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12.07.2020

A Romantic Encounter with GF30mmF3.5 R WR

GF30mm F3.5R WR is a medium-format camera lens which is developed by Fuji Corporation but has not been officially released. It is equivalent to 23mm focal length lens of full-frame camera and is between wide-angle lens and super wide-angle lens. Which really attracted me were the compact volume and the extraordinary texture when I first got it.

As for using GF30mm F3.5R WR, such a lens which is so close to super-wide camera lens, the more I consider is not about how to create fabulous scenes and ideas in photos, by contrast, I would like to create more photographic works that are popular and easy to be accepted by people. In that case, the photographers who have not experienced GF30mm F3.5R WR will have opportunity to enjoy the unique “characteristics of picture quality” of the camera lens’ own, but not focus on the complexity of the scenes and the ideas.

So, what characteristics of picture quality the GF30mm F3.5R WR suppose to possess as a camera lens that is so close to the super wide-angle?

From my perspective, resolving power, edge imaging and distortion are essential factors.

A GFX100 with 102 million pixels was used in order to show the resolving power of the lens better. During the whole process of taking and retouching photos, we did feel sincerity and strength of Fuji Corporation through the incredible resolving power and the excellent edge imaging, and certainly, we are able to see these in the final products.

Now I would like to talk about distortion, which is the most important factor of the shooting plan. In short, the point is how to reasonably utilize “wide-angle perspective” while avoid visual discomfort as much as possible.

For me, I am a commercial photographer, and I prefer medium-focal length lenses and medium-long-focal length lenses, such as GF63mm, GF110mm and GF120mm and so on. For me, as a result of requirements of my clients (advertising firms and famous brands), the preciseness and completion of shooting have to be paid special attention.

I tried to make a program about static object shooting when I first got GF30mm F3.5R WR, and to highlight the wide angle perspective of the lens through spatial relationship and visual focus while avoiding lens distortion. However, I still wanted the sample photos can be more popular, so portrait shooting was finalized.

In my personal aesthetic concept of using wide-angle lens, persons in photos who have small head, super long legs and very big feet make me uncomfortable. On the contrary, I love to keep the perspective of its original focal length in a flat and normal visual angle while the viewers cannot figure out what the focal length is through spatial relationship and angle relationship.

Let me give an example, a man with perfect features usually meets a condition called “three foreheads and five eyes” (Distance from hairline to center of eyebrows, distance from center of eyebrows to the bottom of nose, and distance from the bottom of nose to chin are equal; and five eyes full of transverse face is the best). However, we seldom meet such a perfect model in the actual situation, as a result, photographer can use the method of looking-up to create the effect of visually shortening the upper part and stretching the lower part when the model has a longer forehead. This will make your photo extraordinary.

If the model’s eyes are close, I will utilize spatial stretch to make the effect satisfied.

Even if a model has a relatively longer upper part of the body, I would make legs look longer through space effect of visual deviation. By the way, it doesn’t make model’s feet look big.

In fact, it is not easy to finish portrait shooting without lens distortion. In general, longer focal length makes less situation of lights interference and goof; and the wider lens is, the more difficult the process of lighting arrangement is. These will not be discussed in detail here.

Now, let’s talk about my choice of camera — GFX100.

Because of my work, photos I take often need to be used for large-scale output, so I have very high requirements for the pixel and color depth of the camera. Therefore, I prefer digital backs and medium format camera lenses to normal full-frame camera.

Personally, for a practitioner who relies on photography for a living, under the condition of satisfying pixel and color depth, there are 4 factors that have to be taken into consideration when choosing a excellent camera, and these are also the reasons why I chose GFX100.

 

First of all, endurance capacity is vital. The work environment is not always perfect or in good condition. If the machine we use is too flimsy or the power supply is not sustainable, no matter how perfect the performance is, it is useless. Therefore, the shell of GFX100, as a kind of shell with “three proofs” (Fall proof, waterproof and dust proof) functions, can give me a lot of peace. In addition, its battery life is also much better than the traditional medium-frame camera. At the same time, it is also available for charging from the power bank, which means the endurance capacity can be greatly improved.

 

Secondly, focusing accuracy and focusing speed are also important. No matter how outstanding the image quality is, the focus must be accurate and fast, otherwise, the best post producer cannot save you. -_-

Thirdly, the price can be also taken into consideration. For people like me who make a living by photographing, the quality of equipment can’t be simply judged by the price, but the capacity of production, which means if the equipment is able to bring its user greater value. For me, GFX100, as a medium-frame camera with 100 million pixels and 16-bit color depth, is very cost-effective at present.

At last, appearance, volume and weight of the camera cannot be ignored as well. As a user of traditional digital back, I get used to moving a camera and lens of more than 5 Kg. However, when judging GFX100 by such a standard, it’s much lighter. Moreover, another reason GFX100 attracts me is that it is differ from most traditional digital backs which are all assembled and lack of integrated compact. And its square appearance looks like a very handy tool, which makes me more secure as a photographer.

There is a traditional Chinese slang: If you want to do good work, you must first sharpen your tools. The best for you is the best. Spend more time to find the most suitable equipment for your mind, and spend more energy to explore your favorite focal length, then buy the best and most expensive equipment you can afford instead of wandering around in various equipment all the time, and use it well. At last, please remember to return the remaining energy and concentration to the photographing itself, and strive to improve the height and quality of the work.

In the end, I hope photographers will enjoy my sample photos and experience shared. Wish we can return to the origin of photography, and do not forget the original intention, recording and enjoying more beautiful moments and your own stories.

Be a man,do the right thing!