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Author Topic: Fuji GX180 vs 4 x 5 with a roll film back  (Read 2236 times)
grilla
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« on: October 12, 2012, 07:56:25 PM »
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I have desire to go back to shooting 6 x 7 or 6 x 9 film after a 8 year stint with digital. I used a Fuji 6 x 9 rangefinder for years and loved it, and even tried 4 x 5 with a brief stint in a workshop with plenty of help. I am torn between two cameras and would like your opinion. The Fuji GX680 gives me medium format with some tilts and swings, and a 4 x 5 with a roll film back gives me even more latitude. It amazes me how inexpensive either setup has become. I am a landscape photographer (www.thecolorblindphotographer.com) that enjoys taking my time and never photographs sporting events, people, or anything else that moves unless it is caused by the wind. How difficult is it to use a 4 x 5 with a roll film back? If you are using either setup or have a recommendation please let me know.
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DanielStone
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2012, 08:27:20 PM »
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IMO, both options can offer a lot.

If you want to shoot 6x9,, you'll need a 4x5 with a rollfilm back or as you've already mentioned, a Fuji rangefinder camera.
Depending on type of 4x5 camera to be chosen, some can be folded down to be smaller and lighter than the GX680 system.

I'd also consider just shooting 4x5 sheet film, simply because you can have a larger negative/chrome to work from.

That is, unless your chosen emulsion film-wise isn't available in sheet form...

Dan
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 08:28:52 PM by DanielStone » Logged
HarperPhotos
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 08:32:47 PM »
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Hello,

In the days of film for my personal landscape photography I first started with a Linhof flatbed but I found it to heavy so I sold it for a Woodman 4x5 and it was perfect. I also used Horseman 6x9cm and 6x12cm roll film backs which where very easy to use with the Woodman. Weight is some thing you need to consider as a sore back can quickly take the fun out of landscape photography.

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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FredBGG
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 09:15:01 PM »
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I have the Fuji gx680 as well as 4x5 and 8x10.

I shoot mainly fashion and portraits, but like to shoot landscape for fun and satisfaction.

I found though that I would end up hardly ever using the 4x5 as it  was so close to the GX680 and would go with the 8x10 if I wanted more than the 680.

Shooting roll film with a 4x5 is a bit laborious, but not particularly difficult.

A nice robust folding 4x5 with a horsman 6x9 and 6x12 back is a nice combination.

It takes a bit of time getting used to composing your image upside down on the focusing screen.

Going back to the GX680 if you need more info on it I can send you some good documentation on the whole system.
All specs including lens weight, minimum focusing, extension bellows info... the whole lot. Manuals too.
Send me a PM with your email.

Best

Fred
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 09:25:50 PM by FredBGG » Logged
Anders_HK
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 09:35:25 PM »
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I have desire to go back to shooting 6 x 7 or 6 x 9

Mamiya 7 - simple, very sharp lenses indeed, one of best film cameras made

and/or

Shen-Hao 6x9 viewcamera - movements, Shen-Haos are pleasure to work with, I have TFC45-IIB
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 09:49:02 PM »
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The only thing keeping me from a mamiya 7 is the poor short focusing range, otherwise that camera would be ideal - small lightweight and fantastic optics. 

Instead, I'm using a polaroid 110B adapted to take 4x5 film holders and fit with a 90mm schneider super angulon lens + a 2nd on the way with a 152/3.5 komura lens.    I look a lot at the fuji 680 but think of it as a studio camera mostly.  Fred do you carry your GX680 into the field?     

Sometimes I shoot film with my Hy6 and that's quite nice.  Exposures are perfect, auto focus... its like driving a mercedes.   6x6 is very close to 6x7. The Hy6 body is remarkably light actually and the battery lasts forever. It's the lenses that weigh a bit, not all but some do.   I guess I also take out my 2.8F TLR.  Another great camera!     

