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Fun with MF images 2022

Ed Hurst

Well-known member
Hi Ed,

Now that you've had some time to work with the GFX 100 and the Pentax lenses, how do you like that set up vs the old Pentax 645z you had? How was the transition from an optical viewfinder to the EVF? Any other experiences you want to share?
Hi there! Sorry for the slow reply...

So far, I am getting to be very happy with the transition in most respects. The extra MP is obviously nice, but it's not the main thing. Despite the bigger files, the camera will shoot continuously at a faster rate, even shooting RAWs - which matters to me a lot with star trail images in bright places, which necessitates short and consecutive images over a long period of time without hesitating. There are some nice usability features too, like being able to set multi-minute exposures in Manual mode, without having to time them in Bulb. In some modes (though oddly not all), the screen also counts down how much of these long exposures remains - which is pleasant. I also love the ease with which I can run the camera from an external power bank via USB-C, meaning I can run or charge the camera in the field to an effectively unlimited degree. The files have plenty of DR (though it remains more important to avoid over-exposure than under-exposure, as was the case with the 645Z too).

My two main concerns so far have been the EVF and how the camera plays with third party wide-angle lenses on an adaptor. I don't care for EVFs, and accepted this as the price I have to pay in order to update my camera. I've kinda got used to it, but I don't like the experience in various ways. In dark or gloomy conditions, I can't just pick up the camera as I am walking about, trying to choose my composition, because you can't see anything through the camera - and even when it's light enough to do so, you have to remember to turn it on. I used to like putting my 645Z to my eye in a very fluid way and wandering about until I was happy with my position. That is clunky with an EVF and often requires a test shot on high ISO to 'see the shot' - which of course involves setting up rather than wandering pensively! But I am learning to live with it.
I also find that adapted wide angle lenses don't always deliver the consistent quality across the frame that they did on the 645Z. I have a hunch that it's to do with the distance the lens is from the sensor (when the sensor was designed for lenses to be close!) and the consequent impact on the angle that light beams strike the sensor. This problem doesn't seem to happen with longer lenses which tend to be closer to telecentric anyhow. But I can't blame the camera for this - I am bodging a solution it wasn't designed for until I can afford to buy Fuji wide angle lens(es). So I expect this problem to go away when I have the $$$ to buy the right glass.

So overall, I am happy. Certainly I am producing results I am happy with. Is the resolution improvement really important in most cases? No (though I do like it, I must admit!). Does the ability to shoot shorter, consecutive, clean, high ISO files for hours on end (without pausing) allow me to get shots i previously couldn't? Certainly!

You can't have everything and it's a compromise that is increasingly working for me. Give me the forthcoming 20-35mm lens and maybe a couple of others in the line-up and i will be a happy man!

The files do have a modern, clinical, contrasty, crisp feel to them which I generally like - and if I want them to feel different, I find the files have enough malleability that I can basically do what I want. There is perhaps a bit more pixel-level noise than I was expecting, but the sheer number of pixels means that at any realistic output size, the noise per square inch of print is less than i had before. But it's close enough to be moot.

I have found that if you stack large numbers of the files with Layer Blending set to Lighten (as I do for star trails), you get banding if the files are created in ACR and tiling it they are created in Capture One. But DxO works superbly (if rather slowly) for me.

Is there anything else I can help with? I may have concentrated too much on my own idiosyncratic concerns, based on the weird work I do! I haven't commented on speed of AF, hand-holding ergonomics, video, etc etc because I just don't shoot that way.
 
Last edited:

Abstraction

Active member
Hi there! Sorry for the slow reply...

So far, I am getting to be very happy with the transition in most respects. The extra MP is obviously nice, but it's not the main thing. Despite the bigger files, the camera will shoot continuously at a faster rate, even shooting RAWs - which matters to me a lot with star trail images in bright places, which necessitates short and consecutive images over a long period of time without hesitating. There are some nice usability features too, like being able to set multi-minute exposures in Manual mode, without having to time them in Bulb. In some modes (though oddly not all), the screen also counts down how much of these long exposures remains - which is pleasant. I also love the ease with which I can run the camera from an external power bank via USB-C, meaning I can run or charge the camera in the field to an effectively unlimited degree. The files have plenty of DR (though it remains more important to avoid over-exposure to under-exposure).

