No flash? No problem! Lightroom and the Fujifilm GFX.

At the Photo Days photographic trade show in Brussels this weekend, I had the honour of doing some GFX studio demos with two lovely and very talented models: Rosalinde Kikstra and Sooraj Subramaniam. I had a number of Godox flashes and modifiers set up and I'll post some images later of those results but the image that probably underlines the GFX's fantastic capabilities the most was one I made by accident: on one of the shots in a Black and White portrait series, I had misaligned the trigger so the flashes did not fire. All I got was a heavily underexposed ambient exposure shot.

FUJIFILM GFX 50S | GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro @ 120 mm | 1/125 sec @ f/5.6 | ISO 400

FUJIFILM GFX 50S | GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro @ 120 mm | 1/125 sec @ f/5.6 | ISO 400

So, in front of a live audience, I said, jokingly... let's try and see what we can make out of this... I increased the Exposure slider by almost 5 stops (the maximum in Lightroom), dragged a couple of other sliders around and half a minute later got this result... 

FUJIFILM GFX 50S | GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro @ 120 mm | 1/125 sec @ f/5.6 | ISO 400

FUJIFILM GFX 50S | GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro @ 120 mm | 1/125 sec @ f/5.6 | ISO 400

Here's the two of them side by side in the Lightroom interface.

And below is a 1:1 crop. I added 25 Luminance Noise Reduction in Lightroom and of course there is still some noise but considering the fact that my ISO wasn't even at the base of 100 but at 400, I think the result is nothing short of fantastic...

For me, the takeaway from this accidental experiment is that if Lightroom and the GFX can do this on a completely underexposed file, imagine what you can do with a halfway decent exposure. Just about anything, I guess...

Oh... and just for the sake of being complete... here's the actual image with the flashes firing :-)

FUJIFILM GFX 50S | GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro @ 120 mm | 1/125 sec @ f/5.6 | ISO 400

FUJIFILM GFX 50S | GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro @ 120 mm | 1/125 sec @ f/5.6 | ISO 400

The Fujfilm GFX Files, Part 2 - More videos

A video interview with about the GFX and the accessories I used in India

As you could read in part 1, I have been using the brand new Fujifilm GFX in India and Belgium for a couple of weeks. I also made a 3 minute video about it for Fujifilm. Well actually, I did not make that video: fellow X-Photographers Matt Brandon ( and Serge Van Cauwenbergh ( filmed it - entirely with X-T2 cameras by the way - and Matt also edited it. In case you haven't seen it yet, here's that video:

On the way back from Varanasi to Delhi, Matt interviewed me about the GFX, but also about some of the other accessories we have been using, like the SMDV BRiHT 360 and the SMDV Speedbox 85 that you can see me use extensively in the video. We also talk about using monopods and tripods and how to back up images like this while traveling. You can check out the video interview on Matt's site. There's some cool 100 percent close-ups of shots!

Check out my video interview  here .

Check out my video interview here.

More GFX Challenge videos

If you haven't overdosed on GFX news by now, here are the latest GFX Challenge videos that Fujifilm have released:

Ollvier Wehrli - Switzerland

Watching Oliver's beautifully filmed video gave me vertigo. I guess I'm not cut out to be a landscape photographer!

Joshua Loh - Singapore

Joshua Loh appreciates the small form factor and fast focusing capabilities of the GFX. I also take away from the video that I really need a Mercedes SLS to complement the GFX... That car features in no less than three GFX Challenge videos :-)

Supalerk Narubetkraisee (Thailand)

Supalerk also lauds the universal nature of the GFX and has a couple of really nice star trail photos in his video.

Shiro Hagihara (Japan)

Shiro - like me - appreciates the EVF which lets him decide on exposure and color without having to take his eye off the viewfinder. He loves the Velvia simulation for his landscape work. He says the GFX lets him capture details that even his eyes could not see.

Saiichi Nakmura

Saiichi's work involves still life photography with water. The video offers an interesting view into his studio set-up. He praises the quality of the CMOS sensor and the standard 4:3 aspect ratio which he finds better suited for commercial use.

Jonas Rask and Palle Schultz (Denmark)

The detail and sharpness of Jonas' lifestyle shoot images with a biker almost bite you from across the screen. A must-see if you're into motorcycles or good-looking guys :-)

Sangsun Ogh (Korea)

Sangsun takes us to a shoot of a model wearing traditional Korean attire. Needless to say, the resolution of the GFX helps to bring out every little bit of texture.

