talkin bout camerasa blog by Branden Frederick

Julian St. James & Los Gatos

Published 7 Mar 2018 – Updated 14 Apr 2018

Breaking in the GA645Zi

Fujifilm is a company that makes cameras based on crazy ideas so that gear-obsessed nerds like me can buy them. In this particular instance, I picked up on an impulse, the Fujifilm GA645Zi. This is essentially a medium format point-and-shoot camera. It has a permanently mounted zoom lens which zooms from slightly wide to just-past-normal, an autofocus mode and something that is sort of manual focus but not really, and its default orientation is portrait, a feature rarely found outside of cell phones. I'm still learning the camera, so I'll save all the gory details for a later post, but the essence is, this is a weird camera.

For its inaugural journey at my side, I ran two rolls of expired Ektachrome E200 220 through it, walking around the Julian St. James neighborhood of San Jose. Then the next morning, I ran another two rolls of expired 220, these of Portra 160VC in Los Gatos.

I was disappointed in the results. There were photos poorly exposed, some out-of-focus, some in-focus but not sharp, and a lot of sloppy composition – a particular fault whose blame I placed squarely on this camera's viewfinder and certainly not on my own shitty skills.

I am not giving up on the camera just yet, but so far I am disappoint. Below are the better photos from these first four rolls.

I recommend against opening the film back mid-roll

about Branden Frederick

I am a photographer: I have fun taking photos, and I always have.

I've had a camera in my hand my whole life, a 110 camera as a kid, and the high school's 35mm SLR later. In 2008 I spent six months doing nothing but taking photos and loved it. From that point on I've had my camera surgically attached to my hand (I lie). I went digital in the year 2000, and I came back to film in 2013. My parents tell me my photos are "nice".

bf@branfred.com