Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Over the last few weeks, I've had the opportunity to shoot the amazing Fujifilm GFX 50S again; a digital Medium Format +51Mpx camera which captures amazing images! 

Although I shot a pre-production version of the camera earlier this year, I'm really impressed with the image quality and general handling after trying it out for the second time round. For me it is not the camera I would take on my travels when weight is an issue (airline travel), I have my smaller Fujifilm X-series cameras for that, but can certainly see doing more Architectural and Landscape work with it! After all, it is similar in size compared to full frame cameras like the Nikon D850 or Canon 5D series but offers a much larger sensor.  

What better place to take the GFX than to one of Dubai's most dramatic rooftops; the 80th floor of Index Tower in DIFC (Dubai International Financial Center) for a sunset shoot? Timing it with another rare environmental phenomenon in Dubai called "clouds", it made it even better!

First of all, access to the Index tower rooftop is not open to the public. Special permission is required; unfortunately I can't help you on this one. But although Index tower is not a hotel, rooms can be rented in the building through AirBnb (click here) and other short time rental providers; potentially offering a great alternative. Obviously try to obtain a high floor (suggest above the 50th floor) facing the Burj Khalifa. 

As the rooftop basically has two spectacular views, I took two cameras up on the roof in order to cover both opportunities; the Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujifilm GFX50S. Next weeks Pic(k) of the week will be about the view on the other side! 

The image below is facing South-West, towards the +160 floor Burj Khalifa. I find it mind boggling that being on the 80th floor, one is only half way compared to the worlds highest skyscraper.

Image details:
  • Fujifilm GFX 50S with the GF23mm f4 R LM WR lens
  • Base image ISO 100, f16, 15sec
  • Lightroom CC Classic for RAW development + perspective control
  • Photoshop CC for a small amount of Digital Blending (Highlights only) 
Needless to say, a Medium format camera like the GFX 50S, holds an amazing amount of detail; make sure to click on the image above, preferably on a large screen, to fully appreciate the quality!

Typical for a Medium Format is the slightly unusual 4 by 3 image aspect ratio. Since the start of Digital photography, most people are used to the 3 by 2 ratio or even prefer the 16:9 computer and television screens have since quite a few years now. Although I could have cropped it to one of the above keeping more than sufficient image data, I elected to go hardcore Medium format on this one! 

A 23mm lens might not seem to be very wide, but when converted into the standard "full frame" equivalent, it becomes 18mm; plenty wide enough for shots like these. It was the first time I shot the 23mm f4 lens and was really impressed with the quality of this piece of glass which was very sharp all the way across the frame. As expected some perspective correction was needed to make sure all buildings were straight; especially on the sides. I really would like to see Fujfilm come out with a wide-angle Tilt Shift lens for the GFX (and X-series for that matter). Are you listening Fujifilm Japan? ;-)

Although I shot bracketed exposures from just before sunset to the end of the blue hour, I only used a single second file (beside the base image) to do a very small amount of Digital blending of the highlights; mostly on the Dubai Mall signs in the left mid section of the image. 

If you want to check out more details of the GFX 50S, I invite you to check out the great review written by Jonas Rask here.  

Remember: "When people ask me what equipment I use, I tell them my eyes


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