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Friday, 01 February 2008

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What's film? Is this a new type of sensor?

I agree, let's hope they put it into production. I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Which one?

The little pink one, or the big black folder?

My Agfa Isolette will get jealous!

So lots of specs to speculate about: Off the film metering? Or a meter at all? Mechanical shutter, or electronic? Inserts for 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x9? Little red window in the back for film advance? (If so no 220 film!)

Or maybe digital with a 55 by 85mm sensor!!!

This has to be the most inovative camera released in the last 50 years!

-Tom-

Medium Format rangefinder folder, what's not to love?

I keep kicking myself for not buying a G690III rangefinder while they were still made. I think I will snap this one up as soon as it is available.

Haha... The problem is Mike, if you direct people to that link, most people are going to scroll down and forget what they came to the page about.

Joking aside, the other really interesting (to me) product that Fuji has shown at this PMA is this guy: S100FS ( http://www.dpreview.com/news/0801/08012410fujifS100FS.asp ).

They've brought back the 2/3" sensor size, albeit with 11MP, but still. If anyone remembers, the last batch of cameras we had with this sensor (Sony 828, Minolta A2, Canon Pro1), only had 8MP. The most astonishing thing is that Fuji is going backwards: less MP on a larger area. (At least, as compared to the new F50fd.)

The additions of SuperCCD, mechanically-linked 28-400mm-e zoom, and articulating rear LCD just sweeten the pot. This camera is far more like the spiritual successor of the very nice S6000fd, than the current S8000fd (which for all intents and purposes, looks like a consumer-oriented Oly clone).

That is a neat camera. I would guess that it is a 6x6.

I personally think Michael that you should buy one of those and give it to Ctein for his birthday.

This thing is totally fascinating, and I already want one. If you look closely you can see:

- 6x7 format (OK you don't need to look too closely)

- hints of an interchangeable lens. That weird plate behind the lens seems to be two plates pressed together, and the accessory shoe (which is also a hotshoe) is right above the lens.

- an exposure comp system (very) like on a Bessa R2A. So there's an electronic shutter and aperture priority.

It looks like a real beauty. It's not going to be cheap, I fear.

OMG, that folding camera is sweeeeet! Too bad LetsGoDigital is such a lame site. They just regurgitate press materials, and do it badly. Look at their info on the Sigma DP1 yesterday; they blessed us with three huge photos of the original prototype instead of the production design (and it's not like the differences are subtle).
http://www.letsgodigital.org/en/18260/sigma-dp1/

My old original Kodak Retina on steroids!! Oh, drool.

The Texas Voitländer? Nice.

I just bought a Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B, got it a week ago. I'm sure the fuji is a little bit more up to snuff techno wise but I do like my new toy. Heavy as a brick and smooth leaf shutter, nice 2.8 80mm tessar. It's bling.

That Fuji looks like a Voigtlander Bessa II

It's nice to see Fuji recognizing this genre of camera. I love it.

I WANT IT!

Very cool. Looks like it's a 6x7, if I'm reading the top plate right. I'd personally prefer a 6x9, though. I already use a Mamiya 7ii, so probably wouldn't be interested in another camera of the same format, but if the price is right, who knows? It looks like a nice portable camera.

When can I have one?
Where can I get one?
How much could it possibly cost ?
I don't care that it does not come with a motor drive!


Hoover

Best In Show award for this one Fuji - Well done.

I wish I had one of these last year ... instead of cycling around New Zealand with the weight and bulk of a Hasselblad 500.

I just bought an Agfa Nettar folding camera on eBay. It's the second Nettar I have owned, though I cannot recall what happened to the first.

I bought the Nettar to shoot medium format film again but cheaply, as a toe in the water for something more, if I liked the experience.

So when I saw the Fujifilm, I felt a warm glow. Anyone know how much it is likely to cost?

As to what film can produce today in 'Beauty Photography', I recommend the article in this month's British Journal of Photography, and the photographs of Ben Hassett, whose work can also be seen on his agent's site at http://www.bluntlondon.com/

What do the overly airbrushed mannequins have to do with the story?

I was wondering when you were going to show this.

It looks like a terrific little camera and one that I would certainly buy.

Oh, my...

I couldn't see returning to film, but that's a darn good looking camera!

oooohhhh! que chic!

I want one of those. I wonder why only 3.5? Why did they not go to a 2.8 80mm? I wonder how much.? I wonder if they take blue chip stamps? I wonder a lot. E

Yes I want one, maybe 2 - one for colour and one for black and white. If nobody comes out with the ideal digital street camera I'm for going back to film. The Sigma was potentially a step in the right direction but the lack of an optical viewfinder the slow lens and a top ISO of only 800 sort of put me off. The Fuji's lens is f3.5 but the rest is just perfect.

The Fujica GS645 LIVES!!!

It's jest growed a tetch.

Funny how good ideas come around again.

