6x9 Black & White Photography

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by emilio_gonzalez|1, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. I am looking for examples of black & white 6x9 photography. I don't see anyone on this site doing such work.
  2. I think part of the reason for you not seeing much mention of this has to do with two very limiting factors.
    1.) Not too many people shoot B&W.
    2.) Not too many people have 6x9cm cameras or backs.
    After seeing your question, it made me think about this for myself. I have a 6x9cm back for my Sinar which I used quite a bit. And now that I'm shooting digital predominantly in B&W, I'm thinking of switching over to it in film also. So I just wanted to say thank you for bringing this to mind. I am now working to make this happen for myself.
    Xavian-Anderson Macpherson
  3. I should have also stated that I did use Ilford XP-1 for all of my B&W in that 6x9cm back. So it's not like I hadn't done anything with this in the past. But now I'm considering another twist on this idea, and that involves the use of transparency film for B&W. Using slide film for this task will produce very interesting results as well as pose it's own set of new challenges.
    Xavian-Anderson Macpherson
  4. Hi Emilio,
    A lot of us are using various film formats, whether in B&W or colour film. My film cameras are restricted to 35mm, 6x6, 6x7 and 6x9, with B&W darkroom development and printing, but also scanning the medium format to finish in Photoshop (Elements) and digital printing. The 6x9 gives a really nice negative for darkroom work or for digital transfer. I personally don't mind tripod use for my rangefinder 6x9, and quite often use slow B&W film, PanF 50, Acros 100 and other slow films, in order to permit good enlargement quaities.
    Many like me do not always give technical details about which 35mm or medium format camera was used, but I am sure there are a number of 6x9 users in PNet.
  5. Heres a couple both shot with the Mamiya Super 23 and 100mm f/2.8 lens on Tri-X. A wonderful camera! Flickr also has a good Super 23 group.
  6. The previous shot was focused using the ground glass. This shot is focused with the rangefinder. Can't beat 6x9cm for smooth tones on portraits.
  7. I've acquired this camera, an Ercona II, only recently and doubt it will become my primary photographic tool, but I am using it and fairly pleased with the results. I also own a 4x5 but that's way less portable and far more expensive to feed.
    I have used Acros 100, Plus-X, 400TX, Neopan 400 and HP5+ happily in my medium format gear for B&W (mostly the Acros and the 400TX).
  8. Louis, have the mamiya Unversal. Can vouch for them being great cameras. Use it when I want to shoot 6x9. I feel that 6x9 is a great landscape format.
  9. Emilio,
    Most of the photos on my Spain page were taken with a Fuji GSW690III:
  10. OK, he mainly works in colour but take a look at what S.G.Adams is up to in 6x9 on the Classic Cameras forum: http://www.photo.net/classic-cameras-forum/00Vcdf
  11. I think that one reason you can't find that many examples of 6 X 9 photography is that it wouldn't occur to many photographers to flag their on line work as specifically 6 X 9. FWIW I prefer to shoot 6 X 6 (mostly with a Rolleiflex TLR) but use my 6 X 9 (or, more properly, 2-1/4" X 3-1/4") Kodak Medalist II fairly often. I seldom print either format full frame, but crop to fit the 11 X 14 paper I prefer.
  12. Perhaps the people using boxcameras do not bother tagging their images with 6x9. You will probably need to search by (box) camera name instead of film format.
  13. I have a Soho Pilot 6x9. I don't use it often due to its advanced age, and I rarely think to mention the format when I post images, but that doesn't mean there's no 6x9 work being done.
  14. I quite like HP5 medium format film for black and white. Note that I tend to enlarge on 8x10 paper, versus anything larger. I have several medium format cameras, including RB's, Mamiya Press, Bronica S squares, and an old-style Arca 6x9. I've also shot medium format B&W using roll film backs on my 4x5.
    I've tried 4x5 HP5 black and white and didn't care for it as much. Could be various reasons, though. For one, I did calibrations on medium format and expected them to carry to 4x5. But, I was told by Ilford that HP5 medium format film was sensitometrically equivalent to HP5 4x5 film. So, go figure??? (Next step is to do calibrations on 4x5 HP5 film. Expensive, though.)
