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Re-visiting the GW690iii
Old 11-28-2016   #1
cliveward
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Re-visiting the GW690iii

Hi All,

I must confess to having not used the big Fuji for quite some time. It had one outing in recent years to do a family group photograph for a special gift, that I then for the first time had specially scanned and printed onto a very large canvas and the results were quite stunning. So much so that it kind of ruined digital photography for me. I knew what I should really do, but resisted it.

It then duly got put away again and on I struggled with the X100

Fast forward a bit before a family trip away and I thought I would get the GW690iii CLA'd and use it for the odd bit of landscape with the kids in, along side the X100.

What actually happened was the X100 got used for about a day before I got cheesed off with fighting it and I reverted to the 690 for the rest of the trip.

I got through 6 rolls of film (a lot for me) and as usual they are all just very nice photographs. I've had one printed off as a gift already!

I think it really answers the question of what to use when the only photographs I have ever had printed and on display are all from the GW690iii.

So for the time being if I want to just take a snapshot I use my phone and if I want to take a photograph, I use an actual camera.


Cheers





Clive
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Old 11-29-2016   #2
EdSawyer
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rock on! The big Fujis are great.
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Old 11-29-2016   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveward View Post
...

So for the time being if I want to just take a snapshot I use my phone and if I want to take a photograph, I use an actual camera.


Cheers





Clive
I don't own anything digital except my smartphone, and a Sony 6mp digital P&S. But I prefer film myself as well.

But I urgently suggest you keep your flame retardant suit on for a while.
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Old 11-29-2016   #4
dwojr
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Would love to see some of your pics
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Old 11-29-2016   #5
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I was quite happy with digital, until I did the big print and did it properly, i.e. I had the negative scanned so that one pixel on the scan equated to one dot of ink on the print (at the print processes highest resolution). The end result was just alive!

I'm sure digital will catch up to my new expectations eventually and I came very close to purchasing a Sigma SD Quattro but in the end I decided 1000+ would be better spent on processing film from the big Fuji. Cost-wise it works out about 1.75-2 per photograph processed and scanned to a 35MP file including film.

I'm still not sure it would be possible to replicate the 'character' of the Fuji's format and lens though.

As an aside I find the GW690iii the most comfortable camera to carry around all day. If I'm not using it I put it over my shoulder. It doesn't get in the way or swing about and if I do accidentally knock it on something, I don't care because it's already rather battered.


Cheers





Clive
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Old 11-29-2016   #6
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GW690 cameras rock. For people who say that 6x7 cameras are so incredible because of the negative size etc, the 6x9 has them dwarfed. And what a versatile negative - it's like having four cameras in one! A 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9. (I could even include the 6x8 but seeing that's Fuji's own I won't..)
Amazing value for money given the quality of the output. What else can perform like that for $500?
My only wish is that the rf focusing spot would be more distinct like that of the Minolta CLE or Leicas.
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Old 11-29-2016   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwojr View Post
Would love to see some of your pics
Hopefully this is the correct link.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

The most recent 12 are from the trip in question. Not too awful considering I hadn't used the camera in 3-4 years.


Cheers





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Old 11-29-2016   #8
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When I got my Super Press 23, I opted for a 6x7 back. I thought that good for enlarging and it is. I never really wanted a 6x9 due to the odd size versus paper. Then for some reason, I got a 6x9 Zeiss folder with a Novar lens. I found 6x9 is an amazing format. I wish I had a couple of 6x9 backs for the Super Press. But really, that Novar lens is surprisingly good as well.

But I am not giving up my 6x7 either. And if I insist on 6x9, I can always default to cut film for the Press.

But again, I am in agreement that a 6x9 negative is beautiful to behold.
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Old 11-29-2016   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveward View Post
Hopefully this is the correct link.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

The most recent 12 are from the trip in question. Not too awful considering I hadn't used the camera in 3-4 years.


Cheers





Clive
Some really nice photos. Thanks for sharing. You really used the 6x9 ratio to good advantage.
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Old 11-29-2016   #10
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Just at the time I had it idle for a couple weeks. I bought off a few propacks as I intended departing to a 3w trip to asia, alas it hasn't and may not happen, but it will be nice to shoot it around home.
I also found the charm of shooting cheap film in a cheaply bought Nikon F80, ran out of batteries and that helps me revisit the Fuji.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveward View Post
(...)in the end I decided 1000+ would be better spent on processing film from the big Fuji. Cost-wise it works out about 1.75-2 per photograph processed and scanned to a 35MP file including film.

I'm still not sure it would be possible to replicate the 'character' of the Fuji's format and lens though.

As an aside I find the GW690iii the most comfortable camera to carry around all day. If I'm not using it I put it over my shoulder. It doesn't get in the way or swing about and if I do accidentally knock it on something, I don't care because it's already rather battered.

Clive
The character of the lens+format is something that won't be replicated. It's after all a 90mm lens covering 6x9 and a 135, so you have the narrower DoF with wide FoV. I find it is fantastic for environmental portrait and photography. People integrated within landscapes and such.

