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120 / 220 film RF's 120 / 220 format rangefinders including Fuji, Koni-Omega, Mamiya Press, Linhof 6x7/6x9 cameras, Mamiya 6/7 among others, but excluding the 120 folders and the Voigtlander 667 cameras that have their own forums.

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fuji 690 RFs
Old 04-02-2010   #1
weetsie
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fuji 690 RFs

im wanting to buy a fuji 690, looking at the MK3 but stuggling to find info on it.

i wondering how the 90mm compares to the 65mm version and what kind of price i should be looking to pay for one in good condition.

and are they easy enough to get repaired/serviced?
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Old 04-02-2010   #2
noah b
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here is one on photo.net with the 65mm lens
http://photo.net/gc/view-one?classified_ad_id=1062872

A little expensive, with that price you could get a mamiya 7 setup with an 80 or 65mm if you like 6x7.

I own the 65mm mk2 version and love it. Great depth of field when stopped down to 32. A friend of mine has the 90mm and really enjoys it. I would say either or would be a great thing to get. I can see them going between 600-900 depending on condition.

http://www.antiquecameras.net/fuji6x76x9.html

here is a price guide, but that was updated around 2008
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Old 04-02-2010   #3
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thanks with that in mind im going to go for a GWS690, the mamiya 7 is out of my price range, nice as it is
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Old 04-02-2010   #4
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I have a second G690 with 100/3.5 that I will sell here.
The lens needs some cleaning first.
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Old 04-02-2010   #5
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whats a G990?
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Gswiii-690
Old 04-03-2010   #6
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Gswiii-690

Hi,
I am the happy owner of a GSW690-III.
The lens (5.6/65mm) is absolutely superb. I agree that setting the diaph at 22 will give lots of depth of focus, but remember that (this is a rule of thumb) the physical limit of image resolution , measured in microns as the diameter of the "circle of confusion", is about equal to the aperture number. Because of diffraction, closing the diaphragm too much will result in poorer resolution. Closing at f/22 means that even at the centre of the image the max resolution is around 25 lines per millimetre - rather poor compared to what this lens is able to. I did not make accurate measurements but it looks like the best results are obtained at around f/8 or f/11. Similarly parasitic reflections are virtually eliminated from f/8.
To summarise, lens absolutely sharp and contrasted, very good flare resistance.
The weak point is the shutter. Mine failed due to a screw that got loose inside and went into the blades. I could buy a new shutter at about 100 USD on eBay (they also had a good second hand shutter at about 40 USD). Replacing the shutter essentially needs to unscrew the front and rear lens assemblies. Unfortunately, on mine the rear assembly was too tight and I had to remove all the lens assembly, which implies removing the rangefinder assembly and the shutter interlocks. Reassembling the shutter interlocks is rather tricky (took me several hours!) even with the maintenance book (really needed!) but now the camera works wonders.
The shutter is noisy, yes (sounds like a Fisherprice toy). Some people say the noise comes from the frame counter: this is wrong - the noise is exactly the same without the frame counter. Doesn't matter as this is more a landscape camera than a street camera.
"Plastic body": NO. On the type III some external parts that were metal on type II are plastic, yes, but the camera structure itself is solid aluminium-magnesium alloy, and very, very well made. A very solid, rigid, accurate camera.
The other weak point on the GSW690-III (not on the GW690-III) is the lens shade which does not hold in place. I suppressed it and replaced it with a screw-in "petal type" shade which is perfect for the job.

I am using several medium format cameras: two SEMFLEXes (one with Flor Berthiot 3.5/75 and the other one with the rare TN 3.5/75), a Bronica S2A (with Nikkor 3.5/50, Nikkor 2.8/75, Nikkor 3.5/135 and Zenzanon 3.5/200) and a Mamiyapress S23 (6x7 and 6x9 backs) with the 6.3/50mm, 3.5/90mm and the 2.8/100mm.

The Bronica is a fantastic pleasure to use with people: ideal in parties, weddings etc. I love the 75mm and the 200mm, the Nikkor 50 is good but not as good as the 75. The 135 is good in portraits, the 75 and 200 are very good in landscape but I dislike the square format for landscapes.

The Mamiya 100mm has a limited use, I think it is more studio-oriented. Very good but colours are flat. It gives good results in B&W though. The 50mm (ultrawide in 6x9) is excellent in landscape.

