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Thread: Fuji GSW690

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Fuji GSW690

    I have a project coming up where I'll need lots of resolution and a WA lens on a camera that can be handheld. Since digital MF isn't possible for budgetary reasons, I'm considering a Fujifilm GSW690, probably model III, to get a camera that is as new as possible and hopefully reliable.

    Does anybody here have experience with that camera, particularly handheld?

    The ideal solution would actually be a 6 x 12 camera, but the alternatives in that format seem to start around $3,000. The D800 is also out of the question since the price with a good quality WA lens is also well above $4,000, and MF film will give me more useable resolution anyway (I will mainly use Ektar 100 for this project). Also, most of the photography will take place in a wet marine environment, which is one reason why I don't consider the A7r. Destroying a $4-800 Fuji would be within my budget, but not the more expensive Sony.

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    Re: Fuji GSW690

    I've owned the GW690II (standard model with 90mm lens). (Twice, actually.) It's a bit klunky but readily usable hand-held. The shutter action is loud. If you're thinking about working in dim available light, keep in mind that the lens on the wide angle version is pretty slow - f/5.6. The Fujis are pretty reliable - you don't need to spend extra for a mark III just to get a camera that you can trust. Condition of the particular camera is much more important. Sellers will often cite the number from the shutter counter on the bottom of the camera. Don't place any weight on that - the counter could easily have been reset or rolled over during the life of the camera, and unless the seller is the original owner, he or she wouldn't know.

    You can get one of the Chinese 6x12 cameras with a lens for less than half of the $3000 price you were expecting. Those will, of course, be scale-focus only, or else GG first, then load the roll.

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    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Re: Fuji GSW690

    It's an excellent camera, with a fantastic lens.

    Here's a couple shots on Tri-X that will give you some idea.





    You can get full-rez images here:

    All sizes | C42 office scenes-6 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    All sizes | Superior Plating building-4-Edit | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

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    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Re: Fuji GSW690

    PS -
    If your budget allows, the little shoe-mounted Voigtlander VC Meter II makes a great companion to the GSW690.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Fuji GSW690

    Thank you for posting, Mike. The lens really seems to be doing its job properly. The Voigtlander meter has been on the shopping list for years, so yes, that's what I'll probably go for with regards to metering.

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    Member GregMO's Avatar
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    Re: Fuji GSW690

    I have both the 65mm & 90mm versions. They are very light despite the bulky size of the camera. Hand holding for long periods of time shouldnt be an issue. They are easy cameras to quickly focus & operate.

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    Re: Fuji GSW690

    I know it's a lot bigger but why not an RZ? They're so incredibly cheap these days.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Fuji GSW690

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    I know it's a lot bigger but why not an RZ? They're so incredibly cheap these days.
    Because it's heavy and because for this project, I need a wider aspect ratio. If I want to bring a heavy camera, I do have the GX680

    To be on the safe side, I need to take some ISO 400 colour film as well. After some research, Portra 400 seems to be the only quality alternative left after Fuji discontinued Provia 400X (I don't like Fuji Pro 400 H)

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    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Re: Fuji GSW690

    you want a 6X9 what about all the 645 fuji cameras? you can hand hold them easily

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    Re: Fuji GSW690

    Quote Originally Posted by GregMO View Post
    I have both the 65mm & 90mm versions. They are very light despite the bulky size of the camera. Hand holding for long periods of time shouldnt be an issue. They are easy cameras to quickly focus & operate.
    I wouldn't be surprised if I buy the 90mm as well. Each of them weighs only slightly more than the best lenses for the GX680

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    Re: Fuji GSW690

    They are OK cameras, but nothing more. Lens is OK, not stellar, at least compared to a Mamiya 7. The body is clunky, the viewfinder is tiny, long exposures are a pain and the camera is bigger than you think it is. If you can't trust the camera roll counter, I would factor a CLA into the price. All that said, the GSW690III is probably the only camera I have sold that I regret selling. If the cost of MFD is out, think about the cost of the final images after film, processing, scanning, etc. Because the camera is just plastic box with a simple lens on it, I put the camera in places that I don't think I would ever risk a digital camera (like in the ocean, on a tripod with salt spray everywhere and waves going right under the camera). Sure, I would do that with 4x5, but not a tech cam, and certainly not a DF. If you have budget to spare, The GW670 makes a nice companion camera.

