photo credit: Markus Klinko

A Quick Review: Are You Ready For Your Close Up?

Techniques

May 13, 2018 ·

Markus Klinko

When I moved to Paris in the late 70s, to study at the Paris Conservatory to become a classical concert harpist, I had no idea that one day, I would instead end up a photographer. At that time, I did not own a camera, and never even thought about taking pictures, but for some reason, the French edition of PHOTO magazine caught my attention, and I was fascinated by the large posters on the back of the Parisian newsstands, blow-ups of their latest covers.

Many of their striking covers featured tight face crops and macro close-ups. As shown below.

PhotoFrance 1982 Photo by Gary Gross
PhotoFrance 1982 Photo by Gary Gross

Somehow, these powerful images engraved themselves into my subconscious,  and as I started my career as a photographer, many years later in the mid-90s,  I was eager to experiment with macro setups and to begin practicing for this type of work.

Later, these skills came in handy, as I was often commissioned to shoot close-ups for editorial and commercial clients.

photo credit: Markus Klinko
photo credit: Markus Klinko
photo credit: Markus Klinko
photo credit: Markus Klinko

Last week, Fujifilm has announced the addition of the 18/45mm Macro Extension Tubes for the Fujifilm GFX 50S.

I consider this the beginning of a new era for macro photography, as it is now possible for the first time to shoot 1:1 and beyond on a mirrorless medium format camera.

photo credit: Markus&Koala
photo credit: Markus&Koala
photo credit: Markus&Koala
photo credit: Markus&Koala

This is quite special, because precision focusing, by zooming in, is incredibly easy and accurate, like nothing ever before.

What you see is what you get, period.

The MCEX-45G WR tube, in combination with the GF 120mm f/4 lens Macro lens, allows for 1:1 magnification, but I like to add the 18mm extension (MCEX-18G WR) to gain slightly greater DOF at equal coverage. There is a small DOF advantage for the lens not to be at be set a minimum focusing distance. With the shorter tube added, you can also go beyond 1:1, but for me, that is not the reason to add it, I only do so to gain precious DOF. One could, of course, choose to focus bracket, and re-compose in post, but I do not like that look, as it is not organic in my opinion.

photo credit: Markus&Koala
photo credit: Markus&Koala

Even a small DOF gain is considered very valuable, as I also do not want to close down beyond f11.

The extension tubes do not affect the excellent sharpness of the lens, however, the price you pay is in light! The tubes are very hungry for light, so don’t be surprised if you need a lot more power than normal, as much as 2.5 stops in the ‘2 tube’ combo set up.

Manual focusing, when zoomed, is easy and very fast, but, to my amazement, even with both extension tubes added, the GFX’s autofocus is still extremely fast and accurate, allowing to nail 1:1 handheld, and without restricting the model’s natural movements.

Of course, each tube can be used separately as well, depending on the precise framing required. For example, the GF 120mm and just the 18mm extension offer a very easy to use combo.
(photo credit: Markus&Koala)​
(photo credit: Markus&Koala)​
(photo credit: Markus&Koala)​
(photo credit: Markus&Koala)​
(photo credit: Markus&Koala)​
(photo credit: Markus&Koala)​
(photo credit: Markus&Koala)​
(photo credit: Markus&Koala)​

Last year, Fujifilm already released the XF 80mm Macro lens, with 1:1 magnification, an extraordinary sharp lens. Having now added 1:1 to both the X series and the medium format GFX system, macro photography has become accessible to everyone!

photo credit: Markus&Koala
photo credit: Markus&Koala

Markus Klinko
May 2018

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Markus Klinko

Markus Klinko is an award-winning, international fashion/celebrity photographer and director, who has worked with many of today's most iconic stars of film, music, and fashion. Klinko has photographed the likes of Beyonce, Lady Gaga, David Bowie, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Anne Hathaway, Kate Winslet, Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kim Kardashian, Naomi Campbell, and Iman. His editorial clients include Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, and Interview magazine. Brands such as Lancôme, L'Oréal Paris, Nike, Hugo Boss, Anna Sui, Pepsi, Skyy Vodka, and Remy Martin have hired Klinko to create advertising campaigns. His campaign for Keep A Child Alive raised over one million dollars for children with AIDS in just 3 days. Born in Switzerland of French, Italian, Jewish, and Hungarian descent, Klinko spent his early years training to become a classical harp soloist. He studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. Later, Klinko signed an exclusive recording contract with EMI Classics, as well as a management contract with Columbia Artists Management. He received the Grand Prix de Disque for his recording of French harp music, with members of the orchestra of the Paris Opera Bastille. Klinko performed in recitals and as a featured soloist with symphony orchestras around the world. He was also regularly featured in such publications as Vogue Italia, Vanity Fair, GQ, The New York Times, Madame Figaro, Stereo Review, and Ongaku no Tomo. After a hand injury, Klinko decided to become a fashion photographer and retired from his international concert and recording career. During that time, he met Indrani, who later became a regular collaborator in her role as his studio's digital post production artist and photo editor. Isabella Blow discovered Klinko's work while at the London Sunday Times and commissioned cover stories from the emerging photographer. Around the same time, Ingrid Sischy, at Interview magazine hired Klinko for various shoots. Iman and David Bowie followed, giving the up and coming photographer a chance to photograph them for their respective book (I am Iman) and album covers (Heathen). From there, he went on to create some of the most iconic album covers of his time, including Beyonce's Dangerously in Love, and Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi. Many of Klinko's famous celebrity photographs can be seen in his coffee table book ICONS (Perseus). Lincoln Center in New York presented an art exhibit showcasing many prints from the book and since then art galleries and museums around the world have featured his work. Klinko has appeared on E! News, Access Hollywood, Fashion Television, CNN's Showbiz Tonight and Larry King Live and has been the subject of the reality show Double Exposure on the Bravo network.

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