gfx 50s

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!

Steam;Sea: Steampunk-Inspired Fashion

Steam;Sea is a project collaboration with Lady Aurora featuring a steampunk-inspired pirate design that she created and coordinated.

I'm a big fan of steampunk and Victorian fantasy designs. I love the mishmash of metal and leather, wood and steam, low tech and seemingly impossible high tech, elegance and grit, and the making of the fanciful real. Needless to say, I was all onboard for a steampunk collaboration withe Lady Aurora!

I won't rehash the original design concept, as Lady Aurora already has a nice write-up about it here. What I will talk about is my process from concept to photo.

On the Road Again

Being a pirate design, I really wanted to be on a boat! I had previously shot on the Balclutha, but I wasn't quite satisfied with the look. Twas a fine ship, but not for steampunk. One of the largest factors in passing on the Balclutha is the steady influx of tourists and people in general. It is a National Historic Park after all. The second reason, although more minor, is I didn't want to see San Francisco-specific landmarks in the background.

The second location I had in mind was Grays Harbor Historical Seaport; specifically the Hawaiian Chieftain. The boat looked great in the photos. However, it looks like the main tours are actual sailing tours. A photo shoot is definitely not happening there unless I booked the entire boat. Maybe one day I will revisit this spot.

The last boat location that came to mind was the Point Reyes Shipwreck. It was a boat. Check. It was decidedly neither steampunk not pirate. Could it still work? Not really. When we went out to scout the location, it was low tide and it was already pretty tricky to get near the boat without a bit a wading through the water. Combine that with the limited angles I could achieve at the location, it was a pass.

Road Trip Part 2

At this point, I gave up on the idea of having a boat. I shifted my concept from being on a boat to being on a rocky shore. Something dramatic; with waves crashing violently on the rocks just behind the model. Maybe gloomy weather too since we were at the tail end of Fall.

For the first rocky location, we decided to scout the rocky outcropping into the Pacific near Pacifica State Beach. Half way there we were summarily greeted with failure. Aside from being fenced off, because that has never really stopped me before, getting down to the location was a very steep and narrow path. This prevented not only me from bringing down the light, it also made it near impossible for the model to get down without getting dirty or falling (because of heeled boots). Well as they say, it's better to fail fast.

We continued our tour of the Pacific coastline looking for interesting rocky formations and the like. Eventually we ended up at Asilomar State Beach in Pacific Grove, CA. It had rocks and crashing waves! Yes! This will work! We trekked around looking for the perfect spots to shoot; specifically lots of rocks, a nice patch of beach, and not in the direct path of the sun.

Since we found a workable spot, I wanted to stick around to see how the landscape changed as the sun went down. The spots that looked great earlier in the afternoon were completely submerged by the time golden hour rolled around.

The locations still looked great, but they had a different feel for them. As for the crashing waves, we simply couldn't get to the furthest rocks without a boat. Oh well, I'll concede that point.

With a final shoot location set, we were ready to go. While this location scouting journey was fraught with failures, it was a good reminder to always stay flexible and adapt the concept to what can be done.

On Location

For the day of the shoot, we enlisted the help of our friends Dan and Jon as assistants. One of them would hold the light to make sure it was pointing in the direction of the model and to keep the power cord and battery pack out of the water. Many thanks to both for assisting!

We arrived just before 5:00pm, which was about 30 minutes before golden hour started. Luckily it was low tide at the time we arrived, so the original shooting plan was followed. There was a 2 hour shooting window that I could use before the sun set below the horizon. Conditions were clear, and the model and assistants were ready. It was time to shoot!

The lighting setup was pretty simple: a single Paul C Buff Einstein E640 strobe with Kacey dish attached. I opted for a beauty dish instead of an umbrella or softbox for durability's sake. The Kacey dish is plastic; so it can handle wind, sand, rocks, and water just fine. No worries about it turning into a sail or breaking on location.


Since the sun will set behind the model, I positioned the light on the opposite side to form a clamshell type of lighting effect.

After an hour of shooting, an orange color correction gel was added to the beauty dish to compensate for the warmer color of the setting sun.

Wrap Up

In the end, two hours flew right by. As it was getting darker and colder, we called it a day. Overall the shoot went extremely smoothly thanks to a lot of preparation and a good crew.

Thanks for reading!