In the Footsteps of  L.F. Deardorff – Fujifilm introduces two Tilt/Shift lenses, a remarkably fast lens and a camera.

September 22, 2023 ·

Dan Wells

Introduction:

A 4×5” “Baby Deardorff” and a couple of film holders

Apple and Fujifilm made major announcements on the same day recently – September 12, 2023. The contrast between them is actually not new in any way – it goes back to the invention of the snapshot by Kodak in the late 19th Century. As Kodak was inventing this new use for photography, L.F Deardorff and others were improving the design and image quality of large-format cameras. The divide that began in Rochester, NY more than 100 years ago is with us today, with smartphone cameras to document our lives and larger-format cameras with a wide variety of capabilities to make art. This pair of articles, which share an opening paragraph, examines what that looks like today.

            to understand the divide, we need to travel in space and time. Our destination is Rochester, NY at the turn of the century – the LAST century. In 1900, Rochester was America’s Optical City. Eastman Kodak was already a successful camera maker, although the Brownie, which will star in the other half of today’s story, was about to be introduced. Bausch & Lomb, founded in 1853, was perhaps the pioneer of Rochester’s optical companies, but there was a camera or lens maker on just about every corner.

            Until shortly before 1900, photography had been a pursuit for photographers. At first glance, this seems an obvious statement – but it is not, really. I am a photographer – I spend a lot of time thinking about photography, I travel to make photographs, I show my work in exhibitions, I teach classes in photography, I share my apartment with an Epson P9570, a 340 lb 44” printer.  If you are reading this, you are presumably a photographer, too – you invest your time and money in the art and craft of photography, you have some pride in your skill at it, and you are interested in learning more about photography (if this does not describe you, you are probably reading the wrong website).

If this picture evokes a smell on a visceral level, you’ve probably been a photographer for quite a while…

Some of us make our living as photographers, some of us make enough money to buy our equipment and supplies, some of us spend far more than we make, but photograph for the joy of it. Many of us would have been photographers if we had lived  in the 1850s, coating our own plates and braving the mercury fumes. Most of us would have been photographers by the 1880s, when pre-coated glass plates became all the rage. Many of us have been at it for decades – we remember what stop bath smells like, and we remember the Pentax K-1000 that was the staple of high school photography classes for twenty years. Some of us became photographers when most cameras were already digital (and may have picked up an old view camera, a Leica M3 or our grandfather’s Rolleiflex later and worked in film after learning on a digital camera).

            My sister-in-law may take as many photographs in a year as I do, yet she is not a photographer. She and my brother have two wonderful (and fast – I have trouble chasing them with my big cameras) little girls, and she is the one who documents their lives. She doesn’t care about apertures, shutter speeds, depth of field or color management. She wants a picture that looks nice and captures the memory of the day. Until 1900, she had few or no options – fooling with wet plates simply wouldn’t work, and even dry plates would have been almost impossible – the girls are just too fast! The whole family might have gone to the photographer every few years to have a portrait made, or, if family structures were the same, I would have hauled out my plate camera every few months and tried to capture them with more expression than a commercial studio could have. Once the Kodak Brownie appeared, Jami would have almost certainly had one, and gotten many more pictures of the girls than would have been possible before.

            For the photographers of 1900 or so, one of the most important things that was happening in Rochester was the camera designs of Laban F. Deardorff. He was a photographer, camera repairman, inventor and, later, a camera manufacturer in Chicago. Some sources say that he was actually living and working in Rochester the 1890s, while others say that he was already in Chicago, and had sold his designs to the Rochester Optical Company. In any case, Rochester Optical was selling view cameras with most of the modern movements, and the person who had made that possible was L.F. Deardorff. By 1923, Deardorff was building view cameras under his own name in Chicago, and the list of artists have who owned and used a Deardorff speaks for itself. In small part (and alphabetically): Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Yousef Karsh, Sally Mann, Robert Mapplethorpe, Nicholas Nixon. Those are just a few I could confirm in some quick Google searching.

            The genius of the Deardorff was the amount of control it gave the photographer. The movements were precise, the focusing rack was smooth and stayed where you put it. The Deardorff was a tool for capturing your vision of the world, better than it had been possible before. A camera like a Deardorff doesn’t impose a vision of the world, it exists as a tool to capture yours.  

            When we think of the photographic history of Rochester at the turn of the last century, Deardorff may not be the first name that comes to mind? No, I didn’t forget the Brownie – that’s in the companion article. Rochester around 1900 is as good a time and a place as any to trace the split between photography as an art form and photography as a tool for capturing our lives. Prior to 1900 (or a little earlier, more expensive rollfilm predecessors of the Brownie existed in the 1890s), photography as a way of capturing our daily lives simply didn’t exist. It wasn’t the rise of the smartphone that allowed

Now, on GFX day, let’s start with the big introductions from a landscape photographer’s perspective (the 2023 Brownie is in the companion article)… Fujifilm introduced three lenses and a camera while they road-mapped two more lenses – all medium format. Each of the lenses does something that no mainstream medium format lens has done before, and the camera is a hybrid still/video camera (not too far off a medium format GH6).

Fujifilm’s brand-new 30mm tilt/shift lens mounted on the (also brand-new) GFX 100 II

L.F. Deardorff would be proud  – the first native tilt/shift lenses for mirrorless or medium format (and they happen to be both).

            By the time of the early Deardorffs, cameras already had bellows, which had replaced the less precise “box within a box” focusing mechanism, and some of them had some movements, but Deardorff’s designs were among the first with full movements – tilt (top to bottom, allows you to keep an entire tall subject, like a tree, in focus), swing ((left – right version of tilt), allows focus on one side of the image to be closer than the other), rise/fall (parallax correction, allows tall buildings , trees etc. to fit in frame without tilting camera, stitching), shift (left-right version of rise/fall).

            Tilt/shift lenses are the small-format (anything short of 6×9 cm in this case, so including ALL digital cameras and backs) answer to view camera movements. It’s hard to get a bellows precise enough to deal with the movements a digital sensor needs. A millimeter off on a 4×5” sheet of film is no big deal, but a millimeter off on a 33x44mm or smaller sensor is huge. Instead of using bellows, attempts to provide movements on digital (or rollfilm) cameras use one of two approaches. They either use precise geared systems within the lens (a tilt/shift lens) or they use a technical camera – essentially a geared box that sits between the lens and the sensor and provides the movements.

A technical camera – this one’s a Phase One XT with tilt added by a Cambo tilt/swing lensboard.

