As promised in my previous post ..http://www.williamchua.com/blog/successful-norway-photography-workshop-completed/
decided to blog another separate post about my GFX experience in Norway
Alot of people probably would think of a medium format camera for Studio work.
Maybe not so much as a outdoor camera.. and definitely not for taking photos of the Aurora.
About 2 months back, I brought it to Mongolia in winter to push the camera to the limits
You can read about it here http://www.williamchua.com/blog/fujifilm-gfx-experiences-the-harsh-winter-in-mongolia/
This time, I decided to bring it to Norway.
Although the temperature is not as cold as that of Mongolia, but this time, I was taking photos on long exposure and exposed to the climate for a long period of time.
With alot of experience working with Aurora for the last few years, I know that even some DSLRs fail when working them on many hours in that kind of weather.
Frankly , I was initially worried if it can withstand that kind of shooting conditions.
But in the end, I was extremely happy that I brought the camera along, and very happy with the results.
Firstly, with the flip screen, it was so much easier for me to angle the camera, and I do not need to prone down the the floor anymore.
Then focusing the lens to infinity was a breeze, becos the readings are reflected on the LCD screen.
I no longer have to point a light to the lens, to see where the infinity point is.
This is especially important when you are shooting with a group of people, the last you want to do is to have your light destroying other people’s photos.
Also, alot of times, when the aurora appears, people are so excited that they forget watever markings on infinity they made on the lens.
The high ISO noise control is another concern that most people might have of a medium format
But as you can see in the following images, the noise control is really not bad.
Most images of the Aurora is taken at iso 6400
No in camera noise reduction is used for the shots.
Battery life is another major concern.
We have always known that battery life will suffer in long exposure cold conditions.
But I did not have a problem with that.
Before I go out for the Aurora hunt every night, I will try to have a fully charged battery in the camera.
At most, it might be about 80% to 90% full if I did not have time to charge in the day (cos i was using it in the day as well)
I did not have a flat battery for all the 5 nites for Aurora.
The very first night, when the Aurora teased us for almost 3 to 4 hours, the camera was exposed in the open, shooting almost continuously,
(cos I was shooting timelapse) , and the battery did not fail me by the time I returned to the Hotel.
Usage wise, I do check the LCD screen very often..
Btw, I was not shooting with a battery grip
The camera also has a in-built time-interval setting.. Which means that I do not need to buy/bring an external intervalometer for shoots.
Its especially important if you have a few cameras, and the last thing I want is to have so many intervalometer dangling around when I am traveling
between locations in the night
There are times a camera will fail cos of the weather conditions
I have experienced this in the past, and we need to warm up the camera a little before it can be used again.
But glad to say, the GFX did not once failed me in the 5 nites when I was shooting the Northern Lights.
Of cos, there are other cameras in the market that also satisfy the above conditions.
But the last and most important factor about shooting with the GFX is definitely the image quality from a medium format camera.
It might not be evident from this blog post, but as I worked on the images, I really enjoyed what I see.
The details and dynamic range is fantastic.
Coupled that with the Fuji colors and the black and white film simulation, its definitely a winner.
Probably the only thing I can complain about it now, is that the lens was not wide enough.
I was using the GF32-64mm lens. Would have loved a wider lens for the Aurora.
This video was shot with the GFX. Showing the conditions it was shooting in when we were out with the huskies
GFX in the snow..
And me with the GFX in my hand and xt2 around my neck (cameras survived the heavy snow)
Thanks to my participant Ruth for the very candid image.. 😛
Below are some images taken with the GFX
Alot of them are shot in the 65:24 format. i love that !
( I used to use that format alot in Africa when I was shooting with the the Fuji G617)
Here is also a short timelapse video I did with the camera.
( will work on a full version once I have the time )
some other images in the day
As seen in the images, there is quite a heavy snowstorm in some of them
Of cos the Aurora Borealis
After many Aurora sightings in the last few years..
I was presented with a pleasant surprise this year.
Capturing it with a comet..
It was a great moment, where the sky was illuminated with the fall of the comet.