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Reader Question: Medium Format Camera for Macro Photography + Tripod for Macro Photography

Roy P writes:

I was curious how you might compare a Phase One XF with PhaseOne IQ150 digital back Schneider-Kreuznach LS 120mm f/4 to a Fujifilm GFX100 + Fujifilm GF 120mm f/4 for macro photography with focus-stacking.

Fujifilm GFX100

I don’t suppose you did any macro tests with either. If I had to guess, the Fujifilm GFX100 is probably much easier and quicker to use, especially with its articulating LCD back, but the PhaseOne probably delivers the best results, if the lens has been precisely focus-trimmed.

Thoughts? I’m trying to assess if the superior ease of use with the Fuji is a good tradeoff vs. image quality of the P1.

...You also don’t always have the convenience of taking macro photos at eye level, which makes it tough to use the IQ4 back. With the GFX, I can put it down at waist level or even knee / ground level and look at the LCD from the top.

DIGLLOYD: I'd much rather use the Fujifilm GFX100—it’s focus stacking feature is about ten times faster for the exposure. That might not matter much for macro work in a studio, but it’s a huge deal outside (changing light, wind, etc).

Also, PhaseOne AF is center only, which renders AF totally useless for many subjects. Finally, any quality difference seems dubious in any practical sense for macro shooting, possibly with exceptions for special cases.

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