Most technical cameras use a digital back rather than a camera to provide the sensor, so they don’t have to deal with the camera having a flange focal distance (distance from the lens mount to the sensor) – a digital back will sit the sensor right against the back of the technical camera. Some use a camera, but rely on lenses that expect a much longer flange focus than the camera actually has, leaving room for the mechanism, and often a bellows to provide focusing, in between.  A common combination is old Hasselblad V-system lenses with a flange focus distance of 74.90mm on mirrorless cameras with a flange focal distance of 16 to 26.7mm.  Needless to say, using a mismatched body and lens connected by a bellows is finicky – it can work very well for product photography and the like indoors, but is quite difficult to manage in the field  (worse than a real view camera).

            The best solution is to use a tilt/shift lens, with the movements built into the lens. These are somewhat rare and exotic beasts, and many of them don’t provide full movements. Many are only shift lenses, providing only rise/fall or horizontal shift, but not tilt or swing. Many also have the limitation that you can only move on one axis at a time (shift OR rise-fall, but not both at once). Some lenses allow tilt, but only in a fixed, perpendicular relationship to the shift (if you have rise-fall, your only tilt is a horizontal swing, and if you have horizontal shift, you have only vertical tilt). The whole lens rotates, so you can choose between horizontal shift with vertical tilt or rise-fall with swing. Such lenses can often be set up at a service center to make the axes parallel, so rise-fall is paired with vertical tilt, but the relationship is still fixed.

 The ideal type of tilt/shift lens is what Ukrainian lens maker Hartblei memorably dubbed a Super-Rotator, where the tilt and shift axes are independent – but those are very rare. Hartblei makes a few (an 80mm shipped from Ukraine looks like it might be available, and a couple of other focal lengths are sometimes seen). Ukraine may not be the easiest country in the world to ship from right now, due to no fault of Hartblei’s. Canon’s current TS-E DSLR lenses are also Super-Rotators, although older models are not. As far as I know, as of September 10, 2023, those and Nikon’s 19mm PC-E, also a DSLR lens, were the only Super-Rotators in the world (Nikon’s other PC-E lenses aren’t, and none of the various off-brand shift and tilt/shift lenses that I know of are). The only way of using tilt and shift on a mirrorless system that didn’t involve fiddling around with off-brand adapters was a Canon RF body, ideally an EOS-R5, with a TS-E lens on a Canon adapter, or Nikon’s 19mm on a Z7 (I or II), Z8 or Z9 with the FTZ adapter. You could also go with a Canon lens and Sony (or other) body with a third-party adapter, but that adds complications.

The new 30mm GF lens – the hood is much wider than the lens, and the filter thread is on the hood. This is necessary so any filters don’t vignette when movements are used

On the Day of the Brownie, Fujifilm has done L.F. Deardorff proud with a new pair of Super-Rotators for GFX, the first new tilt/shift lenses since 2017, and a nice choice of focal lengths – the 30mm is equivalent to 24mm on full-frame or between 75 and 90mm on 4×5, while the 110mm is equivalent to 87mm on full-frame and quite close to 300mm on 4×5”. The movements turn out to be more useful in wide and long lenses than they are right in the middle of the range – a wide tilt/shift lens is useful for architecture and landscape, where distorted verticals are most noticeable. The wider you go, the more trouble it is to keep straight lines straight. A long tilt/shift lens is useful in product and macro photography, where focal planes  are a problem. Both have other applications, and a normal tilt/shift lens is also useful, but Fujifilm started at the two ends of the tilt/shift range for a reason. A ~60mm tilt/shift would be a logical lens for Fujiflim to add, but they already have a huge number of lenses in a small range (45,50,55,63 plus the 35-70, 32-64 and 45-100mm zooms).

 Unlike most tilt/shift lenses, these two are fully electronically coupled. They’re manual focus, as are all tilt/shift lenses to date. They report focus distance (presumably at the center of the image, since a tilt/shift lens can be focused at different distances across the image), aperture, and even the settings of the tilt/shift mechanism back to the camera correctly. They use all the modern lens design tricks like aspheric elements, low-dispersion glass and high-tech coatings, and they have huge 85mm image circles to allow for generous movements. An 85mm image circle is almost sufficient to cover 6×7 cm film (without movements), so it is possible to create a stitched image with no perspective changes that effectively uses a 270 MP sensor larger than any made today. By using maximum shift on the long axis in both directions (neutral plus 15mm up shift plus 15mm down shift), a 33x74mm triple shot is possible. By shifting the other way, 63x44mm in three shots also works. These can be expanded (with more images needed) by using diagonal shift to get into the corners, but that is more complex.

The new 110mm GF tilt/shift lens, in a nice contorted pose (maximum tilt).

These are the first native mirrorless tilt/shift lenses, and they’re the first really optically advanced tilt/shift lenses for any format larger than full-frame. There have been various tilt adapters  and a couple of lenses for medium format – most of them for Hasselblad V (the classic film Hasselblad mount), with a few for Mamiya/Phase One 645 as well. The lenses have used excellent, but dated Carl Zeiss optical designs from the 1940s, since they are generally made in Eastern Europe (the Zeiss optical company was split after World War II, and  most of the medium format tilt/shifts I am aware of are based on Zeiss designs that found their way through East Germany). An electronically coupled lens with low-dispersion glass? That has been mostly Canon territory, with Nikon making occasional forays. The new Fujinons are also the first tilt/shift lenses designed from the start for cameras with in-body image stabilization, as well as for the short flange focus distance of mirrorless cameras. Could they enable hand-held tilt/shift photography? The newer GFX bodies have excellent image stabilization, and the new GFX 100 II claims 8 stops (?!?!) I will certainly try hand-holding a tilt-shift lens, including stitching, as soon as I get ahold of a sample.

As a landscape photographer, I look forward to the 30mm in particular. 90mm is one of the classic 4×5” landscape focal lengths, and the new lens offers an intriguing possibilities. Trees are among my favorite subjects, especially in old-growth forests, and I can’t wait to get to the redwood parks with a 30mm tilt/shift lens. The 110mm is largely aimed at product photographers and their ilk, although it will also be useful as an outdoor macro lens (how will it compare to the excellent 120mm f4?).

A Fast Lens.

The last lens released this week is for a very different form of photography. It’s a very fast 55mm f1.7 that joins Fujifilm’s existing 80mm f1.7 and 110mm f2 lenses. When looking at GFX focal lengths and maximum apertures, it is important to remember that equivalence runs in the opposite of the direction most of us are used to. A GFX lens has a wider angle of view and shallower depth of field than an equivalent full-frame lens. The equivalent lens to the new 55mm in full-frame terms is roughly a 43mm f1.3.

