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Why I Bought the Fujifilm GFX100S (and why I’m also buying the Sony A1)

Over the years, I’ve found that some of the most useful information to my readers is that of my own reasons for buying (or not) a lens or a camera. I like to focus on what it does for me: performance, enjoyment, unique features, etc, keeping price out of any rating.

For subscribers.

Fujfilm GFX100S: Why I Purchased It

Separately, I also decided to move ahead with the Sony A1, as it the best overall camera ever produced in history. It’s a pleasure to use, immensely capable and versatile with a huge stable of lenses from multiple vendors. I choose it over the Sony A7R IV for my own reasons:

Choosing Between Sony A1 and Sony A7R IV

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Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aspherical: what looked like focus shift is *partly* shown to be Focus Creep / Unstable Lens Focus

I just could not understand how a razor sharp lens like the Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aspherical could have focus shift—it made no sense in optical terms. So I feel a little 'dense' in not having checked for the lens defocusing itself, just as its 65/2 APO sibling does.

But as it turns out, there appear to be two behaviors going on: focus creep (when not level) that defocuses the lens to a closer distance and some rearward focus shift. Together, the two effects can cancel-out each other.

UPDATE: By shooting two samples with a dead-level camera on a slanted ruler at ~1.2 meters, I have now proven to my satisfaction that (1) there is in fact a rearward optical focus shift, and (2) there was no focus creep involved for this test, as proven by an f/2 frame following the aperture series (it matches the initial f/2 frame).

I have also proven repeatedly that focus creep is an issue, at least at some positions (distances) of the focusing helicoid and when the aperture ring is used and the camera is angled down. The results is increasingly closer focus as the lens jiggles itself to closer focus. There might be variables to the focus creep that I am not aware of yet (e.g., temperature could alter the resistance of the helicoid). Also, sample #2 seems less prone to focus creep.

UPDATE 2: in addition to repeatedly seeing close-range focus shift on a ruler, I now can show exactly the same behavior at a focus distance of ~5 meters, with the camera level, including f/2.8 being sharper than f/5.6 on the leading edge of the subject which starts out slightly OOF.

...

Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aspherical

Individual lenses surely vary. But this protocol shows that two (2) brand-new samples of the Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aspherical have unstable lens focus *and* focus creep when the conditions are right (mainly when the camera is angled down).

Repeating the following protocol shows the behavior every time with both samples, to a degree so strong that examining the images right in the camera makes it obvious.

I don’t know what factors might also influence it, such as temperature. And while the two samples I have are totally consistent, it is possible that individual lens samples could show it to a greater or lesser degree.

Test protocol for focus creep and focus shift

Be exceedingly careful to touch ONLY the aperture ring when changing aperture.

  1. Focus at f/2 on a millimeter ruler, or similar, camera pointed down at 30° or so and also with camera level.
  2. Shoot series at 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, then again at f/2,
  3. Shoot 2/8, 2/8, 2/8, 2/8.
  4. Compare all f/2 frames. They should be identical.
  5. Check the sharp near and far points on the ruler at each aperture, ascertaining whether focus is increasingly biased rearward (or forward).

By the time this is done, a couple of centimeters of focus difference is seen at f/2 at a distance of ~4 feet—a massive difference.

Example, focus creep

Below are four frames at f/2, from the series {2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 2, 8, 2, 8, 2}, with the camera angled down about 30°. The focusing ring was never touched; the aperture ring was the only physical contact other than the shutter release. The images are in perfect registration, which rules out the tripod/head moving. There is a whopping 5cm change in focus on the ruler, from 50 to start to 45 by the 4th frame without touch the lens focusing ring. Both lenses show this behavior. On level, I don’t see it change.

However, it seems curiously variable, so I am having trouble pinning things down. Variables might include camera angle, focus distance (because the helicoid will be in a different position), possibly temperature.

Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aspherical

Changes to my testing procedures

From now on, my aperture series protocol must change as follows in order to check for stable lens focus, by shooting wide open after the last stopped-down aperture:

f/: 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11 ===> 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 2

It’s going to be difficult if not impossible to test lenses with unstable lens focus. Comparisons will be fraught with the hazard of never being certain as to whether focus has moved. I’ve tried tape—no good; it allows a bit of shift and total PITA in the field. A rubber band for more friction might work, but finding the right width and diameter is a chore.


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Fujifilm GFX100S: Focus BKT Auto Mode for Focus Stacking (Bicycle Drivetrain)

This page looks at the Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 on the Fujifilm GFX100S using the Focus Bkt feature at Auto, whereby the photographer selects the near and far points and the camera chooses the number of frames.

Fujifilm GFX100S: Focus Stacking / FOCUS BKT (Drivetrain)

It also includes an aperture series from f/3.5 through f/11 for comparison to the focus stack (5 frames at f/8).

f8 @ 1/8 sec focus stack 5 frames, ISO 100; 2021-05-05 14:57:43
Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR @ 41mm equiv (50mm)
RAW: +50 Shadows, +20 Whites, +15 Clarity, USM {8,50,0}

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Fujifilm GFX100S: Dynamic Range (Backlit Tigger with Push and Shadow Boost)

This page looks at image quality at ISO 100 with 14-bit lossless capture in a strongly backlit situation with the typical camera metering underexposure of nearly a full stop.

To retain highlights, it is often necessary to cut down exposure, which impacts noise in shadow areas. Plus the camera often screws the pooch with its film-age metering sensibilities (almost a full stop of dynamic range wasted here). How well does image quality at ISO 100 far when pushed to bring out shadow detail?

Fujifilm GFX100S: Dynamic Range, Backlit Tigger with Push and Shadow Boost

Includes crops and discussion, including how to maximize image quality.

As-shot (left), +1 (center), +2.6 (right)
f6.4 @ 1/75 sec handheld electronic shutter, ISO 100; 2021-05-02 19:04:35
Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR @ 41mm equiv (50mm)
RAW: +20 Whites, +30 Dehaze, +15 Clarity

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Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 Examples: Backyard and Tigger (GFX100S)

These examples shot handheld with IBIS with the Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR.

