Panoramic Landscapes - X-Pro1 vs G617

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Chris Dodkin
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Panoramic Landscapes - X-Pro1 vs G617
3 months ago

Long before 'panoramic mode' on an X-Series, on any other digital camera for that matter, Fuji were producing a stunning panoramic capture device known as the G617.

This is a film camera, using 120 (Medium Format) film, and imaging large 6x17cm panoramic negatives/transparencies. It has no focus assist, no metering, and no batteries - this is a manual camera in every sense of the word. You only get 4 frames per roll!

Of course, in the 'modern world', most of the current X Series cameras have a built in Panoramic mode, which allows the user to sweep the camera across a scene, and build an in-camera panoramic, which is output as a stitched JPEG file.

If you want a RAW file, you have to shoot single frames, and either crop from there, or stitch multiple frames in post processing.

I've been testing a G617 since Christmas, shooting on the lovely Fuji Velvia 50 slide film. This is the most saturated visually stunning film I've ever used - it's a color blast to the senses, and I love it.

As I get to grips with the camera, and it's manual set-up, I've been doing test shots to dial-in exposure etc, and also doing a comparison X-Pro1 shot at the same location.

So How do they compare?

Here's the output from my Fuji X-Pro1 - taken at Mission Bay about 35 minutes after sunset.

ISO was locked at 200 to keep noise to a minimum, aperture was set to f/8 for optimal lens resolution, and the exposure time was 0.6 sec.

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And here's the same location, taken with the Fuji G617, on Velvia 50 ASA film - 1 sec at f/22

Click on Image for a Larger Version

The time of day isn't exactly the same, as I only had one tripod with me, so had to swap cameras over to take each shot, but I think you get a pretty good idea of how they stack up.

The Velvia image was scanned at 2400 PPI on an Epson V700 scanner, and processed with SilverFast/CS6/NIK.

You have to admire a camera and film technology that's been around since March 1983, and can still 'kill it' in 2014.

Don't get me wrong - our digital cameras are amazing.

But it's hard to compete with 280MB of scanned Velvia goodness!

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