Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema: Blog http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog en-us Copyright 2017 Leigh Miller leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) Sat, 16 Sep 2017 00:05:00 GMT Sat, 16 Sep 2017 00:05:00 GMT http://www.leighmiller.ca/img/s6/v142/u544495160-o555293696-50.jpg Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema: Blog http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog 120 80 Close-Up Photography Q and A http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/9/close-up-photography-q-and-a Fuji XF80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro Lens (uncropped)Fuji XF80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro Lens (uncropped)Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Fujifilm X-T2 W/XF80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro lens


I've gotten lot's of emails about my post several days ago following the launch of the newest Fujifilm lens, the Fujinon XF80mm F2.8 Macro. I think rather than reply to each one I would just post a general set of answers here.

NOTE: The shot above of the Melanoplus Grasshopper is UNCROPPED (6000X4000). Editing was done in the Silkypix RAW FILE CONVERTER software which you can download from Fujifilm's website. 


Before we get to the Q&A from the XF80mm F2.8 post let me just pass on a few thoughts.

I appreciate the feedback, even the not so nice ones. My replies are sometimes late because as you can appreciate I'm always working one way or another whether it's client focused or my own personal projects. We grow as much from work as we do from play and I try to get equal amounts in whenever possible. The first thing I want readers to know is this: Don't consider anything I say here as a rule. Every single photographer I've ever met has his/her own way of making images. I've seen everything from DIY photography tools all the way to top dollar equipment.

Fuji X-T1 VS Fuji GFX 50SFuji X-T1 VS Fuji GFX 50SLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca It can probably go without saying that as a  Fujifilm X-Photographer I get to use some very fancy and expensive equipment. I also give a fair shake to the hobbyist/enthusiast level gear too because in my experience you can find some real "sleepers" like the XC16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS II lens that works great and cost very little by comparison.

Second, if someone quotes you photography rules, apply my advice: Listen, look and learn from people who's work you admire and/or are inspired by. That's how I learned. But those rules, BREAK THEM. It's the only way forward.

~

Q: Did you crop any of the images

A: Yep, absolutely. In some cases I cropped moderately for a more dramatic composition. You will find that cropping is a fact of life when shooting macro or wildlife images. Sometimes you can't get close enough to a subject for a variety of reasons...focal length, safety, or a restrictive minimal focusing distance of a particular lens. Also, in most cases wild animals and insects don't like us.

Fuji XF80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro LensFuji XF80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro LensLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca This reptile let me get fairly close but well outside the minimum focus range of the XF80mm F2.8. The other factor was that to get the shot I had to stand in thigh deep water with one foot on the slopes of a slippery rock. I wasn't very stable to push the shot much further. The finished image is cropped to 5096X3397, pretty moderate but just enough to get the composition just right.

Fuji XF80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro LensFuji XF80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro LensLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Then there are the interesting but not so friendly critters.

Get too close and they either escape or attack. Neither of those outcomes usually get's the shot. I've never personally met anyone who has been bitten by a dock spider and I don't want to be the first among my friends either. My respectful distance required a crop to 4770X3180.

Q: Did you use a tripod

A: Yes, but for very few shots. Many of these were taken in the full heat of Summer and the little critters were moving around quite a bit. I found it easier to just hand-hold which allowed me to contort into whatever position worked best for the composition. The XF80mm has a 5-stop image stabilisation system which helps quite a lot, however you still need a subject that is relatively static when shooting at slow shutter speeds. For subjects like food, jewelry etc. I definitely use a tripod though. I did film a fair bit with a second X-T2 camera and in that case I alternately employed a regular and video specific tripod.

Fuji XF80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro LensFuji XF80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro LensLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Q: What Apertures Do You Use

A: Depends on the subject and desired depth-of-field. Left to my own devices though, I prefer as wide an aperture F2.4/2.8/5.6 as I can get away with while keeping the parts of my composition that are important..in focus. I like blurred out backgrounds and bokeh while the subject remains very sharp and isolated. With close-up subjects you tend to stop down anywhere from F8-F16/22 in order to keep most of the subject in-focus. Sometimes even stopping down isn't enough or desirable. All lenses have a "sweet spot". That aperture where they exhibit their best qualities and going beyond that introduces softness to the images (diffraction). One way around this is to Focus Stack where you take a series of images at different distances along the subject, then use software such as Adobe Photoshop CC to stitch them together in a final photograph.

Q: Do you Shoot With Natural Light or Flash

A: Again it depends on the circumstances...my preference with wildlife and insects is natural light. If you are shooting at very small apertures (F10-22) or in low light conditions then using an artificial light source is a must even if the camera is set up on a tripod. Poor lighting usually results in a poor image.

Q: What Software Did You Use

A: For my general workflow I use Adobe Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC. They aren't perfect but for images displayed on the Internet or Mobile Devices it does a good job. For more exacting editing I default to the Silkypix software. It's slow, not very intuitive but once you learn your way around it your images will usually be a near copy of what you saw in the cameras' viewfinder right down to your Film Simulation of choice.

As with anything though...the final image is no small amount of technical execution and lot's of "art". We can both photograph the same subjects and end up with very different images because it all boils down to "art"..or taste.

Q: Which Lens Do You Prefer

A: Definitely the XF80mm F2.8 because of the Optical Image Stabiliser, Linear Motor focusing system and Weather Sealing.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Basically everything my older XF60mm F2.4 lens isn't. When photographing insects I prefer the longer focal length of the XF80mm over my XF60mm lens. It allows me to stay a respectful distance from certain subjects...and providing them with enough comfort to tolerate my presence.

The icing on top is the compatibility with Fujifilm's 1.4 and 2.0 teleconverters which make the lens even more useful.

Q: Which Camera Do You Prefer

A: Any of the ILC X-Series cameras will do just fine but you have significantly more resolution for cropping with the X-T2/XPro2 cameras. Then there is the much improved auto-focus system and expanded video features.

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) adobe close up photography fuji fujifilm gear macro mirrorless photographer photography post processing retouching http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/9/close-up-photography-q-and-a Thu, 14 Sep 2017 04:10:00 GMT
Small Camera, Big Picture PT.3 | Fujifilm X-Pro2 http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/9/small-camera-big-picture-pt-3-fujifilm-x-pro2 Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca


Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

XF60mm F2.4 R Macro | ISO200 F25.6 1/300 seconds

Handheld with the XF60mm macro lens...I don't stand still very often so when you see me fishing it means I'm totally relaxed. This was the second biggest fish I've caught off the dock at the cottage. I couldn't let the moment go without snapping a picture.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

XF60mm F2.4 R Macro | ISO200 F25.6 1/500 seconds

Small things amuse me. I admit it. This rusty bolt is a really good example of why everyone should have a macro lens in their bag. The applications are endless...small insects, products and portraits. My lens is very versatile. Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

XF35mm F2 R WR | ISO200 F2 1/680 seconds

I love sunsets but the only thing that will get me out of bed early when I don't have to work is a sunrise. A show like this one is rare in the city with all the smog, noise and light pollution.

Fuji X-Pro2 SampleFuji X-Pro2 Samplehttp://leighmiller.zenfolio.com

XF60mm F2.4 R Macro | ISO200 F2.8 1/18 seconds

Yup...I love watches and clocks. The intricate machinery are tailor made for a macro lens.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

XF60mm F2.4 R Macro | ISO200 F4 1/220 seconds

I'm pretty proud of this capture. I noticed this little guy hanging out on a wayward branch just taking in the sights. He wasn't too concerned about my presence but the branch was erratic, moved by the slightest wind. It took 30 tries and a little strategic focusing to get this shot.

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) fuji fujifilm gear mirrorless photographer photography post processing travel http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/9/small-camera-big-picture-pt-3-fujifilm-x-pro2 Mon, 11 Sep 2017 04:15:00 GMT
Nexto DI Card Batcher | Preview http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/9/nexto-di-card-batcher-preview Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

NEXTO DI (NCB20) Card Batcher

NEXTO DI showed off their newest product, the Card Batcher at NAB 2017 and it caught my eye as I'm always looking for ways to simplify my workflow on "volume" assignments. I contacted the company shortly after the show and they were good enough to send me a pre-production unit to test out. Now that the embargo period has expired I can share a short video I've made with my thoughts.

Firstly, the Card Batcher comes in two flavours. The Compact Flash and SD Card versions, and I'm using the latter. I no longer use cameras that require CF cards. My model features 8-slots which are compatible with a wide range of SD Card types and micro-sd.  If like me you have to backup multiple cards after events, this product is right up your alley. No more toting along your laptop if you want to travel light.

One application is weddings...I typically have 1 or 2 assistant photographers for big events who generate upwards of 1000 images each. That results in around 2-3 SD Memory Cards each to back up at the end of the night. I hate that part of it...when a wedding is over for me I want nothing more than to take off for home and fall into bed. Taking that additional time to backup all the cards is excruciating.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

NCB20 W/Western Digital USB External HDD

With the Card Batcher you simply populate the 8 slots, attach a USB external HDD and the AC Adapter/USB Power Bank and all the cards are copied into their own folders (configurable) on the external drive. Add a second drive with sufficient space and the Card batcher will make you an identical backup simultaneously. As they say...it isn't a backup unless it exists in three different places.

