Buying a GW690, what to look for?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by FotoFunfDreissig, May 19, 2013.

  1. FotoFunfDreissig

    FotoFunfDreissig Member

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    Hey there guys,

    New to the forum, and am really liking what I see so far, I thinking of buying a Fuji GW as I found one at a good will store the other day and had a little play around with it.
    I wouldn't be using it as a prime camera, but it would be a cool thing to have when I don't mind lugging something rather bulky and heavy.

    Have any of you had any experiences with these cameras? things to look out for, other opinions worth notice?
    Also how much should I be looking at spending roughly? this one was priced at $200 which seemed a lot for thrift shop pricing but was interesting enough to get my attention.

    Thanks in advance.

    Pedro
     
  2. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    They are good cameras, and once you are used to the size and weight they handle easily and they don't seem as bulky anymore.

    I am not sure what they are worth now but it is dependent on what version and condition it is in. The Gw series has three makes, the 1 has a cold shoe, the 2nd has a hotshoe and fixed hood, the 3rd has a redone contoured plastic body housing (still metal under) and quick spool ejection buttons. 1 & 2 models are most affordable, ver. 3 is only cheap when they are sold with a cracked body near the screw holes or high shutter count. All three models have a shutter count underneath, it's a 3 digit number that counts every 10 shots. Fuji recommended @ 500 for a cla, and at 999-1000 when it flips back to 0 for a shutter replacement. Be warned though, it is possible to reset the numbers, kinda like rolling back an odometer. If a body looks well used but has a very low number someone has messed with it or it has gone around the 1000 mark.

    The lenses didn't change through the models, so pick the one with the features you like and the price range you are shooting for. You won't regret this clown sized camera. The negatives are amazing and the prints from them equally so.

    If you like a wider lens the gsw version is also a great camera. It gives a fov of about a 28mm eqiv. on 35mm.
     
  3. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    I have both and did a trip to Glacier natl Park with them and have super negs to show for it. They are great since the lenses are really view camera quality lenses. Really. 6x9negs with those lenses have to be good negs and will print like they should. Have good fun there. I also did power plants along the Catawba river in South Carolina before they went all security whacko and let me take great pictures of the old generators. Great stuff, too.
    Logan
     
  4. FotoFunfDreissig

    FotoFunfDreissig Member

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    Thanks so much guys, this is exact;y the kind of information i was after. Brilliant. Im going to go down and see if it is still at that shop.
    If its still there, I may be. But wouldn't mind having a look at this GSW. Thanks again guys.

    Pedro
     
  5. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    I have a GW670 II and a GSW690 III and love using them. Negs and resulting prints are great. I have lugged them both hiking around Rocky Mtn Nat'l Park. I think you'll love the photos you get from the Fuji.
    Good luck, I hope it is still there for you.
     
  6. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I was shooting my gsw690 yesterday. I love the sharpness of the lens. Wish it had a meter though.
     
  7. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I recently bought both a GW690II and GSW690II. I really like the results I've been getting with them. The lenses are incredibly sharp. The meter issue doesn't bother me, as I use a separate spot meter, but do understand those that would like to have an internal meter.
    $200 seems like a very good price, assuming the camera is in good condition. When I researched before purchase, the one issue I was told to look for was negative spacing. It hasn't been a problem with mine, but something to look for when you put a few rolls through it.
     
  8. FotoFunfDreissig

    FotoFunfDreissig Member

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    It was a gw690III i believe, the body was abit scratched and used, but hey that doesn't really matter, the lens was the 90mm it seemed like it was fairly wear free glass. Frame lines looked good, Viewfinder was a bit dirty inside, but i assume its a fairly easy clean. I didn't even notice the shutter counter. I will go back and see if it is still at the shop, ill get it, and if I find that it has issues, maybe i can on sell it for parts for close to what I buy it for so as not to loose out on it.

    Obviously I wont be able to check negative spacing until I actually use it, short of firing a roll of film inside the shop, developing and returning again later. I dont know, the store is pretty far from where i live to warrant even trying to do that.

    Seem worthwhile?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2013
  9. nbagno

    nbagno Subscriber

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    You should snatch it up before one of us figures out where it is. 200 for the iii three version is a great deal.

    Sent from my Transformer Prime TF201 using Tapatalk 2
     
  10. FotoFunfDreissig

    FotoFunfDreissig Member

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    I dont mind if one of you get it, it is at "Save the children" store in i think Balcatta, Western Australia.
    The women in the shop asked, why I would want to buy such a huge old out of date camera?

    I was confused, because most of the stuff in that store is priced for $5 so obviously someone saw the value of it when they priced it.
    Anyway, Ill go check it out tomorrow.

    Thanks guys
     
  11. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Good deal, you won't ever find that camera cheaper even if buying bargain grade or even ugly grade. I'd snap it up and let it feast on rolls and rolls of 120. You would also want to get a nice strap for it, I use a neoprene strap made by optech that helps with reducing the strain from the weight with its elasticity. it really makes the camera feel much lighter.
     
