Fuji 670 quirks

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Keefe Borden, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. Keefe Borden

    Keefe Borden Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I purchased a fuji GW 670 rangefinder recently and am gradually getting to know the camera. Its lens is sharp and clean, the shutter seems to work, and the exposures I get from it are accurate, but it has a couple of quirks that may be unique to this camera (meaning it needs servicing) or it may be universal features to all fuji range finders.

    First, the film advance mechanism doesn't work the way my 35mm Nikon used to work. On the old Nikon, the film advance lever was wound once to advance exactly one frame and to cock the shutter. The Nikon's mechanism was ratcheted and if I accidentally did not wind the lever enough, the shutter would not fire. This feature prevented overlap of images on the film. The Fuji film advance lever doesn't work that way. It does wind and it is ratcheted in the same way, but one full wind does not advance the film enough. It leaves a small overlap on the negatives. To make sure I wind the film enough, swing the lever twice: one full twist and about a third of another twist. Once I learned to use the mechanism this way, the images on my negative were evenly spaced and I did get 10 of them on a roll of 120 film. My question: is this setup universal to all medium format range finders or is it just Fuji... or does my camera need servicing?

    The second question revolves around the T setting, since there is no bulb. On my old Nikon rangefinder, T meant the shutter stays open after the button is pressed. It closed only after you twist the film speed dial to any setting other than T. (In my opinion, a completely useless setting given that there is a bulb setting right next to it. But I digress). The T setting on the Fuji Rangefinder opens and closes the shutter at some unknown speed after pressing the shutter release button once. There is no pressing the button once to open it and then again later to close it. My questions: is my T setting functioning properly? If so, what exactly is it used for? How can I do exposures longer than one second with this camera?

    Thanks in advance for all feedback. Keefe.
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

    Messages:
    4,677
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Italia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My 690 the shutter doesn't cock until you fully advance the film. Yes it takes longer then one wind IIRC.

    I don't use the T but I assume you need to hold the button down. Use a locking cable for long exposures. Or just a normal cable for more reasonable ones.
     
  3. david b

    david b Member

    Messages:
    4,031
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Location:
    None of your
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I believe all of the Fuji range finders need the extra bit of winding. My gsw690iii certainly did.

    There is no bulb on any of the Fuji cameras.
     
  4. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,650
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Location:
    Manitoba, Ca
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    If my GW670ii is any sort of example, you are correct, it requires you to advance the lever twice to get even frame spacing. Actually, you will notice that the 2nd push of the lever decreases in distance as you get further towards the last frame.

    I haven't used the T setting yet, but assume that Nick is correct.
     
  5. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    5,307
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    On the T setting, you fire the shutter by pressing the shutter release button as normal. The shutter should stay open until you turn the shutter speed dial. It's not the best system, but it does work. You can also close the shutter by slightly turning the film wind crank... not a good idea.
    Any camera shake introduced by turning the shutter speed dial is a very small fraction of the total exposure time that it has virtually no effect on sharpness.
    I have the GW670II and GSW690III and love using them. Great lenses.

    gene
     
  6. Keefe Borden

    Keefe Borden Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm
    thank you.

    I am grateful for all replies. I shot another roll while working with the T function. I waited between 15 and 30 seconds before twisting the shutter speed dial and I heard the faintest click when I did so. I have to assume that was the shutter closing, but I'll know for sure after I process the film tonight.

    As mentioned, I noticed that the film advance lever requires less additional turns as I shot through the roll. My guess is that the take-up spool grows thicker as more film is wound around it, so each twist of the wrist takes up more film. That's a clever design that I would not have thought about.

    As other photographers have reported, it is a neat camera with a sharp lens, accurate shutter, large viewfinder and clear rangefinder mechanism. I agree with that assessment. Despite that, I'm puzzled by some of its other design features. To start with, the hood is constantly in the way when you need to change shutter speed or aperture. It's too short to be of any real use as a screen for the sun, so I don't know why it's there. Secondly, the shutter is unusually loud. I have no idea why the mechanism sounds so hollow when the shutter clicks. There is no mirror inside flapping around, but it sounds like a spring is popping loose every time the shutter opens. Finally, it's just as easy to install a bulb setting as it is to install the T setting. For whatever reason, Fuji decided not to do so.

    I haven't seen the exact specs on the new Fuji Rangefinder, but I won't buy one until these issues are addressed.

    As for my own camera, it produces great negatives despite its quirks. Thanks again for all replies.
    Keefe.
     
  7. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    5,307
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The hood should be pulled out so it doesn't cover the shutter speed dial/aperture dial combo. If it is covering them, it is not in the proper position.
    As for the shutter sound, I have been told it is actually the counter mechanism on the bottom of the camera. This counter lets you know how many times the shutter has fired... 1 on the counter = 10 times it has been fired. You get used to the sound after a while.
    I hope this helps.

    gene
     
  8. Keefe Borden

    Keefe Borden Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm
    thank you.

