Missing above 250 mm

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Greg7579 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,643
Missing above 250 mm

Anytime someone asks about moving to GFX (which happens a lot), we answer and say that GFX will make them deliriously happy and that they will love the image fidelity and look so much that they will never look back. They will slow down and love shooting again. The system will inspire them to become better photographers. They will love the GF glass, which is arguably the best glass-line out there, certainly at that price. (I won't call it the best glass brand in the World, even though it probably is).

Then we tell them how the old disadvantages of slow focus tracking (when compared to the best FF and APSC systems), size and weight are being chipped away at by Fuji at a rapid pace and are not the big MF disadvantages they once were.

We tell them that the inclusion of IBIS and drop in price has brought GFX into the mainstream and the system is now a viable (very attractive in fact) option for general travel and walk around shooting.

The big and obvious MF advantages (product, portrait and landscape shooting) are huge and getting even better with the new sensor (GFX 100) and the inclusion of IBIS along with way less size and weight than previously w MF.

But the disadvantages are still there of course. The size and weight is still not anywhere near what it is with the Fuji X (APSC) series and that great XF glass, or any of the other FF systems if you shop for that purpose - lowest size and weight (and it never will be).

But to me the biggest disadvantage is reach. No matter what, GFX will never be able to have that fast (or even slow) long reach, for very obvious reasons (unless the laws of physics change or there is some star-wars-like optical computer technology break-through that occurs in the future).

That leads me to the point of this post - reach over 250 mm. I think fast reach is why so many GFX shooters still have their other system, whatever that may be.

I made a mistake and sold all my Fuji X gear (4 cameras and 14 XF lenses) last summer. I should have kept the XH-1 and 100-400 with 1.4x TC because GFX will never have anything like it. Before that, I shot the Canon 5D IV with that famous white 400mm. I didn't shoot sports, but as a long-time National Park visitor (I have driven to them all more than once) those systems are essential for road-side amateur (or pro) wildlife shots.

Car trips to the Western National Parks can result in amazing road-side shots of opportunity and one would never know that the animal was being shot off the side of a road - grizzly, black bear, elk, moose, pronghorn, deer, buffalo, fox, wolf, cayote, prairie dog, bighorn sheep, wild goats, horses - you name it.

I have met hundreds of professional wildlife shooters over the years with their huge rigs on the side of roads. I always talk to them about their gear and profession / passion. I have met them on the trails or camps a hundred times. I know how most of them get their money shots and usually it is on the side of the road somewhere in or near a National or State Park or in the back dirt roads of National Forests.  It's not always in a blind.

My best wildlife shots were 4 years ago 10 miles out of Yellowstone on the road to Cody. A huge Grizzly was eating berries and swatting at branches and standing on its hind legs and I saw it while driving by.  I pulled up 50 feet away and rolled down my window and grabbed the XH-1 with 100-400 and shot it 50 times with the lens stabilized on the window from my seat. The bear was across the ditch and a game warden pulled up behind me and got out and told me not to leave the car (which I would not have done anyway). We were alone and I just sat there and shot and watched that amazing animal for 20 minutes. He told me to drive off if he flashed me because the bear would want to cross the road. He flashed me and I drove slowly away and the bear walked out on the road 5 feet from my car and I stopped and let it pass. It ran into the woods. I stopped and talked to the warden and he knew that bear and said it had a tracker and was one of the biggest grizzlies anywhere near Yellowstone and that I was very lucky to see that.

Anyway, this June Teresa and I are loading the SUV and we are headed to Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah (but those Utah parks will be hot) and maybe on up into Canada around Jasper. We will drive and hike through National Parks and I will shoot.

I'm loading all my GFX gear into my new system that I posted about - the Pelican Air 1615 - which will stay in my truck and I can road-shoot out of it and wheel it into hotels at night. It will hold 10 GF lenses, the converted 50r (I hope by then), the 100 and the Q2, as well as some Godox flashes.

I can hike with GFX, so that doesn't bother me.

What does bother me is not having 400mm and above for road-side wildlife shots. I had 840 mm with the XH-1 and 100-400 w 1.4x TC.

I'm thinking of getting the XT-4 and just that one lens - 100-400 for this trip.

GFX will never fill that gap. Not even close.

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 Greg7579's gear list:Greg7579's gear list
Leica Q2 Fujifilm GFX 50R Fujifilm GFX 100 Fujifilm GF 32-64mm F4 Fujifilm 120mm F4 Macro +8 more
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
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