5 frames with...

5 Frames with a Fuji GX680 – By Sergio Moura

February 27, 2019

I Can’t really remember when, but my interest in photography grew really early. Our family camera was a very simple Agfamatic 100 and we used it mostly on summer vacations. I really cannot remember at what age did I started, but it was at very early age that I first “kidnapped” the camera and began to shoot most of our family photos.

As a result there are not many photographs of me over that time period. Later on, while attending high-school, I enrolled a really small two week photography summer workshop. The first week was mostly theory and history of photography – the week after we would get our hands dirty both shooting and learning darkroom techniques.

I really learned a lot and got in touch with some of the photography masters we all know of.

– I got hooked!

I knew I had to keep shooting and developing, and to keep costs low it didn’t take long for me to buy a nasty smelling, soviet union built, portable enlarger kit – very low quality, but hey, it was the best my “lawn mowing” money could afford.

By that time my camera was a Pentax P30T, I loved it and I felt it was unbeatable with the 50mm f2 lens. As I left high school, my interest got a bit lost since I had most my time consumed by my architecture degree, until one day something peculiar happened.

My Pentax rewind crank got broken.

Looking for a replacement on the auction site, I got astonished at what I saw: digital had kicked in and all those top notch cameras I had only dreamed about in the past, were suddenly very affordable.

GAS!!!

I don’t feel guilty of GAS, I like to try new cameras, the holy search for the perfect camera is, for sure, a meaningful purpose on life!

(hell no!)

And all this talk – as all this GAS – brought me to this moment when I can introduce to you one of my ‘monster’cameras.

The Fuji GX680! Built for the studio, this is a large and heavy camera. Why on earth would I want this camera?

The GX680 has many interesting features! You get large format features without the expense or the inconvenience. Tilt and shift camera movements, large 6×8 negative and a big bright screen that makes it a joy to focus and compose on.

What amazed me the most was the quality of the lenses. They are, maybe, some of the best glass I have ever got my hands on, and the prices are really good too

It does have some quirks. Did I tell you she’s heavy?  She really is. I have to transport the camera on my shoulder, while attached to the tripod.

The battery dependency is also very real. The shutter needs electrons juice to fire, and even the backs have a lithium internal battery that after 20 years has most certainly gone bad. Mine was and I had to open it, desolder the old one solder a new one.

But you forget all those quirks when you see those gorgeous large negatives!

Hope you enjoy my 5 frames, they were all shot on a solo motorcycle ride around Serra da Freita, in Northern Portugal. I used the 50mm and 100mm lenses with Fuji Reala that I home developed.

Please check some more  of my work at:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sergmoura/
Tumblr: http://sergiomoura.tumblr.com/
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/visuallab/

Cheers!
Sergio

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Paul Mulherin
    February 27, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Nice writing style and a great story fella! I especially like the skies in shots #1 and #3 though; those clouds are beautifully captured! 😉

  • Reply
    Michael Kay
    February 27, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Surely the point of a format like this is to produce image quality much better than 35mm format, yet these scans are no better. In fact my 35mm scans and certainly my 120 film scans are much better. Hopefully at least the negatives are better or all the cost and added weight wasn’t worth it.

    • Reply
      Shmoyoho
      March 31, 2019 at 12:16 am

      On the internet everything’s going to look about the same. Whatever differences you’re seeing are more likely due to “bad” lighting and/or editing

  • Reply
    Aivaras
    February 27, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    This camera is real beast. I constantly feel an urge to get one. Most attractive features for me seems system’s F3.2 lenses that looks like outstanding option for portrait work and movement options.

  • Reply
    Timothy Gasper
    February 28, 2019 at 6:12 am

    Thank for this. I was beginning to think this camera was forgotten. My interest in photography started when I was 8 in 1960. I have many cameras but this is my favorite. I do all my professional landscapes with this and the Hasselblad. Wish people wouldn’t be so afraid of using this camera. Weight never bothers me. Thanks again.

  • Reply
    Kodachromeguy
    March 1, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    You take the 680 on motorcycle trips and even carry it over your shoulder? I am impressed; good for you. And wonderful pictures of Portugal. Do you have a second back so that you can take both color and black&white on one of your outings?

  • Reply
    Guy A Tisdale
    December 14, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    What kind of case do you use to carry the camera? Do you use a softcase and place it in the saddlebags?

    I cant wait to start using my Fuji GX680 Series I. I have upgraded from using a holga twin lens. I do own a Kodak Tourist II that I modified so that it now has a Fstop of 64, for those long burns, Ansel Adams style. For those reading this, yes I like landscape photography and no I am not a new startup trying to copy A.A. I have known who he was since I was 6. My family has been in the photography business since photography was born. 🙂

    Some research for you to hit up if you are bored, lookup Arno Meinders and Meinder Photography. My great grandfather and his father before him were avid photographers and family rumor is that he knew Ansel Adams, which would explain an Ansel Adams picture framed at my grandmothers house for the longest time. Ansel Adams indirectly inspired me as a child to take landscape and architectural photos. Growing up in the country I had plenty of interesting subjects to capture, and always drove my mom to buy twice the amount of film as normal(whole family is into photography) because she didn’t want to stifle my creative freedoms as a child but set them free. but I digress.

    I really want to expand out and grow with some architectural photos as well. Now that I have the Fuji GX680 Series I, I think I won’t have any issues with my photographs. I kept purchasing cameras that always had a unique issue that was showing up on film. Maybe it was just my impatience. I hope I no longer run into any issues and take photographs just as clear and colorful as these, now that I am armed with a light meter as well. lol

    Great Pictures and thanks for reading my long winded reply.

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