Tuesday, October 20

Chillout TGIF: Photographs from the Fujifilm GFX 50R

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Last week, I shared my thoughts on the Fujifilm GFX 50R system as used on a daily basis for about 3 weeks. Today, I share with you some of the pictures I took during those weeks, with some remarks on the conditions they were taken.

Photographs from the Fujifilm GFX50R

Read the full hands-on thoughts on the Fujifilm GFX 50R system.

All the photographs were shot in Fujifilm raw format and processed with Capture One, exported as full sized a jpeg variant. The jpeg file is further processed on Photoshop 2020. Most of the shots had very little processing done, and thus the workflow is simple and fast. Where noted, to test the dynamic range of the system, some photographs were deliberately underexposed and recovery was attempted in Capture One.

A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret LOG Edition

First shots out of the camera for me. Literally. Setup the camera preferences and setup the mini-studio. And started. ISO 100, f/11, 1/125s. The highest flash sync speed the GFX 50R is capable of is 1/125s, a tad slow for a modern focal plane shutter camera body, but this is the normal shutter speed I use with strobes anyway, so it works well for me.

At the coffeeshop and bicycle shop

The next attempt was to photograph one of my regular coffee baristas. The kopi tiam (coffee shop) was dark, and with AutoISO set for max of 6400, the GFX50R chose 1/4000s at f/2.8 for the shot. The original shot was very dark, with almost no details showing on the man. Shadow detail was recovered with Capture One. Interestingly, though there is noise on the dark areas, the photograph retained much colour integrity and detail throughout and the noise was more like film grain than the usual multi colour noise seen in less able sensors.

Dark kopi tiam. ISO4000.

The exposure was made worse because I had accidentally moved the Exposure Compensation dial to -3EV. There is no lock on this dial, so it is easy to unintentionally move it. As my shooting style does not include exposure compensation, I disabled the dial with the camera’s custom feature.

Patek Philippe Grand Art Exhibition

We had covered quite a bit of the exhibition earlier, in our review and photographs from the Leica S Type 007. And for the Deployant Special Tour of the exhibition, I had the opportunity to use the GFX 50R, with the 45mm.

Other than the sculpture at the entrance, the other two photographs were taken in dark conditions. The sensor is large enough to show detail even when heavily cropped, as in the second photograph of the group. The third photograph was taken at 1/6s exposure, and remains rather sharp, as the body and lens are easy enough to hand hold.

Dresden with Glashütte Original

I took the GFX system to my trip to visit the Glashütte Original manufacture in Germany. It was drizzling when I arrived, and the photograph of the Akademie of Music (aka Lemon Squeezer by the locals) was taken in the light rain. The GFX50R + 45mm had no problems operating in the light rain.

The night shot of the Frauenkirche was taken with a tripod, and at ISO6400. Noise is well controlled at this high ISO. And the picture retained good detail and colour throughout. The final shot above is a panorama of 4 frames stitched made with the 120mm lens. The final image at full size is massive. Tons of detail is captured, for e.g. the time on the bell tower can be easily read on the full resolution image.

The Glashütte Original Seventies and Senator Chronometer Tourbillon

We used photographs of both watches in our full reviews. Links to the review on the caption of the photographs.

Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph
Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Tourbillon.

Breitling Avenger

The photographs used in the hands-on review of the Breitling Avenger were also taken with the GFX50R and the GF45mm.

Breitling Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf

We went with Breitling on a tour of the Seletar Airport private aircraft hanger, where numerous aeroplanes were shown, including one aircraft bearing the Breitling livery.

The third photograph in the slide show above is the 100% crop of the second. Note the detail on the watch is sharp. And the texture on the paintwork on the E in the Breitling logo. Shot at f/5.6, 1/60s, ISO 200.

Jaeger LeCoultre Celeste

Photographs used in the detailed review of the JLC Master Grande Tradition Celeste were also taken with the GFX 50R.

JLC Master Grande Tradition Celeste

Alain Silberstein and Louis Erard

Our report of the new Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein Regulator were also photographed with the GFC 50R with the 45mm. Lighting was very harsh as the photographs were taken at the lobby of the hotel. Excellent details, very sharp. The colour rendition, with AWB was spot on, even with the dodgy lobby lighting.

Concluding thoughts on the Fujifilm GFX 50R with GF45 and GF120 lenses

Overall the image quality delivered by the system is superb, and very good. It falls short slightly, and only very slightly, to the state of the art as expressed by the Phase One XF IQ4 150 and its associated Schneider Kreuznach LS 45mm and 120mm Blue Ring lenses. But as we noted in the review of the GFX50, the Phase One system is about 8 times more expensive than the Fuji, which offers the best bang for the buck.

I am perfectly happy with the overall performance of the GFX50R and am seriously contemplating acquiring the system. With the 120mm macro, it provides 0.5X magnification, which while not ideal, is sufficient. 1X magnification can be achieved by stacking the 18mm and 45mm extension tubes, but this makes the already front heavy system even more unwieldy with 63mm extension. The 45mm is small and light, and at f/2.8 maximum aperture is capable of good bokeh. Alternatively, the new 50mm is even smaller and lighter, and promises to offer similar performance, albeit at a f/3.5 maximum aperture. I haven’t tested the 50mm yet. As a two lens system, with the 120 and either 45 or 50, it covers all my needs for watch macros and general photography, perhaps only in need of a 23mm for ultra wide angle architecture and interior shots to complete the arsenal.

I will compare the GFX 50R to its bigger brother the GFX 50S in another article soon.

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