Fujifilm GFX50s and GFX50r settings and 30,000 frame review

Oct 24, 2018 | GFX, News | 25 comments

The Fujifilm GFX50s has been available to purchase for about 20 months (at the time of writing) and in that time it has changed the medium format world for good. The GFX has been such a success story and a force of energy that even Capture One has made itself available to the growing user base of GFX shooters, an option that was apparently NEVER going to happen. The price of digital medium format cameras has been reset to a lower entry point and now with the GFX50r the system is being tailored to the serious enthusiast market too.

Here are my settings, the way I choose to use the camera and my appraisal of the GFX system. At the end of this article I compare the GFX50s with the new GFX50r and give my recommendations for prospective users.

(Scroll down to the bottom if you just want to read my review)

Details of the Fujifilm GFX50s

01. The Fujifilm GFX50s has been my only camera for nearly two years. I started shooting a pre production model with test firmware at the end of 2016 and became a tester with the Adobe Lightroom RAW file processing team, supplying them with GFX50s RAFs to work on. By March 2017 I had my own full production GFX50s and we have been to many far flung places around the world together.

At the beginning of the GFX era there were arguments about wether the GFX50s should be considered ‘medium format’. Now, with so many offerings at this sensor size medium format has become the normal lingo.

There are many ways to set up a GFX camera to customise it to your way of working hence all these menus. There are no wrong or right settings just ones that work for the way someone shoots or not. As I guide you through the setting choices I discuss my shooting process to help you decide if these options will suit you too.

02. Right: My GFX50s has now captured over 31,000 shots according to RawDigger. Each ‘image count’ represents one exposure with either the mechanical shutter or the electronic shutter. I’ve only ever used the mechanical shutter. I tend to shoot a lot less frames at each shoot with this GFX camera than I did with my X series cameras. Partly because I always use a tripod and also because I shoot more like the way I used to on film making each frame count. Bottom Left: This hot shoe has seen some action as I shoot a lot with flash. I also use the viewfinder on the tilting adapter when I’m working outside on bright days.

Image Quality settings

03. The menu system is easy to access on the GFX and once the menu has been configured it can be completely ignored. I just use the dials and function buttons on the camera from day to day and rarely dive into the menu. Some of the principal menu items can be assigned to the Q menu. There is also a ‘MY’ menu where you can store the most access menu items that can’t be saved in the Q menu. White balance is a good candidate for the ‘MY’ menu because although you can set the white balance to K in the Q menu you can’t get access to individual values or the white balance shift functions.

The top menu item is the jpeg setting and aspect ratio. I always leave this set to L 4:3 and I have good reason to do so. The jpeg image that is saved embedded in the RAW file on a Fujifilm camera is just 50% in size and that means when shooting RAW only the playback is limited to a 50% view. This isn’t enough for me so I end up shooting large fine jpegs too just to get a decent image to review in camera. I discard the jpegs in computer. Some say that if your card fails you get two chances of having a non corrupted file as either the jpeg or RAW are likely to be okay. I’ve never had a corrupted SD card so I’ve no way of verifying this. I use the UHS2 type cards by Fujifilm or Toshiba with at least a 280mb/s write speed. These are the cards the slot 1 of the GFX50s  was designed to use. Slot 2 is a slower reader and writer and it’s noticeable especially when reviewing files. Next it the file type F+RAW is my permanent selection for reasons discussed above. I shoot lossless compressed RAW files because they are smaller and lossless.

Film Simulation is my most accessed Q menu item. I mainly use Pro Neg S but I also use Acros g. Pro Neg S delivers an image on screen that is calm and natural. It looks flat to most people but it gives me the chance to assess the digital file dynamic range precisely. Acros g makes skin look great. It has contrast and texture.  When I get my images into Lightroom I have to remake these film simulation choices but they are so worth it as the “Adobe Standard” camera profile is not great. I set up Lightroom to apply the Pro Neg S film simulation by default and it meand the previews it builds are gorgeous from the start.

Highlight Tone I set this to minus 1. In conjunction with Pro Neg S this lets me see exactly the limits of highlight recording in the RAW file. I can accurately set my white level where I need it. I often find myself shooting white clothing into the light and I want to know just how white it looks. I’m not one of those photographers who is scared of white and makes everything a shade of grey but I am very tuned in to where I place my white point threshold in the scene.

