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  1. #1

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    Seeking Opinions: Fuji GX680I or II vs GX680III

    I would be interested in any user's opinions on a Fuji GX680I or II vs the GX680III.

    From what I can gather there are two differences - the battery used and data imprinting by the film back. Am I missing something else that would be important? The body style is also a little different, is that something that would make a difference? Are the accessories interchangeable between the models? Also, there seems to be an extra "data" port on the III's body below the remote release port - what is that used for?

  2. #2
    dwdmguy's Avatar
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    Interested as well.
    Thx

  3. #3

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    It is a great camera system to work with. Altough being handy as a baby tiger, it makes great fun to pick a tripod, the GX and take a walk.

    Just buy the most copious set that you can find. If you are patient you can get a very nice system for next to nothing. Taking into account that the glass is the same, the question of I II or III is not important.

    I now have a decent GX system. Several bellows, 3 lenses, compendium, 2 film backs, 3 magazines, angle view finder, pola back, 2 batteries, 2 chargers, ... It only took me 4 auctions on ebay to have it "complete".

  4. #4
    keithwms's Avatar
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    As I recall, there are big differences in battery type. I think the earliest required a really outdated battery and there was no option to upgrade (although a decent electronics expert could find a workaround, I am sure). Due to battery concerns, I eventually went for a rb67 pro SD with a 6x8 back and separate LF for those times I really need movements, but I had a very good time with a gx680III.

    Note that there are the "S" models to which have no movements, and apparently were intended for straight on portraiture.

    Anyway, superb lenses, great prices...
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  5. #5
    Bosaiya's Avatar
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    You'll have better luck with parts if you go with a III, Fuji still considers it a viable system, or did a couple years back. Last time I called up the guy (there's only one, apparently) to get help with my first generation model he expressed genuine surprise that it still worked.

    As of those couple years back you could still buy a AA battery adapter direct from Fuji USA, cost about $75. These were the same ones being sold on eBay for significantly more. If you don't mind the persistence required with the operator to route your call to the right department you might find they still have them laying around.

  6. #6
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    one thing that's nice too is the availability of multiple formats. with the GX680III(I know for sure) that you can get adapters for the backs that can be anywhere from 6x4.5 to 6x8. that means 6x6 and 6x7 in addition to the 645 and 6x8. very handy. I know of a few people that use these cameras, with film and digital backs for architecture and some food(on location) photography. The movements help keep the lines straight(the 50mm however CANNOT be moved more than a few mm due to vignetting), but the 65mm is generally fine enough for most WA shots. nice to have the winder built into the body too . lots of bellows extension for close-up macro stuff. the IIIs version has no movements(swing, shift, tilt), but takes the same lenses and bellows/shades, etc... just no movements, which you might find yourself using quite a bit.

    If I were to do it over again, I'd have gone with a gx680III instead of my RZ system, mostly for the movements(think landscapes and some food, some architecural). the lenses are superb however. as good if not better than Zeiss glass IMO. higher in contrast and a little more saturation out of them, but terrific throughout the entire lineup.

    the downsides though from what I've found: 1. Weight: this mother's a heavy S.O.B.! heavier IMO than most 4x5 field cameras with 2-3 lenses. You might want to look at getting a small-ish 4x5 with a 6x9 back or something, so you get FULL front and back movements, lenses would be comparable(if you get good 4x5 ones that is) in both price and resolution. and you get the ability to shoot 4x5 if you want to as well, all in the same camera.

    just sayin'

    -Dan


  7. #7

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    I am also at this stage for deciding between II and III. But also am wondering about RZ. As far as I can research, Fuji lenses are better than the excellent RZ lenses.

    I am guessing that the Fuji lenses don't feature floating elements, or do they? Would that make them compromised, at least theoretically? Or am I misguided to have to worry about this?

  8. #8
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Pchong, I would not say that the Fuji lenses are better than the RZ counterparts. They are similarly capable. The Fuji EBC lenses are a touch contrastier... poke around and I think you will see that some find the contrast unkind for portraiture. But some will rightfully assert that the look can be controlled quite well during the development and printing stages. Bokeh, well, that is a personal issue. Just try the lenses!

    Floating elements can indeed be important for wide angle work, esp. if you need critical sharpness out to the edges.

    By and large, I don't have many complaints about my experiences with the EBC lenses, but I do recall from a lens-to-lens comparison that the Fuji family for the gx680 is quite small and the number of lenses on the used market very limited. A big advantage one has with RZ/RB gear is that there is so much used gear on the market, you run no risk whatsoever of being unable to find a particular lens, esp. if you are willing to go a generation back or use an RB lens on an RZ body etc. But read up on leaf shutters and shutter speeds etc. and you may find other issues that more important to you.

    My advice is to consider whole package(s)... make up a list of all the lenses & peripherals you will want in your kit in the near future, and do the math and compare reviews. It might also make sense to ask questions like, what would it cost for me to have a spare body? Are there wide/long enough lenses for my needs? How much will the whole system cost? And so forth.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  9. #9
    whlogan's Avatar
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    I am one of these happy GX 680 users. I have 2 680 bodies and 4 lenses. I love them all. I got the second one off KEH for $27 with the AC power supply. I need the AA battery power pack and will willingly trade any one the AC pack for a AA pack. Pay postage/shiping, too. Or if anyone knows a phone number at Fuji where I could talk to someone who might know if a AA pack was still available, I would be most appreciative. whlogan@loganphotographics.com.....
    I love these cameras.... I use mine as a field camera and I am disabled.... ride on a scooter.... Vietnamese fixed my walking machinery some years back so it no longer works quite right any more...
    Logan



 

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