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120 / 220 film RF's 120 / 220 format rangefinders including Fuji, Koni-Omega, Mamiya Press, Linhof 6x7/6x9 cameras, Mamiya 6/7 among others, but excluding the 120 folders and the Voigtlander 667 cameras that have their own forums.

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Best Fuji Medium Format camera?
Old 09-17-2016   #1
papo
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Best Fuji Medium Format camera?

Hey everyone, i sortakinda almost decided to go with a Mamiya (havent figured out which model yet) but then i saw the Fuji Medium Format cameras. Can they be compared (quality,IQ,etc) with the Mamiya 6 or 7s of this world?
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Old 09-17-2016   #2
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I'd say read a bit about them on the Stella Dante website. It all depends on what you want and will use it for. If you really want 6x6 then apart from the GX680 I don't think any of the Fuji MF cameras does 6x6. But that is a monster and far far away from a RF. If you really want changable lenses then again the GX680 or the old GM670 or G690BL. Great cameras but no lightmeter If you can live with a single lens then the newer 670 and 690 ones might be an option. But You'll miss out on the wonderful 48mm Mamiya for the M7.

So you'll have to make up your mind. Don't think you'll be disappointed if you choose a Fuji but finding one that is largely identical to a Mamiya 6 or 7 won't be possible.
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Old 09-17-2016   #3
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it depends on what is the best for you.
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Old 09-17-2016   #4
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Fuji GX680 will probably piss all over a Mamiya 6 or 7 for image quality. Good luck carrying it around all day, though.
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Old 09-17-2016   #5
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Given your mention of the Mamiya 6, 7 the comparable Fujis are the 645's and the GW series.

I have a GW690 and it is a nice camera, but different from the Mamiyas and it is unfair to compare it directly -I have not a mamiya so it is a technical comparison, but researched extensively about it-. First of all, it is fully manual and unmetered; then it is a 6x9 camera. Also, Fuji 690's can be gotten as low as $300 - Mamiyas, aside of a 400€ one that was sold in the RFF classifields in 2014, are priced +$1000. The Mamiya optics are regarded as the best.

But then, you could get a GW and GSW for the price of a Mamiya single lens kit. Depending on the iterations you choose, you could as well get 3 fujis of diverse formats (645, 6x9) for a single mamiya.

The Fujinon 65mm is deemed as excellent (See Dante's test) and it is a quasi symmetrical design.
The 90mm is excellent, but possibly not as critically sharp as the Mamiyas or the 65mm and reputed to be contrasty. I have yet to do larger than 12x18" prints scanned with my V550 flatbed.

If you get a GW, there were 6x7, 6x8 and 6x9 models; the latter being the main format. Everything is just the same except the film gate, transport, adapted VF and counter.
Ie, you just lug a 6x9 camera stripped to shoot 6x7. I'd recommend going for the 6x9 or the rather special 6x8 models for that reason.
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Old 09-17-2016   #6
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ruby.monkey: I dont know GX680 lenses, but Mamiya RF's = one of the best MF lenses...same or better than my RZ.
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Old 09-17-2016   #7
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The new Fuji / Voigtlander 667. Meter, 6x6 or 6x7, not too heavy.
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Old 09-17-2016   #8
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The image quality differences won't matter in real world terms. I wouldn't worry about it. All of these lenses are incredible and will suit your needs. When you're downscaling a 500mb tiff to a 500kb jpeg to be shared on the web, what does it matter anyway?

I would say that there is* a difference in the look you get from a Fuji 90mm lens and the Mamiya 80mm lens that will translate when sharing images. The 6x9 lenses have a more LF look to them than the Mamiya's do.

Really I would focus on whether you like 6x6, 6x7 or 6x9.
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Old 09-17-2016   #9
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thanks you guys. since someone asked, i would like to shoot architecture, landscape and every once in a while crank out a portrait

Let me add one more thing: currently i dont like the color rendering and overall "slickness" (lack of a better word) of digital. I am really tired of it. The thing i really love about medium is the colors and depth it can offer. Heres the catch: while inlike all of this about medium, i am not sure (yet) if this is the way i wanna go long-term because of its inconveniency of having to develop the films and the cost of it. Its not a dealbreaker right now but long term? it is something i do want to consider because i would invest some money into buying equipment and whatnot.

