Off my Hasselblad System for a Fujifilm GF670 Rangefinder?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by daleeman, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    I love my Hasselblad system, never could afford such precision equipment for years until they came up second and even third hand suffering the whip of the Digital Revolution in photography. The quagmire is that as I age and also come to grips with my heart conditions trekking through the woods and mountains with the Hassy system is getting a bit, shall I say adventurous. So should I sell it all and go to a Fuji GF670?

    The last few treks I have taken I have rarely changed lenses (40, 50, 80, 120 and 150mm lenses) and if I am truthful I have taken most of my images with the 80mm prime anyway. So I often only carry the 50mm and the 80 stays mounted, the rest in the car at the trail head.

    Pros: The GF670 is lighter, has a meter, looks cool, gets nice reviews and above all packs easy. I’m a Leica M lover too so that has an attraction to me.

    Cons: The GF670 has a dependence on a battery for the shutter. Will they keep making CR2 batteries for years? (Hell it’s not a Hassy) Never heard any reviews about cold weather performance yet of the GF670

    So let me hear your feedback. Would you consider such a move? Any experience with the Fuji camera? Love your folder you have, whatever model, got some real trekking successes with it that might make me jump for joy and pull the trigger?

    Lee
     
  2. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I have only used 645 models of the Fuji lineup. My impression is that they make extremely high quality cameras that last, with amazing lenses, they are very user friendly, logical to use, and seem to generally be a great choice.

    Other than that, the Mamiya rangefinders are very well received too. Mamiya 6 or 7 are fantastic cameras but heavier than their Fuji counterparts.

    Sorry the Hasselblad system is getting too cumbersome for you. At least you got the chance to enjoy one. I'm sure that with a lighter fine camera, such as the Fuji or Mamiya types, you'll have something that will allow you equal quality and more enjoyment.

    Sorry I don't have a more direct answer for you.

    - Thomas
     
  3. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I wouldn't but I'm biased to the punchy Zeiss glass.

    Also, if you ever like to do closer work the Hasselblad w/tubes or one of the superb makro lenes Zeiss offers for this system is hard to beat.

    I guess it boils down to weight and if you do closeup.
    I'm not sure what a 67o outfit weighs but I'm betting its a bit lighter in the field.
     
  4. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I have a decent Hasselblad system as well and when traveling I take two bodies and my 50, 150 and 2x. When traveling by car locally I do as you do and carry what I think I will use and leave the rest ( 250 and 350 ) locked in the trunk. If the trek isn't to be too long I take my larger tripod but when traveling or planning a lot of walking I take my carbon-fiber tripod. I carry the cameras in a camera back pack which makes things easy. I'm no youngster but I'm in very good physical condition.

    That said, I think depending on the subjects you like to photograph the Hasselblad may be more versatile especially if you also want to do still life at home or portraits.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  5. Frank C

    Frank C Member

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    To me the key ingredient to your question is "heart condition", I would hate to give up a nice Hasselblad system, however if I had concerns as to my health I would opt for something that I felt would be better for my health under the circumstances. If the Fuji would enable you to get out and enjoy photography to the fullest, then thats what I would do.
     
  6. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    Why not have both? Keep the Hassie for non-trek photos, and use the Fuji for hiking.
     
  7. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    To be honest the money and the reality that I do not shelp things up and down hills as good as I used to. I have begun thinking I could keep the 500 C/M and off the 40mm, 2 backs, ELM, the 150mm, and the metered prisim and raise enough cash and leave me wiht the 80mm one back and the C/M plus the 120 Makro (great lens).

    This might be a good way to reach both objectives. I just really look forward to a more compact camera this winter and future hikes. My last hike was a bit of an eye opener as to how I am not the kid in the kids body anymore, now I am just the kid in the old man's body. But the kid now has to justify his toys.
     
  8. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    ^that is precisely what I would do.
     
  9. mattone

    mattone Member

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    I love my 6x6 system just like you do (not a Hassy, though) so in order to hike with it I radically cut down on photobags/tripod etc. but, more importantly, on non-photo gear. Fewer things, smaller, only lightweight versions, sharply calculated food/drink, multifunctional items. Now I hike lighter than back in the days of my hikes with the small format system!
    Regular exercise and enough sleep, help too...
    Best, Pete
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I would keep the Hassy 40mm and 120mm lenses - because they offer something significantly different when compared to the GF670.
     
  11. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Definitely not a substitute. If you want light and high quality, though, Fuji is hard to beat with any of their rangefinders (I have a GA645zi). The thing I miss when no shooting the hasselblad is the square neg and the nice, mechanical feel. A classic Rolleiflex might be a nice option for you also. Good luck!
     
  12. Nijo

    Nijo Member

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    sell the 40mm and buy what you want. Use it for a bit before you decide. You will have no trouble selling a 40mm.
     
  13. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    True, that (40mm C T*)alone might get me half the way to the Fuji rangefinder. The lens was CLA'd has the optional hood, lens cap and I had a leather guy create a leather lens cap/hook like you find on 30mm nikon lenses and longer. It is really cool, slips over the lens, has basket weave tooling on it, draw string and all. It is very fast and easy to use in the field, and looks fantastic.

    I know as time goes on I will be better off by shedding more pounds both in my camera equipment and the girth type too. Makes getting about easier and I do hope to enable myself to do more and more outside trecking and keeping the equipment weight down will help expecially in the winter time when I use trecking poles and ice cleats.
     