The new 55mm f1.7 Fujinon on a GFX 100S

 Really fast medium format lenses are rare, and have always been rare.  The only system other than Fujifilm GF to have two lenses at f2 or faster was the Rollei 6000.  A single fast lens is one of the marks of a complete medium format lens lineup – many of the old film-era lines had one (although neither Pentax nor Bronica ever did), and a lot of them were especially sought after. Apart from the three Fujinons, the only other current medium format lens faster than f2 is the Hasselblad X-system 80mm f1.9 (a Leica S 100mm f2 stretches the definition of “current”, since the system appears to be mostly discontinued). Among classic lenses, Mamiya made an 80mm f1.9 lens for the 645, a lens that never transitioned to autofocus. Contax had an autofocus 80mm f2 for the 645 system (which, uniquely, was the only normal lens for that system), and there was an 80mm f2 Schneider for the Rollei 6000. The last, and the most famous, was the legendary 110mm f2 Zeiss Planar for focal-plane Hasselblads, which also came in a Rollei 6000 version. There may have been a couple of Eastern-bloc lenses in the past, and there are a few inexpensive manual-focus lenses from the likes of Mitakon and Laowa today (which are actually full-frame lenses with teleconverters to expand the image circle).

The legendary 110mm f2 Zeiss Planar – this one’s in Hasselblad FE mount (for the focal-plane shutter bodies only – they didn’t make a leaf shutter big enough).

Fujifilm is calling the 55mm f1.7 a fast normal lens, and technically, they’re right – the actual definition of a normal lens is a lens whose focal length is the same as the format diagonal, and GFX format has a 55mm diagonal, so it’s actually a perfect normal. Most photographers, however, have gotten used to a slightly long normal lens. As far back as the Leica screw mount in the 1930s, 35mm cameras have tended to use a 50mm normal lens (and occasionally even a 58mm), when the true normal for the format is 43mm. This has carried forward to the cropped digital formats – a 33 or 35mm is considered normal on APS-C when a true normal is much closer to 28mm. On Micro 43, the accepted normal lens is 25mm, while the diagonal is under 22mm. The accepted normal lens on 645 medium format is 80mm, while the diagonal of an accurate film back is just under 70mm, and the diagonal of a Phase One “full 645” sensor is just over 67mm.

Larger formats tend to have accurate normal lenses – 6×6 cm is almost perfect, with a diagonal of 79.2mm and a normal lens of 80mm. 4×5” is also very close – the diagonal of most film holders is 152-154mm, and a 150mm is considered a normal lens. 6×7 cm has a range of “normal” lenses– the diagonal is 87.3mm, and anything from 80mm to 100mm or even 110mm is  considered normal (of course, the 80mm normal is likely inherited from 6×6 cm, as it is on 645). By the time you reach 6×9 cm, there is no agreement on what a normal lens is, and the film format varies significantly among backs, anyway.

To most photographers, the GF 55mm f1.7 is going to feel “slightly wide” – think halfway between a 50mm and a 35mm on full-frame. The GF 63mm f2.8 will feel more normal, even though it’s a little long based on the format diagonal. Fujifilm did a really nice job of spacing the 55mm, given that their existing fast lenses are 80mm and 110mm. None of them are exactly the same as their 35mm equivalents, although the 110mm is very close to either an 85mm or a 90mm (it’s 88mm equivalent). In 35mm terms, they are 44mm f1.3, 64mm f1.3, 88mm f1.6. A very useful range for a portrait/wedding/candid photographer, and the next logical lens in the fast series would be a 150mm-180mm, which could be something like f2.4. Between the 23mm, 30mm, 30mm tilt/shift, 45mm and 20-35mm zoom, they have quite a few wide options, and a 30mm f1.7 (24mm f1.3 equivalent) would be icing on the cake.

The current GF lens roadmap, with the upcoming 500mm and power zoom lenses.

Another of Fujifilm’s introductions today is a new lens road map. There’s a 500mm lens on there! Long telephotos for medium format have been rare, and this is the longest autofocusing medium format lens ever made. Pentax has the only other current medium format lenses at 300mm and beyond (a 300mm f4 and a 400mm f5.6, both older AF lenses), while there have been occasional manual focus lenses, almost all limited production. I actually saw the largest of them all, one of only two Zeiss APO Sonnar 1700mm f4 Hasselblad FE lenses (V-system, requires a focal plane body) ever made, at PhotoPlus years ago. It was big enough (over 500 lbs) to make even the 200-500mm f2.8 Sigmonster cower in a corner.  It was not accessible to look through, so it could actually have been a full-sized mockup – whatever it was, it was HUGE. The other manual focus oddities have been somewhat more reasonable than that cannon, but still special-purpose, limited-production lenses.

Not much to go on – enlarging a piece of the roadmap (silhouettes aren’t guaranteed to be accurate, but are generally close). If the size is close, that lens is VERY compact for a 500mm – similar to the Nikkor PF.

The only (tiny) picture yet released of the upcoming 500mm f5.6 Fujinon makes it look like a big, but not huge, lens. It appears to be only slightly larger than the existing 250mm f4 GF Fujinon that it is sitting next to. Interestingly, the 250mm is around the same length and weight as the 500mm f5.6 PF Nikkor (and MUCH smaller than a conventional 500mm f5.6 lens). Could the new 500mm Fujinon be a Fresnel lens or something similar to get it down to the size it appears to be? If it’s only ~10% (???) larger than the 250mm or the 500mm PF Nikkor, it is almost ridiculously small for an autofocusing medium format 500mm lens.  Measuring lenses from roadmap silhouettes is a notoriously imprecise “science”,  but the 500mm does not appear to be an enormous lens. If it is shown to scale, it is probably a notably compact one, much shorter than a conventional 500 mm lens, perhaps using some unusual elements to get there. If it were rendered to a very different scale, the lens mount would measure completely differently, and it doesn’t. Don’t read much into a few measurements of a lens silhouette, but could it be a remarkably compact lens that makes working long on GFX a very pleasant proposition?

The last lens on the roadmap is a power zoom – notable for two reasons. First, power zooms are VIDEO lenses- Fujifilm is serious about people using the GFX 100 II as a movie camera. Second, it’s zoom lens #6 for GFX. Fujifilm has normalized medium format zooms. Until recently, moving beyond 35mm (aka full-frame) meant at least mostly, if not exclusively prime lenses. Any zooms that existed were at least as heavy and expensive as the two or three primes they replaced put together. They were generally slow, and they either hovered right around the normal range or were short telephotos.