Goals here include assessing overall image quality and focusing accuracy. Also handheld IBIS results.

Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 Examples: Backyard and Tigger

Images at sizes up to full camera resolution. Some examples include both color and monochrome versions.

Tigger on the Lookout in Persimmon Tree
f6.4 @ 1/75 sec handheld electronic shutter, ISO 100; 2021-05-02 19:04:35
Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR @ 41mm equiv (50mm)
RAW: push 1 stops, +100 Shadows, +20 Whites, +30 Dehaze, +15 Clarity

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LeicaImages.com

LeicaImages.com is one of those site for sharing your photos with a brand orientation—give it a look and try it!

Jorge Torralba writes:

LeicaImages.com has been updated with some new changes to the software and layout. It's pretty robust and full of new features.

  • Comments section has been updated,
  • Gallery presentation is much more fluid,
  • Following photographers is a breeze,
  • Keeping track of favorites has been simplified,
  • Blurbing and shout-outs is more flexible and an awesome way to get a quick message out,
  • Album creation simplified,
  • Customizing your lens list for non recorded lenses is a breeze. Now easily assign a lens to an image even if it's an old lens.
Spotlight on Dark Side of Eureka Dunes Summit
f4 @ 1/250 sec, ISO 160; 2020-12-21 14:45:03
Leica M10 Monochrom + Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon + filter B+W 090 Red
ENV: Eureka Dunes, altitude 3700 ft / 1128 m, 60°F / 15°C
RAW: pull 0.17 stops, +50 Shadows, +40 Whites, +50 Dehaze, USM {8,50,0}

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Fujifilm GF Lens Corrections Apparently no Longer Flagged as Required in EXIF, Adobe Camera Raw Now Allows a Choice (UPDATE: applies to all new camera brands)

A longstanding issue with some camera brands has been an unwanted forced application of lens corrections. Fujifilm is a major offender here, but a lot of other vendors do it also.

Fujifilm has in the past flagged (in EXIF) nearly all of its lenses as mandating distortion correction, vignetting and chromatic aberration correction, thus leaving the photographer stuck with no flexibility and all the downside:

  • Vignetting can be a creative tool, so forcing it to be corrected suck.
  • Distortion correction damages micro contrast and yet is not needed with many lenses and/or some captures.
  • Chromatic aberration correction is often not needed as well, and carries with it the risk of making things worse (yes, it happens).

Accordingly, I am pleased to report that apparently the EXIF flags in raw files from the Fujifilm GFX100S no longer mandate these lens corrections. Instead, the photographer can selectively choose which corrections to use (they do default to full correction).

What I do not know is whether the Fujifilm GFX100 firmware has a similar change to match the GFX100S behavior. I am also deducing that it is not a change in Adobe Camera Raw (I wish it were because my older captures are still stuck with the forced correction).

UPDATE: I’ve confirmed with Adobe that this very welcome change applies to all brands for all new model cameras, but not to older model cameras (not quite clear on wether it means firmware or model eg whether GFX100 sees the improvement). Excluding prior models and older captures makes no technical sense to me, and I’ve requested that older files see a similar support (e.g., Fujifilm GFX100 files, Sony A7R IV and many more).

Below, the same 50/3.5 lens sample was used. The file from a year ago with the Fujifilm GFX100 mandates the lens corrections whereas a file from the GFX100S now makes all the corrections optional.

Adobe Camera Raw => Optics: user choice for what is applied
Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR on Fujifilm GFX100S in 2021
Adobe Camera Raw => Optics: user choice for what is applied
Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR on Fujifilm GFX100 in 2020

 

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Reader Question: Testing for Focus Shift

In the Deck Planks example, I included a short explanation of why using a planar target is not the right testing protocol, reproduced towards bottom.

See Testing for Focus Shift and Secondary Color and Detecting and Mitigating Focus Shift in the How to Test A Lens section of Making Sharp Images.

Christopher C writes:

I fastened some words of the smallest print I could find to the wall, carefully focused my Sony A7R IV on a tripod at f/2, then carefully keeping the focus the same, took the same picture at f/5.6, and f/8, and magnified the three images on the back of the camera as much as I could. The lettering seemed equally sharp.

Would this show that my lens is OK?

I have recently bought the CV 35/2 APO, but I have no knowledge how test it. Is testing straightforward? I am thinking of returning it in exchange for a Sony 35 GM, even though that will cost me quite a bit. (I have two weeks to make up my mind.)

DIGLLOYD: as described above, four mistakes are being made: (1) using a planar (flat) target shot orthogonally instead of an target angled obliquely to the camera, and (2) the key apertures are usually one stop and two stops down from maximum, e.g, f/2.8 and f/4 for an f/2 lens, (3) conflating an “OK” lens with not having focus shift (most lenses have it), (4) examining on the camera (hard to evaluate near/far, depends on the low quality JPEG).

Shoot the whole series from wide open through f/8, focusing only once, wide open. Ideally, use a finely detailed ruler (eg a yardstick as I show in Rulers and Soil).

re: Zeiss LensSpire Articles especially the “Focusing” articles. See especially the Focusing a lens with focus shift section in Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance PART TWO: Tips and Best Practices for Sharply Focused Images.

Very few lenses today avoid focus shift entirely. Some are problematic, like the Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 (at close range). Furthermore, focus shift with some lenses can be in one direction in the outer zones and another in the center! Add on field curvature with some lenses and with some lenses it van be difficult to know where focus will land. So it’s not a trivial topic to master.

Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM might also have focus shift; I don’t know yet. I hope to have it soon.

This Voigtlander FE 35/2 APO behavior has me flummoxed—it defies my past experience with hundreds of lenses. Yet I can show the behavior at-will on different subjects. The good news is that it has nil field curvature and if you fine-tune focus, you can obtain better results than with any 35mm lens I have yet tested. When the 2nd sample arrives tomorrow, I will see if the behavior is the same.

