35mm “Full Frame” Lenses on the GFX: An Introduction

As I have alluded to in a burst of recent posts, I am planning to generate a small database of lenses for use on the Fujifilm GFX series. Here's my chance for an introduction to give my rationale and to lay the foundation of this endeavor. I'd like to break this down into three "Y's." Let's begin with a personal "why": I'm choosing to use Sigma lenses to obtain focal lengths and apertures not currently offered in the GF lens lineup. Fujifilm's lineup is sparse at best, and apertures wider than ƒ/2 aren't represented. It's not that I'm a bokeh whore; it's that I need more light gathering for astrophotography and Fujifilm's widest lens, a 23mm, has a maximum aperture of ƒ/4 and that's just not going to work without a star tracker due to the sensor's 51MP resolution. I'm hoping to print a few of these so what counts for "sharp" on the web doesn't work at 20" print sizes. Other benefits: 35mm lenses are much cheaper, especially used prices, and these lenses mostly have direct focusing units unlike the "fly by wire" systems used on Fujifilm lenses. The GFX system just isn't mature enough to have grown both a complete lens lineup or a diverse used lens market.

Seafair Airshow 2019: US Navy Blue Angels

Shot the Blue Angels performing on Sunday from the top of my condo building. This year, I benefitted from both the autofocus speed of the Fujifilm X-T3 and the reach of the XF 100-400mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 lens. The result was being able to actually see into the cockpits during some of the low passes around downtown. This is also without the 2x teleconverter installed, whose 2 stops of reduced light gathering would have slowed down the shutter speed to being nearly unusable.

Desperate Plea: Fujifilm, Please Redesign The 35mm ƒ/1.4 Lens Sooner Rather Than Later

This lens was once an excellent value from the inception of the X-Series system until now. Unfortunately due to Fujifilm's push to dominate in video, the introduction of the ƒ/2 lens, and the announcement of the 33mm ƒ/1, the 35mm ƒ/1.4 has lost all reason to exist in its current form. A complete redesign, implementing these features, could create a lens that outsells all of their other lenses by appealing to the widest range of users and without having to compromise.

Hot Take: So, I Bought the Fujifilm X-T3

I went out and bought the Fujifilm X-T3 on release day, which was September 20th. The spec sheet intrigued me because a lot of the bullet points revealed improvements that would improve my ability to shoot under less than optimal conditions, situations that can sometimes stump my X-T2. Mind you, this is not my review of the X-T3. That will come later when I've spent more time with it. As for the features relevant to me, they are as follows:

Anecdotal Evidence: Reviewing AF-C on the Fujifilm X-T2

On Sunday, I decided to give my X-T2 its first test of the ability to continuously autofocus during high speed burst shooting by attending the PAC-12 North Beach Volleyball Invitational Tournament held at Alki Beach in Seattle. As I plan on using this camera for a few airshows and motorsports events this season, specifically Seafair and motorcycle road racing, knowing what the Fujifilm X-T2 can, and can't, do while shooting 11 FPS bursts is sort of important to me. My needs are quite simple and easily achievable with a professional-grade dSLR like the Nikon D5 or D850, but based on all of the blogs reviewing the X-T2, it may not be so simple. So, I went out to find out for myself...

90 Days Later With My Fujifilm X-T2

Beginning with a Fujifilm X-T20, a cold, wet November hike to photograph Twin Falls enlightened me to the benefits of a weather sealed camera. It was then durability surpassed convenience in priority and I bought my Graphite Silver Edition X-T2. 90 days later, I feel I’ve spent enough time with it to render a proper judgment, so here’s my own review of what I’ve experienced and ultimately learned.

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