    Gene: Thank you for your feedback. After running through one more roll tonight, I discovered one additional quirk that I hadn't noticed before: the T mechanism only works with the shutter release knob on top of the camera. The one on the face of the camera left me with two large blank spaces where my images should have been on the film. After putting an exposed practice roll into the camera, I discovered that the two shutter release buttons don't behave the same way when you put the speed on T setting. The top button performs as you describe, but the shutter release button on the front of the camera opens and closes it at an unknown speed.

    I'm not disappointed, however, as I consider all of this part of the learning process. The good news: exposure looks good on all other images on the neg, the images are evenly spaced, and there is only one minor sign of error on the rest of the negative.

    All told, I'd say it was a reasonably productive evening.
    Best regards, Keefe.
     
  9. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Good advice, Gene! I own 3 Fuji MF rangefinder cameras (GW 690 III, GSW 690III AND GW 670 III). Great cameras all!!

    Time exposure: To make long-exposure pictures, set the shutter selector to “T” (Time) and press in the shutter release. The shutter will remain open even if you take your finger off the shutter release.

    To close the shutter, just turn the shutter speed selector back towards “1.”

    On a time exposure, it is also possible to close the shutter by operating the film advance lever, but if you do this, the film will be advanced a bit and thus the position of the film will be changed a bit during the exposure, causing some image effects (image smearing, distortion, etc.).


    To close the shutter in order to terminate a time exposure, always turn the shutter speed selector. Do not operate the film advance lever.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2008
  10. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ...but it sounds like a spring is popping loose every time the shutter opens. Finally, it's just as easy to install a bulb setting as it is to install the T setting. For whatever reason, Fuji decided not to do so.

    Keefe.[/QUOTE]

    Installing BULB capability in the Fuji's Copal shutter is a design complication that would increase the complexity of the shutter with little or no gain in functionality, IMHO. As has been mentioned before, there already is a fully functional TIME Exposure function.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2008
  11. Jerry Thirsty

    Jerry Thirsty Member

    Messages:
    283
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2004
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If you are using the T setting on a dark scene with small bright lights in it, the act of twisting the shutter speed ring off of T to close the shutter can cause enough movement of the camera to cause the bright lights to smear. In this case, you can use the "hat trick", where you hold a dark hat or black card up in front of the lens while you twist the ring. This of course assumes there isn't a bright light behind or above the camera illuminating the card.
     
  12. larsco2002

    larsco2002 Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Some idiosyncracies, but outweighed by positives

    1) More than a full crank.. yes. Remember, you are moving a huge piece of film. 9 cm vs. 3 cm of 35mm.
    2) No bulb... not a problem and inconsequential. If you tried to hold a camera this big still for bulb exposure, you'd probably blur the image focus.
    3) Unusual T (time exposure). Again, this is a big camera, so if you had to press the shutter button again, how would that be much of an advantage over using the "hat trick" and turning the shutter ring.

    All in all, it's just a different way of doing what you did with very managable 35mm cameras. The downside of the ease of operation of the 35mm... a negative less than 1/6th the size of the 6X7 or 6X9.

    I've owned three of the large Fuji rangefinders, currently still using a very durable G690bl and a later GSW690III. I also have had a large number of the GS 645 rangefinders and currently have a GA645Zi. All of the Fuji rangefinders had consistently similar idiosyncracies... all easy to incorporate into your use of them.

    My personal feeling is that the Fuji people could have thrown a couple more idiosyncracies into the mix and I would still consider the results from their cameras superior to most other Medium Formats I have used.
     
  13. pelerin

    pelerin Member

    Messages:
    343
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi,
    Pardon my replying to your digression rather than the heart of you post. I suppose your methods and tools are different than mine but, depending on how it has been implemented, that "t" may be found to serve useful purposes. Here are some based on the various beaten Nikons lying about here, as always YMMV depending on brand and model.

    The most obvious is the elimination of a cable release, which the "b" setting depends on for its utility. The self timer, if provided, can be used to obtain a smooth release of the shutter. In some cameras this accrues the added benefit that the mirror is prereleased - thus eliminating another source of vibration. (yes, the self timer might also be combined with "b" to prerelease the mirror) On an F3 "t" also eliminates the need for batteries, meaning that long exposures are not battery dependent. On an F2 "t" enables (in conjunction with the self timer) timed speeds beyond one second. Other cameras have similar quirks.

    I certainly think a cable release ought to be part of one's kit but, like anything, it can be misplaced. A cable release, like a tripod, also seems to me to be one of those accessories that calls attention to the photographic act. The use of one can induce docents, caretakers, etc to decide that you are not a tourist taking holiday snaps. Sometimes blending in is the best defense against getting your privilege to photograph revoked.
    Celac