Fujifilm’s GFX 50 S: YES! Worth The 35 Year Wait

The Fujifilm GFX 50S medium format camera? No biggie; I’ve only waited 35 years for it. 😉

As it turns out, this gorgeous beast was worth waiting for. 😁

Here is a video Justin Majeczky and I made for Fujifilm about the GFX… my story (including about how this video was so down-to-wire it almost didn’t get made!) and review are right below it.

 

NOTE: OK gang, this is a long post. It’s part review, part story, all GFX. You might want tea. Or wine.

At any rate, buckle up cowboy, here we go.

For 6 Days Only…

Waaaaay back when I was in my 20’s and studying photography with dreams of one day becoming a professional fine artist, all I could think of was having a medium format camera. I wanted one so bad it was all I could think of! I feel asleep at night while visions of Hasselblad danced in my head.

But alas, for myriad of reasons it was not to be, back then.
Cut to now… Wow!

I recently had the opportunity to be one of 6 photographers in the U.S. to beta test the new Fujifilm GFX 50S medium format camera. I jumped at it, with a big cheesy grin on my face! The caveat: we could only have it in our hot little hands for 6 days each. That’s it, no exceptions. The Mission: create images, images, images!

I was game… so I made my plan, scouted my locations and counted the days like an 8 year old with Advent calendar till this beauty arrived.
Or you could say: I went to sleep while visions of GFX danced in my head!

The Arrival

Finally, the big day arrived. A fat box from Fujifilm appeared at my door… and inside was my version of pure gold. And this is where it all got, ummm… interesting.

Stressful, anxiety-provoking, dramatic, expensive, historic are also good words.

The day the camera arrived, what turned out to be 7 inches of rain in 2 days began to fall. And that was only the prelude. But of course at this point, I had no idea about the week I was in for. I was optimistic, excited, ready and rarin’ to go.

The X-T2’s Awesome Big Brother

When I first picked it up, I had a moment of anxiety. Would it be hard to learn? How different IS this system, anyway? I had this idea that a new camera meant a whole new brain was required or something. Much to my delight and surprise, that was not the case at all!

NOTE: There was no tripod plate made for the GFX at this point: but my B9 Multi-Use Bidirectional plate from Really Right Stuff did the till-then trick, keeping the camera solid and secure. Everywhere I use a tripod in the post, it’s the Really Right Stuff TQC-14 and BH-40 ballhead. My go-to rig!

here’s the rope-a-dope…

The GFX 50S is like the big brother to my beloved X-T2!! It definitely does a bunch of extra stuff – I mean, this thing is packed with goodness – but the transition to it was easy-peasy, lemon squeazy on account of all the similarities! I think this was an incredibly smart move on Fujifilm’s part; one of many they made with the creation of this camera.

Here’s a bullet point list of some of my fave features that the GFX pulls from my fave X Series cameras:

  • It’s weathersealed! Thoroughly tested that one, as you’ll soon learn.
  • Great big LCD screen, with the same dual-articulating feature as the X-T2. (I may have cheered out loud over that one.)
  • Add to that… Touchscreen! It auto-focuses, takes the shot, scrolls between images, pinches and zoom… just like the X-T20.
  • It has a joystick, just like the X-T2 & X-Pro2… which I also love. Options!!
  • ISO dial on the top left, sensitivity dial on the right and a Drive button! I love the Drive feature on the X-Pro 2.
  • Low noise at high ISO, just like… well all of them!
  • Dual SD cards like the X-T2 and X-Pro 2 do.
  • 4k video like the X-T2 and X-T20 (although to be honest, I didn’t have time to try it out.)
  • Those fab customizable buttons which all of those cameras feature, which I avidly use to make different shooting set ups a breeze.
The Bottom Line?

Basically, it’s easy to learn even if you’ve never shot with an X Series camera… and a no-brainer if you’re an X Series vet.

This being a VERY pre-production model, it did not come with a user’s manual – nor were all the features enabled yet… but even photographing with SOME of the features working was mind-blowing! Since it wasn’t fully operational at the time I had it, I can’t do a full review here; my mission was mostly to produce images. After my time with it… well, suffice it to say that the GFX 50S IS “all that” in my book.

Here’s something I also think is genius about this camera. It fills a section of the market that NO ONE has touched; that of a 50mg, medium format camera with a price point of way less than any other MF camera.  I believe it’ll go for around $6500 US.

