ALPA of Switzerland Announces ALPA XO Exoskeleton aka Cage for Fujifilm GFX 100 100-Megapixel Hybrid Medium Format Camera

Medium format digital camera and lens maker ALPA of Switzerland has been showing off prototypes of its ALPA XO Exoskeleton for the Fujifilm GFX 100 DSLR-style medium format digital hybrid camera and the exoskeleton aka camera cage has an uncanny resemblance to the range of cages and accessories designed and made by expatriate Italian-Australian cinematographer/director Dante Cecchin for his LockCircle brand in northern Italy.

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ALPA of Switzerland XO Exoskeleton for Fujifilm GFX 100 medium format digital camera with ALPA Switar 80mm cinema prime lens.

ALPA has long had a reputation for producing high-priced, well-designed and beautifully-manufactured cameras and lenses and has been expanding into the cinema space with its PLATON range and now the coming new XO range for the GFX 100.

Given the reputed high quality and precision of Mr Cecchin’s cinema camera accessories and his location just below the Swiss/Italian border, a collaboration between the two companies seems like a wise decision.

ALPA XO Exoskeleton aka Cage for Fujifilm GFX 100

LockCircle Cages for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 and GH5S

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FUJIFILM X Series: FUJIKINA 2019 Tokyo / FUJIFILM [Video]

“Live streaming of “FUJIKINA 2019 TOKYO” hosted by FUJIFILM.”

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Fujifilm GFX 100 with Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR zoom lens. This lens is equivalent to 25-51mm in the 35mm sensor format.

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DPReview: CP+ 2019: Fujifilm interview – ‘We want to show photographers the future’

https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/8410636142/cp-2019-fujifilm-interview-we-want-to-show-photographers-the-future

“At the CP+ show earlier this month in Yokohama Japan, we sat down with senior executives from Fujifilm. During our conversation we covered everything from the upcoming GFX 100, to plans for APS-C and why the X100 still occupies such an important position in the company’s lineup.

Our interview was conducted with three senior executives in Fujifilm’s Electronic Imaging Products Division:

  • Toshi Iida, General Manager.
  • Makoto Oishi, Product Planning Manager.
  • Shin Udono, Senior Manager of the Sales and Marketing Group.…”

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Fujifilm GFX 50R Medium Format Rangefinder-Style Camera Touch and Try Event at Ted’s World of Imaging, Sydney, Thursday 1st November 2018

Warrewyk Williams of Fujifilm Australia presented the Fujifilm GFX 50R Touch and Try event at Ted’s World of Imaging in Sydney. Photograph copyright Karin Gottschalk 2018, all rights reserved.

Fujifilm Australia’s Warrewyk Williams arrived at the Touch and Try event at Ted’s World of Imaging in Sydney last night with one of the few, if not the only, Fujifilm GFX 50R medium format rangefinder-style digital cameras along with a selection of G Mount lenses, Fujifilm GFX 50S DSLR-style medium format camera, Fujifilm X-H1, Instax printers and more. 

The event provided an opportunity for a brief but informative hands-on with the GFX 50R with the proviso that the camera is a pre-production model with pre-release firmware and so comes with possible quirks and operating speed reductions. 

This event was particularly welcome as I have not had the opportunity to touch or try the X-H1, GFX 50S or any of Fujifilm’s Instax products, given the closure of our local top-end camera stores, and I have long been hoping and waiting for a digital version of Fujifilm’s justly loved and celebrated “Texas Leica” 120 roll film analog cameras of the past. 

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Fujifilm GFX 50R with Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens, equivalent to 35mm in 35mm format.

Some “Texas Leica” medium format rangefinder cameras from the analog era, made by Fujifilm, Bronica and Mamiya

Fujifilm, as well as Bronica and Mamiya, made some remarkable 120 roll film rangefinder cameras with Fujifilm producing a huge variety of “Texas Leicas” in the 6×4.5cm, 6x6cm, 6x7cm, 6x8cm and 6x9cm formats and for all I know may well have produced 6x9cm and 6x12cm cameras too.

I continue to search for top quality photographs of these and other cameras in the hopes of preserving some of the camera-building achievements of the past, some of which may trickle down to the present day.

The Fujifilm GFX 50R has clearly benefited from Fujifilm’s analog innovations, its look and feel reminding me of the company’s larger 120 roll film cameras while also sharing a great deal of the X-Pro2’s own DNA.

