Review

Fujifilm GF670 Professional goes Monsoon

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Fujifilm GF670 Professional goes Monsoon

Tambay (The Watchman) {click to enlarge}

Text and images by Michael G Dougan for Japan Exposures

Let me start by saying that I like folding cameras. In fact, I like them so much that between the 59 cameras I own, there are quite a few folders. When I got curious about film photography one of the first serious cameras I bought was an Agfa Super Isolette, then a Balda and a Certo Six and to round it off a Zeiss Super Ikonta. There is just something about these old mechanical cameras that I love.

So, when Fujifilm/Cosina Voigtländer announced the Bessa 667/GF670 Professional I wanted one badly. I’ve long preferred the square format but have recently been looking for a camera with a different aspect ratio and this camera satisfied my love of all things square while offering an alternative by being able to switch to 6×7 when desired.


We have the Fujifilm GF670 in black in stock for immediate shipping in the Japan Exposures Shop. Limited to 5000 cameras, BLACK Fujifilm version only available in Japan and equipped with the Fuji EBC (Electron Beam Coated) Fujinon lens.


Fujifilm GF670 Professional next to a Rolleiflex and Leica M6

Fujifilm GF670 Professional next to a Rolleiflex and Leica M6

The long wait was agonizing, having first contacted Dirk about the camera back in February to have to wait, suffering multiple delays, until May to finally get my hands on it. I can say though I’m not disappointed at all with the camera and the wait was well worth it.

As advertised the camera weighs in at 1kg but in operation it feels quite a lot less. Though when the camera is folded up it certainly feels like a lump, just not a 1kg lump. Once the lens has been extended the impression is of a very light camera.

In operation I immediately felt very comfortable with this camera, to me it feels very like a Leica to use, the focus is smooth and the aperture ring is easily and quickly adjusted. The built in light meter also takes the guesswork out of the exposures as with the old folders.

Since acquiring the camera I’ve shot it exclusively in 6 by 7 format and I like the opportunities it gives for framing over a square format. The shutter is extremely quiet, quiet enough to use in covertly but carrying a camera like this does attract a lot of inquisitive looks and questions from people.

Vulcanizing

Vulcanizing {click to enlarge}

Fujifilm GF670 Professional goes Monsoon

Love-Kim Verlie {click to enlarge}

The body on the right hand side has a very grippy rubber coating and grip on the front and back of the body. The left hand side is coated with the same rubber on the front of the body only but as I tend to cradle the underside of the body and lens standard with my left hand the grip is only of use for opening the camera. This way my thumb is in the perfect position to operate the focus and aperture rings. Focus and selection of aperture are achieved extremely quickly, this is a big plus for me as I try to quickly capture people before they have time to pose for the camera. The viewfinder is excellent, very bright with a nice contrasty rangefinder patch that allows you to achieve focus quickly.

I’m also extremely pleased with the camera’s image quality. I find it hard to say what it is but the images from the camera have a certain signature from the 80mm Fujinon EBC lens but maybe people more familiar with other Fuji lenses might say that is the signature of such lenses. It’s sharp, contrasty and the fuzzy bits just melt into the background beautifully.

You can see some samples of the type of photos I enjoy taking, which is out on the streets. I am living in the Philippines and it’s currently the monsoon season, which means it’s stinking hot and raining a lot! I was walking for less than an hour in the afternoon sun and the camera never felt heavy or a pain to carry. Here under these tropical conditions even a Leica can become irritating as you soon fatigue in the sun. The camera got extremely hot in the one hour I was out but the focus still had the same feeling of operation. With some my cameras they get a bit sloppy when they overheat, but this GF670 camera has been super smooth all the time, quick and easy to nail the focus, and the viewfinder’s clarity is excellent!

With the GF670 in my hands and several rolls of Neopan 120 in my pocket, it’s a perfect setup for me.

Fujifilm GF670 Professional goes Monsoon

Life in a plastic chair {click to enlarge}

Fujifilm GF670 Professional goes Monsoon

Break Time {click to enlarge}

Update 28 June 2009: More images below

Fujifilm GF670 Professional goes Monsoon

Bigasan {click to enlarge}

Fujifilm GF670 Professional goes Monsoon

Dried fish {click to enlarge}

Fujifilm GF670 Professional goes Monsoon

Friends forever {click to enlarge}

Fujifilm GF670 Professional goes Monsoon

In the street {click to enlarge}

Fujifilm GF670 Professional goes Monsoon

Mega Buko Juice at the Hard Rock Café {click to enlarge}

Fujifilm GF670 Professional goes Monsoon

Tommy {click to enlarge}

Fujifilm GF670 Professional goes Monsoon

Videoke for rent {click to enlarge}

Fujifilm GF670 Professional goes Monsoon

Four Women and a Boy {click to enlarge}

All black and white images were shot on Fujifilm Neopan 400 Presto, developed in paRodinal 1+50 for 11mins at 20 degrees C. Location: San Miguel, Bulacan, The Philippines


Fujifilm GF670 Professional goes MonsoonMichael Dougan is a 40 years old Scotsman who has been living in the Philippines for over 6 years. He is married to a beautiful Filipina and father to a son. He is currently working on the scientific drillship Chikyu in Japan, but has been in the offshore oil and gas drilling industry for 20 years. He is heavily involved as one of the organizers of Rangefinder Filipinas, keeping the passion for film photography burning in the Philippines.


We have the Fujifilm GF670 in black in stock for immediate shipping in the Japan Exposures Shop. Limited to 5000 cameras, BLACK Fujifilm version only available in Japan and equipped with the Fuji EBC (Electron Beam Coated) Fujinon lens.

Author/Editor: Dirk Rösler

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