You might wonder, as I did, about the sensor size – and how a 50mp medium format compares to say, a 50mp full frame sensor. I’m not a tecchie, but I do love visuals and grokking concepts like this. This image is from a really good article in Petapixel about this very thing. You can see what a HUGE gap there was between the Canon 5D S the Phase One… which the GFX neatly fits into. I think this is pure genius. Just my opinion.

THEN it snowed. And snowed… 

Back to the storm. 7 inches of rain basically turned into 25 feet of snow in a week. No joke. OK, only 10-12 feet at my house, 25 feet at the upper elevations… but you get the drift. (see how I did that?)

When something like that happens, it’s INTENSE! You basically have to stay home, stay put and survive. Roads close, avalanches happen (in town!), power goes out, cell service goes out… and your whole existence becomes all about taking care of home, health and hearth. You shovel, snowblow, throw wood in the wood stove,  rinse, repeat. All day. Mother Nature and the Mountains rule up here… and when they go off on a rant, you realize how small you really are.

The day the rain turned to snow, the roads became a giant gloppy mess. Like, 5 inches of mashed-potatoes-and-snot gloppy. (Descriptive, isn’t it? Also quite accurate.) You can’t shovel it, snowblowers won’t throw it… snow plows and loaders pretty much have to just push it out of the way. Cars hate it. Especially mine, as it turns out.

So on Day#2 of the storm (or in Mission Time: Day 2 of 6 that I had the GFX in my possession), the transmission on my car got one taste of that stuff in our driveway and rolled over and died. AAA was so overwhelmed from the sheer onslaught of stranded drivers that they gave me an estimate of 2 weeks to tow it anywhere. My vehicle instantly became a garage ornament right when I needed it most. Since my husband works out of town, this left me with no wheels. And the clock was ticking.

The Rental Car & The Blizzard

Day 3 of the storm became about getting a rental car so that I could get out and shoot SOMEthing. I accomplished this (and hey, 2 days of 4WD rental during a snow crises only cost me $450! 😳) – and managed to get my first shots with the GFX!

It wasn’t easy. The winds were so strong (at their overnight highest, winds over ridgetops were clocked at 176mph) that even in my usually protected forest nearby, it was blowing so hard I could barely see!

OK yeah, I admit it, I took the GFX out in a blizzard and in rain. It’s why I know the weather sealing works.

I held onto my tripod (which, being Really Right Stuff, doesn’t normally need hanging onto!) and grabbed this image in a moment between gusts, when the snow was only being driven at a 45 degree angle, instead of straight across:

Fujifilm GFX, GX32-64mmF4 R LM WR
ISO 500, f/11, 1/60 sec
Really Right Stuff TQC-14 and BH-40 ballhead

Protection Is Good…

Not to be daunted, I headed over to a different area that I knew was more protected. Needless to say, I was all alone. Seems nobody thought traipsing around a forest in a blizzard was a good idea. Go figure!

This was just long enough of an exposure to eliminate the appearance of falling snow… but believe me, it was falling – and hard!
BTW, both of these images are actually in color… I did not shoot in nor convert to black and white.

Fujifilm GFX, GX32-64mmF4 R LM WR
ISO 800, f/14, 1/15 sec
Really Right Stuff TQC-14 and BH-40 ballhead

Show The Aspect Ratios!

We were asked to create images showing the different aspect ratios that the GFX 50S offers. At first I thought “What’s the big deal? I’ll just crop.” Then I started using this feature and fell face-first into its brilliance. It give your creative eye a whole new (several, in fact!) perspective(s) to experience, which ended up being WAY more satisfying than I imagined it would be.

You know how when you try to crop in-camera, but the framing isn’t quite right – so you take something close to what you envision it and say to yourself  “I’ll crop that later.”?

Yeah, we’ll be having none of that with the GFX. What follows is the same image shown in the different aspect ratios that the GFX will offer in-camera. Only 4 of them were enabled in the pre-production model that I had, so I cropped for the others as a demo.

This image is for my “Family Of Trees” project. I call it “Littles In The Forest.”