The costs, well. The camera allows using it almost as a 35mm would, but then it has huge real state. I'm a bit broke right now and have a V500, which doesn't quite do justice to 6x9.

Fantastic seaside images, I live in a coastal town and yesterday took a few frames on Ektar.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
My only wish is that the rf focusing spot would be more distinct like that of the Minolta CLE or Leicas.
Oh god, was taking some seaside frames and tried to nail focus to the water (swash), quite difficult because they moved quite fast. Indeed it could be larger and maybe square for distinction.

As of the film format, 6x9 is half-quasi-LF. Some complain about the ratio but it's just the same as 135. I'd like to try a 6x6 and 6x7 just for film economy and travel. Also, about the lack of light meter... Classic Leicas neither have.

They are best bang for the buck Medium format nowadays.
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Old 11-29-2016   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveward View Post
Hi All,

I must confess to having not used the big Fuji for quite some time. It had one outing in recent years to do a family group photograph for a special gift, that I then for the first time had specially scanned and printed onto a very large canvas and the results were quite stunning. So much so that it kind of ruined digital photography for me. I knew what I should really do, but resisted it.

It then duly got put away again and on I struggled with the X100

Fast forward a bit before a family trip away and I thought I would get the GW690iii CLA'd and use it for the odd bit of landscape with the kids in, along side the X100.

What actually happened was the X100 got used for about a day before I got cheesed off with fighting it and I reverted to the 690 for the rest of the trip.

I got through 6 rolls of film (a lot for me) and as usual they are all just very nice photographs. I've had one printed off as a gift already!

I think it really answers the question of what to use when the only photographs I have ever had printed and on display are all from the GW690iii.

So for the time being if I want to just take a snapshot I use my phone and if I want to take a photograph, I use an actual camera.


Cheers


.


Clive
I've been using a Fuji 690s as my "big negative" travel cameras for a number of years now. I can easily make attractive 16x20 prints with negatives from this camera - I shoot FP4 processed in 1:1 D76. Within reason, a 690 is also useful for streetshooting.

If there is a downside with the 690, it that there can only be 8 exposures on a roll of 120 film. It is necessary to constantly reload the camera if the subjects are attractive and offer many shots. This, in turn, makes it necessary to find a shady spot to do the reloading. Not too difficult in a city, or in most places in Europe, but sometimes a bit of a challenge to find shade in western US desert country.

I also have a Fuji x100s which I use constantly and hold in high regard. You might want to take the trouble to become comfortable with using your x100; it isn't a substitute or replacement for the 690 and what the X100(s, t, whatever model) does, it can do very well
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Old 11-29-2016   #12
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Two of my favorite shots I've taken with the GW690 iii:





I don't even care that the second one isn't totally sharp. I just love the way this camera renders color.


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Old 11-29-2016   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graybeard View Post
I've been using a Fuji 690s as my "big negative" travel cameras for a number of years now. I can easily make attractive 16x20 prints with negatives from this camera - I shoot FP4 processed in 1:1 D76. Within reason, a 690 is also useful for streetshooting.



If there is a downside with the 690, it that there can only be 8 exposures on a roll of 120 film. It is necessary to constantly reload the camera if the subjects are attractive and offer many shots. This, in turn, makes it necessary to find a shady spot to do the reloading. Not too difficult in a city, or in most places in Europe, but sometimes a bit of a challenge to find shade in western US desert country.



I also have a Fuji x100s which I use constantly and hold in high regard. You might want to take the trouble to become comfortable with using your x100; it isn't a substitute or replacement for the 690 and what the X100(s, t, whatever model) does, it can do very well


I'm surprised you need a shady spot. I put my back to the sun and reload in the shadow that my body makes.


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Old 11-29-2016   #14
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I'm surprised you need a shady spot. I put my back to the sun and reload in the shadow that my body makes.


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Not always so simple if the sun in near overhead in the middle of the day.
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Old 11-30-2016   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JChrome View Post
Two of my favorite shots I've taken with the GW690 iii:
(...)
I don't even care that the second one isn't totally sharp. I just love the way this camera renders color.
Had seen the first on the thread about underrated Fujis. But the second is quite a jewel. About the lens characteristics that were mentioned by the OP. This is what I am talking about, the depth.
The color here really looks like Slide film, is it? Or portra? I should unfreeze some Fujichrome, bec-AH-use that size of transparencies are gorgeous.

Seeing people who took them travel inspires me. They get a bad rap for size but are rather manageable. Tomorrow if light allows, I'll take it around Barcelona.
I tend to location scout prior doing some shooting. Helps getting nice conditions. Also am quite careful shooting (used to be in 35mm taking me centuries to go through a roll), but when the mojo kicks in it's really easy to burn the 8EXP. I managed to get some 160NS in 220 for that reason thinking about a trip to Asia.

The iPhone is a nice snapshot digital camera and doubles as a meter. My lab has business cards that are 18%, though I always forget using the latter.
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Old 11-30-2016   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graybeard View Post
Not always so simple if the sun in near overhead in the middle of the day.
Bow to the west.

