Fuji GSW690III

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by charlie_strack, Sep 14, 2001.

  1. Does anyone use a Fuji 6x9 RF camera & care to share their opinions?

    <p>

    I'm considering getting one as a "small" (by LF comparison) portable camera with a decent negative size, without spending the small fortune required for one of the other models that have interchangeable lenses, and not so much portability.
     
  2. Hi, I've owned a GSWIII for two years now, and love it. I use it
    predominantly for my colour work, but have also put a hundred or more
    rolls of B&W through it, with great results. The Fujinon EBC lens is
    stunning, even wide open, and I never hesitate to have the sun in the
    image, if necessary, knowing the quality of the lens will win out.
    Highly recomended - light, convienent and sharp as a tack.

    <p>

    Eric Boutilier-Brown
    http://www.evolvingbeauty.com
     
  3. I use both the 65mm and the 90mm versions of this camera and like them
    quite a bit. There's a lot on them in the medium-format archived
    threads on photo.net (under "Fuji rangefinders") and one guy even
    started a website, www.fujirangefinders.com.

    <p>

    The shortcomings are well-known: non-interchangeable lenses, no meter,
    not a convenient "B" or "T" setting. But compared to LF, they're a
    breeze to use, especially in driving rain or blowing snow. A few
    thoughts:

    <p>

    Marked hyperfocal distances, as with most MF rangefinders, are a stop
    or two optimistic.

    <p>

    Lenses are not as sharp as Mamiya 7 lenses; see Chris Perez's site, I
    think, for a comparison. They're "very good" lenses, but I don't think
    they're "great."

    <p>

    Film flatness has been raised as a problem for the 6x9 versions of
    this camera; I haven't noticed it, but my photos with the Fujis do not
    seem to be quite as sharp overall as those with the Mamiya 7, a camera
    which combines the sharpest MF lenses with good film-flattening
    design.

    <p>

    Many people are buying both the Fujis and the Mamiya 7's at
    www.robertwhite.co.uk and saving a bundle.

    <p>

    ........
     
  4. "Film flatness has been raised as a problem for the 6x9 versions of this camera; I haven't noticed it, but my photos with the Fujis do not seem to be quite as sharp overall as those with the Mamiya 7"
    My experience is not comparable to yours, I suggest you get your rangefinder on your Fuji camera tuned.
     
  5. Charlie:

    <p>

    I use a Fuji 6x9 with the 65mm lens and a 6x7 with a 90mm lens. The
    cameras are solid and produce nice sharp negatives. I use the 6x7 as a
    general purpose camera and the 6x9 primarily for landscapes.

    <p>

    I would echo the limitations mentioned above, particularly with
    respect to timed exposures which are inconvenient. I would also add
    that the Fuji's are not very useful at close distances (under about
    3ft) and that the rangefinder view is slightly obscured by the camera
    lens. You will also have to adapt to focusing a rangefinder unless you
    have previous experience with these types of cameras. If you buy a
    used version, inquire about the number of rolls shot with the camera.
    On my model, there is a mechanical meter on the bottom which advances
    with every roll shot. I hope this helps.

    <p>

    ...................................
     
  6. Charlie -

    <p>

    I have a GW690II, which has the 90mm lens. That's a really nice
    focal length for general snapshooting on 6x9. The construction is
    VERY plasticky, but sturdy enough overall. It's a nuisance to use
    mounted on a tripod, both because rangefinder viewing isn't ideal for
    framing carefully and because the "T" setting for exposures beyond 1
    second is a nuisance to use.

    <p>

    I don't much care for the lens. It's more than sharp enough. I've
    never had a film flatness or focus alignment problem at the medium-to-
    small apertures I've used with this camera, though I've heard from
    another user that shooting at f/3.5 can be a little iffy. The
    contrast and tonality are a little on the hard and unsubtle side for
    me. The out-of-focus character is smooth and nice for backgrounds at
    close range, but when the backgrounds fall off to infinity with the
    point of focus at midrange the OOF backgrounds have a sort of mealy
    look that I find intensely obnoxious, especially in B&W. I rarely
    use the Fuji any more...
     
