Medium Format Portability

Most folks look at my medium format cameras and are impressed by the size! While I no longer own any of the really huge ones (Mamiya RB67 and Mamiya Press), the Pentax 67ii is not exactly petite! Given its resemblance to a traditional 35mm SLR, at least one reviewer called it “the Arnold Schwarzenegger of cameras”. Here in Japan it’s often referred to as “Gulliver’s camera”. And yet, here is the amazing part! The Fuji GS670 is portable by almost any standard. Yes, it is medium format and no, it isn’t 645 (the smallest medium format frame size). In fact it shoots 6×6 and even 6×7 and yet it is ever so small. First of all, it’s a folder. That means when you’re not using it the entire lens collapses into the body. Secondly, there is a noticeable absence of any big, thick grip. The camera is the same width on either side, and yes, it is easy to hold when shooting, once you get used to it.

I have a tiny shoulder bag that can carry my NEX7 and a couple spare lenses. But try and get the A77 or any other DSLR in there and you’ll probably give up rather quickly. But here’s the cool part. It holds the GF670 with room to spare. This is a really compact camera. So why not just throw it in the bag whenever I go out? Good question! And that is, in fact, exactly what I did as I headed to work on Thursday. And as I walked the streets of Shinjuku’s west side the late afternoon light was really good so I shot a roll of Tri-X.

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