Lens movements, are these enough?

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The camera I'm thinking of getting has the following amount of lens movements. Tilt and swing of 12 degrees, rise and fall of 13mm (.5"), and sideways shift of 15mm (.6"). It is a Fuji GX680 with a 6x8cm image size. Are these movements enough to make a real difference or do they come up too short to be of real value. A LF friend told me of this site and said that he was to new to help me but that there are very knowledgable people here and if anyone could help me it would be the people of this forum. I know this is a MF camera but it has LF movements and I do need help of the LF community. Thank you to all who kindly take the time to respond, any info will be of great help.

-- Ed Hrom (hrom@ptd.net), March 15, 2002


There have been a couple of hand cameras with view camera style movements, but the problem is that you are limited to the lenses made for that camera and of course, there are no rear movements. I believe that the Fuji you are looking at is also very heavy for the negative size you'll end up with. If roll film convenience is what you are looking for, I would suggest something like a Horseman VHR or a baby Linhof. These cameras will give you tilt and swing in the rear, tilt swing, shift, rise and fall in the front. You'll be able to find a veritable buttload of used lenses available with more than adequate coverage for the movements you'll have as well. What all of this will do for you is to give a true view camera type system with goundglass focusing and the ability to accept readily available roll film holders. The weight of such a system and the physical space it will require in your bag will be close to half of the Fuji, I believe. What you will lose is the convenience of SLR type operation. No BTL metering, no instant return mirror, no bayonet mount lenses. But, this is where you have to be the judge of what's important and what you need for the style of shooting you intend to do. Maybe the thing to do is try and borrow or rent a system to give it a test drive. The longer I'm in this game, the more I'm convinced that the ideal system for any photographer is one he or she must arrive at on their own. These are just tools, not some magical appliance that someone else can prescribe. I wish you luck in your search and I'm certain before a few days pass, you'll have a number of other good suggestions on this thread.

-- Robert A. Zeichner (info@razeichner.com), March 15, 2002.

I have a friend who loves his GX680, although he uses it exclusively in his studio for table-top and product photography. That's the place where this camera shines. You didn't say how you plan to use this camera but if table-top is your intention, go for it. The GX680 has all the mod-cons you could ask for. Outside, in the field, it won't work all that well, and the movements aren't enough for architecture

-- Arthur Gottschalk (Arthurwg@aol.com), March 15, 2002.

These cameras are indeed studio machines.Too heavy for wedding work.For my money in a studio,Id use a mono rail camera & a roll back.These have unlimited moves ,etc.

-- Edsel Adams (mrchippy628@aol.com), March 15, 2002.

Fuji has an adapter to accept lenses mounted in Linhof Technika lensboards but given the limited range of movements on the GX680 it would be a waste of the capabilities of most LF lenses. Even with the Fuji lenses the camera does not offer a whole lot of movement so it would be in your best interest to consider a real view camera instead; you will find it much more flexible for a great many kinds of photography, plus you would have the choice of roll or sheet film.

-- Jeffrey Scott (jscott@datavoice.net), March 15, 2002.


A major point to consider with the Fuji GX680 is that you only have movements at the front and none at the rear. It has long been my attitude that this is enough to get you into trouble and not out of trouble.

Size, cost and the need for rechargeable power supplies are negative points for me also.

Walter Glover

-- Walter Glover (walterg@netaus.net.au), March 16, 2002.

The Fuji is an expensive and relatively rare camera so you won't find a lot of used bits for it around - certainly not like a Mamiya RB/RZ. But I think that the Fuji would be a useful to have if you do a lot of studio still life and also regular studio portrait work.

The key is that you are using it for commercial reasons - and in a studio since I think this camera would be uesless for weddings. A LF camera will be a lot cheaper to buy than the Fuji and you'd have lots of lens choices, so if it's a toy buy one of those. But if I was outfitting a studio and I was doing a fair bit of table top work, then I'd give the Fuji a hard look.

You would have the advantage of having one camera and you would be looking at your subject "right side up". It would be a much faster camera to use than a monorail. Inserting a 405 or 545 Polaroid back into a view camera is much more likely to cause camera movement, than snapping on a NPC back onto a medium format camera. Not a big deal, but if you are doing it 30 times a day ...

-- David Grandy (dgrandy@grandyphoto.com), March 16, 2002.

Get a copy of Gerry Kopelow's book "How to Photograph Buildings and Interiors". He uses a Fuji 680 for location architectural photography and has quite a bit of detail in the book about the camera.

-- David Rose (DERose1@msn.com), March 16, 2002.

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