I am always curious about new things to do with my film adventure. Every day, there seems to be always something new to learn about the process and the medium. On one such particular day, I was looking for an affordable way to shoot 120 film.
Any SLRs that shoot 120 film was way too heavy and bulky for my needs. The idea of a TLR was tempting as well, but I found that it didn’t really suit my shooting style after trying out a Rolleicord. I even played around with one of the Lomo cameras, but didn’t quite like the results.
Then came the rangefinders. First I came across a Mamiya 7 at a camera shop (it was gorgeous but was out of my budget), then read a post about the Plaubel Makina on 35mmc. Some further digging online later, I stumbled upon the Fujica GS645 Pro.
To be completely honest, up until when I received the camera, I still wasn’t sure what I’d take photos of with it. The fixed 75mm lens is not quite what I normally shoot with (my go-to focal length is 35mm on 135 film, this lens is closer to 50mm). However, the sharpness and the very quiet leaf shutter on the lens have more than made up for it. I found myself doing a few of light random snaps with it at first to get a feel for what it is capable of.
Then a bit of portraiture…
This camera has many little quirks. For example, the weird 40.5mm filter cannot be used without the proprietary hood. Besides, folding the camera without cocking the shutter and turning the focus ring to infinity first can also have devastating effect. That’s not to mention the bellow which is well-known to be prone to light leaks. At the end of the day, I think these quirks allow it to be neatly foldable and so compact while travelling. Since I roam and shoot in the streets a lot, this is both a great advantage and conversation starter!
I hope you’ve enjoyed these frames. You can find more shots with this gem on my Instagram at @famanson.