Fujifilm GX680 III/IIIS Medium Format

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GX680 III/IIIS

The next generation of the acclaimed GX680 series builds on the success of its predecessors with a host of new features like multi-format capability; separate shot counts for the lens, body, and film holder; and Fujifilm's barcode scanning system.

User Reviews (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4  
Pall Stefansson   Professional [Jan 08, 2000]
Model Reviewed: GX680 III/IIIS
Strength:

Well made and only 120/220 with camera movments.Lenses are top quality.

Weakness:

no..Fuji makes very strong cameras.

Well made camera for ALL kinds of photography. Use good tripod is a must.

Customer Service

no

Similar Products Used: Mamiya RZ ...rated 3
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Aneal Vohra   Professional [Sep 24, 2000]
Strength:

A medium format camera system that offers frontal movements--in many situations, you may be able to leave your 4X5 at home; 6X8 size yields BIG chromes/negs; nice selections of lens from 50mm to 500mm, also offers some fast 3.2 lenses; system allows me to photograph with a 6X7, 6X6, or 645 mask yielding (on 120 film) 10, 12, or 16 images (6X8 will yield 9 images); System tracks electronically the number of times the body, backs and lenses have been fired; date, exposure data, etc. imprinting; mirror lock up; multiple exposures capability; easy to load film backs; if you use Fuji Film products, the camera will read the barcode and set film speed, etc.; approx. 1 fps motor drive--helpful when you're trying to bracket quickly; revolving back for quick horizontals and verticals (like the RB).

Weakness:

Needs shutter speeds in 1/2 manual stop increments (only available in full stops). Also would like the camera to be able to photograph longer than 8 seconds when set on manual; imprinting could include a (C) symbol and space for a name and contact number; backs/inserts are expensive ($1000); need to purchase the Beattie Screen to help increase the finders brightness (price??? $200);

Fuji has really done a wonderful job trying to create an all-in-one medium format camera system. Unfortunately, a lot of photographers will be turned off by the size of the 680. It's not really hand-holdable, at least for me. I'm always using the camera on a steady tripod. However, after using the 680 for some time, I personally feel that the RZ is a small camera. As one 680 user described to me, think of the 680 as an RZ/RB with lens movements and with a built-in motor drive. If you're comfortable with Hasselblads, then it'll be difficult to make the switch. If you're looking at your first medium format system (making the transition up from 35mm, for exampe), then this camera might fit your requirements. You can also visit www.gx680.com for more detail information.

I understand that Fuji may offer a loaner camera and lenses to qualified professionals to try out before making a purchase. A lease program is in effect as I'm composing this summary, offering an affordable option. As well, I received 100 rolls (!!!) of 120 Fujichrome film as a special offer when I made my purchase.

On a side note, I'm able to store one body, angle finder, 65mm, 100mm, 180mm lenses, two backs, format masks, Polariod back, lens hoods, cords, film, and miscellaneous items in a Tamrac 646 case which will fit as airline carry-on luggage.

On my rating scale (Value and Overall Ratings), I'm grading very tough!!!

Customer Service

Have yet to use CS. A collegue gave me a contact name/number at Fuji who may send you a temporary replacement camera if your camera goes down.

Similar Products Used: RB (RZ), Hasselblad, Rollei
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Nhat Nguyen   Professional [Nov 27, 2000]
Strength:

-Movements
-Film Back's LCD display
-Excellent optics

Weakness:

-Proprietary battery technology

This is the best the studio camera I have used to date. The movements allow for solving a variety of product photography shots that used to rely on view camera solutions. The lenses are first rate and deliver sharp images with excellent color rendition. It's pricey new, but look for good used ones and you'll be surprise at affordable this system can be. The backs are great with their LCD displays showing film info. I have been shooting with this camera for a year now and would recommend this as good product photography camera. If you are looking for something hand holdable, this is NOT it, not to say that you can't try... but it's meant to sit on a tripod. It is heavy and bulky, so if you are a location shooter, consider this factor. But it is no bulkier than a RB67.

Customer Service

None - I rent this camera on an as needed basis

Similar Products Used: -Mamiya RB67
-4x5 Cameras of various brands
-
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Jim Quinn   Professional [Dec 30, 2000]
Strength:

I work in the Chicago Tribune's photo studio. We purchased two Fuji GX680 III outfits about two years ago, switching from Hasselblads, based on my experience owning an original GX680 outfit. Both photographers using the gear enjoy the sharp lenses, the camera movements, the built-in motor drive, and the generally well-thought-out system. We use the cameras on location as well as in our studio, carrying cameras, lenses, and miscellaneous gear in rolling Lightware cases. They work successfully for fashion, food, and product photography. The camera is big and heavy and deserves a good tripod or camera stand, though I have used mine on a good monopod while shooting people under studio strobes.

Weakness:

1. We have the N backs, which have built-in motors. Mine developed a problem early on where it wouldn't load film; apparently an end-of-film sensor was defective. Once repaired, the problem hasn't returned.
2. The soft plastic rings on the control knobs loosen in their grooves after about a year of service, requiring a good squeeze to operate the controls (the solid plastic knobs on my original GX680 work just fine). I plan to try a trace amount of rubber cement in the grooves to fix the problem.
3. The press-in mask on the Polaroid back will frequently fall out when the back is being removed. I have suggested to Fuji that this mask be redesigned to operate like the clip-in format masks used to change the film size. Those masks stay in place.
4. There is some mirror cutoff at the top of the frame in closeups, though this can be helped somewhat by raising the front lens standard.

The GX680 III is a big, heavy, expensive, versatile, and very useful camera.

Customer Service

Customer service has been good, although it appears the factory could do a better job notifying its American service people of new products. The N back I sent them for repair was the first one they had ever seen!

Similar Products Used: Hasselblad, RZ67, Pentax 67
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-4 of 4  

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