My wife and I were out taking photos on a frosty morning at the end of 2019 when we met a chap in the woods with a boxy-looking camera with a waist level viewfinder. This turned out to be a Hasselblad 500 of some kind and I asked him quite a lot of questions about medium format film photography. He had bought his camera at Ffordes in Inverness and I bought a dose of GAS1 from him. After a fair bit of reading and research, I decided I wanted to give medium format a try. I bought a Fuji GW690ii2 from ODA-Japan at the end of 2019 for under $500 US, not including P&P, the Amex foreign currency fees, VAT, import duty and local PO handling fees, which brought the actual cost to over £500 Sterling. The camera has a fixed 90mm lens with a 67 mm filter thread.
The Fuji is on the left
Because the Fuji doesn’t have a meter, I bought a Gossen Sixtino meter on eBay for £20. There’s also an app for my iPhone that is very convenient.
I had light leaks with this camera from the outset, which was disappointing. I took it to Cameratiks in Morningside for a CLA, along with two Nikon FM SLRs, who sorted it out for me.
I took the camera for a proper outing before the CLA, on a trip to the Faroes, which was part of our honeymoon in instalments. It was pretty nice:
Huts near Vágar Airport, f/11 1/60s, hand held. Kodak Portra 160.
The camera is completely mechanical and therefore fully manual. A fixed lens, and nothing to change except the aperture and shutter: both are adjusted by adjacent rings on the front of the lens. This is neat, because once you’ve got your EI worked out and set a shutter for a given aperture, you can turn both rings together, keeping the exposure but adjusting for (say) depth of field.
My wife at work at the Bøsdalafossur falls, f/32, 1/4s, Fuji Acros II
The header image is of the GW690ii in action in February 2020 during a trip to the Faroes.