Shadow Tone I set this to minus 2. This allows me to see every last bit of detail being recorded in the shadows. With the film sim set to Pro Neg S and the shadow tone set to minus 2 I can see exactly what I will see in the RAW file in Lightroom. It’s like previewing what highlight and shadow details can be recovered with the adjustment sliders without having to guess. Once the image is in Lightroom, Lightroom builds its own preview completely ignoring these tonal settings. That’s fine by me.

I leave Colour, Sharpness and Noise Reduction set to zero

The sRGB colour space is the one to use as it’s so much easier to get the white balance and white balance tint spot on in camera. The colour space is ignored by the RAW file but the white balance settings aren’t.

04. Pixel mapping is the process of replacing the output of ‘hot’ and ‘dead’ pixels with the nearest neighbour. It is a process that used to be a service procedure with the camera being plugged into a diagnostic computer but now that process can be done in camera. The camera makes a black exposure then the noise data on the sensor is read and the pixel map is adjusted accordingly. Super stuff.

 

05. You can save your image quality settings as custom sets to be recalled with the click of a button but I can never remember what each custom set is for so they are no use to me. If we could change the name of the custom sets to something useful that would become a useable function. I’d use names like; interior, exterior, studio, int flash, ext flash, stu flash, holiday etc. Far more useful.

The Q menu

 

06. Left: This is how my Q (quick access) menu looks. The important thing to understand is the position and items that appear on the GFX50s and GFX50r Q menus are under your control. The Q menu on the GFX like on other X series cameras is fully customisable. Right: The locking buttons on the shutter speed and ISO dials are a nice touch.

Autofocus settings

Focus accuracy: The autofocus on the GFX50s is steady and precise. I use single point AF with the target square at its smallest size. You set this by pressing in the joystick and then using the thumb wheel to change the size of the target box. Because I use the camera on a tripod I set the number of AF points to the maximum 425. When shooting handheld the smaller set of 117 focus points would be a better choice as it’s faster to scoot the AF point to the desired position. You can’t focus reframe and shoot with the GFX cameras because the Fujifilm lenses are flat field and focussing errors would occur (see note in the review section below). The depth of field on a GFX is so much shallower than that of smaller camera formats.

07. I don’t ever shoot with continuous AF mode and the above settings are my regular starting point. It’s worth noting that I use manual focus for video shooting and I like to have peaking to assist me. I also use focus priority for shooting. If I need to capture a moment I work with back button focus. I rehearse the shot, set focus to M, pre focus using the back button, create the moment and press the shutter at the right moment.

Shooting settings

 

08. The shooting settings are on two menu screens and to be honest I never visit them. I use the Q menu for access to the self timer.

Photometry is something I never use. If the picture looks too dark I make it lighter and if it looks too light I make it darker. I only use the camera on full manual so there is no need for an in camera light meter. I’ve not used a light meter now since 2001.

Shutter Type is always MS for me. I regularly use flash and I don’t want issues with flash timing plus I work under artificial and fluorescent and light sources that ‘beat’ with the ES leaving banding in the image. The mechanical shutter in the GFX is perfect. I can shoot with flash at any shutter speed now that all decent flash systems have HSS. This makes the need for in lens shutters obsolete. That’s great because leaf shutters rarely have the ability to shoot at 1/4000th of a second.

Flash and Movie settings

 

09. Left: I just leave my flash menu at the default setting and the Godox triggers do the rest. I can shoot flash at any shutter speed without the need to select HSS or normal flash. That decision happens automatically with the Godox system unlike some systems costing 5x the price. Right: The movie settings are changed for each project depending upon my clients needs. I use an X-H1, the GFX50s and an X-T2 as my video cameras and with the same menu settings the output of the cameras matches really well and are a dream to grade in Final Cut Pro.

Spanner menu

 

10. The spanner menu is where it’s at. The user settings are the first place to go when you have a new camera. It is here where you set the time and date etc. It’s also where you format a card. The sound set up menu is quite straightforward. It’s where you decide if you like beeps or not.

 

11. The screen settings menu is one of the most complicated and has hidden depths in the custom settings section and sub monitor section.

EVF and LCD brightness and colour. I set these to zero as it gives me an image and exposure that I can rely on.

I set the image display to 1.5 seconds so I can get an instant playback of what I’ve shot. I find this especially useful when using flash as I use this quick playback to asses exposure, the flash position and power. If I need to see the shot for longer I press the playback button.

