Tag Archives: FUJI 100-400MM

FUJIFILM GFX 50S Impressions /X-Series thoughts…more

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© Jack Graham Photography / All Rights Reserved

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_jgx0005-edit-2I keep lots of demographics for my photography workshop business in order to know who my clients are, and how I can be a better workshop leader. One thing I began doing this year is keeping track on who was using what brand of camera state, here are the results:

Canon 39%, Nikon 28%, Sony 17%, Fuji 11%, and Olympus 3% all other brands under 2%. I did not count the folks who attended the workshops for ONLY FUJIFILM users that Bill and I (on this site) do as this would skew the numbers badly. It will be interesting to see what 2017 brings

Some other interesting numbers: Female 51% Male 49%. This is the first time I had more ladies than men on workshops.

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FUJIFILM GFX 50S   QUICK IMPRESSIONS

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As Bill and I travel around the country doing some speaking and workshops, we’ve been asked a lot about the new GFX 50S, large format camera as well as what we hear that is coming from Fujifilm in the future. Frankly some things we can talk about but some things we have been asked to not comment on.

Though I was able to test  with the X-T2 before it’s release last year,  I have not personally made any images with the large format camera, the GFX 50S. However, I finally got to see and hold the large format GFX 50S camera last weekend. I was really surprised on its size and weight Surprisingly it weighs about the same as a Canon 5D MK4 ! The images I look reviewed made with this camera were quite impressive to say the least. The jury is out whether I will want one or not yet but I am not in a rush. More on that later.

What’s the main difference in the large format vs the X Series cameras from Fujifilm?  From what I was able to see from the images made with the large format camera, the resolution, dynamic range, and color depth, are really great. This is solely as a result of a larger sensor. Depth of field is always improved with larger sensors, allowing for a much more smooth transition from in to out of focus area of an image. The images look somewhat more three-dimensional.

pic_adccccvditional_02The GFX50 felt great in my hands. It seems like it was just a bigger X-T2 and lighter than I expected. Fujifilm designed and placed a thumb grip on the back side of the body that really makes the camera feel good in your hands. Just like the X-T2 all the controls are within finger length and the interface is very similar. Many of the X-T2 features and on the GFX 50S. There are also some new ones and I am sure will be available via firmware on the X-T2 and X-Pro 2 (are you listening Fujifilm?)

Remember this is a mirrorless large format camera!  Not having a mirror keeps the overall size of the camera smaller than the competition. Without a mirror you also eliminate those tiny vibrations which can show up as blur on your images – which by the way shows up a lot more at this high a resolution than with DSLR’s and existing mirrorless cameras.

To me being mirrorless is really important. However equally important is the kind of shutter Fujifilm has employed in this camera. The GFX 50S will be the world’s first medium format camera to feature a focal plane shutter. What does this mean?  1) Lenses, can be built lighter than normal, and are designed for both the focal plane shutters well as the leaf-shutter lenses. Again, without having a shutter in the camera these lenses can be less heavy and smaller. 2) You can now attain faster shutter speeds than from typical cameras. 1/4000th is not unrealistic!

gfx_sideleft_63mm_evf-495x400The sensor in the GFS-50S is a Bayer Sensor made by Sony to Fuji Specifications. To say it’s a Sony sensor is only because Sony produced it. Fujifilm designed it using improvements that offer visible differences in the final images. The sensor offers a resolution of 51.4 million pixels! The lowest native ISO sensitivity is 100. Most impressive statistic to me is that the sensor offers a whopping 14 stops of dynamic range. Think about that!

Complete information on the sensor, processor and more can be found HERE

phpg9dlcjThe GFX 50S has a touch screen and improved the screen maneuverability over the X-T2. On the GFX 50S you need to just press of a button rather to shift into the vertical position.

There is a lot more to know about this camera. You local dealers should by now be about to tell you about it and perhaps even have one to show. Lots of information can be found on the FUJIFILM website as well.

So far, the GFX 50S has been resounding success with lots of back orders and allocation headaches for Fujifilm. I guess that a good and bad problem!

The question I bet some of you have is do I want one? I  really don’t know.  I’d love to shoot it for a few days….Do I need 51 MP? NO! Does anyone NO! However seeing the resolution and results of the dynamic range that this camera delivers vs the size and weight I might be tempted. How different it from the X-T2. Answer. Quite a lot. However there are things to take into consideration.