Fujifilm has largely solved the medium format zoom problem, other than that their zooms don’t have the range we’re used to for smaller formats – they’re all more or less 2x zooms, while most high-quality smaller-format zooms are 3x, and some can be more than that – some 24-120mm 5x zooms can still be excellent lenses. Eliminate the “high-quality” consideration and 8x, 10x, 16x and even occasional 22x zoom lenses exist . Fujifilm makes no fewer than three normal-range zooms, including the slow but incredibly compact 35-70mm f4.5-5.6 and two premium f4 lenses (32-64mm and 45-100mm). Since these are all 2x zooms, the result is an awkward split in the normal range. Collectively, they cover 24-80mm in full-frame equivalent, but that’s not one lens…

Most photographers aren’t going to carry both the 32-64mm AND the 45-100mm, so you have to choose between a lens that starts longer than the true wide angle range and one that ends up at a slightly long normal, missing the portrait range.  There is no way to place a 2x zoom across the normal range that doesn’t do that – the old 35-70mm lenses missed the wide end, and were very close to the 45-100mm. The 100-200mm short telephoto has a very reasonable range, almost comparable to a 70-180mm on full frame (it’s longer on the short end and shorter on the long end, but it’s close). That lens seems slow at f5.6, but remember that GFX lenses are about 2/3 of a stop faster than they appear, because of the reverse crop factor. It’s equivalent to about an 80-160mm f4.5 (the two normal zooms are f3.2 equivalent). The last of the GFX zooms is a lens I couldn’t quite believe when I saw it for the first time.  

The new GFX 100 II with the GF 20-35mm f4. The lens really looks like a typical 16-35mm f2.8 for full-frame.

It’s a 20-35mm f4 (~16-28mm f3.2 in full-frame terms), and it looks shockingly like a 16-35mm f2.8 full-frame lens. There’s no way THIS is a medium format lens? It’s no larger than its closest full-frame equivalent (and who cares about a few extra mm on the long end of an ultrawide zoom)? It meets the 32-64mm and 35-70mm without a gap in coverage, but not the 45-100mm, which is a good argument to pair it with one of the shorter normal zooms and any one of Fujifilm’s lenses in the portrait range – choose from fast (80mm f1.7 and 110mm f2), macro (120mm f4), tilt/shift (110mm f5.6) or zoom (100-200mm f5.6). Yes, you’ll have a gap in the range between normal and portrait focal lengths, but that’s not as awkward as not being able to reach the moderate wide range (the gap between 35 and 45mm is 28-35mm in full-frame terms).  The one lens they don’t make in the portrait range is one with no special features (an 80mm or 100mm f2.8 or f3.5)!

Before I ever saw the Fujinon 20-35, I wrote “it won’t look like a 16-35mm f2.8 for full-frame, because medium format wide-angles are always big and heavy”. They proved me wrong – that’s exactly what it looks like! How good can it be, being so compact for what it is? Well, it’s the best ultra-wide lens I’ve ever personally used. It’s at least as sharp as any of its top-end full-frame competitors, and its distortion and chromatic aberration are best in class. It’s very much the same kind of lens as a good Canon L lens, or a Nikkor S-line, a Sigma Art or a Sony G-Master. Then you put it on a sensor with extra area and superb color science! That’s been my experience with GF lenses in general – they’re top performers, as good as the best from their major competitors, then you take the larger format into account and get something stunning. There isn’t quite the range of lenses available that exist for smaller-format systems, and the cameras aren’t as fast, but if you print big, the 100 MP sensor is the best there is.

The GFX 100 II – is it a Deardorff or an Alexa 65?

            Looking at the GFX 100 II (which Fujifilm US insists is pronounced “GFX 100 the second” – we’ll see if that lasts, since even their X-Photographers are pronouncing it “GFX 100 two” in the intro video) specs at first, it looks like a hybrid of the best of the GFX 100 and the GFX 100S. It’s about the size and weight of the 100S – but it has a removeable, tiltable viewfinder like the 100. It has the battery system of the 100S, using Fujifilm’s standard NP-W235 (which is a VERY close relative of Nikon’s EN-EL15, Sony’s NP-FZ100 and Canon’s EN-EL6 – all four are twin-cell 7.4 volt Li-ion batteries just above 2000 mAh in similar housings) instead of the odd triple-cell NP-T125 – but it can take an optional grip that holds two extra batteries. The GFX 100 and GFX 100S are similar cameras, and the first impression of the GFX 100 II is that it’s really a hybrid of their best features.

GFX 100 II viewfinder gymnastics. The tilt adapter is sold separately.

Upon a closer look, there are several things there that neither the GFX 100 nor the 100S have. It is a two-slot camera like the GFX 100 and GFX 100S – but one of those slots is CFExpress Type 2 instead of SDXC. This hints at some real speed – neither of the previous 100 MP GFX models is really held back by SDXC, because a good card is faster than the sensor in most modes. There’s one new film simulation, REALA Superia Ace, simulating a final-generation pro color print film with an extra dye layer.

There’s also a new, significantly improved viewfinder. The GFX 100S viewfinder is nothing special – it’s perfectly usable, but it’s a decidedly midrange 3.69 million pixel OLED. It has decent finder optics, but it’s nothing you wouldn’t find on any $2000 full-framer. The GFX 100 viewfinder is a step up – it’s a 5.76 mp unit, and it has somewhat better optics. It’s “flagship full-frame, circa 2020”. Either one is usable – I don’t take my GFX out and think “the viewfinder on this is a piece of junk – I wish I had a different camera”. I think “this little DSLR-sized camera is shooting 8×10”, and that’s special”. The GFX 100 II finally has a viewfinder that is as special as the camera. It’s one of the current 9.44 mp finders, set up to be nearly blackout-free. It’s blackout-free when using electronic shutter at most speeds, and very fast otherwise. It’s also a 1.0x magnification finder – previous GFX models were in the 0.7x to 0.9x range. The new finder is removable and tiltable (with the same EVF-TL1 tilt adapter that goes back to the original GFX 50S). Fujifilm thought ahead with that tilt adapter – it can handle significantly more data than it originally needed to. Will Fujifilm ever offer an electronic waist-level finder? It could be an interesting accessory..

