Capture One and the Fujifilm GFX 50S (Final)

The final workflow update for the GFX 50S and Capture One

A surprise announcement by Capture One at Photokina 2018 changed everything! Starting with version 11.3, Capture One will officially support the Fujifilm GFX series of cameras.

For the past few months, I’ve been putting the native Capture One integration through its paces and all is good. I have no complaints! My workflow using the GFX RAF files is now the same as any of the other raw files from my other cameras.

Now back to taking photos!

Fujifilm GFX 50S, GF 120mm f/4 macro lens

Fujifilm GFX 50S, GF 120mm f/4 macro lens

Fujifilm GFX 50S, GF 32-64mm f/4 lens

Scanning Film with the GFX 50S

Using a digital medium format camera to scan medium format film. What could go wrong?

After bringing home freshly developed 120 format film, I looked at my GFX 50S and wondered if it could produce higher quality scans than the Epson V800. So for the heck of it, I gave it a go.

The Setup

Nothing too fancy here (except the camera of course). Here's what I used:

  1. Manfrotto BeFree tripod

  2. LED light pad from Amazon

  3. Beseler Anti-Newton Glass from eBay

  4. Fujifilm GFX 50S

  5. Fujinon GF120mmF4 Macro Lens with hood attached


The film was placed directly onto the light pad (emulsion side down) with the anti-newton glass on top to keep it from curling. If you already own the Better Scanning 120 ANR glass, that will work the same. I then mounted the camera to the tripod and pointed it directly down at the film as low as I could. Since the 120mm macro lens is only a 1:2 magnification, I was not able to position the lens all the way down to the light pad.

Camera Settings

I put the GFX 50S into manual focus single shot mode with a 2 second self timer. This was to make sure that I didn't introduce any camera shake from pressing the shutter button. The other camera settings were:

  • ISO 400

  • Aperture set to f/16

  • Shutter speed set auto

  • White balance set to grey card

The Experience

At first, I tried to shoot the film without the ANR glass, but that proved too frustrating just to keep the film down and it was too time consuming to boot. While I did own the Better Scanner ANR glass, I went with the Beseler ANR glass meant for enlargers because it had more surface area. This allowed me to be sloppier with the placement of the glass.

One thing I noticed was that the ANR glass should be placed reflectiveside up. If not, there will be strange blotchiness along straight edges in the shots.

On the plus side, scanning an entire roll of 120 film is pretty fast. I didn't cut the film so it was simply a matter of moving the film underneath to the next frame and taking a shot. At f/16 in manual focus mode pre-focused at the correct distance, there is sufficient depth of field in case the camera is not completely on axis.

However, not being on axis is one of the largest problems with this current setup. I found it extremely difficult to align the camera such that the entire frame is level with the film. A lot of my shots had some kind of skew. It's not the end of the world, but it's also not ideal.

Since the 120mm macro lens isn't 1:1, each frame will need to be cropped of the excess dead space. For the 6x8 frames I shot, the crops were still 8000 x 6000 pixels, which is more than sufficient. Editing the scans is still the same as with the scanner; run the image through Color Perfect and tweak as needed.

Probably the only strange side effect is that the EXIF data will correctly label the image as coming from the GFX 50S as opposed to coming from a scanner. I suppose the EXIF data could be corrected afterwards, but that was more trouble than it was worth.


Here are some of the color corrected shots using this setup:

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the GFX 50S scan on the left vs the Epson V800 scan on the right. The processes are very different, and it clearly shows in the end results.

Parting Thoughts

At this point in time, I'm not entirely convinced that using this setup yields better results than the Epson V800. As far as convenience, it's neither more or less convenient than the scanner; it's just trade offs. Do I want to have a faster scanning workflow at the expense of spending more time setting up and tearing down the rig? Hard to say.

The ANR glass is likely causing some image degradation as well.

I'll probably come back to this setup once I find a nice (and preferably cheap!!) 1:1 macro lens, and figure out some cost effective way of keeping the camera perfectly aligned with the film plane.

