ANALOGUE: Fujifilm GA645

MONDAY DECEMBER 21, 2019

Utmost congratulations to the person who led the GA645 project as it was built with decades of forward thinking in mind. It was made for Instagram because the Fuji 645 shoots portrait by default thus making things counter intuitive but my 2019 resolution is to cut down on horizontal photographs. Anyway, a roll of 120 will land you 16 shots while to load and unload is possibly the easiest for this type of cameras. This one is paired to a 60mm prime lens, should you wish for something wider, there’s the GA645w which is coupled to a 45mm also at f/4. There are also face-lifted versions that adds an i to the end of their names and zi models that have the capability to zoom.

PRO

Size & weight

Ease of use

Loading and unloading film

Decent autofocus

Reliable metering

CON

Focus noise

Only 1/400 at larger apertures

No multiple exposure

Uncomfortable strap

SPECIFICATION

Medium format film

60mm f/4

2 fps

815 gram

±RM 3000

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At a hint over 800 grams, Fujifilm’s 645 is a lightweight even compared to 35mm SLRs. Even only at f/4, parts of a person’s face is out of focus when shooting close-up. In regard to bokeh, it's of quality, smooth and creamily rendered. This alone is sufficiently persuasive to at least consider something from 645 family. Also, the metering system in this 645 has yet to get exposures wrong making it an excellent machine for slide film. Autofocus too has been reliable except the times when shooting against the sun and glass windows. Shooting 6 x 4.5 film is quite the bargain as they are nearly three times the size of a 35mm negative and digital medium format still is astronomically priced.

The most annoying part about the Fuji 645 is that there’s no shutter priority mode which is the second most used function in any camera while manual mode is largely confusing with the minimal button approach. Minimum focus distance is at 70 cm which isn’t too bad but a maximum shutter speed of 1/700 is only available from f/11 to f/22 which is good, if we live on Mars. That aside, I wish the buttons were a bit more tightly screwed together especially the knob because it does look like it’ll come off with one accidental knock.

Fuji’s GA645 series was probably made to be as simple as possible to achieving superior pictures on a larger negative. Call it a point and shoot if you want but impressive results from this thing simply cannot be ignored. Then again, if you look forward to soak into the whole manual experience, this is not something for you.

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