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Reader Comment: “how best to use the GFX to make more spontaneous, street like photos?”

re: Fujifilm Medium Format eg Fujifilm GFX100S: What’s Missing in Lenses

Reader Claude C writes:

I understand what you say and mean about the GFX being a landscaper’s tool. But, I am curious, interested, trying to figure out how best to use the GFX to make more spontaneous, street like photos. For instance, stop while on a hike and bring the camera up for a handheld photo. A valuable ability.

I have done a few handheld photos, but the operation, at least the way I am doing it, is clumsy, to say the least.

There are a number of operations that I could see being useful. Touch screen focus, tilt screen usage, but I have not tried these or any other shooting variations.


DIGLLOYD: I shot hundreds of candids with the Fujifilm GFX100S and Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 during my March/April trip with my daughter (few images published, being personal).

I thought it worked well and was pretty quick, though nothing as responsive and rewarding as the Sony A1. Not any fun compared to the A1 (always felt a little laggy and make-work chore-like), but it got the job done well enough. I also did a lot of handheld shooting, such as at the Eureka Dunes and Pine Creek and White Mountains Snow.

CLICK TO VIEW: Lloyd’s Recommended Kit for Fujifilm GFX100S

Not sure what Claude means by “clumsy”... As to the “stop while on a hike and bring the camera up for a handheld photo” that’s easy: AF-ON button and shoot... not sure I understand what is clumsy about that. Well, you do have to have self timer off and FOCUS BKT off, maybe auto-ISO, etc. So while hiking the key is to be able to quickly switch grab-shot settings with tripod-based settings.

CLICK TO VIEW: Lloyd Fujifilm GFX100S System

Fujifilm GFX100S, top view with C1/C2/C2 setting

The biggest hassle was switching between the settings I need for landscape and those I need for handheld shooting—self timer, image stabilization, etc. Sets of settings can be assigned to the C1/C2/C3 at camera top to switch quickly to a different group of settings. Still, it feels darn clumsy; I’d like one something that can just toggle the whole mess. And I don't think those include every setting I needed—I’m forgetting now. But maybe I missed something.

Some things I would mention:

  • IBIS on, auto-ISO, aperture priority.
  • For most shooting, single-shot AF-ON with shutter AF off is what I like. But for quick shooting especially people, turn shutter AF on and use AF lock and recompose.
  • Eye AF for people—maybe. I never used it one my trip however, using instead small-spot AF—one more thing to change/unchange for my mixed usage. I might be wrong, but I am dubious that such an underpowered camera can do good Eye AF, since even my A1 messes up sometimes. And AF is sluggish enough as it is (compared to the A1) and already dubious with an f/4.5-5.6 lens. I got many fine shots using small-spot AF without having to guess whether the camera figured it out.
  • Focus can be spot or wide. If the situations are unpredictable, then wider AF might be fine, but I stick to spot AF due to too many focus errors. Which still happen on the GFX100S even with spot. But at least spot AF is without the variable of what the camera decided to focus on, since the spot is placed by me.
  • Touch screen for 'street' or any handheld doesn't make sense to me—holding camera at arm’s length. Tilt screen for low-POV shots... I just like to keep things simple for quick shooting, so I see both as pointless 99% of the time.

Maybe I’m missing something obvious and therefore not thinking of it?

f9 @ 1/45 sec handheld IBIS=on electronic shutter, ISO 1600; 2022-03-31 19:08:17
Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR @ 39.7mm equiv (48.2mm)
ENV: Eureka Dunes, altitude 3100 ft / 945 m, 60°F / 15°C
RAW: LACA corrected, distortion corrected, vignetting corrected, push 0.3 stops, +30 Shadows, +10 Clarity, diffraction mitigating sharpening

[low-res image for bot]

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