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Archive 2012 · Fuji GSW690III
  
 
carstenw
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p.4 #1 · Fuji GSW690III


Well, I will disagree. I try to stay below f/16 or even f/11, but if more DoF is desired, then I would go past. Sure, the shot will be softer overall, but if this is deemed better than having part of it sharper and part of it softer, then why not?


Dec 24, 2012 at 08:44 PM
luminosity
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p.4 #2 · Fuji GSW690III


Just how much more is going to be in focus at that point? What are you actually gaining? Answer: almost nothing, and you are certainly losing sharpness.


Dec 24, 2012 at 08:50 PM
carstenw
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p.4 #3 · Fuji GSW690III


No, that isn't true. Diffraction sets in gradually, and the larger the negative, the longer it takes before it gets really bad. On FF f/22 would be horrible, but 6x9 is huge and I can well imagine that it could be worth it. Ultimately, a careful test is the best way to decide, and the results are probably quite personal.


Dec 24, 2012 at 09:54 PM
luminosity
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p.4 #4 · Fuji GSW690III


Look at how the performance of the Mamiya 7 80mm lens dives off a cliff at f/22:

http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/MF_testing.html

It's astoundingly sharp for much of its range, obliterating almost every other lens by comparison. Yet even it cannot overcome the laws of physics.

120 120 60 f/4
120 120 68 f5.6
120 107 68 f/8
107 107 76 f/11
76 76 68 f/16
60 60 60 f/22


I know the difference between a 6x7 negative and a 6x9 negative. It isn't that big a difference, and certainly not enough to make up for that kind of sharpness loss.



Dec 25, 2012 at 12:11 AM
philip_pj
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p.4 #5 · Fuji GSW690III


There are plenty of savvy people who habitually shot at f16 on all larger MF formats. I never hesitated until after f16, the difference is very minor. Miniature format users get hung up on diffraction, whereas MF users are looking for the best trade-off between DOF and final sharpness for the intended use of the image and its processing path. Most MF images are/were very much made with quality in mind...

The 6x9 frame is a little short of advertised values (56mm x 82mm) and most preferred the 'perfect format' afforded by 6x7 (56mm x 68mm), esp with Mamiya 7 lenses, from memory the difference in real estate is 22% - not much, off a large base.

The big Fujis are rather clunky despite being manufactured seemingly from solid billet. The 690s' two button shutter sound is one of photography's greatest design flaws IMO, it sounds like a siege engine release. The Mamiya is smooth as silk in comparison. The Mamiyas are very much a MF look, all bite and solid detail, the 690s are very much a large format lens in an encasing body free of all modernity. Don't try setting ISO on one. Heavy too for a basic stone age tool, in either incarnation.



Dec 25, 2012 at 08:19 AM
carstenw
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p.4 #6 · Fuji GSW690III


luminosity wrote:
Look at how the performance of the Mamiya 7 80mm lens dives off a cliff at f/22:

http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/MF_testing.html

It's astoundingly sharp for much of its range, obliterating almost every other lens by comparison. Yet even it cannot overcome the laws of physics.


Every lens isn't made the same though. If the lens is designed for wide open or near wide open performance, there is a good chance that it will be junk at f/22. If it is designed for middle-of-the-range best performance, then it is much more likely to be good at f/22.



Dec 25, 2012 at 02:24 PM
luminosity
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p.4 #7 · Fuji GSW690III


Unless you are using a 4x5 or bigger lens, you are going to see a steep falloff in sharpness at f/22. If that suits your purposes, no problem there. It doesn't matter how the lens was designed, and a vast majority of lenses are of lesser design than the 80mm lens for the Mamiya 7 (in part because of the rangefinder setup, which it happens to share with the Fuji).

Diffraction will take its toll at the end of a given aperture range. That's just how it works.



Dec 25, 2012 at 05:00 PM
carstenw
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p.4 #8 · Fuji GSW690III


luminosity wrote:
It doesn't matter how the lens was designed [...] That's just how it works.


You mean all lenses act the same? It should be trivial to prove that wrong



Dec 25, 2012 at 07:11 PM
luminosity
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p.4 #9 · Fuji GSW690III


All lenses are subject to physics .


Dec 25, 2012 at 07:15 PM
andyjaggy82
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p.4 #10 · Fuji GSW690III


philip_pj wrote:
There are plenty of savvy people who habitually shot at f16 on all larger MF formats. I never hesitated until after f16, the difference is very minor. Miniature format users get hung up on diffraction, whereas MF users are looking for the best trade-off between DOF and final sharpness for the intended use of the image and its processing path. Most MF images are/were very much made with quality in mind...

The 6x9 frame is a little short of advertised values (56mm x 82mm) and most preferred the 'perfect format' afforded by 6x7 (56mm x 68mm), esp with Mamiya 7 lenses,
...Show more

That shutter sound really bothers you doesn't it? Who cares? Especially if you aren't photographing people, which frankly I wouldn't imagine this camera would be that at anyway. It certainly is noisy, but one of photography's greatest design flaws? That's taking it to quite the extreme.

The rest of the points I certainly won't argue. It's basically a lens with a film holder on the back, but that's kind of what I like about it.

I also never really cared for the 6x7 format, it always felt like it didn't know what to be, it wanted to be rectangular, but it wanted to be square... I guess that could make you argue that it's perfect. I like the 6x9, despite the fact that it isn't quite literally 6X9.