Brief notes on evaluating focus shift

A shift in the zone of focus can have substantial influence on the visual impact of the image, not to mention whether the foreground and background are blurred or sharp as intended. For example, slightly blurred eyes and sharp ears or just sharp eyes and sharpness behind them but not the face (rearward focus shift). Or blurry distance and sharpness much closer (forward focus shift).

Focus shift is often evaluated incorrectly. It is not a check as to whether a thin slice of the subject remains in focus, since depth of field gains often are enough to compensate for the shift in part. Put another way, when the depth of field gains exceed the focus shift, there is always a slice that remains as sharp (or sharper) than wide open. So you get fooled thinking there is no focus shift. Most lenses have less shift than DoF gains, so you’d be fooled every time.

Focus shift must be evaluated by assessing the centering of the zone of sharpness. If the center of that zone of sharpness displaces itself with stopping down (allowing for a slight near/far asymmetry), then the lens has focus shift and it is only a question of degree relative to how much depth of field masks/compensates for the shift. The casual observer might complain of “frontfocus” or “backfocus”, not realizing the camera focused wide open spot-on, but the capture being stopped down will not have the zone of sharpness where expected, even if the focus point is fully sharp.

In my experience, most people won’t notice unless it is pointed out. But picky people who want the very best sharpness do notice. There is no substitute for mastering shot discipline, one factor of which is understanding lens behavior.


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Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aspherical Aperture Series: Deck Planks and Ruler Focus Shift Evaluation

Update May 6: see Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aspherical: what looked like inexplicable focus shift is shown to be Focus Creep / Unstable Lens Focus.

Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aspherical

Original post...

This aperture series from f/2 through f/8 takes a critical looks at focus shift with the Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar, finding some surprises. Well, not entirely—I had seen oddball sharpness results with stopping down in some other series at greater distance, so I decided to investigated—sure 'nuf.

Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aspherical Focus Shift Evaluation Planks

Includes images up to full camera resolution plus crops.

I’m dumbfounded at the results as I expected no focus shift—but I can repeat at-will on varying subjects. Users of the Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar will definitely want to be aware of this behavior. Maybe it is a weird sample? I haven’t seen behavior like this before.

Another example, with a ruler in millimeters for seeing the shift in a more obvious way:

Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aspherical Focus Shift Evaluation: Ruler and Soil

I have a 2nd sample coming in two days that I can also test to see if it somehow sample specific. I doubt that, but very high performance designs possibly could do weird things if off just a little. But if so, I cannot explain the razor sharp 'cut' this sample makes at f/2 across the frame.

CLICK TO VIEW: World Class Optics for Sony Mirrorless

Deck planks are warped as seen—this is not optical distortion.

Tigger near Garlic play area
f2 @ 1/2500 sec pixel shift, ISO 100; 2021-05-02 13:15:45
Sony A1 + Voigtlander FE APO-Lanthar 35mm f/2 Aspherical RAW: +30 Whites, +15 Clarity

[low-res image for bot]

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Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Deck Planks (massive focus shift)

I had forgotten just how severe focus shift is with the Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 at close range—about the worst I have ever documented, but only at close range.

As it bit me when making some tests, I decided to document it with another subject entirely different from the first two:

Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Deck Planks

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/3.5 to f/22.

Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Mining Cabin Interior

Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Burned Pine Among Boulders

The behavior shown in these series is critical to understand for those looking for the best possible results from the Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 at close range.

I feel increasingly disappointed with Fujifilm GF glass because focus shift this strong means that the risk of sub-optimal results rises dramatically. Undue time-wasting care is required when focusing to compensate for the focus shift, but with autofocus it’s a total disaster since the Fujifilm GFX100S/100 focuses wide open with no feature to compensate for focus shift (at least not that I know of). And its variability and accuracy are marginal to begin with. So I again point to my recent essay on real-world capture resolution vs lower resolution cameras like the Sony A1.

f3.5 @ 1/640 sec electronic shutter, ISO 100; 2021-05-02 15:18:09
Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR @ 41mm equiv (50mm) RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected

[low-res image for bot]

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Fujifilm GFX100S Sturdiness: Bottom Plate and Tripod Socket Not Exactly Sturdily Built

I don’t know if this is a “real” issue or not. But the Fujifilm GFX100 is very sturdily built AFAIK. The GFX100S, not so much.

Start at about the 18:30 mark for a broken camera bottom and a teardown showing the cheap piece of low-grade cast metal (monkey metal aka pot metal) that has two tiny screws attaching it inside.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2jNkPlGJAo
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4572101

All the weight of the camera rests on this one small piece of pot metal, which in turn puts a lot of pressure on the edge of the base plate of the camera. And the base plate itself is very thin and of very modest structural robustness. However, it’s not clear to me that higher-grade metal would make any difference in this situation since torque/force in a small area fails the plastic, not the metal itself.

I’d say the risk of fracture as shown in the video is very low if the camera is treated carefully, but if you torque that bottom plate somehow (say with a tripod mounting plate) taking a hit while the camera is mounted (as in the example), then bad things could happen. The video points out that a heavy lens like the Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 puts a lot of stress on the tripod socket. But I usually worry about torque on the lens mount from knocking the lens, a much more insidious risk, since an undetectable (to the eye) tweak of 10-20 microns can cause substantial tilt and swing.

Not spoken to in the video is that a good quality L-Plate might distribute the stress on the body and preclude problems. Still, there’s very little holding the whole shebang together. Looks like a solid reason for a Fujifilm GFX100 instead of GFX100s for anyone looking for maximum durability.

Dan B writes:

Apparently the 100S tripod base plate /tripod head screw mounting assembly is under-designed and made with inferior metals. I am not sure whether this will come into play in a significant manner or not, but it is concerning and it's something I now need to think about and factor in to using the camera, something that I shouldn't have had to.

There can't be any significant cost savings for Fuji to produce a camera this way. What the hell was Fuji thinking! I am @$*#48#*$#*$ PISSED OFF that I poured $6k into something made this cheaply. If I didn't like the 4:3 aspect ratio more than FF and like the image quality more than Sony A7R IV, I might be tempted act rashly and sell the Fujifilm and get a Sony again.