I assign the Preview exposure and white balance in manual mode to the function button on the front of the camera. It’s the most useful function when shooting with flash on location or in the studio. The ability to switch off the white balance preview is useful too when composing images under tungsten modelling lights when the exposures are to be lit with flash at 5600k.

You can see my sub monitor settings in shot 1 above.

12. When I’m in my normal shooting mode my screen is clear of data. This gives me a 100% unrestricted view of my photograph before I press the button. By not having technical information distracting me I can concentrate more fully on the image composition and framing. However occasionally I want access to the data ticked above so I find myself toggling between views using the Disp Back button. The electronic level is something I’ve warmed too and it has helped me to avoid having to crop wonky shots.

 

13. The function buttons can be configured in just about any way you want them. I leave the selector buttons set to AF because I got so used to using them with previous Fujifilm cameras I sometimes find myself using them to move the focus point around. Nothing is more annoying than a menu screen appearing during a shoot. I leave the Rear Dial set to instant zoom in so I can check the focus and subject movement at 100%. The good news is it goes straight to the zone that was set as the AF area without the need to scoot it across.

 

14. The power management settings are fairly obvious and depend upon the shooting situation the camera is in.

 

15.

 

16. I set the copyright information up so that it transfers the data into every file that is shot and identifies the camera as mine if the camera ever goes missing or is stolen.

GFX50s review

I thought I’d write my long term user review by answering some of the most obvious and frequently asked questions put to me on social media.

What is the GFX50s like to use?

Shooting with the GFX50s is an old school experience for me. The mirrorless advantage and autofocus speed remind me of the classic Fujifilm X-Pro1. The three way tilting LCD and the dial controls remind me of the Fujifilm X-T2 and the size/weight remind me of a pro spec dSLR. I like to use a tripod with the GFX50s because it affords me more control with composition and framing. I find my work has become more refined and the images are a delight to print as a result. There is a loss of spontaneity that comes from using a tripod and that is something the GFX50r may well address or even the 100mp variant with its IBIS.

What are the GF lenses like?

At the time of writing there are 7 dedicated lenses for the GFX plus many hundreds of lenses that can be adapted to work with the GFX. I’ll just discuss the native lenses here because my experience has shown them to be far superior and better suited to the GFX than adapted lenses. This is partly because the micro lenses on the GFX sensor are offset at the the corners to allow for an extreme angle of incidence caused by a short flange to sensor distance. Most adapted lenses that were designed with a large flange to sensor/ film distance to enable a mirror to operate are not well suited to the GFX sensor. There are exceptions of course but none have decent AF so that rules them out for photographing people as far as I’m concerned. I do have a Carl Zeiss Apo Makro-Planar 120mm f/4 for Contax 645 on a Steelsring smart adapter that I use for 1:1 macro work and a Pentax 45mm 67 lens on a Kipon shift adapter that I use for landscape panoramas.

All the GF lenses are weather and dust sealed. All of them have linear auto focus motors except the 45mm and 63mm lenses. All the GF lenses have beed designed with a resolution of 100 million pixels in mind. The 100mp variant of the GFX is due out in 2019 and will incorporate a lot of new tech like a faster processor, in body image stabilisation, a backside illuminated sensor and greater battery capacity.

GF 23mm f/4 I hired this lens for a trip to Arizona and Utah last year. It was pin sharp, very well corrected and excellent in every detail. I found the field of view a bit to wide for my liking so I’m holding out for a GF 27mm f/2.8 should one come along anytime soon.

GF 32-64mm f/4 This is my default lens and the one I use more than any other. The focussing is fast, the optical quality is astounding, the bokeh is delightful and I only seem to shoot this lens wide open at f/4. This is a peach of a lens.

GF 45mm f/2.8 This lens is of the same style as the 63mm but seems to have a better build quality. It’s lightweight and I might get this lens along with a couple of others at some point in the future if I switch to shooting just with primes.

GF 50mm f/3.5 (pancake) This lens is due in 2019 and is designed primarily for the GFX50r. We can only wait and see how it turns out.

GF 63mm f/2.8 I have this lens as a backup but have never really used it as the 32-64mm zoom is faster at focussing even in low light. Some early examples had AF motor problems and caused the camera to lock up if filter systems were used on the lens.