The GFX 100 II looks a lot like a 100S with a chunkier viewfinder – note that it’s set to ISO 80…

The GFX 100 II has a numbered ISO 80, down from 100 on the predecessor models. It will still do a full stop below the lowest numbered ISO. Unlike most cameras, the 100 MP GFXs gain a little bit of dynamic range at their super-low ISOs (most cameras lose a bit). If the new GFX 100 II has an “ISO 40” that still gains dynamic range, that is just about the slowest minimum ISO we’ve seen in many years (the ISO 64 Nikons have unmarked settings down to “ISO 32”, but those come with a slight dynamic range loss). Both Fujifilm and Nikon maintain pretty similar dynamic range at the low unmarked ISOs (gaining or losing a couple of tenths of a stop or less), while Sonys are notorious for losing half a stop or more below their marked range (making it more difficult to bring them from almost noiseless to truly noiseless by using very low ISOs).

            Fujifilm is claiming increased dynamic range, even over the already excellent 102 MP sensor in the earlier GFX models. They are claiming a 30% increase in full well capacity (the first time I’ve ever seen a camera company get that geeky), which should translate to about half a stop of increased dynamic range in the raw file at the same (low) ISO if all else is equal. The current 102-MP sensor loses dynamic range linearly as the ISO increases (until the dual gain kicks in at ISO 500) – if that’s still true, ISO 80 will have 1/3 stop more DR than ISO 100. Is that the same dynamic range added by the higher full well capacity, or are those two improvements additive? I

’ll be very interested to see Photons to Photos, and to try a camera out. The low-ISO dynamic range improvement could be anywhere from half a stop to nearly  a full stop. The GFX 100S is already pushing the limits of a 14-bit file at low ISO, and actually shows very slight improvements by using the 16-bit raw mode (which slows the camera down). If the GFX 100 II has even more dynamic range, 16-bit capture will become more important – if it’s close to a full stop, 16-bit mode becomes essential at low ISOs – there simply isn’t a stop of headroom in 14-bit recording over what the existing 102 MP sensor is doing. From early specifications, it doesn’t look like the GFX 100 II will be slowed down as much by 16-bit mode, but that will be an important thing to watch in the next days and weeks.

Tired of waiting for images to transfer over Wi-Fi while you’re shooting in the studio, and don’t want to take a break to put the card in a reader? The Gigabit Ethernet port has you covered, even with GFX file sizes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Ethernet on a camera without a dual grip before – it DOES show up on big dual-grip bodies.

WAIT A MINUTE – the viewfinder’s blackout-free, with that resolution? This isn’t the usual 102 MP sensor (which has slight viewfinder blackouts, even with a lower resolution finder)! What else can it do? It has a somewhat improved frame rate – 8 fps, up from 5 on the GFX 100S. This is far faster than any other medium format camera, and orders of magnitude faster than changing 8×10” film holders…

The GFX 100 II goes from 8 fps to 2 fps when you turn on the electronic first-curtain shutter.  That’s a significant restriction, since all GFXs are (unsurprisingly – that’s a BIG shutter) prone to shutter shock. When you turn on the electronic front-curtain shutter, the camera does NOT restrict the maximum shutter speed – it intelligently switches to the mechanical shutter above the electronic first curtain’s  1/1250 second maximum (where shutter shock is not an issue). I never use the full-electronic shutter – the sensor readout isn’t fast enough to avoid “jellocam” issues, and you use some dynamic range (not a lot, but you use a GFX because you want every last bit of image quality – if you’re looking for “good enough”, any decent APS-C camera is “good enough” for most practical purposes). My camera lives in electronic front curtain mode, which eliminates “jellocam” and the dynamic range loss, while reducing shutter shock to the point that I have never lost an image to it (in 20,000 images). That’s the best mode for almost all users, but it brings the GFX 100 II down to 2 FPS. You’ll need to enable mechanical-only shutter when you need the high frame rate – the camera has a lot of custom buttons, and I hope it’s possible to put “shutter mode” on a button.

Still photographers will also benefit from significantly faster autofocus than any other medium format camera. The GFX 100 and 100S are already the fastest focusing medium format cameras on the market by a wide margin – only the Hasselblad X2D-100c joins them in having on-sensor phase detection, and that camera is held back by either firmware or processing speed. The GFX 100 II ups the ante with a much faster sensor readout and the most current X-Processor 5 borrowed from the very quick X-H2S. It should be quite a bit faster than the already pretty good GFX 100S. What will have to wait until I have a camera in hand is how close it comes to the X-H2S. It’s not the same sensor technology (the X-H2S is using a stacked sensor, while the GFX 100 II is using a very fast, but conventional, sensor), and the GFX lenses are a good bit larger and heavier than the average X-series lens. It won’t be AS fast, but where it falls on the line between the GFX 100S and the X-H2S remains to be seen.

The speed, increased buffer memory and CFExpress slot combine to make the GFX 100 II a camera where you rarely need to worry about the buffer. Using any frame rate below the full 8 fps, the buffer depth is 1000 images or more. That’s A1/Z9 territory. Even at 8 fps, with the worst possible settings (uncompressed raw plus jpeg), the buffer depth is 55 images, and simply turning on lossless compression raises the depth to 75 images. A 9 second buffer at full speed is pretty good for a fast full-frame camera, and is unheard of in 100 MP medium format. No, it’s not the fastest camera around, but it IS a fast one.

A (claimed) 8 stop image stabilizer is rarely seen outside of Micro 43, and the 6 stop stabilizer on the GFX 100S is highly effective – is this one really a couple of stops better? If so, it’s a stunner.

Fujifilm is also using the image sensor in concert with the gyro sensor that normally handles image stabilization. I haven’t heard of any other camera doing that – the most recent descriptions I can find of the “Hand of God” stabilization in the more recent OM System cameras don’t mention it. Fujifilm is claiming an astonishing 8 stops of stabilization with certain lenses, which is as good as the best OM System stabilizers or the EOS-R3. The GFX 100S claims 6 stops, and I shoot it down to about 1/20 second with confidence (using the 32-64mm f4 lens), sometimes pulling off a critically sharp shot as slow as 1/10 second. The GFX 100 II is claiming 7.5 stops with that lens – handholding medium format down to between 1/8 and ¼ second? That is on a par with what I’ve gotten out of the class-leading OM System stabilizers – except that it’s using an oversize 102 MP sensor instead of a small 20 MP sensor. There are very few cameras that claim 8 stops of stabilization, and all but one or two of those that do are Micro 43. The smaller the sensor, the easier it is to design a really effective, compact image stabilizer, since the movements are smaller and the space around the sensor is often larger (in comparison to the body). Many of the most effectively stabilized cameras are larger Micro 43 models, where the small sensor lives in a full-frame sized body.

The GFX 100 II accepts the accessory fan from the XH2 series, to keep it cool when shooting long video takes.


