Quote Originally Posted by Alexz
I just came across an ad in our local photo forums selling all four cams: GW67II, GW67III, GW69II and GW69III.
The following information has been fetched out of the seller:
Most of the cams are in very good condition, very clean except of 67II (or was it III ?) that has flash shoe replaced. All are equipped with 90mm/3.5 lens of course. The GW67II appears to have the largest number appearing on its counter (arround 500), the 69III appears to have the least leap (counters show about 100).
I'm not familiar personally with these cameras, although have read through lots of online reviews on these and mostly the opinion is held up for all of these, particularily for 69II and 69III models. Optics is reprotedly top-notch except of their bokeh loosing to Zeiss counterparts.
I would be glad to read personal opinions about these cameras, such as hands-on experiences, what is good and what is bad...
I'm aware about the system specifications (rangefinder, no switchable film backs, of course, fixed, although leaf shutter lens, purely mechanical (no powering is necessary, however no metering is available either). What is the number shown on the camera's counter ? Is that amount of frames (i.e. shutter actuations) done so far or amount of film rolls through the camera ? What are the average life span of GW 67II/III and GW69II/III shutters ?
To put the things into proportions I must tell that I'm MF SLR user, shooting with Bronica GS-1 (6x7) system right know, however thinking of adding a kind of rangefinder for hikes and when weight/size are a considerable issues.

The prices as asked by seller ranging from 550$ for 67II to 800$ for 69III. Are they fair prices for these models bearing the condition described above ?

Any additional help is highly appreciated.

Regards, Alex

Yes, I think these are fair prices. I have a GW690III and a GSW690III in EX condition and I would not sell either of them for $800.

In terms of image performance there is nothing in the medium format world that will beat these cameras. The lenses are superb and the very large negatives, either 6X7 or 6X9, just simply can not be beat by 6X6, not even by the best of Hasselblad. And for the size negative these cameras are relatively light, at least the III models are.

Of course, there are disadvantages to large rangefinder cameras, though the lack of a built-in meter is not one of them. The major problem, compared to a SLR is that the viewfinder does not show exactly what you will get on the negative, especially if you are working close with the GSW and its 65mm lens. The other problem, compared to a view camera, is that you have no movements so you must rely on depth of field to get everything in focus. Lack of movements also means no perspective control, though you can do lot in this arena with Photosho if you scan the negatives.