I know that no one can make the call for me but what you could do is share your opinions on this, especially if you had similar doubts.
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Old 09-17-2016   #10
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Peter S is sellng his Voigtlander 667 (=Fuji GF 670) in the classifieds right now.


http://www.rangefinderforum.com/phot...essa-iii/cat/4

Great VF/RF, meter, aperture priority if you want it, folds into a compact and strong clamshell. I have the GF670 for 6x6/6x7 and a GA645 for full auto/6x4.5

As someone else has noted, you could get some combo of Fuji GA or GS + GW in different formats for ~$ as a Mamiya. Good luck, enjoy the hunt.
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Old 09-17-2016   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanik View Post
I'd say read a bit about them on the Stella Dante website.
Dante Stella's site is confusing and somewhat non-committal about which one is best. But I hear he likes the GL690 with the 50mm Fujinon for its crushingly high resolution and lack of distortion.

But seriously, my picks are:

- GA645: if you are a Libra, want to enjoy photography, and can handle a camera that can frame-space perfectly and make exposures accurate to the tenth of a stop. The 37mm equivalent lens is fantastic. Lens is just as good as anything on the Mamiya 6.

- GA645zi: if you overlook the fragile LCD panel on the back, it is quiet, solid, and high-performing with a 4-step zoom. Try doing that with your Mamiya.

- GL690: not for the faint-hearted, people who are pregnant, or people with bad backs, but all the lenses (50/65/100/100AE/150/180) are good, and if you like wide, the 2:3 format is better than the 6x7 of the newer cameras. The G690BL, its predecessor, is mostly the same camera. I had one chromed.

- GS645 folder: although the camera is cantankerous and easy to break if you don't fold it up correctly, the 75/3.4 lens on this is as close to a "normal" lens as you will see on any Fuji 645.

- GS690/GSW690II: not really plastic but fully modern, light, and good for people who like 28-35mm equivalent lenses. High contrast, high sharpness.

Dante
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Old 09-17-2016   #12
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I've been buying Fuji GX80 lenses and chopping them apart and robbing the front and back cells. These fit into Seiko shutters, such as in the RB67 lenses. Then I hack them onto my Plaubel Makiflex boards. So far, I have the 125mm, the 135mm, the 150mm, and the 180mm. These are seriously killer-quality lenses.

Fujis on Makiflexes by Nokton48, on Flickr
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Old 09-17-2016   #13
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I don't think anything matches Mamiya 7 lenses.

Careful with assumptions, re: the big Fuji rangefinders. Be certain they have meters if that's what you need. I was about to make a spontaneous purchase of a 6x9 and didn't realize until the last minute that they are meterless.

I've had a 645zi, but didn't like it: the AF module needed calibration, so all the pix were soft. You can't tell with an AF 'rangefinder' until you've processed the film.... plus the lens is slow. I now have a GA645, which doesn't alleviate the AF paranoia, but at least this sample is sharper than the defective zip I had. I haven't found he lens to be as sharp as the Mamiya 6 I had, but I haven't used it much. I still worry about the focusing.....

Why a Fuji? The Mamiya 7 is the class product IMO.

If you consider a 6x4.5, I had better results with a Bronica Rf645 than I have so far with my GA645. Unfortunately, the Bronica needed a repair and then got 'lost' by the repairer.... But I liked it. Sharp results. You can tell when something is in focus (manual), it's a small camera, and the lens renders beautifully.
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Old 09-17-2016   #14
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Hi papo. In my opinion IQ should be the last of your worries. I remember making comparison shots of a mamiya press and a modern mamiya 6 and couldn't tell a lick of a difference. Try them out and see what feels better but in the end they are all the same: a box with a lens attached to it.
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Old 09-17-2016   #15
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while we at it, where can i get calibration for each of them? Or do i have to calibrate it myself? Just curious. WHat about repairs in general?

THanks you guys, i really appreciate the infos.
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Old 09-17-2016   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante_Stella View Post
Dante Stella's site is confusing and somewhat non-committal about which one is best. But I hear he likes the GL690 with the 50mm Fujinon for its crushingly high resolution and lack of distortion.
(snip)
Dante
TS has to make up his own mind so any site that doesn't tell him what to get but just gives plain info is a good one.

(because I needed more than 10 characters...)
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Old 09-17-2016   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papo View Post
while we at it, where can i get calibration for each of them? Or do i have to calibrate it myself? Just curious. WHat about repairs in general?

THanks you guys, i really appreciate the infos.

http://www.precisioncameraworks.com/Pages/services.html
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Old 09-17-2016   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante_Stella View Post

- GL690: not for the faint-hearted, people who are pregnant, or people with bad backs, but all the lenses (50/65/100/100AE/150/180) are good, and if you like wide, the 2:3 format is better than the 6x7 of the newer cameras. The G690BL, its predecessor, is mostly the same camera. I had one chromed.

