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  • Writer's pictureSteve Gemmell

First trip with the Fujifilm GFX 50R

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

Having had a few days away in the sun I have found myself becoming more familiar with the joys and the quirks of the GFX 50R. For me there is still a learning curve in adjusting to the 4:3 framing. Having trained my eye to the 3:2 aspect over so many years I am now enjoying a new way of seeing the world before me. Of course there is the option of adopting a different frame within the viewfinder itself but I am reluctant to sacrifice some of that 50.1 mega pixel loveliness. So I will persevere and continue my learning curve.

Cruise ship loading up in Lisbon Portugal
Dockside in Lisbon Portugal 1/160th @ F9 ISO 125

Although this camera is fairly large together with the 32-64mm lens (which is the only lens I have), I have not found it any trouble to carry around with me all day. Having attached it to a strap from an old Lowepro camera bag, it feels fairly safe and comfortable connected to the tripod mount at the base of the camera and slung diagonally across my shoulders. I love the freedom to carry it this way and occasionally release the camera from it’s clip and bring it to my eye. Unfortunately I am left eye dominant so I often have to clean up the LCD screen having squashed my nose against it whilst taking my pics! I have tried using my right eye but there is still a very strong urge to automatically use the left!

Sleeping in the sun on a cruise ship
Relaxing in the Sun 1/800th @ F7.1 ISO 400

An important lesson I have learned is that although in sunny conditions there is a feeling that I could get away with very low ISO settings, there is a need to up the shutter speed on this camera to ensure sharp results when hand holding. This should be obvious really but again I am still adapting from a lifetime of using smaller cameras. So my current method of shooting is to lock the top dial in aperture mode. Then use the combination of aperture setting and ISO to get the required shutter speed. I can then open right up to F4 for portraits adjusting the ISO via the front wheel to get a safe shutter speed, closing down the aperture ring and again adjusting ISO for landscape type images. I use this method with occasional tweaks vis the compensation wheel conveniently adjacent to my thumb. I like this way of working when using the camera out and about as it allows me to make the required adjustments fairly quickly. Focussing is somewhat slower but I will often pre focus using the toggle. It’s an ongoing practice which may adapt over time.

Portrait of Cruise Ship staff member
Portrait of Nived 1/420th @ F4 ISO 400

I hope to get time to use the camera in more controlled situations on a tripod for serious landscapes and possibly in a studio type of setting with lighting equipment that I currently have: but to date it has been sorely neglected. Having this camera it would surely be a sin not use said equipment as it is a camera that truly excels at portraiture. Talking of Portrait Photography, have a look at the next post showing the outstanding work of David A Williams

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