The other advantage of the much faster sensor is for video. The GFX 100 and 100S are already surprisingly good video cameras, with the unique perspective of the large sensor compensating for somewhat limited modes and significant rolling shutter. There is only one video camera on the market with a larger sensor, and that’s the rental-only  ARRI Alexa 65. If your name isn’t James Cameron or Christopher Nolan, you can’t afford to use the Alexa 65 on your next film. If you ARE Mr. Cameron or Mr. Nolan, I’d love to hear your impression (and your DP’s and cinematographer’s impressions as well) of the new GFX 100 II – you know a LOT more about filmmaking than I do.

The ARRI Alexa 65 has a considerably wider sensor than the GFX 100II. Literally everything else that shoots video has a smaller sensor.

The GFX 100 II takes the large sensor perspective of the earlier 100 MP GFX models, improves sensor speed radically, and adds all the video modes you might ever want  – the list is  impressive. The primary shooting mode is full sensor width 4K60p (or any standard frame rate below 60p), with F-Log, ProRes HQ raw, H. 264 and H.265 all available for internal recording to CFExpress (this is why there is a CFExpress slot). From the spec sheet, it’ll also do Blackmagic raw (and 12-bit ProRes) by sending raw video out the HDMI port.  All of Fujifilm’s film simulations, including the brand-new REALA Superia Ace, are available if you’d prefer finished output to raw or log. This is full DCI 4K, not the slightly narrower 4K Ultra HD (although you can also access Ultra HD with exactly the same options available).

There is also an 8K30p mode – note that it has a significant crop and uses almost exactly the same sensor area that an average full-frame camera would use in 8K (it is exactly the same area as the A7R V, which has the same pixel pitch, and a touch smaller than something like a Z8 or Z9, which have slightly larger pixels). There are two additional modes worth mentioning. One is that it will do 1080p at 120 fps across the full width of the sensor, and the other is that there are quite a number of anamorphic modes (with built-in desqueeze, so it looks right in the viewfinder) that use the 35mm full-frame image circle. There doesn’t appear to be built-in desqueeze for recording anamorphic using the full sensor width (but where are you going to get an anamorphic lens with coverage beyond full-frame, anyway?). I’m not sure whether there additional cropped 4k or 1080p modes (1080p at 240 fps with a severe crop? Cropped 4k120p?Something else odd?), but this list of modes, headed by large-format 4K60p that only the Alexa 65 can do, is impressive.

Some of the available video modes – there’s another set if you’re using a full-frame lens, and yet another if you find a VistaVision compatible lens (plus still more for anamorphic)…

Fujifilm has done something interesting with the video modes that I haven’t seen on any other camera. They offer versions of their modes for a variety of lens coverages, which makes sense when the huge sensor can support quite a few different types of lenses (and very few cine lenses will actually cover the whole sensor). The standard setting is GFX format for native lenses and presumably adapted lenses that cover GFX  (Hasselblad lenses are a common example, but adapters area available for essentially any medium format lens ever made, and even to mount the camera to a view camera and use large format lenses on a bellows). The other obvious setting is for 35mm full-frame lenses – Canon EF to GFX adapters are common, and many others are available. Filmmakers are also likely to use PL-mount full-frame cinema lenses, easily adapted to GFX bodies. There are two more obscure settings that cover odd circumstances – one is the aforementioned 35mm anamorphic, and the other is marked by Fujifilm as Premista (their expensive cinema zooms that cover 40mm wide sensors), but actually works with any VistaVision compatible lens. There are a few out there because of RED and a couple of other manufacturers making cameras with sensors wider than full-frame, but not as high. One setting notable by its absence is Super 35 (essentially APS-C)– it’s a waste of the big sensor, but Super 35 cine lenses are common. Maybe Fujifilm figures you’ll use an X-H2S for that, and there’s no reason not to – unless you don’t have one handy… Since it has the same sensor pitch and processing power, the GFX 100 II should stand in for an X-H2S except where the faster stacked sensor on the smaller camera enables additional modes.

Another GFX 100 II feature that I have seen on very few hybrid cameras is waveform and vectorscope displays. These video exposure tools are available on quite a few Panasonic cameras, but only a couple of others (apart from dedicated video cameras – any serious dedicated video camera will have them). The GFX 100 II has both, with a few bells and whistles even Panasonic doesn’t usually provide, like RGB waveforms. It is also compatible with Fujifilm’s accessory fan, introduced with the X-H2S, to increase video recording times without overheating. They certainly mean this as a serious movie camera.

These video specs raise the question of whether the GFX 100 II succeeds as  a true hybrid camera, or even a dedicated cinema camera? I think it will probably be an excellent hybrid and maybe even a cinema camera, without ever having handled one. When I do get ahold of one for review, I’m hoping to enlist a filmmaker friend to help.  Depending on how pronounced the rolling shutter ends up being, it could be an absolutely unique movie-making tool, with a large-sensor look that nothing short of the Alexa 65 can bring (with some of the highest-end REDs being the next closest approach).

Without all the bells and whistles, even the older GFX 100S produces beautiful and unique video, and the GFX 100 II takes that and adds a GH6 worth of tools and modes. I could see someone buying the GFX 100 II mainly as a movie camera, since nothing else can offer large-sensor video (anything beyond full-frame) at a semi-reasonable price. It’s around ¼ the price of the cheapest VistaVision RED (which also requires many more accessories before it’ll make a film), and it’s less than a week’s rental on an Alexa 65. It’s not a RED, nor is it an Alexa 65, but it offers some of their most interesting capabilities for a very different price.

There are three different situations in which you might be considering the GFX 100 II as a still photographer. First, if you’ve been debating medium format, and do not presently own a medium format digital body, is the GFX 100 II the camera you’ve been waiting for? Having made the transition more than two years ago to the GFX 100S, I’d say that the time is already here in many photographic genres favored by Luminous Landscape readers. For landscape photography in particular, the benefits of 102 MP with excellent dynamic range, color science, noise handling and other aspects of image quality are enormous.

The difference between 61 MP and 102 MP is significantly more than I expected when I first reviewed the GFX 100S, and it has become a trusted companion on many journeys since then (I’m leaving for the Sierra Nevada and Redwoods State and National Parks in a couple of days to photograph with the GFX). The GFX 100 II adds a few nice features (I’d love that viewfinder) to an already superb system. If you’re buying anew or have a 50 MP GFX, the extra $1500 for the GFX 100 II is probably worth it (unless the GFX 100S drops in price significantly), both for the viewfinder and because it’s more versatile for your work outside of landscape (if the AF lives up to expectations, you may not need a smaller-format system as well!). If you already have a GFX 100S, it’s probably not worth the cost to upgrade – but a GFX 100 II beckons when and if you add a body.

