FUJIFILM GFX100 II & GF110mmF5.6 T/S Macro: Commercial Wonders
David Lineton shares his commercial expertise following an unforgettable experience with a pair of ideal new tools: the FUJIFILM GFX100 II and FUJINON GF110mmF5.6 T/S Macro
Some image makers hear the natural calling of a particular genre from the very beginning of their journeys. For David Lineton, it was commercial photography – driven by a strong desire to sculpt and create scenes that focus strongly on products. Within this medium, the entire image remained under his careful control.
A dedicated user of the GFX System, David is excited by any addition to the lineup. When two creative tools perfect for his needs were announced, he immediately sensed opportunity. With the FUJIFILM GFX100 II and FUJINON GF110mmF5.6 T/S Macro came a chance to streamline the commercial workflow and reach new professional heights.
“With the GFX100 II, everything we’ve seen in the GFX System is improved. Though it’s fundamentally a similar sensor and delivered image, fine tweaks make it that much better. The camera now boasts so many more capabilities for professionals,” David begins.
“It’s a wonderfully ergonomic body, with a grip that’s perfect for handheld moments and pronounced, well-placed function buttons. The viewfinder is also incredibly sharp – it’s like looking at the real scene itself.”
Built around a newly developed large format sensor, the GFX100 II retains an astounding 102 megapixels, but adds some distinct improvements. The camera’s 16-bit RAW image quality is better than ever, complementing a lower standard sensitivity of ISO 80 and wider dynamic range compared to its predecessor. These details were not lost in David’s meticulous world of pinpoint perfection.
“The GFX100 II reaffirms the incredible detail Fujifilm users have come to expect,” he enthuses. “At 100% zoom, the rendition of product surfaces is perfect, and you retain all that incredible clarity when cropping in on files.
“Commercial photography is not just a stills genre anymore. The brief often includes video content for social media, so having incredible filmmaking capabilities within the GFX100 II allows the versatility clients need.”
This new addition to the GFX System also marks the first Fujifilm body with in-built Frame.io Camera to Cloud capabilities – directing files straight to a shared collaborative platform. In the commercial pipeline, this is invaluable.
“With the ability to work straight to the cloud, I can skip a workflow step,” David notes. “This will alleviate time and reaffirm international clients, who can now feel present during production. A post-production specialist could even receive your images and begin their part of the process while you’re still working.”
Perhaps even more exciting for David was a lens ripe with potential across a range of genres, including product photography. With GF110mmF5.6 T/S Macro’s tilt-shift capabilities, otherwise impossible optical feats are achievable.
“A tilt-shift lens has so many benefits,” David states. “Stand-alone, GF110mmF5.6 T/S Macro is an excellent and phenomenally sharp lens. Through and through, it’s beautiful. But the huge benefit for me, as a commercial photographer, is that I can change the plane of focus in relation to the sensor. You can create sharpness in different areas of the frame. For example, across the surface of a table viewed from a three-quarter angle.
“That’s possible with focus stacking, but requires making a lot of files and a lot more time processing. With the right angle and swing, you can achieve the same result in one frame. Plus, when you’re stacking, you can lose that organic depth-of-field. Using the tilt features, you’re able to effectively retain that depth fall-off. You can also use a wide-open aperture but retain sharpness from the front to the back of a scene.”
Uncoupling the plane of focus with the sensor plane also facilitates the in-camera correction of converging lines. While typically a benefit to architectural photography, David’s particular vision has seen a demand for it with a product focus.
“Sometimes, I photograph products from very low down, in what I call a power angle. This creates leading parallel lines that cause visual issues, but with the GF110mmF5.6 T/S Macro, you can achieve a dramatic look and get those products looking square in-camera.
“If you’ve got a highly reflective surface, you can do a quick movement of the lens where you reposition the circle of diffusion, then move the camera just a little bit across to the left or right,” David says, noting further practical benefits. “You get a straight-on image and don’t have to remove the reflection of the camera in post-production.
“It’s all aimed at reducing a workflow that would usually take much more time. Combine the potential of the GF110mmF5.6 T/S Macro with the GFX100 II’s Pixel Shift Multi-Shot functionality, and you’ve got a 400-megapixel image that’s just incredibly large. For those projects where you might be photographing a big billboard campaign, you could do that in a single frame.”
After just a few short weeks of use, David has been left thoroughly impressed. Though working in a niche, the creative potential of the GFX System’s newest additions extend much further. In David’s eyes, the ingenuity at play and the way it serves image makers of all kinds are among Fujifilm’s greatest strengths.
“The team has clearly thought deeply about what professionals need to stay engaged with their subjects,” he concludes. “Every impressive function has been designed to help the photographer and make the creation process that much easier.”