Fujifilm GFX 50R Touch and Try

Reeling off a few snapshots with an unfamiliar and pre-production camera is hardly a thorough real-world test but the experience reminded me that documentary photography and portraiture with a medium format camera is a very different thing to making the same sorts of photographs with a small, fast, agile, gestural camera like the X-Pro2 or X-T3.

Making reportage and portraits photographs with the GFX 50R and GFX 50S is more akin to how I used to work handheld with my Hasselblad, Mamiya 7 and even my Crown Graphic 4″x5″ sheet film 4field camera – slower, more deliberate and with fewer shots than I would make on APS-C or Micro Four Thirds cameras.

I tried two lenses, the Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR and the Fujinon GF 120mm f/4.0 Macro R LM OIS WR in emulation of the two-lens moderate wide and medium telephoto kits I had for my medium and large format analog cameras.

I learned that, aside from the coming-soon Fujinon GF 50mm f3.5 R LM WR pancake lens, equivalent to about 40mm in the 35mm sensor format, more wide prime lenses are planned for GF mount cameras along with the  Fujinon GF 45-100mm f/4.0 R LM OIS WR and Fujinon GF 100-200mm f/5.6 R LM OIS WR zoom lenses currently slated for 2019 and 2020 releases on Fujifilm’s G Mount Lens Roadmap.

The Fujifilm GFX 50R is, for me, a combination rangefinder-style and small field view camera, for use primarily handheld but also on a portable but sturdy tripod such as 3 Legged Thing’s Winston or those made by Really Right Stuff, for making environmental and full-face portrait photographs.

My quick and dirty test shots indicate that it has the image quality of an analog sheet film camera rather than a 120 roll film camera, and I would prefer to use prime lenses with it rather than zooms.

Warrewyk Williams estimates the focal length equivalence factor at 0.79 for Fujifilm’s G Mount lenses, making the 45mm equivalent to 35.55 in 35mm terms and the 120mm equivalent to 94.8 in 35mm terms.

Other lenses worth considering for my sort of portrait photography include the Fujinon GF 110mm f/2.0 R LM WR equivalent to 86.9mm and hopefully a soon-to-come 35mm GF lens equivalent to 28mm.

Not to be discounted is the Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4.0 R LM WR zoom lens which provides at least three useful focal lengths for different forms of portraiture, in 35mm equivalent terms 28mm, 35mm and 50mm, and is available right now rather than waiting for fast prime lenses to come.

A two or three lens kit for the GFX 50R may be all I would need for portraiture should I invest in digital medium format.

While it is too early too come to conclusions about the GFX 50R and its lenses, I have been particularly struck by the superb 3D image rendering in the available light snapshot portrait of Warrewyk Williams above and am very much looking forward to exploring more of the creative possibilities of Fujifilm’s GFX camera and lens system very soon.

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Image Credits

Portrait of Warrewyk Williams made by Karin Gottschalk on Fujifilm medium format camera with Fujinon GF 120mm f4.0 R LM OIS WR Macro lens as five autoexposure brackets processed in Skylum Aurora HDR 2019 with film emulation LUT applied and further processing in Skylum Luminar.

Documentary photographs made by Karin Gottschalk on Fujifilm X-Pro2 with Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R lens.

Header image of GFX 50R made by Jonas Rask for Fujifilm.

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  • Fujifilm Fujinon G Mount lensesB&H
  • FUJIFILM GFX 50R Medium Format Mirrorless CameraB&H
  • FUJIFILM GFX 50S Medium Format Mirrorless CameraB&H
  • FUJIFILM VG-GFX1 Vertical Battery GripB&H
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Fujifilm Introduces GFX 50R Rangefinder-Style Medium Format Camera, and the Texas Leica is Reborn for the Digital Era

Fujifilm has announced its Fujifilm GFX 50R rangefinder-style medium format digital camera and in so doing has opened the door to those who may not need nor be able to afford the company’s Fujifilm GFX 50S or GFX 100S DSLR-style medium format digital cameras. 

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Fujifilm GFX 50R with Fujinon GF 45mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens, equivalent to 35mm in 35mm format. Add the Fujinon GF 110mm f/2.0 R LM WR telephoto lens or the Fujinon GF 120mm f/4.0 Macro R LM OIS WR and you have a great one-camera, two-lens kit for several types of portraiture – environmental, head-and-shoulders and full-face close-up. This camera would also be great for other genres of photography including architectural, food, products, still-life and even documentary.