Once I get home the external HDD is attached to my workstation and left to import into Adobe Lightroom CC while I go get a drink..of whatever. It's really that simple and very reliable. I've shot just under 10,000 images between weddings and other assignments in the past month and I haven't had a single issue with the backup copies. The entire process is very easy and fast.

A few recommendations I will make to improve your experience though...

Use the fastest SD Memory Cards you can afford. While you are at it use a fast external HDD as well. I initially employed a Western Digital USB HDD...but when I switch to a Samsung T3 my copy speeds instantly improved.

For SD Memory Cards I use Toshiba's with a Read Speed of 260MB/s and Write Speed of 240MB/s. I have a few other brands that claim 300MB/s but as with anything electronic those are theoretical speeds at best.

Personally I would leave the AC Adapter at home and get a USB Power Bank. Anker's products have always been reliable and excellent performing for me. The overall build quality is very good and I didn't exactly treat it with kid gloves. It went into my camera bag like any other piece of gear without issue. The buttons are tight fitting with a positive feedback..nothing is loose or rattling. I kind of wish it had at least one USB-C port though...that's just the way the industry is moving and product manufacturers have to be proactive.

 Finally you can use the card Batcher strictly as a card reader back in your office. I've found the transfer speeds during import to Adobe Lightroom directly off the SD Cards to be no faster or slower than a single reader device. That's a good thing...most everything in my gear collection does double duty in some way.


NOTE

I am not compensated in any way by NEXTO DI to use/review this product. I contacted them myself after seeing the prototype shown at NAB 2017. I actually paid for the shipping cost to get it here from South Korea, and I'll have to pay to send it back now that my review has been completed. I have been offered the opportunity to review a final version of the product with updated firmware...which I'll definitely take them up on at some point in the near future.

Toshiba, Samsung and Anker were also mentioned, none of which I have any relationship with. These are items I use in my daily work and recommend them without reservation. P.S. They are also expensive...but quality and reliability usually are.

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) card batcher gear nexto di photographer product review workflow http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/9/nexto-di-card-batcher-preview Sun, 10 Sep 2017 16:28:00 GMT
Filming With the Fujifilm X-T2 http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/9/filming-with-the-fujifilm-x-t2 I recently had the opportunity to shoot with the all new Fujinon XF80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro lens from Fujifilm. Matter of fact we spent a lot of quality time together for much of August...prime Summertime action for insects and small critters. See my preview [HERE].

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Fujifilm X-T2 W/XF16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Lens

Additionally I made a Behind The Scenes video of my setup in action, filmed with the Fujifilm X-T2. Fujifilm got downright serious with video on this camera. For the first time on any Fuji camera we now have 4K video. While I rarely output to 4K, the extra editing room it provides is invaluable on a 1080p timeline. That said, I filmed the entire project in 4K as that's what the assignment brief called for.

The sound was arranged/designed by a good friend of mine who in my opinion is the Picasso of audio. You name it, he can do it. I enjoined him to my project given the short timeframe with exception of the voice-over. I did that on  my iPhone and refined it in Audacity. Normally I would have done that on a Zoom H6 Field Recorder but I ran out of time to secure one for the deadline...should probably consider purchasing one given the increased attention to mirrorless video.

My Equipment List is as follows

  • Fujifilm X-T2 X 2 W/ Vertical Power Boost Grip
  • ST-1 Microphone (for ambient sound reference)
  • Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR
  • Fujinon XF80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro Lens
  • Fujifilm EF-X500 Flash X 2 (Master & Slave setup for off-camera flash use)
  • Manfrotto Tripod With Fluid Head
  • Generic Tabletop Dolly
  • Generic Travel Tripod
  • DJI Inspire 1 VER II
  • DJI Mavic Pro

Video Editing was done entirely in Final Cut Pro X on a 4K timeline though my output was 1080p for presentation on the BLOG.

Screenshot

The X-T2 has been on the market a long time (for the camera industry) and there are plenty of reviews out there that do a great job of highlighting the cameras' performance and merits. I tend of go my own way...particularly when it comes to shooting video on Fuji cameras. I was using the Booster Grip' which gives me access to the F-LOG profile but in practice I almost never use it. The whole reason I took to Fujifilm cameras was for the film simulations. I love the colors and contrast straight out of the camera. For this project I shot with the Provia film setting with some changes... 

  • -2 (H-Tone)
  • -2 (S-Tone)
  • -3 (Color)
  • -3 (Sharpness)

What this does is create a custom "FLAT" profile while retaining some of the Provia attributes, a great starting point if you aren't trying to match cameras from other manufacturers. Personally I've found that it plays nice with footage from my drones and Olympus cameras. I also rode the ISO dial from 200 to 1600 frequently to maintain  a shutter speed of 1/50 seconds. Roughly double the 24p video setting. On the occasional "rough" shot I used the FCPx stabilisation tool to smooth things out a bit.

The XF16-55mm lens was my goto for filming the general/b-roll stuff while the XF80mm was used for the close-up video. I had them mounted alternately on the tabletop dolly, tripod and video tripod for various clips. While I didn't use the audio recorded with the ST1 mic, I did use it for reference when  matching high fidelity SFX to the footage. If you are going to be filming extensively with the X-T2 get yourself an XF16-55mm lens. Don't even think twice about it. The sharpness, fast and silent focusing combined with the wide aperture makes it a natural choice for video. I used continuous focusing a fair bit and barely noticed the focusing noise.

Aside from the opening sequence I use DJI drones because they are the ultimate slider/fluid head. Once you master the controls to perform intricate movements you can make the drone do anything. Some of those panning/zooming movements were performed with the Mavic Pro which is infinitely handy due to the small size and ease of use. The big boy Inspire 1 is a Ferrari...you drive it fast and knock out those broad  strokes. Sadly I think it's feasibility is diminishing due to aggressive regulations here in Canada.

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) filming fuji fujifilm gear mirrorless photographer photography post processing video http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/9/filming-with-the-fujifilm-x-t2 Fri, 08 Sep 2017 04:01:00 GMT
Fuji XF80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR | Preview http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/9/fuji-xf80mm-f2-8-r-lm-ois-wr-preview By now you have likely heard about this new lens from Fujifilm. I received a pre-production unit to work with for a few weeks...nothing fancy just my usual routine that the XF60mm F2.4 R Macro normally fills. I'm a country boy through and through so my down time isn't like most photographers. I head out chasing small critters and insects, anything that takes me out of the loop for a handful of hours. My macro lens also does double duty for my portrait and product photography because of the sharpness and image quality. While it serves me well, I've been waiting for the XF80mm F2.8 R LM OIS Macro for a long time. In most cases with small animals and insects...appropriate amounts of distance keeps you safe while providing the animal with enough comfort so I can get the shot. At 122mm (35mm format) this new lens does just that while maintaining a fairly close focusing distance. Add the XF1.4 or 2.o teleconverters if you need to get even closer.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca It also has some nice features that aren't available on the XF60mm F2.4 R Macro, namely optical image stabilisation, linear motors for fast/quiet focusing and weather resistance. The first two items are big for me. In many cases I can't or don't want to use a tripod and now being able to handhold a shot stopped down is stellar. Focusing speed has been a priority for Fujifilm and they have certainly improved it tremendously with the new Linear Motor system. Combine that with all new auto-focus algorithms and you have a complete package that's perfect for macro photography.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 80mm F5.6 1/500

The weather resistance is something I've become accustomed to on Fuji's premium lenses.  I doubt I'll ever purchase another lens without that feature (see my previous blog post). While I don't expect to do much shooting in rain...snow, life happens I don't stop shooting because of inclement weather.

Keep in mind that this preview is based on a "Pre-Production" lens and while I didn't experience any issues with it, surely the final release version will be fine-tuned. Stay in touch for a full review once the retail versions become available.

My Setup

And now...the pictures: For the most part these images were shot hand-held. The image stabilisation is good for 5-stops according to Fuji and in practice I've found it very good. Insects rarely stay still long enough for me to run and get my tripod so I tested the lens by hand as much as possible.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 80mm F5.6 1/80

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 80mm F5.6 1/200

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 80mm F5.6 1/160

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 80mm F8 1/100

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 80mm F5.6 1/8

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 80mm F5.6 1/200

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 80mm F5.6 1/320

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 80mm F2.8 1/2000

 

 

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) fuji fujifilm fujinon xf80mm f2.8 r lm ois macro lens gear macro mirrorless photographer photography telephoto http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/9/fuji-xf80mm-f2-8-r-lm-ois-wr-preview Thu, 07 Sep 2017 10:37:18 GMT
Fuji XF16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Review | Long Term http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/9/fuji-xf16-55mm-f2-8-r-lm-wr-review-long-term XF16-55mm 1:2.8 R LM WRXF16-55mm 1:2.8 R LM WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Fujifilm X-T2 W/XF16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR


This long-term review is well overdue...I started it months ago then suddenly got contracted to work on a handful of projects. I'm slowly catching up on my writing and now that my Summer weddings are done my time is a bit more free.