Fujifilm GFX, GX32-64mmF4 R LM WR
ISO 1600, f/22, 1/4 sec
Really Right Stuff TQC-14 and BH-40 ballhead

3×2 Aspect ratio
4×3 aspect ratio
5×4 aspect ratio
1×1 aspect ratio
7×6 aspect ratio
16×9 aspect ratio
65×24 aspect ratio

 

Blown Away, Versions 1&2

Meanwhile, back at the blizzard; the mighty winds finally got so bad that even I had to pack it in. That’s blown away, V 1.0. The literal one!

Later, when I looked at the images on my computer, I was blown away V 2.0!! The dimensionality, the depth of field, that “certain something” that makes you feel like you can step into each image… all of that sang from each photo, straight out of camera! What kind of wizardry WAS this??

These are the magical qualities that made me fall in love with medium format waaaayyy back in the beginning. They are what I’ve yearned for, attempted to create, envisioned for my work. These are qualities that my heart goes out like a heat-seeking missile to find, photograph and tell stories with.

I wanted to weep when I saw them staring back at me from the beefy JPG images of the GFX. (RAW isn’t readable yet, so I created all of these images from JPG. I can only imagine what it’ll be like when we can use the RAW files!)

The Blur Of Days

Honestly, the next couple of days are a blur… power outages, all roads in the area closed, power, internet, cell phone all down. Somewhere in there I returned the rental car and gratefully accepted a loaner. The hubs and I began to realize I was going to have to buy a new car, which didn’t help my anxiety level… and the days were ticking by! Here I had the opportunity of a lifetime to beta test the camera I’d waited 35 years for and couldn’t even get out of the driveway!

One day I made it to Lake Tahoe – I don’t remember exactly when or how. Heck, this may be out of order, so please forgive. Point was, I didn’t think it was such a great day for photography… but somehow the GFX had a different idea and gave a little touch of magic to keep me going…

Fujifilm GFX, GX32-64mmF4 R LM WR
ISO 1000, f/32, 30 sec
Really Right Stuff TQC-14 and BH-40 ballhead

Finally, a Break

Finally, road crews caught enough of a break in the weather to open up some throughways. Not all of them, but at least I was able to drive out a bit. Thing was, the snow was so deep everywhere I normally snowshoed, that even WITH my snowshoes, I sunk to mid-thigh and deeper at each step. I love winter, but at a certain point “too much snow” becomes dangerous and damaging. Such was the case with these series of storms.

At this point, it was still snowing heavily – but the clock was still ticking and the “get photographs with the GFX” mission wasn’t going to get done by itself! Parking was the issue though, since even though you could drive around, there weren’t too many places to stop except gas stations and markets.

For this shot, I found a wee spot on the side of the road to squeeze in – then jumped out, ran across the slick road (Hwy. 89) and took this quickly. Luckily, the interstate was still shut down, so the only drivers going by were locals who knew how to drive (vs. tourists who are lovely, but scary on the roads). So I survived. 😉

Fujifilm GFX, GX32-64mmF4 R LM WR
ISO 200, f/8, 1/125 sec
Really Right Stuff TQC-14 and BH-40 ballhead

This next one ended up being my favorite of all.. and was printed really BIG for the Fujifilm GFX launch event in New York City the following week (I was there, so I got to see it!):

Fujifilm GFX, GX32-64mmF4 R LM WR
ISO 250, f/4.5, 1/250 sec
Really Right Stuff TQC-14 and BH-40 ballhead

Day 6: Let There Be Light!

After one of the most unbelievably challenging, stressful, kinda scary and history-making weeks think I’ve ever experienced… Day 6 of Mission: GFX finally cut us a break! WooHoo! This was doubly awesome, since my friend and videographer Justin Majeczky and I were supposed to make a video about the camera. We’d rescheduled every day that week on account of weather and conditions, but finally… the heavens (and roads) opened!

I got out early, since I hadn’t been able to create NEARLY the number of images I’d planned on. Heck, after 10-25 feet of snow (depending upon elevation) drop on your head, you’re just grateful that you’re still on your feet with a roof over your head. Even if your car is now a garage ornament.

