Fuji GFX50s Camera Sunrises and Sunsets

I have to admit my Sony a7r2 has been abandoned in the gear closet.  Why would I do this in favor of the relatively massive Fuji GFX50s and lenses?  Image quality.  Details, tones and colors.  Mostly how all this adds up to spectacular sunrise and sunset captures.  The GFX50s has been thrilling me with how it captures one of my favorite subjects:  Landscape sunrises and sunsets.

These images really take me Back There and what the Fuji does with colors, details and tones in Velvia setting is simply beautiful to me.

Some recent samples:

Various Zeiss Prime Lenses Adapted Onto the Fuji GFX50s

..and one very old Canon prime.

How did this happen?  Well my Sony a7r’s second shutter blew apart during a sunrise timelapse and I found myself looking into another camera body. I was going back and forth considering another a7r2 or even the a7r3.  Looking around, I came across the Fuji.  I’ve always wondered about digital medium format for landscape photography.  I rented one for the weekend and set about adapting my various Canon-mount Zeiss lenses to it.  Adapting lenses onto the GFX50s leads one into the myriad of adapters available with their pluses and minuses.

As we know, renting can lead to buying, and within a week I found myself with an almost new GFX50s.  My initial challenges were figuring out the menu system and dialing in manual focus.  Most of the online tutorials seemed to leave out an implied step or two.  Eventually I got there.  I tried adapters from Fotodiox to Viltrox and eventually settled on the Kipon AF adapter.  I meant to try to the Fringer but ordered the wrong size and by then, I was happy with the Kipon.

I adapted on my Zeiss 85 and 28 Otus lenses, my 135mm f2 ZE lens and even my old Contax 50mm f1.4.  The 28 Otus had the most vignetting.  All lenses performed well. I was especially happy with the AF using my almost 30yo Canon 200mm f1.8 lens.  Much snappier and more accurate than the Sigma MC11 or Metabones IV adapters on my Sony a7r2.

A few photos from my first few days with the camera.  Very impressed with the details and tonality.

Smith Tower Blues Fuji GFX50s and Zeiss 85mm Otus lens

Smith Tower Blues Fuji GFX50s and Zeiss 85mm Otus lens

Seattle Sunset Fuji GFX50s and Contax 50mm lens Handheld Shot

Seattle Sunset Fuji GFX50s and Contax 50mm lens Handheld Shot

My Contemplative Cat Fuji GFX50s and Contax 50mm lens Handheld Shot

My Contemplative Cat Fuji GFX50s and Contax 50mm lens Handheld Shot

Second Beach Sunset Fuji GFX50s and Zeiss 28mm Otus lens Handheld Shot

Second Beach Sunset Fuji GFX50s and Zeiss 28mm Otus lens Handheld Shot

Smith Tower Dusk Fuji GFX50s and Canon 200mm f1.8 lens

Smith Tower Dusk Fuji GFX50s and Canon 200mm f1.8 lens

Schlepping That Beast – Zeiss 28mm Otus Goes to Europe

I sent a few photos from my trip to my contact at Zeiss.  Her response was:

“Wow, Mike. These are great.  You should get some badge of honor for schlepping that beast around with you.”

It didn’t seem like much at the time but yes the Zeiss 28mm Otus isn’t subtle.  I had planned my visit to London and Paris around my Zeiss deliverables, but you really have to carry it day to day to get the whole picture of its size.  It’s kind of like the Blazing Saddles Moment. “S’cuse me while I whip this out…”  On the other hand, most of my shots are handheld, so it’s clearly manageable.

The payoff of course is stunning image quality.  Shots that really stood out on my editing laptop really bloomed in vivid, contrasty detail on my home 34″ 4K monitor.  And clearly my editors at Zeiss are happy.  Now where’s my badge?  🙂 #zeiss

Liberty London Interior Zeiss 28mm OtusParis Pons Invalides at Sunset Zeiss 28mm OtusParis Palais Garnier Opera House Stairwells Zeiss 28mm OtusParis Palais Garnier Opera House Ceiling Zeiss 28mm OtusParis Dusk Notre Dame and the Seine Zeiss 28mm OtusParis Dusk Flower Shop Zeiss 28mm OtusParis Dusk Eiffel Tower Shadow Zeiss 28mm OtusTower Bridge View from the Tower of London Zeiss 28mm OtusThames Sunset Big Ben Reflection Zeiss 28mm Otus

