Jump to content

Thinking of taking the plunge into MF. S3 or Fuji GFX 100s?


Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

As the title states, I am considering taking the plunge into MF.

Background, I have a substantial collection of R lenses that adapt very well to my SL.

Not a pro, just an enthusiast who can afford nice stuff.....

I have seen quite a few images taken by the GFX 100s with R lenses, the minor amount of cropping doesn't deter me from adapting my R lenses to MF use.

The cost of the Fuji is quite a bit lower and the images are very detailed, but is it as good as an S3? or how close is it?

This will be a buy once cry once deal, so I am willing to pay more if I get the perceived value. I realize there is a significant cost for the MF lenses, but I would mainly use the MF for landscape, so a large collection of lenses may not be required. I can adapt my R lenses initially unless I get a package deal that appeals to me.

So the main initial question is "Is the S3 superior, if so, how and does the difference substantiate the higher price (purely subjective of course)

Other questions are what about service and warranty of a used S3 vs new GFX.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 65
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Pure personal preference. The Fuji will get a wider range of sharp images. But after using it for a year, I sold my GFX100 and a half dozen lenses, upgraded my S(007) to the S3 (I already had S lenses), and I'm much happier. Granted, you are not asking in the most unbiased forum 😁, but I just *like* the S3 images, and I *like* the ergonomics and UI. Ah. Here's what it is. On the GFX 100, the extra pixels add detail. On the S3, they add smoothness. I suppose that's another way of saying

I will let you in on the great secret of the internet: every post is simply an opinion. You can tack on "It is my opinion that" before any post  and you will not change its meaning in any way. This post included. "Scientific proofs" included. Peer reviewed journal articles included. (Sadly, I know what I'm talking about here, but you have no reason to believe me.) You're welcome to query why the poster believes such a thing, and they might reply with their opinion of why they believe it. It's qu

There is another option. This is cheeky, but you can buy my S3 and pick it up in Reykjavik, and I will send you home with some free prints from my studio (my main job, aside from photographer and teacher is printing exhibitions for the museums and galleries here). I am also pretty sure I know quite a bit more about Iceland than David Farkas, as lovely as he is, haha, so if you have any questions, I am happy to help. No pressure though. Regarding resolution, both the S3 and SL2 have more res

Posted Images

Pure personal preference. The Fuji will get a wider range of sharp images. But after using it for a year, I sold my GFX100 and a half dozen lenses, upgraded my S(007) to the S3 (I already had S lenses), and I'm much happier.

Granted, you are not asking in the most unbiased forum 😁, but I just *like* the S3 images, and I *like* the ergonomics and UI.

Ah. Here's what it is. On the GFX 100, the extra pixels add detail. On the S3, they add smoothness. I suppose that's another way of saying that the Fuji lenses serve the sensor, and the Leica sensor samples the optics.

All subjective twaddle, I'm afraid. You MUST try them for yourself.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What are your preference criteria?  IQ (definition?)? Print (size?)?  Ergonomics and controls?  Viewing System? Lens line? Service/reliability?  Other?

Best to demo if you can.  Tastes, requirements and workflow vary.

Jeff

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not handled the Fuji. I have handled an S for more than a decade.

I love the ergonomics of the S and so have many or Leica would have made adjustments.

if you printed the images from either the Fuji or the S you probably could not tell the difference. But if one handles better than the other, go with the camera that is more enjoyable to use. All this presumes you can rationalize the incremental cost of a Leica. Given that you have had an R and have a SL, it appears you can afford to pay a premium. I’m my case I tried shooting a store demo of a S for an hour. That was enough time to be confident of the handling. Had the Fuji existed I would have tried it too. If there is no camera store near you, fly or drive to LA, or as Jeff said, rent first. A trip will be cheaper.

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, LeicaS2 said:

or as Jeff said, rent first. A trip will be cheaper.

Actually I did not, just encouraging a demo.  The S is difficult to find for rental, and very expensive if found.

I might also suggest, if the S suits, buying a clean used S007 if print sizes aren’t huge, and some clean used S lenses with new motor and warranty (as standard from Leica Miami); great bargains these days compared to buying new.

Jeff

Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

4 hours ago, mgrayson3 said:

Pure personal preference. The Fuji will get a wider range of sharp images. But after using it for a year, I sold my GFX100 and a half dozen lenses, upgraded my S(007) to the S3 (I already had S lenses), and I'm much happier.

From what I've seen thus far, the Fuji with Fuji lenses produces fine detail but not the depth or pop that the Leica lenses give. I like images from the Fuji with Otus lenses better than images with Fuji's own lenses. I've seen a few images from the Fuji with R lenses and they are better IMO than the images from the Otus or Fuji lenses. Just trying to decide if I will be satisfied with the results of using R lenses and other non native lenses on the Fuji or if I will wish I had bought the S or S3. As I mentioned, the small loss of sensor area won't matter.

What did the S3 do better than the S(007)? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Brian C in Az said:

...

What did the S3 do better than the S(007)? 

