Ratical : Analog Photography

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:

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.

Features

Here are it's commendable features:

There are several aspects to the design of the GW III series which are less than ideal:

Normal Fixed Lens

One of the useful definitions I learned from Nick Carver's Large Format Photography course is that normal means the focal length is roughly equivalent to the image diagonal

135 645 6x6 6x7 6x8 6x9
Diagonal (mm) 43 70 79 89 93 99

So I would say 90 and 65mm were well-chosen options.

Filters

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.

Framing

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.

Last updated on June 16, 2022