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Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM Aperture Series: Lichen-Covered Boulder in Beaver Pond

This aperture series from f/1.4 through f111 looks at sharpness of the Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM on a medium distance scene.

Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM Aperture Series: Lichen-Covered Boulder in Beaver Pond

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/1.4 to f/11, plus crops.

f2.8 @ 1/80 sec EFC shutter, ISO 100; 2021-06-11 06:09:18
Sony A7R IV + Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM
ENV: Lundy Canyon, altitude 8000 ft / 2438 m, 45°F / 7°C
RAW: LACA corrected, push 0.65 stops, -50 Highlights, +30 Whites, +10 Clarity

[low-res image for bot]

Sony FE 200-600mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS Examples: White Mountains Distance

re: Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS
re: Sony FE 100-400mm f/4-5.6 GM OSS

This page looks at far distance imagery under typical mountain conditions. Many of the images have a pair of apertures—wide open and stopped down.

The findings here show just how difficult it is to make sharp images with a super-tele with commonplace atmospheric conditions, that is, atmospheric distortion that smears image details like finger painting smearing.

Sony FE 200-600mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS Examples: White Mountains Distance

Includes images up to full camera resolution.

f11 @ 1/160 sec EFC shutter, ISO 100; 2021-06-03 11:04:15
Sony A7R IV + Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS @ 211mm
ENV: White Mountains, altitude 11800 ft / 3597 m, 60°F / 15°C
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, +40 Whites, +20 Contrast, +20 Dehaze, +15 Clarity, diffraction mitigating sharpening

[low-res image for bot]
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Sigma FE 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports

re: Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS
re: Sony FE 100-400mm f/4-5.6 GM OSS

The about $1499 Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports offers another option for Sony mirrorless, and a new one L-Mount shooters. With a whopping 25 elements in 15 groups, it’s a complex lens, but it’s only one element more than the 24 elements in 17 groups of the Sony FE 100-400mm f/4-5.6 GM OSS.

Sigma has priced the 150-600mm at $1499 vs $1998 for the Sony 200-600mm, and added the extra zoom range at the wide end. The two lenses are nearly identical in weight.

 

  • E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/5 to f/22
  • 4 FLD Elements, 2 SLD Elements
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • OS and Custom Mode Switch
  • Dual Action Zoom System
  • OS Image Stabilization
  • Zoom Torque Switch
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Durable Brass Bayonet Mount
  • 74.1 oz = 2100 g

I don’t plan on testing the Sigma 150-600mm right away, but I might do so later this year when conditions are more favorable.

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Superzoom: Nikon P1000 up to 2000mm Optical Zoom (equiv)

re: Inexpensive Camera for Wildlife: Olympus E-M1 Mark II + Reader Comments
re: The Most Useful and Practical Telephoto for Wildlife Might Be the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25X IS PRO
re: Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3

A consulting client brought the Nikon P1000 to my attention. It has been around for 3 years, so it’s not new, but I’m not aware of anything else of this genre.

The Nikon P1000 makes a lot of sense for ultra long range photography where it’s about getting long reach with convenience (and without 50 pounds of gear!). But for the 24mm to 300mm range, there are many other options.

Based on shooting with long lenses at distance, you’ll have to have an exceptionally clear and cold day for long range clarity (winter is much better); over the years I have found it exceedingly difficult to get clear images in the 400mm to 800mm range in the White Mountains, due to atmospheric distortion. Truth is, a super telephoto is better at shorter and medium range for small subjects, where the atmosphere is not a problem.

Still, Nikon’s social proof of people’s excited reactions to the amazing zoom range and clarity are well done—“WOW, never seen anything like this” and such.

  • 16 megapixels (4608 x 3456) on 1/2.3 inch sensor
  • 4.3mm to 539mm f/2.8 to f/8 125X Zoom-Nikkor ED glass lens, 17 elements in 12 groups
  • 24-2000mm zoom range (equiv)
  • Lens shift VR (still pictures), Lens-shift and Electronic VR (movies)
  • Contrast-detect AF
  • EVF, 1 cm (0.39-in.) approx. 2359k-dot OLED with the diopter adjustment =
  • ISO 100-1600
  • 3.2-inch 921K dot vari-angle LCD
  • 4K UHD at 30/25 fps
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • 3.2 pounds = 1415g

Get Nikon P1000 at B&H Photo.