For those too young to remember, the GS645 was a 645-format folder that Fuji produced for a very short time in the mid 1980s. For some reason, Fuji Japan killed it off and then dumped the inventory on Fuji-USA without telling them it was out of production. It caught on like wildfire here, to F-J's chagrin, and they had to fess up to F-USA there were going to be no more to be had.

I loved mine.

I want them BOTH--the folding 6x7 and the S100FS digital!

BTW, the folder is not an interchangeable lens camera.

For those who want an f/2.8 lens, keep in mind that the DoF at that aperture would be like an f/1.4 lens in 35mm format. Really insignificant DoF. Mechanical rangefinders are not all that accurate. Folders even less so.

Also, ISO 800 film looks fabulous in 6x7 format. I'd have no problems with that camera, available-light-wise.

pax / Ctein

I WANT ONE!

Seriously, that's an interesting camera. Retro looks without the pitfalls. If they put that into production and it wasn't too expensive I'd get one like a shot!

Wow, I want one too. Reminds me a lot of the Polaroid 110B conversions that I have been drooling over for the past few years (Littman & Razzle). This beautiful camera will get me back into shooting medium format again, and quite a difference from the brick I have been using (BRonica SC), not that I don't love it.

There is something magical about rangefinders, mechanical cameras, and film. Good on you Fuji...

Yawn... I already have a dozen of these, except they were made 50 years ago by Zeiss, Olympus, and Agfa, have leather instead of plastic, and didn't cost me $1000+. C'mon, it's 2008 for gosh sakes, where's my Canon compact digital camera with an 8mp APS-C sensor?!

It took me i guess 2 seconds before i realized what i was watching there, really. A brand new medium format fim folding rangefinder camera.

Not that i shoot mf, not yet, but this is a dream.

Ok, and now we need a post about the dp1. Quick Mike, quick ;-))

I'm the biggest fan of foldables (I have a Mamiya 6 automat which I love) and what else to say, this new Fuji camera looks like a dream come true, it's exactly what I always thought would be the best camera ever. I really hope they will produce it. I should start saving money right now.

My best street camera was a Minolta Autocord twin lens 2 1/4
The lens was tack sharp. A whopping $99 back in the 60's.
"Minolta Autocord, all models (perhaps the second greatest twin-lens reflexes after the Rolleiflexes; Ikoflex, Mamiya, and Rolleicord fans may dispute this)"
At RIT we tested it against the Rollie's and it was always to close to call.
The great thing about these cameras is you don't have to bring it up to your eye to focus.

I can't wait.

I own a Fuji GW670 III and Mamiya 7II , both purchased new. While many rave about the Fuji's 90mm lens, my tests show it not to be in the same league as Mamiya's 80mm gem. Fuji factory service adjusted the 670 rangefinder and I bracketed focus when performing these evaluations.

I'm less than thrilled over the crappy accuracy offered by Mamiya 7II framelines with subjects further than the near focus limit. Too much wasted negative from cropping out unintended image.

If this new camera can combine expanding/contracting (in addition to shifting) framelines and a lens that's even close to the Mamiya 80's performance, I'll go for it. Despite the fact that lately I've been shooting more 4x5 and less 120.

(Mike, I'm afraid that this is not printable!)
To paraphrase Tulluah Bankhead, "Who do I have to [expletive deleted —MJ] to get one of these?"

Fuji have done similar cameras before, but that was 60 years ago!
http://rd2h-ari.hp.infoseek.co.jp/JA_LYRASIX_PIC.htm
http://www.camerapedia.org/wiki/Lyra_Six

Cheers, Robin

I remember using their 645 rangefinders about 20 years ago, and that many had build quality problems.

Good on ya Fuji!

I've got several, or rather more than several of Fuji's grandparents, including a couple of Iskras, Certo Six, Super Ikontas, Mamiya Six, and Moskva 5s (amongst others). Small and light enough to carry all day, easy to shoot handheld and proper sized negatives. The Iskras and Certo have great unit-focus lenses, in the case of the Certo it's an f2.8 80mm Tessar.

This new Fuji looks gorgeous, and I'd be sorely tempted to get one. Or two.... Only because I don't have a 6x7 camera ;-)

I own many cameras, but I have probably done my best work with my two Mamiya 6 cameras. Can't bear to part with them, and they are the only film cameras I still use from time to time. I would have stepped up to the Mamiya 7 except Mamiya did away with the collapsible bellows on the 7. That was a deal breaker for me. Thanks Fuji... if you get this little beauty from prototype to buyable camera I might just start shooting a lot more film, again!

It reminds me of another foldable 6x7 camera, a Plaubel Makina. It used to have a great nikkor 80mm lens, I wonder how this fujinon's quality will be. Knowing the company, it will be outstanding, as usual.

Can I start a rumour about the matching MF scanner, which will be the same size as the camera, with quality better than an Imacon?

My Plaubel Makina 67 is out there somewhere if you want to look. I sold it January 1993. It was really compact and made beautiful sharp 6x7 negatives, but 80mm on that size film is too wide for me - I was always cropping and printing the 24 x 36 bit in the middle.

