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Monday, 02 February 2009

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I assume that's a fixed lens, pity. The last Mamiya 6 is still a favorite (more of a collapser than a folder) due to the lenses...love that 50 but the 75 comes in handy too, 150 not so much. They screwed it up by going to 6x7 since those gave up critical compactness.

Looking forward to seeing what Oly delivers.

Yup, one of my local camera dealers here in Yokohama says the "GF670" (the model number of the Fuji version) will be released any day now. No specific price info here yet either, but a Fuji official interviewed a few months ago quoted "somewhere around JPY300,000" – which would be about US$3,350 at the current silly exchange rate. I'd rather believe that was just a scare tactic of some sort, and the real price will be considerably lower.

I have my fingers crossed ... which is making it quite difficult to type.

why would a rumor be confidential? ;)

do the rumors suggest a price around $2400?

http://www.yodobashi.com/ec/product/100000001001085682/index.html

A press release at Fuji states the production run is limited to 5000 units. Of course, that does not tell us how many Voigtländer units there'll be and I'm guessing Fuji would not be above having a second production run if the first one turns out to be a success.

There was word from a Fuji representative last fall of a price at 300k yen. That was before the acute financial crisis of course, the anguished cries of people hit by severe sticker shock and the appreciation of the Yen (and resulting cheaper production costs in Vietnam and China). That was also before Mamiya introduced their current rebate giving you a 7II and 80mm f/4 lens for 270k yen. My guess is they'll have to come in below that or I'd doubt if they could sell even 5000 units in Japan.

I might be wrong, or judging a mock-up, or just ignorant about this sort of camera, but the lens in the 'looking down at the top' shot (3rd image on the BJoP site) is not parallel to the body.
Would that matter on a real camera (or is it trying for some tilt)?

That MFT (the official Olympus acronym) info is just from the one Russian site they mention and which then propagated around, most probably via DPReview.

In the meantime, "Olympus" denied they will be coming out with any MFT camera at the PMA. I think it was relayed over at fourthirdsphoto.com.

I really have no idea who's zoomin' who.

I'm thinking that the Fuji/Cosina might well find its way into my pocket. A camera that shoots 6x6 and 6x7, and folds up like my old Agfa 6x9. Sounds like heaven to me.

Now, just how much is it going to cost .......

So, according to this unknown Russian source, Olympus are going to release a camera called the M-1?

Didn't they try that before?

"why would a rumor be confidential?"

aizan,
Because the person who told me asked me not to repeat it.

The cat is now out of the bag, however.

Mike J.

"...the lens in the 'looking down at the top' shot (3rd image on the BJoP site) is not parallel to the body.Would that matter on a real camera (or is it trying for some tilt)?"

Nigel Robinson,
It would not be desirable. I'm sure the final version of the camera will have parallelism as an option, even if (and I haven't heard anywhere that it is) some sort of tilt is also an option....

Mike J.

Abbazz, it's not for sale yet. The Yodobashi site states it's expected to go on sale in mid-March.

The price - well, I just might have to take a look under the sofa cushions and see if I can't rustle up the money for it. I really prefer seeing a few reviews of it first, though - at which point it may well be sold out....

As a long-time fan of both folding cameras and Fuji rangefinders I'd love one of these but

(a) It's not hard to predict it will be way too expensive (I bought all my medium-format cameras second-hand, anyway)

(b) I couldn't afford to go back to weekly batches of "dev and contact", and no longer have the time or taste for DIY. My beloved Agfa Isolette and Fuji GS645 sit unused in a cupboard. I was amazed to discover the last batch of film I bought is now two years out of date.

(c) Scans of medium format negatives (at least on the kind of scanner I can afford), though larger, cannot match the qualities of even my current 8 Megapixel DSLR.

Shame. Lots of people express enthusiasm for this kind of development but, in reality, will never back that enthusiasm up with a purchase. I suppose the marketing guys have done their sums, but it does seem an odd strategy -- it seems more of a "niche market" now than view cameras. After all, you could get something of the same design and stellar capability for less than £150 on Ebay! I bet you will have to put a zero on the end of that to buy one of these ...

Reminds me of a Fuji folder/rangefinder I had years ago. A 645 format rangefinder with a 75mm lens. VERY sharp lens on it. Lens was a Fuji lens (they made good lenses once).

So this one is attractive to me. But I assume the price will limit that attraction for me. Sigh.