Emil V writes:

Let me call your attention to a guy called Jeb Loftin, who regularly posts spectacular P1000 images on Facebook's Nikon Coolpix P900 P950 P1000 Group.

Loftin shoots in studio with flashes and with his images puts many FF or MF shooters to shame. Yes his pictures are not long distance shots but still represent some of the best pictures one can make with a P1000 or perhaps any camera.

DIGLLOYD: links omitted as Facebook is a walled area and the links are a private group.

Any modern digital camera can make terrific images when lighting is well controlled. But it is the shooting envelope that makes it satisfying as a general purpose tool.


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Why Has Fujifilm Made No Effort Whatsoever to Deal with the Fujifilm GFX100S Horizontal White Stripes Problem?

re: Fujifilm GFX100: Horizontal White Stripes a Problem for Numerous Images from my last trip

Horizontal stripes with PDAF pimples; Fujifilm GFX100S
Horizontal stripes with PDAF pimples
Fujifilm GFX100S

The horizontal white stripes on the Fujifilm GFX100S might have little to do with color photography, though three years ago I demonstrated it with the Fujifilm GFX100 in color on certain blue skies. It remains a concern for my landscape shooting at high altitude, which I think is involved (lighting/spectral balance). At least that’s my best hypothesis, not that stripes are absent at sea level, just less common.

Mainly it has to do with being able to make a monochrome rendition for landscape images. See Don’t even Think about Using the Fujifilm GFX100S for Monochrome Landscape Images — Horizontal White Stripes Make Images Unusable.

So my question is this: why has Fujifilm made no effort to address this issue? No one at Fujifilm has contacted me, there is no official statement on the matter, etc.

Does Fujifilm sit around and ignore the blogosphere, hoping the issue will just go away? Or does some engineering manager type have a cognitive commitment nailed down that the behavior does not and cannot exist? What the hell is going on with this “professional” camera system?

Fujifilm Medium Format Exerting Intense Market Pressure: Is PhaseOne Going to Survive?

Readers might recall that I praised the image quality of the PhaseOne IQ4 150 as the best I have ever seen. Truly impeccable, flawless. See also Phase One IQ4 Medium Format: the Summit of Image Quality in my Medium Format Magazine articles.

But the competitive ressure on an ultra high-end-low-unit-volume almost bespoke company like PhaseOne is intense. In particular, Fujjifilm with its groundbreaking Fujifilm GFX100S.

Viable minimum sales

PhaseOne digital back
PhaseOne digital back

Tiny even before Fujifilm’s medium arrival, the market niche for ultra-high-end medium format might have had unit sales of a few thousand systems a year, that with lenses comes to $60K or more per system (somewhat less for lower-res digital backs).

PhaseOne never stepped away from its digital back approach, for understandable reasons (financial, technical, time to market, etc).

With Fujifilm surely selling ten times or more that unit count for roughly 1/5 the price, the intense pressure exerted by the “more than good enough” Fujifilm medium format system is impossible to withstand. Very few photographers can/could afford a PhaseOne system, let alone justify one. So if you get 85% of the value at 1/5 the price, the results are not pretty for PhaseOne.

I could be wrong. I hope I have missed something. But that seems very unlikely.

RAW and studio workflow: PhaseOne CaptureOne Pro

Investing your time and experience into a workflow for software with uncertain future prospects should give pause to anyone thinking to be processing images for years to come. OTOH, a system that works well might as well stay in production use. Heck, my mountain bikes are 10 years old now, and work as well as the day I bought them.

Fujifilm GFX100S
Fujifilm GFX100S

However, software is different. With Apple scewing up macOS more and more with every release, software doesn’t just keep working—Apple breaks it. So you are 100% dependent on a company constantly updating its software.

And so...

I cannot afford a PhaseOne system, and even a Fujifilm medium format system with 3/4 lenses I could not manage except over time. But if $70K were fun money for me, and I were shooting for myself, I’d want the PhaseOne XT system for landscape work, because its quality is unbeatable (and 150MP).

I wish PhaseOne the very best. It would be a damn shame if the best image quality on the market was shunted aside forever. But the tech industry is replete with the demise of once-strong software and hardware companies.

