5 Frames - A Texas Leica In Sydney

About a year after moving to the south of Germany, I had the opportunity to travel to Sydney (Australia) for business reasons. With a stay of 2 weeks, this was an excellent excuse to give my first (before, I only had the Mamiya RB67 that I borrowed from my dad) medium format camera a run for its money: The Texas Leica!

“Texas Leica” is the nickname given to all Fuji GW690, because their looks and operation reminded people of a Leica rangefinder. Just a lot larger. Like everything else in Texas. Mine is the third-generation model (i.e. Fuji GW690III), which looks a bit plasticky, but feels and operates wonderfully. Only the built-in lens hood is a bit annoying, as it tends to tilt and get stuck when stowed away in my luggage.

Exploring Sydney was quite delightful. I adored the bay area, which is always busy with the regular ferry traffic (which is part of public transportation and may be used with the same Oyster card that is used for bus and train), sailboats, riverboats and some historic sailing ships. Sitting on a bench near the water was great for calming the mind and for relaxing a bit.

The city centre reminded me of a cross between New York and San Francisco: Narrow streets between skyscrapers and a lot of road construction. On one afternoon, I joined a couple of colleagues on a walk to Luna Park, crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The view from the bridge was nice, but it already started to get dark when we got there. Luna Park turned out to be mostly empty with only a few people here and there. A mostly empty entertainment park, but with everything lit up and running, turns out to be a bit creepy.

I love animals and tend to take a trip to the zoo when I am somewhere new and when I have time to do so. Sydney does have Taronga Zoo, which is worth a visit. It houses some local wildlife, and some from around the world, but the main attraction to me was the gorgeous view over the bay area.

Sydney was fun, my “little” Fuji was fun, and I met some interesting people there. If I ever have the opportunity to travel there again, I won’t hesitate to take it.

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