The Fujifilm GW670/680/690
The GW III series is a unique rangefinder because it is available thee formats, and it is the only 6x8 rangefinder ever made! This is a purely mechanical camera with one of two fixed lenses:
- 90mm f/3.5
- 65mm f/5.6
The Fujifilm GW cameras are not as versatile as the Mamiya 7, but is unique position for cases where you need to capture a large negative with minimal hassle.
Here are it's commendable features:
- Light, considering the negative size (1468g)
- Hotshoe and PC connector for flash sync
- Leaf shutter (1 – 1/500, and T)
- Aperture has ½ stop detents
- Very quick and easy film loading
- Strap can be attached to top or side lugs
- Very smooth focus ring that has a perfect throw
- Center focus patch is reasonably bright and accurate
- Does not use on a battery
There are several aspects to the design of the GW III series which are less than ideal:
- T shutter mode can only be ended by advancing the film
- Aperture and shutter speed rings are very close together
- Built-in lens hood is not removable
- Fragile plastic top housing
- Not as quiet as one might expect
- Focus distance marked only in meters
- No means of triggering the flash without exposing and advancing a frame
- No self-timer
Normal Fixed Lens
One of the useful definitions I learned from Nick Carver's
Large Format Photography
course is that
means the focal length is roughly equivalent to the image diagonal
So I would say 90 and 65mm were well-chosen options.
The filter threads are 67mm, but there is no way to accommodate filter systems with the hood in place. I carefully cut it of using a small metal cutting wheel to make it easier to screw on filters.
The large negative can be used for making larger prints, but a larger negatives also afford flexibility in framing. Rather than tipping the camera, for example, you can keep it perpendicular to a subject and simply crop in.
See also: Shooting for Print Size
Vertical Framing with a Tripod
Even a sturdy ball head will have trouble holding this camera on it's side. A solid fluid video head such as the Manfrotto MVH500AH however can handle this task with ease.