Fuji GW690 II

Fuji 690 II-4

I had an impulsive moment and bought something called a Fuji GW690II, aka the Texas Leica – because it is a large camera compared to a slr. It is a little battered and light sealing needs replacing. But I didn’t think I had much to lose with the pricing. This is a 120 format camera. The Hasselblad takes 6×6 format and other medium formats take 6×6 or 6×7 frames. This takes 6×9 frames, which means each roll of 120 takes only 8 frames.

The camera is completely manual with no metering. I see this being a positive because I don’t have to worry about any electronics rotting out or dead batteries. It is clad in plastic but it is a little heavy with some sort of metal framing on the inside. But using it was not so bad. Everything is extra large. If it was painted yellow, you would mistaken it for a toy. I metered it using a free light meter app on the phone. In that mid day sun, it was very hard to read the screen. I just set it at F8 and 1/250 and didn’t bother changing.

I also bought some slide film Fuji Velvia rolls. They were expired and were selling at $7 each. I forgot development and scan would set me back another $27 (the normal negative film would cost me $12 or so for scan and develop) and not every shop does it. I had to wait another week for it to be outsourced. I had to skimp on lunch that week.

It sat in the cupboard for a little while and I finally decided to try it out during lunch. I once again decided to play tourist around Circular Quay. I was amazed with how sharp this camera is. You can’t tell from these low grade web pictures but trust me the lens is sharp. We are normally taught that taking photos during the mid day sun is not ideal but I am also happy with the result from Velvia.

This photo is looking towards the west from Observatory Hill, a short walk on the west side of the harbour bridge. That side of Sydney used to be a shipping terminal wharf and tall structure is the control tower for the freight ships. The wharfs are finally being developed and they will destroy the control tower soon. It is too small to be commercially viable as an observation deck and when it was built in the 70’s it was not built to last.

This side of Sydney head is still undeveloped and underdeveloped. Most of those houses were built from the 20s and even earlier back to the 1800s.

Fuji 690 II

Observatory Hill is a nice and quiet spot for a picnic lunch and lots of weddings take place there.

Fuji 690 II-2

I was unhappy with this shot because the face ended up in shadow.

Fuji 690 II-3

I was walking back to work and saw them coming down the street with one last shot. I liked the way they dressed. The focusing on the camera is the rangefinder type, meaning you see 2 overlapping images in the middle of the frame and they come into focus when you match the images up. It was my first time using this type of focusing and they were quickly walking off the centre so I was not sure if they would stay in focus. One more stride from them and I wouldn’t have fired the shutter. They faces are overexposed but this ended up being my favourite of all the shots.

Fuji 690 II-5


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