Fujifilm has no serious competition and that’s bad for everyone except Fujifilm. Sony would be doing us a huge favor by getting into the medium format market.


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Reader Comment: “great success with the Fujifilm GFX100S for people”

My concern about the horizontal white stripes on the Fujifilm GFX100S has little to do with color photography, and (almost) everything to do with being able to make a monochrome rendition for landscape images.

Fujifilm GF 32-64mm f/4 has a $500 rebate as this was written—grab one.

Fujifilm GFX100S
Fujifilm GFX100S

Roy P writes with a testimonial for people photography:

For all its warts, I’ve had great success with the GFX100S for people, street photography and macros (with extension tubes, not with the 120F4 macro, but with any of my other lenses and the Fuji extension tubes – it works very well), which were my intended use cases for this camera. I did my first people event last weekend, with about 70 people attending. It was an engagement party / celebration. I took some 420 photos, using both my Sony A1 and the Fujifilm GFX100S roughly equally.

With the Sony, I used the Sony FE 35/1.4 GM (50%), Sony FE 50/1.2 GM (30%) and Sony FE 70-200/2.8 GM (20%), not counting a couple of shots with the Sony FE 12-24/2.8 GM. With the Fujifilm GFX100S, I ended up using the Fujifilm GF 32-64/4 for about 75% of the shots, and the 110/2 for about 25% of the shots. I also had the Fuji 45-100/4 and 50/3.5 with me, but ended up not using them.

The big advantage of the Fujifilm GFX100S over the Sony A1 is that you can extensively crop and still be left with a lot of pixels. At people events with many people randomly moving about, if you want to take candid shots, you inevitably get a lot of things and people you don’t want in the frame, so you have to crop. You can do that even with the A1, but the GFX100S obviously gives you a lot more material to work with.

I don’t know if a 100MP Sony A7R V is the answer – maybe it will be. But I’m pretty happy with the image quality I get out of the GFX100S for these use cases (color, exposure, even Eye AF). Yes, the Sony lenses buy you more micro contrast and DOF, but I end up softening peoples’ faces anyway – otherwise, it’s brutal, especially on older women!

So net-net, the GFX100S is delivering for me. When the 80/1.7 becomes available again, I plan to get one to replace the defective unit I had to send back. It would be nice if I could also get the $500 off…. Not sure of the 23mm, but I might be tempted by the 250/4 if it goes on sale. It should be lovely for tight head shots.

DIGLLOYD: makes total sense to me. But I’m still wishing for a 100MP landscape camera that doesn’t jeopardize my realization of a high-grade monochrome image in the areas I frequent.


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Fujifilm GFX100: Horizontal White Stripes a Problem for Numerous Images from my last trip

The horizontal white stripes on the Fujifilm GFX100S that I reported on might be related to PDAF banding, but it’s not clear that it is the cause. PDAF banding as I understand it usually causes dark stripes, not light ones (so why is "banding" used instead of "striping" anyway?).

I’ve added 3 more examples with Adobe Camera Raw settings showing the issue, which I can reproduce at will on most images.

Fujifilm GFX100S: Horizontal White Stripes — the Futility of Using GFX100S for Monochrome Landscape Images — Examples

To be clear, my concern about the stripes has little to do with color photography, and (almost) everything to do with being able to make a monochrome rendition for landscape images.

Horizontal stripes with PDAF pimples; Fujifilm GFX100S
Horizontal stripes with PDAF pimples
Fujifilm GFX100S

Walter B writes:

Appreciate all that you have reported and did not buy into the camera based on the fact that I work in black-and-white exclusively.

But since both J and C have the Fujifilm GFX100S and are testing it extensively, I thought these two would be able to help identify “issues” with the camera and lenses. They have mentioned some to me, but nothing related to banding. However, I have asked both to see if they can show me their practical examples of PDAF banding. Subsequently, J tortured one image to find a small banding area in a blown out overexposed area essentially shooting into the sun, he said he found some. Looking at the files, I could hardly see any.

C has sent me several RAF files which I tried to subject to the settings you used in your blog post Fujifilm GFX100S: Horizontal White Stripes - the Futility of Using GFX100S for Monochrome Landscape Images. (I used C’s image @ 100% to match your settings in LR, Color & B&W) Please review the first two images attached. Unlike your examples, C did not use a polarizer.

