Fuji G617 Review

January 13, 2009 ·

Michael Reichmann

Fuji G617

Fuji makes some strange and wonderful cameras.  Among these is the Fuji GX617.   (I have the older "G" model, with a fixed 105mm lens).  Using 120 roll film, the 617 takes a frame 2.25" wide by 7 inches long.  Essentially, that’s half of a 5X7" sheet film!  Remarkably the camera can be hand-held, though you wouldn’t want to.

Fuji 617

The image height to width ratio is 3:1.  (Click here for a discussion on aspect ratios). Also, only 4 pictures can be made per 120 roll and accurate framing isn’t easy unless a ground-glass is used, (only when the camera is empty of film, of course).

Rocks and Cactus - Jushua Tree

Joshua Tree National Park — 1998

The Fuji’s wide 105mm lens (there are 90mm, 105mm, 180mm and 300mm lenses available for the GX)‚ needs a 2-stop centre ND filter to provide a completely even exposure field.  The shot above didnotinclude its use and you can see the subsequent darkening of the upper left and right hand sky.  I should have used it.  Photographs of scenes without areas of clear sky seldom require its use.

Shenandoah Sunrise — 1998

A more critical issue with the Fuji, as with all wide-format and panoramic cameras is that they must be positioned absolutely level. Anytilt whatsoever will ruin the photograph.  The Fuji 617 has built in bubble-levels for this purpose.

Guest Photographer Alain Briot uses the Fuji 617 as well. A portfolio of his panoramic images can be foundhereand an essay on why he uses theFuji GX617panoramic format camera can be foundhere.

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Michael Reichmann is the founder of the Luminous Landscape. Michael passed away in May 2016. Since its inception in 1999 LuLa has become the world's largest site devoted to the art, craft, and technology of photography. Each month more than one million people from every country on the globe visit LuLa.

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