Leica Size Fujica GS645!

The Leica Size – Fujica GS645 Professional
– a 6×4.5 Medium Format Folding Film Camera

GS645i

My latest additional to the camera bag!  A 1983 Fuji GS 645 Pro Folder 6×4.5 film camera with a EBC Fujinon 75mm f/3.4 fixed lens. This is roughly equivalent to to 50mm f2 fixed lens on a 35mm camera such as a Leica. The GS 645 is a rangefinder camera the same as a Leica however it takes 120 film rather than 35mm film for my Leica M2. One thing I like the most about Leicas are the small compact size.

Earlier in the week I took a trip to the coast so decided to pack my 6×9 medium format Russian Moskva-5 camera. Despite being designed in the 1930s it was a real joy to use. 6×9 is a bigger format than I need and the camera does not really suit portraits so when I got home I began reading up on 6×4.5 format folders. I decided on the Fujica GS 645 as it has both a hotshoe and PC sync cable port meaning I can use it with my lights. The GS645 has a leaf shutter lens with a flash sync speed of 1/500.  This is faster than my Mamiya RZ67 Pro II (1/400) and Leica M9 (1/180) so great for me to control ambient light levels when using strobe lights. Even though I love the RZ67 it is often just too big to carry around easily as a just-in-case camera, whether on a day trip to the coast or for one of my London Photography Workshop outings. (I have tried and it was heavy! Photos to follow).  By having a small camera like a Leica that fits into a large pocket I am much more likely to take it everywhere with me.  What excites me moreso is the GS645 is a 120 medium format film camera so much more detail can be captured with every photo (vs 35mm).  The lens is also well regarded as being super sharp so can wait!

gs645ii

I will get some sample images posted as soon as the camera arrives and I get chance to shoot a roll of film with it.

For those of you knowing about these cameras the biggest problems that are often seen are pin holes/ light leaks appearing in the camera bellows.  This one has had the original bellows replaced by Linhof Germany.  Another common problem is a sticking shutter but the seller tells me it works fine (for now!).  The rangefinder focus system has a smaller focus patch that a Leica so is said to be less easy to focus.  The Moskva-5 rangefinder has a very basic RF and qis uite possibly out of alignment so I always used it at f8-f11 to be safe. I will see how I get on with focusing the GS 645 wide open at f3.4 and also stopped. I now I have a love, and preference for focusing with a rangefinder system vs. through the lens focusing (SLR/DSLR).

gs645iii

Very much looking forward to her arrival!  Even though she does not have the red dot Leica badge she will be a valued addition to my camera bag and I hope also it will let me do more film which can only be a good thing! 🙂

The plan is take the Fujica GS645 to weddings for some extra film photography.  The camera is not really comparable to the Contax 645  film camera in terms of being able to create dreamy portraits due to the lens fitted however I will be sure to get the best I can from it.

If you want a visual for my expectations, I would say my Leica M9 + Leica Noctilux 50mm f1 v2 images are similar to when I used a Contax 645 + 80mm f2 T lens.  The Fuji GS645 Pro will give a look more similar to my Leica M9 + Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO where the subject can look 3D yet the background can be identified and lots of detail is captured.

Film choice – for colour film photography I have always shot with Kodak Portra 16o, 400, 800 for my 35mm and 120mm cameras.  I think my taste is changing as I now prefer the colours of Fuji Pro 400H so I plan to buy a 5 pack of 400H and see how I get on.  Fuji 400H is very forgiving in tricky lighting conditions and retains highlight detail well if overexposed.  Film is good at retaining highlight detail generally however most people shoot Portra at box speed but Fuji 400H 1-2 stops over box speed to get the creamy emulsion look of skin tones.  By overexposing highlights I can exposure for the shadows for the maximum dynamic range and detail captured.  For UK weddings light levels can often be low so this might prove very useful!

Coming soon! 🙂

www.MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk

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MrLeica.com – BLOG

MrLeica.com – a one stop blog for Leica cameras and Leica lenses.. other 35mm film cameras, medium format cameras, large format cameras and lots of film! By Matthew Osborne Photography

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MrLeica.com started in March 2013 after my Flickr followers kept asking me to share some of my thoughts.  The blog has now grown to 400+ articles!