Your blog post "Fujifilm GFX100S: Unacceptable Image Quality for Monochrome Images - Horizontal White Stripes”) indicated you used a polarizing filter.

Looking at another blog post example (“PDAF Pimples”) I could not tell if a polarizer was used.

The last two images (again a section of C’s RAF file @ 100% without polarizer) used the settings illustrated by Jeff K in your blog post "How will the Fujifilm GFX100S Fare as to PDAF Banding.” Again I could not see any banding.

But try as I have using C’s RAF files and various LR and PS settings, I could not find any hint of PDAF banding.

I currently use the Pentax 645Z and hope to one day shoot identical images, one with the 645Z and one with the 100S should J or C and I meet up. But until then I am trying to find a reason not to buy into the GFX 100S.

You have made strong arguments but I cannot reproduce the banding and wonder why? What do I need to do to verify the issue? Could it be that the polarizer accentuated the PDAF banding? Do we need to send C to a remote location at 10,000 feet to eliminate atmospheric clutter? I am sure he won’t mind.

What am I doing wrong not finding banding?

P.S. As you suggested, I bought and am using the NEC PA302W and love it! Thanks for that one.

Fujifilm GFX100S
Fujifilm GFX100S

DIGLLOYD: I’m sure it is not related to use of a polarizer, since I’ve proven the issue exists without one. It is also not an 14-bit/16-bit issue. See my conclusions in Don’t even Think about Using the Fujifilm GFX100S for Monochrome Landscape Images — Horizontal White Stripes Make Images Unusable.

Responding to Walter B, I selected 3 images from my last trip semi-randomly, and all showed the horizontal white stripes. Moreover, it doesn’t require use of the Dehaze filter; the Black & White Mixer adjustments alone can show the issue.

I sent them along with processing settings to Walter B:

These are awful!!!!! Not sure why I cannot do the same but it does require caution on my part.

Actually waiting for the Sony A7R V hoping it has a new sensor and focus shift, my Nikon Z7 does as you know and it is fun to use.

I consider it proven that the Fujifilm GFX100S is a total fail for monochrome landscape imagery. Moreover, "C" has the camera I sold to him, so his findings merely indicate that the conditions did not produce the striping. You cannot prove absence of a problem by not finding it in some cases.

Why or how the horizontal white stripes appear or do not appear—I don’t know. I suspect that it is more of an issue at high altitude perhaps due to blue light, but that is only a hypothesis at this point.

The horizontal white stripes appear 18 pixels apart over the entire frame (14-bit and 16-bit). What on the sensor corresponds to that spacing? PDAP pixels perhaps?

Sony A1: HIF Format vs RAW

re: Adobe Photoshop Won’t Open “HIF” Files — How to Fix

I always shoot RAW for maximum quality, and that means lossless-compressed RAW on the Sony A1, which is saving me tons of storage space—worth the price of the camera alone for my usage! Lossless-compressed RAW is bit-for-bit identical to uncompressed raw in quality.

The Sony A1 can capture to RAW or RAW+JPG or RAW+HIF (HEIF) formats. While I myself have no need for JPEG or HIF, those formats have their uses for some shooters.

HEIF files use file extension “.HIF”, a convention that Photoshop engineers apparently missed for now.

So how does HEIF compare to raw?

  • Overall, the HIF (HEIF) quality set to Extra Fine delivers outstanding quality.
  • HIF micro contrast on fine details is lacking, but additional sharpening can compensate, mostly.
  • HIF is free of color aliasing, presumably by smearing away the very finest details via compression.
  • HIF bakes in the white balance/tint, color space, lens corrections, contrast, etc.
  • HIF forces the color space to sRGB, which severely truncates the most interesting colors, such as dulling brilliant reds to dull flat orangey tones.
  • HIF EXIF info as accessible in Photoshop is defective, lacking lens name and date/time. For me this is a show-stopper.

That “baked in” and color space clipping are severe problems—clipping colors into sRGB is pure data loss—unrecoverable. And if you don’t get the white balance/tint right, you bake-in something fugly that can be extremely difficult to correct, while baking-in the contrast, lens corrections, pinning the shadows amd/or blowing the highlights is another unrecoverable data loss scenarior. RAW format avoids all those problems.

