I have a pair of Fuji 690s (the GW690II and the GSW690III) that are my principal cameras. I love them. They are reasonably light and easy to handle. The rangefinder spot is a bit small, and the GSW viewfinder includes part of the lens, but the viewfinders are clear, bright, and of good size. The built in bubble level is handy. The cameras are quite easy to load, and the film advance is absolutely reliable. I used to use a Medalist II when 620 film was still readily available. It had a great lens, but mechanically it was not great. It was also pretty hard to hold. But you usually will be using a tripod with 6X9. I have used the old Ikonta, and it was wonderful. The 6X9 format is the same as 35mm, but the negative is 5-fold larger. That negative size makes a huge difference in quality. You get near LF quality with very little sacrifice in portability and convenience compared to 35mm. Of course the 3:2 format is odd when it comes to printing. US paper sizes are closer to 5:4 or 4:3. That won't matter with contact prints, but contact prints of this size are really too small for most uses. The 6X7 format would give you two extra exposures per roll and would better match the available paper sizes. It also opens up the possibility of using an SLR for even more convenience. I scan most of my negatives (using an Epson 4990), and I use an inkjet printer for routine prints. (I still sometimes get into the darkroom, though.) That is an easy and fairly economical approach to printing. The 6X9 negatives make beautiful A3 (11.5 X 16.5 inches) prints.
As an alternative to those classic (used) cameras, there is a brand new 6x9 camera you can purchase from DaYi Camera Workshop -- the Gaoersi 6x9. Here is a photo of the camera:
Currently they support 58mm and/or 65mm lenses with this camera -- perhaps they will support other lenses in the future -- send them email. I believe they are positioning it as a handheld "companion" camera for their 6x12, 6x17, and 6x24 panoroma cameras.
Their website is www.focus-dayi.com
I ended up purchasing DaYi's Gaoersi 4x5 which I have been using a lot as of late with 6x9, 6x12, and BetterLight backs. Look for an in-depth review of the Gaoersi 4x5 camera in the Premiere issue of MAGNAchrom coming out in September.
J Michael Sullivan
...SOMETIMES I SEE THINGS...
Very interesting. Sort of an anti-Alpa. I think I'll stick with my humble Century Graphic wot supports lenses from 35 mm to at least 250. Much less expensive and doesn't need a focusing lens mount.
I don't know what DaYi thinks of people who hold my views, Alpa thinks we're ignorant barbarians. Especially when we turn up with 38 Biogons.
I don't know what DaYi thinks of people who hold my views, /QUOTE]
Don't they also make a bunch of rollfilm backs? I'm sure they're happy with people who use rollbacks to.
The Bob Monahan Medium Format site under Postcard cameras had a reference to flat-glass-plate film-flattening, referring to a Hasselblad Polaroid back that did this, taking into account the thickness of the glass inserted into the path. It alters the focal plane distance, similar to inserting a Fresnel screen on the INSIDE of a ground glass where there was none intended.
I think the formula for focal plane shift is t/n, t being thickness of glass plate and n being index of refraction. With common glass having an index very close to 1.5, this works out to about 2/3 the thickness of the glass plate.
If you readjust your front cell distance ring, you can correct for this.
I just cut a piece of anti-reflective glass to fit an Agfa folder I had removed the front from. I glued it with contact cement and adjusted position before completely dry to avoid sharp edges. I'm having a lot of frustration getting it clean to start with. Fingerprints show up iridescent.
It's epoxied to a 4x5 filmholder for a Franken-rollfilm holder. The film plane spacing from the 4x5 holder mounting plane is ridiculous, 1.700". I have an aluminum block with ground glass on it. It's obviously ridiculous too, something like 4.75 x 6.75 x 1.793 with 0.093 glass on it. Keeps me off the street if nothing else.
I'm close to putting a roll in it, but close is a relative term.
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