Fujifilm GFX 50S Rooftopping, Demoing and Fujifilm X100F v Fujifilm X100S v Leica CL Side by Side

Art Basel and The Miami Stree Photography Festival are wrapping up as the weather takes a turn for the worse, unfortunately, none of my friends that were finalist won awards last night, but some of us did get out and shoot even though the weather was quite cold and rainy (it snowed in parts of FL last night). I decided to join Depot MSA and Mig for a brief walk around town, which lead to the image above. I was going to do a comparison shot with the Sony a7RIII, but I can only carry so much glass on me at one time and the Sony really doesn’t have a lens that compares to the Fujinon GF 23mm f/4, which is by far my favorite lens for the system.

Shooting the Fujifilm GFX 50S and Sony a7RIII side by side is very interesting and it makes me look forward to the system’s growth, because I pretty much grab the a7RIII from my bag when Fujifilm doesn’t have an equivalent lens. So far I am not hating the Sony a7RIII like some of my past Sony bodies, but it is a buggy camera compared to my polished Fujifilm cameras and when I put a big lens on the a7RIII my hand feels very cramped. It’s funny how easily people identified and dismissed the Sony, while photographers would ask about the GFX and want to try the camera. I would then offer to let them see the a7RIII and they showed no interest at all. Fujifilm needs a better presence in stores so photographers can get their hands on cameras like the GFX, because every photographer that tried my GFX said they would like to own one sooner rather than later, but previously had no plans to purchase.

The problem is there are a lot of preconceived notions about medium format and where it belongs. Photographers want to box it in and think about other things rather than explore the possibilities most of the time. Simply showing someone a photography isn’t enough, but handing them a camera with a fast focusing lens makes them quickly rethink where the system belongs in their life. The Fujifilm GFX can do just about anything if you are driven enough to find a way to use the camera, but it’s not like medium format used to be and it will only get better. Until then we have cameras like the Fujifilm X-T2, which just work and upcoming X-H1 and X-T3 to look forward too.

Fujifilm #X100F vs #100S vs #LeicaCL Silent #CameraPorn

A post shared by Louis Ferreira (@louiswferreira) on

Some of my friends have begun to open their eyes to the amazing cameras Fujifilm is producing so now when we get together there is, even more, Fujifilm gear to compare and above you can see how the Fujifilm X100S, X100F, and Leica CL compare size wise. I have to admit the Leica CL is more compact and has the Leica feel and look, but the interchangeable lens feels cheap when you take it off the body. It’s a fun compact camera and the EVF is fairly big and clear, but it’s a little laggy. The camera also focuses pretty well when there is light, but when lighting conditions are poor it is very slow to focus, but accurate.

Leica is doing some really interesting stuff design-wise with the CL, but I would take a X100F over the CL any day of the week. There simply is no comparison between the two systems and before you say wait the X100F isn’t interchangeable, the Fujifilm X-E3 is and it’s actually a little smaller in addition to being a better camera and having a huge lens selection. The only great thing you can really say about the CL beyond them getting the design right is that Leica finally made an APS-C camera that a photographer might want to own if they are into luxury goods, because the TL was uninspiring.

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Fujifilm GFX 50S: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
Fujifilm X100F: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
Fujifilm X-E3: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
Leica CL: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
Sony a7RIII: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama

This entry was posted in Fuji X100S, Fujifilm GFX, Fujifilm GFX 50S, Fujifilm X100F and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Robert Falconer

    The CL is really inspired by the original Leica III model, and I like that they did that. But it’s hobbled — as Leicas often are — by missing technology. The Fujifilm X-E3 is superior in every important metric, including, I’ll add, native lens quality.

    • Ya it’s a little frustrating… I get to speak to a lot of the higher ups at Leica and they just don’t want to hear what photographers have to say. I guess they are doing well financially, but they have had a lot of near misses lately imo. I used to buy a lot of there stuff, but now I just can’t justify it with how good Fujifilm cameras have gotten.

      Sony is kind of the same, but their goods are extremely good and their bads are extremely bad.