- GS690/GSW690II: not really plastic but fully modern, light, and good for people who like 28-35mm equivalent lenses. High contrast, high sharpness.

I went for the GL690 along with the 100 and 150. I would say it's great for black and white but due to the single coating not as appropriate for color (unless that old school look is your thing).

So the GW690 for me for color and the GL690 for BnW. I'd love to find a 50mm that fits the budget but the only 50mm on a 6x9 I can afford is the Mamiya Press :-P.

And while the Press is a beast, that lens, along with the 75 and 100 2.8 are nothing to sneeze at.



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Old 09-17-2016   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nokton48 View Post
I've been buying Fuji GX80 lenses and chopping them apart and robbing the front and back cells. These fit into Seiko shutters, such as in the RB67 lenses. Then I hack them onto my Plaubel Makiflex boards. So far, I have the 125mm, the 135mm, the 150mm, and the 180mm. These are seriously killer-quality lenses.

Fujis on Makiflexes by Nokton48, on Flickr

So cool. Much respect to hacking lenses and getting things working on your own!

I've heard great things about the GX680 lenses. Considering how great the large format lenses from Fuji are, it's no surprise. The EBC coating is mucho underrated.


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GF670.... Deserted on an island camera
Old 09-17-2016   #20
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GF670.... Deserted on an island camera

I vote for all of them.
I've owned GW690iii's and currently own a GF670.
The GW690 versions are bit loud and clunky but the images are great and the cameras seem bomb proof.
The GF670 is the quietest and smoothest camera I've owned. It's only "fault" is battery dependence.
Has a 6x7 gate and a built in 6x6 mask that is very convenient.
The finder is gorgeous. So bright and clear with a nice RF patch.
I don't have a lot of images online so this one has been posted a few times before.

The shutter is so smooth and light the camera can be Easily handheld to very slow speeds.
The Last Frame by Adnan, on Flickr
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Old 09-17-2016   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
I vote for all of them.
I've owned GW690iii's and currently own a GF670.
The GW690 versions are bit loud and clunky but the images are great and the cameras seem bomb proof.
The GF670 is the quietest and smoothest camera I've owned. It's only "fault" is battery dependence.
Has a 6x7 gate and a built in 6x6 mask that is very convenient.
The finder is gorgeous. So bright and clear with a nice RF patch.
I don't have a lot of images online so this one has been posted a few times before.

The shutter is so smooth and light the camera can be Easily handheld to very slow speeds.
I'd deem the GF670/Bessa III as the Ultimate Medium format travel camera. (Someone Hardcore could argue it is not an actual Fuji camera, but a Cosina).

Multiformat is a fantastic feature, with the real adjustment of 6x6 12 frames and 6x7 10 frames. Thought that +2 shots on a roll on 6x6 can make a difference with film economy during travel.

Prices are just a bit higher than a Mamiya 7 kit, so not bad for a new and modern camera with such features. I personally went with the GW's for the low price and bang for the buck they are. Kind of forgot about this camera but it seems really fantastic.
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Old 09-17-2016   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
I vote for all of them.
I've owned GW690iii's and currently own a GF670.
The GW690 versions are bit loud and clunky but the images are great and the cameras seem bomb proof.
The GF670 is the quietest and smoothest camera I've owned. It's only "fault" is battery dependence.
Has a 6x7 gate and a built in 6x6 mask that is very convenient.
The finder is gorgeous. So bright and clear with a nice RF patch.
I don't have a lot of images online so this one has been posted a few times before.

The shutter is so smooth and light the camera can be Easily handheld to very slow speeds.
The Last Frame by Adnan, on Flickr
I like the idea of the gf670 but am unsure about its longevity. I,ve heard from a few that with extensive use the lens can get out of alignment with the film plane. Any issues w yours?
My one Fuji is a gw690iii and that thing is super rugged. some kid ran his head into mine and the camera is completely fine, while his head was not.
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Old 09-17-2016   #23
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I adore my GW690III. But I will say, that I still sometimes look at other models but really that 6x9 negative is a beast and resolves amazingly.

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Old 09-17-2016   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I like the idea of the gf670 but am unsure about its longevity. I,ve heard from a few that with extensive use the lens can get out of alignment with the film plane. Any issues w yours?
My one Fuji is a gw690iii and that thing is super rugged. some kid ran his head into mine and the camera is completely fine, while his head was not.
I've only owned the GF for a couple years. It's seems pretty durable although I do understand the concern.
It's a great camera. If it ever wore out I would still be happy to have had it.
The GW 690iii is a beast. It' definitely more robust.
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Old 09-17-2016   #25
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I adore my GW690III. But I will say, that I still sometimes look at other models but really that 6x9 negative is a beast and resolves amazingly.

