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Author Topic: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination  (Read 959 times)

wagabundo

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Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« on: March 17, 2019, 08:04:47 am »

I can't find a lot.. but maybe here is somebody with some samples of use Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes ? This combination is on my list due to portrait works only, and fuji lenses
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pschefz

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2019, 02:52:05 pm »

the 680 was my first MF system almost 30 years ago, still think it is one of the best and desperately tried to get it to work years ago when i got my first digital backs...there was one company that made an adapter, it was expensive and clunky then...i have not seen anything since then and at this point i honestly dont see the point....modern backs definitely do not work with the 680, i am not sure the lenses can keep up (as amazing as they are) and most importantly a GF50 with bellows is a much much better solution all around and is probably not that much more expensive....
680 systems are coming up in price again with film making a comeback and that would be the only reason to shoot with one.....the old backs that you might somehow find an adapter for/with just dont compare to top FF mirrorless these days. I ended up shooting first with rolleiflex and then with mamiya RZ and 645 with phase backs, it worked, still clunky and depressing every time you look into the finder to see the crop (even worse on 680) ...
good luck...i would love to hear if/what you will come up with....IMO, shoot film with 680, digital with FF...or get a GF system with bellows...
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wagabundo

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2019, 05:33:53 pm »

I'm always looking for unique look directly from camera, thats why I was thinking about gx680. There are few solutions now to make sync quite easy (Oneshot from Captur group or ent to end custmized gx680 on ebay). BUT to find some photo from this camera in setup I'm looikng for not so easy to find :)

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photo570

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2019, 09:51:58 pm »

Hi there,

www.shoot.co.nz

There are many shots on there, most studio shots were done with the GX680III. I have three of them, and use it as my main studio camera, with a Leaf Valeo17wi or a Leaf AptusII5. I have both the modified one from eBay, and a Capture Group adapter.

pschefz is talking rubbish. This is one of the best studio setups ever.

"You will pry it from my cold dead hands" is an understatement.

I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Kind regards,
Jason Berge.
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Ken Doo

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2019, 08:55:26 am »

There are much easier ways to shoot medium format digital than using an old film based platform as the GX680---and I do believe that is what pschefz was trying to get across.

Technology moves on.  And the options for shooting in studio and on location with medium format digital have improved greatly.

Ken

photo570

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2019, 03:25:31 pm »

Hi Ken,

I appreciate that pschefz was making his point. My point was that he made several assertions that were not correct.

"modern backs definitely do not work with the 680." This is 100% just plain wrong, you can use just about any modern digital back on a GX680, with the possible exception of the very latest Phase One IQ4 due to the very tight integration with the XF camera (so much so, that they no longer offer it for any other mount).

".or get a GF system with bellows" a bellows gives you close up but no movements. I think he may mean a Cambo ACTUS-GFX, which is not a simple bellows, and about $2800.

I agree there are many options to shoot medium format digital that are "easier", but there are none that offer the unique combination of features of the GX680. If I am shooting on location, and I want to use medium format, I would use my Hasselblad H with a digital back. Much more appropriate.

But if I was shooting in the studio I would perhaps choose other equipment. I could use my Sinar P2 if I wanted movements, and I used to, but the GX680 has movements that cover most use cases, and is a SLR (although a very big one) so it is mush faster to use. So you have medium format quality, SLR convenience and Large format movements, which when you are shooting in the studio is an ideal combination.

No camera is perfect for every situation, but some cameras are perfect for specific situations. That is why I love my GX680s, remember I have three. It is also why I have several other cameras, for other styles of shooting where appropriate.

Should wagabundo get one? If it suits what they want to do, 100%. But only if it is right for what they want to do, and only they can decide that. They asked for opinions of people who have used the system and pschefz gave his and I have given mine. We obviously disagree, he states his experience is from years ago, I shot a job with the GX680 yesterday. wagabundo will make up his own mind I am sure.

Kind regards,
Jason Berge.
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pschefz

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2019, 07:21:04 pm »

i agree that the 680 is the best studio camera ever, although i shot it mostly handheld and had no problems with outside either...
i do remember the captur one shot solution now as being the only one at the time, it was expensive and not what i would consider worthwhile....i shot with the 680 for years and that with the small backs just turned the camera into something i did not want to deal with....
i was not aware that the 680 works with modern backs but IMO a modern workflow should be a little more streamlined....
the valeo came up here, that was my first DMF, really liked it, nice color but....the files really aren't comparable to any low end mirrorless these days...if i remember correctly it had a cable to battery and storage? preview on a ipaq(?) that attached to a big camera with an adapter and cables and cropped to a tiny window in the finder? i honestly dont see the point at all...
there are people shooting campaigns with early digital toy cameras, for the early digital look....this isn't even that, it would be too good for that...
i still think the 680 is the best system ever, i loved all the fujis from that time, 690, 645 folder....645 af (now that was slooooow AF!) but there are some serious things to consider with a digital workflow with anything from that time....
and really the only advantage of the 680 always was (is) the built in movements combined with the lenses....there are just much better and easier solutions out there right now IMO....
just trying to help here....
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photo570

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2019, 08:17:31 pm »

pschefz,

All the points you make are your opinion. My opinion differs, that is all.