The XF16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR is the first of my two-lens working kit. It's matched with the XF50-140mm telephoto zoom and get's the lions share of use in my daily work because it covers just about everything. Pretty much all my photog buddies have a similar kit regardless of what brand they use. Always the same... 24-70 and 70-200mm or whatever the equivalents are in 35mm terms.

The basics that I like are as follows:

  • Constant F/2.8 aperture from 16 to 55mm (24-82.5mm/35mm effective focal lengths)
  • Linear Motor focusing system
  • Weather Resistance
  • Solid Build

It's not inexpensive, but professional level lenses rarely are. The premium you pay ensures that it will stand up to daily use without being too careful. This lens also sports an array of very fancy glass and coatings to correct, minimize and/or eliminate issues that might effect image quality. My copy has been in steady use for well over 2 years without any significant problems. I've replaced the lens hood twice because of various mishaps. They absorbed whatever impact I subjected them to and saved the front element. Far less expensive than damage to the lens itself if I hadn't attached them it.

For My Travel Photography

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 16mm F/5.6 1/1700

It's a good all-in-one lens and hasn't let me down. It's not as light compared to the XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS lens which is also weather resistant but the constant F/2.8 aperture and superior sharpness wins it for me. The focusing motor is also noticeably faster. When I'm in a location for the first and possibly last time, I don't want to miss a shot because my lens is taking it's sweet time to focus accurately.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 18mm F8 1/400

Klein Curacao is a small uninhabited island off the coast of Curacao. What was supposed to be a short, calm sail turned into an hour of getting beaten up by rogue waves due to high winds. I had my camera bag behind me to shield it from direct hits from the water...still got drenched. I was terrified to open it up and pretty much gave them up for dead. I started calculating the cost of replacing them minus the insurance amount. When we got to shore my worst fears were confirmed. Both camera bodies and all the lenses were very wet and crusted with salt. However, when I turned them on everything fired up just fine. After a half hour of cleaning I went for a walk around the island. Those same high winds converted the sand into tiny missiles which ended up in my eyes, ears, hair but not the camera. Score two for the weather resistance. I can definitely confirm that the feature isn't a gimmick. 7 months later everything is still working without a hint of what I put them through on that trip.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 26mm F8 1/550

I don't have the luxury of always shooting in the best light and the extra light gathering ability is very helpful. If you don't need it, you may find the XF18-55mm with Optical Image Stabilisation...and lower cost somewhat more attractive. I own both and I'll use the little brother lens whenever it makes practical sense to do so.

For My Weddings

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 49mm F2.8 1/400

Stellar...sharp, fast focusing and great color and contrast. Just your basic Swiss Army knife. I always shoot with it for much of the wedding, only breaking out the telephoto zoom if I can't get close enough to the action. I especially like it when the ceremony is over and everybody is taking a breather and just hanging out. I'll plant myself right in the middle of the space and rotate from the hips like a turret, capturing all the candid moments. During the ceremony I'll use the electronic shutter and turn off the auto-focus confirmation beep. Combine that with the smooth and very quiet focusing system and the entire capture from start to finish is as quiet as you can get it. Definitely quiet enough so that nobody notices at normal voice levels.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 49mm F5.6 1/200

It also allows me to get close enough to shoot "detail" shots. Not quite MACRO distances but decently close, filling the frame. The micro-contrast is very good and cropping in for composition still yields a very nicely defined image right at the point of focus (wide-open).

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 44mm F2.8 1/450

For Everything Else

Model RetouchModel RetouchLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 55mm F8 1/125

I've found it to be a very good studio lens. It performs well with static and moving subjects alike and it doesn't flare easily when I inadvertently get one of my strobes in the frame. Depending on your style of portraiture that may not be a positive thing. For close portraits I prefer 85mm or longer but group or environmental shots are well covered.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

4-Image Panorama Stitch | ISO 200 16mm F5.6 1/850

I usually screw on the XF10-24mm F4 R OIS for landscapes because it gives me more framing options but 16mm (24mm) is no slouch. You can capture a lot of real estate with this lens. In fact you can still get a hint of that exaggerated perspective if you are close enough to the subject like the wrecked yacht below.

ISO 200 16mm F8 1/850

Much has been made about the lack of image stabilisation on this lens. Frankly...I don't mind it. At F2.8 I can handhold it right down to about 1/20 seconds with fairly good results.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 200 35mm F2.8 1/125

I've been very happy with the lens and it's been a true workhorse. In case your not familiar with that term, for me it means a piece of gear that you flog daily, rain or shine. You don't always treat it well because you just don't have the luxury of that sometimes but despite the mistreatment is happily does it's job and gets out of your way every single time it's attached to the camera.

I'm just shy of 10K clicks with this lens...that's everything, weddings, portraits, products, food, travel, video, timelapse etc. Along the way it's been bumped, dropped, forgotten out in the cold overnight...left in the rain on another occasion for over an hour before I recalled it being out on the deck. Not even a single hiccup from the lens. I guess you could say I gave it a real stress test.

Speaking of video, it's become my go-to general purpose video lens. The F2.8 is just perfect for talking head segments and even product reviews where I want the background out of focus. The linear motors are very silent and easily falls below voice or music audio. Back in my X-Pro1 days I complained about the "Fuji Shuffle" that their first gen lenses would do. You could clearly hear it happening on video and it's hard to edit out. Most of the time I used manual focus but these days the continuous focusing is good enough that I want to use it. It really helps that this lens is near silent.

Brass Tacks!

This lens stays in my gear bag until Fujifilm comes out with a version 2 that's even better.

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) adobe fuji fujifilm fujinon gear mirrorless photographer photography portrait post processing travel http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/9/fuji-xf16-55mm-f2-8-r-lm-wr-review-long-term Tue, 05 Sep 2017 23:19:35 GMT
Sunset over the Gulf Islands http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/9/sunset-over-the-gulf-islands Gulf IslandsGulf IslandsLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca


Fujifilm X-T1 W/XF10-24mm F4 R OIS Wide Angle Zoom | ISO 200 F9 1/400 sec

Boating season is likely drawing to a close for most people...the kiddies are headed back to school and vacations on the beaches in Canada is pretty much done. I personally love this time of year. The heat levels are way down, the annoying flying insects have started to retreat and we are usually inline to get some of the best sunsets as  Autumn creeps in.

This shot was taken over the Gulf Islands in British Columbia (Haro Strait).

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) british columbia fujifilm gulf islands ocean sunset travel http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/9/sunset-over-the-gulf-islands Mon, 04 Sep 2017 15:23:20 GMT
Small Camera, Big Picture PT.2 | Fujifilm X-Pro2 http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/8/small-camera-big-picture-pt-2-fujifilm-x-pro2

Photolife Magazine June/July 2017 Edition


Full confession....after this picture was shot, my X-Pro2 went to sleep at the bottom of a lake. Total rookie mistake and I should have seen it coming. In fact I'm so embarrassed about it to this day that I've only recently told a couple of people. Funny thing...it travelled to two countries with very high waves and winds and it even survived a rain downpour or two. To lose it on a serene lake with barely a ripple kinda hurts.

Banff National ParkBanff National ParkLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Banff National Park | Fujifilm X-Pro2 W/XF10-24mm F4 R OIS Lens | ISO200 20mm F10 1/300 sec

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) fuji fujifilm gear mirrorless photographer photography post processing travel http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/8/small-camera-big-picture-pt-2-fujifilm-x-pro2 Wed, 30 Aug 2017 21:22:42 GMT
Video Gear Under $50 | WORKFLOW http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/8/video-gear-under-50-workflow


I've been shooting video much more over the past couple of years as my client's needs evolve. I'm still primarily a "stills" guy but being too rigid means passing up great paying assignments. I'm also constantly looking at ways to "up" my production value and adding cinematic movement to an otherwise static sequence is a good place to start. You can do this with Video Fluid Heads and Sliders but expect to pay premium prices even for the most basic ones. When you get into the motorized/programmable territory you can spend your mortgage payments just on the low-end setups.

The included video starts off with a "Ken Burns Effect" for comparison. You can pull off a few of the movements completely in software. In this instance I used a 4K file from a Fujifilm X-T2 on a 1080p timeline...giving me plenty of room to crop for composition. Nothing on the software market will replace those pieces of equipment above though.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

I opt for the inexpensive and simple way...the $30'ish Tabletop Dolly.

These aren't a new concept and you can find them in a variety of styles and configurations. I made this particular one from parts left over from three different units that I've broken with near-constant use. In fact I have a good friend who makes his from scratch as needed and the applications are only limited by your imagination. The only real requirement is a smooth surface to run it on.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca You can mount just about any camera on them provided of course you pay attention to the centre of gravity/balance. The TOP image is about the largest camera setup I've ever mounted on one. The better made units will handle DSLR's but mirrorless, compact and action cameras work best. You may have to add a ball-head unit as I've done in this shot to help the lens clear the wheels for wide angle shots. It will also allow for more adjustments on the fly.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca As you will likely be using these from "above", a camera with a flip, tilt and/or swivel will come in handy. In this image I have my Fujifilm X70 compact camera mounted on the dolly. The camera itself is sitting on a very cheap ball-head that I had from a worn out old tripod.