 

Woodland Park Zoo Rose Garden – Soft Rose Bokeh

May/June is Rose time for me.  Warmer, longer evenings allow serene walks through some of my favorite local gardens.  The Rose Garden in the Woodland Park Zoo is one of my special places. I’m slowly learning the varieties of roses and hybrids. Aside from that, its a thin depth of field floral bokeh paradise.  I walk around smelling the blooms and looking for combinations of foreground flowers and interesting backgrounds.  My favorite lens for this used to be my Canon 85mm f/1.2;  Now its my Zeiss 85mm Otus 1.4.  In these gardens I find peace and creative outlet.  Woodland Park Zoo Rose Garden  More of my floral works:  Mike Reid Photography

Woodland Park Zoo Rose Garden Rose Closeup Bokeh Zeiss 85mm OtusWoodland Park Zoo Rose Garden Rose Closeup Bokeh Zeiss 85mm OtusWoodland Park Zoo Rose Garden Rose Closeup Bokeh Zeiss 85mm OtusWoodland Park Zoo Rose Garden Rose Closeup Bokeh Zeiss 85mm OtusWoodland Park Zoo Rose Garden Rose Closeup Bokeh Zeiss 85mm OtusWoodland Park Zoo Rose Garden Rose Closeup Bokeh Zeiss 85mm OtusWoodland Park Zoo Rose Garden Rose Closeup Bokeh Zeiss 85mm OtusWoodland Park Zoo Rose Garden Rose Closeup Bokeh Zeiss 85mm Otus

How to Shoot Through Glass in an Observatory

As the in-house photographer for the Columbia Center’s Sky View Observatory, I have a bit of experience shooting through glass to get photos of the awesome city view.  Reading reviews of people’s experiences/frustrations there and at other similar properties around the world, I would like to share some of the expertise I’ve gained over the years shooting at SVO.

Basically, the issue is the reflections in the windows created by interior lighting.  My solution for this doesn’t involve filters or anything in-camera.  The work around involves bringing a black cloth.  This can be a 2×2 foot piece of black cloth bought at a fabric store which is what I carry or a scarf, jacket, or even an umbrella cover like I saw last night up there.  It also helps to be wearing something dark.  Try to avoid the gold lame sequin dress look.  It doesn’t help.

Recently I have added a new tool, the LensSkirt.  This beauty slips around the lens and attaches to the glass with four suction cups.  Except for the widest of lenses, say 10mm, its awesome.  It also works great in airplanes and helicopters.   LensSkirt on Amazon

IMG_5016

If you didn’t bring a tripod, set your camera on the ledge, use timer release and then cover it with the cloth.  If you did bring a tripod, you can check out my technique and or use something of your own.  Notice how the cloth is rolled up, wrapped around the lens up to the glass and then the ends cross over the legs of the tripod.  I usually check below the lens for light leak as with wide angle lenses, that’s where the reflections creep in.  In addition, notice how my tripod legs are unextended and perched on the railing with one leg down, so as to get closer to the glass.IMG_3602[1]IMG_3604[1]

A recent favorite:

Seattle Fog Moves In

…and two short timelapses:

Seattle and Rainier Sunrise from Sky View Observatory

Seattle and Rainier Sunrise from Sky View Observatory

Seattle Sunset from Sky View Observatory

Seattle Sunset from Sky View Observatory

I hope this helps.  Please feel free to contact me with questions or ask if you see me at SVO.  I helped 3 people last night get better shots and that gave me the idea to write this.

www.mikereidphotography.com

Seattle Area Photography Classes and Tours

photography classes and tours

Seattle area photography classes and tours from a Seattle native.

 

People reach out to me from time to time about classes and tours around the area.  I think my body of work online and in print leads people to ask if I can help them get similar results.  This is something I really enjoy doing especially in small groups.  I have a training background in software instruction and teaching comes naturally to me.  I can put together a half day class or tour or more.  Contact me for details.  Contact me for more details about a class or tour