My two main concerns so far have been the EVF and how the camera plays with third party wide-angle lenses on an adaptor. I don't care for EVFs, and accepted this as the price I have to pay in order to update my camera. I've kinda got used to it, but I don't like the experience in various ways. In dark or gloomy conditions, I can't just pick up the camera as I am walking about, trying to choose my composition, because you can't see anything through the camera - and even when it's light enough to do so, you have to remember to turn it on. I used to like putting my 645Z to my eye in a very fluid way and wandering about until I was happy with my position. That is clunky with an EVF and often requires a test shot on high ISO to 'see the shot' - which of course involves setting up rather than wandering pensively! But I am learning to live with it.
I also find that adapted wide angle lenses don't always deliver the consistent quality across the frame that they did on the 645Z. I have a hunch that it's to do with the distance the lens is from the sensor (when the sensor was designed for lenses to be close!) and the consequent impact on the angle that light beams strike the sensor. This problem doesn't seem to happen with longer lenses which tend to be closer to telecentric anyhow. But I can't blame the camera for this - I am bodging a solution it wasn't designed for until I can afford to buy Fuji wide angle lens(es). So I expect this problem to go away when I have the $$$ to buy the right glass.

So overall, I am happy. Certainly I am producing results I am happy with. Is the resolution improvement really important in most cases? No (though I do like it, I must admit!). Does the ability to shoot shorter, consecutive, clean, high ISO files for hours on end without pausing allow me to get shots i previously couldn't? Certainly!

You can't have everything and it's a compromise that is increasingly working for me. Give me the forthcoming 20-35mm lens and maybe a couple of others in the line-up and i will be a happy man!

The files do have a modern, clinical, contrasty, crisp feel to them which I generally like - and if I want them to feel different, I find the files have enough malleability that I can basically do what I want. There is perhaps a bit more pixel-level noise than I was expecting, but the sheer number of pixels means that at any realistic output size, the noise is less than i had before. But it's close enough to be moot.

I have found that if you stack large numbers of the files with Layer Blending set to Lighten (as I do for star trails), you get banding if the files are created in ACR and tiling it they are created in Capture One. But DxO works superbly (if rather slowly) for me.

Is there anything else I can help with? I may have concentrated too much on my own idiosyncratic concerns, based on the weird work I do! I haven't commented on speed of AF, hand-holding ergonomics, video, etc etc because I just don't shoot that way.
Thanks, Ed. I was interested in your own, personal experience, rather than expecting a camera review. I'm glad things are working out for you. I like the work you do and I'm happy to hear you didn't miss a beat when you changed gear.
 

Ed Hurst

Well-known member
Thanks, Ed. I was interested in your own, personal experience, rather than expecting a camera review. I'm glad things are working out for you. I like the work you do and I'm happy to hear you didn't miss a beat when you changed gear.
Thanks, my friend. I truly appreciate that very much.
 

KC_2020

Active member
Give me the forthcoming 20-35mm lens and maybe a couple of others in the line-up and i will be a happy man!
Maybe that will be the case. You're still benefiting from the character of the Pentax lenses which you may miss with the Fuji glass.

The files do have a modern, clinical, contrasty, crisp feel to them which I generally like - and if I want them to feel different, I find the files have enough malleability that I can basically do what I want.
I've used both systems and found that the Pentax lenses have a slight warmth to them, the Fuji's are just the opposite. The Pentax glass and coatings handle highlights and flare differently as well. They create a nice glow that's often an embellishment to bright highlights. That's a quality that lends itself to your images, IMHO.
 

Ed Hurst

Well-known member
Maybe that will be the case. You're still benefiting from the character of the Pentax lenses which you may miss with the Fuji glass.



I've used both systems and found that the Pentax lenses have a slight warmth to them, the Fuji's are just the opposite. The Pentax glass and coatings handle highlights and flare differently as well. They create a nice glow that's often an embellishment to bright highlights. That's a quality that lends itself to your images, IMHO.
Interesting! Time will tell. I do enjoy the Pentax lenses and like their rendering; however, I can't compare from first-hand experience, as I don't own a single Fuji lens yet. For sure, one thing I will find very useful is having a 20mm lens... At present, I have nothing wider than Pentax's 25mm DA lens and there are times when I find it limiting. There will also be situations where I will deliberately allow some breathing space around the edges of the image to help me with perspective corrections in post. Though a PC lens is supposedly on its way too!
 

Greg Haag

Well-known member
Starburst

Starburst by John Ngai, on Flickr
WRS1250 | IQ4150 | Zeiss 5.6/120 S-Planar | f/5.6 | 64-image focus stack​

While out on a walk in the neighborhood this morning I noticed a tree with these amazing flowers, each resembling a mini-explosion of color and form. I'm not 100% sure but I think this is from the Scarlet Bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus) tree. It felt good to get off my butt and take on this little mini-project andshake out the mental cobwebs, as I haven't been spending much if any time on photography lately.

John
That is a spectacular shot John!
 
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