DIGLLOYD: I don’t know how well built the Sony A1 or Sony A7R IV are in this respect, but Sony has a track record of never failing for me, mechanically or otherwise. Lensrentals.com is probably the best source of information on what fails and how often.

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Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Deck Planks

Confirming the outer-zone performances with other series, this aperture series from f/3.5 to f/16 evaluates the Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 R LM WR on a boring but very finely detailed subject, assessing sharpness across the frame, focus shift, and field curvature. It is also a good demonstration of the dulling effects of diffraction.

Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Deck Planks

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/3.5 to f/16.

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm GFX100S and Lenses

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm GFX100S Essentials

f8 @ 1/105 sec, ISO 100; 2021-05-02 15:16:20
Fujifilm GFX100S + GF30mmF3.5 R WR @ 24.6mm equiv (30mm)
RAW: vignetting corrected, +100 Shadows, -96 Highlights, +25 Whites, +20 Dehaze, +15 Clarity

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Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5: Optical Distortion

The Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 is exeamplary in its low distortion, having only a very low level of barrel distortion affecting the corners. Very few lenses of this field of view can do so well.

Kudos for this aspect of optical design!

Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5: Optical Distortion

Includes images with both corrected and uncorrected distortion.

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm GFX100S and Lenses

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm GFX100S Essentials

f8 @ 1/80 sec, ISO 100; 2021-04-30 08:14:56
Fujifilm GFX100S + GF30mmF3.5 R WR @ 24.6mm equiv (30mm)
RAW: vignetting corrected, push 0.65 stops, +69 Shadows, -83 Highlights, +31 Whites, +39 Dehaze, +15 Clarity

[low-res image for bot]

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Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aspherical: Distortion

A non-story story here.

In addition to its other world-class qualities, the Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar has near-nil distortion for near-perfect accuracy of rendition. Along with its exemplary APO correction and world-class sharpness, its rendition is as close to natural as any lens is going to get. And the sharpness you capture will never need to be degraded by distortion correction, as with so many other lenses.

Optical Distortion for Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aspherical

See my comments including what I found at closer range.

CLICK TO VIEW: World Class Optics for Sony Mirrorless

Don’t judge by the rain gutters on my old house—they actually are bowed in reality, maybe designed that way for drainage? See my comments in the review page—I used a ruler overlaying the image, and also corrected for the 0.2° off-level.

Deck and nouse
f5.6 @ 1/250 sec, ISO 100; 2021-05-02 13:11:55
Sony A1 + Voigtlander FE APO-Lanthar 35mm f/2 Aspherical RAW: vignetting corrected, +20 Whites

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Essay and Reader Comments: Sony A1 vs Fujifilm GFX100S: Real Achievable Capture Resolution, Effort Level, Enjoyment (UPDATED, v2)

re: The medium format 'Look'
re: Maximize Image Quality with Shot Discipline, Part 1: Introduction, Focusing
re: Medium Format Magazine articles

The 60MP Sony A7R IV and the 100MP Fujifilm GFX100S have identical pixel sizes. The differences is that the GFX100S has a much large sensor—more pixels of the same size. The 50MP Sony A1 has slightly large pixels than the Sony A7R IV, and from what I see takes images every bit as detailed in all practical senses.

My statement in yesterday’s post was not a statement that you can capture as much detail on the Sony A1/A7R IV as the Fujifilm GFX100s—you can’t.

“I have to say—when extreme corner sharpness at f/2 matches or beats the best I see in the center at any aperture on the Fujifilm GFX100S, I wonder just how much you really get for real total detail on that larger sensor—nowhere close to twice as much.”

But the real difference on real scenes with real lenses when taking into account total capture detail corner-to-corner and near to far—that’s an interesting question. In the central 2/3 to 3/4 of the frame, you are absolutely going to get more detail from the GFX100S with all the lenses (entire frame with a few like the 250/4), albeit with shallower DoF or more diffraction dulling because of stopping down 2/3 of a stop more for equivalent DoF.

The main thing is how well the lenses perform in the “outer zones”—about 44% of the sensor (area beyond central 3/4 or so [1 - (.75^2)] = 44%). These area are also most impacted by distortion correction, which is mandatory for most of the Fujifilm GF lenses.

Enjoyment of the shooting experience

I know that many Fujifilm GFX100s users out there love their cameras, and for good reasons (to them, which I fully acknowledge).

I wanted to love it too. I am not loving it, because (1) the shooting experience feels too outdated and kludgey compared to the Sony A1, and (2) the crucial focal length of the 30mm f/3.5 is not exactly impressing me over the whole frame. And it’s not like you have lens choices with the GF system (adapting lenses sucks for several reasons, so no real choice).

So I now have enough shooting-experience disappointment to re-evaluate my assumption of buying the GFX100S outright for its own sake. [All this aside, I am still likely to buy it because I have to be able to cover the platform. But I set that aside for this discussion.]

How much am I willing to “pay” for more resolution?

I mean “pay” mainly by the unenjoyable shooting experience (compared to the Sony A1). The money is a one-time thing, but the shooting goes on forever. My time and my enjoyment of it matter to me. It has to be worth it, somehow, to justify the inferior experience.

The 100MP GFX100S sensor has twice the pixels, but it does not capture 2X the detail of the 50MP Sony A1—see the quote at top. It’s something in-between, and how much depends on (1) lenses and (2) making the capture without errors/gotchas/optical shortcomings.

To put up with a much less enjoyable shooting experience, the camera had better deliver substantially superior results in the finished images.

Does it? Comparison images in the field (landscape) can settle that question. But it’s not just about pixel count; it’s also total image excellence including bokeh and secondary color correction. For example, GF 30mm f/3.5 outer-zone sharpness is clearly not up to sensor resolution. For landscape stills and for stitching it’s not making me happy.

Claude F writes:

So is the Fujifilm GFX100s a bust? Given the Sony and Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar.

