Saturday, July 20, 2013

Photographing with the Fuji GS645S

Several months ago, I decided to sell the Mamiya M645 that I had owned and only intermittently used (with ever decreasing frequency) for more than ten years. And I had only half-heartedly been looking for a Medium Format replacement; as much as I dislike carrying around an extra camera, I do enjoy the size of a medium format negative. And that's when I came upon the Fuji GS645S, a smallish, affordable rangefinder with a fixed 60mm lens. 

The camera appealed to me on several fronts: I've always liked the idea of a rangefinder but had not owned a good one; it's a medium format camera that fits into a jacket pocket or small bag; it holds a reputable Fujinon lens that is the equivalent of a 35mm focal length lens in 135 format; and it carried an agreeable price tag.

But the camera does have its detractors. Apparently, the lens, which protrudes from the front of the camera and is protected to some degree by a roll bar of sorts, is prone to being sheered off if treated too roughly. So I'll try not to drop it from too high a precipice or use it as a hammer.

After running through the first roll of film, I'm fond of the camera. My only "complaints" are the setting controls, all of which are on or at the base of the lens and require some getting accustomed to, and that the  focus assist in the viewfinder is a bit dim and can be less assist-ful than I would have hoped for. But I find myself otherwise content with my selection.

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