I’m Pieter D’Hoop, culinary photographer and food lover.
I don’t like the word food photographer because for me there is more to photograph than just food on the plate. Capturing the atmosphere, the products, the people, from chef to dishwasher.
I like to focus more on small details, and isolate them from their surroundings. that’s why most of the time I use the GF110 mm and the GF120 mm lens, and as soon it was released the GF 50 mm. After testing the GFX50S a few years back I fell in love with the camera. For me it was the camera that did what I wanted, when I wanted it. The placement of the buttons, the possibilities of the camera, the build quality, performance and reliability.
If you make a bad picture with a GFX, you can’t blame it on the camera, it’s your fault. The details in the images, the high dynamic range, the DOF in the pictures.
As soon as they released the GFX100 I ordered my next GFX camera. Most of the time I don’t need the 100 megapixel files but the stabilization and the ability to crop the images gave me new possibilities.
Cooking and photography have many similarities. As a photographer you try to achieve a tasty result. A chef cooks with temperature, ingredients, flavors and techniques. As a photographer you also have fixed variables. Light, shutter speed, and composition, combined with technique, create the perfect picture.
Photos can evoke a memory or eternalize a moment. But sometimes smells can also bring you back to a certain place or time. As a photographer you tell stories with photos, and for me there is no better world to find these stories than the one I find myself in the most.
When I was asked to try the new GF30mm F3.5 lens from Fujifilm, my first idea was that it wasn’t the lens for me. I checked my library and over 80 % of my pictures are made with a focal distance of 110mm or higher. But the last year I stepped a few times out of my comfort zone and it helped me to get better in what I do. So I took the lens with me and visited some befriended chefs.
Every chef is unique, passionate and possessed by their craft. They handle photography critically and often we lift each other to a higher level to get a perfect picture of the dish. After all, in a photo they are judged on everything.
Because of the wide angle but relatively small focal length I was able to dive into the action. From object to sensor you can focus at 32cm. For me that was necessary because I had to be close to my subject in order to stay in the atmosphere of the moment.
At first I wasn’t convinced about the new lens, but that was because I kept my old images in mind. My way of making them, isolate the details and that is a bit harder to do with a wide-angle than a GF110 mm lens.
So after a few moments I realized that there is a lot of things to do with the lens. The wider angle of 84,7 degrees showed more of a kitchen, more action. It gives you the same image as using a 24 mm lens on a full frame camera. But that also has a downside. A kitchen isn’t always a clean place, because of the wide angle you sometimes see the things you don’t want to see on a photo. By thinking outside the box you can make the picture in that clean way you want to do.
The lens lineup on the GFX range is getting bigger, and that’s a good thing. The more lenses there are the more photographers find that one special lens they love to work with. A build quality is like you would aspect from the GFX lenses. Full metal mount with metal barrel. The aperture and focus ring both with good grip.
The aperture goes from F3.5 to F 32 with 1/3 stop increments. The filter size is 58mm and the lens is a bit smaller than 10 cm and the total weight of the lens is 510 g, so it’s a compact lightweight lens.
The auto focus of the lens is fast and accurate. It didn’t missed once when I tested the lens. Weather sealing allows you to use the lens in a lot of environments.
Using the GF30mm F3.5 gives very sharp images, as we are used to see with the GFX system. The lens provides sharp images from corner to corner. The images are color-true what is very important for what I do. I check to color of my pictures a lot, because in food it is important to get the colors just as they are in real life.
I don’t do landscape photography but I’m sure this lens is great for that. The 24 mm equivalent is ideal for street, landscape or architecture photography.
But as with food, it is all about taste. You can use it in every way you want it. A good picture is about taste, what is a good picture for me, isn’t that great for somebody else.
Just use the camera and lens for the picture you want to see. Throw away limitations and search for that unique point of view.
Test, taste and improve.