  • Size, weight cost VS final results. Again, the jury is out. I am generally a landscape photographer that will make images of buildings, Americana as my good friend Bill Fortney calls it as well as macro photography. I suspect the studio folks, wedding shooters, specialty photographers (food, models etc.) will flock to this camera. Us landscape folks might be the last. Again the Jury is out for me.
  • IF YOU ARE BUYING A GFX 50S PLEASE BEWARE:

c2a63ed20978b943983e5ae670c38f08In my photography workshops I am see many DSLR’s and some mirrorless cameras with high-resolution sensors. The good news is how good the images CAN look if everything is done right. The bad news is that ANY (and I mean ANY) deficiencies ranging from poor technique to shaky tripods, to unacceptable lenses will show up on your images the more MP’s you have. I will go so far as to say that 75%+ of the Nikon D800 & D810 owners would be better off with D750’s or D500’s! You have to treat these cameras like fine-tuned cars. Any and all problems are going to show up, believe me.

Camera Straps hitting the tripod, blowing in the wind causes vibration= blurry images…. Using a D800-810 .. its more visible!

Also the RAW file out of the GFS 50S is about 110MB. That’s the RAW file! Make sure your computer isn’t going to crash if its too slow and have lots of hard drives—you’re going to need them! VERY IMPRESSIVE FUJIFILM!!!!!

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SO LET’S TALK ABOUT THE X SERIES!

First–Get your FUJIFILM X-T2 set up right. Check out Bill’s (Fortney)  E-Book –everything you need to know about the X-T2 HERE

_jgx1792-editAs far as the X-Series goes, the X-T2 as been a rousing success and is still in many cases back ordered. Those who have come and have come to know its capabilities have had nothing but praise for this camera.

The FUJIFILM just released the new X100F. Later this year I am really excited that a new macro lens is on the way. It will be an 80 mm  f/2.8 weather sealed with image stabilization. In 2018 a faster wide-angle zoom is predicted. I would hope it would be an upgrade and maybe wider than the current 10-24 mm f/4. (15-36 equivalent). Also a new long prime is forecast.

 

 

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For now the absolutely amazingly sharp 90 mm f/2(image above)  is the longest. Without any knowledge at all I am guessing that we’ll see at least a 150 mm or maybe as large as a 300 F 2.8 (I can hope can’t I?) Below is the Fujifilm “Roadmap” as of today

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Anyhow as always Fujifilm is listening to its customer base and I’ll bet there will be a few firmware tweaks on the X-PRO2 and X-T2.

Product development folks at FUJIFILM  are never content. They are constantly looking at ways to improve the X-Trans Sensor to totally compete and jump ahead of the DSLR marketplace. Latest numbers tell a sad story. 2010 marked the peak in numbers of cameras being sold overall. In 2015, the total sales were less than ONE-THIRD of the total photo camera sales of 2010.

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Here are some amazing numbers: In 2016 DSLRs sales were down 12% in volume but a whopping 29% in dollars. Mirrorless sales were up 22% in volume, and 49% in dollars.

Maybe the most thing to remember, and I sometimes sound like a broken record is no matter what camera you own, you still need to make the image! It’s not the MP’s, it not the glass it’s YOU! Having the best only gives you the CHANCE to make a good photograph!–JG

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Survey Please! Production X-t2…Images…..more

Folks,

img_main01Well I finally received my production model of the Fujifilm X-T2. I could totally post my review but it wouldn’t be much different from some of the the reviews with high praise found all over these days. Plus I need to get packed and ready for my next 4 and final photography workshops of 2016.I’m off to Acadia NP, The Smoky’s , Zion NP then to Whidbey Island over the next 4 weeks+ easy to enjoy making some new images! My quick review is—get your hands on this camera–you probably won’t let go! Continue reading Survey Please! Production X-t2…Images…..more

FUJIFILM X-T2—-FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Images and Text ©Jack Graham, all rights reserved

The lone anticipated FUJIFILM X-T2 has just been announced. I have been fortunate to have been one of the “Chosen” Fuji “X” photographers to have a pre-production model of this new among camera for about quite a while. Impressive is certainly not enough to label this camera. It’s been one of the hardest things not to be able to talk at length about the new FUJIFILM X-T2 but finally, the time has come! Continue reading FUJIFILM X-T2—-FIRST IMPRESSIONS

FUJI 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR … IT’S HERE!

