As a seasoned wedding + portrait photographer with a background using medium format film, the GFX is my only digital camera, I think in a 3:4 format, and you can’t compare the depth in a medium format image. Since I mostly photograph people, I am thrilled FUJIFILM came out with the GF55mmF1.7 lens. The perfect focal length for everything I do. The compression to make backgrounds dreamy and painterly and the focal length perfect to direct clients at a reasonable distance.
As a huge fan of the GF110mmF2 lens like most true FUJIFILM fans are (that character though, am I right?) you’re going to love the GF55mmF1.7. Its fast, really fast, doesn’t hunt, and is just perfectly wide enough for anything I could need. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot some weddings, sessions, landscapes and more with it and it’s one of those focal lengths that is always on my camera. (I do photograph with dual bodies, so when I say it never leaves, I mean it, I change out the other one!)
To test out the GF55mmF1.7 and the new GFX100 II I planned something super fun, and a little challenging! A day in Banff with a fabulous couple, camping, swimming, paddle boarding, all the outdoor adventures while enjoying the stunning scenery! The challenge came in trying to paddle board, not fall or drop the camera (haha, it was very safe, I was just nervous at the beginning) but mostly the wind blowing me and the couple in different directions and constantly having to paddle to get back into position. The ultimate test on size here: the camera and lens combo were not too big to wear around my neck, over a life jacket, and still comfortably paddle, so that’s a bonus if you ever find yourself in that situation!
A true testament to how versatile this lens is, we are on a lake, and I only brought one lens for everything I needed to shoot out there, both closer portraits and wider landscape type shots!
The most fun I had all day, no joke, my squeals of excitement over this should be posted as proof of this. I had the couple running towards me, as I usually would do, but this time with the ridiculous AF tracking and I kid you not, every shot was in focus…AT F1.7!! I love my GFX100S A LOT but they don’t handle rapid firing that well (not that I ever do that, I’m more a calculated take the one you want not 30 person) but now I’m wondering if I am that way because it’s all I had the opportunity to be! Typically I manually focus an adapted lens (so that I can get a focal length closer to that of the 55mm!) or even if I use one with AF I will walk backwards at the same pace as the subject is coming towards me to maintain focus and composition so the lens doesn’t have to work so hard to refocus, but with this I literally sat and just hung out and they just ran towards me and I didn’t move and the camera still got it all in focus. I feel like this is a new level unlocked for me with the potential things I can photograph with this.
And like all GFX cameras, the coloring is beautiful and the dynamic range far surpasses anything else I’ve seen.
I really wanted the session to feel natural, and realistic, like I was just following them along their camping journey. I took a bit of a step back in terms of perfecting too many things. The bright colors on the paddle board or the orange on the tent etc, are never things I would usually be drawn to (hi, I’m basic, I like beige) BUT in the interest of keeping this looking real, it had to have color! So we used the only paddle board I have, and the couples real tent and ’92 truck and they really were camping! About the only fabricated part of the shoot was swimming in a lake, because that’s glacial run off and it’s freezing! But the good sports they are and the boost to the immune system from the cold plunge it was, they were happy to get in the water for a brief time! We even took most of these photos mid-day, not in ideal soft sunset or sunrise lighting. Keeping-it-real!