GF 110mm f/2 This is the best lens I’ve ever owned followed closely by the Hasselblad HC 210mm f/4 (also designed and made by Fujifilm). This 110mm lens has a beautiful bokeh, crazy shallow depth of field at f/2 and is super sharp even wide open.

GF 120mm f/4 OIS This lens has more contrast than the 110mm and does 1:2 macro. I shot with this lens side by side with a 110mm pre production unit to establish which one I would get. I opted for the stellar 110mm. The OIS and close focussing of the 120mm make this lens great for tight head shots as well as macro and general purpose photography.

GF 250mm f/4 OIS This lens is smaller and lighter than I imagined. I rented it for a trip to Belgium earlier this year and it impressed me with its subject separation and clarity. I found the field of view to tight for my needs and I’ll wait for a GF 180mm f/2.8 or similar.

Lenses that I’d buy in a heart beat should they be made are: GF 27mm f/2, GF 35mm f/2, GF 55mm f/1.4, GF 180mm f/2.8

What is autofocus like with the GFX50s?

My process of shooting with the GFX is to compose and frame the shot. I then move the focus area to the desired spot and focus using a half press of the shutter button or the rear AF button and finally I shoot. The fraction of a second it takes for the AF motors to drive the lens to the correct position is such an insignificant part of the shoot process time that the AF speed seems perfect. I’d rater the AF took a beat to lock on and for it to have perfect positioning rather than the process be rushed with occasional errors. The GFX nails the focus position every time.

Note: GFX lenses are flat field meaning if you point one at a brick wall 2 metres away and set it wide open focussed at 2m it will create a sharp shot edge to edge and corner to corner even though the corners of the frame may be 3m from the lens. The focussing distance changes as you pan away from centre. That’s why a focus and reframe system of focussing doesn’t work with GFX unless the lens is stopped down somewhat. Incidentally it’s also one of the main reason SLR users tend to get back focus issues. With an SLR, only the near centre focussing areas are sensitive and accurate due to the way the prism operates. With the Fujifilm GFX system all the focus zones are as sensitive as each other even right into the corners and that is why focusing errors are a thing of the past.

What is the durability of the GFX50s like?

I once had an ingress of dust under the top plate of the camera in Antelope canyon, Utah but apart from the thumb and finger wheels feeling gritty the camera continued to work as normal. I sent it in to the Fujifilm UK service department where the camera was stripped down, cleaned and re sealed. The pro level maintenance comes as part of the purchase cost of the GFX50s camera. Apart from that incident I’ve had no issues with any of the lenses or camera body functions. I did have to get the ribbon cable replaced in my viewfinder tilt adapter. This had become intermittent and I put it down to rough handling on my part.

What works really well on the GFX?

The 3 way tilting LCD is excellent allowing me to use the camera on a tripod with ease.
The tilting viewfinder is surprisingly good too and gives a freedom from having to spend a lot of time on my knees looking through a viewfinder.
The batteries last well. I only have two batteries and I’ve not run out of battery power yet on a shoot. I find if I change battery at lunchtime the second one lasts me for the rest of the day.

What could be improved?

The dioptre adjustment wheel on the viewfinder gets knocked easily. I’ve had to tape mine up to stop it getting knocked.
The battery compartment door is in an awkward place if you want to use an ‘L’ plate. There is no really good ‘L’ plate design out there and no decent solution is likely.

What are the GFX RAF files like to work with?

Right from the word go the GFX50s files were compatible with Adobe Lightroom. As both of the GFX cameras use sensors with the regular Beyer pattern no special magic was needed to get the best out of the files. The Fujifilm film simulations were already in Adobe Lightroom and these were available for the GFX upon launch too. Because many GFX users were previously using Capture One they came up with work around solutions to get GFX files into Capture One. Those days are passed now and Capture One has opened up its software to GFX users.

The first thing you notice with the GFX images is the dynamic range. There is so much more shadow detail above the noise floor than you get with so called ‘full frame’ or 36mm x 24mm sensor files. The files can be pulled around without introducing artefacts like banding and contouring. The colours seem natural and getting great skin tones is easy. I tweak my white balance and image quality settings in camera and the white balance and tint values come straight into Lightroom as they were shot. Not having to fiddle with the white balance and tint sliders in post saves a lot of time.