Some things you need to watch out for....

You can find these on Amazon pretty cheap but ensure that when it arrives that all of the wheels are 'round". I've gotten one or two with defects small enough to miss with the naked eye but show up pretty dramatically in post-production. Also get one with adjustable wheels so that you can go from a straight line to arcs, slow turns and circles.

Last, never leave these unattended with your expensive camera on it. I've had them roll away on a seemingly flat surface with the tiniest bit of encouragement from wind or vibrations.

Dolly - $30

Ball-Head (Light) - $20

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) dolly fuji fujifilm gear mirrorless olympus photographer photography post processing tabletop dolly video video production workflow http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/8/video-gear-under-50-workflow Thu, 24 Aug 2017 11:57:59 GMT
Dynamic Range For Photographers http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/7/dynamic-range-for-photographers


Dynamic Range...

I get asked every now and then by budding photographers: "How do I make my camera take pictures like...."

When pressed they sometimes show me an image where it's either too dark or too light. Most of the time images are shot on a SmartPhone and occasionally an expensive camera. Why doesn't it take pictures that matches what they see through the viewfinder or on the LCD Screen. A perfectly good question but not so easily answered in a way that won't make their eyes gloss over as I explain. I've narrowed it down like this..Dynamic Range (for photographers) is the difference between the lightest and darkest area of a scene, such as a landscape. Our eyes are exceptionally good at "seeing", even the best cameras can't match them (yet). At the heart of a typical camera is a computer system stored with representations of many various scenes. In the instant it takes to frame, focus and press the shutter button it compares them against your composition and chooses what "it" thinks is the best way to capture the image.

The better cameras get it right more often than not but a challenging scene such as a dark foreground and bright background will almost always trip them up. As you get more comfortable with a camera you can "change" it's mind by making creative choices as to how you want the scene captured.

Rowing on The Bow RiverRowing on The Bow RiverBanff, AB

Fig. 2

In Fig. 2 above I was faced with a heavily back-lit scene. If I exposed for the foreground the background will be over-exposed (too bright). Exposing for the brightest areas of the image will render the foreground underexposed (too dark). Left to it's own devices  no pun intended) a camera will always try to pick a middle point which is ok for a snapshot but I have higher standards. This is where camera choice becomes critical. I exposed for the brightest part of the scene (bright sky) knowing that my camera had enough Dynamic Range to capture enough detail in the dark areas. In this case I was using a Fujifilm X-Pro2.

Rowing on The Bow RiverRowing on The Bow RiverBanff, AB

Fig. 3

Once I got home and loaded the RAW file into Adobe Lightroom CC, I raised the exposure level of the shadow areas in order to balance out the scene. This was exactly the way my eyes saw this composition..with a little bit of creative license here and there. Not all cameras are this capable in that regard so your mileage will vary.

Banff National ParkBanff National ParkLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Fig. 4

Fig. 4 above is what I call a "one-shot-wonder" capture. It was mid-afternoon in Banff, Alberta and the sun was hot and in full-on shine. Typically I would employ a Neutral Density Filter (graduated) in order to tame the exposure of the sky. This time though I captured the entire scene with a slight amount of clipping in the highlights and selectively edited the exposure in Adobe Lightroom. It's not a perfect capture but I saved myself a whole lot of time and effort in getting it. I wasn't there specifically to shoot landscapes...in fact, I was in the middle of having lunch. Call it...a shot of opportunity.

The reason you can't do this as effectively with an image from a SmartPhone is because of the tiny sensors they contain. They simply do not have the kind of dynamic range essential to capturing images in difficult situations. That's not to say that you can't make great images with a SmartPhone...get creative. Shoot at a different time of day when the lighting is less harsh or employ it's HDR function.

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) adobe dynamic range fuji fujifilm gear mirrorless people photographer photography post processing http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/7/dynamic-range-for-photographers Sat, 22 Jul 2017 16:02:26 GMT
Medina | Travel Photography http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/6/medina-travel-photography Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Everything outside is changing so fast, but inside it's walls things stay the same...more or less. It's the little things that give away the modern influences..the latest iPhone, satellite dishes and occasional resident wearing western styled clothing. I'm going to geek-out a bit here, it reminded me of Star Wars where all of the races were super technologically advanced but they lived in dwellings resembling huts. Visit the medinas of Morocco before it changes too much but get a good pair of walking shoes. The narrow streets aren't car friendly.

Images shot on location in Essaouira and Marrakech with the Fujifilm X-T1, X-M1 and X100s. Editing was done in Adobe Lightroom CC.


Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca X100s ISO 3200X100s ISO 3200Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) Fuji Fujifilm Mirrorless Morocco Photography Travel photographer http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/6/medina-travel-photography Thu, 29 Jun 2017 00:59:52 GMT
Small Camera, Big Pictures | Fujifilm X-Pro2 http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/6/small-camera-big-pictures-fujifilm-x-pro2 Fujifilm X-Pro2Fujifilm X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2 W/XF60m F2.4 R Macro Lens


Images edited in with Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop CC and Nik Color Efex Pro4 


XF100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WRXF100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

 

http://leighmiller.zenfolio.com www.leighmiller.ca NR PortraitNR PortraitLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Banff National ParkBanff National ParkLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca XF35mm F2 R WRXF35mm F2 R WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

 

 

 

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) Fuji Fujifilm Fujifilm X-Pro2 Gear Mirrorless Photography Travel photographer http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/6/small-camera-big-pictures-fujifilm-x-pro2 Wed, 28 Jun 2017 02:39:19 GMT
What's Your Camera Of Choice? http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/6/whats-your-camera-of-choice GFX 50S, X-T1, X70, iPhone 6GFX 50S, X-T1, X70, iPhone 6Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Fujifilm GFX 50S, X-T1, X70 and Apple iPhone


Do you like how I did that....dropping my iPhone into the image above with my regular cameras?

Apparently the camera market is stabilising. A CIPA report shows modest gains in sales volume that promises to look a little better than 2016, though not as good compared to 2015. The standout, mirrorless cameras are leading the charge on a percentage growth basis.

Told you so.

I stated that mirrorless cameras were the future...four years ago. I also took a lot of lumps for it, mostly from Full-Frame DSLR owners who swore that I wasn't a professional unless my gear bag held a Canon or Nikon camera. I found myself in an interesting situation this past weekend. Standing in a crowd of people watching the annual Pride parade in Toronto, I noticed this...after the jump.

Pride 2017Pride 2017Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Just as the Prime Minister of Canada (Justin Trudeau) walked by, I was immediately distracted by the number of Smartphones being held up. In case the image is too small for you to see clearly, I circled the most visible ones. In my immediate composition there was only one (1) compact camera, and one (1) Full-Frame DSLR, which was hung around the neck of the event photographer.

As I stood there counting the number of cell phones it reminded me of a conversation I had a few months back with someone I worked with in the corporate world...a lifetime ago it seems. He remarked how back then I always had a camera with me everywhere I went. It was a Canon EOS 1Ds at the time, which required a decent sized bag. Very noticeable at the office. As we chatted he asked what I was shooting with now and I pulled out my Fujifilm X70 from my pocket. He laughs and says..."still too big" as he held up his iPhone which he says "replaced his DSLR 3 years ago". 

I suspect most of the people in the parade crowd made a similar progression..which begs the question as to just who is suddenly buying compact/interchangeable lens cameras again.

Let me say on behalf of the professionals..iPhones don't cut it for us. When paying clients book us for an assignment they are buying a RESULT, not a service. That result is much less certain when we don't use cameras and lenses that are up to the task. That's not to say that Smartphones can't pull off some great shots, however in my experience those usually take place under controlled situations and ideal lighting. If you have ever worked a wedding then you also know that there is nothing controlled or ideal about them. It's more like controlled-chaos which demands photography gear and skill that can keep up.

Having said that...we are living through some interesting times in photography!

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) Fuji Fujifilm Gear Mirrorless Photography gear people photographer portrait http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/6/whats-your-camera-of-choice Tue, 27 Jun 2017 14:16:10 GMT
Fujifilm GFX 50S | Pride Toronto 2017 http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/6/fujifilm-gfx-50s-pride-toronto-2017 Pride 2017Pride 2017Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca


Images shot with the Fujifilm GFX 50S camera and GF32-64mm F4 R LM WR lens. See ongoing review [HERE]. Editing - Adobe Lightroom CC/Photoshop CC. Some images were either shot in JPEG mode OR Converted from RAW (IN-CAMERA) to JPEG for social media use.

Due to the overcast/rainy day I setup the camera to shoot between ISO 400-800 to keep a high enough shutter speed to freeze fast action. 


