After acquiring a Fujifilm GW690II and having so much fun with it, I felt I could use a wider angle for landscapes, so I set out looking for the GSW version, which sports a 65mm f/5.6 lens as opposed to the 90mm f/3.5 lens on the GW series.
I found a GSW first series model sold from Japan (bad idea?) on eBay, listed as “Near Mint”. It did have a low shutter count, however from what I can tell from the posted photos the lens looked clear. I could also tell that the light seals were rotted away. So I offered fewer bucks and made a deal.
When the GSW690 fell in my hands, I looked closely at the lens and see there was a haze on the backside of the front lens element. With a spanner, the screw ring holding the lens element in place would not budge. Remembering an old trick I learned from an engineer I put the Fuji in a camera bag and placed that in a freezer to let it get cold slowly to avoid condensation. The ring and the lens came loose and I was able to clean it.
I replaced the light seals with new light sealing foam and set out to give it a test. Loaded with ILFORD HP5 PLUS I figured at ISO 400, if there was a light leak, it would show. On a nice overcast day, I shot a roll at Hammonasset State Park in Connecticut using a Luna Pro F for meter readings.
I processed the film in ILFOSOL 3 at a 1:14 dilution. I don’t know if it was my processing method, or maybe a bad batch, considering it was shipped during the winter and maybe froze, but the film had a very coarse grain structure. That coarseness was noticeable in the sky areas of the image. At least no light leaks.
After scanning with an Epson Perfection V750 scanner at 16bit, I brought the images into Lightroom and softened the graininess out of the sky with a mask. I also added a little bit of a vignette, and some sharpening and contrast adjustments.
Submit your 5 Frames... today
Get your own 5 Frames featured by submitting your article using this form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.
Share your knowledge, story or project
The transfer of knowledge across the film photography community is the heart of EMULSIVE. You can add your support by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.
If you like what you're reading you can also help this passion project by heading over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and contributing as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.