Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2009/02/09

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Subject: [Leica] Re: Fuji camera for the hiker
From: jean.louchet at (Jean Louchet)
Date: Mon Feb 9 18:37:41 2009


this fuji/cosina/voigtlander looks promising.

In my view its use and handling is very different from a TLR. I may be
wrong but while in small format a RF compares favourably to a SLR to
get into a living scene and catch people in their ordinary
occupations, in medium format it might be the other way round - the
waist level finder of a TLR or Blad leaves the photographer as a human
rather than the operator of a machine, while a MF RF won't be as fast
and unobtrusive as a small format RF, due to reduced dept of field,
slower operation...

The 6x7 format is further from the 6x6 format than generally believed,
as in reality, 6x6 is 54x54mm while 6x7 is 54x68mm, i.e. a
width-to-height ratio 1.26 rather than the 1.166 one would think at
first - which is not very far from the 1.33 APS ratio. "Six
centimeters" is the width of the film, not of the picture.
Anotehr very interesting feature is that 6x7 - in fact 54x68 - is
AFAIK the largest format for which slide projectors are not too
difficult to find. I have been lucky enough to find recently a
Linhof-modified Leitz Prado, late halogen version (square box), in
this format - you see I am staying on topic :-) . In fact it is a
Prado Universal/6x6 with a larger condenser and a larger slide
carrier, bearing both Linhof and Leitz badges..

The issue with 54x68 slides - which use 85x85mm mounts - is that glass
mounts are necessary to avoid slide plop. Interested LUGgers may have
a look at my article on slide plopping on my bilingual French/English
web page:

Glass slide mounts are available from Gepe. Hama still makes glassless
85x85/54x68 mounts but they are more suitable for sheet film.
I am using three (or 2 and a half) medium format systems:
 -a Fuji GSW-III 6x9 (in fact something like 54x85), the 65mm is
absolutely superb but the shutter sounds like a child's gadget. Weighs
1.5 kg. The idea is to scan the slides, then crop them into 54x68 for
mounting and projection,
-a Mamiyapress Super23 plus the excellent 50mm, and the 3.5/90 and
2.8/100, with a 6x7 back and a 6x9 back. Weighs about 3kg with the 50
or 100, a bit less with the 90. Recently got two sheet carriers to go
with the ground glass back and be able to make thick slides to mount
glassless, but not tried yet - next summer probably. Heavy and not
very practical I guess,
-a home-made 6 x 9 box (from an old cheap folding I fitted with a
front mamiyapress baionet), I use it with the 50mm on hiking (only
weighs 1.1 kg!) but can't remove the lens when charged. No finder, I
use a bubble level instead. Pressure plate is so-so, but it gives nice
landscapes anyway.

Handholding of the Fuji GSW is pretty good, but it takes some space in
the bag compared to a Rollei 35:
Who told the M8 was big and heavy? :-)
On long mountain hiking the CLE + 21/4 Skopar + provia 100 + spare
L44s is my favourite combination, with a 90/4 Elmar-C in the bag.
There is not yet a solar charger for M8 batteries anyway.

In this context, I find the Fuji667/Bessa-III very, very welcome. It
might be comparable to the Plaubel (the "recent" 6x7 one with Nikkor
glass, not the old 6x9 with its beautiful but uncoated Schneider
lenses). If CVF releases a wide angle version for cheaper than a
second hand PlaubelWide I wight well sell my Fuji GSW.


Zacamixtle 201A,Salamanca GTO, Mexico

> From: "TnT Abrahamsson" <>
> Subject: re: [Leica] Fuji camera for the hiker
> Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2009 14:29:41 -0800
> rangefinder similar to that of the Bessa R3, which means it is about
> as good as it gets, particularly in a folding camera. The camera has
> Aperture Priority and also manual over ride for exposure. Focus is
> manual, on the lens mount with a clear rangefinder patch on the body's
> finder.
> impression was that this is an impressive piece of equipment and the
> design is well thought out. I had no opportunity to try it out with
> film, but with a 6 element lens and Cosina/Fuji's knowledge in optical
> design, it should be more than satisfactory.