David,
It's a real pity you sold your camera, I am hunting for a plaubel for my own for quite a long time. 80mm almost exactly equals my 40mm summicron on leica cl, and I find this focal length sexiest ever ;) How's the plaubel's lens working while wide open?

A modern medium format camera you can fold up and carry in your pocket!

I want one too. But that probably won't happen.

Unless they can sell it for $650 or less. Then I'd buy two.

This is so cool. Perfect camera, perfect timing. Brilliant.

Dear Folks,

Just a heads-up. The Plaubel 67 made beautiful photos-- one of the sharpest and contrastiest lenses I've ever seen in medium format, and amazingly flare-free to boot. But mechanically, the camera was not up to snuff-- they broke down way more frequently than any pro camera should.

The Fujica GS645 may have had some mechanical problems, but I'm not convinced the anecdotal reports were above normal. The mech problems reported with the GS645 didn't have anything to do with the folding parts. and the nonfolding models held up just fine, so make of it what you will.

But... the GS645 bellows were seriously inferior: they started to develop cracks and pinholes in less than ten years in many cameras. Including mine, sigh. I've still got my GS645, but it's sat around for 15 years and I consider it nonfunctional. Just can't bear to throw it out.

I'm seriously hoping the Fuji camera designers did a lot better on the bellows on the new folder. Can't wait to test it out!

pax / Ctein

Fuji already made some great medium format cameras. They had the 6x7 and 6x9 rangefinders and my favorite the GA645 point and shoot! True I don't believe they produce them anymore but you can find the regularly used. No reason to pay more than $500. I picked up my Pentax 645 for $250 with lens. Also the Fuji F100 and S100 digicams look promising...

I can second Ctein's comment. I had a friend who shot with two Plaubel 67s back in the day, and the finm-winding mechanism on *both* of them kept breaking down. He got so frustrated and angry with them that he ended up putting them in a closet for a decade--just wouldn't deal with them one way or another. He got tired of them breaking on him, tired of having them fixed, and didn't want to deal with a buyer who might have problems. Just put them into forced retirement for the sake of his mental health. He eventually did sell them but they frustrated him enough that for a long time he just had to quit dealing with them. Not an endorsement for such a relatively simple camera.

I'm not quite so admiring of the Plaubel's Nikkor lens as Ctein is. When my friend was switching cameras he did a series of direct comparison shots with the Makina 67 and the Bronica GS-1 (color neg enlarged to 20x24) and the GS-1 lens--a 100mm if memory serves--beat the Plaubel lens decisively. Better sharpness, better flare control, and better color saturation, which used to mean something back when we couldn't just goose it with a slider!

Mike J.

My, my, I'll never get over that. A dream of a camera. I have a couple of very good (and similar) MF folders. I used a Voigtlander Bessa a lot. A Fujica 6x9 is my choice now. These things are incredible for landscape work. The thing about folders is, when hiking, with dirt on your hands, with a little rain or moisture in the air, in awkward positions, the bellows cameras feel really frail to use. The Fujica is a huge beast but I have very little concerns about it's integrity when I'm down and dirty.

If it's got a fixed lens, then I have to ask WHY?
Of course, I'm asking that before I know what the cost might be, which may be reason enough to entice me to pull out my plastic.
I already have a few folders, a couple Zeiss Ikontas, Agfa Super Isolettes, a Franka Solida. Could the Fuji be much better than these, when there are thousands of these, many still in mint condition, going unused today, and available on ebay and in every used camera store in the world?
I would think that most people working with medium format folders are pretty content with what's available. But... if it allows changing lenses.... hmmm.... that's something altogether different!
I'd rather see Fuji working on a medium format rangefinder with interchangeable lenses, something in 6x6, like the now out-of-production (why did they drop it!!) Mamiya 6.
Perhaps a camera like that could have an interchangeable back, so that it could be used for film or digital. Do you think there's a digital back in the plans for use with this folder?
Or maybe Fuji should consider how nice the GA645Zi was, and work on upgrading that to a slightly larger format with interchangeable lenses.
I wonder why Fuji has done this? Specifically, I would like to know if they have ever polled those of us who still like to shoot medium format to find out what we, amateurs & pros alike, might want and would be willing to purchase.

Dear Mike,

I'm not in a position to argue about the Plaubel vs Bronica lenses. I tested the former shortly after it came out, in 1982. That was several years before the GS-1 went into production, which I reviewed in 1985. I don't even remember which lenses I got with it; I might not have ever tested the 100 mm.

Readers who aren't familiar with these cameras, though, should realize the lenses aside, Mike and I are really talking about apples vs oranges. It's hard to imagine two more different professional medium format cameras, both in form factors and intended audiences.


pax / Ctein
[[ Please excuse any word-salad. ViaVoice in training! ]]
=========================================
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://www.ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com
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There was a Plaubel Makina 670 which was even better than the 67. It is quite rare and even more expensive.

Ohhh, a new chassis for my next pinhole camera project.

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