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Talk me out of buying a Fuji GA645...

Discussion in 'Film Camera Forum' started by EyesUnclouded, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. EyesUnclouded

    EyesUnclouded SC Rookie

    16
    Oct 17, 2014
    ...or encourage me! :smile:

    I don't have a medium format film camera, and I was thinking this is probably a great choice, not being in the mood of investing too much or getting too involved with MF system cameras. The GA645 seems like a "compact MF" really, easy to use, portable and quite affortable.

    What are your thoughts/experiences? Any other suggestions?

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    DON'T BUY IT!!



    . . . Unless you want to, of course. I always have the urge to try all those cameras I wanted back when I didn't have the money. I sill don't have that kind of money but they're all cheaper now. I'm not sure I have the patience for film anymore.
     
  3. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Rajiv
  4. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    I say buy it. If you are going to shoot film, the difference between medium format and 35mm is quite significant. I have no experience with this Fuji, but it seems like a fairly compact easy to use camera. Anything else I could recommend would likely be bigger and heavier, although you may be surprised at how light and nimble a twin lens Rollei can be.

    I always wanted to try a Bronica RF645, but those are getting hard to get and expensive.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    819
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    this is a really nice tool, perhaps the most compact mf camera out there, and produces nice results. i sold mine for one reason: i simply could not get used to the vertical orientation of 645. every other cam i had ever was horizontally oriented, its how i saw/see the world through a vf. i just couldnt shake it and was forever turning it on its side, which for me was just a constant annoyance. the other thing is the quality gap between 35mm and mf is less at 645 than the other formats.
     
  6. alex66

    alex66 SC Rookie

    12
    Jul 29, 2012
    I had a GS645s it had a superb sharp lens but the RF patch was poor to say the least, for similar money you could also get a Yashicamat and it too was a pretty superb option too. Either will give you fantastic results though.
     
  7. EyesUnclouded

    EyesUnclouded SC Rookie

    16
    Oct 17, 2014
    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    One concern with the GA645 is that aperture only goes to f/9.5, if I understand correctly (please educate me on that). Being MF, I don't know if this would be sufficient for extended DoF (although the lens is aprox. equivalent to 37mm for 135 format, which would help).

    I also haven't found data about flash use.. Since it has a leaf shutter I'd expect a higher sync speed (I read 1/700s) but I'm confused about what aperture it manages this. The reason I'm asking is that I'd like to use it for the occassional portrait shooting.


    It's funny you'd mention this, because I'm currently writing a post to publish in my blog tomorrow, suggesting, among other things, that Fuji does exactly that. :tongue:

    If you think about it, a digital GA645 would be in fact a kind of "medium format X-100" of sorts.

    And, yes, I'd certainly get one if the price was "right" (a statement worthy of a rather lengthy discussion).
     
  8. peterlee10

    peterlee10 New to SC

    3
    Oct 3, 2013
    Orange NSW Australia
    A couple of months ago I purchased a near mint Fuji GA 645 from a dealer in Japan.It had a minor problem with the command dial which was easily fixed with new lubricant (Dealer paid for it) and for $400 I got what I think is a bargain.Pretty easy to download a manual off the web ( let me know if you need one) -it was very helpful.So how does it perform ? Pretty good - the exposure meter is very very accurate ( I check it against my Sekonic hand meter) and the autofocus pretty much the same.The manual focus system is simplicity itself and works well from my tests.Film advance etc is dead easy and the 52 mm thread makes it easier to find yellow and red black and white filters.How sharp is the lens ? That is a bit harder as my digital cameras are DP Merrills and nothing is as sharp as them @ 100% view.Comparing it to my old Rolleiflex TLR with 2.8 planar lens it runs a close second ( that lens was exceptional).But I need to qualify that -for negs requiring serious printing I have them done on either a Imacon scanner or Kodak Supreme scanner.For proof prints up to 10 by 8 I use my pathetic little Epson V550 scanner with Vuescan software - the crappy lens and LED lighting may be influencing my opinion of the Fuji's lens sharpness .The attached image was scanned with the Epson and whilst it is OK for the web, it is not for printing
    https://500px.com/photo/94055953/anz-martin-place-door-by-peter-lee
    https://500px.com/photo/92014973/gulf-station-stone-wheel-by-peter-lee

    If you are interested in black and white, analoque film brings to the table something very special ( apart from minimal editing) whereas with digital images we blunder around with 3rd party software trying to simulate grain and get gritty moody images.Of course the difference is not obvious in web images but sure is when printing. For anyone who thinks they don't have the patience for film photography just remember what Minor White ( or was it George De Wolfe) said - "Work more slowly, see more deeply, quiet the mind".Since I have been using my Fuji some of this has rubbed off on my digital photography - I now think more before I shoot.I will say one thing about film photography- best to do your own BW processing for the best results - if this is too much work it may well be better to stick to digital.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    I, personally, would prefer a 6x6...or outside the square format 6x7 or 6x9. If it must be an RF I'd look at a Texas Leica...or better still a Mamiya 6 or 7?

    Again, just me....

    ....also what orientation is the 6x4.5...I assume portrait, which could be weird when shooting noting how use to landscape orientation we are.
     
  10. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Where do you get the idea that it's a f/9.5? It's an f/4 lens.

    Information about these cameras is easy to come by, including the manual, which should answer any technical queries.

    I'd suggest if you have the money to spend, buy it.
    If you like it, keep it and take photos with it.
    If you don't, sell it.
     
  11. EyesUnclouded

    EyesUnclouded SC Rookie

    16
    Oct 17, 2014
    Thank you Peter. I agree with your view on shooting discipline; I do shoot film (35mm) and discovered the same.


    Perhaps I didn't express myself correctly; I've read that the lens aperture range is f/4-9.5, and this is something you see mentioned online. Upon investigation of the manual, I see there is a misconception here. The aperture goes to f/9.5 for up to 1/400s speed and f/11-f/22 for 1/700s.
     
  12. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Lens apertures as you know get smaller as the f/# increases in magnitude, and thus larger apertures have a smaller f/#.

    The universal convention is to refer to lenses as going "up to" their maximum aperture.

    It's a bit confusing therefore to talk about a lens going "up to" f/9.5, f/11 or f/22. It's clearer to refer to minimum aperture or f/#
     
  13. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    I have the GS645S, and it's a lovely camera. I know this is an old thread, but I hope you went for it.
     
  14. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC Top Veteran

    578
    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    Nah ... :)

    Shooting MF film is a wonderful experience once you've wrapped your head around it, and the GA645 is one of the cameras that'll make it easier to get going. I'm a 6x6 guy myself (though some of my favourite MF cameras are ancient 6x9 folders), but 6x4.5 is the most economical way of doing it ...

    M.