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    Re: Fuji GSW690

    Quote Originally Posted by viablex1 View Post
    you want a 6X9 what about all the 645 fuji cameras? you can hand hold them easily
    It's only half the resolution and for this project, all important photos will be landscape format, which makes the Fuji 645 somewhat awkward to use. Apart from that, I like those cameras a lot, and they represent very good value for money.
    Last edited by Jorgen Udvang; 9th March 2014 at 17:27.

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    Re: Fuji GSW690

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_Green View Post
    They are OK cameras, but nothing more. Lens is OK, not stellar, at least compared to a Mamiya 7. The body is clunky, the viewfinder is tiny, long exposures are a pain and the camera is bigger than you think it is. If you can't trust the camera roll counter, I would factor a CLA into the price. All that said, the GSW690III is probably the only camera I have sold that I regret selling. If the cost of MFD is out, think about the cost of the final images after film, processing, scanning, etc. Because the camera is just plastic box with a simple lens on it, I put the camera in places that I don't think I would ever risk a digital camera (like in the ocean, on a tripod with salt spray everywhere and waves going right under the camera). Sure, I would do that with 4x5, but not a tech cam, and certainly not a DF. If you have budget to spare, The GW670 makes a nice companion camera.
    You sum up my reasons for considering this camera very well, although there are others who think more highly about its image capturing qualities. The project, if approved, will mostly take place at smallish, very basic fishing vessels at sea, and the weather will be tropically unpredictable.

    As things are progressing, I also see other potential uses for the camera, and as a supplement to my GX680. My film and processing cost (Ektar 100) is around $1.50 per frame (I do the scanning myself). Even the cheapest digital solutions will start at $3,000, the equivalent of 2,000 frames, and still I'm at a level where film will outresolve digital by a healthy margin. Already when scanned at 2400 dpi, 6x9 will give 45+ MP. The potential for Ektar 100 is considerably higher, and although camera shake and other factors will influence on that, I expect the potential to be over and above any realistic digital solution.

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    Re: Fuji GSW690

    Positives for the Fuji cameras:

    (1) 6x9

    (2) Older, interchangeable lens models offer 90, 65, and 50mm lenses wider than a 50mm 35mm camera equivalent. 150 and 180mm also available.

    (3) There is a magnifying eye piece available for these cameras, to aid focusing.

    As far as the quality/resolving power of the Fujica is concerned, you might examine this link.

    http://www.dantestella.com/technical/gsw690iii-res.html

    Finally, you might consider a 617 MF camera, or, a Noblex 150 camera, which utilizes a 35mm lens (generally considered superior optically to many MF lenses), unless parallax would be a problem with your project.

    Texsport
    Exacta VX,500;Leica M3;Voigtlander Bessa L;Olympus OM4, OM4T,35SP,E-M5;Nikkormat FTN;Nikon FG,F4,F5;Canon EF,T90,EOS A2,EOS3,SL1;Fujica 670/690G and BL;Pentacon Six TL;Rittreck 66;Warner 66;Norita 66; Widelux F7;H XPan;Noblex 150;Linhof 617.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Fuji GSW690

    Thank you for your informative post, Texsport. I've considered the Fujica, but the WA lenses are hard to find and very expensive. The Noblex... not for this project. Too much movement involved. I have no experience though, so might be wrong. I've been lusting for the Fuji 617 for years, but they are expensive, and the Linhof even more so. For this project, it probably wouldn't be practical anyway, but that's a camera that I aim to buy, hopefully sooner rather than later

    Thank you also for the link to the Dantestella piece. Impressive stuff indeed.

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    Re: Fuji GSW690

    Great camera the Fuji 690, great results.

    If I may suggest that you go with the 617 and rent it from a rental shop close by and have them ship it to you. When done ship it back.

    Why not use the best tool for the project?

    OR, http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...um_Format.html
    Ciao,
    Giorgio Niro
    www.giorgioniro.com

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    Re: Fuji GSW690

    Quote Originally Posted by Texsport View Post
    Positives for the Fuji cameras:

    As far as the quality/resolving power of the Fujica is concerned, you might examine this link.

    Dante Stella

    Texsport

    I was fortunate to buy his GSW690iii It's a beauty, wonderful images even by me..

    Rick

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