JPEG suffers from the same problems as HEIF/HIF, but at least JPEG can use the AdobeRGB color space, for a far lower chance of having colors clipped.

Sony A1: RAW vs HIF format (actual pixels)

Adobe Photoshop Won’t Open “HIF” Files — How to Fix

Adobe Photoshop CC 2021 v22.4.3 won’t open HEIF (HIF) files created by the Sony A1.

Why use HIF files? In theory, same quality as JPEG at half the size, based on High Efficiency Video Compression known as HEVC or H.265. Also, 10-bit color. UPDATE: there is one serious drawback for everyone: forced use of the color-clipping sRGB color space, horrible for many purposes. And for me, defective EXIF info available via Photosop javascript (missing lens name, missing date/time).

As shown, a “.HIF” image file will not open in Photoshop. Hopefully Adobe will fix this soon (I reported it a few weeks ago to Adobe).

In the meantime there is a workaround: rename “.HIF” files with the extension “.HEIF”.

Renaming can be done as a batch; see How to Batch-Rename files in the macOS Finder.

Aside from a silly bug in not opening, the dialog itself is doubly crappy: no file name is given nor is the file type.

Adobe Photoshop Won’t Open “HIF” Files

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Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Examples: White Mountains

This page shows ad-hoc examples from the Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM in the White Mountains of California.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Examples: White Mountains

Includes images up to full camera resolution.

Sunstar though ancient bristlecone pine
f9 @ 1/125 sec handheld EFC shutter, ISO 100; 2021-06-06 11:32:56
Sony A7R IV + Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM
ENV: White Mountains, altitude 11000 ft / 3353 m, 70°F / 21°C
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected

[low-res image for bot]
Clearing Stormclouds East of Patriarch Grove
f8 @ 1/20 sec handheld IBIS=on EFC shutter, ISO 100; 2021-06-02 19:51:50
Sony A7R IV + Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM
ENV: White Mountains, altitude 11800 ft / 3597 m, 55°F / 12°C
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, push 0.3 stops, +100 Shadows, -100 Highlights, +30 Whites, +48 Dehaze, +10 Clarity, USM {12,50,0}

[low-res image for bot]

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Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Examples: Pine Creek Forest

This page shows ad-hoc examples from the Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM in the forest area near Pine Creek.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Examples: Pine Creek Forest

Includes images up to full camera resolution and a few aperture comparisons.

Mature Pine and Sapling
f11 @ 0.3 sec, ISO 100; 2021-05-22 18:55:18
Sony A7R IV + Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, pull 0.33 stops, +20 Whites, +15 Clarity, diffraction mitigating sharpening

[low-res image for bot]

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Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Examples: Backyard

This page shows ad-hoc examples from the Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM, with an emphasis on lens performance for close-range shooting.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Examples: Backyard

Includes images up to full camera resolution and a few aperture comparison.

Celery plant and deck chair
f1.8 @ 1/125 sec handheld IBIS=on, ISO 100; 2021-05-14 19:12:08
Sony A7R IV + Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM
RAW: LACA corrected, push 0.17 stops, +10 Clarity

[low-res image for bot]
OWC ROVER PRO wheels for Mac Pro

No tools or hassle… just place your Mac Pro’s factory feet into the Rover Pro’s polished stainless-steel housings and secure with a few hand twists.

When you’re done moving your Mac Pro around, the Rover Pro makes it just as quick and easy to convert back to the factory feet for stationary use.

Oversampling for Image Quality: we need a 100 Megapixel Sensor in 35mm Format

Even at 60 megapixels, the roof below is an ugly mess, with broad streaks of yellow/blue color aliasing.

Most assertions of the “N megapixels is enough resolution” are blind to the real image quality issues that abound at lower resolution, such as color aliasing and moiré and staircasing effects on edges.

I get that for many purposes a finished image size of N=24MP is enough. But that viewpoint conflates capture resolution with output resolution. There is no reason that the two need be the same. And existing cameras already offer lower output resolution, eg “small raw” variants and various JPEG and HEIC sizes. Everyone could be happy with a 100MP capture!