But your point on being careful is well taken. I have found the paper backing is pretty good, but I have found there can be exceptions.
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Old 11-30-2016   #17
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One of the few criticisms I have for the Fuji is that it is easy to fat roll it if you are not really careful maintaining film tension when loading it.
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Old 11-30-2016   #18
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Old 11-30-2016   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveward View Post
Hopefully this is the correct link.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

The most recent 12 are from the trip in question. Not too awful considering I hadn't used the camera in 3-4 years.

Cheers

Clive
Lovely pictures thanks
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Old 11-30-2016   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prest_400 View Post
Had seen the first on the thread about underrated Fujis. But the second is quite a jewel. About the lens characteristics that were mentioned by the OP. This is what I am talking about, the depth.
The color here really looks like Slide film, is it? Or portra? I should unfreeze some Fujichrome, bec-AH-use that size of transparencies are gorgeous.

Seeing people who took them travel inspires me. They get a bad rap for size but are rather manageable. Tomorrow if light allows, I'll take it around Barcelona.
I tend to location scout prior doing some shooting. Helps getting nice conditions. Also am quite careful shooting (used to be in 35mm taking me centuries to go through a roll), but when the mojo kicks in it's really easy to burn the 8EXP. I managed to get some 160NS in 220 for that reason thinking about a trip to Asia.

The iPhone is a nice snapshot digital camera and doubles as a meter. My lab has business cards that are 18%, though I always forget using the latter.
These are all shot with Portra.

I suppose I keep posting the first one because I love it so much.

I have some more which showcase the depth of the color:






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Old 11-30-2016   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JChrome View Post
These are all shot with Portra.

I suppose I keep posting the first one because I love it so much.

I have some more which showcase the depth of the color:



That one is nice! I've a friend who's a bit of a Davinci and talks about Fibonacci progression everywhere, alas hasn't lent me a book on the matter yet. 1, 3, 5.

IIRC you scanned at home with an Epson Flatbed, I should too but as I have to mail film I tend to have them scanned anyways. Bill is not pretty though.
I'm quite (over)exposed to the modern labs scans on Frontier and Noritsus, which often means bright photos. That look does suit nicely my Mediterranean environment on warmer season. During fall and winter I like the darker look reminiscent of transparency also.

Negative has a lot of room for interpretation. And 6x9 does really help with depth and tones.

Loking forward for tomorrow, I've got a couple of nice scenes I want to photograph, though leftover Ektar from the last day sunset. Don't know how will that deal with morning alley contrejour. Portra is really fantastic.
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Old 12-01-2016   #22
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This one was scanned with a canon 9000F but I've since switched to an Epson for the larger scan area. Now I can scan 4 6x9s in one go rather than 2. Makes a big difference in the time spent.

I've saved a boatload from not outsourcing my scanning... but time is in short supply these days. Part of me thinks that by shooting 6x9, 6x12 and 4x5 will reduce the time spent in front of a computer (sorely needed). I shoot less so I scan less and post production less.


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Old 12-01-2016   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JChrome View Post
This one was scanned with a canon 9000F but I've since switched to an Epson for the larger scan area. Now I can scan 4 6x9s in one go rather than 2. Makes a big difference in the time spent.

I've saved a boatload from not outsourcing my scanning... but time is in short supply these days. Part of me thinks that by shooting 6x9, 6x12 and 4x5 will reduce the time spent in front of a computer (sorely needed). I shoot less so I scan less and post production less.
Nice, the Epson V7xx and V8xx really seem a good option for it. The V550 has the 2 frame 6x9 limit and is not as resolving/clean; still I have nice 12x18" from it. My not-so happiness with the flatbed is down to pixel peeping and workflow learning curve.

Sometimes it's even a bit stressing. But once loaded and adjusted, the time to scan can be used for other computer tasks (I spend way too much on it).

Time/money equation. I've plenty of time but not much money nowadays.
For a couple rolls, lab complete kit is OK. But 5+, ouch, goes over $100. I am ramping up and a flatbed gets a 3500px high TIFF alright. Lets more control over my hands, a blessing and a curse. I read once that "those bucks for a professionally graded dev & scan are a bargain", a couple of rolls can cover a Low cost fare in Europe...

For 35mm it's lab and Noritsu/Frontier, scanning with my flatbed makes it a bit of a torture. I've been sending 35mm to a Russian lab for that reason (Russian mail calls for patience). Ironically for the same reason as you I moved up to 6x9. Then I got a Nikon AF, so 35mm was more convenient, but prior to that I was quite slow in 135.

Back on topic, I Had a blast shooting (a bit) through the day around a few locations, it was quite a while I didn't go around so loosely.
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Old 12-01-2016   #24
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The beauty of the massive 6by9 neg is the richness in tonality that it gives.

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Old 12-02-2016   #25
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Quote:
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The beauty of the massive 6by9 neg is the richness in tonality that it gives.
+1. Lovely image
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