FUJI GF670w First Roll First Impressions 

I want to preface this first impressions by letting you know my writing is based on how I feel about this camera for street photography. Being a wide angle, fairly compact, medium format camera I think it would also make a great landscape or travel camera, but as of now those are not my focus.

6×6 medium format is probably my favorite format for taking pictures. I’ve used a rolleiflex 75mm 3.5 but found it difficult to get focus in a streetphotography situation. After the rolleiflex I tried a mamiya 6 with the 50mm lens with more pleasing results. There are only a few other cameras that can take 6×6 images and have wide angle lenses. SLR medium format cameras are out of the question for street and the other options just didn’t appeal to me. I even tried to make cameras out of mamiya press parts as well as graflex xl parts. These were ok, but not as functional as a camera that was mass produced. The GF670w wasn’t exactly massed produce, being difficult to find even used, but I think it fits the bill for what I’m looking for. My reasoning; the GF and voigtlander Bessa III line of cameras have the quietest shutters I have ever heard. When I first tested the 80mm variant I thought the camera had bad batteries and wasn’t working. At 500th of a second it is incredibly difficult to hear the shutter go off. This can feel strange at first, not knowing whether you got your shot or not. On the other hand, if I didn’t know the shutter went off, then people around me also wouldn’t know…


Related to the shutter; at first I thought this camera was capable of double exposures. When no film is in the camera you can press the shutter a number of times without winding the film advance. Once you have film loaded, though, this is not an issue. The shutter can be pressed as if to take a double exposure but lo and behold no double exposure.


Double exposure test. As you can see only one exposure. Photo credit Luis Mora.

The first roll here was shot in 6×7, mostly to have less pictures to take when testing. When I actually use the camera it will be in the 6×6 format, but having the option is nice. Note though, that you cannot change the format mid roll. That being said in 6×7 corner to corner looks sharp, so 6×6 should be even better.


Photo credit Luis Mora

The camera is nicely weighted with extremly simple controls. I don’t like the two lugs for straps being on the same side.

Eye relief for the finder is fine. I dont find it difficult to see the meter information as long as i position your eye properly. I do not wear glasses but I don’t think it would be an issue  if you did. It can be a bit tricky to see the meter information. After using leicas for a long time I have learned to position my eye in a certain way, and that position isn’t the best for seeing the GF670ws meter information. Hopefully with a lot of use of this camera it won’t be as awkward to use.

Metering looks good, most exposures were on auto shutter and retained shadow/highlight details nicely.


Automatic exposure. I think the GF670w has a good metering system. The GTR in the picture was black with a sunny backlight sky. There are details in the shadows and hightlights.

The only thing that was a bit annoying was the focus tab on the lens. Unlike leica lenses the ring rotates clockwise from infinity to 0.7m. at Infiniti the tabs are horizontal and at 0.7m the tabs are vertical. In practice it is easy for me to focus from 0.7 to infinity but focusing from infinity to 0.7m feels awkward. In the end though this might not be an issue for me. For street the camera will probably be set to 3 meters and it will be fine.

Skip to the end:

-ALMOST silent shutter on both the GF670 and 670w

-Beautiful modern Fuji optics.

-Great first impressions, it makes me want to ditch the mamiya 6.

-I prefer this design. No bellows means less fiddling to start shooting.

Luis Mora @35mmmora on instagram. http://www.35mmmora.com

Rule of thirds

I was sitting in on an introductory photography class the other day when the professor brought up the rule of thirds. They didn’t necessarily agree with the rule of thirds but I know many people that swear by it.

It got me thinking about framing and what people look at in photographs. When a someone first sees a photograph they will usually focus on the subjects eyes(if there is a person/animal), the lightest part of the photograph, or the middle. So it would seam like a good thing to put your subjects well illuminated eyes in the center of the frame right?  It’s such a natural place to put your subject with the focus points on digital cameras or rangefinder patches being in the center of the frame so that’s logically be the best place to put a subject right?

Maybe… But I prefer to use the rule of thirds, or rather not place my subject in the middle. By shifting your frame left, right,up or down you can get more information in a picture. Or get unwanted subjects out of a picture. When I see pictures framed with subjects in the middle I tend to want to know what’s going on just off frame. For example in a photosomeone was sitting at a dining table and you get a glimps of a kitchen to the left and to the right a wall. You want to know what’s going on in the kitchen and the wall is just blank space that doesn’t tell you anything. If you shift the frame over to show more of the kitchen and have the subject allined with the rule of thirds it could look authentically pleasing.

It is somewhat easy with rangefinders because the frame lines can show you something similar to rule of thirds(35/90 frame lines for example or the 90mm frame lines when using a 50mm on an m3). When shooting during the day you can stop down and pre focus so it becomes very easy to concentrate on framing. I think it’s a great approach for shooting street photography. 
 by not framing in the middle you get more information (train tracks ,grass etc giving you a sense of where the photo was taken) where as to the left was a fence which wouldn’t have added to the photo.

But then again on medium format 6×6 (or Instagram photos I suppose?) Having the subject in the center can be quite pleasing. 
Trying to frame so the subject isn’t in the center can cause you to lose a shot, but can make the difference between an ok photo and a great one. If you always shoot with the subject in the middle try the rule of thirds! And if you use the rule of thirds a lot try framing things in the middle for a change. 

leica m3 with 90 apo asph

When i bought my m3 this year i decided i should round out my camera bag with a 90mm lens. The thing about 90mm leica lenses is they feel more oriented for portraits than street photography, being heavy with long focus throws etc. That being said i had a chance to get the very special 90mm apo asph and went for it!
I went and took some pictures with it just yesterday. It feels very different from my usual 35mm setup. At first it felt like a cropped 50mm but as i got used to it i could see where it would be useful on the streets as well. Pared with the m3 you have a very stealthy setup. F/2 is also really nice and can be shot all day and night!
I probably wouldn’t have this as the only lens in my bag but pair it with a 35mm or 28mm and you have a great kit for whatever you want to shoot.
I won’t be able to scan my photos for a while but when I do I’ll post them!

costs associated with photography

In preparation for a trip i have been buying/preping a lot of gear. This has made me think about the costs associated with taking pictures. Sure you could go out with just a one camera one lens set up and there aren’t too many extra things to invest in. That doesn’t always work though, especially when you are traveling. For a trip I want to take a tripod, extra lenses, film (or SD cards), batteries if necessary, cable release, etc etc. I might have all those things already, but when you invest in a new system or for someone just starting the price of the camera is just the begining.
Whether its film, digital or video there are so many more costs associated with taking pictures and video. Not to mention post processing and those costs.
It makes me miss the times when I would just go out with a one camera and standard lens setup.
I think I will elaborate on thus topic later when I have more time to think and write about it.

Through the viewfinder

I recently picked up an SLR after not having used one for some time. I’ve become very accustom to rangefinders and love the way you frame and take pictures with them. I also use a TLR medium format camera which offers a different way to frame pictures. In a way these cameras may be less “accurate” ways to frame, but I prefer these over an SLR recently.  I think you get to see more of the real world with both rangefinders and waist level viewfinders. SLRs are starting to feel like periscope vision. That being said I think a lot of people get their start with SLRs, I did. There is something great about looking through a standard lens on a SLR that is really nice and clear. Telephoto lenses are also easier with SLRs. After picking up an SLR again I really started to appreciate my rangefinder cameras. I won’t be switching back to SLRs any time soon but sometimes I might pick them up for a shoot.