But, none of the lenses above are as ticky sharp as the Fujica 65mm (except, maybe the bronica-nikkor 2.8/75 which is a late, MC version).

My main use of the Fujica is making Fujichromes (Provia / Velvia ISO 100), scanning them (up to 6000x9000 pixels!) then trim them down to 56x72 to make "6x7" slides (into 85x85 mounts) I use in the Leitz-Linhof projector.

singer1924

Last edited by singer1924 : 04-03-2010 at 04:03. Reason: typos
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Old 04-03-2010   #7
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Singer, how difficult is it to find replacement parts for the fujis? I knew that one day I would have to send in for service, but would rather work on it myself. Do you know of a place that sells foam seals for the camera, things of that nature etc.
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Old 04-03-2010   #8
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The 100mm lens for the Fujica 690 cameras is awesome. I have made several 20x30 enlargements from Velvia 50 transparencies that are very sharp.
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Old 04-03-2010   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWoK View Post
These guys sell tons of GSW690III and GW690III for good prices in great shape:
http://shop.ebay.com/astrosmith22/m....&_trksid=p4340
TWoK,

Did you get yours from them? I really enjoy your Fuji images that you posted on FM Forum.

Kind regards,
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Old 04-03-2010   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWoK View Post
No I didn't. I happened on one of then marked as junk at my local camera store and the other I won on a Japanese auction site, which turned out to be a big mistake as I've had a few problems with it. It's seen a lot of use with 600 on the shutter odometer. I just got a nice GSW690II today for a friend from my local store with less than 60 shots on it. It was less than $100 more than what I paid for my really beat up, scratched lens GSW690.

Those ones on eBay look really nice and that price is more than fair for their condition. I'm not affiliated with them in any way though.
Thanks very much. I have been using a GSW690 and very happy with it. I am thinking about getting a GW690 III.

Kind regards,
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Old 04-03-2010   #11
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Love the GSW690, and most of the Fuji ilk. I really like the format, printed the 6x9 from Fuji Color negs and I used to use APX 400, which at this format, really makes a nice print with terrific tonality.

I have the interchangeable lens model as well, with a few scratches on the top, but it is probably time to sell that one as I have the GSW and the GW, let me know if you are interested.

Regards, John
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Old 04-03-2010   #12
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Noah, I found the replacement shutter on ebay, the seller's name was "romancamerarepair" but it looks like they don't have shutters at the moment. I believe they can be found from other sellers on eBay. The shutter is probably the only part subject to wear and replacement. I suggest you buy the repair instruction manual anyway, and only buy the shutter when you need one. Normally it should go problem free for 5000 images i.e. counter to 500. On second hand cameras don't rely on the counter, as it is extremely easy to turn the counter wheels and put anything. Usually if slow speeds are good then no worry. On mine I think the shutter had already been replaced by a bad technician - who overtightened many screws and undertightened other ones, hence the screw getting into the blades! Fortunately the optics were absolutely perfect so it was more than worth the repair. I know I am quite adventurous and tend to repair myself about everything (engines, gearboxes, piano actions...) and the Fujica was not super easy (a Leica II is very easy) but still much, much easier than any medium format SLR, so normally left to a professional technician but not impossible to the late evening hobbyist familiar with tinkering cameras and willing to spend hours to understand the whys and hows of the camera. The only really complex thing in the Fuji is the winder/shutter cocking/film advance control/interlocking mechanism. It has to be much more complex than on a 35mm film camera because of the absence of holes in the film sides. The rangefinder is much simpler and less refined than on a Leica - not quite as clear and comfortable but it does its task faultlessly.
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Old 04-04-2010   #13
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thanks guys, had a bid on a GSW690III but it went for 482 to the other bidder.

i will be keeping a look out for another when its listed.
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Wow... $734 US dollars!!!
Old 04-04-2010   #14
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Wow... $734 US dollars!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by weetsie View Post
thanks guys, had a bid on a GSW690III but it went for 482 to the other bidder.

i will be keeping a look out for another when its listed.
Presuming it was a nice camera with a moderate shutter count, that was a steal on price.

I don't know about Europe, but my impression has been that UK and European prices are often more than here in the US.