The amount of water and snow everywhere was just astounding. And with the cold temps came ice:

Fujifilm GFX, GX32-64mmF4 R LM WR
ISO 250, f/32, 1/15 sec
Really Right Stuff TQC-14 and BH-40 ballhead

Fujifilm GFX, GX32-64mmF4 R LM WR
ISO 640, f/22, 1/125 sec
Really Right Stuff TQC-14 and BH-40 ballhead

The Dimensionality

Justin and I met up in Donner State Park for our video shoot. And for the first time in a week, the light showed up and started doing its thing, gently but beautifully. #GRATEFUL!

Fujifilm GFX, GX32-64mmF4 R LM WR
ISO 200, f/20, 1/125 sec
Really Right Stuff TQC-14 and BH-40 ballhead

This lady and her dog had come out to play after being cooped up for days. We chatted some and marveled at how completely the landscape had changed in such a short time. Before the storms kicked in, this whole area only had a spindly little stream through it… and you could walk right next to it. All that was now underwater.

Fujifilm GFX, GX32-64mmF4 R LM WR
ISO 400, f/20, 1/1000 sec
Really Right Stuff TQC-14 and BH-40 ballhead

Although it doesn’t really look like it in this photo the trees were SO HEAVY with snow, many were actually breaking. I came back this same area a mere 2 days later (after more wind and stormage): hundreds of trees had come out by their roots… crazy! And a little unnerving, I must say.

The GFX just gives everything an epic sort of feel… I ended up cropping this one, but did zero post-processing to this image, just so you could see it SOOC.

Fujifilm GFX, GX32-64mmF4 R LM WR
ISO 200, f/20, 1/125 sec
Really Right Stuff TQC-14 and BH-40 ballhead

The Details

Then, the details… just WOW!

Fujifilm GFX, GX32-64mmF4 R LM WR
ISO 200, f/10, 1/250 sec
Really Right Stuff TQC-14 and BH-40 ballhead

Here’s one of Justin, as we were wrapping up our shoot. He used the Fujifilm X-T2’s 4K video for that:

Fujifilm GFX, GX32-64mmF4 R LM WR
ISO 400, f/5, 1/1000 sec
Really Right Stuff TQC-14 and BH-40 ballhead

I looked up at one point when the trees were shedding some snow. Y’know how looking up with a wider angle lens often makes it seem like trees are leaning in? Ummmm… these trees WERE leaning in, from the weight of the snow! In two days, some of these giants had come crashing down..

Fujifilm GFX, GX32-64mmF4 R LM WR
ISO 200, f/10, 1/320 sec
Really Right Stuff TQC-14 and BH-40 ballhead

Of course, no day of mine is complete without a little Artification. Here’s another from “Family of Trees” series…

Fujifilm GFX, GX32-64mmF4 R LM WR
ISO 1250, f/8, 1/125 sec
Really Right Stuff TQC-14 and BH-40 ballhead

Buh-Bye GFX!

The second Justin and I were done filming, I packed that GFX up lightning-fast and got it to FedEx for its return to Fujifilm. It was right up to the wire! I was the last of the six X-Photographers tapped for beta testing to have it… now it would go home and give the engineers all the data it had collected along its journey. It’s a great feeling to know that I may have contributed just a bit to some truly ground-breaking technology coming to a camera near you. 😉

As of this writing, the Fujifilm GFX 50S isn’t yet launched. But it will be before long – and I hope I’ll have one in my hands when it does! Did I mention I’ve waited 35 years for this? Hahahahah!!

It’s one helluva a camera. And while there were unusual and unexpected challenges to conquer in order to accomplish the mission… I wouldn’t have passed this opportunity up for the world! It was 100% AWESOME.


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38 thoughts on “Fujifilm’s GFX 50 S: YES! Worth The 35 Year Wait

  1. Hi Karen,

    Such a wonderful blog you have here. I got the link from a forum post in DPReview.

    Yes, this camera is offering image quality that can compete with Pentax and Hasselblad cameras. But $6,500 price tag is not small amount of money for anyone. 🙁

    I will stick with my Sony A7R2.

    1. Thanks for the kind words on the blog, Herve.

      I’m 100% behind anyone sticking with what works for them and those A7R2’s are great. I’m more than grateful and fortunate to have been able to try a camera like the GFX, which I found to be a magnificent beast. It was super exciting to give it a few days’ test run. And then, as I packed it up and sent it back to it’s home planet, I let go a big sigh and patted my trusty XT2 on its hot shoe and said “it’s you and me, kid”.