The Fujifilm 50R is the descendant of a long line of Fujifilm 120 roll film cameras released during the analog era under the Fuji and Fujica brand names when the company was renown for its luscious colour negative, colour transparency and monochrome films as well as some of the finest lenses for large format sheet film cameras.

For those of us lucky enough to have relied upon medium format rangefinder cameras as well as sheet film cameras for our professional work back then, the Fujifilm GFX 50R represents a fusion of the two different ways of seeing and photographing with its electronic viewfinder and LCD monitor packaged into an analog rangefinder camera shaped and sized body.

Fujifilm GFX 50R

Some medium format rangefinder cameras from the analog era, made by Fujifilm, Bronica and Mamiya

Apologies for the mediocre quality of most of these images. It is difficult to impossible to obtain high resolution photographs of historic cameras and lenses.

Links

I have been engaged in other projects for the last few days and have been unable to keep these pages completely current with all the interesting new products announced at photokina 2018.

I will do my best to catch up over the next few days, and will be adding links here soon.

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  • Fujifilm GF LensesB&H
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Panasonic Announces Lumix DC-G9, DSLR-Style Micro Four Thirds Stills Photography Flagship Camera and Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 Telephoto

Panasonic has pulled one out of its hat with the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9, an almost unexpected DSLR-style high-end flagship camera aimed directly at stills photographers but also with video capability, as well as the Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 telephoto zoom with included 1.4x teleconvertor and optional Panasonic DMW-TC20 2x Teleconverter

Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 camera with Panasonic DMW-BGG9 Battery Grip and Panasonic Leica G 200mm f/2.8 Aspheric Power OIS lens.

Commentary

Although I am not fond of DLSR-style cameras for stills photography, preferring the DSLR form factor for video cameras so long as they are equipped with fully articulating monitors, I find the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 intriguing for its feature set and its promise as a smallish, fast-to-use camera for news, events and magazine feature photography.

For the urban documentary stills photography which I also practise, I still vastly prefer rangefinder and rangefinder-style cameras with tilting electronic viewfinders and hope that we can expect a Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 tilting EVF camera in the near future.

It is early days insofar as hands-on professional user reviews of the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 go, and I am looking forward to learning about how its many new features work out in practice.

I can visualize how the G9’s wildlife and sports photography-oriented features will make the job of those photographers lighter, faster and easier.

As a former magazine and daily newspaper photographer I can extrapolate how photographers in those fields will benefit especially given the tight deadlines of the newspaper business.

The G9’s 80-megapixel high resolution mode has piqued my interest, even more so now that I have been asked if I want to take up architectural photography again.

Food for thought.

Digital medium format photography costs far more to get into than large format analog photography ever did, in my experience.

Unless shot strictly for magazine, print or web publication, architectural photographs need to be usable at high reproduction sizes for displays and posters.

I love Micro Four Thirds and APS-C mirrorless, and medium format digital hardware suitable for architectural photography is well beyond my current means.

Medium format image quality, micro four thirds sensor size?

The Panasonic Lumix DC-G9’s 80-megapixel high resolution mode used for landscape photography. Not the best way to demonstrate its effectiveness. I would like to see the 80-megapixel mode well demonstrated for use in architectural and environmental portrait photography, in HDR multiple bracketing for architecture and a single shot for portraits.
The incredible Linhof Master Technika Classic 4″x5″ hand-and-stand sheet film camera with universal viewfinder, rangefinder and shift, swing and tilt camera movements. Perfect for architectural photography and portraiture. I learned photography with one of these and taught photography with it at the same university art school.

Is the G9’s 80-megapixel high resolution mode the way to go when needing to go large?

Combine the G9 with a super wide-angle Olympus or Panasonic zoom lens, or a Laowa M43 or adapted prime lens, choose the ones offering the best optical correction, and select an easily portable tripod that extends high enough to shoot above eye level as needed.

Above all buy lenses with the very least optical distortions to avoid nasty curved parallels when shooting video.

The legendary medium format Rolleiflex 4.0 FT telephoto twin lens reflex camera, brilliant for portrait and documentary photography along with its siblings the Rolleiflex 2.8 FX-N with standard lens and Rolleiflex 4.0 FW TLR with wide lens, last in a long line of such instruments. I had a couple of Rolleiflex TLRs and used them for documentary and portrait photography until they were stolen.