 Architectural photographers pleases note the description of the 30mm and 110mm GF lenses above – most of the considerations are the same as for landscape, but the GFX 100 II may not be the most important introduction of the day for you (it’s great, with the beautiful viewfinder, but it may be #2 on the introductions list). Portraitists and candid photographers will love the extra speed of the GFX 100 II, and it may very well be the camera that pushes you from “medium format is not quite fast enough” to “this lets me work as I’m used to with a substantial boost in image quality”.

 The GFX 100 II and the upcoming 500mm lens really open up GFX as a choice for wildlife photography.  Especially if you love both landscape and wildlife, it’s worth a VERY serious look – especially when that 500mm comes out. Some of my favorite wildlife photographs actually come from the GFX 100S with the 120mm macro lens (broader subjects like flocks of birds, of course), and for the type of wildlife I favor, a GFX 100 II with 120mm, 250mm and 500mm lenses (the 100-200mm could replace the 120 and the 250)  might well be a dream kit. Add a medium-range zoom and the superb 20-35mm zoom for a kit that will handle any challenge in landscape or wildlife.

There are some genres where GFX still isn’t a perfect fit, and may never be. For sports, the question today is “why not Nikon” – as hard as that was to imagine exactly two years ago, when the fastest Z-mount body was a Z6 II and the longest Z-mount lens was a 200mm. GFX would work very well for photojournalism, but many other systems(including Fujifilm’s own X-mount) would work at least as well. The situation with on-camera flash on Fujifilm bodies has improved radically in the past few years, but it still isn’t Canon, Nikon or Sony. I can’t think of a truly photojournalistic application where 102 MP matters (there are some on the line between photojournalism and portraiture – like portraits of world leaders that might get printed big), and you still give up a little bit of speed and some flash capability to get the high resolution. I’ve shot weddings with a GFX 100S, and a GFX 100 II would be an even better choice, but a Z8 might very well be my top choice if that were my primary line of work. Let’s see how close the GFX 100 II gets to the Z8 in autofocus (and look closely at flash)… Both have superb lines of wide to portrait lenses, with quite a few choices.

The second situation is easy – if you have a medium format system other than Fujifilm (unless it’s 150 MP Phase One, and you command the day rate to support that, or you’ve chosen Hasselblad X for a specific reason like leaf shutters). It’s time to move to Fujifilm! There are only three medium format systems under active development – Fujifilm GFX, Hasselblad X and Phase One. Phase One is literally five times as expensive as the others, although its image quality is the highest of all, due to even larger sensors. I’ve only shot Phase One gear briefly, and never shot the newest models (the 150 MP back, XT camera or XC camera) at all. The XF is not only five times the price of Fujifilm, it’s at least twice the weight (depending on configuration),  not weather sealed, has no image stabilization and has a mirror slap that literally feels like a recoil. Not for my style of photography! If you need that last bit of image quality (and can pay for it), you know who you are…

Hasselblad X is a much more mainstream-viable choice than Phase One, and I’d love to try one (I last handled an original X1D at PhotoPlus 2019). From what I know of it, it has one major advantage – leaf-shutter lenses. If you use a lot of studio lighting, that’s a huge advantage. Against that, there are several disadvantages to Hasselblad X. The three important ones for most still photographers are cost, lens system versatility and autofocus. Fujifilm is generally about two thirds the price of Hasselblad, depending on exact lens choices. The two systems’ lineups of relatively conventional prime lenses are comparable,  with Fujifilm having a couple of additional fast lenses. Fujifilm has five zoom lenses (with some overlap among them) to Hasselblad’s one, and Fujifilm just introduced the first two major-brand medium-format tilt/shift lenses. Given that Fujifilm is also promising a 500mm telephoto, they certainly have an advantage in more exotic primes and in zoom lenses.

Fujifilm freely admits the GFX 100 II shares a processor with their fastest X-series cameras.

Fujifilm has a major autofocus advantage, and that’s probably structural – DJI (Hasselblad’s owner) has to develop autofocus processors and algorithms specifically for each Hasselblad body, spreading the development cost over sales that might be in the low tens of thousands at best over the life of a body (are they selling 5000/year?). Fujifilm, on the other hand, simply borrows the latest X-Processor and most of the software from their APS-C line (they are very open about this – the GFX 100 II proudly wears the same X-Processor 5 label as the X-H2 twins). Since the sensors are similar and the lens communication protocols are the same, the software tweaking is presumably relatively minor, dealing with sensor size and different color filter patterns. Fujifilm sells close to half a million mirrorless cameras per year, and probably half of those use the latest X-Processor. They simply have something like 50 times as many cameras to spread the R&D over!

If your medium format system is anything else, or if you’re shooting Phase One below the 150 MP level without a financial plan to move to 150 MP, a move to Fujifilm may very well make sense. Leica is formally discontinued, both Hasselblad H and Pentax are effectively discontinued, and anything else is rapidly approaching “ancient”. Used gear for a lot of those systems (other than Pentax) is more expensive than NEW GFX gear. If you have sub-150 MP Phase One, even though it’s still supported, are you seriously considering 150 MP (or something exotic like an Achromat or a Trichromat)? if not, GFX has significantly higher image quality and much better usability – and it’s cheaper.

The third situation is that you are already a GFX shooter, and are deciding whether to add or replace a body. If you are adding a body, if the GFX 100 II lives up to its spec sheet, it’s almost certainly what you want. There’s simply no reason to buy anything with the decade-old 50 MP sensor in 2023. You lose phase detect AF and the exceptional image quality of the 102 MP sensor. Every 50 MP camera has notably slow AF, while the 100 and 100S have reasonably fast AF, and the 100 II should be quicker yet. All 50 MP cameras except the GFX 50S II lose IBIS and share the battery caveat below with the original GFX 100 as well. The GFX 100 II is cheaper than the GFX 100 (although we may see clearance sales on those), with four years of development separating the two.

The GFX 50S (original), 50R and 100 use an outdated battery system that could be a maintenance hassle going forward – not only is the NP-T125 not used in any current camera (and was only EVER used in medium-format cameras which sell at maybe 10% of the APS-C line’s volume, if that), it is also unrelated to any other battery, with three very small cells. It takes an assembly line of its own to make, and I’d worry about whether very many manufacturers will bother for the relatively small number of bodies in existence. Fujifilm’s own battery is discontinued, and the only choice at B+H is their (reputable) Watson store brand. Adorama has their store brand (Green Extreme) and one other choice (Bescor). High-quality Chinese battery specialist Nitecore (who make their own cells, with an excellent reputation) doesn’t make one. It wouldn’t take much for that battery to disappear! I’m guessing the Watson, Green Extreme and Bescor all come off the same production line, and there may be one more line making some of the fly-by-nights on Amazon. If we lose the Watson line, there may be no safe source for that battery.