The files come into their own at the printing stage. I tend to print most of my work and some of the prints I make are several metres across. It’s when printing that the subtle shadow details become almost magical. If you’ve ever studied an Ansel Adams print you will know what I mean.

GFX50s or GFX50r

The main technical and specification comparisons between the two cameras have been made many times on review sites but what they often lack is the subjective opinion and real world user experience. I’ll lay down my thoughts on the two cameras here and let you decide.

If the price of both cameras was the same there would still be reasons to choose the GFX50r over the GFX50s. The GFX50r looks fabulous with its understated slick design. It is significantly lighter than the GFX50s and the shallow form factor makes it an ideal camera to sling over your shoulder. The image quality of both cameras is identical and because of the combination of these factors the GFX50r is set to become a really popular camera.

What does the GFX50s offer that the 50r doesn’t? The GFX50s has a three way tilting LCD. I shoot portraits so this matters a lot to me. It’s a game changer and the tech is hardly expensive so I’m not quite sure why only a two way tilting LCD mechanism was fitted to the GFX50r. The large central EVF with the optional tilting mechanism is superb and I’d not be without that for sure. The top plate LCD is nice but not really necessary. The hand grip on the GFX50s is substantial and better for hand holding the long lenses like the 110mm and 120mm. The other differences are less significant.

The list price of the GFX50r is lower than that of the GFX50s but I’ve heard of dealers offering the GFX50s with a couple of lenses at bargain prices that seem to close that gap. It’s probably worth negotiating with your official Fujifilm distributor, especially if you have an extensive shopping list. There is not much in it between the two cameras on price at the moment. That will change once the launch demand is met, maybe by next spring when the 100 megapixel camera is announced then the price point of the GFX50r will likely drop like the GFX50s did to rest at a point significantly lower than the GFX50s. I remember when the GFX50s was announced it was initially pitched at “under $10,000 with a lens.” The 100 megapixel camera has been rumoured to be about the same price. One thing is certain, list prices and street prices will vary from country to country. Check the small print. Does the price include complimentary Fujifilm Professional Service membership? If so, is it for one year or two?

Conclusion

If you want a walk around camera of the highest quality then the GFX50r is probably right up your street especially when coupled with the GF 45mm or GF 50mm lenses. The GFX50r hangs really well on a camera strap. By comparison the GFX50s is lumpy and bumpy. If you are a landscape photographer and carry your kit over varying terrain then the lighter GFX50r is probably the one to get. If like me you want the most versatile package with a tilting viewfinder and you are less concerned by looks then the GFX50s is the one to get.

Opportunity

Join me on a photography workshop or adventure and get to shoot beautiful people in beautiful places. All the details are here.

Galleries

My Fujifilm GFX50s gallery
My GF 110mm lens gallery
My GF 32-64mm gallery

25 Comments

  1. Charles Brackett

    It would be interesting to get a comparison between Medium Format brands, particularly noise performance. I am thinking Phase One and others vs. the GFX. My question relates to the smaller sensor size and its impact.

  2. Damien

    Hi Charles,

    I think that the GFX50s is already streets ahead of the smaller formats in terms of noise and dynamic range you have to ask yourself at what point will the benefits stop. The resolution will go up next year and the pixels will be less than 50% of the current GFX50s size because phase detect pixels will be squeezed in between the image pixels. Will there be a big difference? Maybe. I’m not sure if I could tell what camera a picture was taken on at this quality level. All I know is the quality of a photograph has more to do with the photographer than any camera. A benchmark of image quality at a price point has been set but now it is the lens and the inspiration of the photographer that matters. The way a camera feels, the ease of use, the magic that appears on the screen from the stellar glass, the feel good factor of the artist when using the camera, these are the real factors now.

    Kindest regards,

    Damien.

  3. Julie Holbeche-Maund

    Brilliant review thank you I currently use the Pentax 645Z and I love it to bits. But, it heavy and on travel assignments that include air travel I have great difficulty in weight allowance for on board as the lens are just as heavy. The dynamic range is awesome so I am looking for an alternative but I also do weddings so I need something that will give me a high dynamic range, high ISO and 50mp and light to handled. I don’t want much really :-). Is there such a camera ?

