After a lot of searching, and scratching my head, I stumped up for a used but in full working order Fuji GSW690III.
Affectionally known in the USA as the Texas Leica this 6×9 medium format camera suits everything I was looking for in my next tool for my box.
6×9, roughly 6 times the area of 35mm, in a camera that you can genuinely handhold all day rang my bells and this 65mm version cam my way.
In 35mm terms it is about a 28mm field of view which is something I am fast becoming a fan of in the photography I am currently enjoying the most namely street, Land and seascapes
Fuji GSW690III specs
Frame Size: 56 x 82.5mm
Film stock: 120 and 220
Shutter: T, 1-1/500 sex
Flash Sync: All shutter speeds
Lens: Fujinon SW 65mm f/5.6 f/32 max
Filters: Screwing 67mm
Viewfinder: Double-image coupled
Dimensions: H x 119 x W 201 x D132
Yes it is big, very big when compared to most 35mm fill cameras but surprisingly not as heavy as you would think.
One key feature that wins hands down is the is NO BATTERY to worry about.
No electronics to go wrong. Just a nice simple to use camera to sink yourself into gorgeous 6×9 wonferfulness.
My small London garden is in bloom at the moment so to test the camera upon its arrival, I loaded up a roll of Ilford FP4 plus and finally got to use my Reveni spot meter.
Here are 3 off various roses we have grown
I tried my Reveni meter in “Average” mode spotting the shadows then the lights giving an average reading, and after developing in 1:1 Ilford IC-11 for 10mins I was really pleased that the negatives came out very well indeed and that the camera works flawlessly.
I will be sending it of for a CLA as the light seals are getting worn and to give it some TLC for worry free future use.
Here is what I personally call my “standard” test shot. The lock on my Studio (shed) door with the addition of a ladder that for some reason I have not put in the garage yet.
About 30% of this image was cropped to put focus on the door but because the negative is so big there is still a massive scan to play with. The detail is stunning and the lens delivers a beautiful and sharp redaction of the scene.
Oh by the way, all these shots where taken handheld, no tripod, but I can see for planned land and seascapes a tripod will be useful.
This last test shot, only 8 6×9’s available per roll, is to test the Reveni out to hopeful get a full set of tones in the last shot. I need not fear as the Avg mode gave me just the right f stop and speed to get all the tones I could want.
This last image let me play with the sliders in photoshop to see how much info is in these scanned negatives and I am pleased to say that I could of made this Black and White image as full contrast as I wanted and some.
So as I write this I am keeping an eye on the clock as we have a nice sunny afternoon in London UK, a rare occasion, and I feel like another canal walk to shot some colour and slide film to see how the Fuji and the Reveni behave together again.
Developing those rolls will have to wait until the weekend and I will be itching to see how they come out and share with you the result, good or bad.
So until next time I wish you well