  15. Was given an Omega 6x6 enlarger. One problem for me with 6x9 and 6x7, is that the enlarger won't cover those formats. A real bummer.
  16. I have a Mamiya Press 23 which has developed a light leak, which I am trying to trace and fix. I do have some negs from the past shot on such as FP4 and Agfapan 25 and the prints are excellent. If I ca fix the light leak then I aim to get back into shooting 6x9 but if not then I may buy an LF camera which takes a 6x9 Graflex RFH.
  17. But now I'm considering another twist on this idea, and that involves the use of transparency film for B&W. Using slide film for this task will produce very interesting results as well as pose it's own set of new challenges.​
    Have a look here: http://www.dr5.com/
  18. Another vote for the Mamiya Press series, particularly the Universal. The film flatness is class leading, and the lenses are excellent. I am very impressed with the 50/6.3 and 100/2.8.
    As a bonus, it not only shoots 6x9, but also full-frame polaroids/fujiroids, which are 1.5x larger images than 6x9. Fuji FP-100B gives you beautifully toned B&W contact prints, which scan easily and compete with the best 35mm for overall resolution. MF negatives/slides will of course have more resolution than this, so why bother? Well because (1) it's fun and (2) it pushes out the angular coverage of the lenses - in 35mm-format equivalents, the Press 50mm is like a 21.5mm lens on 6x9, but an even more ultrawide 18mm lens on polaroid.
  19. I may buy an LF camera which takes a 6x9 Graflex RFH.​
    Chris, since the Mamiya Press backs tend to hold the film flatter than the Graflex ones, and since you already have Mamiya Press back(s), then I would recommend looking out for a "quick roll slider" (QRS) made by Toyo, for using Mamiya Press backs on LF cameras. The more common type is specially for Toyo-mount LF cameras, the second type is for any LF camera with the "international" graflok-style mount (pretty much all LF cameras from the past 50 years). Unless you want a Toyo LF camera, it's the second type you will need.
    They QRS are great gizmos because they take some of the pain and cockup-potential out of using a LF camera with rollfilm backs. Instead of swapping the film back and ground glass on and off, and DON'T FORGET THE DARKSLIDE!!, you just slide them left-right or up-down, and there is a built-in automatic darkslide.
  20. I have one of those very sliding backs that Ray speaks of. Mounts on a 4X5 camera and uses the Mamiya "S" curved film backs. I plan to sell it, probably quite cheap. It is in mint condition. My email does not work via this site, but I guess watch the for sale postings over the next couple of weeks or so on photo net.
  21. Ray,
    Thanks for the advice. You clearly speak from knowledge of the Mamiya Press series. The back of my Press 23 is stuck due to silicone mastic used in an attempt to stop the light leak (Aaaargh! -yes, I know, but I was geting desperate.) I still have a light leak and I suspect it is coming in via the viewfinder or rangefinder apertures in the top part of the body and then via the rangefinder linkage bushes. I am going to try to tape them up with black PVC tape and to see if that fixes it. If not, do you know if there is a common cause of light leakage on old Press 23s?
  22. at one time or another, these photographers have shot 6x9:
    mark steinmetz - fuji
    tod papageorge - fuji
    nobuyoshi araki - fuji
    william eggleston - fuji & mamiya press
    mitch epstein - fuji & palm press
    jeffrey ladd - fuji
    christian patterson - fuji
    philip-lorca dicorcia - anybody know?
  23. Of all the Mamiya MF cameras. The Press series receive the least suggestions whenever a person wants to get into MF. But, those in the know will never part with theirs. I'm not.
  24. Jack, it is a fine camera, if a bit clunky, but then so is my Fuji 6x9 (GSW690III). I liked the 65mm f5.6 lens, but what I didn't like was the camera bulk and the need to often change the light trap material lining the various film backs. I wonder how well the older lenses do, versus the newer ones that come from Schneider or Rodenstock and are adaptable to LF bodies and 6x9 backs, or to the Mamiya 7 lenses? I think my Fuji's 65 mm f5.6 is an older design (1980s?), but it allows images of pretty good resolution and contrast at f8 and smaller.
  25. I shot one roll of Rollei infrared film in a Fuji GSW690III, using it as just regular black and white film with no special filter. The photos were nothing to write home about, due to problems with exposure and composition originating behind the back of the camera. I'll try again one of these days and see if I can do better. I certainly like the 6x9 format for landscape use after decades of using 35mm slide film for that purpose.
