Fuji III series Rangefinders Stupid, Stupid Feature!!

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by brian steinberger, May 20, 2010.

  1. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    I not too recently ago purchased a Fuji GW680III rangefinder. And I love it, but last week I went to shoot some timed exposures of water. No problem I thought. I put the cable release on, it was a 4 second exposure. I pressed it, watched my watch, then let go, and the shutter wouldn't close. I hit the shutter again, nothing. I finally fiddled with the shutter and aperture rings and the shutter closed. Huh, that was weird I thought. Did it again, same thing.

    So I figure my camera was broke. Never having read the manual I figured I'd go download it. Well after reading it, it turns out that once you press the shutter for a time exposure the shutter will not close when letting go of the shutter release (un-like most BULB features I've ever used). You have to change the shutter speed on the shutter dial, which is on the lens, and is not the easiest ring to turn, therefor shaking the camera. This to me is the stupidest feature I've ever seen, almost ruining the good thing the Fuji RFs have going for them.

    Anyone else have a issue with this? Or a solution to the problem?
     
  2. fotch

    fotch Member

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    It does sound dumb.
     
  3. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Yes, it's a stupid design. It's the only thing I don't like about my Fuji rangefinder.

    Peter Gomena
     
  4. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    When I had my GW670III, I did time exposures all the time. Great camera IMO.

    I just put a black hat, or my hand over the lens(without touching it), then moved the shutter speed or aperture ring to close it down. I just learned to live with it.

    great cameras, super sharp.

    -Dan
     
  5. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    It's not a B ("bulb") setting, it's a T ("time") setting. B closes when you let go, T stays open when you let go and needs a separate action to close the shutter. The great majority of modern roll film cameras have a B setting, but the shutters used with modern large format lenses have both.

    But yes, the Fuji T setting is unusual in requiring the shutter speed ring to be turned (or the film to be advanced) to close the shutter, rather than just a second press of the shutter release. And yes, it's a real nuisance and a substantial limitation IMO.

    One thing you can do is bring a along small piece of cardboard. Slap that quickly over the lens at the end of the desired exposure and hold it on, and you can use your other hand to fiddle with the shutter speed ring at your leisure without worrying about moving the camera. If you're really nimble, you can put the lens cap on. It's difficult to control short time exposures reliably that way, but beyond a few seconds the imprecision doesn't matter.

    PS: the mark I and II versions of the fixed-lens Fuji GW 6x7/6x8/6x9 cameras are the same.
     
  6. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    It does seem bothersome, but some cameras which are usually good do have quirks that you have to live with.

    Jeff
     
  7. raizans

    raizans Member

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    the shutter goes down to 1s. for longer exposures on the T setting, my guess is that any camera shake caused by turning the shutter speed ring or advancing the film won't even register. you don't need to turn them much to set it off, too. :smile:
     
  8. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    The problem is that on the mark II and III versions, the shutter speed dial is recessed in the lens barrel, and it's sometimes not so easy to get a grip on it without giving the camera a nudge.
     
  9. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    It's the same as the RB67, I assumed its common to many medium format designs, I quite like the feature, it means I dont need to hold down a release cable, and just press the shutter, come back in an hour or 5 and turn the shutter speed dial back to 1 second and it closes :smile:
     
  10. j_landecker

    j_landecker Member

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    This is also the case on Bronicas for time exposures without using battery power. You slide a switch to the "T" position on the bottom of the lens, the shutter release opens the shutter, then the shutter closes when you slide the switch back. It's fiddly and easy to mess up if you don't do it often. I like the action of large format shutters where you push the release to open, then push it again to close.
     
  11. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    The same thing, which I dislike, about my Nikon F's. I just use 'B' and a locking cable release. Much easier.
     
  12. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I like the black card or hat idea. The lens cap may be an easier option since it's always with me. But like was said, it's tough for exposures of 4-6 seconds.
     
