Jump to content

A Medium Format Quandry!


Recommended Posts

jeez it's been a while 😄


I love landscape pics and I'm trying to work out if I feel it's worth spending a once in a lifetime amount of money on a panoramic film camera.

I currently have a Voigtlander Bessa II 6x9 Rangefinder and i love it.

In the past i've used a Fuji GW690III, Mamiya 7 and a bunch of other medium format cameras.,

I'm no expert, i just like the craft and format.

Now i'm looking at some panoramic film cameras and i hope to get some folks opinions on a few things!

1. Fuji G617 vs Gx617 viewfinder, I know the viewfinders here are tricky, are the Gx617 viewfinders really worth the upgrade? I don't think I need the other lenses the Gx617 allows, but the viewfinder and general quality of life updates might be useful, would love to hear thoughts. Specifically around viewfinders.

2. Horseman 612, the compact package is appealing. How are the lenses compared to the Fuji panorama cameras? I love Fuji lenses, are the lenses used on the Horseman really noticeably better to someone who cares more about character and less about resolution and sharpness?

3. Linhof 617, only just looking into this one. Any opinons from folks would be appreciated.

4. Any other panoramic medium format cameras i've missed? it seems hard to find them so please let me know if i missed some, only just found out about the horseman today!


Very best,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hopefully more knowledgeable members will come in soon to answer your questions ... but I'm wondering, if you love Fuji lenses, why not stay with them ?

Here's a review of the Fuji G617 ... https://casualphotophile.com/2019/11/11/fujifilm-panorama-g617-professional-camera-review/

It can be handheld, the spirit level can be seen through the viewfinder and it takes 220 film as well as 120. You only need an accessory rangefinder if you don't wish to guess distances.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’ve read that one, wasn’t particularly helpful…

”take a light meter reading with your external meter (I just guess)”.

I’d really just like to hear what the G617 viewfinder is like to use compared to the GX617. I can’t find anyone talking about that comparison.

Edited by steve_whetman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's another link comparing both cameras ...


There's separate interchangeable viewfinders for the GX617, for the two interchangeable lenses

"The new suspended frame viewfinders are much more kind to spectacle wearers than the optical finder of the G617, and can also take a dioptre correction lens and a rubber eyecup if you need them; but there is still no way to correct for parallax."

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have used both. Here are some thoughts on the subject:

  • GX617 lenses are a lot sharper, at least in my case.
  • GX617 viewfinders are actual finders not like the window in G617. Having said that both are almost equally inaccurate. It takes practice to visualize what the actual picture will be. Probably slightly better on the GX.
  • G617 level visible from the view finder works very well both when shooting handheld and on the tripod. I have added a level on the bracket above the lens on both GX lenses for the same reason. The level on the GX617 is only useful when you want to place the camera absolutely leveled both horizontally and vertically.
  • Film door seems a bit better on the GX but not so when on tripod (which in my case spends most of the time) as it interferes with head controls. Different design head may fit better.
  • GX requires batteries only when you need to use the button on top of the camera. On the G617 is mechanical but on the stiff side. I usually use a cable release on the lens on both cameras.
  • I don't know who the genius was, but the GX has no accessory shoe. The G617 has two.
  • Both film door opening, and film release switches are much better designed in the GX.


Having said all that, in my opinion there are two reasons to switch to GX: sharper interchangeable lenses. Everything else are just nuances.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...