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Author Topic: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination  (Read 1750 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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IK1LBO

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2019, 04:57:59 pm »

Hi,
I read his post about the 680 and the digital backs.
I have a DB CREDO60 Mamya and I'd like to adapt it to a camera like the 680 gx iii
I ask how is the quality what is needed cables for plates or other
thanks a lot Massimo from Sicily
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BobShaw

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2019, 07:32:03 pm »

Nostalgia
The ability to pay a truck load of money for old unreliable stuff and then pay more to make it work like new stuff, but fail, when for less money in the end you could buy new stuff.
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photo570

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2019, 09:01:03 pm »

More mis-informed piffle.  :P

"Truckload of money" Actually GX680III's are quite cheap, they can be picked up on eBay for as little as $150, through to a couple of grand for a kit with several lenses and accessories.

"old unreliable stuff" I have used mine (three bodies & ten lenses) for over a decade as my main studio cameras, and in that time had one break down, which was a $300 repair, so not too bad I would say, all things considered.

"then pay more to make it work like new stuff, but fail, when for less money in the end you could buy new stuff." Yes there is some cost getting a GX680 to work with a digital back. There is the plate, about $140 on eBay. Then the conversion, again from an eBay vendor, for another $300.

More money?

There have been several people here who think the GFX100 and the Cambo ACTUS-GFX are a comparable solution, Only they cost $10,000 and $2800 respectively. Then you have to buy lenses.

Massimo mentioned that he already has a Credo60, which it a "full sized" DB and depending on what he is shooting, the GX680 may be a perfectly workable solution at a reasonable price. Certainly less than $12,800 plus lenses.

Anyway, Massimo, if you have any questions, just PM me and I will be happy to answer them for you.

Cheers,
Jason.



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BobShaw

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2019, 09:55:07 pm »

More mis-informed piffle.  :P

There have been several people here who think the GFX100 and the Cambo ACTUS-GFX are a comparable solution, Only they cost $10,000 and $2800 respectively. Then you have to buy lenses.

Massimo mentioned that he already has a Credo60
Massimo is not the OP but if he has a Credo 60 he should sell it while it is still worth something and works.
Also it is not 100MP so not sure how it relates to a GFX100.

I once went through the exercise of trying to make an RZ67 digital and for less money bought a complete H4D
The complications of synchronising flash with a back and a lens of different worlds is not worth the trouble.
You would just be mad to get one of those 4 cable capture things.

Who wants three cameras to meet your needs? My X1D which is now a very reasonable price in a kit can operate just as easily in a studio or carried in a backpack up a mountain. It is lighter and easier to use than a Canon DSLR.

But I am glad that my comment obviously bought a tear of nostalgia to your eye.
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photo570

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Re: Fuji GX680 + digital back + strobes combination
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2019, 12:25:23 am »

Sorry Bob, as it seems you are determined to be difficult, I will clarify, I referred to Massimo as the OP, as this thread has been dormant for six months.

I mentioned the GFX as it had been offered as a "modern" alternative to "old" backs by others earlier in the thread.

"You would be mad to buy one of those four cable things."

But as I mentioned in this latest post, and in earlier posts, that is no longer necessary, a simple $300 modification allows a simple one cable solution. Simple and clean synchronisation of the back and flash.

"Who wants three cameras to meet their needs"?

I own more than three cameras, but in this case it allows me to have two dedicated setups and a spare in the cupboard, so if there is an issue while I am doing a shoot, I can simply swap out a camera and continue shooting, you know, like a professional.

As I have also stated earlier in the thread, the GX680 has a unique use case, and for other types of photography there are more appropriate cameras.

I am not sure why you are being such a "jerk" about it. It is obviously not your cup of tea. Massimo asked, and since I have over a decade of experience using this system, (no nostalgia here, I shot with it last week), one you have yourself have said you have never used, I am happy to provide information, which you seem to take as an affront.

Seriously why the attitude?

I am not sure why you are so opposed to anyone else using it, or even people providing accurate information for those that ask about it.

Just odd. :o
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