I am going to write my views on this magnificent lens without going overboard as to its quality, both in build and image quality – believe me it won’t be easy! The much anticipated FUJI 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is actually more than I expected in many ways … so on to some observations and results!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I know it’s not probably good to give the “Bottom Line” early in an article, but, the “Bottom Line” here is that the FUJI 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens is right up there as with the 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR, and that’s saying something. This new ultra-zoom combines a really impressive construction quality with some outstanding optics; the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 OIS WR zoom lens, along with the Fuji crop sensor will give the same angle of view as 150-600mm on a full frame camera.

Below are two images. The first is with the lens at 100MM and the second at 400MM.

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When I unboxed this lens I was quite surprised by the size and weight – frankly, I was expecting a much heavier lens.

Placed inside the new FUJI 100-400MM lens is an astounding 21 elements in 14 groups (including 6 low dispersion elements and 1 extra low dispersion element.)

Comparable sizes and weights:

FUJI 50-140mm F2.8 –1093 grams, 6.9” Length

FUJI 100-400mm F 4.5 -5.6 — 1375 grams, 11.4 x 7.7 x 5.2″ Length

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The body of the lens contains the same aperture and OIS controls as the 50-140. There’s also a focus range selector. When in restricted mode the autofocus is somewhat faster when focusing on subjects more than 5 meters away.

FULL= 5M TO INFINITY         RESTRICTED= 5M TO INFINITY

_DSF0566The lens comes with a sturdy collar mount, front and rear caps, a dedicated lens hood and Fuji’s cloth wrapping. As with the lens hood that comes with the 50-140mm, the hood for the new 100-400mm has an opening where you can adjust your polarizer rather than having to stick your hand deep into the hood. Leave it to Fuji to improve even the lens hood! The lens hood on the 100-400mm slides back and forth whereas the one on the 50-140mm has to be removed and can be lost.  Little things like this is why I am a Fuji shooter. If they do this to a lens hood, you know they’re thinking the same way when developing cameras and lenses.

Even more surprising is that the lens takes 77mm filters. If memory serves me right, the rumor was the filter size was supposed to be 82. This in and of itself was worth the wait for me. Now I can use my 77mm filters on this lens along with my 16-55mm. I love shooting long exposure and use the Singh Ray Mor Slo ND’s which I own at 77mm – even more reason the 77mm thread size made me really happy.

The lens is also both water and dust resistant and can operate in temperatures as low as -10°C, so it’s suitable for use in a wide range of outdoor shooting conditions. A fluorine coating has also been applied to the front lens element to repel water and dirt, further improving the toughness of the lens. The lens features 13 water and dust resistant seals at 12 points, allowing you to shoot with confidence in tough outdoor environments.

I made some images with the Canon 500 D Diopter, which kind of turns this into a macro lens … again very impressive!

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(Above) Without the Canon 500D diopter
F22.  421mm (in 35mm film)    1/20 sec, f/5.2

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(Above) With Canon 500D diopters
F 22.  579mm (in 35mm film) 0.7 sec, f/16

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(Above) I made this image hand held with the OIS on, 1600 ISO …. 1/480 sec at F11 … fully extended to 600mm (in 35mm film)

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(Above) 421mm (in 35mm film)   1/20 sec, f/5.2

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(Above) 579mm (in 35mm film) 0.7 sec, f/16

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(Above) 378mm (in 35mm film)    1/12 sec, f/16

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(Above) 579mm (in 35mm film)  2.6 sec, f/22

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(Above) 764mm (in 35mm film—using the Fuji 1.4 teleconverter)           1/400 sec, f/8

BUILD QUALITY

_JGP7934True to form, the folks at Fuji design have really outdone themselves on this lens. The 100-400mm is constructed every bit as well as the 50-150. It is weather resistant (sealed) which is important to me living in the Pacific Northwest and recently spending a good amount of time in Iceland and Norway. The aperture ring has that feeling of quality when I click it.

The zoom ring is the larger of the two rings placed above the focusing ring. Both are just loose enough to allow for exact zooming and critical focusing. There is even a lock to keep the lens in the 100mm position if you want to secure it for travel.

The tripod collar is just a bit different than that of the 50-140. I happen to like this (lower profile) design a bit more.