Sampling-resolution image quality issues are an issue even at 60 megapixels, as shown below. Yet oversampling when done at sufficiently high resolution can banish the ugly digital stuff, such as color aliasing and moiré and staircasing effects on edges.

These image quality issues are not a concern in many images. And f/11 acts as an anti-aliasing filter. But when issues do arise, they are pretty darn ugly.

So I look forward to seeing a 100 megapixel sensor in the 35mm sensor size format, for higher total image quality and and somewhat more resolution as a bonus. The Micro Four Thirds format proves that 100 megapixels would be a bare minimum to hope to overcome these issues.

Let’s hope that a Sony A7R V will bring us at least an 80MP sensor.

Color aliasing on roof shingles (actual pixels)
f4 @ 1/320 sec handheld IBIS=on, ISO 100; 2021-05-14 18:08:34
Sony A7R IV + Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, pull 0.3 stops, +20 Whites

[low-res image for bot]

Really Right Stuff BGFX100S Modular L-Plate for Fujifilm GFX100S

I just received the Really Right Stuff BGFX100S Modular L-Plate for Fujifilm GFX100S. Beautifully crafted!

  • CNC machined 6061-T6 Aluminum
  • Anodized; Type II Black
  • Laser engraved center marks
  • Integrated QD (Quick Detach) socket for quick- detach strap systems
  • 1/4”-20 threaded accessory mounting socket
  • Full access to camera accessory ports
  • Access to battery without removing plate
  • Integrated hex-key stored for easy plate repositioning or removal.

I weighed it at 162.1g with the included allen wrench, or 104.9g base plate only.

The Really Right Stuff BGFX100S modular plate system is specifically engineered for the Fujifilm GFX100S camera. The form-fitting flanges contour the camera’s own structure to prevent twisting, and to enhance the overall ergonomics. The shape and opening of the upright section gives access to all side ports, and battery access is unobstructed while the plate is on the camera.

The BGFX100S L-plate can be slid away from the left side of the camera body. This allows tethered portrait shooting while keeping your lens centered atop any Arca Swiss compatible clamp.

When the L-Plate is tucked against the body, a recess will envelop the camera’s strap lug, which will further increase the rigidity of the plate while in-use on a tripod. The primary 1/4”-20 mounting screw in the baseplate, as well as the screw which allows the L-component to slide (or be removed entirely) are tightened with the same hex key, which is conveniently stored in the L-Plate itself.

All BGFX100S Plates are first CNC machined from solid blocks of 6061-T6 aluminum. Every edge and surface is shaped ergonomically and with maximized strength. Afterward they are finished with a smooth matte surface.

Below, the “L” portion can be snugly positioned against the strap lug for rigidity, or it can be extended away from the camera body, or removed entirely.

Really Right Stuff BGFX100S Modular L-Plate for Fujifilm GFX100S, front side view

Below, loosening the screw at left with the included allen wrench (stowed in the bracket itself), the “L” portion can be loosened to position at the desired offset from the camera.

Really Right Stuff BGFX100S Modular L-Plate for Fujifilm GFX100S, bottom view

The QD attachment point allows use of QD (Quick Detach) accessories.

Really Right Stuff BGFX100S Modular L-Plate for Fujifilm GFX100S, QD attachment

 


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What Does the Future Hold for a Sony A7R V?

The Sony A1 is the world’s best 35mm-format camera, a technological tour de force with the best usability available. Ultra-responsive in every way with a superb 9MP EVF, it was hard for me to temporarily go back last month to my lightly used Sony A7R IV (for sale, $2500). The A7R IV felt crude by comparison.

Sony A1

The A1 is priced at a serious premium to other cameras. I think it’s worth it for the serious shooter, even if 8K video and 30 fps is not needed. But there is no getting around the price tag.

For the wallet-conscious looking for much of what has arrived in the Sony A1, it might be that a 6 to 9 month wait will satisfy. Namely, a Sony A7R V that would likely sport much of the technology found in the A1.

Even better, my guess is that a Sony A7R V will move to a high-res sensor, perhaps 80 to 100 megapixels. That would explain why it is apparantly delayed until next year, and why Sony for now has offered a slightly upgraded Sony A7R IVa (already discounted $500). Sony has never before delayed this long in upgrading the top of its A7R lineup; this would make sense because surely the holdup is not necessary parts, as those are already shipping in the A1. So a high-res sensor using A1 sensor technology could well be the gating factor.

