I made this series of downtown Austin in early 2022. My first hometown test of the newly acquired Fujifilm GFX 50S II. I was there to push the limits of what the camera could do. My earlier images were captured at a safe 1/5 of a second. I knew the camera’s in-body image stabilization would easily pass that test. For this image, I pushed it to 1/3 of a second.
Walking along the river in nearly pitch-black conditions, I aimed and fired towards the bridge. The camera focused properly and captured a very dark exposure. Purposely done so that I can post-process later. The Fuji GF35-70mm lens would make the ideal all-purpose lens — perfect for travel. At f4.5 – 5.6, it has a small aperture. But with the benefit of compact size, especially for medium format. I would need to rely on image stabilization for dark scenes since light-gathering is not its strong suit. It does give me a very useable depth of field, making it versatile.
Here is the photo as shot before post-processing. ISO 800 on the GFX is still very clean, and I was easily capable of lifting shadows without undue noise. For static scenes, even with a slow aperture, image stabilization and post-processing enabled me to capture previously unheard-of scenes without a tripod.
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2 thoughts on “Pushing the Limits of Low-Light Hand-Held Exposures”
Thank you, Stefan!