(Above right) 600mm (in 35mm film) 1 sec, f/16

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 (Above) 365mm (in 35mm film) 1/30 sec, f/16

 

FIELD USE

_JGP8026As I mentioned, I was expecting a somewhat bigger lens and was pleasantly surprised to see and feel the quality construction, size and weight. It is certainly no more difficult to manage than any of the current 70-200mm lenses. I use a Really Right Stuff tripod along with the RSS BH 55 ball head. I also use the Fuji MHG-XT grip on my Fuji X-T1 camera.  The tripod collar is really a benefit in stabilizing the lens as well as allowing the weight of the lens to pull down on the camera when mounted on the tripod. Fuji XT-1. I found myself cradling the camera and lens like a baby before mounting it on the tripod!

_JGP8030I shot this lens out past 150-200mm most of the time. This maybe because I had been used to the 50 -140mm when shooting in that 100-150mm range.

What separates one zoom lens from another? To me it’s the ability to move in close, closer and then even closer while maintaining sharpness. The Fuji 100-400mm truly exceeded my expectations in this department. Again, I was pleased on the tightness of the focus ring. It was just right for me. No focus creeping here!

I shot subjects using the manual focus system along with the auto focus tracking system. Both performed equally as well as the Fuji 50-140mm. I was very impressed by the sensitivity and accuracy of the manual focus system even out beyond 400 mm.

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(Above)  452mm (in 35mm film) 1/8 sec, f/11 .       468mm (in 35mm film)   1/5 sec, f/11

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(Above) 150mm (in 35mm film)     1/15 sec, f/16

I can honestly say that this lens is as sharp as the 50-140mm F2.8 at comparable focal ranges. I made many images stopping down at long focal lengths to obtain max sharpness with great success.

I am not a sports or action shooter but I did take some images of moving things. The autofocus was as expected based on Fuji’s prior lenses and it updates the auto tracking system on my X-T1.

Winter is not prime time for wildlife here in the Pacific Northwest but I did manage to get in on some bald eagles and a great blue heron. For these opportunities I combined the 100-400 with the Fuji 1.4 teleconverter. At 400mm, along with the teleconverter I was out equal to 840mm (600mm x 1.4)!

I experimented with some close-up images both with and without the teleconverter. Again the lens performed better than I thought it would. Images were very sharp and well defined even on the edges. The first two images below did not use a teleconverter. What detail!

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(Above)  352mm (in 35mm film)   1/5 sec, f/16

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(Above) 295mm (in 35mm film)  1/5 sec, f/16

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(Above) No teleconverter  – 275mm (in 35mm film)   1/900 sec, f/8

_JGP7881-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit(Above) With teleconverter – 800mm (in 35mm film)  1/1000 sec, f/7.7

 

RANDOM THOUGHTS

_JGP7830-EditWhy not make a 400mm 2.8? Yes, I am sure some folks will ask for that lens, perhaps believing that this one is too slow.  Believe me, Fuji could produce this as well. It would be much bigger and way more costly. Using the Fuji “X” camera system and having the benefits of low noise at high ISO’s make this lens just fine for me, thank you. It’s just the right size and fits in my camera bag just great.

(Right) 600mm (in 35mm film)   1/18 sec, f/16

The new Fuji 100-400 F 4.5 5.6 OIS WR will be priced very aggressively. As of today you CAN buy the Nikon 500mm F4 FL ED VR lens (weighs about 7 pounds) at B & H for … $ 10,295.95. I challenge anyone to justify the price difference!

We Fuji “X” photographers are quite spoiled by having some great glass to choose from. This year, I bought the 90mm 2.0. What a lens! The 50-140mm and 16-55 are truly amazing. Now this 100-400.  In my pack I can now shoot from 15mm to 840mm with the best quality available. Thank you Fuji Film!

Conclusions: Fuji XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens

Here is where we usually do our pros and cons. Frankly, I have no cons. Here are the quick points on what makes this lens a must have for me:

  • Amazing weather sealed construction and solid build. Much smaller in size and weight than I expected
  • Fast autofocus speed when mounted on the X-T1
  • Includes well-constructed tripod collar which stabilizes the weight when on my tripod
  • Solid, just right feeling zoom and focusing rings
  • Great OIS control when hand holding
  • 77MM filters
  • Very impressive image quality when using the teleconverter
  • Superb close-up performance
  • Priced so it won’t break the bank

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(Above) 485mm (in 35mm film)    1/40 sec, f/11

 MORE IMAGES


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 150mm (in 35mm film)

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300mm (in 35mm film)

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150mm (in 35mm film)

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300mm (in 35mm film)

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539mm (in 35mm film)    1/30 sec, f/16

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199mm (in 35mm film) 1/50 sec, f/11