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I was in Japan on April 2004 (whilst I was in France on my art residence) presenting three simultaneous poster talks (Part IIIa, Part IVa and Part Va on my publications page) for one acoustical conference in Kyoto, after which I “inter rail” travelled around the country from Nagasaki to Wakkanai, and in every tourist site I saw these funny cameras. I noticed they were of the mark Fuji and ate medium format film rolls. As I got my (piece of work) settled, I got myself those ‘Fujis’ as well.
I bought this camera from Mr. Robert Hewitt (UK) on June 9, 2005 via eBay. It was marked as “Fuji GW690III 90 mm FUJI EBC, mint boxed”.
With great reluctance I am selling this beautiful camera that is sometimes referred as the Texas Leica (series). This is the third and last generation of this somewhat large rangefinder Fuji G -cameras, and I’d say the best one. There are people who criticize the plastic feel of these cameras, which I would totally disregard. Why?
I have three versions of the these “bricks” and the more metallic coated Fuji GW670II 90 mm I used by far the least. The reason for this was that when shooting with the medium format, I wanted to have used as much film area as possible (to the get best possible quality for enlargements) and for the purpose of outdoor (landscapes etc.) photography the rather portrait format of 6*7 was always a bit difficult for me, who was mostly done photography with 135 format, i.e. 3:2 image ratio, so the 6*9 was the perfect match for it. I also had the Mamiya RB67 ProS to shoot the perfect (studio/) on-site portraits and I just loved the really well focusable bellows system like in large format cameras. But still, when you take the metallic I or II generation Fujis in your hand and compare them with the III generation bodies that have way better grip on your hand, you get it and you dig this or you don’t. If you are into better tech specs, then the last series goes without saying. If you have little money to spend, then perhaps take earlier series, unless you are lucky.
For those you complain about it’s size, I’d say get bigger pockets to you coats. This is not a camera you would hive spy-style, neigh, this is camera for serious photography. It has a superb lens that is not removable (without serious force) and with the larger medium film size combined means that you can run big enough enlargements for almost anything. Yes, you still lack the magical inherent field-of-depth that you have in large format photography, but unless you are willing to 1) spend (a lot) more for the film (and it’s development and scanning), 2) to carry more (and heavier) stuff with you, 3) be even more on the mercy of the film makers discontinuing all (large format) film manufacture and 4) spend more time and effort to make the photograph, then by all means go with large format! But remember, if you really want to have that special field-of-depth be eminent – then the 4×5″ format is still too little! 😉
Do you dislike hipsters, or at least you want to be left alone by them while you shoot? The camera doesn’t look vintage, so they will leave you alone. (Nope, this was too great a reason for me to come up with, I’m afraid.) 😉
If you are a fine art photographer / visual artist etc. and you are also concerned about the image quality, not only the motif itself, and you move a lot, then I’d say you only have one concern: which Fuji G (lens + format) to get? As I was the fine art photographer on the move for me the answer was obvious. Yes, of course, I got them all: 6*7, 6*9 wide format, 6*9 “normal” view. 🙂 This of course lead to other problems: which model to carry with me to the site. Well, again, the solution was obvious: take them all, but not the 6*7 if you really don’t need it (see above). 🙂
The 90 mm lens in this format is like having a 40 mm lens on a 35 mm camera [90/(sqrt(56^2+88^2)/sqrt(24^2+36^2))=37.1]. This camera is for making normal view images (with very good lens) in the maximum medium size format (6*9 cm2). 😉
However, things for me changed after my dissertation, December 5th, 2005. I was no longer a full time researcher (paid until end of 2003 by the University, and during/after on some grants, thank you all very kindly) / part time entrepreneur / part time photographer / part time fine art photographer / whatever, but no time researcher and full time whatever. My travels became less and less and my fight for the money (livelihood) became more and more. I learned by the hard way that my country Finland is small with small market for anything business, fine art or any wise.
Silly me, I haven’t marked how many rolls were taken on the camera as I bought it. Now the roll count says 152, and I’ve never used 220 rolls in my life. I guess, I’d be taking some 50 +/-x rolls with this camera. For example, I was twice with this camera in Göteborg (Gothenburg / Sweden) with it, to continue shooting for my exhibition Artist at Work, from those colleague artists I met at the Hôtel Chevillon in 2004 and some new ones I met in Sweden. Yes, I would go to France again. If you plan that, just take warm clothes with you, the winter will be cold there and summer very hot. 🙂
Yes, according to my standards I have barely used this camera, which you can see from the photos. I would say it is in the same condition as I bought. I tested this camera on February 2016, and I found no problem with it. The only problem was with me, and that is the reason I’m selling it. My eyesight is getting poorer every day, and even these new glasses won’t save me. I had the eye examination done three times this year 2016, with three different results and opinions which gave me no new information that I would not have known before. My in childhood already become lazy left eye is taking the fall and the other eye is going with age. I love cameras and film, but the time has come to give others a chance to enjoy those moments of joy with film photography I once did.
This is a rangefinder camera that means you need to focus manually the image using your eyes, matching the small images into parallel in the view finder. If you have bad vision and you want to use this camera for taking good shots, you should not buy this camera. If you love cameras, have money and are a collector, then perhaps. 😉
I am no camera selling professional and am not officially qualified to judge the condition of this camera. I have checked the camera and I haven’t noted anything in malfunction. Cosmetically it is as you see from the photos. I have marked it excellent condition, as stating it “mint” would be, I believe be too much, although in eBay there might be many to state that.
I am selling this camera in auction, starting 1 euros, with reserve and buy it now 1000 euros, shipping only to be done fully insured, local pickup and testing welcome. I have also a Fuji GSW690III EBC Fujinon SW 65mm F5.6 for sale and also a Fuji GW670II EBC Fujinon 90mm F3.5. Remember if you buy outside EU and you are in EU, you need to pay customs tax (typically ca. 5 %) and VAT (typically around 20 – 25 %) which are added on top of shipping and insurance costs. To my understanding, these costs are calculated and due regardless of the age and condition of the item!
Yes, of course I will combine shipping for reduced shipping costs. I urge you to my buy more from me and will be flexible with it. Please note the somewhat expensive shipping costs from Finland, especially if insurance is needed. If the value of order gets to a higher level, I insist on taken an insurance for the shipping.
If you have more questions, please contact me directly.
Klaus Riederer, PhD, MSc
KAR Oy Ab GmbH Ltd S. A. R. L., CEO www.kar.fi
© 2016 We-Love-Film-Cameras-Printing-Baking-KAR-Ltd-FI-Outlet