The Fuji-Fujifilm GW690 III
The professional medium format 6×9 Rangefinder camera also known as “The Brick” or “Texas Leica’s” an old expressions, “They grow them big in Texas.” and “The best is from Texas”, and Leica’s because they resembles the Leica 35mm rangefinders, but besides the cameras nicknames this Fuji G series rangefinder was and still is the workhorse of professional photographers around the world.
The Fuji G series started in 1967 which came in 6×7, 6×8, 6x9cm medium format sizes and was a legendary Pro Photographers Camera through the years because it produced phenomenal images and sharpness from its Fujinon fixed lens and you could always depend on the Fuji Camera work in all condition. You could throw the Rangefinder in your bag and travel over severe terang, then pull it out knowing you always had a working camera at your disposal. Built to be dependable, very tough and a easy to use with an outstanding craftsmanship through the years. The last generation of the Fuji G series was was the third generation introduced in the mid 1990’s which did not change much in terms of optics but made a lot of changes nonetheless:
The Fuji GW690 third generation or III models are introduced in Japan (6×9 cm, 8 shots per 120 film/ 16 shots per 220 film)
Totally new VF/RF mechanism. The older gold-coated beam-splitter system is replaced by a new vernier (Leica-style) hard-edged rectangular spot on an aluminized beam-splitter. The upshot is that brightness is increased but VF-RF spot contrast is reduced.
Push-button loading means that pressing two small red buttons inside the film chamber releases the film spools.
Redesigned back now has latch on the camera back, as opposed to a pull-down lever on camera bottom. Pressure plate is unchanged.
Matte plastic covers with new, rounded proportions. Anatomical grip on front and back of right side.
Bubble level on top of camera.
Not surprisingly, the III series sells for a lot more, even used. Discontinued.
Plastics: the urban myth of the Fuji RF: People constantly complain that the GW and later Fuji RFs (particularly the III series are “plastic.” This is nonsense. The camera has a pretty hefty metal content, demonstrating that the camera has gradually evolved from the G690 rather than being a remake of it. The rubber and plastic outer design made this camera even more tough. The frame is still die-cast and the back is stamped metal. The lens barrel is also metal
Bottom Line: Hard to lose with this camera.