Sarcasm alert: I think Fuji is dumping these cameras on the market to keep the sale of 120/220 film alive.

I had a Fuji GS645 for a while, but it was badly plagued with bellows pinholes, and ended up ruining many promising photos, and never really delivering to me the theoretical benefits of a medium format snapshot camera. Kind of a shame really. And even the GS645 was far larger than my Panasonic DMC-LX3.

mh.. a camera like that fuji is somewhere in my closet. takes nice images, even 6x9. says "bessa" on top, too. must be like 50 years old. so, whats the news with this?

when is someone building a camera like this with a decent wide-angle (24-28mm equivalent) to have a lightweight high quality tool for travel and landscape?
same old ideas again and again. sad.

whole different story with the oly 4/3. nice progression.

Dear Nigel,

You're trying to read too much into the photo. Lots of reasons why the lens mount could be/appear nonparallel in that photo. Ignore it.

------

Dear Mike,

A swing/tilt lens on a folding rangefinder that doesn't have a groundglass back is essentially useless and makes it extremely difficult to insure parallelism for the 99% of the time that this is desirable.

------

Dear Mike C et.al.

The pricing, if correct *is* disappointing. The compact Fuji medium format cameras of the past had been very affordable, even economical, cameras. One of their appealing qualities was being able to get top-notch quality without having to pay top-notch bucks. If this really turns out to be a $2.5K (give or take) camera, it's a lot less interesting and I'll likely take it off my review list.

It could very well be a short production run, though. That was the case on the original (inexpensive!) GS645. In fact, when it was introduced into the US, production had already ended. Essentially, FujiJapan was dumping warehouse stock (unbeknownst to FujiUSA). Had 'interesting' repercussions when the camera got rave reviews here and became very popular.

pax / Ctein

Perhaps next year, Oliveti will release one of its excellent quality miniature manual typewriters for under $5000 US. I admit word processors are even smaller than the most compact manual typewriters, but I just love the look and feel of manual machines - and who doesn't think typed letters look better than a laserjet?

If you're demanding about what's out of focus and what's sharp and how big is BIG in a print, there's no such thing as a point and shoot medium format camera. You can't get that out of a medium format camera through point and shoot techniques. And if you're not demanding about that, there's no rational point in using medium format, anyway.

My very good friend Frank has alerted me to Fuji's other new rangefinder, the Fuji 666:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27342544@N06/3251512248/

Mike C: Definitely try getting your MF negs scanned by a pro lab at least once. You may decide it's too expensive for continuous use, but the quality will blow you through the nearest wall. I've been using NCPS in So Cal per K. Rockwell's recommendation and the results are just out of this world.

http://www.northcoastphoto.com/

Unfortunately, I don't think we'll ever get another generation of high-end consumer scanners. The Nikon 9000ED is five years old and there's nothing better on the horizon; in my (limited) experience it can't compare to whatever NCPS is using. Perhaps somebody who isn't in the DSLR business will come up with something new. But I doubt it.

I was waiting for this one, but now that we have actual specs (and a price) I'm not so sure.

It's bigger and heavier than I thought: 178 x 109 x 138 mm when opened, and 64 mm thick when folded. It weighs a kilo without batteries. Although a kilo isn't super heavy for camera plus lens, it's still a kilo.

I had visions of casually carrying the thing around in a coat pocket and whipping it out whenever needed for unfettered medium-format freedom ... but it looks as though it'll have to be a fairly substantial winter coat.

Guess I'll wait for the reviews.


My first pictures were taken with a 2.25-by-3.25-inch Speed Graphic; cut film holders and all. (This was back in 1967.) The Fuji hits a real nostalgic nerve with me. I'd love to be able to go back to nice big negatives and a wet darkroom, but I think that time has passed. Sigh...

Well that was a nice wet (darkroom) dream.
bd

Dear Max,

Not really. Been there, done that, own that. Case already proven. End of story.

pax / Ctein

QUOTE: I'd love to be able to go back to nice big negatives and a wet darkroom, but I think that time has passed. Sigh...


Why? What's stopping you?

If you want to do something, that's the best reason for doing it.

The Fuji GS645 of circa 1984 was awfully nice, if you were gentle in advancing the film and in folding the bellows. But you could also order it from NY for ~$425 USD retail. The 6x7 Plaubel Makina went for around $800.

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