Thursday, February 07, 2008

Fuji 6x7 Rangefinder

I have wanted one of these Fuji RF cameras for years, if you have been a reader of my blog you'll know that I also use a Pentax 6x7. As much as I like the the Pentax I've always thought it was a little on the heavy side, and in the year or so I've been using it I've rarely found a need to change lenses and found myself using the 90mm for 80% of shots, so its biggest advantage over the Fuji was negated for me. Being a Leica RF user and very much enjoying shooting with RF cameras the Fuji is an obvious upgrade. So when the above camera came into my dealer with only 38 on the roll counter the Pentax was exchanged.

First Impressions

My camera is a MKIII version, and has the ergonomic plastic cover rather than the more substantial looking metal case of earlier Fuji RF cameras. If you squeeze it a slight creaky sound can be heard, I think this is what makes people feel the later cameras aren't as well built. Personally I feel that its just the plastic grip and the overall feel of the camera in your hand makes it worth the creakiness.

The Fuji 6x7 and 6x9 share the same body and lens (90mm F3,5 EBC) the only difference being (apart from negative size) the frame lines and film advance mehanism. The finder has a gold type focus spot and the viewfinder has a slightly blue tinge to contrast with the spot which helps focus. The frame lines move with focus to correct with parallax athough I'm not sure how accurate they are especially when at closest focus (1 metre) One thing I have noticed is that the hood when extended can be seen in the bottom right hand corner of the viewfinder, which is a slight distraction.

Loading the camera is pretty easy, there are two red buttons inside the back that when pressed allow the film to be placed in the camera very quickly. Advance is double stroke, one full and the second stroke is about half (presumably to cock the shutter)

The lens is fixed with a leaf shutter and a 67mm filter thread. The aperture is at the end of the lens under the built in hood (which must be in the out position to change speed/F numbers) I remeber the Olympus OM system had the aperture ring in a similar place. Stranger still is that the shutter is also positioned there, but when you get used to it it's OK and quite fast in operation.

So far I'm finding the camera to be well balanced and a good all round performer, the optics are very good, operation quick, and size and weight manageable for such a large format.

Here are some shots:

The above was shot on HP5+ developed in Rodinal 1:50 for 9 min

more to follow