      ‘Cause yes, I get what you say; I’m mortal too.
      But we can dream… 😉

  2. Thanks for the write-up, Karen. It looks like a beautiful camera and, of course, your images are amazing. Unfortunately, now I hate you because you made me want this camera even more

    Jk, I’d love to shoot with you next time you’re in Santa Cruz or I make it to Tahoe. Currently saving up for the X-T2 to replace my X-T1

  3. How do you think this system would fare with astrophotography?

    I’m getting quite into Fuji — shot ~4,600 images with the X-T10 and am just now continuing with the X-T2. Both of these seem to do well with the night sky — the X-T2 has no problem autofocusing on bright objects and both cameras can ‘see’ the color of the Orion nebula.

    P.S. Loved finding the hammock in one of your snow in the forest pictures.

    1. Hey David,

      Well, I had no opportunity to try the GFX in astrophotography, so I honestly don’t know. I know the X-T2 does great, so I guess we’ll have to wait and find out about the new one! My guess is it’ll be great… but right now that’s all I got. A guess.

      You found the hammock??? You get the prize for being the only one who mentioned it! hehheh.

  4. Hi Karen;
    Great write up on an exceptional camera. When i first started shooting I worked for Pan Pacific Cameras in So. Cal and had the opportunity to use there rental department where I was able to learn about medium format i.e.: Hasselblad and Bronica cameras. I was hooked for my studio work it was all that I used but for my Motorsports work they weren’t practical. 30 years have passed and I still am a Motorsports photographer and in the last 5 or 6 years I have started doing landscapes in the offseason with my friend Stephen. We had a discussion this past weekend about this camera and wondered what images would look like and now I know amazing the depth of field I’m blown away. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Mike! Motorsports is SUCH a thrilling thing to photograph. I admire you guys tremendously.

      As for the depth of field on the GFX… yeahhhhh… it’s freakishly amazing. I’m still ogling at them!

  5. Will there be enough supply to ship the GFX50 timely? I’m planning a trip to Cuba and was hoping that there wouldn’t be any delays.

    1. Hi Henry,

      I do not have a clue, as I do not work for Fujifilm and am not in the loop on that end. Wish I knew!

  6. Amazing work Karen! And under extreme duress. Lovely images. Your eye and that camera definitely work well together to bring about your vision.

    1. Thanks Tami! And good point… one’s eye and camera DO have to work together. I wish more people realized that when they go looking for gear. It’s delicate matchmaking process. 😉

  7. Wow, Karen, just wow. What a wonderful story and fantastic images. Holy smokes. I just discovered your blog today from a link via Fuji Rumors. Where has your blog been all my life? 😉

    I just subscribed, and we need to stay in touch. I’m in Northern California so I am hoping we will be able meet some time this year.

    My very best regards
    Stephen Scharf

    1. Stephen… ha! That’s so cool! I had no idea I could be found via Fuji Rumors. And… my blog has been right here. Welcome to our corner of the world! 😀

  8. hi Karen,

    Wonderful review and images! I have pre-ordered the GFX-50S along with the 32-64 and 120 lenses. Can’t wait to get my hands on ’em!

    Quick question:
    A lot of the images in your review have a post-process feel to them – at least to my eyes. Only for one image you have specifically mentioned “…I ended up cropping this one, but did zero post-processing to this image, just so you could see it SOOC….”. Which makes me wonder how much and what kind of post-processing you’ve done to the rest of the images? The only reason to ask is to get a true sense of what to expect SOOC. And if you tell me that none of the images have post processing on them, then just WOW!

    Look forward to your reply.

    1. Hey Harsh,
      You ask a good question. I’ll qualify my answer by saying I’m not a standard “reviewer”, so am not taking great pains to show only SOOC images. I approach all of this as an the artist, presenting my vision of what I create with whatever gear I’m showing. That said, I DO try and show at least one SOOC.

      Now that I’ve got that out of the way… these images have varying degrees of post processing done to them. Some very little, some quite a bit more.
      The ones with the least amount are the first – showing the snow whipping through at 45 degrees. I did a b&w conversion, added a bit of contrast.

      The two I showed under the heading of “Details”… I mainly corrected light and shadows. Mostly shadows, which under the tree were a bit dark for my taste.

      Finally, the one under the heading “Dimensionality” was a bit dark – and the light was pretty flat. So I brightened it up and added a bit of contrast.