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Mr Leica – The Blog

Leica M cameras are my workhorse tools for all types of photography, both digital Leica cameras and Leica film cameras.  I also use medium format cameras such as Hasselblad and Mamiya (+ 4×5 large format cameras) and develop my film in house.  The majority of the blog content is either Leica M camera related or film photography.  I photograph people; models, fashion, lifestyle, wedding photography so most of my photography is portraits, experimenting with various cameras, lenses and films.  The digital Leica M240 camera is my do everything digital M camera but I shoot film whenever possible.

Mr Leica – About

Hi, I started this blog page in March 2013 after my Flickr followers keep asking me to share some of my thoughts. To give you a brief background, my photography began in 2008 after getting a Panasonic Lumix TZ5 for Christmas.  Today I have a lot of cameras and offer Photography Tuition to those who often get paid for their work. Besides teaching, I shoot as a Wedding Photographer and Model Photographer.  I am 100% self taught so thought a blog would be a great way to share some of the things I have learnt so far.  At the end of 2012 I started to develop a passion for Film Photography and in the summer of 2013 I bought my first Leica camera.  I am now officially a Leica nut and use a digital Leica M240 and M8 plus Leica M3s, M2, M4-P and M6 film cameras for most of my photography.  This includes Leica wedding photography, Leica lifestyle photography and Leica fashion / model photography.  I also enjoy using medium format film cameras such as the amazing Hasselblad 501C 6×6 camera (my main medium format film camera), Fuji GF670, Rolleiflex SL66E, Mamiya RZ67 Pro2 to name a few and 4×5 large format film using a 1947 Pacemaker Speed Graphic and Sinar F2.  In 2014 I started to teach portrait photography and lighting in London running monthly group photography workshops. Currently I teach photography on 1-2-1 basis providing 1-2-1 photography tuition (normally with a model) on location, often in London if on location and in the UK, from my Coventry UK studio or overseas such as New York, Zurich and Amsterdam.

Destination Leica Wedding Photographer

Leica Wedding Photographer offering desination Wedding Photography both in the UK and overseas. Natural documentary style wedding photography fused with stylised wedding portraits.  As a Leica photographer I like to work quietly as an observer in the background and photograph by available light where possible.  I use both digital and film Leica cameras but my passion is film photography.

Traditional Film Wedding Photographer UK

Film wedding photographer that still prefers film cameras in the digital era.  I use 35mm Leica film cameras, medium format Hasselblad cameras and large format film cameras.  If you appreciate film photography as much as I do then I would be delighted to cover your wedding.  You may have already booked a wedding photographer but like the idea of a few special images shot on film?  I would be happy to oblige!

Engagement Sessions

Engagement photography is very rewarding and I enjoy working with a couple to create natural yet stylised images using a aray of cameras to give you as set of unique looking images.  E-sessions are invaluable for giving couples experience in front of the cameras ahead of their wedding day and it gives us a chance to get to know each other too.

Large Format Portrait Photographer

Large format camera portrait session that gives one of a kind photos.  4×5 format sheet film images and instant Polaroid photos.  I fuse my model photography experience with my passion for film photography.

Leica Lifestyle Photographer

I have realised from how I direct my model shoots that I am in fact a lifestyle photographer.  Posing often everyday people in everyday situations to look very natural.  I have not yet branded myself as a lifestyle photographer but it may be a route I take in the future as this style comes very naturally to me and I find it easy to work closely with my clients to get the best from the images.  If you are looking for new and creative photos for your social media site, blog, website or business then do get in touch.

Model Photographer

Studio based model photographer in Coventry specialising in black and white female portraiture using both digital and film cameras.  I help new models build a model portfolio and regularly collaborate with model agencies and published models in the UK, Europe and the US.

UK Photography Workshops

I provide 1-2-1 photography tuition and lighting workshops from my Coventry studio and on location.  I will help you to understand light and your camera to enhance your photography. Through 2014 I was running London photography workshops teaching small groups of photographers how to work with a professional model on location.  Currently I focus on providing 1-2-1 tuition rather than teaching groups both here in the UK and overseas.

I hope you find the content as enjoyable to read as I find it is to document.

Matt