Shoot HDR brackets when the light and subject dynamic range demand it, then process in Skylum (formerly Macphun) Aurora HDR 2018.

Apply optical and perspective corrections there or in other applications like Capture One Pro, DxO ViewPoint, Luminar 2018PTLens or Photoshop and there you have it.

Another possibility comes to mind.

I made a living in magazine editorial portraiture as a result of my fine art portrait photography, relying on large and medium format analog cameras for the most part, supplemented with Leica analog rangefinders when portability and speed were of the essence.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 tilting viewfinder camera. I found that using TLR cameras’ waist-level viewfinders allowed me to be right in the middle of the action when shooting documentary photographs, effectively almost invisible. Shooting portraits the same way had a similar effect in that looking downwards with the top of my head to my subjects helped them relax far more than if I had been pointing an SLR at them at eye level. The GX8 gives me a similar experience to that of my Rolleiflexes and it is unique amongst contemporary digital cameras.

Photographic prints shown in galleries gain authority and power when printed large, traits often lost when reproduced small.

Should I consider getting back into creating larger format photographs for exhibition?

My question is, then, does the G9’s 80-megapixel high resolution mode permit applying it to the sort of portrait photography I love to this day?

One thing I know for sure is that Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds sensors have close to the perfect aspect ratio for environmental, full-face, head-and-shoulders and full-figure portrait photography, whether in landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical) orientation – 4:3 or 3:4.

If the Panasonic Lumix G9’s 80 megapixel high res mode proves usable for my type of portrait photography, then that nudges it well into medium format territory for me, but at a far more affordable price than the other current contender, the Fujifilm GFX 50S.

Panasonic Lumix GH5, G9 and GX8 and then some, compared at Compact Camera Meter

Until the unexpected appearance of the G9, the GX9 was the Lumix stills-oriented camera most expected to be announced late this year or early the next.

Until now, the GX8 has been Panasonic’s flagship stills photography camera.

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5, DC-G9 and DMC-GX8 with Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f2.8-4.0 Aspheric zoom lens, at Compact Camera Meter.
Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5, DC-G9 and DMC-GX8 with Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f2.8 Power OIS telephoto lens, at Compact Camera Meter.

The rangefinder-style GX8 is very different in size and weight to the DSLR-style G9 so I compared it with the G9 and GH5 at the Camera Size website, with two lenses in which I am interested, the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric zoom and the Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200m f/2.8 Power OIS telephoto.

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro, DC-G9 with Panasonic Leica Elmarit 200mm f2.8 Power OIS telephoto, and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L IS II USM at Compact Camera Meter. Enough said.

Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 gallery

Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200m f/2.8 Power OIS gallery

Articles

Other Product Links

  • Aurora HDR 2018
  • Laowa – low and zero distortion super wide-angle and long lenses for macrophotography and other applications including architecture, cityscapes and landscapes.
  • Luminar 2018

Press Releases

Product Pages

Reviews

Videos

Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris. Samurai image from Wallhaven.

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Fujifilm UK: The lens line-up of the FUJIFILM GFX Series expands further with the FUJINON GF45mmF2.8 R WR

https://www.fujifilm.eu/uk/news/article/the-lens-line-up-of-the-fujifilm-gfx-series-expands-further-with-the-fujinon-gf45mmf28-r-wr

“The lens line-up of the FUJIFILM GFX Series expands further with the FUJINON GF45mmF2.8 R WR, the sixth lens in the GF Lens Series. Offering excellent portability, with a compact and lightweight design (490g), this new lens will bring street and documentary photography in stunning medium format quality….

… The “GF45mmF2.8 R WR” lens combines high performance with high reliability, making it an ideal photography tool for professional photographers. Because it’s compact, lightweight and portable, it’s also an optimal lens for snapshots and documentary photography, enabling photographers to shoot natural photos without intimidating their shooting subjects….”

Gallery

Links:

British Journal of Photography: The many heads required of a contemporary photographer – Sponsored by Fujifilm

http://www.bjp-online.com/2017/08/the-many-heads-required-of-a-contemporary-photographer/

“… Although every portrait shoot is interesting for different reasons, working with actors has frequently proved the most enjoyable. “They have an inherent understanding of the craft and being in front of a lens… The pictures often feel like a gift.” But, he adds, “photographing ‘normal’ people is the most rewarding. The time constraints are often less pressured and I’m offered a genuine window into someone’s life that I would never have had had I not been a photographer.”…”

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