And, here in the US a nice GSWIII690 generally sells for a low of $900 and often $1000 or more. Somebody occasionally hits an Auction on eBay just right and scores one for around $800, but that's rare.

I'd expect to pay that price for a model II. The 65mm lens alone in the 5.6 f stop for the interchangable G690 or bl usually runs around $600.
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Good deal (Half good deal-Half difference II to III)
Old 04-07-2010   #15
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Good deal (Half good deal-Half difference II to III)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luna View Post
Wow! A grand!? I just got a *mint* (counter is about to turn to 5) GSW690 II for close to $450. Actually, TWoK found the deal, I just insisted that I needed it more then he did
That's a good deal, and about half is attributable to the good deal and half is attributable to the perceptions of a II to a III.

While I have never experienced the difference, there is a perception among people who use these camera's that the II model has a couple of issues corrected in the III.

I would buy a II just as easily as a III since the prices are quite a bit better and the lenses are the same. I also have a good and reasonable source for repair.

You did get a good deal, but I stand by my pricing on the III model prices for low-count cameras. I watch these on eBay weekly.

I would expect that your camera should have been more like $600 to $700 IF the counter has not been reset. It's easy to do..

Last edited by Doug : 05-06-2010 at 18:02. Reason: Quoted disguised profanity
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Old 04-07-2010   #16
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I would encourage anyone looking for one of these cameras to keep an eye on KEH. I just received a bargain GW690II from them for less than $400 US. High shot count, but appears to be in good working order. They currently have some 690's for less than $700 US, and they do ship internationally, although I don't have any experience with that.
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Please don't get me wrong....
Old 04-07-2010   #17
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Please don't get me wrong....

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWoK View Post
One just went for $1200 the other day. Oh and his counter hasn't been reset. His camera looks brand new in every single way.
I wasn't implying he got a deal because his counter was reset. I just don't think one should rely on shutter count for valuing what to pay on these cameras.

The fellow who works on mine... Frank Marshman... has told me more than once, and he says that Fuji service says the same... Don't pay any attention to the suggestion for service at 5000 actuations. The shutters, if working properly and the camera treated well, will often go twice the count.

Almost all of my Fuji's except for my GSW690III have been fairly high count actuations.

Sorry if it sounded like I was questioning the validity of that low count. Tons of these cameras have been purchased, sat in the bag for years and are low count.

My personal preference is for a camera that's been exercised regularly and well cared for. That does not necessarily mean serviced or CLA'd.
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Old 04-08-2010   #18
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I REALLY want one, but i need to sell my bronica SQ kit to fund it, and have no luck with it in the mean while
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Old 04-08-2010   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuzano View Post
The fellow who works on mine... Frank Marshman... has told me more than once, and he says that Fuji service says the same... Don't pay any attention to the suggestion for service at 5000 actuations. The shutters, if working properly and the camera treated well, will often go twice the count.
They should go at least a magnitude or two beyond that - I am not aware of any Seiko/Copal shutter specified for 5000 actuations, even 50.000 is still a conservative figure, some of their shutters go to ten or twenty times that.

A service interval at a mere 5000 actuations cannot be shutter specific, it must be for all of the camera. And to me it seems to have been targeted at the main market of these cameras, tour leaders doing group portraits of Japanese bus tourists, who were assumed to be ignorant of cameras and their operation, required very high reliability nonetheless, and were willing to pay for a "carefree and careless" package to get that.

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Old 04-08-2010   #20
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I have an opportunity to acquire a fuji gw690, the first version. What are the high and low prices for this model based on condition?
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Old 04-14-2010   #21
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i noticed the GSW goes for alot more than the GW and im wondering why..

is the 65mm lens alot sharper or something? if not i really dont get why they are more expensive.

the 90mm is over a stop faster and has a 35mm equiv of 36mm, which is surely alot more desireable than a equivilant of 26mm, no?
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prices
Old 04-14-2010   #22
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prices

the GSW is more expensive for a couple reasons. Generally there are less of them, since they only were made in 690 (and some rare 680) configurations, while the GW came in 670, 680, 690. Plus more people bought the GW from what I can tell. And yes, the 65mm is at least as sharp if not sharper than the 90, I think, at least based on my experience. (I have/had both a GW670III and GSW690III, sold the GW but kept the GSW with the idea of getting a GW690 to pair with it later...)
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Old 04-15-2010   #23
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well, as long as the there isnt a problem with the optics on the GW im glad they are cheaper.
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I have the OOOLD G690 and GSW690III
Old 04-15-2010   #24
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I have the OOOLD G690 and GSW690III

considering the age difference and the 100 vs the 65mm lens, I personally can't detect differences in sharpness. The later lens ?may? be a little more flare resistant, but even that is not detectable to me.

