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About to buy a GFX100S, need lens advice.

P1505C

Member
Hi all.

I've decided to replace my trusty Hassleblad 500C/M with a new rain-proof (ish) high resolution digital camera, and have decided the Fuji GFX100S gives best bang for buck and will have enough pixels to allow me to crop to square and not lose too much. I shoot documentary work; portraits in context, always in the field never in a studio, and use a monopod. Think Alec Soth it's easier to describe it that way.

Very recently I've moved beyond 50mm for the first time in my life and found I am getting closer to that 10x8 separation where you feel you can walk into the frame, and this has been a revelation to me. I've always shot 35 on a 35, 50 was "long" for me but then I was told buy a 24-70 for my 5D IV and boy, wow, I've seen the light. I also enjoy slowing down and using the monopod, my Hassleblad images have better composition than anything I shoot digitally now because I am forced to be slower. Something the GFX should help me with - can still shoot waist level on the screen and emulate the experience but not have to pay for film or fight dust when scanning.

But for GFX I need advice. I'd like a small carry anywhere lens around the 50mm equivalent in 35mm. And I'd also like something around the 70-80mm mark so I can step back, get that compression but still fill the frame without cropping. I want to separate items from their backgrounds.

What are your go to lenses that can cope with the 100mp sensor? Autofocus speed is not critical for me, I have other cameras for that.

Thank you.
 

Whisp3r

Active member
Good evening!

Unrelated observation, you probably already know this: you can configure the 100S to show a square crop in the viewfinder or LCD-screen, while still retaining the original RAW, this will be useful for you, coming from a 6x6 camera.

As to emulating the experience, however... ;-) I shoot a GFX for digital and a Rolleiflex 6008i for analog, the experience is quite different. The Rolleiflex slows me down considerably (e.g. manual focus, careful metering, no real-time exposure simulation, etc..) and flipping the LCD-screen for waist-level composing does feel quite different from viewing the image through the waist-level viewfinder of the 6x6 where everything is mirrored. On my GFX, I use the tilting viewfinder and I would say this gets somewhat closer to the feel of an analog waist-level viewfinder, though you don't get the familiar 'pop' of the latter.

Lens choice: I've shot weddings with the GFX from 2018 until 2023, and I would say the lens that comes closest to your desired parameters is the 63mm f/2.8. It is one of the smallest GF primes, compact, light, weather-sealed, and exactly 50mm in small format terms. Whether you will like its output is a matter of taste, if there's a means for you to rent one in order to try it first, it would give you the best indication on whether it's a lens that suits your style. The next suggestion that comes to mind is either the 55mm f/1.7 (43mm equivalent) or the 80mm f/1.7 (63mm equivalent), both are bigger, heavier, more expensive and very well liked. Again, try them first before forking out the cash.

Be advised: I am only familiar with GF-lenses, so more adventurous, creative shooters here on GetDPI will probably be able to give you better advice regarding non-native lenses in combination with adapters. Especially if you don't mind manual focus, there's a whole treasure trove of delightful lenses out there that punch way above their weight on a GFX. If I'm not mistaken I believe @rdeloe has quite a bit of experience using adapted glass, but there are many others. Be sure to check out this thread:
Your favourite “bang for the buck” lenses

Good luck!
 

P1505C

Member
Thank you.

I’ve found the 45-100 as that will sort of duplicate my 24-70, but I do prefer primes. I’ll rent the 63 for a day and see where it takes me - small is always a winner :)

I’m happy to adapt and shoot manual focus. It’s simple with the screen. Looking at my Hassleblad images, they are technically poor (camera needs a CLA) but composition is far better as I take my time. I feel I need to force that, so maybe manual is the way to go.

Looking forward to this new adventure.
 

Rand47

Well-known member
If the weight/size and min aperture of the 45-100 is not a deal breaker, you’d be hard pressed to find a better lens for the kind of range you describe. OTOH, the 55 f/1.7 is stunning (and I hate the overuse of the word “stunning”). My personal favorite “walk about” lens is the 45 f/2.8 but being a 35mm FF equivalent it’s probably too wide for what you’re looking for. But it is a beautiful, light, sharp lens - and “tiny” by GFX standards.

Rand
 

P1505C

Member
So a new S may be announced in a week, meaning I held off. Also, I think I want the tilting EVF on the original 1000, so I may get that even though it’s huge.