DIGLLOYD: the GFX100S should take the same images as the Fujifilm GFX100—lots to like in GFX100S images, even if the capture resolution doesn’t live up to the 100MP brag with lenses like the Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5. (Claude is a 35mm focal length guy, and so I’d say the 50/3.5 would suit him better, but I had wanted two standouts, not just the 50/3.5).

OTOH, the Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar is a world-class optic whose performance at wide open at f/2 has few if any peers. As close to a flawless optic in the 35/40/50mm space as exists. With superb APO correction, no field curvature, no focus shift—nothing to impede your efforts—if it’s not sharp blame your own shot discipline.

Roy P writes:

I’m still waiting for my CV 35 for the Sony, but judging from your early reactions, it looks like the CV 35 is a CV 50 on steroids. Your comment that caught my eye the most:

“I have to say—when extreme corner sharpness at f/2 matches or beats the best I see in the center at any aperture on the Fujifilm GFX100S, I wonder just how much you really get for real total detail on that larger sensor—nowhere close to twice as much.”

So that begs the question: does it even make sense to buy the Fujifilm GFX system at all?! The same money could be used to buy another A1 camera or an A7R IVa or V that is dedicated to using with the best CV lenses (35/2, 50/2, 65/2, etc.)

Obviously, if Voigtlander were to offer a scaled up version of its 35/2 APO Lanthar (~44mm f/2.5) for the Fuji GFX, presumably the GFX100S would deliver similarly spectacular results, but at 2x the resolution vs. the Sony A1, notwithstanding its inferior EVF and live view.

(Who knows, that might indeed happen – CV already offers these lenses for the Sony E and Leica M mounts, and if they sense the Fuji market is big enough, they could potentially go after it!)

So far, I’ve been quite pleased with the results from the GFX100S, other than the usability issues and the one faulty lens I had to return. But the Sony A1 is a formidable camera with all the stellar lenses available to it.

If you had to downsize the GFX100S images to normalize them the IQ of the CV35 or CV50 on a Sony A1, what resolution would you have to come down to? 80MP? 90MP? 70MP? 60MP?

DIGLLOYD: yes it makes total sense to buy the Fujifilm GFX100S—for the right reasons. Ditto for the Sony A7R IV, but I now strongly prefer the Sony A1—no better shooting experience ever.

In general, I’d pin the effective capture resolution of the GFX100S/100 at 75 to 85 megapixels for most lenses when all factors are accounted for (optical performance, field curvature, distortion correction, diffraction), better for a few standouts like the Fujifilm GF 250mm f/4 (and 120mm) which can deliver full sharpness across the frame.

The decision is a complex sum of one’s own priorities/preferences:

  • Overall look and feel of the images, the primary factor being the lens.
  • Support for features like focus stacking and usable pixel shift
  • Total capture resolution including edge to edge and real depth of field the lens can actually deliver.
  • Clarity of the imagery (color correction, aberrations, bokeh)
  • Shooting envelope (f/1.4 and f/2 much more usable than f/2.8 or f/3.5), top-notch Eye AF, etc.
  • Enjoyment while using— EVF, responsiveness, ease of focusing, etc.
  • Ease of execution / getting consistently high-grade results speaks against a lens with AF errors and/or focus shift and field curvature.
  • Size/weight/cost

I think it comes down to one and only one thing: does the GFX100S deliver enough additional resolution for your use case that it’s worth it to you, in every sense?

Peter F writes:

I read and understood the implications of your Blog’s content today with great interest with my impending purchase of a GFX 100S + 50mm f3.5 lens, and can easily appreciate your pleasure in using the Sony A1 as you express it so well.

I think having owned a Sony A7R III and a Fujifilm GFX-50S + 63mm f2.8 lens, the thing that I could never get enough of was the terrific smoothness of the files tonality with the GFX 50S, as opposed to a frequent brittleness with the admittedly very sharp Sony files.

Given that a major thrust of your reservations in todays blog for the Fuji is the poor performance with the 30mm lens, and you have praised the 50mm f3.5 previously, even wide open, I am so very interested in your findings with that combination, in terms of overall image quality.

DIGLLOYD: the Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 is a very good lens; I would not call it 'poor'. But when adding up its barely adequate outer-zone sharpness and its focus shift, it gives me no excitement as did the Fujfilm GF 50mm f/3.5.

I don't see brittleness in the Sony A1, or the A7R IV. I did see it in the A7R III and previous. Moreover, the A1 files just look better to me than the A7R IV. And the A7R IV uses the same sensor technology as the GFX100S/100 (but electronics around the sensor matter also).

The dark tone histogram for the Sony A1 is very smooth, just like a medium format camera. With a newer sensor technology, it could actually be better. I am not sure, but I cannot rule out that the Sony A1 could have better per-pixel image quality than the Fujifilm GFX100S/100. For example, the blatant horizontal stripes with the GFX100S. Field shooting under varied conditions can prove this out, but my prediction is that it will prove inconclusive, with both cameras delivering superb per-pixel image quality. That said, at some point oversampling nails it in favor of the larger sensor.

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm GFX100S Essentials

Roy P writes:

I have to keep reminding myself that cameras and lenses don’t take pictures, people do!

I briefly considered returning all of the Fujifilm system back to B&H, but then decided against it. The GFX100S has the same Sony sensor technology as in the A1, and so far, I like what I’ve gotten out of it, notwithstanding all the warts of the camera. I really like the way the Fujifilm consistently handles exposure, colors and skin tones in mixed lighting, and especially with flash (e.g., see attached – this is pretty much SOOC, shot with the 45-100). The A1 usually takes a little more tweaking in post, but pretty much matches the IQ from the Fuji. At the end of the day, I’m getting very nice images from both, but with a bigger payload from the Fuji.