Very little, really. It's an 007 with more pixels. Focus hasn't missed yet, but then I have a lot of experience with that single focus point. The difference is really only visible when you get to magnifications where the 007 starts pixelating. I've found that difference important in exactly one shot, where a large bubble was floating against the sky, and I had to do a very tight crop. But then I have never printed larger than 24"x36".

I think you have it right. The optics are what largely distinguishes these systems. I love the S lenses. If you prefer the R (which is not hard to do!), then your choice is clear.

Edited by mgrayson3
Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, mgrayson3 said:

I think you have it right. The optics are what largely distinguishes these systems. I love the S lenses. If you prefer the R (which is not hard to do!), then your choice is clear.

My choice is as clear as mud to me right now......

What do you think the clear choice is?

S camera with R lenses?

Fuji with R lenses?

S camera with S lens?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Well, you cannot use the R lenses on the S (other than the APO modul and 280mm with a mod)...so that's out. The R lenses were designed for full frame, so I don't think all of them will do that well on the Fuji. The telephotos better than most, but in general you are taxing the lenses quite hard by going larger than full frame 100mp with a group of lenses that are at the youngest 15-20 years old or so. I shot the R, so I know how good some of those lenses are, but if you want to use an S camera, the S lenses are the way to go, especially now that they are so much cheaper than they ever were. They are quite similar to the modern R lenses, only even better. The 120mm 2.5 is like an even better 100mm APO, the 24mm is like a better 19mm etc.

Comparing the S to the Fuji is not a particularly 1 to 1 comparison, even though they are both medium format. The S is a beautifully designed and executed SLR with a big bright optical viewfinder, and 35mm SLR style ergonomics. If you ever shot with the R8 or R9, it is like a more refined version of those cameras. The lenses and body have excellent integration, balance well and the whole experience is rather premium... The downside comes more in the AF mechanism, which is not as accurate or fast as more modern systems.

The Fuji has a less premium feel, though it is still a well put together camera. The ergonomics are not as refined. The Fuji wins on sensor quality, resolution and basically any modern feature you can think of. And on price...flexibility etc. It really depends on what you want to photograph and HOW you like to photograph. If the technical performance is paramount, the Fuji is the more modern camera with technically superior results. If you are more interested in a camera that feels great in the hand, takes fantastic photographs and has a great optical VF, then the S series may serve you better. The S is also the choice if you like the particular look of the S lenses, which is very good indeed. As a group they have a lovely rendering that is at once sharp and modern, but still pleasing to the eye. They all match each other very well, so the look is nice and consistent throughout the range.

The question as to which is better is quite personal and will depend on your requirements. If your gear is a means to an ends to get the best images you can, I think, this forum not withstanding, most would probably get better results out of the Fuji (with Fuji lenses). I think you should rent or borrow the GFX with some lenses and see what you think. If you still do not like it, then the S or SL2 is likely your best bet.

Edited by Stuart Richardson
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Brian C in Az said:

My choice is as clear as mud to me right now......

What do you think the clear choice is?

S camera with R lenses?

Fuji with R lenses?

S camera with S lens?

What I meant was that the decision is between R glass and S glass. Other than native S-glass, only Contax and Hasselblad lenses can be used on the S. Full stop. No R, no M, no SL. If you like the R lenses more than the S, or if you want the ability to try other optics (I mounted the Canon 85/1.2 on the GFX100. THAT was something you don't see in MF every day!), then the Fuji is your clear choice. That's why I said you have to try both systems. You can't really go by other people's pics. I have some drop-dead gorgeous (if I do say so myself) images from the Fuji. I also have mediocre ones from the S3. The only thing you can trust is your own reaction to the systems. 

Ergonomics matter a lot to me. I disliked the feel of the GFX 50's, and so I probably wouldn't like the GFX 100S. The big GFX 100 felt better balanced in the hand. Ok, not great. The S feels better (to me!) than any other MF body and it has an unmatched OVF. It's all personal. Some people feel exactly the opposite. No right or wrong. Only what feels good to you. Ok, I'll shut up now. 😆

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I have been using the S-system since the S2 (got the first S2 sold in Japan) and also use the S007.  Lately, I am using the Fuji GFX100s since I could not find a trade-up deal in Japan for the S3 (plus it is being sold at around $23k).  I have most of the S-lenses so it was not an easy decision to add the Fuji.  Here is what I like about the Fuji GFX100S:

  • Auto-focus hit rate is very high even for the 110F2 (I had challenges with getting the eyes consistently on the 100F2)
  • Ability to use the TTL-F profoto synch which is important for me when I do want to use the flash (e.g. street festivals).  I could use the Profoto to synch with the S but TTL gives me a better starting point for the type of photography I am doing these days
  • I really appreciate the ability to crop more if needed and still get decent sized prints
  • High ISO works better for me than the S007
  • Monochrome images are quite decent (I also have the monochrome CCD to compare)
  • The Fuji lenses are very decent, light and very affordable on the used market.  I was able to get the GFX100S + the 32-64; 45; 50; 63; 110 and the profoto triggers for less than the cost of the S3 for me.
  • I can use the S-lens with the poorly designed fotodiox adapter (does not hit infinity) to get the occasional shots that leverage the character of the S-lenses.  I am laso using some converted Cinelux lenses for some bokeh projects.
  • I can use remote triggers with complete visible control (Camranger2) which give me a new way of experimenting.
  • The in-camera and lens image stabilization eliminate the need for carrying the tripod for me in most situations

Having said all that, I do still use the S whenever I am not in the need for the above and am photographing for pleasure.  Whenever I need to pick up a camera, my mind says Fuji, my heart says Leica.