  7. On EBAY you can get a 1980's Mamiya Universal and a gaggle of very
    nice interchangeable lenses for about the same $. Just a thought.
    It's what I've done for color jobs, and have been very happy with.
    The system offered 6X7 and 6X9 removeable backs which are well known
    for their film plane flatness (and I suppose sometimes light leaks if
    you aren't nice about how you torque the longish door.) J
     
  8. hi charlie
    i have these cameras and the earlier versions w/interchangeable lenses
    for close to 20 years. i currently only use type 1 and a type 11 with
    the 90mm lens. if possible it is best to buy the camera new and from a
    local source so you can compare the lens sharpness of a few different
    cameras-they do vary. i have had some cameras where the the lens was
    best at f5.6 and others where f11 was optimum. also,as i think ellis
    mentioned you must check the rangefinders on these cameras and do so
    every year if you use it a lot. they do go out of alignment easily
    compared to a leica. lastly.i often blow up my images to 30"x40" and
    they are very very sharp.
    the mamiya 7 is a fine camera except i did not like the viewfinder
    much;lots of distortion in comparison the the fuji. also,i think the
    mamiya lens are quite a bit more contrasty therby appearing to be more
    sharp....however i do not think this is the actual case. thay are
    however very good.i can only say i have run about 5-8000 rolls thru
    the fuji's and i love them. they are a wonderful camera and now with a
    tk23 i have some lens choices in
     
  9. Charlie,
    I've owned a mint condition GSW690III for a few years now and
    have found it to be great. The lens is very sharp and the camera
    light for its frame size. Having said that, I'm about to either sell it
    or trade it in on a secondhand panoramic camera. It has shot
    only about 35 rolls and is in tip top condition, so anyone
    interested is welcome to contact me (Australia) for a better deal
    than new through any store. All round a simple, portable, sharp,
    convenient camera. I agree with another posting suggesting the
    hyperfocal markings are just a tad optomistic - perhaps by one
    aperture stop. There's just no substitute for front tilt! Why sell it?
    I'd just like a pano camera.
     
  10. Oops,
    Just noticed the advice to forum users not to advertise via this
    forum. It's not my intention to misuse this forum as a classified
    ad service, sorry everybody...
     
  11. Personally, I am amazed that anyone would spend $1000+USD for a
    rangefinder - without a meter - and you cannot change lenses -
    totally amazing......
    So just what do you get for your $1000-1500 that you can't find in an
    old used 6x9? Judging by the posts above, there is not exactly a
    consensus (sp) regarding the lens.....
     
  12. To answer the last posting, you get a very modern, sharp,
    contrasty lens in a body that is sturdy, requires minimal setup
    time and has a viewfinder with accurate focus assist. Requiring
    an external lightmeter shouldn't pose a problem to LF users.
    The camera can be used not only for landscape but also in a
    photojournalism style for, say, environmental portraits, shot
    handheld with ease. Also easily used without a darkcloth in
    sight. An ideal solution for travel photography without all the
    other LF paraphernalia we love to use but have to schlep around.
    In summary a lot of neg area with minimum fuss, a brilliant lens
    (search past threads, and the MF forums on photo.net, there are
    many devotees of this camera) and portability. Think of it as half
    a Fuji GX617 at a quarter the price - with similar excellent quality.
    Damn, I might have just talked myself into keeping it!
     
  13. I have a Fuji 6x9 with the 65mm and one with the 90mm. I also have
    the 6x7 with the 90mm. I love these cameras. The lenses are very,
    very sharp, the images that I make in 8x10 are almost identical to my
    4x5 images. I have a few 11x14 prints that also look great. The
    cameras are well made, and I've been very happy with them. The draw
    backs are few.
     
  14. Thanks for all your postings. I've always liked the results from my
    Fuji LF lenses.

    <p>

    Charlie
     
  15. I have owned tis camera for 5 or 6 years and always loved it. I haven't shot it
    in a while, and want to sell it to purchase (surprise) some digital equipment.
    Does anyone have any advice as to where I might get the maximum return on
    this camera? I know this isn't a classified forum, and I apologize if this post is
    inappropriate, but I am new to selling equipment. Thanks in advance.
     

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