    I also have a Fuji GL 690 with the 100mm and 180mm lenses, which I have not used yet. I've twice purchased the 65mm f/5.6 lens from KEH and both time it turned out to be the f/8 version so I returned it. This is another one of those long-deferred projects where I just need to get off my rear end and *use* this camera.], but I tend to grab my MF SLRs instead due to all the lens choices they offer.
  26. 6 x 9 from a 1930 Voigtlander Bessa: Fuji Acros in D-76.
  27. Yet another Mamiya Press guy. I have been watching this thread all week, too busy to respond. I bought a Mamiya Press Universal online about 6 months ago because I wanted a 6X9 neg. And soon I acquired a mint 65mm F 6.3 lens, because the moderate wide angle is what feels best to me. You do not see as much praise of the 65 as you do for the 50, which is said to be a remarkable lens, but it I will let you see for yourself.
    On the seals on the Mamiya back: the two backs that came with my camera had virtually no seals left, and yet there seem to be no light leaks at all. This is a heavy, industrial-strength camera. I have nicknamed mine "The Albatross."
  28. Another one, which shows the flatness of field on this lens.
  29. For all the Mamiya Press users. The best item I bought for mine is a focusing hood.(THe Model P) Enables ground glass focusing and composing. Should also add the tripod adapter, (for vertical shots). Seen those go on ebay for $150.00!
  30. I chose 6x9 to try to get better IQ than from a DSLR or 35mm. Tried with a Baby Graphic for a while, then went to Mamiya Press for easier access to newer, better lenses. I have a Universal.
    Chris, perhaps you can solve your light leak problem by just buying another body. They are very cheap these days.
  31. I always wanted to use this format of film, the first when I ordered my 6X9 horsman back for my Toyo 45 CF camera from B&H and it turned to be not 120 but 220 back, and that did hold me back as I do not have 220 films, the second time again when I ordered the toyo 6X7 back for the same camera and found it is not fitting into my camera.
    Still I look for the where I can just test the 6X9 220 back with 120 film and see what happen.
  32. I had a 6x9 roll film back for years for my 4x5 but never used it. I always felt that if I'm going through all the hassel of bringing and using a 4x5 view camera, It's just as easy to shoot 4x5 sheets. The Mamiya Super 23 is the perfect "in-between" camera. While the T-grip does give it bulk and a hard-to-fit-into-a-bag shape, it's not that heavy and the grip is very ergonomic. With the Type 3 style backs, you don't even need a grip if you want to slim down.
    The Super 23 has the speed of a rangefinder (and what a rangefinder) and the precision of a ground glass and rear movements with outstanding optics. With the back extended, I can focus as close as 18 inches with the 100mm or tilt the back to control depth. All while projecting the image on a 6x9 section of film that is held wonderfully flat. A guy can stretch his legs in a format that big. Dive right in and take a swim. I have other MF film kits but for me the future of roll film, and perhaps film itself, is 6x9.
  33. 6x9 could be the most versatile of the 120 formats.
  34. Have any of you considered using an anamorphic adapter with this or any other medium-format, to give you an expanded viewing area on the same frame size. Maybe I should have asked how many of you are even familiar with anamorphic lenses and what they are capable of? They have become quite popular among digital photographers. But they can be easily used on film which is then subsequently digitally scanned. Essentially, an anamorphic lens will compress a wider aspect-ratio into a smaller aspect-ratio. So depending on the power of compression available (2X in my case), you could have as wide as a 6x18 image in a 6x9 frame. Using simple graphic editors will allow you to then decompress the image to be viewed as it was originally meant to be.
    You will wind up saving the expense of buying and shooting with the larger film size. And 6x18 cameras aren't cheap! Yet you won't see any increase in cost beyond the initial purchase of an anamorphic adapter. It's just something to think about.
    Xavian-Anderson Macpherson
  35. I want to thank everyone that answer my question about 6x9 photography. I have been using a Agfa Record III for a while and love it. I have a youtube video about it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EzbdztoE_U
    Today I will receve a Fuji GSW690II. Can't wait to start shooting

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