Edited by Arif
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

If you have a bunch of R lenses already why not rent the cheapo plastic fantastic 50r first to test the R lenses on it just to see if you like the look? I have very fond memories of Mandler R lenses.
 

100s is a much better video camera than the s3, if that’s relevant to you.

I’d agree that a used s 007 is much better bargain than the s3. In two years the s3 will lose half its value just like its predecessors. You can get a 007 for $5k or so. 

Edited by alan.y
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I have both and agree with Arif fully. I enjoy S more mainly for OVF and lens house rendering. But GFX 100s offer different charming, I love adapting lenses on it. Your 100R cover it easily with room to spare. 
because of adapting and cropping plus IBIS and nice JPEG engine, I use FUJI more recently but I will never part with S. GFX 100s is multi format for me. I can shoot anything from 1X1, 4X5, 6X7 64x35 etc…this is especially useful for adapting FF glasses on it. 

Edited by ZHNL
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 7/22/2021 at 9:16 PM, Jeff S said:

What are your preference criteria?  IQ (definition?)? Print (size?)?  Ergonomics and controls?  Viewing System? Lens line? Service/reliability?  Other?

Best to demo if you can.  Tastes, requirements and workflow vary.

Jeff

I think that’s a sensible answer. Also consider do you want the 35mm-style 3x2 output from the Leica S, or a more typical sensor/film ratio of medium format? The latter was something that I personally much prefer. I have not used the S3, and cannot answer the OP’s specific question. I have used the S007 and S006, but I think they’re so very very different in many ways to the GFX100S that I now own ….eg, optical viewfinder vs EVF, single vs multiple focus points in the viewfinder, no IBIS vs IBIS, mirror slap vs no vibration with electronic shutter when handholding ….and do you want automatic focus stacking or not, multi-shot or not for studio, less pixels vs 100mp (I print to 65”+ wide, and personally I like the resolution benefit of 100mp), heavier vs lighter camera body, do you think you’d mainly use native lenses vs want ability to adapt others, etc etc. The list of considerations is long IMHO. What I do think is the end image is dictated by some factors (ie, resolution is either sufficient to capture the detail that you want or it’s not), but I do think the end “look” of an image in terms of color / contrast / “cinematic” etc etc can be dramatically driven by how you post process, and I think depth and pop is partly a function of that, and hence can be more camera agnostic in that sense.

Edited by Jon Warwick
Link to post
Share on other sites

I favoured the S007 over a Phase One XF with a IQ180 (80 megaxpixel) back. The smaller form factor and the fantastic handholding of the S were big pluses. However, what swung it for me was the 30-90mm. The Hasselblad 35-90mm doesn't go as wide and it's physically twice as long! Phase One only has a 40-90mm so that's neither as wide nor as tele and Contax only has a 45-90mm. The Leica 30-90mm is a very special offering. You might have to send it away to get it perfectly calibrated (like I did - twice!), but, when it is, it's a joy to use and it has such a useful focal range. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used the Fuji XPro1 and XT for a period along side my Monochrom.  WHile it was a long time ago, I never felt the raw files were as pliable as the Leica files and the lenses were very clinical and did not have the feel or contrast.  If you do not need the megapixels, the S007 is a great bargain and I’ve been using the S007 since late 2017 and love it.  My main work with it is landscape work.

So, ultimately, I think the Leica files are very strong and the camera works well in cold, wet weather.  I would compare the dynamic range available if you will be doing landscapes, because the sun and highlights can too easily get blown, or the shadows too noisy when brining them up.  The S007 (and I believe S3) do a great job on both ends.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would handle both systems before making a decision.

For my part I prefer the S system. First I like the S lenses a lot. Second I think its great to have that OVF. Third I like the simple user interface.

I tried a Fuji gfx50 and also used a x1dII system, but overall I use SL system when it shall be flexible and fast, and if I want something special I use the s system. I dont need the 100MP, and so far I am fine with the S007. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

to me personally and i am biased as a fuji gfx100 user, is....get the gfx100s, its one third of the price, 1 stop better dynamic range, more MP! Start using the R glass and then maybe move on to native glass, or even adapt the S glass to the GFX.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, overexposed said:

adapt the S glass to the GFX.

I wonder if it's possible to stick a GF lens on some kind of adapter to use on the S? They have manual aperture rings. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...