      Those were the least processed… the others I had some fun with, as I am wont to do.

      Hope that helps!

  9. Karen: when working with the depth of field did you have to stack any shots? The larger the sensor the more the DOF becomes critical especially for those foreground objects. And what was you overall impression with the 32-64. I am on the verge of pulling the plug to get this as I think it will bring me back to my landscape genes. Beautiful images in this post and I can certainly see that depth and dimensionality you spoke about.

    1. Hey Robert, no I did not stack any shots. I didn’t have time! But I also didn’t feel like they needed it. I also didn’t have the camera long enough to take the time to really work with the whole DOF fine tuning thing. Under the circumstances, I just moved quickly and hoped for the best. Wish I had more to report there… but I still have a few question marks over my head about that myself. It all seemed to work out fine though, at least under the conditions and for the shots I did at the time.

      My overall impression of the 32-64 is that it would probably be my go-to landscape lens. It was gorgeous and – at least for the subjects I was photographing – right in the pocket focal-length wise. Good thing, since conditions didn’t exactly invite changing lenses in the field!

  10. Love the write-up, Karen.
    But your comment …

    “Or say, a long day traipsing around Paris, where I really want to look more like a tourist and/or be more low-profile for people shots.”

    Well, you know who to call. 🙂

  11. Hi Karen,

    Fascinating post, and it just goes to prove how being up against it can bring out the best in an artist.

    I do have one technical observation though. You said:

    “NOT ONLY does it give your creative eye a whole new (several, in fact!) perspectives to experience… you do not sacrifice a single pixel in acquiring them!”

    That got me intrigued, so I went to look at the camera specifications. It is just basic in-camera cropping. So you do “lose” pixels, but given the base you are starting from (51 MP), it’s not a big problem. Even the “smallest” of these crops, the 65:24 aspect ratio still turns in a sizeable 25 MP image, which is bigger than the full sensor on the XT-2/X Pro 2 cameras, and when you consider that those pixels are arrayed over a larger sensor area it will result in stunning quality.

    Lovely images. I look forward to seeing more.

    1. Hey Michael,
      Well now… Look at me with my foot in my mouth! Unlike you, I did not read those specs (nor have I ever claimed to be a super nerdy technographer)… and I stand corrected. In fact, I’ve edited my post accordingly. Thanks for pointing that out in such a lovely manner. And for your other kind words. 😉

  12. Hi Karen, love your site, its like a breath of fresh air and thank you for such a great real world write up on the GFX. I really like the pictures I get from my Fuji XT10 and the xtrans sensor which I think has a filmic look. As someone who has never shot Medium format, I am interested if the differences between the Fuji systems are more what a Pro like yourself would notice, rather than an ordinary photog like myself with a less trained eye, your GFX shots look wonderful! but then again so do your XT2 shots So how different do you feel they are. Also I was wondering if you could describe the difference in depth of field quality between the two Fuji systems.
    Thanks and all the best Peter

    1. Hey Peter,
      Oh the X-T10 is awesome, isn’t it? I’ve photographed some of my fave images with that camera.

      As for the differences between systems, well, that’s a bigger story than I can go into here. The short story is that from my perspective, the systems are all remarkably consistent. That filmic quality that you mention is one of my favorite aspects, the low noise, the form factor, the great lenses. Where they begin to differ just a bit really has more to do with advancing technology more than anything.

      The X-T20 (the next gen X-T10) has a touchsreen, 4k video and the newest sensor. So, it’s just more of same – but better, since the tech has advanced.

      When you step into medium format world, it becomes not only a matter of the latest and greatest tech – but also of physics. Since the sensor itself is so much bigger, more data can be packed into each image, which opens the door for more detail, more dimensionality, more DOF. At least, those are the words I use to describe what I see to myself. A techno person could explain the reasons WHY of all those things and probably correct my assessment. All I can say is that they FEEL more expansive, more multi-dimensional – and there’s just more of what I saw/felt/experienced right in the image. It’s like fairy dust or something. To me, medium format images have always given me the feeling that I could walk right into them. People have commented that my images tend to feel that way no matter what camera I use… but that comes from the way I see the world and how medium format made me feel about photography 35+ years ago. If whatever camera I was using fell short in the department, I would create it in post processing. There is just less of that required with medium format.

