To the Sublime




Time to get a bit more serious after yesterday’s post. These images are from the first test roll I have put through a new-to-me Fujica GW690. The GW690 is a large fixed lens rangefinder that shoots 6×9 cm negatives.Today’s post at my blog has more pictures of the camera and information about it as well as a few more images from this same roll of film. You can find that post at Testing a Fuji GW690. These shots all made with the sunny 16 rule, supplemented with use of a phone light meter app. The film is Fuji Pro 400H

I like the simplicity of the camera, the optics are very good and the negatives very large. They are twice as big as those from my Mamiya M645 Super and nearly 5.5 times the area of a 35mm negative. I don’t mind that the 90mm/f3.5 lens is fixed. I only go out with one lens at a time on my Mamiya so it won’t be any different than that. The focal length is a good general purpose one falling between mild-wide and “normal” focal lengths at a 35mm camera equivalent of 39mm. The GW690 is much more mobile and comfortable to carry and shoot than the Mamiya. I think I am going to like this camera a lot, and use it more often than the Mamiya.

Below are a few shots from the Chinese Cemetery National Historic Site that is a block from my house, and the mandatory storm drain photo. I have included a couple of cropped scans from the negatives just to give an idea of how much is lurking in the negatives. The full scans are at 2400DPI, the cropped scans are, I think, at 3600 or 4800DPI, can’t remember now.

Negatives this size are pretty much over the top for digital uses as it is necessary to make small versions for posting. But then a half-frame 35mm camera with slow film usually has more than enough information for this medium too. Even so, it is a real pleasure to use and to work with big negatives. The only downside I have found so far is that my scanner (Epson V700) won’t allow Digital ICE dust removal to run – it works just fine on the smaller Mamiya negatives. This means a lot more hand spotting of negatives, but I can live with that. And I suppose that the limit of 8 shots per roll of 120 is a downside too, but I don’t mind that much. Kind of like shooting a pack of Polaroids.


Sahsima transformer stone in front of Chinese Cemetery





Re-scanned detail from previous shot





Re-scanned detail from previous image with the shadows pulled up a bit



Fuji GW690 with Olympus XA2 35mm camera for scale




Roll 43: Fujica GW690 with 90/3.5 lens, Fuji 400H metered at ISO400, commercially developed, scanned with Epson V700.





5 thoughts on “To the Sublime

  1. Pingback: Not So Sublime | 52 rolls

      • Ah, the bain of old cameras. I have been having mine serviced. Luckily I have a reliable repair shop close by. To me it is worth the $75 or so it costs to restore these wonderful machines. I have decided to shoot one camera per month. I find myself losing effectiveness from flitting back and forth. It is so much damned fun though! I really enjoy your passion for old cameras. L.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s