Pride 2017Pride 2017Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Pride 2017Pride 2017Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Pride 2017Pride 2017Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Pride 2017Pride 2017Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Pride 2017Pride 2017Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Pride 2017Pride 2017Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Pride 2017Pride 2017Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca


 

 

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) Fuji Fujifilm Fujifilm GFX 50S Gear LGBT Medium Format Mirrorless Photography Post Processing Pride Pride Toronto 2017 Street Street Photography adobe people photographer portrait http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/6/fujifilm-gfx-50s-pride-toronto-2017 Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:38:57 GMT
Google Nik Collection | WORKFLOW http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/6/google-nik-collection-workflow http://leighmiller.zenfolio.com

Color Efex Pro | Fujifilm X70 on a tripod


You have probably heard about this by now...but one of my most used workflow support applications is officially biting the dust. From what I've read, users are not at all happy about it. Petitions are now circulating to convince Google to continue development or at the very least, their support.

I've been a fan of the Nik Software Collection since 2013, primarily using it for landscape images. I think Google had bought it at around that time and offered it for free. Then the company announced that although it was being offered at no charge, they would not be updating/supporting it. At some point I expect it to stop working altogether as MAC OS and Microsoft Windows progress. It's already behaving finicky with each new update of my Adobe Creative Suite.

There are seven  components but I limit myself to Color Efex Pro, Define, and Silver Efex Pro.

Fuji XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OISFuji XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS

Color Efex Pro

Old School CoolOld School CoolLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Color Efex Pro

Fujifilm GFX 50S PanoFujifilm GFX 50S PanoLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Silver Efex Pro | Fujifilm GFX 50s Pano

fujifilm GFX 50S - 65% Beauty Cropfujifilm GFX 50S - 65% Beauty CropLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Silver Efex Pro

Fujifilm GFX 50S W/GF63mm F2.8 R WRFujifilm GFX 50S W/GF63mm F2.8 R WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Silver Efex Pro

If you frequently shoot at high ISO's, take a look at Define. I've found it to be pretty good at cleaning up noise. It's far more flexible than the noise reduction tool in Adobe Lightroom CC as you can target areas where the noise is most visible.

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) Fuji Fujifilm Gear Google Nik Collection Photography Travel adobe post processing retouching workflow http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/6/google-nik-collection-workflow Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:56:38 GMT
Valencia http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/6/valencia Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca


Images of Valencia, Spain shot with Fujifilm X-T1 (now X-T2) and X100s (now X100T). Processing was done in Adobe Lightroom CC, Adobe Photoshop CC and Nik Color Efex PRO 4. A place like this can entice you to get carried away and bring a ton of lenses in varying focal lengths. I opted for a single wide-angle zoom (XF10-24mm F4 R OIS) and a compact camera (X100S). Maybe I'm getting old and losing patience, or just getting lazy but I prefer travelling on the light side these days.


Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca RaceRace Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) Adobe Adobe Lightroom CC Europe Fujifilm Spain Travel Valencia http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/6/valencia Sat, 10 Jun 2017 15:16:04 GMT
Barcelona http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/6/barcelona


Founded by Romans in the Middle Ages, Barcelona has some of the most interesting sights in Europe with a mix of ancient and modern architecture. I walked most of the oldest parts with the X-T1 (now replaced by the X-T2) and a wide angle lens (XF10-24mm F4 R LM OIS). These images were processed in Adobe Lightroom CC, Nik Color Efex Pro 4 and Adobe Photoshop CC.

I've previously posted some of the images from this trip, however this batch of edits takes advantage of recent improvements in the Adobe suite of applications for Photography.


ArchesArches BAR2014LMeBAR2014LMeLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Rambla del MarRambla del Mar Barcelona XF10-24mm F4 R OIS sampleBarcelona XF10-24mm F4 R OIS sampleLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) Adobe Lightroom CC Adobe Photoshop CC Architecture Barcelona Fujifilm Photography Spain Street Photography Travel http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/6/barcelona Thu, 08 Jun 2017 22:08:58 GMT
Fujifilm GFX 50S | Preview http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/5/fujifilm-gfx-50s-preview

GFX 50S W/Fujinon GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro lens and EVF Tilt Adapter


Demystifying Medium Format: A real-world review of the new Fujifilm GFX 50S.

When I'm done this will likely be the longest, most image laden review I've done to date. I say "when I'm done" because it's an on-going process as I shoot with it under different situations in my daily work.

If you want to save some time I'll just tell you now who this camera is for.

The Fujifilm GFX 50S is for the most discerning consumer, the quality focused photographer who needs to deliver the absolute best image quality for client or personal work. A medium format camera of this calibre offers a very large dynamic range because of the large sensor, which in turns allows for a smoother tonal transitions, tonal and colour accuracy. That large sensor requires large lenses. It's the image quality that matters above all else and it's user will allow compromises for the size, weight and yes...costs.

The GFX 50S's sensor is a Bayer design so I'm using a combination of Adobe Lightroom CC and Fujifilm's proprietary RAW FILE Converter 2.0 software in my post-processing workflow. Thanks to Fujifilm North America I also have an array of lenses: GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro, GF32-64mm F4 R LM WR and the GF63mm F2.8 R WR.


It's big and heavy...far bigger and much heavier than my daily driver, the Fujifilm X-T1. Yes...I'm still using the X-T1 despite the recently introduced X-T2. I find it hard to outlay the cash to upgrade when the X-T1 is hanging tough. In the 3+ years I've been shooting with it there has been ZERO downtime. With frequent firmware updates it's even better today. It suits the kind of work I'm known for...get in, get out and get the client their images within 24 hours. When I travel, it's carry-on only for my gear. My compliment of equipment has to move with me on whatever get's me there, and wherever I need to go upon arrival. Light, Strong and fast.

Fuji X-T1 VS Fuji GFX 50SFuji X-T1 VS Fuji GFX 50SLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca By comparison the GFX 50S and it's lenses are massive. It's possibly the world's first "mirrorless" medium format camera (I haven't checked that out yet), employing a focal-plane shutter in front of the sensor...which in turn allows more flexibility in the design of compatible lenses. By that I mean...leaf shutters built into lenses requires the lens design to be much larger. the GF-mount lenses are smaller/lighter by comparison. Despite these design choices, you really feel the heft from the moment you hold one. As regular readers know...I've previously owned a PhaseOne system and decided after 2012 to really divest myself of medium format and DSLR's for the mirrorless world. I'm not changing back but honestly...I've had an insane amount of fun shooting with the GFX 50S. Far more of a good time than expected and I brought it everywhere with me. Down-time, work-time  and in-between, I left the X-T1 at home and took the GFX 50S.

Equally massive are the RAW files...at an average of 110 MB your going to need larger SD Memory Cards, larger permanent storage capacity and more robust computer system. I tried editing some of these files on an older MacBook Air...nope. It choked along when rendering them in Adobe Lightroom CC. At home was a very different experience on the desktop workstation but I can still see the gears grinding at times. Edit one of them in Adobe Photoshop CC with a few layers and that file can easily reach 200-400 MB. This camera is  no joke...if you are in, be in all the way.

As I mentioned above (Who is this camera for), the only reason to buy a medium format camera is the image quality. It's far beyond the quality you can derive from the X-Series, DSLR and Micro-Four Thirds sensors. My images from this camera required LITTLE TO NO EDITING except for the RAW conversion and selection of the Film Simulation type. The colour and sharpness really surprised me and the dynamic range seems to stretch forever.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

The original Image (ISO 1600) boosted 3 Stops

This was incredibly useful for landscape work where I was able to fit the entire range from light to dark in a single capture. Normally I would bracket my shots or use a Neutral Density Filter to balance things out. I will still continue to do that of course but it's nice to know I can get close in-camera. All of these factors result in a much shorter workflow when post-processing...I might even just shoot JPEG more often.

Storm WatchStorm WatchLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Fujifilm X70 Sample

The first thing that struck me when looking at the initial shots was how completely natural they felt...and I can't believe I'm typing these words, the files are very "organic". Shoot with any late model mirrorless camera for a significant amount of time and you get used to a "hyper" look of...everything, colour, contrast, sharpness etc.

The best word that I can think of is "digital" and that's not a bad thing. Some subjects really benefit from that kind of rendering. The GFX 50S by comparison feels/looks real to life and it was a shock to my system after using my X-T1 for so long. 

Fujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroFujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Walnuts Straight Out Of The Camera

Even the most mundane shots seem like much more. Some might call it the "medium Format" look...I'm sure now that Fujifilm has created an incredible product with the GFX 50S. Not that it's a "new" concept...Pentax has done it, Hasselblad has done it. By "IT" I mean they have brought Medium Format photography within reach of the more "average" consumer. Back in the day, you couldn't get into medium format systems for less than $20,000 American Dollars. In some markets you wouldn't have even been considered a serious photographer without a Hasselblad in the not too distant past. In a perfect world I would have this on the shelf to compliment the X-T1. 

With all that out of the way I'll set the tone for the review...