      I will give you an example. A person fairly high up at Leica called mirrorless medium format a fad when I said I would buy a mirrorless S if it had similar specs to the GFX in a SL body, because the S really impressed me when I demoed it… They just seem to keep ignoring what the masses want.

      • Robert Falconer

        I can pretty much guess why they aren’t listening to what photographer’s want, or what individuals such as yourself are saying: it’s because most working photographers don’t use their gear anymore…and they know it. So they don’t bother. Leica isn’t genuninely about photography anymore. They’re like Swarovski—they make baubles marketed to rich fashionistas to put on their shelves (witness Leica’s yearly release of useless “designer special edition” collector cameras).

        It also explains why they remain behind the curve with much of their technology. They can use older, off-the-shelf tech because no-one really cares; those folks only care about the brand name and how it looks in a display case…or adorning their shoulder along with a Gucci bag. So it’s cheaper for Leica, and they make more profit that way.

        As long as Leica can continue to convice the rich that their cameras are “the best” (absent of any practical knowledge), then they’ll get away with it, because there’s certainly room at the top for one high-end designer camera brand.

        Now, while it might seem as though I’m beating up on Leica, I actually admire several things about the brand: their history with respect to 35mm photography; their solid understanding of industrial design; the simplicity of their menus; and the excellent job they’ve done pushing the brand name through their equally beautiful designer stores around the world. But it’s smoke and mirrors over substance. And I think that they’ll only get so far with that before theyr’e forced to step up their performance game.

        Leica are sort of the opposite of Sony. Leica has excellent design and aesthetic sensibilities with a long history in photography. Sony, meanwhile, has no history in still photography and some of the worst design and aesthetic sensibility—but they have [for the most part] the tech where it counts. A camera with a rich tradition in photography vs a consumer electronics company.

        Leica began to fall victim to their own press after the M3, IMHO, and they thoroughly missed the importance of the SLR by the early 1960s. By the early 1970s, they’d lost to the Japanese in terms of photographic relevance. As electronics began creeping more and more into cameras during that decade, Leica had to turn to Minolta for help (e.g. XE-3 became R3). Now it’s Panasonic, without whose help we wouldn’t have had the Q, which actually has no compromises by today’s standards, but which Leica [once again] hobbled with 28mm lens, an oddball single focal length to marry to a camera [should have been a 35mm].

        I’ll conclude by adding that the patriarchal attitude you’ve experienced with Leica isn’t reserved just to them. In recent years we’ve been witnessing Nikon adopting the same sort of attitude.

        • Nikon has been that way a while… I agree with most of that… Leica employees shoot so they know more than most and from what I understand Leica has problems sourcing things like sensors sometimes. They should have propped up someone or got in bed with Silicon Valley to compete. There are lots of political issues to get around, but they could have gotten there with the prices they demand.

          The Q and M10 are very close in so many ways, but there were big misses in others. The M10 screwed up everything they did right with the M240 to do a few other things right. They just make odd mistakes. Plus the S was great until the SL, which should have been medium format. I could go on and on, but there is no point because they don’t learn.

          Fujifilm learns and Sony is kind of starting too, but they need to move to their next generation camera body platform. Sony takes baby steps, while Fujifilm will take leaps till they get it just right.

          • Robert Falconer

            The M10 is the first M with a sensor that’s fully competitive with its peers in 2017. But the problem with the rangefinder is, well, the rangefinder. It misaligns easily, is difficult to focus with—particularly when the light is low, or a subject is moving, or one’s eyes are aging. I think Fuji came up with a much better modern interpretation of the rangefinder idea.

            I’ll give Leica credit for their lenses, though: the design and engineering is superlative, along with the build quality. Of course, it’s an open question as to whether that exta 5% of optical superiority isn’t offset by an inferior sensor and processing—so much of the IQ now is as or more dependent on the digital chain than it is on the strict optical performance of the lens.

            In the days of film, subtle differences in lens quality made a bigger difference to the final image than they do now.

    • This is the money shot though 🙂