645 lenses on the GFX in terms of quality? I don’t expect them to reach the sharpness of the G lenses but I wonder how they render compared to the C645 body? I’m not worried about AF performance, although the automated aperture of the smart adapters might be nice. There is also obviously differences in focal length when adapted. Have you tried any of the C645 lenses beyond the 120 and 210? Did you find anything unexpected about adapting MF lenses? There have been plenty of articles about the adapters and possibilities, particularly of 35mm lenses, but I’ve found less high res samples on the results of using MF lenses outside surgical tests. I would you have a sample you could share?

    For background I shot two different film systems the Xpan and C645. For the Xpan I have all 3 lenses, the 90, 45 and 30mm. For the C645 the 35, 80, 120, 140, extension tubes and the auto bellows. Two different systems and one is a rangefinder of course. However I could see the GFX replacing both of them. The manual controls really remind me of the ergonomic joys of the C645 and of course the xpan is manual. I’m very tempted by the GFX with the current offers to start with GFX + 1 GF lens and adapt these lenses. Then add more GF lenses down the line.

    I was in Tokyo towards the end of last year and dropped into Fujifilm Square. They had the GFX + lenses in the demo area but I was delighted to find they had loads of Kipon adapters as well. Classic Fujifilm thinking of the photographer. Sadly I didn’t have any of my Xpan and C645 lenses so couldn’t try them but they did have some Nikon 35mm lenses. So I did manage to familiarise myself with the focus peaking and depth of field zebra features of the GFX. It seemed very workable. I’m going to try and seek out a UK GFX dealer but I wonder if I am going to struggle to find one with the adapters.

    Sorry about all the questions.

    Cheers

    Steve

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Steve,

      I have the Steelsring smart adapter for C645 and it is okay but not great. The AF with the 210mm lens is totally useless as it hunts then ends up in the wrong place. I was surprised to see a lot of chromatic aberration on the 210mm lens but I have since found out 2 things. 1, the micro lenses on the GFX are off set an extreme amount at the edges of the sensor because of the very short flange distance and 2, The 210mm Zeiss lens is not well received by any reviewer. The good news is the 120mm f/4 macro is fabulous and is not AF as you know. I needed to be able to shoot up to 1:1 for my commercial work and this lens does that perfectly. I’ll not be buying any more C645 lenses. I’ll sell the 210mm and I’ll buy the Fujifilm 250mm prime when it is released.

      Apparently the Xpan 45mm is a peach on the GFX. I use the Pentax 67 45mm f/4 on a shift adapter by Kipon for my panoramas. It is fabulous because I’m using the whole of the wonderful image circle.

      Choices, choices, choices :)

      I hope you find this info useful.

      Kindest regards, Damien.

      Reply
      • Stephen Lawrence

        Hi Damien, yes very helpful thanks.

        If I take the leap I think I’ll give the Fringer adapter a try. I have enough C645 glass that it is a worth a punt and both word and videos on it seem to be good. Worse case auto aperture and EXIF reporting until they were replaced by GF glass. Looking at your galleries I would say give the C645 110 a try. The 120 does what is does so well I don’t see much reporting on it, but the 110 has a lovely creaminess for portraits and nature photography I really like where the 120 can provide too much bite. That said, of course given the challenges of adapting the different focus method onto GFX I can see why you would look to other platforms to adapt lenses from or just buy native and as you say buy no more C645 lenses.

        Good to hear the Xpan 45mm is reported as peachy. Great lens. I really want to try the Xpan 30mm. The GFX and Xpan have almost the same body only weight 740g, vs 720g. Thanks for adding your experience with the Pentax 45mm. Very interesting. I’ll squirrel that away for future reference.

        Unfortunately I don’t think I’m going to get to the bottom of investigations before the GFX offer ends so if they prove positive I will likely have to wait a year. But that is not the end of the world. I have some fine cameras to amuse me and a GFX body would have to be workable for several years for me. I wish we had the equivalent of Fujifilm Square here in the UK.

        Thanks again,

        Steve

        Reply
        • Damien

          Thanks Stephen,

          The GF 110 lens is so fabulous there seems no point in compromise with a third party lens. The big problem with using C645 glass is the light exits the rear optic at a very different angle to the GF glass because of the greater flange to sensor depth. The micro lenses in the GFX are offset away from the centre of the sensor to match the GF glass exactly. The uncorrected chromatic aberration of the 210mm lens for instance is really bad because of this.

          I think the GF glass is the best I’ve owned and you won’t be disappointed with it’s superiority over older lens designs. Just as Sigma is rewriting the lens design book for full frame cameras Fujifilm are doing the same for MF cameras. Welcome to the world of the GFX.

          Cheers, Damien.

          Reply
  4. Matt

    Hi Damien.

