Fuji GSW690III
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andyjaggy82
Registered: Jan 25, 2006
Total Posts: 1267
Country: United States

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....



ken.vs.ryu
Registered: Apr 24, 2005
Total Posts: 3436
Country: N/A

I have the gw. Its a tank. Very simple to use. Get a lightmeter app for your phone and you're set. Corposant had a gsw.



andyjaggy82
Registered: Jan 25, 2006
Total Posts: 1267
Country: United States

I have a lightmeter from a bygone era that I've kept around for no reason at all, now I have a reason I guess! My dad used it for his old Nikon that he had in the 70's. I think it still works, I'll have to test it and compare with dlsr metering to make sure it's accurate enough.



Kenj8246
Registered: Feb 14, 2008
Total Posts: 11873
Country: United States

Really have enjoyed my GW. As has been stated, get yourself a meter of some sort. Here are some shots with my GW690III on Portra film.


X700-Kodak800 13 by kenj8246, on Flickr


GW690III-Portra400 15 by kenj8246, on Flickr

Kenny



jcolwell
Registered: Feb 10, 2005
Total Posts: 20251
Country: Canada

I used a GSW690II and GW670II for many years. Fantastic cameras!

As far as metering goes, I think you'll be best served by an incident light meter (e.g. Sekonic Studio Deluxe II L-398M) and maybe a spot meter. I'd be interested to know if a smartphone app can do a good job for incident light metering. Many DSLR can do a good job for spot metering, but not for incident light, as DSLR and other in-camera meters work on reflected light. I always found that incident light metering was very effective for medium and large format cameras. It would be for DSLR as well, but I rarely do that anymore - histograms and preview are good empirical aids.



Kenj8246
Registered: Feb 14, 2008
Total Posts: 11873
Country: United States

Not to steal the OP's thread but...

I have a couple light meter apps for an iPhone 3 which work creditably well for reflected light. Am told by the app that with a newer phone, e.g., iPhone 4 or 5 with the front facing cameras, they will also do incident. Who knows? Not gonna buy a newer iPhone when I have a couple Gossens and a newer Sekonic.

Kenny



rattymouse
Registered: Feb 04, 2006
Total Posts: 4255
Country: China

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....


You are not crazy. Not at all. Amazing camera, with a stunningly sharp lens. The negatives or slides you get out of that camera are to die for.



andyjaggy82
Registered: Jan 25, 2006
Total Posts: 1267
Country: United States

Thanks guys, some positive vibes are good, I'm still having some doubts about the purchase. I actually don't have an iphone, so it looks like I might need to pick up a good incidence meter.

I am excited to get this thing and start playing around with it, I have a feeling I will like being completely unburdened by technology. Focus, aperture, shutter speed, that's all I will have to fuss with on the camera. I think it will be liberating.

As far as quality goes, I've been scouring the internet for the past week looking at 6X9 film vs digital resolution comparisons, with results ranging from film beating the digital to digital beating the film, ultimately it appears that they are just completely different beasts and very hard to compare.

I take heart in the fact that I have been very happy with 11X14 prints from some of my old 35mm slides (scanned with a coolscan) Looking at the size difference between 35mm and 6X9, I estimate I can achieve very fine 30X45 prints with a drum scanned 6X9 negative. Certainly more than I would dare do with my 7D files.

Ultimately though it's not entirely about resolution and final print size. The look and feel of film, as well as the experience prompted me to make the dive.



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15115
Country: Germany

Go with your feelings. If you don't like it, you can always sell it later. Experimentation is the path to enlightenment



sirimiri
Registered: Dec 10, 2007
Total Posts: 3340
Country: United States

6x9s are so luscious on a light table.

I use a Voigtlander II shoe-mount meter, but I haven't shot with the Fuji in a few months. I still wind it and actuate the shutter once a month, though.

Get some filters for shooting black and white, if you don't already have them.

Good luck to you!



AmbientMike
Registered: Feb 04, 2010
Total Posts: 1393
Country: United States

Nope. Not crazy.

Try Pan F.

A local lab did 100+ mb scans on 35mm slide/ neg. Nice 20x 30s.



jcolwell
Registered: Feb 10, 2005
Total Posts: 20251
Country: Canada

andyjaggy82 wrote:
...I've been scouring the internet for the past week looking at 6X9 film vs digital resolution comparisons...


Don't go there.

sirimiri wrote:
6x9s are so luscious on a light table.


Go there.



andyjaggy82
Registered: Jan 25, 2006
Total Posts: 1267
Country: United States

Technical question for medium format. I am thinking since it's such a bigger format that stopping down to f22/f32, won't result in such a loss of sharpness like it does on a smaller format. Is that a correct assumption?



anthonygh
Registered: Jan 09, 2006
Total Posts: 1843
Country: United Kingdom

It is unlikely refraction will be an issue with that neg size.....in fact you will have to use a small aperture to maximize DOF if that is what you want.

The price seems very good...I keep looking at a mint one in my local camera dealers...they want 700 for it!



angusparker
Registered: Mar 20, 2012
Total Posts: 49
Country: United States

Not crazy at all. I've got the GW690III and the GSW690III. They are fantastic cameras - and not really that large when you think about the 6x9 "sensor". Depending on your shooting style you may find the GSW a touch wide. I've found my GW (about a 40mm FL on 35mm camera) gets much more use than the GSW. Since the GSW is rarer it usually goes for a bit more than the GW - so it should be easy to make the switch if that time comes.

As for scanning, I've got an old Minolta Dimage Scan Pro which is a dedicated slide scanner and does an amazing job up to 6x9 format. But if you find you are really getting into film and "the look" you might want to consider the soon to be released Plustek Opticfilm 120 which scans up to 6x12 or just shoot B&W and make optical prints. Either way just enjoy the huge slides (e.g. Velvia 50) on a light table!



andyjaggy82
Registered: Jan 25, 2006
Total Posts: 1267
Country: United States

I had a hard time deciding between the two, but ultimately decided I would probably prefer the wider lens.

I think it was a very good deal. The counter only shows 120, which means it has a lot of life left in it. The guy also included a remote switch and a bunch of expired film, which will be nice to help me learn the ropes with the camera. I think it went for cheap because only one other person was bidding on it besides me.



Kenj8246
Registered: Feb 14, 2008
Total Posts: 11873
Country: United States

andyjaggy82 wrote:
The counter only shows 120, which means it has a lot of life left in it.


I wouldn't assume things based on the number in that counter. Just FYI.

Kenny



andyjaggy82
Registered: Jan 25, 2006
Total Posts: 1267
Country: United States

Well yeah... the guy said it was lightly used... I just chose to trust him, what else can you do.



jcolwell
Registered: Feb 10, 2005
Total Posts: 20251
Country: Canada

The counter shows the number of rolls of film that has been through the camera. I vaguely recall that shutter maintenance is recommended when you reach 150, or so.

Here's some good resource links for Fuji MF rangefinders.

http://www.dantestella.com/technical/gw.html
http://fujirangefinder.com/
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?forumid=13



andyjaggy82
Registered: Jan 25, 2006
Total Posts: 1267
Country: United States

I read somewhere that at 500 it needs maintenance, and will completely fail at 1000. I guess it resets itself after 1,000, but the camera looked in really good shape, I doubt it's been used that much. I guess he could have manually adjusted the numbers..... but whatever, that's the chance buying used gear on ebay.



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