I recently had the new amazing FUJIFILM GFX100S medium format camera on loan for a weekend – you can watch my first look video here. There was of course no opportunity to use this for my work, my passion, music photography due to the damn pandemic. Instead, I took the GFX100S on a few afternoon walks around my neighbourhood in Frederiksberg and Valby in Copenhagen.
I have always loved a panoramic format for movies and stills. Anything 2:1 and wider. As a kid, going to the cinema in the 70s and 80s and watching the 2.35:1 Panavision movies on a huge screen was absolute magic when all we had at home was some small 4:3 format CRT television that received exactly 1 channel! I have always felt that the 3:2 format is just not wide enough for how I see the world. For ages I have been cropping my pictures in post, but nothing beats being able to see and compose the panorama in-camera (not to mention focal lengths but that is a long talk). I used to shoot shitloads of stitched landscape panoramas on my Canon 5D mk2 back in the 00s and my landscape days – but stitching takes all the fun out of photography, really, I hate it. I need to see and compose in a panorama, in the viewfinder. I once had a Fujifilm 617 3:1 panoramic camera on loan for a whole Summer in 2008 and I long long long to one day own a Fujifilm T-X1 (or ‘blad Xpan).
BUT with the GFX cameras we have something special. A large sensor meaning you do not need extreme focal lengths to go wide, and a built-in 65:24 panoramic crop mode means the GFX is kinda morphed into being a real panoramic camera! This means you see the world at about 2.7:1 in the viewfinder, and it is awesome!!!!!! The second I got the GFX100S I just switched to this mode and used nothing else. I LOVE this 65:24 crop mode and it is just AWESOME. ALL our Fujifilm X-cameras should have this mode. Since the viewfinder is electronic anyway, I have been suggesting for years that we get a bunch of croplines in-camera for all sorts of aspect rations. We have film simulations, why not aspect ratio simulations? Why not have Fujifilm 645, 617, T-X1 aspect ratio simulations. Film simulations and camera simulations. We have 3:1, 1:1, 16:9 in the X-cameras, why not add lots more. It is just black bars in the viewfinder, please make it happen. I think the idea is pure genius.
The GFX100S has a 102 megapixel large format sensor, so even a panoramic crop still leaves you with a 50 megapixel image at 11648 × 4304! And if you shoot RAW, of course the RAW file is un-cropped so you can just re-compose later. THIS is why I think all X-cameras should have this feature, we still get an un-cropped RAW but get the black bars to compose.
Finally, here is my ‘hood in glorious 65:24 format, shot on the GFX100S with GF32-64mm F4 zoom lens, jpegs only. Most are Nostalgic Neg simulation I think, some are Classic Neg and maybe one or two Classic Chrome. See, film simulations! Lets have camera simulations too! Some of these have been slightly cropped and have had some grain added (I am kinda allergic to how clean the GFX100S files are, I need texture, grain). Apart from that, straight outta camera. I cannot wait to stand on a stage with the GFX100S on 65:24 mode and the GF23mm prime lens. Come on Summer, music, magic, GFX100S.