The Fujica GW690 Professional is the first in a series of nine leaf shutter fixed lens rangefinder cameras manufactured by Fuji. This particular model was the last to bear the Fujica name, and the models that succeeded it were simply referred to as Fuji. The Fujica GW690 is a 6×9 medium format camera, and uses 120/220 film. The camera was released in 1978, and is sometimes referred to as a “Texas Leica” because it is similar in size to a Leica rangefinder camera.
The Fujica GW690 doesn’t offer interchangeable lenses or film backs, which is unique since previous Fuji models and competitors offered such features as standard options at the time. It is believed that Fuji opted to use a fixed lens on the Fujica GW690 because it would reduce the weight of the camera by eliminating the lens mount. Lenses with focal lengths other than 65mm and 100mm were not big sellers, so low sales may have also contributed to Fuji’s decision to use a fixed lens. Reliability was important as well, as the camera was very popular with companies that photographed groups at tourist destinations.
The Fujica GW690 is all manual, so there is no light meter and it doesn’t require a battery. The camera has a cold shoe for holding an accessory such as a flash or external light meter, but there is no electrical connection. The rangefinder window is round instead of rectangular, and there is a film reminder slot on the back of the camera. Although not uncommon today, the Fujica GW690 has curved sides on the front of the camera to allow the shooter the comfort of a grip.
The Fujica GW690 features an EBC Fujinon 90mm f3.5 lens. The lens has five elements in four groups, and a 37mm filter thread. There is a three digit shutter actuation counter on the bottom camera so the owner will know it requires maintenance (the user manual recommends service at 5,000 shots). The camera also features a switch for selecting either a 4 exposure short 120 roll, 8 exposure standard 120 roll or a 16 exposure 220 roll of film. A great camera that offers the quality of a medium format with the ease of a 35mm rangefinder!
Click HERE to view the Fujica GW690 Professional on the KEH Camera website.