The wide angle camera is what I wanted in the first place. Instead, I bought the Bessa III with the 80mm lens. It is a great camera, but frankly I feel more comfortable with my Mamiya 711.
I probably won't buy the new wide angle 6X7 Fuji. But if they made a 6X9 folder with a 50mm lens I would be all over it.
As I see it, the normal-lens model is not all that different than the previously-made 6x7 normal-angle Fuji rangefinder cameras. However, this wide angle model is different. It has a wider lens that was previously available on 6x7, as the most important difference. I may be more compact than the previous models (though I do not know for sure), and it allows the user to shoot 6x6 as well as 6x7. If the lens is a lot different than the lens on the old one in terms of technical qualities, I don't think most would notice in the kind of work they do.
I would love to have the pair, just because the folding is nice, and a brand new camera is nice, but they are out of my price range...and not only that, but a bit overpriced for what one gets, regardless of ones price range. But hey, if you have the budget room to invest in tools that are not necessarily the best value in the world, then this camera makes a lot of sense. Lord knows plenty of people spent BIG money on SINAR, Mamiya RZ, and Hasselblad systems in their heyday, even though these systems were not leaps and bounds ahead of other options.
At less than half the price of an M7 or MP body, the purchase of one of each of these Fuji cameras is certainly a better value than a new Leica system!
The question for me, if I was seriously considering a wide-angle medium format Fuji rangefinder, would be: This new one, or one of the older 6x9s with a wide lens? I think if I was after a medium format wide-angle Fuji RF, I'd go for an older 6x9 with a 65 mm lens rather than this new one. I'd prefer the 6x9 format, and the narrower vertical AOV of the 65mm lens.
I handhold my RZ all the time, have shot probably 80 rolls with it so far in the last few months, none of which were on a tripod. So don't bother telling me what you think about handholdability. I've been there and done that.
Try handholding it for sports shooting with the 350 apo with hood, prism, Lgrip, motor drive and 350 bracket. Let me know how that goes.
It's doable, but not for long periods, like all day. It's not just the weight, but the ergonomics don't really help either.
Agreed though about the limiting apertures. Having the fastest long lenses be 5.6 is a real pain in the ass when trying to shoot 1/400 with 100 ISO film. I wish the 350 APO was an f/4 lens.
Finally some well known and reputable camera maker churns out a newly developed camera and all we have to say is "oh, so expensive" :( Folks, this is not an ultra high volume low quality made in Elbonia piece of junk like the latest gazillion megapixel DSLR incarnation. Sure it is way more expensive than some 20 year old RB67. This camera and the fact that it was just recently introduced indicates to me that Fuji believes in a future market for advanced film cameras, which eventually moves away from being swamped with used pro cameras sold at junk metal prices. I would be a lot more concerned if Fuji introduced some Holga look alike or closed down its film camera branch altogether.
I think that it is absolutely wonderful that Fuji decides to produce high end film cameras in a time where the people making the products seem very disconnected to what is actually going on in the market, I mean...sure it's perfectly normal for a big company to produce whatever the masses wants (digital dslr boom) and of course this is where they can make profit. But - looking at work by most of todays contemporary photographers - it's really easy to see that film is the prefered medium. Right now the market is still flooded with secondhand gear - but in 10 years time this will not be the case. I know several photographers whos only chance to keep producing what the want with what they like is to go and buy 5 or even 8 of the same camera. These are secondhand and will break - and when they do; no repairs are available. Therefore NEW cameras is needed.
But...When the price for a new 6x7/6x6 camera turns out to be somewhere around 2.500USD I can imaging the interrest in buying one drops tremendously with most photographers. This, I think, is mainly due to the fact that something very similar can still be bought used. Artists using analogue gear are used to lower prices.
As mentioned earlier the used gear market will be completely different in 10 years time and there will be a need for new gear - the camera-makers will notice this and start producing. The artists/photographers will start buying.
It is my most honest opinion that the analogue market will see changes much like we have seen with the vinyl records in the past years. When digital came with the cd and later the mp3 this was all that the manufactures concentrated on and all the consumers wanted. New, faster, smaller etc. Professionals kept using the vinyl (DJs etc) due to the fact that the medium holds qualities that digital don't. A couple of decks (players) was available, like the technics 1210 but that was about it. Now, in just a few years people have embraced the qualities once more. More and more music is released on vinyl and still more and more shops sell it. More and more people are buying vinyl and the now dozens of different players/decks are once more avaible. This is quite parallel to the life of analogue photography. At least in my opinion.
Theres a lot of talk about 6x9 cameras on here. If you really want a relatively light weight 6x9 with interchangeable lenses that can also do 6x7, look out for a used Fotoman 69. I have one - I love it!