  13. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I believe you can also close the shutter by turning the film advance lever. I know you can do this on some of the GW and GSW models, not sure about the III.

    Sandy King
     
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  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    This sound like something that should be posed on the Most over rated feature thread! :surprised:

    Steve
     
  16. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    Yes this is a bad feature of the camera(s). But I have ruined only a couple exposures out of many by turning the shutter speed ring. Though I have ruined a much higher percentage by advancing the film. I can see where the use of a black hat and film advance method would work quite well.
    I really like using my two Fujis as much as my 4x5 and 5x7 cameras.
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    This sound like advancing the film on these Fujis that should be posed on the Most over rated feature thread! :surprised:

    Steve
     
  18. 5stringdeath

    5stringdeath Member

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    Working in IT all day, this sentence makes me laugh with rage :tongue::D
     
  19. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    Along with your camera and the aforementioned RB the RZ can join the club for longer than what is it 60sec exposures ?...

    But isn't it just how 'T' settings work ? I think that if you're using T exposures then the possible shake in switching it off will be nothing in the grand scheme of such a long exposure ?

    I use T as then I don't have to bother with a cable release at all :wink:
     
  20. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Somehow I don't think that would be over rated, could be like most annoying?
    Nikon used to use the rotate the shutter speed dial too. Yeah it's not around the lens, but still.
     
  21. mrosenlof

    mrosenlof Member

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    I had a 'III'. The film advance does indeed close the shutter. I never saw an issue with that. That "feature" is naturally more convenient for longer exposures, but it's workable even for a couple of seconds.
     
  22. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I have a GSW690 and a GW690III. The film advance lever closes the shutter on both cameras, and does so with just a slight movement. I doubt that touching the lever to advance the film would cause any problem, even with short exposure times. Must admit that for a long time I thought the only way to close the shutter was by turning the shutter speed setting, which I find a lot less convenient that turning the film advance lever.

    Sandy King
     
  23. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Using the film advance might cause problems if there are any bright highlights in the scene such as streetlights. The film may move slightly before the shutter fully closes. But I just use the lens cap...compared to using barrel lenses on LF cameras, it is only half the work. Being able to start the exposure with a cable release is very nice as there is less chance of vibration.

    I actually sent our Fuji 6x7 back thinking the shutter was faulty -- got a photocopied portion of the manual back...:rolleyes: But now I just tell our students about it's little quirk -- it is in high demand.

    Vaughn
     
  24. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    A direct quote from the manual for my GW690III:

    " On time exposure, it is also possible to trip the shutter by operating the film advance lever, but the film will advance and move your picture out of position in this case. To trip the shutter on time exposure, always turn the shutter speed selector. Do not operate the film advance lever."

    What this means is that the shutter remains open for a bit while the film is advancing. As Vaughn said above, highlights end up being stretched out into the next frame. You get a partial double exposure.

    You need to cover the lens if you are using the film advance lever to close the shutter. I ruined a roll of film the first time I tried using the film advance instead of the shutter speed ring. Just one of those lessons learned.

    Peter Gomena
     
  25. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    I have a Fuji GW670II and while the time feature doesnÂ’t bother me the collapsible lens hood is a pain. While carrying it the other day it slipped of my shoulder and hit the asphalt. My fault for using a cloth camera strap wearing a nylon weather breaker. But the camera is built like the proverbial hockey puck. Except the hood took the brunt of the fall and was dinked. Dinked in the collapsed position so that was the end of shooting that day. I hate that hood with a passion anyway .So I took my trusty Dremel and cut it off and now have a nice rubber hood and can see the settings unencumbered. And the upside is now it is not salable and I will not make the mistake of selling it off and then later regretting having done so
     
  26. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Good information. I did not see that in my manual, or perhaps I did and forgot about it. But whether closing the shutter with the speed ring or with the film advance lever I have always covered the lens first. It is just intuitive because it is obvious that either way you will be touching the camera before the shutter closes.

    Sandy King