For my intended use cases with the Fuji, I also think I have the right mix of lenses – the 50/3.5, 32-64, 45-100, and 110/2. I’ve decided against the Fuji lenses wider than the 50/3.5 and also pass on the 80/1.7. I know the 80/1.7 has excellent sharpness, so if there’s a $500 off deal down the road, I might be tempted. But for the most part, whatever I might use it for is covered by either the 50/3.5 (walkaround / street photography), 110/2 (portraits / bokeh), or the 32-64 or 45-100 (people / events). In set theory terms, the intersection of the 80/1.7 with the union of the other four lenses is close to 100% of the 80/1.7, and what remains outside is close to a null set.

I will almost certainly get the 250/4 + the 1.4x when the lens goes on sale. It should be very good for tight head shots, and also an interesting macro / close focusing tool with the extension tubes + focus stepping.

I like how well the extension tubes have worked with autofocusing and focus stepping on the GFX. I also like that I can use my Schneider 120/5.6 Tilt-Shift lens with the GFX100S, and I’m experimenting using it with a macro extender and tilt-shift for product / macro photography.

Bottom line, the GFX100S is a tool that I can put to work. Some overlap with the Sony A1 is inevitable, given how incredibly versatile the A1 is. But I do have specific use cases for each, and I plan to use them both extensively.

DIGLLOYD: I agree with what is said here.

Fair questions remain however, ones that each person has to answer for themselves, boiling down to “what brings you joy?”. The shooting experience and resulting images are most relevant there, but two quite different things. Ideally, one camera would have both a superior shooting experience and superior imagery.

That isn’t the case here—Sony A1 is a superior shooting experience and might have just as good per pixels quality along with better lenses. I do not think it a valid assumption that the GFX100S/100 have inherently better image quality than the Sony A1. For example, the blatant horizontal stripes with the GFX100S.

I myself cannot yet puzzle out where things fall, so I’m going to not make a call until I have some field experience with both for landscapes.

Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aspherical Examples: Backyard and Garden

Various examples with the Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar, shot handheld with IBIS on the Sony A1.

Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Examples: Backyard

Includes images up to full camera resolution.

I have to say—when extreme corner sharpness at f/2 matches or beats the best I see in the center at any aperture on the Fujifilm GFX100S, I wonder just how much you really get for real total detail on that larger sensor—nowhere close to twice as much.

CLICK TO VIEW: World Class Optics for Sony Mirrorless

Tigger near Garlic play area
f2 @ 1/60 sec handheld IBIS=on, ISO 100; 2021-04-30 19:34:28
Sony A1 + Voigtlander FE APO-Lanthar 35mm f/2 Aspherical
RAW: vignetting corrected, +20 Whites, +20 Dehaze, +20 Clarity
red channel, ProPhoto

[low-res image for bot]
Garden Plants and gopher traps
f2 @ 1/40 sec handheld IBIS=on electronic shutter, ISO 100; 2021-04-30 19:37:39
Sony A1 + Voigtlander FE APO-Lanthar 35mm f/2 Aspherical
RAW: +20 Whites, +15 Clarity

[low-res image for bot]

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Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aspherical—WOW! (plus Tigger)

The Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar is here.

I’ve shot it and I'm impressed. Unless you cannot abide manual focus, this is a MUST HAVE lens. I just love the way it handles—superb haptics, superb focusing throw, fits in my hand just right on the Sony A1. The f/2 performance is jaw-dropping. And the value proposition is unbeatable.

Tomorrow I’ll start exploring its behaviors.

But tonight I found that the sharpness wide open is so superb that focusing is a joy (and a welcome relief from the crap-gade magnified Live View of the Fujfilm GFX100S, OMG what a difference).

Wildlife with a manual fous 35mm lens is a bit challenging. The main trick is getting Tigger to stay still a few seconds. Which he doesn’t do much. Especially when he’s lusting after his 4th bunny brains feast in 48 hours. Which he obtained an hour after this was taken. A few lizards and a gopher or tided him over between bunny brain breakfasts and dinners. My garden will not have rabbit issues this year.

Lens performance is terrific, even shot into difficult backlighting. I’ll show these in full-res tomorrow in my review.

Tigger Surveying for Prey
f3.2 @ 1/160 sec handheld IBIS=on electronic shutter, ISO 100; 2021-04-30 19:31:44
Sony A1 + Voigtlander FE APO-Lanthar 35mm f/2 Aspherical
RAW: push 1.3 stops, +100 Shadows, +20 Whites, +43 Dehaze, +15 Clarity

[low-res image for bot]
Tigger Surveying for Prey
f3.5 @ 1/160 sec handheld IBIS=on electronic shutter, ISO 100; 2021-04-30 19:32:29
Sony A1 + Voigtlander FE APO-Lanthar 35mm f/2 Aspherical
RAW: push 1.65 stops, +100 Shadows, +20 Whites, +40 Dehaze, +15 Clarity

[low-res image for bot]

Ever more confident in trees, this preposterous leap was followed by a scramble up to a 1/2" branch. Just for fun, the crazy-ass cat does stuff like this every evening.

Tigger Leaping from Branch to Branch
f4 @ 1/50 sec handheld IBIS=on electronic shutter, ISO 100; 2021-04-30 19:25:31
Sony A1 + Voigtlander FE APO-Lanthar 35mm f/2 Aspherical
RAW: push 0.43 stops, +40 Shadows, +20 Whites, +59 Dehaze, +15 Clarity

[low-res image for bot]

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Fujifilm GFX100S: Horizontal Bright Stripes in Blue Sky with Monochrome Conversions (aka PDAF Banding)

re: Reader Comment: Fujifilm GFX100S and Captures for Monochrome
re: PDAF banding and striping pattern noise

Bad news for monochrome shooters hoping to shoot the Fujifilm GFX100S as a substitute for a monochrome-sensor camera by beating 'em with more pixels... the horizontal white stripes seen in the Fujifilm GFX100 have not been fixed with the Fujifilm GFX100S.

Many people have claimed the issue is fixed. But I reproduced the problem with the very first frame I shot to test for it. The issue is thus not only present with the GFX100S but almost certainly not fixed in the Fujifilm GFX100, which has an identical sensor.

