Fujica GL690 aka: The Beast


by Bellamy /

2 min read

A hulk of a camera, born from neccessity
Check this out…A whopper of a camera. I picked this up this week for a customer, whom I think is going to be very very happy with it. Although I don’t think the postman will be when he throws his back out delivering the damn thing.

This is the legendary Fujica GL690 Professional, a camera that was developed by Fuji in the late sixties to meet the needs of photographers who wanted the ease of use of a 35mm rangefinder style camera, with the quality and stability of a medium format film base.
At the time, Japanese commercial photographers were taking a lot of group shots (still a popular line of work in Japan), they needed a camera that was tough, easy to use, gave great quality images and didn’t cost the earth….which is where the Fujica series of rangefinders came in.
The GL690 Pro came as an evolution from earlier G690 models, being released in early 1974. The camera was given an additional release butter for vertical shots, a larger 0.92 viewfinder and the capacity to use 120 roll films instead of sheet film. There were other significant upgrades, including rubberized grips on the lenses, larger viewfinder and strengthened lugs to carry the camera (though who would want to is beyond me).

This monster weighs in at 1745g without the bloody lens! And this particular one comes with two lenses, so I am not looking forward to going to the post office.

This camera was found as part of my equipment sourcing service. You name the camera you want and I shall find it for you (within limits, some things cannot be bought for love nor money). If you need anything, contact me and I can make your camera dreams come true.


10 comments on “Fujica GL690 aka: The Beast”

    Michel August 17, 2013 at 6:36 pm / Reply

    Oh my..I want one! Do you, or anyone else, have any experience shooting with this particular camera?

    Roman December 17, 2013 at 11:37 pm / Reply

    Hi. in case you still have this camera, can you please measure the outer diameter of the lens bayonet? I am thinking of installing a zeiss planar 100/2.8 on this myself. Just wandering whether it will obscure the rangefinder window…

    Nick January 13, 2014 at 9:23 am / Reply

    Hi Michel, I use a G690 with 100/3.5 lens. Results are stunning. There is a reason they call them “Texas Leicas”.

    Ernest Lockwood January 25, 2014 at 7:48 am / Reply

    This looks like the very camera for me. But what is the price and availability of a good one, fully-functioning, with clean, clear optics?
    Kindest regards,
    Ernest Lockwood

    PS Lovely site!

    Dipu samapang Rai July 15, 2014 at 3:41 pm / Reply

    Whats the price for this one?

    Jerome January 15, 2015 at 2:31 am / Reply

    i am surprised you are so disdainful of the camera and its weight! For whaT you are getting, it’s pretty light weight. Just think of the other cameras that shoot 6×9 (Plaubel Superwide etc). This is probably the lightest 6×9 camera made and really very hand-holdeable. I shoot street with mine all the time and don’t have any problems. I feel like the article is kind of sensationalized for dramatic effect.

    Also, you got the weight wrong – it’s 1104 grams without a lens.

    jano April 7, 2017 at 12:10 am / Reply

    1140g they said in manual 1745g with normal lens

    Chris Whelan November 12, 2017 at 2:02 am / Reply

    Good looking camera and lens. A beauty. Chris

    Luis Sandoval January 15, 2018 at 2:12 pm / Reply

    I am waiting for my GM670 brick to arrive this week. The thing on top of the hot shoe, is that a light meter or a finder? Could you helo me finding it? Thanks!

    Kendall July 4, 2018 at 8:38 am / Reply

    I love reading your take on different cameras, this one especially.
    I’ve picked one up and don’t worry the weight. I’ve been backpacking a GX680 recently. The 690 feels featherweight in comparison.
    I am looking for the 50mm 5.6 and the Close Up (Auto Up) arrangement for the 100mm. Ever run into them in your travels?

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