I would expect the following to appear in a Sony A7R V:

  • Faster processor, one that supports higher-speed autofocus as well as lossless-compressed RAW.
  • Improvement in responsiveness in all areas.
  • The A1 covers the sports/wildlife/8K video segment so Sony could focus on high-res imagery in an A7R V.
  • High-res EVF as in the A1.
  • Support for CFExpress cards.
  • 80 to 100 megapixel sensor.
  • Dare we hope for focus stacking support?

In a nutshell, a Sony A7R V might be a high-res Sony A1, less performant for the most demanding scenarios, but less expensive and higher resolution. Maybe. A long shot is a Sony medium format system which we badly need so as to poke Fujifilm to sorely needed advances in its Klingon-designed user interface.

Will a 100MP Sony A7R V compete with medium format?

Given what I see on Fujifilm, where lenses strain to deliver resolution to the sensor, we cannot expect full capture resolution on a 100MP 35mm sensor. However, lens performance on Sony is very high with many lenses, enough that I suspect that it would compete favorably against the Fujifilm GFX100S. It should be an interesting 2022.

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Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Boulder amid Suncups, view to Mt Conness

This aperture series from f/3.5 to f/11 evaluates the Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 R WR for near-to-far sharpness, and also how depth of field develops when stopped down.

A 4-frame focus-stacked image gives perspective on what is possible for total sharpness, along with commentary on the process.

Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Boulder amid Suncups, view to Mt Conness

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

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm Medium Format System

Boulder amid Suncups, view to Mt Conness
f9 @ 1/300 sec electronic shutter focus stack 4 frames, ISO 100; 2021-06-12 15:58:27
Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 R WR @ 24.6mm equiv (30mm)
ENV: Conness Lakes, altitude 10400 ft / 3170 m, 70°F / 21°C
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, +50 Shadows, -100 Highlights, +30 Whites, +10 Clarity, USM {15,50,0}, SmartSharpen{30,0.7,20,0}

[low-res image for bot]

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Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Greenstone Lake with Mt Conness Peaks

This aperture series from f/3.5 to f/9 evaluates the Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 R WR for far-distance sharpness, and also how sharpness develops at closer range with stopping down.

It shows the sharpest capture one might expect for with the GF30/3.5 without going to special effort to focus for outer zones at distance.

Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Greenstone Lake with Mt Conness Peaks

Includes images from f/3.5 to f/9 at up to full camera resolution.

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm Medium Format System

Greenstone Lake with Mt Conness Peaks
f9 @ 1/220 sec electronic shutter, ISO 100; 2021-06-12 12:02:06
Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 30mm f/3.5 R WR @ 24.6mm equiv (30mm)
ENV: Greenstone Lake, altitude 10200 ft / 3109 m, 70°F / 21°C
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, -100 Highlights, +25 Whites, +10 Clarity, diffraction mitigating sharpening

[low-res image for bot]

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Polarizers: Spectral Transmission Uniformity and Brightness

re: filters.

In choosing a polarizer, look for two key things:

Uniformity of transmission — color neutrality. A spectral transmission graph shows this by how flat/straight the plot is.

Percent transmission — how bright the polarizer is. Greater transmission means a higher shutter speed.

Polarization efficiency — how pronounced the polarization effect is. For high altitude, I’d like to have a much less efficient polarizer because polarization increases about 3% for every 1000 feet of elevation. So at 10000' elevation, there is 30% greater polarization effect which is why I usually avoid polarizers at altitude—a dark band can ruin an image.

Example

Shown below are charts from Breakthrough Photography* showing spectral transmission. More information at https://breakthrough.photography. Polarization efficiency is not shown in these charts, but it’s ample (more than I want) at high altitude.

The Breakthrough Photography X4 CPO shows exceptionally neutral color transmission. The Hoya CPL and Singh Ray CPL shows a bias to green/yellow/red (less blue).

* I have not independently verified these charts.

Breakthrough Photography X4 CPL vs other polarizers, % transmission 400nm to 700nm
Breakthrough Photography X4 CPL vs other polarizers, average % transmission

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