I made an enormous buying determination just a few months in the past by investing within the new Fujifilm GFX 50R digicam. It’s a larger-than-full-frame ‘medium format’ sensor digicam. The 50R was by far probably the most reasonably priced medium format possibility in its class at the price of $4,500.
Regardless of the superb picture high quality of the Fujifilm G collection lenses, they are often prohibitively costly and lack the extensive apertures that full body shooters are accustomed to. What excited me most about this digicam was its means to adapt different lens techniques with f/1.Four lenses to create pictures with a really shallow depth of area. In a super world, I might be capable of deal with this digicam like a medium format digital again.
My essential workhorse digicam continues to be the Canon 5D Mark IV, so I’m already geared up with an arsenal of Canon EF mount lenses. I picked up the Viltrox adapter, the one one which gave the impression to be in inventory in North America on the time.
The Viltrox is a brilliant adapter, which permits each autofocusing and aperture capabilities whereas utilizing the Canon lenses on the 50R. Nonetheless, even with a wise adapter, the autofocus was typically too sluggish or inaccurate, so I might default to handbook focusing as an alternative. The Canon lenses aren’t designed very nicely for handbook focusing, so the thought of shopping for into an previous movie lens system, particularly designed with handbook controls, appeared very interesting.
Deep Dive into Previous Lenses
After I seemed into appropriate movie lenses for the GFX system, I had three primary standards: 1) I needed one thing that was going to be comparatively reasonably priced and obtainable on the used market, 2) I needed the lenses to be quick (extensive apertures), and three) I needed a lens that was pretty compact so it might match higher ergonomically to the 50R’s rangefinder-style digicam physique.
I wasn’t overly involved about sharpness, lens distortion, or the way it dealt with chromatic aberration. After a little bit of analysis, one attention-grabbing lens that got here up again and again was the Minolta 58mm f/1.2 Rokkor.
I had a short take a look at the costs and was considerably stunned to see that this lens continues to be in excessive demand. In all honesty, the costs had been a little bit greater than what I needed to spend ($400+) particularly contemplating I wasn’t even certain if this is able to be a very viable possibility.
Being the frugal blue-collar photographer that I’m, I as an alternative bought its cheaper, much less fascinating brother – the 50-year-old Minolta 58mm f/1.Four MC Rokkor. I paid a little bit beneath $100 for it. Paired with an affordable Fotodiox Minolta SR to GFX dummy adapter that just one digicam store in Canada had in used situation, I used to be good to go.
Actual World Testing
To be able to take a look at this lens, I needed to imitate a real-world situation – no taking pictures charts, graphs, or straight traces on a wall. With the assistance of my pal Karen, a neighborhood actual property agent, we hit up a park for some pure mild portraits. For simplicity, I shot the whole session at f/2 (full disclosure: I feel it might have by accident moved to f/2.eight for a shot or two).
To my shock, the lens carried out lots higher than anticipated. The focusing ring was easy and the metallic building of the older MC model felt good within the palms. The 50R permits you to zoom into your focus level in digicam (by way of the viewfinder or LCD), so it was simple to nail focus pretty rapidly. I kind of hit ‘ok’ focus each time, even with my unhealthy eyesight.
I’ve by no means been a lot of a pixel peeper when it got here to portraits and I’m an enormous believer in pictures being “sharp sufficient”. Though the photographs seemed fairly superb in digicam (with the usual movie simulation), I utilized a little bit little bit of a bump in Lightroom utilizing certainly one of my Traditional Chrome RAW presents. You might be the decide of the photographs that you just see all through this weblog put up and decide what you want or don’t like about how this lens renders the photographs. Personally, I can’t say sufficient good issues about it.
With extra folks viewing pictures on smaller cellular screens, lots of the lens’ faults don’t seem too noticeable and undoubtedly not deal breakers. It’s not the sharpest lens. It suffers from chromatic aberration at f/2. There’s slight vignetting within the corners (which might be fastened within the Lens Correction device in Lightroom). The corners can undergo from that bizarre swirly bokeh due to rear lens factor distortion (too small for the sensor). That stated, the best way this lens performs is strictly what made me excited after I purchased this digicam.
Different Lenses Examined
I did buy a few different Minolta lenses as nicely; the Minolta 28mm f/2.5 MC Rokkor and the Minolta 200mm f/Four MD Rokkor-X. Every of those lenses was additionally beneath $100 every. The primary focus of this evaluate was for the 58mm f/1.Four MC Rokkor however I did wish to share a few pattern take a look at photographs with these lenses as nicely. Due to Bun Cha the Canine and Toronto photographer Ben Roffelsen for standing in as my fashions.
Wanting on the pattern under, you possibly can see there may be some heavy vignetting round Bun Cha the Canine within the unique picture. The MC model of this lens is an earlier launch, which had a metallic focusing ring. Like its 58mm counterpart, the focusing ring is easy. The main focus throw doesn’t appear as lengthy on this lens because the 58mm, so the velocity of focusing from one finish to the opposite could be faster.
Maintaining the identical 4:Three ratio, the lens appears usable with a little bit of a crop and handbook Lens Correction adjustment. When it comes to sharpness, this lens appears sharper than the 58mm, although it is very important word I didn’t run exams on the 58mm on the identical aperture (f/2.5). As a aspect, the picture exhibits the minimal focusing distance for this lens on the 50R.
The 200mm f/Four MD Rokkor-X was a little bit bit tougher to focus due to the elevated focal size. When zoomed in to nice focus, my palms couldn’t maintain it very regular to get a great learn on the main target. One other issue within the focusing problem may have been the results of the newer rubber focusing ring on the MD model. It’s tougher to work with in contrast with the previous metallic focusing ring.
Once more, the earlier than photograph exhibits vital vignetting. For those who keep the 4:Three facet ratio, you possibly can crop the picture barely and apply a Lens Correction in Lightroom. The minimal focus distance on this digicam is about seven ft on the 50R. For those who desire to shoot in a 3:2 facet ratio, I feel each the 28mm and 200mm lenses would work rather well with even much less cropping and Lens Correction.
As you possibly can in all probability inform, I’m tremendous thrilled with the outcomes produced by the Minolta 58mm f/1.Four MC Rokkor lens on the Fujifilm GFX 50R! I really feel like I’m able to obtain an almost-film look with previous lenses mounted on new digicam expertise. The separation at extensive apertures is fairly spectacular and it’s my private perception that the traits of the Minolta lenses (with its flaws) create pictures that really feel extra genuine.
Oftentimes when I’m taking pictures my ultra-sharp digital lenses just like the Sigma 85mm f/1.Four ART, I discover myself loving the separation it creates however not loving the extra scientific, crisp, flawless look.
In the end, there are one thing like 30 totally different lens choices that may be tailored to the Fujifilm GFX line of cameras. 35mm movie lenses are a terrific possibility for these trying to make the most of the broader aperture lenses. Medium format movie lenses are usually bigger and have slower most apertures. The Minolta SR aka MC aka MD mount is serving me nicely thus far and I can’t wait to create extra work with them. Now, who wants some pictures?
Concerning the writer: Neil Ta is a Toronto-based documentary, marriage ceremony, and business photographer. The opinions expressed on this article are solely these of the writer. You’ll be able to view his work on his portfolio or comply with him on Instagram. This text was additionally revealed right here.