Fujifilm GFX100S: Horizontal White Stripes with Monochrome Images aka PDAF Banding

I discuss one other curiousity and where the striping is found.

UPDATE: I confirmed that under identical conditions, the Sony A1 does not show striping whereas the Fujfilm GFX100S has it in spades.

Fujifilm GFX horizontal stripes in blue sky after monochrome conversion
f8 @ 1/15 sec EFC shutter, ISO 100; 2021-04-30 08:18:35
Fujifilm GFX100S + GF30mmF3.5 R WR @ 24.6mm equiv (30mm) + polarizer Zeiss
RAW: push 0.35 stops, +20 Whites, +15 Clarity
14-bit

[low-res image for bot]

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Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Giant Bay Laurel amid Creekside Forest, Alpine Creek

This aperture series from f/3.5 to f/11 evaluates general performance of the Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 R LM WR. It demonstrates both the frontfocusing error with the Fujifilm GFX100S and 30/3.5 along with the sharpness-damaging forward focus shift of the 30/3.5 and its inadequate performance.

Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Giant Bay Laurel amid Creekside Forest, Alpine Creek

Includes images from f/3.5 to f/11 at up to full camera resolution, plus crops.

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm GFX100S and Lenses

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm GFX100S Essentials

Giant Bay Laurel amid Creekside Forest, Alpine Creek
f8 @ 2.5 sec EFC shutter, ISO 100; 2021-04-27 18:50:04
Fujifilm GFX100S + GF30mmF3.5 R WR @ 24.6mm equiv (30mm)
ENV: Alpine Creek, altitude 650 ft / 198 m, 60°F / 15°C
RAW: +20 Whites, +15 Clarity

[low-res image for bot]

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Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Bags of Soil

This aperture series from f/3.5 to f/11 evaluates the Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 R LM WR for focus shift, sharpness across the frame, and real depth of field.

Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Bags of Soil

Includes images from f/3.5 to f/11 at up to full camera resolution, plus crops.

Uggh.

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm GFX100S and Lenses

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm GFX100S Essentials

Bags of Soil
f8 @ 1/10 sec, ISO 100; 2021-04-28 19:15:11
Fujifilm GFX100S + GF30mmF3.5 R WR @ 24.6mm equiv (30mm)
RAW: push 0.5 stops, -35 Highlights, +25 Whites, +15 Clarity

[low-res image for bot]
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Fujifilm GFX100S: White Balance and Tint for Neutrality in Sunlight

re: Every Photographer Should Have a Color Checker Card to Establish Neutral White Balance and Tint for Each Camera and Lens Brand Combo
re: white balance and tint

This page evaluates white balance and tint for the Fujifilm GFX100S using a SpyderCHECKER® color checker card to evaluate the appropriate white balance and tint in the Adobe Camera Raw 13.2.0.738 dialog in Photoshop CC 2021 22.3.1.

Since Adobe Camera Raw is a shared code between Photoshop and Lightroom, the figures will apply regardless of which program is used.

Fujifilm GFX100S: White Balance asd Tint with Adobe Camera Raw, Sunlight

DataColor SpyderCHECKR card as photographed
f6.4 @ 1/350 sec, ISO 100; 2021-04-29 14:16:41
Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR @ 41mm equiv (50mm)
RAW: LACA corrected, distortion corrected, vignetting corrected

[low-res image for bot]
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Fujifilm GFX100S: Dark Frame Noise in 14-Bit and 16-Bit

This page looks at dark frame pattern noise at ISO 100, including the individual color channels (ProPhotoRGB color space) with both 14-bit and 16-bit captures.

All cameras have noise in the near-black shadows. One way to assess what gremlins might pop up in real-world images is to look at a dark frame shot with the lens cap on, at a high shutter speed—essentially zero exposure and thus capturing pure noise.

Fujifilm GFX100S: Dark Frame Noise in 14-Bit and 16-Bit

An interesting difference is seen between 14-bit and 16-bit capture.

Includes RGB and its color channels and grayscale for both 14-bit and 16-bit.

Dark Frame, heavily pushed
f1 @ 1/1000 sec, ISO 100; 2021-04-29 12:38:04
Fujifilm GFX100S + LENS_NA @ 0.1mm equiv (0mm)
RAW: push 5 stops, +100 Shadows, +100 Blacks

[low-res image for bot]

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Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Creekside Forest, Alpine Creek

This series from f/3.5 to f/11 evaluates general performance of the Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 R LM WR.

Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Creekside Forest, Alpine Creek

Includes images from f/3.5 to f/11 at up to full camera resolution.

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm GFX100S and Lenses

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm GFX100S Essentials

Creeksize Forest, Alpine Creek
f8 @ 3.5 sec electronic shutter, ISO 100; 2021-04-27 19:13:16
Fujifilm GFX100S + GF30mmF3.5 R WR @ 24.6mm equiv (30mm)
ENV: Alpine Creek, altitude 650 ft / 198 m, 60°F / 15°C
RAW: LACA corrected, distortion corrected, vignetting corrected, diffraction mitigating sharpening
ProNegHi

[low-res image for bot]

Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5: Serious Front-Focusing Errors

Just a heads-up: alot of my work has been ruined by a frontfocusing problem using the Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5.

I am seeing a +1 meter too-close error at 7 meters out, leaving the desired area blurry at the far end of the zone of focus visibly unsharp. Similar magnitude at greater distance, eg 3 meters too close at 15 meters out. OMG errors that require f/8 to sorta fix.

What the heck is going on? AF-S, Focus Priority, all the usual stuff that always worked for me with Fujifilm. But garbage accuracy.

Making it much worse, the GF 30/3.5 has a major forward focus shift. The combination of focusing too close and then focus shift leaping closer to the camera from f/3.5 to f/5.6 is a disaster.

Well, at least the shutter has not stuck yet.

I cannot recall ever having such poor focus accuracy with a mirrorless camera, and definitely not with the full-size Fujifilm GFX100. And with the GFX100S, the magnified Live View quality is so crappy (sub-consumer grade), that while manual focus is doable, it is an unpleasant blurry mess that makes me wanna run away and pick up my Sony A1.