Also you seem to be a little foggy on the details, so I will fill a few things in.

Yes you can use a Valeo the way that you described with the accessories you mentioned, but you don't have to, and I most certainly wouldn't, as you are correct, it was a very clunky setup.

In the studio I shoot with either of the Leaf backs tethered with a single Firewire cable running to an iMac, very simple, this supplies all power and captures directly to the computers SSD, the AptusII also works very well with Capture One 12.

Yes there is the crop factor, doesn't really bother me for table top work, but you seem to dislike it quite a lot.

"the files really aren't comparable to any low end mirrorless these days" that I can agree on, I much prefer the look of CCD files (and yes I own a CMOS Sony, which I also quite like) so it is once again a matter of opinion I guess.

What would you recommend as a replacement, with as wide a range of lenses and similar movements? I would be curious.

Kind regards,
Jason Berge.
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pschefz

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2019, 10:43:07 pm »

i shot with different phase backs on the RZ for years and it was always really tough to look through the large finder to see the small crop of the sensor capture....that also made it really hard to get focus...

if i needed movements right now i would go with the Cambo Actus mostly because it is future proof with adapters....
but there is also this

i don't think either is perfect, there are definite limitations but all in all the combination with any modern camera provides a better file with a less clunky workflow....

i love the 680 and i also loved the rollei 6008, and never liked the RZ much but ended up using it with the mamiya 645 because it was a better integrated digital solution for my needs....now i use sony, really like the GFX and have my eyes on the new GF100 but probably won't go that way....pretty sure the next sony will be better (again) for my needs in the end....the Actus is always a little on my horizon but with focus stacking and perspective control i haven't used movements in ages....
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Dan Wells

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2019, 01:15:21 am »

What's the shortest lens for a 680? didn't the bellows focusing, coupled with the rigid body, put some limitations on how short a lens will focus to infinity... If you're using it for tabletop photography, that may not matter. There would be a similar limitation on a bellows adapter on a camera body. A bellows (or really a view camera) that interfaced with a back directly, such as the Actus 2 DB, should take shorter lenses but, of course, requires shutters in the lenses, plus shutter control in the lenses - the camera has no shutter, nor any interface with the lens shutter.
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photo570

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2019, 03:18:43 am »

The shortest native lens for the GX680 system is a 50mm. The angle of view is equivalent to a 23mm on 35mm.

Cheers,
Jason.
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BobShaw

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2019, 04:13:39 am »

The shortest native lens for the GX680 system is a 50mm. The angle of view is equivalent to a 23mm on 35mm.

Cheers,
Jason.
Yes, but...
The problem with all digital backs on medium and large format cameras is that the back is seldom as wide as the film that it replaces.
So your 50mm becomes 50 x width of film / width of back.

It is far worse if you use a complete camera (eg, Canon, Nikon, X1D or GFX) instead of a back. Then your sensor is set way back and you need an adaptor which makes that worse. Then not only is it effectively far wider, but it won't focus to infinity. Large format cameras are for large format film for landscapes.
They are very effective in a studio with digital for product work where you can use longer length lenses.
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Dan Wells

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2019, 12:58:36 am »

But the 50mm is equivalent to a 35mm with the biggest-sensor back you could get on the 680, and closer to a 40mm on a more economical back with a smaller sensor...
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BobShaw

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2019, 12:14:53 pm »

But the 50mm is equivalent to a 35mm with the biggest-sensor back you could get on the 680, and closer to a 40mm on a more economical back with a smaller sensor...
Well I have never used this camera, but I understand that the film size was 6x8cm, hence the name.
So 80mm is a lot wider that ANY digital back. If the back has a 50mm longest side then you a much less wider lens than 50m, which is not wide to start with.
If the use case is portrait then OK, but that is a massive unwieldy camera for portrait.
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Steve Hendrix

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2019, 05:15:31 pm »

The 50mm Fuji lens becomes a 35mm with a full frame 645 digital back. 39mm if you're on the smaller 44mm x 33mm sensor, as Dan mentioned.

So ... Wagabundo, has everyone talked you out of it, yet?


Steve Hendrix/CI
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