In February I was lucky enough to get to a FujiFilm session on the their new medium format masterpiece, the GFX50S. Last month I got to go again, this time to check out their new lenses, the 23mm f/4 and the 110mm f/2. (Their full pedigree names are the GF23mm F4 R LM WR and the GF110mm F2 R LM WR).
The February session took place at Holborn Studios in North London, and it was my first chance to get my paws on the camera. I had been excited about the camera since its announcement and I wasn’t disappointed. I wrote this at the time;
The camera is light (particularly so with the 63mm f/2.8 on the front), and fast for its class. It is both easy to use and nice in the hand. I’m primarily a Canon user and yet I was working with it quickly and with minimum fuss from the get-go, (FujiFilm X users out there will find it even easier than I did).
There are a number of recently announced cameras that haven’t lived up to their hype. These cameras can win a game of top trumps and yet be awful to use. On paper this camera has everything, a medium format mirrorless camera with weather sealing, a 50 Megapixel sensor, massive dynamic range, and a properly considered interface: It promises a lot, and seems to deliver.
When the chance came up to get my paws on the 110mm f2 lens I wasn’t going to pass it up. I’ve rambled about how much I like sharp and shallow portrait lenses in the past and I knew that this was the GF lens that was going to cause me problems. Our trip was to Jet Studios in Fulham, and while a 23mm f/4 is not an easy lens to demo in a studio, we had a go with the help of a hellcat and our model Sigourney.
You’ll note below that most of the images I’ve uploaded were taken with 110mm f/2, because it is a both thing of beauty, and my favourite. The mix of clarity and drop-off is striking when shooting wide open, and the resolving power once you stop down is something else. I was, perhaps, hoping not to like it, but it’s lovely, and I really want one.
Our model for the February shoot was a dancer called Stephanie Tam, in June we were joined by a DJ called Sigourney (her handle is Siggy Smalls). The make-up artist for both shoots was Andrea Louca. All credit to the FujiFilm team for announcing the most compelling new camera in recent years, one that is still compelling when you use it, and for giving me GAS.
It would have been churlish not to have taken my GW690 along to shoot it alongside it what is its natural descendant. I also allowed myself to open my medium format Cinestill and shoot my first roll of the 120 beta stock with some interesting results – (the fringing is due to a loose clutch in the GW690). See pictures below –