  12. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I agree with Newt. For $200, even if it needs some repair, you'll come out ahead.
     
  13. FotoFunfDreissig

    FotoFunfDreissig Member

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    Nice, I will go have a look tomorrow, and if it i still there, I willsnap it up... Newt, great idea with the neoprene, it was pretty damn heavy
     
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  15. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I would add into the price, a truss for your hernia :D
     
  16. FotoFunfDreissig

    FotoFunfDreissig Member

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    Yeah actually now that i think about it again, I dont know that i would want it on my neck at all.

    :D
     
  17. lbenac

    lbenac Member

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    If you use the side lugs, a reasonably comfortable strap on your shoulder, the camera carries nicely even under a jacket and can be brought to your eye very easily.
    Why would you want to put any kind of weight hanging around your neck?

    If it is in good condition, $200 is a steal.

    While it looks big and clunky, the shooting itself is very easy and comfortable and the rendering of the lens is second to none.

    Cheers,

    Luc
     
  18. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    They ain't that heavy!!!! I'm an old fart and lug two of the Fujis around quite often! :D
     
  19. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    I used to lug it around...never through it was any heavier than a SLR with a Zoom on it. In fact, might be lighter.....

    Great lens, just wish the shutter didn't have that bizarre B/T setting.
     
  20. lbenac

    lbenac Member

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    Use to do that - Billy the Kid style (or Butch Cassidy or Bill Cody:confused:smile: GW690 on one shoulder and GSW690 on the other with a jacket on top so that there is no risk of the strap slipping.
     
  21. FotoFunfDreissig

    FotoFunfDreissig Member

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    So there is a predicament I now am in. I went back to the store to buy the camera. Aaaaaaand. It's gone. Apparently someone came in yesterday and bought all their cameras, (the rest were all compact 35mm's from the 90s oh an an older Canon A1) apparently, and you guys are going to laugh, the GW690 was $2 not $200.

    So anyway, I'm standing there like bugger, and realise that im not only and idiot but very disappointed, after thinking about it, and getting into the idea of it, i got my hopes up about the camera. Now i just went on ebay to look at how much I can pick one up for. They are going for $7-900 dollars.

    Does anybody feeling like selling me theirs? I will pay as much over $2 as i need without breaking the bank :D

    Damnit,
    Pedro
     
  22. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    $2 wow! Sorry that you missed out. Probably someone read this thread and snatched it up. It's happened in the past on various forums, and probably this one as well where eBay or Craigslist deals have been posted and the op ended up getting beat to the punch when they finally decided to go for it. Probably a reseller or someone in the trade. Best not to dwell on it, there will be other deals.
     
  23. FotoFunfDreissig

    FotoFunfDreissig Member

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    Possibly, but i doubt it, I don't imagine there are too many users on this forum from Western Australia.

    If so however, congrats mystery person!
     
  24. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Wow.....$2 is an outright steal. Someone is VERY happy right now..........
     
  25. revdocjim

    revdocjim Member

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    The Fuji rangefinders all have stellar reputations. They all have great lenses and for what they do the are very compact and light. In particular the 6x9 is as close to large format as you can get, and to think that it is in a light weight rangefinder is really quite amazing. I guess my reason for not buying any of them centers on two issues. First, I actually prefer the 6x7 and 6x6 look over the 6x9, which looks too much like a 645 or a 35mm frame to me. Secondly I actually do think the absence of a light meter is quite unfortunately. If you are buying a rangefinder portability and ease of use is the whole point! Why should you have to lug around a separate piece of equipment and double the number of steps and time it takes to make a photo? Fuji figured it out and added meters to their 645 rangefinders and of course the current GF models have them as well. My Mamiya 6 does too. Perhaps I'm just spoiled... I mean, its one thing if I'm intentionally going retro and shooting with my Mamiya Press or one of the pre-leaf shutter Bronicas or my Pentax SV. In that case I don't mind carrying a light meter. But the Fuji 6x9 rangefinders are relatively modern bodies. They really should have a meter! (OK, that's all the ranting I'll do for now) :smile:

    Anyway, the $2 story is a heart breaker! Better luck next time. And in spite of my prejudice, if you find what you're looking for I expect you will love it and take some wonderful photos with it.
     
  26. FotoFunfDreissig

    FotoFunfDreissig Member

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    Wow.. not so much a rant, more interesting information, I wasn't necessarily even in the market for the camera, but yeah 2 dollars, bit sad i missed out even if it doesn't have a meter, I'm pretty jealous and I am sure they will be happy. I'll be looking for a 645 now as a result of that info.

    You bet I will take photo after photo, and print in my newly set up darkroom, Yay. And for now, ill just use my Leica. *Runs and hides before the Medium Format Police arrest me.

    Cheers Pedro