Dec 25, 2012 at 08:58 PM
 

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carstenw
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p.4 #11 · Fuji GSW690III


luminosity wrote:
All lenses are subject to physics .


Of course! But that is not exactly what you said. You said it didn't matter what lens design, and yet it does. Some lenses are much softer than others at f/22, even of similar focal length and spec.



Dec 25, 2012 at 09:21 PM
redisburning
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p.4 #12 · Fuji GSW690III


andyjaggy82 wrote:
That shutter sound really bothers you doesn't it? Who cares? Especially if you aren't photographing people, which frankly I wouldn't imagine this camera would be that at anyway.


funny you say that but I have read that these cameras were quite popular with tourist spot photogs in Japan. they could use the half length rolls that the camera has an option for and have pictures ready for people on the way out.

it may not be ideal for shooting things you intend to sneak up on but it's medium format so it's not like they can't see your camera from a mile away.

FWIW I liked 6x9 better than 6x7 until I actually had my own 6x7 negatives. it is quite a charming ratio, and I do like that it's in the same area as my 4x5.



Dec 26, 2012 at 03:17 AM
luminosity
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p.4 #13 · Fuji GSW690III


The 7 is my main camera these days, partly because I'm really a big fan of the 6x7 negative, which in turn is because I feel the same about the 4x5 frame.

Especially if you aren't photographing people, which frankly I wouldn't imagine this camera would be that at anyway.

One of the grad students in my photo program has shot dozens of rolls of film of almost nothing but people with his Fuji. He's terrific at what he does, and he's used cameras up through 8x10 view cameras with great success, but he seems to like the GSW a lot (I don't remember if he has the I or the II).



Dec 26, 2012 at 05:38 AM
philip_pj
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p.4 #14 · Fuji GSW690III


The double shutter button was just unnecessary, my point being simply that, it's not the shutter mind, just the actuation linkage. Guess I equate r/finders with grace, like the 645 Fujis and all Mamiya RFs.

Never bothered me one bit apart from aesthetics, mine spent its life on the pod looking at nature, but the weight was excessive I felt. I had the GW so stop down was pretty mandatory unless you wanted to waste the foreground.

I can see them being popular as a retro camera.
I always wanted a good 6x12, luminosity, about the aspect ratio Hollywood settled on.



Dec 26, 2012 at 08:35 AM
ken.vs.ryu
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p.4 #15 · Fuji GSW690III


I've read that the spring noise is for the counter rather than the shutter. A tech can disable it.


Dec 26, 2012 at 03:38 PM
andyjaggy82
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p.4 #16 · Fuji GSW690III


Update after the first roll of film.

I shot some 6 year old expired provia, probably not the best idea to use expired film for the initial testing, but it's done....... Wow, I'm really impressed, even with just the cheap lab scans this thing is resolving enormous amounts of detail. full shot and 100% crop attached. The lab scans were done on a noritsu and were at a resolution of 7505X5078, I';m pretty sure quite a bit more information could be extracted from these. My only concern is some of the shots were quite a bit blurry on one side of the frame, alternating between left and right sides, which makes me think it's not the lens, but maybe an issue with film flatness in the scanner? Other shots are the same level of quality throughout the frame.

















Jan 06, 2013 at 03:48 AM
EB-1
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p.4 #17 · Fuji GSW690III


andyjaggy82 wrote:
In some sort of effort to inspire myself and rejuvenate my passion for photography I just bought a Fuji GSW690III on ebay for 560 bucks. I sure hope I am not crazy... I am feeling a little bit crazy at the moment. Any experiences out there with this camera? 6X9 medium format goodness....


The GSW690III was a favorite of mine for many years. I recall that mine was in the first 20 or so serial numbers. Cost was a little over $800 when new. The lens is very good although not as good as some later MF lenses. The main drawback is the clunky mechanical shutter. You will want a mechanical cable release for tripod use, though I used the camera handheld a fair amount.

Do check the shutter speeds for accuracy and note the shutter counter on the bottom. I never had any issues with the GSW690III in ~10 years of use, but yours might be 20 years old by now and need shutter service. Later on I moved to the Mamiya M7 system and did not look back.

EBH



Jan 06, 2013 at 04:12 AM
andyjaggy82
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p.4 #18 · Fuji GSW690III


The first roll the shots seemed to be underexposed a bit, but from comments here, I am wondering if that is more due to the expired film than shutter problems.


Jan 06, 2013 at 02:00 PM
sirimiri
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p.4 #19 · Fuji GSW690III


andyjaggy82 wrote:
...My only concern is some of the shots were quite a bit blurry on one side of the frame, alternating between left and right sides, which makes me think it's not the lens, but maybe an issue with film flatness...


Aren't the massive negs and chromes gorgeous?

To address your concern about the uneven edge sharpness, have you checked the film itself, with a loupe? Or use a 50mm lens as a substitute, if you don't have one. The film tells all!



Jan 06, 2013 at 06:06 PM
mirkoc
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p.4 #20 · Fuji GSW690III


andyjaggy82 wrote:
The first roll the shots seemed to be underexposed a bit, but from comments here, I am wondering if that is more due to the expired film than shutter problems.


I am not an expert but it might be about reciprocity failure which reduces the sensitivity of film for very long exposures.

http://www.calculator.org/calculate-online/photography/exposure.aspx



Jan 06, 2013 at 07:33 PM
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