4 minute read

Putting Beauty into Context

Wedding and lifestyle photographer Alison Conklin discovers a new love for ultra-wide zooms with FUJINON GF20-35mmF4 R WR

As a highly accomplished wedding and lifestyle photographer, Alison Conklin understands better than most the importance of context when telling a story through images.

As such, her setup usually consists of two GFX System cameras fitted with wide and portrait lenses to provide her with the versatility she needs. However, sometimes even this isn’t enough to tell the whole story. In such cases, what are her options? GF20-35mmF4 R WR has the solution.

“I usually don’t create with zooms,” admits Alison. “I like to have GF80mmF1.7 R WR or GF110mmF2 R LM WR on one camera and a wide angle like GF30mmF3.5 R WR or GF45mmF2.8 R WR on the other.”

Alison, like many photographers, has historically chosen primes over zooms to ensure ultimate sharpness, but lenses like GF20-35mmF4 R WR are putting a change to that.

“GF20-35mmF4 R WR was certainly a departure from what I normally do, but the way it performed was incredible. It hit every time I was focusing, there were no issues with back focus, it was sharp, the colors were amazing, and I didn’t have any distortions at all. It was just spot on,” she enthuses.

But it wasn’t image quality alone that impressed Alison – there was a deeper reason for her enthusiasm. The ability to not only fit more into the frame, but also benefit from the versatility of its 16-28mm equivalent focal range, opened up a host of storytelling opportunities.

“I first used it at a destination wedding in Seattle,” she recalls. “I took it with me and absolutely fell in love, using it the whole day and managing to frame all these multilayered storytelling images. Not just close-ups of the couple, but also the reactions of people behind them, which is so special.”

Combining the lens with her GFX50S II and GFX100S cameras, Alison embraced this refreshing angle of view, using GF20-35mmF4 R WR for everything from bridal portraits to formals at sunset.

“I love lenses that break the norm of what is considered safe. You can get so caught up using the same gear and focal length over and over again. It’s nice to mix it up,” she says.

“I used it mostly for portraits, and thought it was beautiful. It was fun to see something in a different way than I normally do.”

For one project, Alison worked on location at the coast, wanting to make the most of the ultra-wide angle to create a set of lifestyle images that illustrated the vastness of the ocean and its phenomenal power.

“It helped me convey the idea of us humans being so small compared to the force of the world. I loved the way it saw things,” she explains.

The very same trip to the coast allowed Alison to test the lens’s weather-resistant design.

“I love the perspective of me standing in the water, but always get a little too carried away! I usually end up soaking wet after being hit by a wave,” she laughs. “When I got home, I definitely had to spray the lens down to remove the sand and debris – but it did great.”

In addition to weddings and lifestyle, Alison also creates in the editorial and food photography genres – both spaces in which she sees huge potential for GF20-35mmF4 R WR. Not only does she feel the ultra-wide focal range lends itself perfectly to storytelling, but also notes how remarkably compact and lightweight the optic is – perfect for projects out in the field.

“I would definitely use it for editorial and food photography. If you pair it with a traditional portrait lens, you can find a different vantage point that helps tell more of the actual story. That’s helpful – especially for editorial.”

While Alison’s usual style utilizes available light, she did employ strobes for some images and found the compatibility as convenient as ever – something she has come to take for granted with the GFX System.

“Whether you’re in a studio or outside, it’s a match made in heaven. The majority of what I do is natural light, but when I need to pull in some studio lighting it’s seamless,” she beams.

Such great performance in all lighting conditions only added to the overall appeal of GF20-35mmF4 R WR.

“My portraits of the bride in the car and field are actually lit,” she reveals. “We were going for sunset, although it was kind of cloudy and we only had one day to create. But it went so well! What’s great about those images specifically is that it doesn’t look like I lit them. I want my images to feel natural and organic, so it’s perfect.”

After such a long love affair with the GFX System, Alison is the first to admit she’s already a believer. However, by introducing a whole new dimension to her work, the addition of GF20-35mmF4 R WR has strengthened this connection even further.

“The GFX System is my absolute favorite, so I don’t think you can go wrong with any GF lens – but this one was special.

“It was the perfect focal length for what I do, and the images blew me away when I looked at them on my computer.

“It’ll be my go-to wide angle for sure.”

Shop FUJINON GF20-35mmF4 R WR today. Learn more and read the full specifications here.


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