Since the launch of GFX at 2016 Photokina, I believe that GF45mm lens will be the
best everyday lens if you plan to use GFX daily. Provided that GF45mm is light enough.
I have already owned all the 5 lenses in the GF lineup. They are great tools for my
professional work. As for GF45mm; I told myself that I will give it a missed because
of the focal length. Unless I wanna shoot street with medium format! Again is this
I replace my X100F set-up which includes the 2 converter lenses from my Billingham
Haley Small bag and exchange for GFX with GF45. Is street photography with Medium
Format possible? Is the weight gonna kill me? Is the size gonna make me less
stealth? Again why in the first place would I wanna used a Medium Format camera
Having said all this; I decided to try this set-up over the long weekend. Basically I used
the GFX for family time at the malls and parks. I just used it casually. Nothing serious; just having fun in photography. Documenting what comes along and stopping some people along the street for some street portraits.
First of all; it didn’t kill me. The weight is not light compare with my X100F even with my
2 teleconverter included. But at a total weight of 1.23KG feels ok. Not light for sure. To
put it in perspective If you were use a Canon 5D IV with a 35mm F1.4, the total weight is
1.56KG. GFX + GF45mm is a lighter set-up. At 1.23 KG it’s about 300 grams lighter. That is why; it didn’t kill me over the weekend. I live to tell.
Am I less stealth? Compare with X100F; I am certainly less stealth. We all know in world
of street photography is not just having a small camera in your hand. A lot more is required from us to nail that winning shot. I will leave this topic at another blog post.
Finally I ask myself, what on earth would I want to shoot street photography with
medium format? I could only think of one good reason. Imagine quality. GF45mm
doesn’t fall short in term of sharpness, AF speed and the weight of 490g. At almost
4 time larger than APS-C sensor; the devil is in the details. With this lens; we could
also shoot more than just street. Documentary Portraiture, Landscape and Travel. So,
is it possible to pair of the new GF45mm with GFX for everyday photography. Trust
me; you will also live to tell this wonderful journey.
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Ivan Joshua Loh
I think you already know the answer. Using a GFX for street photography is not going to work in most situations. It’s one thing to point an X-100 at someone. It looks like a point-n-shoot “tourist” camera. It’s a different story to point a large camera with a large lens directly at someone. Have you tried street photography in places other than large cities where people are mostly anonymous? What about in a place where people are using to knowing everyone who lives there? They may see so some stranger with a large camera taking photos of people as “odd”? I think you are trying to make yourself feel good about the decision to ditch the X-100. I would say you have a type of GAS — gear acquisition syndrome.
Eric Kim has some tips for you:
Sorry wrong Eric Kim link. Here is his article on using medium format for street photography.
Yea, no Mr Williams, it’s the photographer rather than the tool, and don’t you think it might be a little disrespectful to assume that Ivan just wanted the Gfx just because, and he’s not capable of deciding this is what works for him? Can’t go around with blanket statements and an article which is based on medium format film for street photography and not digital which is faster and more convientant (not to mention smaller by medium format film cameras convnetion). The correct analogy would be more along the lines of ‘would you do street photography with a 5d?’ Because I’ve personally known photographers would have walked everywhere with a 5d, heck even a 1d in hand. If you can do it with those (only for size mind you), you can do it with a gfx. That’s not GAS. It’s just a choice.