Knut Koivisto (Sweden)

Knut appreciates the fact that the camera works as well in the studio as it does outside of it, in the streets. He uses the X-T2 and the GFX intermittently. For him, DSLRs have been sidestepped now.

Fujifilm releases new GFX Challenge videos

Fujifilm today have released no less than 7 new GFX Challenge videos. For the GFX Challenge, some 20 photographers worldwide got to work with a prototype of the upcoming GFX medium format camera and the three lenses that are going to ship with it when the camera is released: the 63 mm f/2.8, the 32-64 f/4 zoom and the 120 f/4 stabilised macro. 

The photographers were free to do what they wanted. The only thing is they had to make a three minute video of using the camera. It's really refreshing to see what people do with the camera. Not only the photography is truly breathtaking, but some of the videos are also beautifully made and most of them were filmed in 4K with Fujifilm X-T2 cameras.

Gary Heery (Australia)

Australian photographer Gary Heery uses the GFX and the macro lens to create some really beautiful still lifes (litterally) of objects frozen in time. I cannot wait to see these printed large. And neither can he, apparently!

Roméo Balancourt (France)

French portrait, architecture and food photographer Roméo Balancourt uses the GFX on location to shoot upscale restaurants and their crew. It's interesting to see him set up an entire lighting studio on location. He mixes available (tungsten) lights with flash and fresnel spots. He appreciates the Q menu and the Electronic Viewfinder that shows him exactly what he's going to get. I blogged about the advantages of an EVF a while back in this post. Roméo admits that before using the GFX, he always had to add extra sharpening to his images before delivering them to his clients. With the GFX, he no longer has to, he says. I also loved how the images he made during the video come together in a final composite, at around the 4 minute 5 seconds mark.

Luciano Romano (Italy)

For his GFX Challenge, Italian photographer Luciano Romano wanted to combine his three favorite elements of photography: art, architecture, and theater. He loves the excellent ergonomics of the camera (something I can confirm: if you're used to working with a DSLR or Fujifilm's X-T2, you'll feel right at home).

Victor Liu (Canada)

Perhaps it's slightly over-the-top, but I just love this Canadian landscape's photographer's video. I love the low angles, the fades from the video to shots of the GFX and back. It's like a trailer for a blockbuster movie. Or should I say, a blockbuster camera? Victor shows that the GFX absolutely feels at home in very rugged conditions. Now I want to go to the Rocky Mountains, too...

Ivan Joshua Loh (Singapore)

Medium format and cars. It's a marriage made in heaven. As such, the Mercedes SLS appears to be a hot ticket amongst car photographers: Ivan Joshua Loh from Singapore is the second GFX Challenger to photograph this gull-winged beauty of a car, yet he does so in a completely different way than Satoshi Minakawa.

Per-Anders Jörgensen (Sweden)

Swedish photographer Per-Anders Jörgensen describes his own work as "faked documentary" (a term I have to remember as it kind of reflects some of the stuff I do). Just like Roméo Balancourt, he takes the GFX to a restaurant but he uses it to photograph the preparation of food. It's interesting to see hem use a curtain as a diffuser tent and get under it to get the softest light possible. That's the nice thing about these GFX videos: you always pick up a thing or two that you can insert in your own workflow...

Minoru Kobayashi (Japan)

Japanese Minoru Kobayashi takes the GFX outside to photograph a sports car. I'm no petrolhead, but I think its a Honda NSX. Its 573 bhp sure goes well with the GFX's 51+ megapixel. He loves what he calls the "resolution with density" that only medium format can provide. His favourite film simulation is Velvia back from in the days where he shot Velvia on film, at ASA 50 or 100. He really loves the fact that he can now shoot Velvia digitally, with a previously unthought of ISO of 1600 and above!

With a price point of "well under $10,000" including the standard 63 mm lens, the GFX might very well wind up to be not only a "medium-format-killer" but also a "high-end-dslr-killer". And we've still got a couple of more GFX Challenge videos to come! In the mean time, if you want to see how the GFX behaves on the busy streets of India, have a look at (shameless plug, I I know), my own GFX video:

And in case you still need some more convincing, here's the other GFX videos that have been released thus far:

Testing the GFX was a lot of fun. Actually, it only had one drawback. I want one, now...