The lenses are the stars of this system.

Started Jun 11, 2017 | User reviews thread
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Rick Knepper
Rick Knepper Forum Pro • Posts: 17,870
The lenses are the stars of this system.
3

The lenses are the stars of this system.

You can download RAWs here and process to your own tastes:

https://app.box.com/s/ni6dw7pln19c61fvlth4igk1bwghb3ks

You will find among these RAWs 3 focal lengths: 32mm, 49mm, 64mm. (I wanted 50mm but the zoom ring gave me 49mm.) I have provided apertures from f4 to f32 @ full stops. The files have been renamed to easily identify the FL & aperture of each image.

I normally do not compose images with the horizon at the center of the scene however for test shots, I try to level the camera on all axes to reduce distortion. The image above has been processed and cropped.

Random thoughts on the IQ of the system, some pro, some con:

1.) The lenses are the stars of this system. This 32-64mm takes me to the next level from any zoom I have owned and used in the FF world or the Pentax MF world. f4 is literally better in the corners and edges @f8 than most FF zooms I've owned.

2.) f8 will get you a more uniformly in focus (sharp) image across the frame (corners & edges) but f5.6 and f4 are noticeably sharper in the center.

3.) I am familiar with this sensor's resolution from using the Pentax 645z for two years. To me, 50 MPs is where images begin to look more realistic. I am looking forward to 100 MPs with these lenses.

4.) However, the 645z and the GFX seem to handle their DR differently. I do not have a proficient enough grasp on dynamic range jargon so you might have to interpret the following. You don't want to over-expose the highlights with the 645z b/c those highlights clip easily and are difficult if not impossible to recover from. When the highlight alerts are flashing in Live View, you want to use enough -EC until the flashing is gone. Sometimes, this results in 3-4 stops under-exposure. In post, these under-exposures can be recovered without any hint of damage to the file. What I have observed so far with the GFX is that the highlights are very recoverable. I haven't tested the extreme under-exposures necessary with the 645z on the GFX, but I may not have to worry about that as the GFX seems to expose scenes more like I am used to with my FF cameras. I can expose to the right and maybe some and still recover.

5.) Nonetheless, both the 645z and the GFX beats any FF I have tried in terms of overall IQ.

6.) Whenever, I buy a new camera, I buy a set of Huelight camera profiles for that specific camera. Many of you make your own profiles but I'd rather spend the $15 for the Huelights and get on with processing my images. For the pic above, I am using Huelight's Low V155 profile. This profile opens up the shadows, IMO, better than Pro Neg Std. http://www.colorfidelity.com/

7.) Fuji's AWB seems to render a cooler than necessary white balance in ACR. The image above I left alone but I have found that I am warming up landscape images like this one to the Daylight setting at least. I wonder if ACR's AWB has been "mis-calibrated" by Adobe in some way?

Operationally, I do not care so much for the mechanical SS and ISO dials and aperture ring on the lenses. I thought I would be fine with it but... I much prefer the Mode Dial concept.

I will miss having a wireless remote release.

The GFX EVF flickers noticeably. Others have commented on it. Others say they do not see it. I am returning the camera for exchange so hopefully this flickering is a defect and not a phenomenon of EVFs that are noticeable by some folks.

I do not care for the WYSIWYG nature of the displays getting darker when stopping down the aperture. I've had to crank the brightness level of the EVF to its highest level just to see it at the widest apertures when shooting outdoors which will be 99.9% of the time. I am sure this will be an extra drain on the batteries.

Regardless of what anyone else claims, EVFs are no where near ready if ever to compete with OVFs for acuity and accurate light conditions. For certain folks (us older geezers for instance), neither OVF or EVF is really good enough for manual critical focusing. I am thankful for Live View and/or accurate AF. Having a histogram and other shooting info in the EVF are both handy and a distraction at the same time.

I gave the GFX system a 4.5 score based on its IQ which IQ counts 90% toward any score I give and because I do not believe a perfect camera exists. I have no idea how the camera is when shooting 3 of the 7 categories so I gave them 'okay"s just because...

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Once you've done fifty, everything else is iffy.

 Rick Knepper's gear list:Rick Knepper's gear list
Pentax 645Z Canon EOS 5DS R Fujifilm GFX 50S Sony a7R IV Pentax smc D FA 645 55mm F2.8 AL (IF) SDM AW +11 more
Fujifilm GFX 50S
51 megapixels • 3.2 screen • Medium format sensor
Announced: Sep 19, 2016
Rick Knepper's score
4.5
Average community score
4.5
bad for good for
Kids / pets
okay
Action / sports
okay
Landscapes / scenery
excellent
Portraits
excellent
Low light (without flash)
excellent
Flash photography (social)
okay
Studio / still life
excellent
= community average
Fujifilm GFX 50S Pentax 645Z
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