5 Frames… With Kodak Portra 400 (EI 400 / 120 format / Fujifilm GA645 Professional) – by Shiang Liew

Written by and published on
Filed under ,

My utmost congratulations to the person who led Fujifilm’s GA645 Professional 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. Anyway, a roll of 120 will land you 16 shots, and loading and unloading are possibly the easiest of this type of cameras.

This GA645 is paired to a 60mm f/4 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 add an “I” to the end of their names and “ZI” models that have the capability to zoom.

At a hint over 800 grams, Fujifilm’s GA 645 is a lightweight even compared to 35mm SLRs. Even only at f/4, parts of a person’s face are out of focus when shooting close-up. In regard to bokeh, it’s 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.

The most annoying part about the Fuji GA645 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. 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 the impressive results from this thing simply cannot be ignored. Then again, if you look forward to soaking into the whole manual experience, this is not something for you.

~ Shiang

Want to submit your own 5 Frames...?

Go right ahead, submissions are open! Get your 5 frames featured on by submitting your 350+ word article by either using this Google form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.

This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.

Share your knowledge, story or project

At the heart of EMULSIVE is the concept of helping promote the transfer of knowledge across the film photography community. You can support this goal 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 personal passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and giving 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.


EMULSIVE interview #214: I am Ejatu Shaw and this is why I shoot film

Travelogue: People of Myanmar, the Kayan and Kayah…


2 thoughts on “5 Frames… With Kodak Portra 400 (EI 400 / 120 format / Fujifilm GA645 Professional) – by Shiang Liew”

  1. Great Review! I have the Fuji GA645Zi becasue I wanted a ‘point and shoot’ medium format camera. I mostly use it for stret photography. Fuji made some wonderful film cameras back in the day.


Join the discussion