Behind the scenes: Trapped in a blizzard with the Fujifilm GFX 50s
Photographer Josselin Cornou recently got his hands on a Kipon EF-GFX adapter and Tamron 15-30mm F2.8 lens, which he couldn't wait to slap onto his Fujifilm GFX-50S. But what to shoot? So he hopped into a car and headed up to Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains of Australia... with a $6,500 camera... what the worst that could happen!?
Cue Murphy's law.
As fate would have it, Josselin and his expensive new gear got caught in an extreme blizzard—an experience that seems to have both terrified and delighted him, if you go by his squeals of joy in the video. Fortunately for us, it gave him a chance to test out all three of his new toys (the Fuji GFX, Kipon Adaptor, and Tamron 15-30mm F2.8) in some of the harshest conditions you might ever dream of taking them.
You can hear what he had to say in the video up top, but he was also kind enough to share some more thoughts with DPReview readers in writing. So, here goes. Take it away Josselin:
About the Kipon Adaptor
Pros: the adapter allows you to change the aperture of the lens from the GFX.
Cons: there is no connection to the camera.
Ultimately, I found this to be a great tool to use any EF lens on the Fujifilm GFX. There is no weather sealing on the current version, so I had to remove the adaptor when it was drying. Still, it did a really great job in incredibly tough conditions, and it's still fully functional even after freezing solid!
Having an adaptor with aperture control is a must if you want to use Canon glasses on the GFX.
About the Tamron 15-30mm F2.8
This is a great ultrawide angle for this system. The image fills the full circle of the GFX with limited vignetting from 18mm onward (equivalent to 14-15mm on Full Frame). It is actually really sharp in the center, sharper than many Mamyia lenses I've tried on the GFX. The corners are totally usable at 18mm F2.8, and provide even better result at 24mm (and lower apertures).
Having tested the Tamron 15-30mm, Sigma 35mm Art, 50mm F1.4, and many other high resolution lenses on the Fujifilm GFX, my guess is that manufacturers are upscaling their design so they also fit (or almost fit) 44x33 sensors. That gives you up to 2/3 of a stop advantage (depending on the FF camera system), which means less noise at any given ISO.
Anyway, I would definitely recommend getting a Tamron 15-30mm for the Fujifilm GFX, especially if you also have Sony system and Canon adapter, so you can adapt the lens on both systems. It's also way cheaper than buying a medium format ultra wide angle lens.
About the GFX
We stayed out for over 40 minutes capturing really long exposures (multiple 15-minute shots) at -15°C with up to 110km/h winds in a blizzard... and this camera worked perfectly! While it did well, my tripod leg (MeFOTO RoadTrip) broke in those condition—a leg just... snapped off, something I didn't mention in the video.
I also only had to use one battery for the entire weekend, something that was really satisfying for me after coming from a Sony a7R II.
As I said, the camera worked perfectly even in these conditions: no slowing down, no bugs, no crashing, and no issues with the frost. One feature I love to use with the GFX is being able to expose for up to 1 hour. In this case, I shot for 15 minutes without any major issues, artifacts, or hotspots.
Admittedly, it was a very heavy system to carry along in the mountains (the Tamron alone weighs 1.3kg); however, it is definitely a kit I would happily bring again to cold or extreme environment.
About the trip
Finally, I definitely recommend that everybody reading this go and visit the Snowy Mountains in Australia—there are some really amazing landscapes up there. This is something I absolutely love doing: going to an unexpected environment in order to capture some unique shots. That includes finding snow in Australia.
It's worth noting that we had all the equipment and supplies we needed to stay overnight safely, as well as navigate (topographic map and compass) and administer first aid.
If anybody tries to go into such weather conditions, please take it seriously: team up with somebody experienced, get some serious equipment (including a beacon), and let the rangers know you are going. This was an incredibly rewarding experience, but it had the potential to turn into a very scary experience very fast if we hadn't been prepared.
Here are Josselin's final, edited photos from this trip. Not bad after dealing with 110km/h winds and temperatures well below freezing!
Check out the full video up top for footage from the trip. And if you'd like to see more of his work, follow Josselin on Instagram and Facebook, check out his YouTube channel for more adventures like this one, or read his Photo Story of the Week here on DPReview.
|w/ GF110mmF2 Lens|
|w/ GF120mmF4 Macro Lens|
|w/ GF23mmF4 Lens|
|w/ GF32-64mmF4 Lens|
|w/ GF45mmF2.8 R WR Lens|
|w/ GF63mmF2.8 Lens|
|Intrepid View-072500 by vbuhay|
|Jazz Hands_ by Imagemi|
from Musical instruments
|Fire Urchin by sgitlin|
from Ricoh Challenge
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