Fuji GSW690iii with Fuji Velvia 50

Yesterday when I returned home, there was a thick envelope waiting for me. By looking at the sender info, I knew that my seven rolls of developed Fuji Velvia 50 slide film had arrived. I opened the envelope and started examining them. It’s a great moment for me when slides films arrive. Especially when looking at the huge 6×7 and 6×9 medium format frames. The color and detail are stunning and as I have written before, there’s no way my Coolscan 9000 scanner can reproduce the 100% quality of them (but it can sure deliver a great scanned digital file).
I pretty much scanned the whole bunch, leaving for tonight the two rolls from my Gaoersi 617. A 6×17 panoramic slide is something you have to see with your own eyes, to appreciate it. But that’s the subject for another post.

For today I am uploading images taken with the Fuji GSW690iii camera.

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(Fuji GSW699iii, Fuji Velvia 50. Aperture: f32 Speed: One second exposure)

Fuji Velvia 50 is a really unique emulsion. There’s nothing like it in the market today (actually there never was anything like it even at the past !). Vivid colors and heavy contrast provide the materials for superb landscape images. It’s slow speed can be a burden, especially with medium format cameras, since f16 and above aperture are the norm, but the results are always rewarding. I almost always shoot the Fuji GSW690 on tripod anyway, to get the maximum image quality it can offer. I’ve tried the Velvia 100 version but it was nothing like the RVP.

Getting an accurate exposure with Velvia is quite demanding, since even a half stop can make a great difference. My best results are when I rate it at 40 ISO (which goes in contrary with the rule of not overexposing a slide film, but until it now it has worked great for me).

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(Fuji GSW699iii, Fuji Velvia 50. Aperture: f16 Speed: 1/60)

I consider the Fuji GSW690iii to be one of the best landscapes cameras ever. It’s 65mm Fujinon lens (28mm equivalent) is superb, capable of producing razor sharp images. It’s a fully mechanical rangefinder camera, no exposure meter, no batteries needed to operate. Built like a tank, it’s a very sturdy camera, and a joy to use. With a fast film can be easily operated handheld, since there’s no mirror slap. The only flaw I can find is the lack of a Bulb mode. For long exposures, you set it to “T” mode which works different from large format cameras. You press the shutter and then at the end of the exposure, you put on the lens cap, then you just move the shutter ring to complete the shot. It’s a little awkward way to do long exposures, but I got used to it, so it’s not a problem.

As it is expected, a 6×9 slide frame can be printed at very large sizes. When zooming at 100%, the amount of detail is stunning, especially with a high resolution film like Velvia. I am really curious of how these files will compare to the Nikon D800E when it arrives, and its a comparison I will definitely make.

Enjoy the rest of the images.

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(c)2012 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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3 Responses to Fuji GSW690iii with Fuji Velvia 50

  1. Rick says:

    Konstantinos,

    I love those images, well-done. Yes, there is nothing like those 690 images, especially transparencies. The quality is amazing (I have a GSW690iii and a GW690ii), and those cameras combine 4×5 quality and detail with portability. For the appropriate subjects, can’t be beat.

  2. john says:

    Beautiful images, I have the Fuji GW690III and love it but have not shot any Velvia 50 with it yet but I definitley will now. I have just bought a Mamiya RZ67 II and can’t believe how much I prefer shooting medium format film than digital with my Nikon D3’s and D700’s. I’ve only used Ektar and Portra up to now but I’m completely blown away by 120 film.

    • kbesios says:

      John, i also prefer to shoot MF film than my Nikon D700, it’s really a whole different experience (and the lenses behave in a total different way than 35mm).

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