Agreed. It looks like you cropped that 6x9 image to 6x7.
But that is the beauty of the GW690, it is three cameras in one! As 6x9 contains 6x7 and 6x6! I even use mine as a pano camera as there is so much film space to play with.
Really makes you realize what a deal a GW690 is at $400+-
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Old 09-17-2016   #26
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I've only owned the GF for a couple years. It's seems pretty durable although I do understand the concern.
It's a great camera. If it ever wore out I would still be happy to have had it.
The GW 690iii is a beast. It' definitely more robust.
Thanks Andy, anything someone should look out for?
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Old 09-17-2016   #27
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Agreed. It looks like you cropped that 6x9 image to 6x7.
But that is the beauty of the GW690, it is three cameras in one! As 6x9 contains 6x7 and 6x6! I even use mine as a pano camera as there is so much film space to play with.
Really makes you realize what a deal a GW690 is at $400+-
Thanks. You know I'm really new to this (film and MF film photography) so I didn't catch the size issue, and I've now realized that the shop I went with to have my film developed and scanned has provided these scans as cropped. So now I have to go back to them and see what the issue is. Man, they've screwed up all three orders I've given them in one way or another ( Three times) so I'm not going back to them at all.
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Old 09-17-2016   #28
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Thanks. You know I'm really new to this (film and MF film photography) so I didn't catch the size issue, and I've now realized that the shop I went with to have my film developed and scanned has provided these scans as cropped. So now I have to go back to them and see what the issue is. Man, they've screwed up all three orders I've given them in one way or another ( Three times) so I'm not going back to them at all.
Don't be too hard on them, they are very likely limited to what the machines can do. Aka it are not really separate scans.
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Old 09-18-2016   #29
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Don't be too hard on them, they are very likely limited to what the machines can do. Aka it are not really separate scans.
Disagree. Even the worst place I've sent film to - thedarkroom - did not crop my 6x9 scans. 6x9 image is the exact same ratio as 35mm, so there is no mystery here.
You pay good money for this stuff so should expect correct results.

I recommend northcoastphoto.com, or thefindlab.com
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Old 09-18-2016   #30
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Disagree. Even the worst place I've sent film to - thedarkroom - did not crop my 6x9 scans. 6x9 image is the exact same ratio as 35mm, so there is no mystery here.
You pay good money for this stuff so should expect correct results.

I recommend northcoastphoto.com, or thefindlab.com
I know, right? Yeah I don't pay them to cut literal corners. I'll be having a chat with them. Just too bad as all three orders with them have had major issues and this last batch I spent a lot with them for processing and scanning so I'm definitely done with them because they can't get this stuff right. Nevermind that this last order has been in their possession for almost three weeks now.

If anything this just pushes me to get my own scanner. So at least that is a bonus to this debacle.
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Old 09-18-2016   #31
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Thanks Andy, anything someone should look out for?
The black ones
I just like the black ones better.
Always "park" the lens at infinity prior to closing it.
If you're looking at a used one just check out that lens area. Everything on should be nice and smooth and tight.
There is no play in a healthy one.
You'll love it Huss.... I highly recommend trying one.
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Old 09-18-2016   #32
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Years ago I had a Fuji G690BL and it was fantastic. I had a host of lenses and I'm not sure why I sold the kit, really. I probably needed the money.
Back in 2013 I bought a Mamiya 6MF with 50mm, 75mm and 150mm lenses. I thought I was set...
...until I didn't want to change lenses. So, just like when I was shooting with Leica or Nikon RFs, I found another Mamiya 6 to dedicate to the 50mm (got it here from a fellow RFF member, actually) and couldn't be happier. Just last week I bought the close-up adapter for the 75mm lens and with the 35mm panoramic adapter for the 6MF, I have everything for the system I could, not that I'll really use that 35mm adapter. I'd rather crop in from the 6x6.
Anyways, the Mamiya 6 system is at least as good as the Fuji. If the Mamiya 7 is close, then I'd say the same for it as well. Just find the camera that suits you best and go shoot.

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Old 09-18-2016   #33
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So cool. Much respect to hacking lenses and getting things working on your own! I've heard great things about the GX680 lenses. Considering how great the large format lenses from Fuji are, it's no surprise. The EBC coating is mucho underrated.

Thanks! I'm having quite a bit of fun out in the workshop. Sometimes I break things! I just buy another one and go on. The GX680 lenses are not in the same category as what I already have, which is a lot of classic German lenses from the '50s '60s '70s and a few '80s.

It will be fun to discover the differences in all of these.