Monopod, tilting EVF, 100mp. Sounds as close to the Hasselblad experience as I’ll get from a Fuji.
 

Whisp3r

Active member
So a new S may be announced in a week, meaning I held off. Also, I think I want the tilting EVF on the original 1000, so I may get that even though it’s huge.

Monopod, tilting EVF, 100mp. Sounds as close to the Hasselblad experience as I’ll get from a Fuji.
What I'm about to write is based upon a rumour (fujirumors.com), apparently the only camera to be announced during the X-summit will be the X100V's successor. Nevertheless, Fuji is rumored to launch three new cameras within the first half of 2024. Take it all with a grain of salt of course, though the folks at Fujirumors do seem to have a pretty good track record concerning the accuracy of their rumours.

About the tilting viewfinder: I've owned the original 50S which was the first camera with the detachable viewfinder, and the option of using the EVF-TL1 was pure gold for my type of work (interior photography, tight spaces, backing up right up to a wall). Some years later the affordable 100S (compared to the GFX100 I mean) was launched with its 100 megapixel BSI-sensor so I decided to switch, assuming I would get used to the lack of a tiltable/rotating viewfinder. I was wrong :) So after a year, I sold the 100S and bought the GFX100 instead and never looked back. An added bonus: mounting the tilt adapter causes the EVF to be spaced further away from the camera body, which is ergonomically quite comfortable for people who constantly have their right eye glued to the EVF :) When not shooting gigs for clients I also enjoy handling the camera like I would handle my Rolleiflex 6008i, e.g. no tripod, and I tilt the viewfinder up and frame my shots 'waist-level style'. Although the experience is hardly the same, it does get me closer to the original feeling. Again, if you have the option, just rent one first to see if it works for you. I own three tilt adapters, such is the extent of my dependency on that little gadget :)
 

Whisp3r

Active member
I’m South UK. Not near you I think.
Your use of the phrase 'sod it' gave me a clue :) Ghent, Belgium here. Lots of water and trees in between our respective locations indeed.

I can see the predicament: on one hand you seem to prefer a compact camera (by MF-standards) with a compact lens, on the other hand it seems as though you feel that the tilting EVF will add something important to your shooting experience. The GFX100 is rather large, comparable to the good old Canon 1Dx or Nikon D4 monsters. I prefer larger cameras because, for me at least, they seem more balanced when using big lenses such as the 110mm f/2. Compactness and tilting EVF functionality seem mutually exclusive, unless you opt for the GFX 100II, which will probably be hard to find second-hand and cost considerably more brand new. They key question you should ask yourself is probably "do I really need that tilting viewfinder"?
 

P1505C

Member
The size is a factor for sure, but maybe less of a factor than I think. I happily walk around with a DSLR with big bright zoom on it.

What I’m trying to replace is the Hasselblad 500 setup which isn’t exactly small. I shoot that on a monopod at waist level and that’s what I want to do with the GFX. IBIS means I don’t need the pod but I’ll keep it as my hypothesis is that by slowing down my composition is drastically improved.

I could shoot from the screen but in bright light it won’t work well enough, and also having my eye to the finder sort of puts me in a bubble where all I think about is the image. I forget I’m on a busy street or whatever.

The only real concern I have is the fact that it’s clearly a digital camera and I won’t get the easy let off from people thinking “old camera must be an artist” or whatever. Nobody is threatened by the Hasselblad. I wonder what the huge GFX will do? Having said that, it looks so alien and odd compared to other cameras it may get the same treatment.
 

lookbook

Well-known member
The only real concern I have is the fact that it’s clearly a digital camera and I won’t get the easy let off from people thinking “old camera must be an artist” or whatever. Nobody is threatened by the Hasselblad. I wonder what the huge GFX will do? Having said that, it looks so alien and odd compared to other cameras it may get the same treatment.
... you overestimate the "problem"!
I've been walking with the big Fuji for a year now - no-one has ever approached me ...
but I've never worn a painter's smock or an artist's hat!!!
:)
 

Whisp3r

Active member
I could shoot from the screen but in bright light it won’t work well enough, and also having my eye to the finder sort of puts me in a bubble where all I think about is the image. I forget I’m on a busy street or whatever.

