Earlier today I tested the Fujifilm 45-100/4 against the Fuji 32-64/4. Now I’m running another test, this one against Fuji’s other medium format zoom, the 100-200/5.6. The 100-200 has some issues between 135 and 200 mm, but is a good performer at the short end. I tested both lenses at 100 mm.
The scene, at 100mm and f/4, with the 45-100/4:
Here’s the test protocol:
- The heaviest RRS legs
- Arca Swiss C1 head
- ISO 100
- Shutter 1/400, electronic
- 2-second self-timer
- f/4, f/5.6, f/8 for the 45-100, f/5.6 and f/8 for the 100-200
- AF-S, medium spot size
- Focal length 45 and 64mm
- 3 sets of shots at each test condition
- Developed in Lightroom
- Picked best shot of each test condition
- Exposure boost of one stop for the f/5.6 images, and two stops for the f/8 ones
- Sharpening amount 20 radius 1, detail 0 (much less sharpening than the default)
- Adobe Color profile
We’ll look at some tight crops.
If you’ve seen these here before, just jump to the images. If not, I need to spend some time telling you how to interpret them. They’re at roughly 250% magnification, enlarged to 700 pixels high on export from Lightroom. If you just want a rough idea of the differences, just look at the images as displayed in-line in the posts. However, if you wish to compare these images in detail, you should view these images by clicking on them to see the source files, then set your browser for 100% zooming. Even better, download them and make Photoshop stacks.
No matter what you do, these crops are all going to look horrible. I’m blowing them up so much so that they will represent the original file after JPEG’s discrete cosine transform has had its way with them. If you want to get a good idea of what the images would look like printed, get far away from your monitor. No, farther than that. Put a bunch of the images up on the screen and back up until the best one starts to look good. Then look at the others. There’s another reason why these images won’t look like the best thing the camera/lens combination can deliver. They’re demosaiced with Lightroom. Lightroom is not awful, but for a particular image, there are usually better raw processors. I use Lr because it’s a de facto standard, because I know it well, and because it’s got good tools for dealing with groups of images.
Here’s how to use these highly-magnified crops. The dimensions of the GFX 100 sensor is 11648×8736 pixels. If we make a full-frame print from the GFX 100 on a printer with 360 pixels per inch native driver-level resolution, like the Epson inkjet printers, we’ll end up with a 32.3×24.3 inch print.The crops are 399×309 since it is a higher-resolution sensor, or a bit over an inch by a bit under an inch on our 32×24 inch print. Let’s imagine that you or your viewers are critical, and will look at the inch print from about 18 inches (conventional wisdom is that the distance would be a little greater than that, or 28 inches (the diagonal, but you did buy a high-resolution camera for a reason, didn’t you?).
The next step is dependent on your monitor pitch, which you may or may not know. Turns out, you don’t have to know it. Just take the 250% crops and view then at 1:1. How high are they? Get out your ruler and measure, or just guess. Let’s say they are 6 inches high. 6 inches is about 7 times the crop height on the paper, so in order to view the crops the way they’d look from 18 inches on the print is to view them from 7 times as far away, or 10.5 feet.
Everything here scales proportionately. If the image on your screen is bigger than 6 inches, increase your viewing distance by the ratio of your image height to 6 inches. If you think your viewers are going to almost get their nose to that print and look at it from six inches, divide that 10.5 feet by 3, and look at the image on the monitor from three and a half feet away.
In the center:
All are good. The 45-100 is maybe a hair sharper.
It’s a wash at f/8.
In the upper right corner:
The 45-100 is a bit better.
Not much to choose between these, except that the 45-100 is a stop faster and a lot lighter and smaller. 100 mm is the 100-200’s best focal length, and it may be the 45-100’s worst one. Even so, the 45-100 is at least as sharp as the 100-200 at 100 mm. It looks like all these images could take more sharpening.