I had one of the fuji folders - pictures were actually quite good when you got exposure and focused correctly, but somehow it wasn't much fun to use that camera.
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BillOConnor
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2012, 11:08:34 AM »
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Hey, Guys;

All of this has been about cameras. Do those of you extolling the virtues of film have a dependable lab? Do you scan your own film? Or have a reliable scanner? Capable technicians in these areas are getting harder to find. Finding reliable sources for film is also a problem. Are any of you still using a wet darkroom?

I shot with a 4x5 for thirty years and have come to view it as a case of unrequited love. My new love, a P65+ back on either my Mamiya SLR or my truly beloved Fuji GX680, give me results far better than many of my best efforts with the 4x5. Instead of up-side down and reversed, I have an erect image, front movements, immediate feedback on my picture, no film holders, no day-light loading tents, all I have to do is take pictures.

A big part of landscape photography is the magic that happens when the clouds and the light are on the move. The ability to shoot quickly, bracket quickly, pan over a little, shoot some more, is priceless. I cannot recommend the Fuji camera highly enough, but 65mm is as wide as it goes, realistically. The Mamiya with a 50 shift and a 35mm lens rounds things out beautifully.

Like I said, find an outfit that lets you spend your time taking pictures!

Bill O'Connor
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FredBGG
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2012, 12:58:41 PM »
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Fred do you carry your GX680 into the field?     

Yes I often take my Fuji on location. I've shot many years from the beaches of Hawaii, Lanzarote, Sardinia, Tuscany, the french quarter in New Orleans.
I've put it on motion picture gibs and cranes. The look of the 125mm 2.8, 180mm 2.8 and 300mm on location is remarkable.

When I do fashion or beauty look books I like to pepper them up with a few landscapes.

Yup I often take the Fuji gx680 into the field, even by myself without an assistant, but keep in mind that though I'm over 50 I'm very fit,
6ft 4inch 230 lbs and size 14 feet and windsurf and kitesurf unhooked ... hence big strong hands.

The GX680 is a very robust camera and the 6x8 format is very nice for landscape. I also shoot two frame horizontal shift with it at times shifting the lens.

With the 50mm a 2 frame lens shift stitch is about a 40mm . Keep in mind that the 50mm is already a 23mm equivalent on a DSLR.
However the 50mm is a heavy lens 1.25 KG.

The Mamiya 7 is also a nice camera with fantastic lenses when stopped down, but it does not have tilt shift.

Also keep in mind that kapture Group makes a stitch back for some digital backs for the Fuji GX680. Two frame stitch with even a modest 22MP back
is quite nice and gives you 40MP final image. Very quick to use and you still get to do your full composition in the viewfinder.

The moving loup viewfinder also lets you get very accurate focus even when tilt shifting.
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2012, 03:13:55 PM »
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Hello,

One thing to consider is with the Fuji GX680 is not only its weight but also its reliance on batteries. Using a 4x5 or 6x9 flatbed and copal shutters this is not an issue.

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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FredBGG
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2012, 04:33:02 PM »
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Hello,

One thing to consider is with the Fuji GX680 is not only its weight but also its reliance on batteries. Using a 4x5 or 6x9 flatbed and copal shutters this is not an issue.

Cheers

Simon

Batteries are not much of a problem. A gx680III runs on three small internal batteries that last for a heck of a long time.
For the version I as well as the version III you can also use an external AA battery pack that slides onto the side of the camera.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2012, 04:40:10 PM »
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Another nice option for landscape with film is the Fuji GF670W with it's 55mm wide angle.
Very compact. 6x6 or 6x7 settings. Built in meter. Auto exposure too.

Another camera to consider is the 6x17 Fuji or the Widepan.
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ondebanks
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2012, 05:50:07 PM »
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The look of the 125mm 2.8, 180mm 2.8 and 300mm on location is remarkable.


Fred - aren't those lenses about a half stop slower...f3.2? (Still fast for 6x8!).

Ray
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FredBGG
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2012, 07:25:49 PM »
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Fred - aren't those lenses about a half stop slower...f3.2? (Still fast for 6x8!).

Ray

Oops .. typo. They are f 3.2 lenses. 1/3rd of a stop slower than 2.8.
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