I hope that you found this useful!

2017 – A Year in Review

I thought I'd take the time to reflect on my photography for the past year. All of the good and the bad, and lessons that I have learned. By taking stock of 2017, I will have an idea of where I want to take my craft going into 2018.

A Major Change in Gear

To say that I have Gear Acquisition Syndrome is a massive understatement. Even then, I did not expect myself switch camera systems and go all in to the Fuji GFX 50S. I went into Samy's Camera in San Francisco on a whim when they the Fuji representatives over with the GFX for a hands on demo. Needless to say it was love at first handling. The ergonomics were great and the images it produced were stellar.

Months after coming out of that hands on demo, I found myself with a shiny new GFX 50S instead of the new Leica M10, financed by the sale of my Sony gear and the Leica M typ 240. At the time I questioned my sanity (I still do), but looking back now I can confidently say that I am happy with my choice. The GFX has proven itself to me in the field.

Shoot More Film

I always lament that I need to shoot more film. It's never been for lack of having film; I have plenty. Finding subjects that I think would look good on film and just the sheer effort of developing and scanning the film were large enough deterrents. Frankly, I was too picky.

This year I scanned 899 film shots, a mix of 35mm and 120, but mostly 35mm. I'm close to using up the entire 100 ft bulk roll of Ilford Delta 400. A lot of this I think is due to me not having a digital Leica camera anymore. When I just want to go out and take pictures, I'll drag out my M6 TTL Millennium and 5 rolls of film now.

More Project Shoots

Another aspect of 2017 that went well was I did more project shoots. I enjoy project shoots because I have a greater control over the entire process. From location and time, to lighting and outfits, I want it all dialed in to my vision.

Something that I learned, but is quite obvious, is having an assistant or two really helps a lot. Even if its one extra person to help with positioning the lighting, that takes a load off my plate so I can focus on the more important task at hand.

Not necessarily a learning, but I've really enjoyed photographing street fashion this year. I find that it's much easier to plan than a full blown project, and blends the aspects of my photography styles of portraits and street photography. It's been really fun to explore and find interesting looking places to shoot.

I Still Suck at Lighting

Well, more accurately I still suck at artificial lighting. When I use my strobe as a fill light, things are fine. However as a sole light source, I still struggle to grasp a good way of lighting a subject. While my preferred style is to shoot in available light (darkness), as I do more projects this is an area I will need to shore up.

Not as Many Location Scouting Adventures

This year I didn't go on many location scouting adventures as I'd have liked. I only went to three locations, two of which were close to each other geographically and visited in the same day. While not something bad, by not venturing out to find new places, I feel that I'm not trying to get out of my comfort zone.


Too Old for Long Road Trips

A bit tongue in cheek, but in 2017 I took a road trip with friends from San Francisco to Seattle. That was a pretty grueling 16 hour drive, with a lot of stops, some snow, and not much sleep. It'd probably be more enjoyable if the car was bigger or less people, but I'm not so eager to do that again. That being said, the drive itself was quite beautiful and I wish it were more of a leisurely trip so that we could stop off at interesting places along the way.


Looking Forward to 2018

The biggest improvement that I'd like to make for 2018 is to do more projects with a concept. For the most part, most of my projects focused heavily on the outfit and not expressing any particular idea or emotion. While not bad per se, I feel that to grow as a photographer, I should take the time to conceptualize and synthesize an idea and base the entire project, outfit included, around that concept.

More shooting and less editing. The eternal dream of all photographers! In all seriousness, I'd like to streamline my workflows more so that I spend less time editing. I've toyed with the idea of just editing JPGs since the GFX produces monstrously detailed JPGs and most of my cosplay photos will be displayed on the web or mobile anyways.

Lastly, I'd just like to travel more. Besides the one road trip to Seattle, I haven't gone anywhere in 2017. I'd like to change that. See the world and all that jazz!

Thanks for reading! I hope that you have a Happy New Year and will continue to support me in 2018!