Quote Originally Posted by the.ronin View Post
I finally won an auction for a medium format film camera - a Fuji GSW 690II SW for $445.
Great price for a terrific camera. Congrats.

Some questions I had if anybody could provide some guidance:

1) Light metering
I understand this line of cameras has no light meter. I know I could use the meter in my DSLR set to manual but I foresee my using the MF in times when I might not even carry around the DSLR. Any recommendations on an affordable / entry level light meter?
Most of the time I use mine with a Pentax spotmeter (Rule - meter size must match camera size ) But, if I'm not in the mood I will work with my little Sekonic L-208, though I usually just hang it around my neck.

2) Film
Any recommendations on color and BW film for the Fuji GSW 690II SW? I will likely use 120s equally for the price and the forced discipline of fewer exposures per roll. (Wow this is going to be such a change from my DSLR!!)
Fuji Velvia 50 and 100. Fuji Provia 100. Kodak Portra 400. Kodak Tri-X. Ilford FP4+. These are all great choices.

3) Developing
If possible I would like to minimize the cost of developing film. I would anticipate having colored film developed at a lab given how involved it is. However, I would consider developing BW at home. Any issues I should consider?
I use the standard Arista Premium reels and tank for hand developing. Works fine for both color and for black and white. I really don't treat it any different than 35mm. I do send my slide film out for no other reason than I have never fiddled with E-6 home developing. I'm relatively confident it probably is no more complex than C-41.

4) Scanning
I definitely would consider scanning negatives at home and saving them as TIFF (which I understand preserves the greatest amount of range in the shot). For this, I've been eyeing the CanoScan 9000F. I've read that the Nikon Coolscan scanners are of particularly great quality but just way outside of my price range. From the TIFFs, I plan to export to JPG for online publishing or print to photo paper using an Epson Artisan 710. Again, any recommendations on this setup would be appreciated.
I prefer to print the negs using my Besler, but if I am going to scan I use my Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner because it is all I have. It does seem to do a pretty good job on medium format though. I just use the standard Epson Scan software. I have a Better Scanning adjustable glass holder because my color negs turn out quite curly sometimes. I have tried scanning direct and then reversing in photoshop, and I have scanned direct to a tiff, letting the software convert, and it is easier for me to let the software convert, but both methods work. If you are going to print to an inkjet then you will be working with Photoshop, or some other editing software, so I would let the scanner do its thing.

5) Bag
How do you folks carry this brick? LOL
I have a very nice Optech strap that fits mine perfectly and makes packing it almost easy. Usually it just gets tossed on the front seat alongside my 45 Colt but if I intend to pack it on a short hike or on an airplane I put it in a small backpack.
Enjoy it. It won't take long to get hooked on those big negatives and the next thing you know you will be asking how to use and carry a Crown Graphic.