First, I've read/heard from others that shooting with the GFX 50S is similar to the X-T1/X-T2. Umm...nope, it's nothing like any camera Fujifilm has manufactured lately. The button design and overall aesthetics of the cameras have a similar vibe but that's where it ends. The GFX 50S demands a more purpose-focused approach to making images. As with other medium format cameras I've used recently, it requires a deliberate way of shooting because of the massive resolution and physical weight/size. In fact the latter over-powered my light "mirrorless-camera" tripod very easily. I had to tighten the living daylights out of it to make it work. Even then, I was never assured it would stay put. So, when you make your purchase be sure to budget for a sturdy tripod and quality ball-head. You certainly can shoot with it handheld as I  am doing but it will require very good shot discipline and zero coffee in your system.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

GFX 50S Setup Menus

It took about 20 minutes and a glass of smooth Whiskey to set up the camera via it's menus. Regular readers of my BLOG will follow my lead here. It's very similar to other Fujifilm cameras with a few extras specific to the GFX 50S. It's really simple for the most part and the perplexing bits are easily worked through with occasional glances at the manual. For the purposes of this review I left the camera set to Standard or "Provia Film Simulation". The native Aspect Ratio is 4:3 and that's what I've set it up to use. It offers additional ratios but why throw away any information by choosing them...just crop in post editing. You can choose a different Film Simulation in editing as well.

Fujifilm EVF-TL1 Tilt AdapterFujifilm EVF-TL1 Tilt AdapterLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to handle this camera and the EVF Tilting Adapter really comes in handy for low angle shots. Speaking of the EVF...sublime. Large, bright and sharp. In the past, really good EVF's have tricked me into thinking an image is sharp upon review...only to get home and find things didn't match up. Not so here, images on the LCD and EVF are extremely accurate. You can safely shoot with this camera without tethering and be assured that What You See Is What You Get. The couple of medium format cameras I've used really did need to be tethered to a laptop or desktop owing to the fact that LCD's were not as heavily engineered.

Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WRFujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Someone who saw me shooting with it asked if it was a 14 Bit design but I didn't know off-hand at the time but I can now confirm that it is. What that means in practical application is that images can store very high amounts of information in your image files. At typical WEB sizes the difference from lower Bit rates my not be apparent. However, for pros who do extensive post-process/editing the advantage can't be stated strongly enough. Think...large scale printing. Not the 20X30 stuff I regularly do...double/triple that size. The image above is a single capture!...No bracketing, no Graduated Neutral Density Filter, no HDR. One file pushed and pulled with the Curve Tool in Adobe Photoshop CC and masked in on layers to specific areas of the image. NO clipping in the highlights and plenty of detail in the darkest areas.

Fujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroFujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 400 at F4

I do love the way this camera renders colours. I might even prefer it to my X-Series cameras...I have to kick Adobe Lightroom CC quite hard to realize an image like this from my X-T1 unless I just shoot JPEG. However, right out of the camera the GFX 50S RAW file looks excellent on import. Of course it's a bit flat as all RAW files are, but once you apply your preferred film simulations it's pretty much ready to go. I didn't add any sharpening or colour editing. You can certainly push and pull your images if you miss exposure, the RAW files have a lot of latitude and the noise penalty is minimal. Another thing, unless you miss focus slightly there is no need to sharpen these files in post production. They are SHARP!

Fujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroFujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 400 at F4

The area of focus however small will have crisp, sharp detail while the rest falls out of focus smoothly. If you must sharpen, I would do it selectively for areas that you really want to emphasize.

My contacts tell me that Fujifilm ran away with the show at Photokina 2016. Everyone wanted to see this updated entry into the medium format world from the company that has become famous "Again" for mirrorless cameras. I thought the industry had moved on from large form factor cameras with huge sensors...I was definitely wrong. The interest in the GFX 50S tells me that there is still a big market for monster megapixels. Now that we have the 24 megapixel X-Pro2 and X-T2, the next logical step was a full-frame camera...but why bother when you can leap-frog that and offer this...

Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WRFujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

GF63mm F2.8 R WR - ISO 100 - F11 - 30 seconds exposure

My experience after a week is that everything works well together...sensor, imaging engine, lenses. It operated very fast and I didn't have to wait for the screens to come up when it was turned on. File writing and display after capture were fast and the camera never gave me a moment of trouble. Focusing is pretty good (Contrast Based) and for the subject matter this camera is designed for I had absolutely no trouble locking on. Like most cameras it struggled a bit with direct light in the frame. The only thing of note here is to buy the Fastest SD Memory Cards you can afford, and preferably 32GB at a minimum.  At times I forgot that I wasn't holding a DSLR. The GFX 50S is noticeable but not prohibitive in use.

Fujifilm GFX 50S Top LCDFujifilm GFX 50S Top LCDLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

GFX 50S Top Info Display

ISO performance was a pleasant surprise. Back in the day ISO 400 was just "good enough" on older medium format cameras. The GFX 50S is more than happy to kick that up to ISO 12,800. With some creative post processing you can end up with a very printable image.

From ISO 100 to 800 there is absolutely nothing to worry about. At ISO 1600 where most cameras start to show the effects of noise, the GFX 50S retains an immense amount of detail and bite in the areas of focus. You need to do a 100% zoom to really see it and it will appear film-like, even better than my X-SERIES cameras.

Fujifilm GFX 50S ISO 1600Fujifilm GFX 50S ISO 1600Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca The images below were shot on a tripod with a 10 second timer. I imported them into Adobe Lightroom CC at DEFAULT settings and no Noise Reduction or White Balancing was done. I edited a copy of the final image (ISO 12,800) for White Balance & Noise Reduction. At these WEB sizes none of those files are terrible and I would eve feel very comfortable printing them at 11X14"...maybe larger.

GFX 50S ISO 1600GFX 50S ISO 1600Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 1600 - F2.8

GFX 50S ISO 3200GFX 50S ISO 3200Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 3200 - F2.8

GFX 50S ISO 6400GFX 50S ISO 6400Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 6400 - F2.8

GFX 50S ISO 12,800GFX 50S ISO 12,800Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 12,800 - F2.8

GFX 50S ISO 12,800GFX 50S ISO 12,800Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 12,800 edited for White Balance and moderate Noise Reduction

The colours...tones and smooth transitions in and out of focus areas had me hooked. I'm not at all ashamed to say that after a few days I've already decided on my favourite lens...the GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro! It's the equivalent of a 95mm focal length on a Full-Frame camera and to my knowledge..only the second medium format macro stabilized lens. I think Pentax makes one with an image stabilization system. 

Fujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro & EVF Tilt AdaptFujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro & EVF Tilt AdaptLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca I love the build but it's a big, big lens, even more imposing with the hood attached. It's typical Fujifilm, well built with tight tolerances. Nothing wiggles, squeaks or scratches. The focusing ring is huge and smooth...the aperture ring can be twitchy until you get used to it though. There is also a focus-limiter to prevent excessive hunting at close ranges.

Fuji GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroFuji GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca I've used some amazing Macro lenses over the past decade but I can say unreservedly that the Fujinon GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro is the very best in my opinion. While you can't get super close to small subjects like this Dragonfly, the massive resolution enables deep cropping where upon inspection you will see that there is detail, detail, detail all the way down to a 100% magnification. Note the fine hairs and details on the wings. These images are at the DEFAULT sharpening settings for Adobe Lightroom CC.

Mottled Darner MacroMottled Darner MacroLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Nearly a 100% crop...I left room for composition

The CONTRAST-BASED auto-focus system was more than fast enough to keep up with the erratic nature of the insects and flowers moving gently with the wind, but will require patience and good technique... This camera is no speed demon but it's not a slouch either. As I mentioned before, a deliberate manner of shooting get's you the best results every time.

Fuji GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroFuji GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Stationary subjects are much easier and depending on light levels...use a sturdy Tripod to guarantee critically sharp captures and just about any shutter speed. This old candle lamp is a "GO-TO" subject of mine for testing a lenses ability to capture fine detail (micro-contrast) and always at the maximum aperture. If it doesn't impress me wide-open, it goes back to the store.

Fuji GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroFuji GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

ISO 640 at 1/60

However, skilled/practiced hands are required to maintain a high level of in-focus captures when chasing larger animals like our favourite Chipmunk...Marvin. These little guys don't sit in one spot for long.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Crop at around 75% for composition

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

The Pullback

Don't be afraid to crank up the ISO to maintain fast shutter speeds either, the imaging system can handle it.

Fujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroFujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca ISO 2000 at F/5.6

I shoot Food & Drink projects every now and then but it's definitely something I will be doing in greater frequency in the years to come. Essential to that is a sharp lens with great colour and contrast...this lens can handle it.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca One of my favourite food shots is the standard "sharp focal point of interest and smooth roll-off to blurry goodness". This particular image was staged with a set of speedlites on either side of the composition and fired at 1/128th power through Perspex panels. Other than cropping and whatever DEFAULT rendering is done by Adobe Lightroom CC, it's straight out of the camera. I made no adjustments to anything else. I could have easily shot JPEG...but I like to have options for future edits.

Fujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroFujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Ditto for this image of the Wasabi Green Peas...except I only used one light coming in from the right hand side of the composition. Sharpening, colour and contrast are all Adobe Lightroom CC defaults. I should mention that I sometimes sharpen at EXPORT based on Screen or Print display. Regardless, this is a very sharp lens with little to no imaging faults.

Fujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroFujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca This image of the antique pocket watch was shot at F16...handheld with a single Speedlite through a Perspex panel. The full screen magnification shows an immense amount of details...all the good grit and scratches that illustrates how old this timepiece is. The colour was spot on, while I adjusted the contrast a bit.

I couldn't find a single thing wrong outside of the size and while some may take issue with the F4 maximum aperture, I won't. The Image Stabilization system makes this lens usable at exposures I would never try it on before. The sample below of three images were shot at F4, F8 and F11 respectively. All handheld at ISO 100 (1/15, 1/8 ad 1/4 shutter speeds).

Despite closing down the aperture I was still able to maintain a descent amount of foreground/background separation...the magic of Medium Format. Note...I gave up my usual cups of coffee prior to shooting these and I got plenty of rest the night before so I had very, very steady hands.

With the Fujinon GF32-64mm F4 R LM WR......elegant sufficiency.

FUJINON LENS GF32-64mmF4 R LM WRFUJINON LENS GF32-64mmF4 R LM WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Fujinon GF32-64mm F4 R LM WR

In DSLR language...a 25-51mm lens that's useful for just about anything. Some landscape folks might want something a bit wider and a very good option is available(FUJINON LENS GF23mmF4 R LM WR), though I didn't have a chance to check it out for myself. Most standard zoom lenses (DSLR) are really good at the wide end and less so at the long end. I didn't find that with the Fujinon GF32-64mm F4 R LM WR...regardless of which zoom setting I used it, the image was always sharply detailed.

Fuji GF32-64mm F4 R LM WRFuji GF32-64mm F4 R LM WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

32mm/F5.6

Fuji GF32-64mm F4 R LM WRFuji GF32-64mm F4 R LM WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca 64mm/F5.6

If you are going to invest in this system and your budget allows for only one piece of glass, get this lens. It's not inexpensive..by my standards, but it will get you into the medium format game in a big way. The applications are endless and while there are some things other lenses are better at, you can make it work anywhere. I like 85mm and longer for portraits and other subject matter where I want/need close crops. I made 70mm (DSLR) work for a long time until I saved enough money for a longer prime lens. No clients complained so it's doable. Get close and you tend to exaggerate your subject matter a bit..below 70mm. Fuji GF32-64mm F4 R LM WRFuji GF32-64mm F4 R LM WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

at 64mm/F4

Sometimes that's not a bad thing....in this image of a dog, it was his kind/gentle eyes that drew me in. Shooting close at F4 really brings them close and forward. You will note that everything comes with a cost...his nose is slightly out of focus. It's not hard to blur anything at F4...backed with a medium format sensor!

Fuji GF32-64mm F4 R LM WRFuji GF32-64mm F4 R LM WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca The colour and contrast are excellent. I shot the above image against the sun...not a hint of flare or chromatic aberration. I boosted the shadows in post-editing to bring a little more balance into the picture. I can assure you, it's sharp at F4...but the sweet spot is F5.6. Assuming you don't need a greater depth of field shoot there when possible. It's devastatingly crisp at F5.6.

Fuji GF32-64mm F4 R LM WRFuji GF32-64mm F4 R LM WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

at F/11 - 1/100 (64mm)

In fact, I shot it well into F/22 and it behaved very well. Conventional wisdom says that diffraction tends to set in around F/11 but I found it to be of minor effect. Images shot beyond F/11 sharpen up nicely without going overboard in post-editing. At any rate, these files hold up well to sharpening, even heavy-handed techniques when necessary.

Fuji GF32-64mm F4 R LM WRFuji GF32-64mm F4 R LM WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca For me, the real measure of a general purpose zoom are captures like the image above...lot's going on. I shot it off my balcony overlooking downtown Toronto. Uniform surfaces such as buildings/sky, combined with erratic textures/foliage. The lens/sensor combo is really doing a fantastic job. In the upper right hand corner you can see a plane circling around to Pearson International Airport. At 100% it's as crisp/sharp as the buildings and trees below.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Portrait with the GF32-64mm F4 R LM WR at F8

On the Fujinon GF63mm F2.8 R WR....Ol' Dependable.

Fujifilm GFX 50S W/Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WRFujifilm GFX 50S W/Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Fujifilm GFX 50S W/Fujinon GF63mm F2.8 R WR

10-20 Years ago the "Kit" lens that came with your new camera was very likely a 50mm in varying speeds...F/1.2, F/1.4, F/1.8, F/2 and F/2.8. They were small, light and inexpensive but pretty much dependable for most shooting situations. Consider the GF63mm F2.8 R WR in that same vein. It might get confusing at times but in Medium Format language, 63mm is 50mm in full-frame DSLR terms.

Aside from the "Weather Resistance" this lens is as basic as they come...It doesn't share the Linear Motor technology and the front element moves in/out during focusing. Locking unto your subject is quite as fast as the more expensive lenses in the lineup, but it's snappy enough. If you can't swing the GF32-64mm F4 R LM WR in your budget...get this one.

Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WRFujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Fujinon GF63mm F2.8 R WR - F8

The applications are varied...landscape, street photography etc..portraits if you don't need a tight crop. Think half, three-quarter and full-length portraits. Also it's handy for lifestyle/environmental style photography. By the way...I love the way this system renders skin tones...

GF63mm F2.8 R WR VS GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroGF63mm F2.8 R WR VS GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

GF63mm F2.8 R WR & GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro Comparison

Isolating subjects from the background is super easy with a medium format camera...even a relatively wide 50mm focal length. I took both shots from the exact same position for completely different styles of shots. Pull-Back BTS after the jump...

Pull-Back ShotPull-Back ShotLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca The above image is my living room facing the kitchen. The subject was sitting on the white California chair about midway on the floor. Give your subject a little space from the background chaos and you can keep her the focus of the image with ease.

 

GF63mm F2.8 R WR at F/8 - ISO 100

Get your distance from the subject (portrait) just right and this lens is perfectly behaved and very sharp.  Combine all that detail and tonal range and you get very large images which can be cropped various ways to produce completely unique compositions...but with the ability to make very decent sized prints afterwards with little to no loss of quality.

Fujifilm GFX 50S W/GF63mm F2.8 R WRFujifilm GFX 50S W/GF63mm F2.8 R WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca My copy isn't fast-focusing as say the 32-64mm/120mm Macro but it's more than good enough. It's also not silent, during focusing you will hear some shuffling as the lens moves in and out as it searches for a confirmation lock. Depending on where you are shooting this might be intrusive...then again if you are shooting with this camera being anonymous isn't something you're too worried about.

Fujifilm GFX 50SFujifilm GFX 50SLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca 63mm F/2.8 - 1/320

I'm enjoying the clarity of this lens. It really wrings out an incredible amount of detail even wide open and if depth of field isn't an issue I would shoot it there all the time. From F4 to F8 I'm hard pressed to find anything sharper except the GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro. I've got a 50mm equivalent for every camera brand in my employ going back ten years. In all this time it's been my favourite focal length for general purpose shooting.

Summary

If you are getting the impression that I like this new system, it's because I do. Oddly though I find myself in a completely different spot with it than expected. From the outset I shot with it in pretty much the same manner as I have with previous medium format cameras. The super high resolution and sheer size of those systems really makes it a "production" to take into the field and use comfortably. That resolution...it really shows up at 100% when you are sloppy and as a result I always fell on using a heavy tripod. The problem with that of course is that a tripod isn't always convenient...or desired. Where I live in Canada, the instant a tripod makes it's appearance security guards and/or law enforcement start asking you about permits etc. The GFX 50S doesn't necessarily need that same amount of care. I shot the majority of these images handheld...sometimes at ridiculous shutter speeds (for medium format) and they were pin-sharp 80% of the time. Mind you, I've been shooting for quite awhile and experience and technique helps a lot. Adding smaller (again...for medium format) lenses and weather sealing enables the GFX 50S to be used quite similarly to a full-sized DSLR in a variety of environments.

In daily use I fill two (2) 32 GB SD CARDS long before the battery even hints of running out. I've read/heard averages of 400 shots per battery but I'm getting better than that which I'll attribute to my habit of setting up my cameras to EVF/LCD (Eye-Detection) and turning off the camera after 2 minutes of inactivity. For lenses such as the GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro which uses image stabilization, I set the camera to only engage the OIS when the shutter is being pressed..I also set Pre-Focusing to OFF.

Image Quality

The only reason to spend this kind of money on a camera...and I've got zero to complain about from ISO 100 to 12,800. This isn't a studio camera (strictly) and it can be pressed into service for fashion & beauty, products, portraits, travel etc. That entire ISO range is completely usable regardless of RAW/JPEG output.

Fujifilm GFX 50S ISO 12,800 SampleFujifilm GFX 50S ISO 12,800 SampleLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca The Fire Pit | ISO 12,800 at 1/10

Images are rich in detail and colour. WEB-SIZED images don't do these files enough justice. At some point in the future I might make a few full-resolution images available for download.