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  15. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Here is the weight breakdown... the 40 = 2lb,1/4oz, 50 = 1lb,12oz (both have the same focusing range and the 40 has approx 10 degrees more angle of view), 80 = 1lb,2oz, 120 = 1lb,8 1/4oz, 150 =1lb,11 1/4oz, 500CM with an A12 and waist level viewfinder = 2lb,2oz.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  16. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Interesting, the Fuji is 35.3 oz as per B&H. That is 2.2 lbs. The 500 C/M, film back, WLF, 80mm and 50mm comes out to be flat 5 pounds with bigger bulk. Loosing the 50mm to match the profile of the fixed 80mm lens on the Fuji it comes in at 3lbs 4 oz. So the savings are not extensive; 1.2 pounds it just the shape and size difference that I believe will be the deciding factor.

    Thanks for the input.

    Lee
     
  17. guyjr

    guyjr Member

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    I've owned the Voigtlander Bessa III version of the GF670, and can vouch for its compactness vs a Hassy V series. Plus, you can shoot 6x7 and 6x6 with it.

    I ultimately decided to part ways with the Bessa though because of some issues that cropped up when using it in very cold weather. The rangefinder mechanism essentially broke in the middle of a shoot, and it took me months to get "repaired" (long story... bottom line, I never got "my" camera back from the dealer, but rather a demo model). I've been using a Mamiya 7ii ever since, and from the perspective of switching out a 500 system for a rangefinder, I think you will want to consider the usefulness of being able to swap out lenses on the Mamiya, vs the fixed lens on the Fuji. You do get a little bit of an extra wide aperture on the Fuji (f/3.5 75mm vs f/4.0 80mm), and it does fold down pretty flat, making it a truly portable, carry in your jacket pocket kind of camera. But I decided to go with the Mamiya, and after switching, wouldn't go back. It is a much more solid feeling camera, the rangefinder mechanism is a lot more protected from the elements, and there are 5 very good quality lenses to choose from, as opposed to the fixed 75mm on the Fuji.
     
  18. segedi

    segedi Member

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    I need a wide for my Hassy... so if you decide to part with one, PM me!

    And I do agree with keeping some of the hassy system. The weight difference of a 500 series + A12 + 80mm is just over a pound. That pound may add up over a good trek, but you can get lighter boots : )
     
  19. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I completely understand where you are coming from. I have a blad setup also and really prefer using a lighter simpler camera, for the style of work i use the blad for. I was looking into getting something like a fuji rangefinder or a rolleiflex. (I use a rolleicord also, as i really like TLR’s) The blad is great and all but it just does not fit my style.

    After saying all of that, i can’t get rid of it, the images i produce with it are ones I am happy with.
     
  20. segedi

    segedi Member

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    I thought my Hasselblad was big and heavy... Until I went on a hike with a Mamiya RZ!
     
  21. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    good point.
     
  22. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    Have you ever used a rangefinder before? If not, that may be something you'd want to try first before diving right into it. I know they are certainly not for everyone, and are absolutely different from the SLR Hassy. The Hassy is the more versatile camera, by far. Telephoto, close-ups, viewing though the lens, precise framing... all things you can't do with rangefinders.

    But for me, I love MF rangefinders. That's all I shoot. I would say certainly look at the Mamiya 7 if you want to shoot 6x7 or the Mamiya 6, which I shoot, if you want to stick with 6x6. While the Mamiya RF's are expensive used, they are still cheaper than a new Fuji. Though as mentioned above, being able to shoot both 6x6 and 6x7 with one camera is sweet, and the camera does fold up as well which is cool. Decisions, decisions, decisions...
     
  23. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Rangefinders are very cool. I'm a happy Leica M2 user (besides the Hassy), far from the size of the Fuji or the Mamiya 6 or 7.

    I just love the 6x6 and above size neg. I could just resign myself to being the old guy pushed down the hall of the nursing home in a wheel chair snapping shots with the M2, but Oh Hell No. I'd rather tumble off a mountain after getting that great shot that the newspapers and magazines would publish once finding my camera still on the tripod on the mountain as the last masterpiece captured on 6x6 by the obscure but extremely talented photographer names Lee.

    OK that was a little off topic. :whistling:

    Your right about decisions, decisions. So, to keep up my health the best I can I'll do my work out after work and shoot some shots this weekend with what I have as I ponder what to do to lighten the EQ load.

    Lee
     
  24. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    PM on the way
     
  25. darkprints

    darkprints Member

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    Rollei 3.5F weighs 2lb. 9oz.
     
  26. smolk

    smolk Member

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    I have a fairly nice Pentax 645N system, with 9 lenses. I love the system. Having few opportunities for trekking, if any, and finding the camera with 3 lenses already heavy for a daily carry when working (so not using a backpack), I bought a Plaubel Makina 67 with the Nikkor 2.8/80mm. Ever since, I'm shooting more, always taking the Plaubel along wherever I go. I had to get used to focusing, but sort of like the different method of framing, and adore the detail I get out of it on 6x7.
    My only real regret is that it's not for portraits (and I don't think the Mamiya 6 and 7 are, either). But then, I have a system that really is (Pentax 645N with either 135 or 150mm). The Mamiya 7 has a reputation for sharpness that is apparently unbeatable. If weight is a concern, every ounce counts. I'd go for the Mamiya if I wanted more lenses. If only one, you have more choice.