I don’t understand what’s going on. It would normally not be such a big deal to reshoot, but it took all the energy I had last night to do the shoot (fatigue issues from LHC)—and the shoot is mostly. So when a camera system fails me, I am extra pissed-off. Still, I did get one good series where the focus worked correctly.

Dan Z writes:

You may have a representative sample of that lens. I rented it and other lenses for use with a GFX 100 some time ago (I have the 100S now). I used AF-S with the smallest area spot and shot the camera on a tripod. Maybe 60% it gave ok results and other times it was pretty lousy - clearly out-of-focus. I didn't do any manual focus tests, because the overall IQ didn't impress me anyway.

OTOH I see that on Jim Kasson's blog he seems to have gotten good results for sharpness when he recently compared it to the 23mm lens. But I don't know that much about his methodology and I'm not sure how relevant what he did is to regular shooting.

DIGLLOYD: ditto, small-spot AF on tripod many times. Always frontfocus bias. The 30/3.5 is very sharp in the center, but the outer zones struggle and it has a substantial forward focus shift that biases the zone of sharpness forward substantially.

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm GFX100S and Lenses

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm GFX100S Essentials

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NEW! Sigma FE 35mm f/1.4 DG DN Art

Sigma has announced the all-new Sigma FE 35mm f/1.4 DG DN Art for Sony mirrorless and L-Mount. At about $899 which is not far above entry level 35/40mm f/2 lenses, Sigma is pricing this new 35/1.4 lens $500 below the about $1398 Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM. It will be interesting to see how the two compare optically.

CLICK TO VIEW: Fast autofocus 35mm Lenses For Sony

  • Sony E Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Stepping Motor AF System
  • Customizable AFL Button
  • Physical Aperture Ring; De-Click Switch
  • Rounded 11-Blade Diaphragm
  • Weather-Sealed Design

The claimed MTF looks highly promising should it pan out with real lenses, suggesting the field curvature of its aging Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM Art sibling has been well-mitigated.

MTF for Sigma FE 35mm f/1.4 DG DN Art
MTF for Sigma FE 35mm f/1.4 DG DN Art

The evolution of a classic The 35mm F1.4 Art is reborn

Superb optical performance and usability power up the most popular focal length. An "Art F1.4 35mm" reborn for mirrorless and empowered through SIGMA's technology to date.

The existing 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art was SIGMA’s first GLOBAL VISION lens. Released in 2012, it set the standard for all of SIGMA’s subsequent Art-line lenses, and thanks to its exceptional image quality it is still the 35mm prime lens of choice for many professional photographers.

Nine years on, the 35mm F1.4 has been redesigned from the ground up specifically for mirrorless cameras, and is the culmination of much of the optical design expertise and advanced production techniques gained over the past decade of GLOBAL VISION lens development. As with all of SIGMA’s lenses, the 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art is built entirely at its sole factory in Aizu in Japan, where the standard of craftsmanship is of the highest level.

As is true with all SIGMA lenses, class-leading optics are right at the heart of the design concept of this new 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art. Despite being significantly smaller and lighter than the existing 35mm F1.4, it displays an outstanding level of sharpness right to the edges of the frame at all apertures, as well as exceptionally smooth and attractive bokeh and remarkably well-controlled optical aberrations.

Designed exclusively for use with mirrorless cameras, the 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art is light enough to feel perfectly balanced on a compact mirrorless camera, yet is packed with an array of professional features including ultra-fast AF, a de-clickable and lockable aperture ring and a customizable AFL button. This gives the lens operability and portability without compromise, making it as ideal for professional projects as it is for casual outings, and as well-suited to video as it is stills. SIGMA is delighted to introduce you to the new gold standard in wide-aperture 35mm primes.

Optical construction of Sigma FE 35mm f/1.4 DG DN Art

Fast and quiet AF in a compact body

The focusing mechanism in the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art features a stepping motor. This motor controls a focusing lens group composed of a single, lightweight element, which means AF is responsive and quiet, and is able to keep track of moving objects very effectively. Manual focusing is smooth and precise, but with the right amount of resistance for filmmakers. Certainly, this lens has a focus mode switch on the body.

The SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art wholly embraces the Art line concept, which is “designed with a focus on sophisticated optical performance”. This—paired with its advanced autofocus performance and the convenience of a compact size—makes for a lens that raises the standards.

Professional feature-set

On the body of the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art is an aperture ring that allows aperture to be controlled via the lens, or when set to Auto, using the camera. An aperture lock switch on the lens body allows the aperture ring to be locked in Auto so that it is not accidentally knocked during shooting. A big plus for filmmakers, the aperture ring can be de-clicked, allowing users to seamlessly adjust exposure.

Also on the lens barrel is a focus mode switch and an AFL button, which can be customized to a desired function from within the camera menu (depending on the model). The switch is ergonomically positioned to be controlled by the thumb during use.

A petal type lens hood is included in the box, which helps reduce flare and offers the lens added protection if dropped. The hood has a lock mechanism that keeps it attached securely to the lens, and its rubberized grip makes it quick and easy to attach and remove.

On top of this impressive array of features and elegant exterior, the body of the 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art offers an exceptional level of durability that helps it withstand long-term professional use as well as individual operating parts that give a good fit to the hand. The dust and splash proof structure provides sealing on buttons and along joins between constituent parts, and there is a rubber gasket around the mount. There is also a water and oil repellent coating applied to the front element ensures that photographers can rely on it in any conditions.

Fast and cost effective way to backup!

Sony Mirrorless Gets a Deluge of 35mm Lens Choices

With today’s announcement of the all-new Sigma FE 35mm f/1.4 DG DN Art for Sony mirrorless (at about $899), we now have all-at-once four premium and near-premium choices:

With the exception of the Sigma 35/2, the lenses above are hard to obtain and/or about to ship. I am hoping I can get my hands on the top three above at the same time—TBD.

The amazing variety of lenses for Sony mirrorless is a force to be reckoned with for its competitors.


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