Antarctica Voigtlander 667 or Ebony 5x4

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by jake_bryant, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. I'm having difficulty in deciding which would be a better choice to take to Antarctica for landscapes and portraits. The output size of the prints will be about 50 inches. Even though the 5x4 will be superior quality, the practicalities of the very portable Voiglander Bessa III 667 would be a advantage.
    What do ye'all think?
  2. Are you used to view cameras? Is the trip organized to spend lots of time in every shot?
    If any of the answers is "not", I`d definitely take a RF camera (but not a Bessa, I`d instead prefer an interchangeable lens option, like a Mamiya 7).
    If there will be enough time to spend taking "complex" photographs, a medium format SLR could be my second choice.
  3. View cameras I'm familiar with, but will not have a long time on every shot. MF SLR is a option, maybe a Phase One..... But the RF is so nice with Portra 400 Id take one anyway if I brought a MF with me. Nonetheless, it depends on how much better a 4x5 would be instead of a RF or MF SLR.....
  4. I'd take a Canham DLC if you want to shoot 4x5.!
  5. MF SLR is a option, maybe a Phase One.....​
    Jake, do you mean an MF SLR with a Phase One digital back? Or do you mean one of the "Mamiya 645AFD III" SLRs rebranded as a "Phase One 645AF" when the two companies merged? That's the only Phase One SLR that can take a film back. But now we're in 645 film format, moving further away from big 5x4 and 6x7 negatives and that 50-inch print size goal...even with 5x4 film that's a 10x enlargement; with 645 it's around 23x.
    Please let us know what you meant anyway, so that we can better advise you. Sounds like it would be an amazing excursion!
  6. I shoot the Mamiya 7II. I find that the quality difference between it and 4x5 isn't all that great. I basically quit shooting 4x5 unless I need movements or am doing contact prints. For travel, I take the Mamiya.
  7. Remember that you'll need a camera that will function in extreme cold. I doubt that anything with an electronic shutter would be a good idea.
  8. Ray,

    If it were to be a MF 645, I'd take both a film back and digital..... Yes the size of neg is further away from the 4x5
    unfortunately. But really I'm questioning the quality of the 67 Voigtlander as a suitable alternative to the 54. Mamiya is a
    option of course, as would be a Fuji 69.
  9. Isn`t the Voigtlander a fixed lens camera? A 80mm lens on 6x7 provide a "slightly" wide view... I`d certainly miss to have a lens that double that focal (say, a 150mm).
    If not, the easy and speed of a RF is unbeatable. With a view camera, time will be always pushing you, unless there were many other LF photographers (... I suspect most people will carry with digicams, with a tripod at best).
    Medium vs large format? Think on grain size. In the same very big print, grain size will be about 70% larger on 6x7 than on 4x5". Resolution is another topic, it will depend on the lenses, camera (and mostly on the time needed by a skilled photographer to make them work at 100%! :)
  10. A big disadvantage with film: you'll have to carry it around. Travel to Antarctica are expensive and I imagine you'll be
    wanting to get as much photography done as possible, so my vote would be for a modern medium format digital system.
  11. Ray,
    If it were to be a MF 645, I'd take both a film back and digital..... Yes the size of neg is further away from the 4x5 unfortunately. But really I'm questioning the quality of the 67 Voigtlander as a suitable alternative to the 54. Mamiya is a option of course, as would be a Fuji 69.​
    Well if you are indeed considering MF digital in Antarctica, this link is mandatory reading!
    Interesting that he reports technical failures amongst some DSLRs and compacts (especially Canon), but none among the electronic medium format cameras shooting digital or film, except for a glitch with a Hasselblad electronic lens connection. All the Phase One/Mamiya gear, and the solitary Contax 645, are reported to have worked fine. They seem to be a safe choice.
  12. Thanks for all the interesting replies.... Much to ponder and certainly digital MF is a option...
  13. My recommendation: A Fuji GW (90mm) or GSW (65mm) 6x9 and a hand held meter.
    No electronics, just two batteries for the trip, roll film is inexpensive and the lens quality is fantastic.
    I wouldn't consider to change lenses in cold climate. With 6x9 you can always crop. 6x9 is ½ of 4x5 - for a trip and even for professional use this is more than enough.
    You can print a sharp negative to 3x2 meter or 9x6 feet without problems.
  14. It sounds like a fairly epic subject and also a subject that doesn't particularly require fast shutter speeds or masses of incidental shots for that matter. In fact quite the opposite; I imagine it more to be vast, still, empty landscapes and for that reason I would take the bull by the horns and use the 4x5. Go slow and take your time with the right tool for the job. Come back with just a few beautiful, considered landscapes. Half measures avail us nothing as they say.
  15. If I did the trip I would rent a Pentax 645Z. It is weather proof, designed to operate under cold conditions, shoots up to 3fps, has a very low noise 50 meg sensor, is an all in one integrated design that is as easy to use as a DSLR, and will easily deliver gallery quality images printed 50" or more wide. It's also likely to be easier to handhold than some of the higher priced competitors and it's extraordinary ISO range make landholding practical under some conditions.
    If you are going to be in and out of rubber water craft between the shore and mother ship, with a group of people that will be constantly on the move, I think FF or MF digital is the most practical way to go. I would think you would want the capability of shooting moving wildlife as well as landscapes and I'm not sure 4x5 film provides that capability.
  16. Accidental double post

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