I’ve doubled down on my photography, and Fujifilm obsession, and purchased a used GFX 50S which has become…
My Perfect Camera
Since I started shooting with the GFX a month ago, my photography has become more deliberate and relaxing. With my Fuji X system, I was often in a hurry and thinking about or carrying a collection of lenses for every possible photographic situation. With the GFX I take along two prime lenses, a tripod, and a 10-stop ND filter and move slowly as I become more aware of the landscape and considerate of my surroundings. This is photographic Zen.
Files, Files, Files!
When I first opened a GFX raw file in Capture One, could feel myself fall into the image. The amount of manipulation, cropping, and recovery the files can handle and remain clean and sharp is stunning. Basically, I can take a wildly underexposed and poorly framed image and recover and crop to create something I am happy with.
With my Fuji X cameras, Acros was my go-to film simulation for dark and moody black and white images. The GFX with its gorgeous colors and finest of gradations has ruined black and white for me. It seems a shame to throw all this color away.
Most of the images I have been shooting with the GFX 50S are long exposures of between one to four minutes in length with ISO’s ranging between 100 to 1600. Again, the files at the other side of the exposure are sharp with remarkably low noise. It has been such a pleasure to make the familiar look almost magical.
The GFX body and lenses are certainly larger than my Fuji X camera and lenses, but I don’t find them significantly heavier. Surprisingly it still makes for a portable kit if you take along the 32-64 zoom, or in my case the 30 and 63 primes which fit nicely into my old, beat up, and well-traveled Domke F-803 Messenger Bag.
In future posts, I’ll did deeper into the GFX system, the lenses and accessories that I own, and how I use them.
The GFX 50S was already three years old when I purchased it. It does not have the IBIS or the resolution of the 100 and upcoming 100S. It does not have the fastest autofocus. It does not have all the high-resolution video capabilities.
But I don’t need all that. The 50MB sensor is glorious and the raw file sizes manageable. I’ve gotten along fine without IBIS by using good technique and I am not tripod-phobic. I bought the X-T3 because I wanted to get into video, which I never did. I like stills. I like the confidence I have with the weather sealing and that big battery when I am out in the freezing cold and snow.
The GFX is a game-changer for me. I’ve been taking pictures for 30 years and no camera has resonated with me on this level. The GFX 50S has indeed become my perfect camera.