  4. Michael Thornton

    You mentioned that GFX LENSES are flat field, are the lenses for the XT2/3 also flat field

    Kind regards
    Michael

  5. Damien

    Hi Michael,

    The primes that I used with the x series are either flat field or nearly flat field. That was why focus then reframe wasn’t nailing it and I adopted the move the focus point first system. Get the focus are in the right place and pin sharp output is a given (assuming a suitable shutter speed is chosen).

    Kindest regards,

    Damien.

  6. Damien

    Hi Julie,

    It sounds like you need the GFX50r. It’s a fraction of the weight and size of the Pentax and has that awesome dynamic range you mention. High ISO on the GFX is no issue and you can shoot with one hand keeping a glass of Champagne in the other (my normal wedding technique) :)

    Go and see the new GFX50r at one of the Fujifilm touch and try days at a dealer near you. There are some great launch deals too.

    Kindest regards,

    Damien.

  7. Tony Leinster

    Interesting review Damien, thanks for the insights. Have you tried any other Pentax 6×7 lenses with the GFX, I see quite a few 165 mm f2.8 lenses., for instance, going very cheaply, might be a good fit?

  8. Bob Zietse

    As always a terrific read Damien. Was wondering what white balance does to the RAW file. Was always assuming not a whole lot – but after your comment I am wondering again.

    Cheers,
    Bob

  9. Damien

    Hi Tony,

    Thank you. I’ve not tried any other Pentax 67 glass because the Fujinons are way better. The exception was the 45mm because of it’s legendary design and the ability to use one image circle for panoramas. The lens is locked to the tripod and the camera slides left to right to complete the exposures. There were no other Pentax 645 or 67 lenses that I wanted to use. Because of the short flange distance most other lenses are a compromise. It seems a great hobby for people to try and get non GFX lenses to perform on the GFX but all I usually see are test shots and no real art. Some exceptions are from the likes of Jonas Rask but he loves swirly bokeh like that from the Helios 55mm etc. I can’t stand it. Each to their own. There is no point spending $5k on a camera only to use budget glass. It should be the other way round. It’s the lens that makes the image. The camera just records it. The Fujinons are exemplary.

    Kindest regards, Damien.

  10. Damien

    Hi Bob,

    Thank you. If you make your picture blue in camera and use the white balance shift to add a bit of green that is the same look that Lightroom or Capture 1 will give you from the RAW file. That’s why it’s best to nail the white balance in camera.It’s the only parameter that carries through and Adobe/ Phase One go to great lengths to match the colour the photographer intended.

    Cheers, Damien.

  11. Vic Kirby

    I note you usually use a tripod with the GFX. I seem to remember you used a monopod with the XT-2 often. Is a monopod not stable enough for the resolution demands of the GFX, or is there a different reason for the change?

    Love your work with strong lighting!

  12. Damien

    Hi Vic,

    Thank you for the compliments. I used the purchase of the GFX to trigger me using a tripod again. I used to use one for all my medium format shooting on film. Now, after using a tripod continuously for two years I realise how much faster it is than shooting hand held.I can set the shot precisely once then leave it set while I make lighting adjustments, styling changes etc and I’m not having to recompose each time I return to the camera. Also the camera never needs to be put on the ground to free up both my hands. In post production I don’t have to crop my shots upright too as I get that sorted out first in camera and lock it off.

    I hope this helps,

    Damien.

  13. Roquencourt

    Bonjour: superbe travail.cordialement

  14. Sönke

    I am interested in the GFX system too. Still missing some faster Lenses. As you mention a27/2.0 would be vera nice. As a tiltshift for architecture would be even nicer ;-)
    I think using old mediumformat Lenses is not the best solution because of there resolving power. At least at the GFX100S they cant stand the sensor.
    May be an adapter to use Mamiya 7 lenses will be great…

  15. James Parsons

    Wow, you have a wonderful Portfolio, very artistic… I just bought the GFX50R and the 45mm lens. I am thinking about the 110 lens, but mostly I shoot wide angle. I have a adapter that allows me to mount my Zeiss Nikon mount lenses… I tested the 110 and found it to be a really fine lens… I can mount my 135mm Zeiss but my shots will be limited as you really need to use the tripod and careful focus work to get a good image, so maybe the 110 would be a good pick for me for the next lens ????? your thoughts ??? … thanks for your support of the GFX50 cameras here…. jp

  16. Damien

    Hi Sönke,

    There are many options for tilt shift so I don’t see Fujifilm making any of those soon. I use the fabulous Pentax 67 45mm with a Kippon shift adapter. Kippon make a tilt shift adapter for GFX too. I am so pleased with the GFX and for the past 2 years it has been the best camera I’ve ever used.

