It is now close to 3 months since I am using more and more the new Fujifilm GFX 100s camera and a range of GFX lenses and adapters. This article will tell you about the new equipment and what I used them for.
Some 35 years ago, when I started photographing professionally, while still living in Brazil, another professional photographer told me that we should do anything to improve the quality of our image. He said It does not matter how you do it, even If you need to kill or steal, do it. Haha. I would not go as far as killing or stealing to buy a new lens or camera but I agree that we need to try to improve our images always. I prefer to invest more in elements that are directly linked to image capturing, that are lenses and camera body and less on flashes, bags and accessories.
With the development of the digital camera's sensors, you can now see very clearly that some lenses that were very good when you used on a 20-megapixel sensor show problems when used on a 50 or 100-megapixel camera. Do we need all this resolution?
When a client commissions me to take a picture of a person, product or place, they normally tell me where they will use it. Most of the time they end up on a website or on small market printing material. The clients have never complained that my images do not have sufficient resolution but I know how important it is to have good, sharp, large images we can crop and get all details we need. Some clients that asked for images for the web end up printing large banners and displays. The changes from 20 megapixels to 50 megapixels to 100 megapixels were not asked by any client, they are driven by the constant desire to improve the image quality and to deliver a better product to the clients.
This photo (click to see larger) shows almost all the cameras and lenses we have. We used a Canon 5DS (50 MegaPixel) and a tilt-n-shift Canon 90 mm lens to photograph the other cameras and lenses.
There are 4 cameras in this picture, the Fujifilm 100s, a Canon 5D MK3, a video camera Blackmagic production 4K and a technical view camera from Cambo. I used a Canon 5DS to take this picture.
All these cameras can be used for filming. The video quality captured by the Blackmagic production 4K that records in 4K Raw on a super 35 sensor using Canon EF lenses is quite special. The Fujifilm 100s is also a super good video camera with constant focus, great low light sensibility and a great 4K medium format sensor. The Cambo camera is also great for filming when correcting the perspective of buildings and rooms is important.
The selection of the "correct" or "best" lens for each condition is subjective. I believe the lens selection is much more than simply trying to frame everything or to close up on something. This is the main reason why we need so many lenses. Some are quite specialized types such as the super wide angles, the macro lenses, the perspective correction lenses and adaptors.
These are the new medium format Fujifilm and Cambo cameras and lenses that allow us to capture with resolution from 100 to 400 megapixels (pixel shift).
From left to right:
- Super wide angle 23mm that is great for architecture, realestate and interiors.
- Macro 120mm for product photography, close-ups on features on products and also a very good portrait lens.
- Medium zoom 45-100mm is super flexible for architecture, large products, travel and fashion.
- Tele-zoom 100-200 is my most used lens. It is great for product shots and portraits. I love it for architecture details and landscapes.
- The tele 250mm is a heavy but super good lens. I use it on portraits and product photos when I want a bit of compression.
- Actus 90mm (lens on the Cambo camera) is a great lens for product photos of medium and large products.
- Actus 15mm (lense on the far right) is wonderful for architecture, realestate and on small rooms.
- Macro extension tube 45mm is used when we need to go super close for a super macro photo. I use this extension on the Cambo camera to get more of the products in focus, even on super macro conditions.
- Techart EF-GFX converter is to use Canon EF lenses on the Fujifilm 100s. Not all Canon EF lenses would have an image circle and quality that can be used on the Fujifilm 100s body.
1 - Sensor size and resolution
The image quality of modern sensors is incredible. The companies are packing more and more pixels on small sensors but there is always a trade-off in every area. The decision to invest in a medium format camera is to get more quality and higher resolution, great and accurate colours, low noise, great dynamic range.
This is a comparison of the size of the sensors:
The Canon cameras 5D MK 3 and 5Ds are all full-frame cameras.
This shows a crop of a portrait, so you can see the amount of detail that is captured by this new camera. (click to see it larger)
2 - Correcting perspective and improving focus with tilt-n-shift lenses
This is one special Canon lens the tilt-n-shift 24mm (TS-E 24mm). It is a great lens for architecture and interiors. I also use a TS-E 90mm that is a 90mm manual lens that is great for product photography.
You can play with the focal planes of the lens allowing you to increase or decrease the area in focus, correct perspective on buildings, photograph items on difficult angles and create panoramic and higher pixel composites.
These are the tilt movements of the lens and are very handy to have selective areas in focus. Great for product photography.
The shift movement is used to be able to photograph large objects such as buildings with fewer perspective distortions.
We can also rotate the lens and change the focal plane at an angle.
2 - The movements of a technical view camera - Cambo Actus GFX
The focus is achieved by increasing or decreasing the distance between the camera body and the lens.
With a technical view camera, you can not only tilt and shift the lens plane but also rotate, shift and tilt the backplane (camera body) as well. It allows for a more precise adjustment for perspective and focuses area improvement.
These are some of the movements (Click to see them larger):
3 - Storing lenses and cameras - Humidity control
With many cameras and lenses, we invested in a cabinet that has a de-humidifier to keep all equipment in perfect optical shape. Humidity and dust are not good for the lenses and sensors.
Thank you for reading and send me your comments and questions.