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Reader Comment: “Fell in Love with the Aesthetic of the Fujifilm GFX100”

Patrick F writes:

I am considering the new Fujifilm GFX100S + 2 lenses 45 f2.8 and 110 f2 (though I have doubts after reading your review) for street photography, cityscape bits and pieces and portrait.

I realise its not absolutely necessary given my current gear, but I just might I fell madly in love awhile ago with the Fujifilm 100mp sensor images There is a certain Aesthetic to the images that I can’t quite describe, is it the “medium format”? Is it the 100mp? Is it the choices they made lenses-wise? I cant figure it out, all I know is I don’t get the same feeling with images from the Sony A7R IV which has the same pixel density I think.

So then the question becomes there are rumors about full frame 80mp coming in, in a year or so? how would such image in theory compare to the GFX100s? im sorry if I cant articulate the question better.

Nb I find it really exciting to look at images from the 100mp Fuji on a high quality monitor. Zooming in becomes like exploring a story inside the story not pixel peeping I love that experience

DIGLLOYD: it seems like the Fujifilm GFX100S price point has put it into direct competition with Sony 35mm cameras for at least some segment of the market.

50/3.5 vs 45/2.8

I recommend the 50/3.5 over the 45/2.8. Both are very good, but the 50/3.5 is much more usable in practical ways; the 50/3.5 has strictly controlled field curvature and focus shift, and ultra-low distortion. The 50mm focal length also slots in better against the Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5.

Medium Format articles: Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5: Awesome First Choice for Fujifilm Medium Format

Important to my B&H loaner support — buy your Fujifilm GFX100 and Sony A1 and lenses via links on this site.

Viewing pleasure

I couldn’t agree more on that last comment above. I love seeing the details in an image as well, and I am really looking forward to an 8K computer display within the next 2-3 years. The 100MP is very enjoyable, the 150MP of the PhaseOne IQ4 even more (but way too expensive). We’ll might see a 150MP Fujifilm within a few years, perhaps even 200MP.

But it’s not just detail, it’s the near-elimination of some types of digital artifacts on very fine details. Moiré, aliasing, staircasing are all greatly reduced if not eliminated. The net effect is a much superior image, even if the 100MP capture is not twice the details of a 50MP capture. Also, each camera has to convert the analog sensor bits into digital, and there is some Secret Sauce involved.

As to an 80-megapixel sensor in Sony, that’s likely, but it won’t change the overall aesthetic. It will yield a little bit more detail when the very best lenses are used, and it will totally suppress moiré and color aliasing.

See my articles I wrote for Medium Format Magazine, for example:

Medium Format articles: Incredible Detail with the Fujifilm GFX100: Focus Stacking for Immersive Imagery
Medium Format articles: Phase One IQ4 Medium Format: the Summit of Image Quality

The Aesthetic

Fujifilm has deep and wide experience in photography. The entire imaging chain is involved in a hardware sense, and if you’re dealing with JPEGs, Fujifilm picture styles are second to none.

“Medium format look’

As to the medium format 'look', I speak to that in various ways:

Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon: The Medium Format Look [blog]
Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon: The Medium Format 'Look' [diglloyd Zeiss]
Format-Equivalent Depth of Field and F-Stop

There is no 'medium format look' when equivalent apertures and lens designs are used. But of course different lens designs are used. I quote from the late Hubert Nasse of Zeiss:

The look of medium format versus 35mm DSLR images can be completely identical with respect to geometrical parameters (aberration character excluded).

The key parameter is as always the entrance pupil: its position in space determines the perspective, its diameter determines the depth-of-field and the far background blur. So despite different focal length the look is identical if the entrance pupils have identical diameters.

From geometrical parameters one cannot derive any difference in depth-of-field between lenses of different focal length for different sensor formats in case they are used with equivalent f-stops.

In short, the 'look' has to do with lens design and optical corrections, but there is plenty of room for some differences, including abberations and the approach to lens design.

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