While I like the GSW, I don't use it as much. Frankly, I'm not much of a wide wide person. The extra subject matter gets to be a bit much for me. Secondly, if I want a panorama, stitching the 100mm lens produces a more real panorama than stitching the 65. One rule in stitching for panoramas is to stitch with as close to a normal lens for the format as possible. This precludes some of the aspect distortion in the stitching process.

So, while people do tend to pay somewhat more JUST for the wide, I think it's counter productive on MF in 645 or 6X9.

When I stitch two 6X9's together, it comes out very near the look of a 6X17 depending on the overlap needed to blend the stitch. A 6X12 stitched with two 6X9's is a "no brainer" as long as you set up the two shots.

I don't use any expensive or complicated gear. I use a tripod and I level BOTH the rotation portion of the tripod and the camera. Then I simply turn the tripod head for a 25% overlap on frames and work quickly to avoid changing light.

So, while I have a GSW, it gets used less, and may go away one day. If I do get rid of the GSW, I will probably get a GW690 II or III. That's only if I have problems with the OLD TANK G690. It may live forever, but it's a bit heavy compared to the II and III fixed lens version.
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Old 04-15-2010   #25
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The GSW is more popular than the GW because it's a wide angle camera. Both are terrific! -George
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Old 04-17-2010   #26
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just need to fine one now then.
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Old 05-06-2010   #27
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So guys, I just picked up one of these babies on fleabay.

Hasn't arrived yet, but how do you actually use it? MF is a whole new experience to me.

I can't seem to see a shutter speed dial?
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Old 05-06-2010   #28
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RTFM!

http://www.butkus.org/chinon/fujica/..._gw690_iii.htm
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Old 05-06-2010   #29
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Thanks mate, I tried searching for a manual but couldn't find a free one!
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Old 05-07-2010   #30
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Well...i actually sold my Mamiya 7 with 80mm lens to fund a GW690. (the balance went towards a Canon 50mm 1.2 LTM for my Leica).

I've only shot one roll on it so far but i'm liking it more than the Mamiya already. The lack of a meter does not bother me and i actually do perfer working with a seperate, external meter.

The rangefinder patch is ALOT easier to focus than the one on the Mamiya 7 (i had the 7, not the 7II). The 6x9 format seems to suit me better as well.

Oh. And the Fujinon glass is tack sharp. Even more so than the 80mm on my Mamiya.
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Old 05-07-2010   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benno View Post
So guys, I just picked up one of these babies on fleabay.

Hasn't arrived yet, but how do you actually use it? MF is a whole new experience to me.

I can't seem to see a shutter speed dial?
Both the shutter speed and the aperture/f-stop setting rings are on the front of the lens. The lens hood sliding back on the front of the lens obscures the setting readout. Slide the hood forward for adjusting.
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Old 05-13-2010   #32
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Well, my 6x9 finally arrived:



It makes my M3 feel dainty by comparison! I hope like hell I'm loading the film correctly - I won't be developing it for a few weeks, and won't be getting a scanner for a bit after that.
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Old 05-14-2010   #33
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I have a sneaking suspicion the hood on this camera is going to lose a fight with a dremel when I get home...
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Old 08-12-2010   #34
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Just purchased a GSW690III that I found at Samy's Camera up in Hollywood. Now the crazy part is that it is brand new! It was ordered and then never purchased. I got a great deal...I have been looking for a GSW for some time. I have not even shot a roll of film yet. I just got back from the store. It has all the cards and manual and a 000 counter.

So I really looking forward to putting this baby to work. So there are some gems out there, it just takes lots of energy to find em. It also weighs next to nothing . Iam going out to buy some 67mm filters next. But Iam also looking forward to shooting some great color slides.

I actually think that shooting will be easy as the shutter almost silent compared to any of my medium SLR's.....that sound like pop guns.

So I am looking forward to some fun.
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