The counter in my GW690II is set to count shutter actuations in multiples of 10, i.e. if it shows 150, the shutter has been fired 1,500 times. The instructions highly recommend a shutter overhaul when the counter reaches 500 (5,000 shutter firings), and an overhaul of both the shutter and film advance mechanisms at 10,000 shots (when the counter rolls back over from 999 to 000). They recommend more frequent servicing when shooting often by the ocean or in other severe environments. This counting mechanism is consistent across the models, and equals the number of rolls in the 670 models.
I love my 690, and the lens is great. It's a bit bulky, but I call it my CL on steroids. I find the finder a bit dim and squinty, especially compared to some of my 35mm rangefinders, and when the camera will capture so much more detail than you can see through the built in finder. So I've taken to using the Cosina Voigtlander 40mm hot shoe auxilary finder for a better view of what I'm shooting. It's within a couple of degrees for that purpose and is much brighter, clearer, and is much easier to see with eyeglasses on. The CV finder magnification is essentially the same as the built in finder, but it feels a lot "bigger".
Thank you guys, your help is appreciated.
Now I understood 100 on the counter means 1000 shutter actuation have been made, which is about fifth of the number that requires factory overhaul.
Paul, I'm thrilled your experience with GW690 aside of your Bronica GS-1 setup. When and why did you find GW690 would be more useful/efficcient then GS-1 ?
How GW690 optics fairs against comparable in GS-1 (100mm/3.5 PG lens) for your opinion ?
I'm just trying to figure how I can benefit from owing GW690III aside of GS-1 (except of obvious 6x7 vs 6x9 film area differences)...
I can confirm the counter operation, the one on my GW690III is inscribed "Total of shots x10", which of course should be " ... divided by 10", as you say counter reading 100 = 1000 shutter actuations. I regard the provision of a counter as an eccentricity, maybe Fuji thought it would generate business for their service department, I would think most people would let their Fuji run on for much longer before servicing unless they were working in very harsh conditions.
Originally Posted by Alexz
The vast advantage of a Fuji RF is its low weight and thus portability, and also seal against moisture. The camera is far from waterproof, but I would worry about taking my Fuji out in damp conditions, even light rain for a very brief period, far less than with an SLR.
Points to watch:
Fuji RF cameras will not fire with no film loaded and the back closed. If you want to test with no film, open the back! Film advance lever is double-stroke type, camera won't fire after just one advance stroke.
Despite having used many many 120 cameras, it took me a couple of rolls to learn to tension the backing paper on the take-up spool by pressing it lightly with my finger while winding the film to the start mark, otherwise there is the risk of a "fat" roll.
Shutter has "T" setting, no "B". Only way to close shutter on "T" is to wind film (ideally placing black card in front of lens beforehand).
Camera makes a relatively loud "Thwang!" noise when fired. This is the double-exposure prevention device, so it operates after the picture is taken and does not cause vibration, but is noisy!
Camera has two shutter releases. The one on the front panel which needs to be pushed backwards is theoretically better as a means of avoiding camera shake, the top button tends to get a little stiff after a while and benefits from a very small drop of oil (the button is a long way from the actual shutter).
I use my Fuji whenever I feel lazy, knowing that in terms of image quality I'm not going to miss all that much compared with 4x5"!
My other half owns two of the 645 models in the series. Based on her recommendation my brother grabed one too. The 67/69 models are slightly different, but the principle is the same - sell a great lens at a great price, and throw in the rest of the camera for free.
By not providing interchangable lenses, and NOT making it an SLR you get something that's cheap, light, fun and takes great pictures. Individually they're not a "system", but for the price you just grab one of each! Don't change back/lens - change camera...
There's nothing else close to these things. And they're discontinuted! I've seen the 69 go for more than list on ebay since they've stopped selling them. Robert White's final price on the 69 was about £700, but they regularly sell for £800+!!!
Sorry Alex, I must have given the worng impression. I mean that I am considering buying one, just like you and am trying to weigh all the options. The main problem I have with them is: no interchangeable lens. I think I have decided that if I were to buy one it would have to be the gsw690 because of the wider view. Later you can always crop, there's plenty of negative! I think that if I do get one I'll have to buy one of those hot shoe meters to put on it, too. You could just get another lens for the GS-1 instead!
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Thanks David, Paul and others.
BTW, Paul, just few months ago I managed to round up my GS-1 lens lineup, so now I have 65mm, 100mm and 200mm lenses for GS-1 that pretty much cover my focal lenghtes needs.
However this GW69III still sounds quite tempting, too bad I have no a true MF-capable film scanner...:-(
BTW, do I understand corectly: GW690III doesn't provide cable release feature ?
No, that is not correct. Both the GW690III and GSW690III have provision for use of cable release.
Originally Posted by Alexz
I have the GW90III and have been very happy with it.
Someone mentioned something about filters with this camera. When I first got the camera, getting the filters on and off was hard to do because of the clunky built-in lens hood. After looking around at some Fuji forums, I did what some other people have done - I cut the lens hood off very carefully and got a a wide angle lens hood for a couple of bucks on eBay. Now filters are easy to get on and off.
As far as the T setting is concerned, I use that as Bulb. But there is a little hitch: when you fire the shutter while you are using T, the shutter does NOT close until you advance the film. So you have to cover the lens at the end of the exposure and advance the film to close things down.
It is a great camera! The limitations of the GWs are obvious, fixed lens and so on. Your legs have to be your telephoto. The fixed lens, for me, leads to a more relaxed style of shooting.The negatives and chromes from the camera are great!
If you do any darkroom work and want to print the Fuji shots yourself, make sure there is a 6x9 negative carrier available for your enlarger. Friends have found the carriers cheap on eBay.
I use my Fuji GW670 and GSW690 cameras for weddings, posed group shots, scenic shots, and the architectural shots that do not require the perspective and depth-of-field adjustments provided by large format view cameras.
Here are some of the quirks I have noticed while using these great cameras. Some of them have already been mentioned by previous posters.
It is difficult to adjust shutter speed and f/stop because controls are so close together.
When a filter is attached, the retractable lens hood covers the shutter and f/stop controls.
It is easy to waste a shot when picking up camera and accidentally pressing the shutter release on the front of camera.
The shutter release lock on the front of the camera locks both shutter releases.
There is no “B” shutter speed. The “T” setting is used instead for long exposures, however, to get the shutter to close; you must turn the shutter speed ring or move the film advance lever.
There is only an “X” sync (There is no sync for flash bulbs and I love big flash bulbs for large group shots)
The focus scale is only calibrated in meters.
The right side camera strap sometimes gets caught when closing the camera back resulting in light struck film.
The shutter speed cannot be set between click stops. It must be set only at the click stops.