    Great shots as usual…

    You commented on Jonas Rask article regarding the adapted Sigma lenses. Did you have a chance yet to compare the 110 mm F/2 with the adapted Sigma 135 mm F/1.8?

    I’m asking because I’m considering getting a GFX with the Techart adapter and the Sigma 135 mm since I prefer the 105 mm equivalent for my portraits.

    Best regards
    Matt

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Matt,

      Thank you for the compliments. I’ve not used any adapted smaller format lenses on the GFX and reading between the lines AF using the Techart or Steelsring is shocking by comparison to the Fujinons. I do have a Steelsring C645 to GFX adapter but the AF on my 210mm Zeiss f/4 Sonnar T* C645 is really bad on the Steelsring adapter. The lens hunts and settles but always in the wrong place. I’ve ended up using the adapter on my Zeiss 120mm macro where AF is not an option. The adapter does operate the iris so that’s a good thing. Don’t get sucked in to thinking the ‘smart’ adapters are any good at AF.

      I hope this helps,

      Damien.

      Reply
      • Matt

        Hi Damien.

        Thanks for your response. I would love to have some faster glass on my GFX, but maybe it’s a better way to focus manually instead of relying on an AF solution. In December, the Techart adapter is announced here in Germany. I will test it, since my dealer is quite friendly after my purchase of the GFX with 45 and 110 mm lenses.

        Best regards
        Matt

        Reply
  5. mdelrossi1

    Damien,
    Great work as always. I’m torn between the 110 and the 120. I noticed you use the 110 for the portrait. Why did you choose the 110 over the 120?
    Thanks
    mdr

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi mdr,

      Thank you for the compliments. I tried the GF 120mm extensively with the pre production GFX and decided to wait for the 110mm then compare side by side. I preferred the look of the 110mm lens especially for full length work. It has a calmer look with less contrast and is a better optic for portraits in my opinion. I have grown to love the delicate nature of the bokeh it produces. It is uncomplicated and silky. Take a look at the first shot here to see what I mean.

      I did need a macro lens for my corporate work though and I chose the Contax 645 120mm f/4 because it goes to 1:1 and is apochromatic.

      I hope this helps,

      Damien.

      Reply
      • mdelrossi1

        Thanks for the info and great photos! I’m leaning towards the 110.

        Reply
        • Damien

          Hi Mdelrossi,

          Thank you. I love the 110mm lens and for 1:1 macro work I use the Zeiss 120mm APO f/4 macro for Contax 645 via an adapter. It doesn’t have AF or IS like the Fujinon but it does go to 1:1 and I always use a tripod and never use AF for my product shots anyway. The 110mm is sublime.

          Kindest regards,

          Damien.

          Reply
  6. Chris Elliott

    Hi Damien. Love the images as always. Just wonder what a direct comparison between the GFX and say XT2 would show. Teetering on setting up flash with Godox with my XT2/Xpro2 but just off for a tour so next year goodies hopefully. A GFX would be great but just sold all the medium format because of weight how do you find the comparison. Chris

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Chris,

      As you know I had 5 primes with my X-T2 and I loved the output quality and the freedom to work hand held. Now I have the GFX and just 2 lenses and the bag weight is about the same. The big difference is in how I shoot. I use a tripod (extra weight to carry) for every shot. I set up each frame with precision and I shoot with a lot more environment around my subjects. I have had a really noticeable shift in my photography style since March when I got the GFX and I love it. It reminds me of shooting 120 roll film and I treat each frame as something special. When I come back from a shoot I have less than half of the shots that I used to shoot with the X-T2 but I keep a far higher percentage. It has been like going from a Mini Cooper to a Range Rover. All the controls are in the same place and the menus are identical. It’s a slower process shooting with GFX and the spontaneity is not there in the same way it is with the X-T2. My zoom lens is only f/4 so I find myself shooting at 1/15th second at times but that’s no problem with a tripod. I had an exhibition in Tokyo last year and I have one in Prague next month. I am confident the prints will look fabulous at 2m across. I print almost everything I shoot here at my studio using a Canon wide format printer and the GFX files are a dream to work with. For all other uses the X-T2 files have more than enough resolution.

      I hope this helps,

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  7. Jay Mijares

    Damien, I had to stop at the first photo because the lighting is amazing! You had the flash-head about 4 meters high and maybe 5 meters off to the side? Did you bump up the ISO?

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Jay. Thank you for your kind words. Here is my Exif…ISO 100, f/8 at 1/125th second

      Screen shot

      Reply
      • Jay Mijares

        Thanks, Damien, for sharing your EXIF data! And the rest of the photos in your post are absolutely beautiful!

        Reply
        • Damien

          Thank you Jay :)

          Reply

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