    Damien.

  17. Damien

    Hi James,

    Thank you for the compliments :) The Fujifilm lenses are by far the best on the GFX and you have a choice of 120 or 110. Unless you shoot portraits the 120 is probably your best option. It can be hand held because it has OIS and some say it is sharper than the 110mm. I gave up with faffing around with manual focus lenses even with fancy names like Zeiss. They are not nearly as good as the Fujinons unless they were designed and made in the last couple of years. The optical resins available to lens designers now are far superior to the glass of yesteryear.

    Kindest regards,

    Damien

  18. John Phillips

    Hello Damien. Huge fan of yours. Can you tell me what makes these “medium format” cameras? Is it the size of the sensor or the pixel count or something else?
    Thanks!
    John

  19. Damien

    Hi John,

    Thank you.

    Back in the days of film any camera that shot negs or trannies larger than 36mm x 24mm but smaller than 5 inches by 4 inches was called medium format and used 127, 120 or 220 roll film. The sensor in the GFX cameras is 44mm x 33mm and so it fits that category but to be honest the industry is waiting on a new term because the world has moved on since film. We need a sort of APSC or Micro four thirds term but snazzier :) to describe this sensor size. Leica S2, Hasselblad X1D, Pentax 645D etc are all in the same group with this sensor size. The new Fujifilm GFX 100 due to be launched soon will be the first mainstream camera of this format to use a 100 megapixel 44×33 sensor. The other companies in this sector will follow suit no doubt.

    Kindest regards,

    Damien

  20. Karl Bratby

    Great to read how you use the camera Damien, Not sure i could use a tripod though, only ever use one when using tilt shift lenses and find it annoying then ?

  21. Damien

    Hi Karl,

    Thanks, I chose to use a tripod because it slows me down. There are pros and cons. I miss the spontaneity at times and when IBIS comes out on a sensible sized MF camera I’ll revert to hand holding.

    Cheers,

    Damien.

  22. Colby

    Thank you very much for making the effort to publish this ‘review’ – the settings are a good starting point & your reasoning for each is clear.

    I particularly appreciated your comments re white balance ( & in your replies ) & will pay more attention to this. I ‘gave up’ photography about 20 years ago – out of despair at ever having my images printed ‘remotely’ correctly – but the zeiss Loxia lenses ( manual ) & this new mirrorless era brought me back & I have learned a lot with a ‘full frame’ Sony so much so that the 50r has appeared at the optimum time !!

    Your work is to be aspired to & although I shoot landscape – I appreciate your ‘day to day’ comments & observations as they are essentially generic & personal experiences are very useful

    Could you possibly identify how to set ‘back button’ focus – auto controls are new to me & it’s one setting I can’t seem to work out. You mentioned it in your text

    Thank you again for your effort – it’s certainly helped me understand ‘real world’ use of all the possibilities the camera has & will definitely ease my transition into the new layout & controls of the Fuji !!!!

    Atb

    Colby

  23. Damien

    Hi Colby,

    Thanks for your comments. The back button focus method relies on the camera being set to manual focus. The AF button on the back of the camera becomes the button you press for momentary AF. When the button is released the lens stays focussed in the same place. It’s useful if you are taking multiple shots from the same position with a subject that is not moving. Studio portraiture for instance. It saves having the camera having to refind focus before each exposure and reduces shooting lag as a result.

    Kind regards,

    Damien

  24. Jared Charney

    This is all very helpful as I have recently moved from Canon to the GFX50R for my portrait work. One question : except for my Evolv200 I’ve had all sorts of problems when using HSS. I use the 600 series both the Pro version and the older ones. I had a short conversation with Adorama and I guess I’ll be trying some firmware updates through Godox//anyway, have you ever had that problem? Thanks, Jared.

  25. Damien

    Hi Jared,

    The Godox kit works seamlessly so you don’t need to change any settings in camera etc. Reset the camera flash settings to default, TTL etc and pop on the trigger. Choose any shutter speed you like and the flash will use HSS or normal sync as required. Don’t fiddle with the settings on camera or on the flash head. Let them do it automatically.

    Enjoy your photography :)

    Damien

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