Keep experimenting with your stuff! Also So Cool.
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Old 09-20-2016   #34
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Lots of great cameras discussed, but a few I've found to be exceptional:

Interchangeable lens Fujica 690 with 100AE lens and Auto Up attachment for the closest focus, narrowest depth-of-field in MF photography, and fast shooting with AE, for portraits.

Fujica 65 and 50mm lenses are great landscape choices.

The 150 and 180mm Fujica lenses don't have much use for me.

Others combinations of note - Early Rettrick and Warner 6X6 cameras with mirror lock up, combined with 80/2 lens for portraits.

Mamaya 67 with 47mm lens for landscapes.

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Old 09-22-2016   #35
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Lots of great cameras discussed, but a few I've found to be exceptional:



Interchangeable lens Fujica 690 with 100AE lens and Auto Up attachment for the closest focus, narrowest depth-of-field in MF photography, and fast shooting with AE, for portraits.



Fujica 65 and 50mm lenses are great landscape choices.



The 150 and 180mm Fujica lenses don't have much use for me

I've been on the look out for the auto-up attachment for some time but they seem pretty rare. Could you share some shots with it?

The 150 is great but heavy and the minimum focus is 7 ft.



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Old 09-25-2016   #36
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Whats a good counter number? I know you can manipulate it but lets not assume that the seller manipulated the counter, for the sake of agrument, whats a decent counter number?
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Old 09-25-2016   #37
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Originally Posted by papo View Post
Whats a good counter number? I know you can manipulate it but lets not assume that the seller manipulated the counter, for the sake of agrument, whats a decent counter number?
A unused camera obviously will have a (genuine) counter close to zero. But it seems to be fairly irrelevant - the counter appears to have been part of some Fuji sales scheme in Japan (where these cameras were used by bus tour operators rather than pro photographers, and where 500 rolls may have meant a fairly long time of relatively rough outdoor use). At any rate, there is no other medium format camera with Seiko Copal shutters where the manufacturer suggested that the shutter needed servicing at intervals even remotely as short as every 5000 exposures - which is not all that much, going through 25 or even 50 films a day in a studio is no particular feat. No pro would have bought gear that was supposed to spend half its time in service.
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Old 09-25-2016   #38
rulnacco
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There are loads of people on here with much more experience in this field than I have. But I'll pitch in my two cents, for what it's worth.

I used to own a Fuji GW690II. It definitely made awesome photos, but it was a bit big, heavy and cumbersome for my tastes. But the thing that really kinda turned me off is that it sounded almost dropping a manhole cover whenever you fired it. I eventually traded it (and some cash) in on my first Leica (an M3) and a lens, and I fell in love with that silent, unobtrusive, pocketable little beauty (and shot a lot more film), despite the smaller negative size.

Also, while I do frequently use the 50 on my Leica (I'm really more of a 35 kind of guy), for some reason the "normal" focal length at the 6x9 format just seemed not interesting enough to me. I did like the camera--and the stunning image quality--well enough that when I have a little extra cash lying around some day, I'm going to seek out and try a GSW690III, as it's reputed to be quieter, it is lighter, the lens is almost universally hailed as a stunner (I've heard people say it's *too* sharp and technical), and I think the wider angle of view would suit me better for a one-lens camera. (I'm not into landscapes, I would like a camera I could use for walking around and carry in a small bag, and I'd use it more for street photography; if that's your style, the Fuji would be an excellent and efficient choice--if you're wanting interchangeable lenses, of course it's a no goer.)

So, just one further data point for your consideration.
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Old 10-04-2016   #39
Nokton48
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DSC05598 by Nokton48, on Flickr

DSC05602 by Nokton48, on Flickr

^^^ Fuji GX680 '90s vintage electronic lenses hacked to '60s vintage mechanical Plaubel makiflexes. 125mm f5.6, 135mm f5.6, 150mm f5.6, 180mm f5.6, and 250mm F5.6

It takes me about half an hour to break, bend, saw, bust, and toss a Fuji GX680 lens, to get to the intact front and rear cells.
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Old 10-04-2016   #40
Hogarth Ferguson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I like the idea of the gf670 but am unsure about its longevity. I,ve heard from a few that with extensive use the lens can get out of alignment with the film plane. Any issues w yours?
My one Fuji is a gw690iii and that thing is super rugged. some kid ran his head into mine and the camera is completely fine, while his head was not.
I've had my GF670 for 3 years now and this has always been a concern of mine. I've shot hundreds or rolls through it, and it is still sharp and accurate. I recently picked up the wide, which is just as awesome, if not more so. I'd suggest them to everyone and anyone. Absolutely love them.
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