Fuji La: Or in the words of Ron Burgundy “That escalated quickly.”

More from the New Camera To Me file.

Hello friends. We are gathered here today to catalog my latest system churn adventures. Not that long ago I was all happy with my gear set up and had never owned a Fuji. As detailed here and here that changed when I fell for an old beauty of a rangefinder fixed lens Fujica medium format film camera that led me to search for a digital spiritual descendant.


At 8 shots a roll I figured the digital camera might drain my account in one shot as opposed to bleeding it dry one roll at a time. What happened? Why am I writing this? Glad you asked. Without realizing it a few things happened: Continue reading “Fuji La: Or in the words of Ron Burgundy “That escalated quickly.””

Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2: Wildly Unscientific, One Shot, Limited Scope Portrait Lens Comparison

There is a new mount in the house, the Fujifilm X mount. Got a prime and a zoom to replace lenses traded with my previous crop body. Everything is fine right? Don’t need anything else. But then I rented a Fujifilm’s portrait darling, the 56mm f/1.2. Why?

What happened was this. I have a portrait lens. It’s a perfectly good portrait lens for another system I have been obsessed withe since my youth… really like . The K Mount Mitakon “The Dream” 85mm f/1.2. Not the sharpest wide open, manual focus, weighs like a Buick, costs about $200 for every 0.1 of aperture over manual alternatives, but that bokeh though!

So I am covered… But I wanted to give the Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 a try after reading such glowing reviews and seeing such wonderful portraits taken with it. Southeastern was more than happy to oblige at a reasonable weekend rate. Thoughts one day in? Worth every bit of the praise heaped upon it. Continue reading “Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2: Wildly Unscientific, One Shot, Limited Scope Portrait Lens Comparison”

New Camera To Me: Fujifilm X-Pro1 or Son of GW690

Note: Adding more posts on my experiences with this camera, a weekend lens rental, a stroll trough Duke Gardens aka gear test bed, the two other new lenses to me and a lens comparison. 

As a part of my series “This Old Camera” I recently wrote about the Fujica GW690. A few firsts for me.

  • First 6X9.
  • First Rangefinder camera I have owned.
  • First Fuji product.

Well I fell hard for this camera. So much so that it inspired me to get my mitts on a more modern interpretation. Fuji has made some great announcements this week (XT20, X100F, and GFX 50S), but for me new releases begs the question, “Well, did the old product drop in price?” Plus medium format digital, while very appealing, is not an option for me right now and the very reason I use film. Enough preamble. Matter at hand.

I like 1st gen. This is why I have the GW690 and Pentax 645 models even though both have newer models available. They are a great deal usually and often lack few features for dollars saved. The X-Pro1 was no exception. I wanted one since they were released, but being well over a grand when released they were not an option for me. Some complained of AF slowness early on, but that did not bother me. Four years on they are selling for relative peanuts even though Fuji has done an admirable job of updating this camera’s firmware. Some reviewers who revisited the camera even commented that it is now like a completely different camera in the same body. Good job Fuji in not abandoning your customers (Unlike another company.). What has improved? (Full firmware run down here.) Glad you asked.

  • AF Speed was improved.
  • Added focus peaking.
  • Other feature and stability odds and ends.

I am not afraid of discontinued, used film or digital cameras. I paid less than $500 for this and there are plenty of examples online for the same price. I even scored the lenses (35mm f/1.4 and 18-55mm) used on KEH.com and saved even more. Continue reading “New Camera To Me: Fujifilm X-Pro1 or Son of GW690”

This Old Camera: Fujica GW690

Update: Received my first roll of film back and editing to reflect my experiences on the 2nd day of shooting.

I blame the internets. After a visit to keh.com and a quick view of shots with it on flickr all went blurry and this arrived a couple of days later.

Day 1: The first roll (all 8 exposures of it) is being developed at Southeastern Camera, Carrboro. Sample shots and full This Old Camera post coming soon. May not be able to tell by this shot, but this bad boy earns it’s Texas Leica nickname.


Continue reading “This Old Camera: Fujica GW690”

This Old Camera: The Mamiya RZ67

Technically my first ever medium format was a Holga I bought a while back that Dennis at Southeastern Camera recommended. Love having it, but for varying reasons ( short attention span… easily distracted and forget I have it… ) I have yet to finish my first roll of film with it. So functionally my first medium format camera was the Hasselblad 501c.

So why did I pick up this Mamiya RZ67 Pro? Glad you asked. Look no further than Southeastern Camera once again. It showed up there under the glass cube and I became obsessed with it on sight. As predicted by Matthew when I first stared through the viewfinder (and may have uttered something unfit for print among polite company) I eventually purchased it though it took many visits to seal the deal. Came with the standard modular set up (waist level viewfinder, normal lens, and 120 film back), but also brought a portrait lens, shiny silver metal trunk, and a prism viewfinder magnifier (psst. Film folks look away. Think old school film focus version of mirrorless focus magnifier. And we’re back.). But did it come with a prism viewfinder to go between the camera and magnifier? Nope, waist level viewfinder only. But keh.com to the rescue once again with a great deal. There was special motivation for acquiring a viewfinder, but more on that below.


Continue reading “This Old Camera: The Mamiya RZ67”