The only real concern I have is the fact that it’s clearly a digital camera and I won’t get the easy let off from people thinking “old camera must be an artist” or whatever. Nobody is threatened by the Hasselblad. I wonder what the huge GFX will do? Having said that, it looks so alien and odd compared to other cameras it may get the same treatment.
I completely understand what you mean by being in a bubble, blocking out everything else. I'm unable to compose by only using the LCD, it just doesn't work for me, I don't "see it". In that sense, the tilting/rotating EVF works wonders for me. The only other way for me to compose is by using the camera while it is tethered to a laptop.

Heh, I get the same vibe when using the Rolleiflex, people tend to leave me alone. Even though the Rolleiflex does look quite retro-futuristic (in an 80's kind of way) compared to your Hasselblad. It might be because of the waist-level finder, people might feel less threatened by it because you're looking down. The GFX100 gives me the opposite reaction in the following sense: people, especially youngsters, walk up to me and say "hey, that's a huge camera, you're probably a pro, right? Can you take our picture? We'd love to use it for our socials!" :ROFLMAO:
 

buildbot

Well-known member
I completely understand what you mean by being in a bubble, blocking out everything else. I'm unable to compose by only using the LCD, it just doesn't work for me, I don't "see it". In that sense, the tilting/rotating EVF works wonders for me. The only other way for me to compose is by using the camera while it is tethered to a laptop.

Heh, I get the same vibe when using the Rolleiflex, people tend to leave me alone. Even though the Rolleiflex does look quite retro-futuristic (in an 80's kind of way) compared to your Hasselblad. It might be because of the waist-level finder, people might feel less threatened by it because you're looking down. The GFX100 gives me the opposite reaction in the following sense: people, especially youngsters, walk up to me and say "hey, that's a huge camera, you're probably a pro, right? Can you take our picture? We'd love to use it for our socials!" :ROFLMAO:
I actually had someone come up and wonder what the hell my Rollei Hy6 was, though it had a digital back on at the time which is maybe why. Photographers will notice though either way and may come up to you, met a few people this way. Most do not know what a Digital back is or who Phase One is, to give some perspective. I do think looking down through the waist level is way less noticeable to people, and triggers much less of a response than holding the camera to your face, whether film or digital.

I walk around my hometown with many cameras and have never had a real issue though, even late at night. I am also fairly careful and tend to avoid people though in general, so your mileage may vary.

The GFX100s as a walk around camera is medium obtrusive compared to most cameras here I think, it's not a small body for sure, but has much less presence or whatever compared to an XF with a DB or even a large mirrorless camera with a vertical grip.
 

Whisp3r

Active member
I actually had someone come up and wonder what the hell my Rollei Hy6 was, though it had a digital back on at the time which is maybe why. Photographers will notice though either way and may come up to you, met a few people this way. Most do not know what a Digital back is or who Phase One is, to give some perspective. I do think looking down through the waist level is way less noticeable to people, and triggers much less of a response than holding the camera to your face, whether film or digital.

The GFX100s as a walk around camera is medium obtrusive compared to most cameras here I think, it's not a small body for sure, but has much less presence or whatever compared to an XF with a DB or even a large mirrorless camera with a vertical grip.
Ah, the Rolleiflex Hy6, fond (lack of) memories: I remember wanting to buy one back in 2009, when I was still a starving photographer, and shaking my head in disbelief at the price! So I had to take the cheaper option (6008 integral) because I just had to have one of those German engineering marvels with sexy green and red accents. "Hasselblad? Pah! That's for showoffs" :ROFLMAO:

True, an XF has way more presence in the sense that people will leave you alone because that gigantic block of aluminum looks like a weapon that can be used for some efficient bludgeoning :cool: Fitted with a lens, it's the heaviest camera I ever held in my hand.
 

Whisp3r

Active member
What I did forget was SD cards. Need bigger ones! Thats another £250 ish down the drain.
If you plan on looking for a used camera body, chances are pretty high that the seller will throw in some memory cards to sweeten the deal.
 

P1505C

Member
An update to this if anyone arrives from Google - the GFX100 V1 is stellar. Big - yes. Heavy - yes. Will you end up upgrading your computer - probably. Will you buy more storage - oh yes! You’ll also want to ensure you have really good SD cards.

But the images - wow.
 
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