  The dual-cell NP-W235 is standard across many of Fujifilm’s APS-C cameras as well as the GFX 100S, 50S II and 100 II, AND it’s very closely related to the Nikon EN-EL15 in particular, but also to the Sony NP-FZ100 and the Canon LP-E6. All four use the same cells, and even much of the plastic shell is identical to the Nikon battery (it’s really just an EN-EL15 with the contacts in a slightly different place). Even in the unlikely event that Fujifilm were to leave the camera market entirely, every third party that makes EN-EL15s would make NP-W235s as well. Fujifilm’s own battery is available everywhere, and there are multiple reputable third parties including Nitecore, the big camera stores, and a couple of companies from the video space. There are of course Amazon fly-by-nights as well, but why put a risky battery in a very expensive camera when there are so many alternatives?

Against a GFX 100S (the other fully viable GFX) as an added body, unless the latter sees a major price cut, the GFX 100 II is 25% more expensive and much more versatile.  If the GFX 100S goes below $5000, it becomes a more interesting choice, and will depend on what you do. Even for landscape or architecture, $1500 more for the 100 II probably makes sense (oh, that viewfinder!), especially if you do some other photography as well – but does $2500-$3000 more make sense if you don’t care all that much about autofocus, frame rate or video? That’s a heck of an expensive viewfinder upgrade… If the GFX 100S goes down to $4500-$5000, it also lands SQUARELY in the middle of A7r V territory (and where any Z7 III, and potentially a relatively slow, high-res Canon,that comes out will probably be). If you’re a relatively contemplative photographer, adding a GFX 100S instead of the latest full-frame marvel may be a great idea.

Replacing any GFX EXCEPT a GFX 100S with a GFX 100 II is very likely to make sense – you get some combination of focus, video, IBIS, the 102 MP sensor, speed and the newer, easily available battery. If it’s an older camera, you might get all or most of those. Replacing a GFX 100S is a much trickier call – you’ll probably lose $3000-$4000 between what you can sell the 100S for and what the 100 II will cost. That’s close to two GF lenses, depending on the lens, and the core still photo capabilities aren’t all that different. If you’re a filmmaker, absolutely. If you’re a wedding photographer, maybe. If you’re a landscape photographer – well, my GFX 100S isn’t going ANYWHERE, because there are at least three lenses I want more than I want the body upgrades.  My next GF body, however, will be a GFX 100 II (unless something comes out in the meantime).

            The new GFX gear shows a lot of promise for the serious photographer, and makes GFX truly interesting to filmmakers as well. I’ve been shooting GFX for two years now, and haven’t looked back. The GFX system continues to grow, closing the versatility gap with full-frame, while retaining its substantial image-quality advantage. The lens lineup is not AS complete as the broader full-frame lines, but it is filling out rapidly. Once the 500mm is introduced, there will be at least one GFX option in every lens category except fisheyes. There is not the choice found in some full-frame lineups, especially at the ends of the focal length range – there will generally be a good option, but not always a bunch of choices..

One 500mm f5.6, equivalent to a 400mm f4.5, is not a match for Nikon’s line including not only a 400mm f4.5 but 400mm f2.8, 600mmf4, 800mm f6.3, 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 and 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 options. A compact 400mm f4.5 equivalent is as good a choice as you’ll get, given one long telephoto, but it’s a lot less flexible than half a dozen options.  Similarly, one 23mm prime and one 20-35mm zoom don’t offer the choice provided by Sony’s two 12-24mm and three 16-35mm zooms (two of those are different generations of the same lens) plus 14, 20 and two 24mm primes. Several of those Sony primes are also f2 and faster, while both Fujifilm lenses are f4 (the f2.8 Sony zooms are not much faster than the f4 Fujinon, after accounting for format).  The 12-24mm Sony zooms go significantly wider than any Fujinon.

Closer to the middle of the range, GF lenses come in enough variety to satisfy most tastes. The normal range is covered by three zooms and four primes (five if you count an 80mm as a long normal instead of a short portrait lens). In the portrait range, there are two zooms and three primes (four including that 80mm that is either a long normal or a short portrait lens).  Wide-angle includes three primes, one of them a tilt/shift, one zoom and the widest end of another zoom or two. The one thing that’s missing in the middle range is broad-ranging zooms. The tilt/shift lenses are unique in the mirrorless world (although Canon EF lenses on an RF adapter and the Nikkor 19mm PC-E on the FTZ come close).

GFX gets more interesting and more versatile by the year, offering a quality-first alternative to the speed-first focus of most of the full-frame lines. For a similar size and weight to a top full-frame camera and a modestly higher price (I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the top full-framers we’re expecting before the Paris Olympics are as expensive as a GFX 100 II), you get a fast camera with absurdly high image quality instead of a REALLY fast camera with high image quality. If the price of the GFX 100S falls with the introduction of the GFX 100II, the entry price for a fully modern GFX body, especially on one of Fujifilm’s frequent sales, may become quite close to the second-tier bodies in the major full-frame lines (Z8, A7R V or A9II, and EOS-R5 or its replacement). As the three major full-frame lines converge in capability, all focusing on stacked-sensor speed at the top of the line, Fujifilm marches to their own drummer.

Dan Wells

September 2023

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Dan Wells, "Shuttterbug" on the trail, is a landscape photographer, long-distance hiker and student in the Master of Divinity program at Harvard Divinity School. He lives in Cambridge, MA when not in wild places photographing and contemplating our connection to the natural world. Dan's images try to capture the spirit he finds in places where, in the worlds of the Wilderness Act of 1964, "Man himself is but a visitor". He has hiked 230 miles of Vermont's Long Trail and 450 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail with his cameras, as well as photographing in numerous National Parks, Seashores and Forests over the years - often in the offseason when few people think to be there. In the summer of 2020, Dan plans to hike a stretch of hundreds of miles on the Pacific Crest Trail, focusing on his own and others' spiritual connection to these special places, and making images that document these connections. Over years of personal work and teaching photography, Dan has used a variety of equipment (presently Nikon Z7 and Fujifilm APS-C). He is looking for the perfect combination of light weight, ruggedness and superb image quality.

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