      From a practical point of view, more data in the image itself means there is more detail available when I make large prints. That whole process simply becomes easier, which is why high end fine art photographers all use some kind of medium format or panorama camera. Online, we don’t notice any of that. But print that puppy 6 feet across and it’s a whole other ballgame.

      I hope that helps answer your question, even if a little! Thanks so much for stopping to ask!

  13. Wow, that’s quite a story!

    There’s just something about medium format that in the hands of a great artist can make the images pop with a sense of 3D, and a tonality that gives it a sense more of reality rather than of a photograph.

    These are beautiful photos of winter landscapes, and I can’t wait to see what you will accomplish with this camera in the future. And everything you had to go trough to make them happen. If there’s a will there’s a way, right? 🙂 Oh, and sorry about the car. That kinda sucks.

    1. Thanks for the super kind words, Erik! Thanks too for the nod about the car. I absolutely love my new (used) one… but dayum that’s made it a spendy winter!

      I love your description – “a sense of 3D and a tonality that gives it a sense of reality”. Cause, yeah – that. I can’t stop staring at the images, they feel so other-worldly.

      I can’t wait to work more with it too! Hopefully that day will come sooner than later. 😉

  14. HOLY MOLEY! On so many levels. What a crazy crazy crazy 6 days. Those images are divine , but you knew I’d say that. So when you get your GFX, I’ll give you my address so you can send the XT2 to a loving warm home Down Under

    1. You’re high-larious Jane!

      I like to think of it as a week-minus-one, since it felt like SO not enough time!
      Oh and – my X-T2 is chuckling in its case.

  15. Fun read, Karen! Glad you got to test it out after such a long wait! 🙂

    What are your thoughts on when you’d use the GFX vs. an X-T2? I love the idea of medium format (I shoot some medium format film for a lot of my landscapes), but given that 99% of images will be shared on the web or on prints smaller than 36×24 inches, I’m struggling to find a good use case for the GFX. Obviously a lot of it just depends on personal preference, but I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts!

    Thanks!
    – kyle

    1. That’s a really good question Kyle. One I’ve been pondering myself.

      Personally – and since the GFX isn’t so awfully heavy to carry – I’d likely use it as my first choice on all of my landscape work. The X-T2 would be backup. Reason being; enough of my work is made into large prints on the fine art side of things (45-60″ and more sometimes) – that a medium format camera will absolutely be a step up. And you never know which shot will be “the one”, so I’d simply have it first in rotation.

      Then I ask myself “what about travel?” Because those images get made into large prints too. The GFX is actually a size that you can travel with. Would I walk around for 10 hours with it? Not sure about that. Would I go out on a mission-specific outing with it, to (for instance) capture a scene at sunset that I spotted during the day? Yeah, I think I would.

      I’d use my X-T2 for times I was spending a super long time on my feet, where gear weight gets bothersome after a few hours. Or say, a long day traipsing around Paris, where I really want to look more like a tourist and/or be more low-profile for people shots. I have back and feet issues that’ll crop up if I haul too much weight for too long, so I’d have to be thoughtful about how I manage all that. I’d have to experiment.

      It’s all conjecture at this point, since I don’t have one in my possession right now. But those have been my thoughts… only time with a new piece of gear tells the whole story.

      1. Thanks for offering your thoughts! The idea that you never know which shot will be “the one” will probably always tempt me to move towards cameras with bigger sensors…to the discontent of my wallet, no doubt.

        Happy shooting! 🙂
        – kyle

        1. Well, I hear ya Kyle! By the same token, you (meaning me too!) always have to keep focus on what you REALLY need. I mean, the fact that my work gets printed so big is more a driving force than anything. If that wasn’t the case, would I need this camera? Probably not. I mean, the big prints from both Canon and my APC-S Fujifilm cameras have turned out great. So that “need” and “want” factor thing can be sly! It’s so easy to be tempted by what everybody else is saying, y’know?

          Just had to represent the other side of this equation too. 😉

  16. Sounds (and looks) like a camera to aspire to! You know I love the shots of one of the most beautiful places on earth. Great post – interesting and informative review.

    1. Thanks Lauri! It was a mind-boggling week on just about every level. I was SO relieved that I had the chance to actually produce anything! And it’s DEFinitely a camera to aspire to!

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