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The Fuji GA645ZI First Roll

I bought a Fuji GA645ZI. It's a medium format (645) with auto focus, a 55-90 zoom lens and the best part... it's made of plastic. Not Holga plastic but it has it's fair share. The price of this camera is exponentially more expensive than a Holga which brings us to the light leaks.

The GA645ZI is the real deal. It is not a lomo camera the lens on this camera is amazing, let me repeat that, amazing, and it is love after only one roll. The lomo LCA+ and Holga are manufactured with lens limitations, which is fine, but recently, I've started to long for a medium format camera that is light and easy with exceptional lens quality. Well it was delivered on Friday, and I eagerly took it out on Saturday night for less than an hour.

Why the rush? It's a given that on Saturday night in the city there are people, but when there is a Tigers game (I didn't check) downtown Detroit turns into a mini New York. It was packed! The people were everywhere. Both of our major sports stadiums are literally side by side, and across the street? The theaters; everything is concentrated in one area. Madness. I knew before the train made it's final stop that it was going to be a quick get the test images and get out.

My 120 test roll of choice was Cinestill 800 pushed to 1600. Cinestill 800 is an excellent film because it literally makes your images look like film stills. Every time I push this film it holds up great. My only goal on Saturday was to make sure that I had a working camera so I wasn't looking for lightening in a bottle. The people pictures that I quickly snapped reflect this hence their absence from this post. The beer tokens (the first image) and the Microsoft building (the fourth image) and are my favorites.

I love light leaks but I didn't expect them with this camera and I don't want them with this camera. The camera auto re-winds when the roll is done; 645 gives 16 negatives which is roughly the size of two 35mm negs. I noticed that the roll was fat when I took it out of the camera. This could be the culprit; I hope. I'll know more after the second roll which will be shot next weekend.

Most medium format film cameras are termed vintage or classic. With this in mind I did my homework. The GA645ZI was introduced in the late 1990s so yes, the motor is loud, which didn't shock me, and not worth complaining about. The zoom is a lever and not located on the retractable lens barrel; maybe it was beginner's luck, but this camera nailed the autofocus, at night no less, on every shot except the Cafe D'Mongos image which I'll take the blame for because it was the second quiet shot and I didn't hear the advance.

If you're looking for a serious medium format camera that doesn't require a tripod, isn't ten pounds and the size of two stacked bricks the Fuji GA645ZI might be your answer. Click to view larger; galleries and slide shows are cropped.

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