Snail BokehSnail Bokeh Snail Bokeh 120mm F8 - 1/400

The dynamic range is wide enough to fit a typical scene into the confines of the sensor without too much compromise. I was very impressed at the latitude in the highlight and shadow areas...the tonal transitions are simply incredible.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca Sharp wide open (F4) at ISO 2500

I had little to no need of additional sharpening in post production editing as the files (in focus areas) are sharp enough and I found myself in many cases "zero'ing" out the Adobe Lightroom CC default setting.

Fujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroFujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro

All of these characteristics produces an image that is malleable for the advanced editor. I haven't had a chance to really investigate the video capabilities of the camera..maybe down the road.

One thing I do need to get used to again is the depth of field...I've been shooting with APSc and Micro Four Thirds cameras for so long now that I've gotten used to getting more of a subject in-focus with less effort. On a medium format system you have to pay attention. The caterpillar above is a good example..she crept forward a slight distance and the face/tail went right of the focus area.

I had to try about 10 times...handheld before I got one suitable. The slightest movement of the camera or animal would shift the area of focus in a far more unforgiving way as compared with smaller sensors.

Fujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroFujifilm GFX 50S W/GF120mm F4 R LM OIS WR MacroLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca ISO 200 - 120mm - F8 - 1/160

Build & Operation

Strictly a matter of taste here but I like it. The styling is clearly in keeping with the Fujifilm aesthetic and it works for me to the extent that it's neither strictly retro or modern industrial design. A happy medium. I appreciate the extra abilities of the flip-out LCD rear screen and all the button and dial placements which will be familiar to Fuji fans. Nothing rattles, squeaks, flexes or wobbles. It's tight as a drum, exactly what I expect for a camera costing this kind of money. The lenses were equally of high quality though some might take exception to the GF63mm F2.8 R WR which does squeak a little during focusing.

[DIGITAL] Medium Format cameras were typically slow and cumbersome, though I have seen efforts recently to remedy that. Not so here, everything is reasonably fast from the moment you turn it on or flipping through screens in the Menus. Files write to memory cards very fast, fast enough to clear the buffers with rapid shooting. Of course this isn't a sports camera so the "chain-gun" shooting style isn't an option but when you think of the massive files it produces, operation speed is very important. I never have to wait for an image to appear on the LCD or EVF for review. I also have not experienced any lock-ups or crashes during shooting. One other thing...it doesn't seem to get as "warm" as my old Phase One with continuous use.

Menus

I do see some organizational improvements over my X-T1, I found just about everything I was looking for in a nice A to Z kind of workflow. I've written three articles on "How To Setup Your Camera Like a Boss" which have been wildly popular with my readers. The good news is that you can generally apply those same settings to this camera, allowing for additional features you may not have on your X-Series camera. Like the X-Series cameras, the GFX 50S features a "Q" button which takes you right into a quick menu of sorts where you can access the most common features. The rest can be essentially set and forget if you make yourself some custom "presets" I have two...Studio Friendly and Everything Else settings.

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So back to where I ended up...

Traditionally most people think of medium format cameras as strictly studio or location gear. Take it out, set it on a tripod and connect it to a computer and lock down the focus. After that you setup everything else around it...lighting etc. You wouldn't think of taking it hiking, shooting sports etc. I thought exactly that way initially, with the GFX 50S. After a few days though, I naturally started taking it everywhere. It required a bit more of a roomy bag and the weight was noticeable but I adapted fairly quickly but not everyone will. If you can handle a current model full-frame DSLR, the GFX 50S won't be far off. If you can get over those two things then the GFX 50S will become a very versatile (general purpose) tool. You may also have the advantage of turning just about any lens attached into a telephoto. The big resolution allows deep cropping with enough left over to make very decent prints, let alone WEB displayed images.


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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) Adobe Adobe Lightroom CC Fujifilm Fujifilm GFX 50S Gear Lightroom Medium Format Photography X-Photographer http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/5/fujifilm-gfx-50s-preview Sun, 21 May 2017 13:59:10 GMT
Men @WORK | Photo Essay Pt.3 http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/5/men-work-photo-essay-pt-3


I shot this series of images over a 6 month period as construction work began on a new mega-story condominium building. Instead of my usual Adobe Lightroom CC workflow, I've been using the new Capture One Pro 10.1 software to post-process and output final images.

See PART I & PART II Here.


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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) Candid Capture One Pro 10.1 Construction Olympus Street photographer http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/5/men-work-photo-essay-pt-3 Wed, 10 May 2017 14:25:35 GMT
Capture One Pro 10.1 | Workflow PT.2 http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/5/capture-one-pro-10-1-workflow-pt-2

ISO200 | 1/800 | F4 | 150mm (300mm effective)


Images used for this blog post were made with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 micro four thirds camera and 12-40/40-150mm F2.8 professional lenses. All of them are full-sized final images with exception of the dragonfly which was cropped for composition. As for processing, I let the software handle it using the built in defaults. The finalized images were downsampled to 1280 pixels on the long edge to make them WEB friendly.


I love what Capture One Pro 10.1 (hereafter referred to as COP 10.1) does for my Fujifilm X-TRANS RAW files and I was curious how digital negatives from an Olympus micro four thirds camera would make out. For me, the results speak for themselves. Colour, Contrast..tonality and Sharpness are all bang-on. If you use cameras from either manufacturer stop reading now. Browse to the COP 10.1 website and buy yourself a copy.

ISO250 | 1/320 | F5.6 | 150mm (300mm effective)

As with my Fujifilm test, I used a variety of images shot under very different circumstances to see how the application would handle them.

ISO250 | 1/250 | F52.8 | 150mm (300mm effective)

Hair, Fur and Fine Textures are my go-to benchmark for how good a camera/lens/RAW Converter work to give me the kind of images I like. I saw nothing to dislike...the hairs on the Chipmunk are very nicely defined and have a natural look. You can almost feel how soft he is...

ISO1000 | 1/250 | F4.5 | 115mm (230mm effective)

When I saw this frog on the deck after a hard rainfall the first thing I noticed was the light on it's skin...when I rendered it out in Adobe Lightroom CC it wasn't glistening like this. It was dull...flat and the noise (ISO 1000) was downright ugly. I ended up running it through Olympus Viewer 3 in order to make it work. The COP 10.1 render is very similar...if not slightly better. The skin looks exactly as it's supposed to...moist.

ISO200 | 1/200 | F2.8 | 40mm (80mm effective)

Ditto for this leaf...the water has a very nice sheen...the transition between the focus/out of focus area really works well. Keep in mind...this is all at the "DEFAULT" COP 10.1 settings.

ISO200 | 1/4000 | F4 | 40mm (80mm effective)

There are quite a few competing colours in this image and while I don't have an issue with Lightroom's render (which is similar) I really think COP 10.1 imparts are better organic feel. I can't exactly put my finger on it...but there is a slightly different quality to the clouds of powder that's a bit more believable here.

ISO200 | 1/200 | F2.8 | 150mm (300mm effective)

Check out the detail in this Fig...it looks precisely as it should. Moist, sticky with clearly defined texture. Again...I could have used the Olympus Viewer 3 software which renders images very well, however COP 10.1 is easier to use and much, much faster in general operation.

ISO200 | 1/1000 | F3.5| 106mm (212mm effective)

When I started shooting with micro four thirds cameras I wasn't very impressed and I almost gave up. Then I noticed that a huge divide existed between the out of camera JPEGS and those which I processed in Adobe Lightroom CC. I swapped for a brief time to an application called DXO Optics Pro. Whatever that software did behind the scenes I'm sure I don't know. It's renders were clearly superior to that of Lightroom. I had to go back to Lightroom and reverse process my Olympus images until I got an approximate match. While I think we came about 90% of the way to approximating the DXO renders, something was still missing. DXO just seemed to be reading and interpreting the ORF (Olympus) RAW files better and outputting a much more natural but dynamic image. I get the same impression now from COP 10.1. I just might get a large bottle of wine and dedicate an entire evening to see if I can get Lightroom to match up more closely to COP 10.1. The technology is there...maybe I'm just missing the specific How/Why.

Summary

I know this might seem as me being picky to some of you. Your probably right.

Every dollar I earn in the business of photography is hard fought. Budgets have been in a free-fall for years, gear get's more expensive and complex. On top of all that is the pressure to stay on top of ever shifting trends and market needs. When I buy equipment I expect to get every ounce of capability out of it. If you bought a television that claimed to receive 100 channels but only did 10, would you be satisfied?

I'm guessing no, and that's precisely how I feel about Adobe Lightroom CC. I'm paying (monthly) for software that is increasingly buggy, slow (as compared to Capture One Pro 10.1) and far too inconsistent with the way it handles my Fujifilm and Olympus RAW files. Like a piece of equipment (camera), I want it to just do it's job and stay out of my way. It sucks to always be coming up with "workarounds" to make the experience tolerable.

This version of Capture One Pro does have it's issues but there is no denying the developer is moving along in the right direction.

 

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leightona.miller@gmail.com (Leigh Miller | Photo & Cinema) Capture One Pro 10.1 Editing Micro Four Thirds Mirrorless Olympus Photography Post Processing Workflow http://www.leighmiller.ca/blog/2017/5/capture-one-pro-10-1-workflow-pt-2 Sat, 06 May 2017 16:54:35 GMT