PHOTOGRAPHER: Lee Varis
BASED IN: Massachusetts, USA
KNOWN FOR: Fusing photography and digital art for high-profile advertisements
SHOOTS WITH: FUJIFILM GFX 50S Camera, FUJINON GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR Lens
Lee Varis is a photographer and photo-illustrator now working in the Boston area. He has been involved in commercial photography for over 40 years and started working with computer imaging over 20 years ago. Lee's work has been featured on movie posters, CD covers, brochures and catalogs. His images have been featured in National Geographic, Newsweek and Fortune magazines. In this Showcase we will take a look at some of the images Lee shot with the FUJIFILM GFX 50S on a trip to Venice during the carnival and find out what he thinks of FUJIFILM's medium format powerhouse.
"The GFX 50S feels like a full-size DSLR in your hands. It has a bit more heft to it than the FUJIFILM X-T2 or X-Pro2, but the weight and size are similar to my old DSLR cameras. Medium format cameras were traditionally so large that they were usually used in a studio. With the GFX 50S, even shooting handheld in a rocking gondola is no problem, thanks to the quick, comfortable handling. This image was shot at a shutter speed of 1/125 sec, using an aperture of F11, and an ISO value of 200."
"Black and white images can look good with a little noise, but even at higher ISO values, noise does not become a problem. Shooting at an ISO 6400 looks like 1600 on most other cameras. Photographing Venice in black and white with the GFX 50S is pure joy with the ACROS Film Simulation mode. With the GFX 50S, you see the Film Simulation mode in the EVF or on the LCD screen on the back of the camera, so you can easily tell when a shot could use a touch of exposure compensation or other adjustment."
"I found that handholding the camera on a walk through the streets and alleys of Venice was very enjoyable. The GFX has more in common with a mirrorless camera than a big studio medium format camera. The LCD and EVF provide a what-you-see-is-what-you-get experience, and all the controls are intuitive and comfortable for anyone used to other FUJIFILM mirrorless cameras. In the case of this image, even subtle color variations are rendered with great accuracy."
"The Color Chrome Effect really helps with saturated detail, especially when using a saturated Film Simulation like Velvia. It captures subtle gradations in color to achieve vibrant colors without losing depth, which you can see in the detail of the red heart – it is intensely saturated but doesn't look flat."
"Venice is most magical when viewed from a gondola, and this is a medium format camera that can come with you on the journey. My experience with the GFX 50S confirmed my initial reaction: this is a very solid, comfortable camera, with expert ergonomics, which is easy to use.
"I shot with the GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR zoom lens, which I found to be exceptionally sharp and easy to handle despite its size. The heft of the camera and the responsiveness of the zoom are similar to a higher-quality DSLR camera. It feels like a camera that could work well in a number of applications traditionally considered unsuited to medium format cameras, as my walkabout, handheld tests demonstrated."
Lee Varis is a compensated FUJIFILM X-Photographer.
To see more of Lee's work, visit his website