Any suggestions? confused what camera to buy

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by debejyo, May 8, 2009.

  1. I am very confused. I plan to get a medium format SLR which has interchangeable film back. I have been shooting Yashica TLR and my love of 6x6 format is inclining my choice to Hasselblad. However, the lens collection for film hasselblad is not good. I am looking at getting a super wide and a super tele lens. Any suggestion regarding which system I should consider? Also, I adore systems which do not need battery in any form (well, metering purpose is fine).
     
  2. Indeed the Hasselblad V-system is rather limited with lenses ranging from 30 to 500 mm only (not including converters).
    Ulrik
     
  3. Hasselblad lens choice limited? I don't think so!
     
  4. Oops, sorry, I forgot that irony does not work in an english-speaking forum. Of course the Hasselblad V-system is the most comprehensive ever made.
    Ulrik
     
  5. Super wide and super tele don't really exist in the medium format world. You can get down to 23mm on a view camera, but that's not an SLR. Widest on SLR is 28mm. Longest I've seen is something like 500mm, but that was on a different platform to the 28mm.
    Have a look at the Rollei 6000 series. It's also 6x6 (or 645 if you want) and more sophisticated than the Hasselblad.
     
  6. Limited choice for under $500 maybe! But my experience shows that Hasselblad lenses are as good (if no better!) than Rodenstock or Schneider for LF.
     
  7. You can get down to 23mm on a view camera, but that's not an SLR. Widest on SLR is 28mm.​
    Uh, the RZ67/RB67 have an 50mm lens, which is equivalent to 25mm. Then there is also a 37mm fisheye. The Pentax 67 also have 45mm (rectilinear) and 35mm (fisheye) lenses. Even in the lowly Pentacon/Kiev-60 lens line-up there are rectilinear 40mm lenses (24mm equivalent).
    A super telephoto lens is not very convenient as it is super-large and super-heavy. The longest I know of is a 1000mm mirror lens for Pentax 67, but there is also a rare and super-heavy fast 800mm f/4, an modern 800mm f/6.7 and a 600mm f/4 for that system.
     
  8. The Hasselblad is a good choice - a compromise between format and portability. The availability of used lenses and accessories is phenomenal (if not exactly cheap). The quality is without equal.
    Medium format photography is centered on image quality with lots of detail and tonality (compared to 35mm). A 40mm lens is considered "extreme", with a price to match (even used). At the other end, anything longer than 250mm is "extreme", and seldom used. That's comparable to a range of 25mm to 160mm on a 35mm camera. You can get a decent zoom lens for a DSLR that spans that range and more. On the other hand, an useseable 4x5 kit might consist of a 90, 150 and 210 mm lens.
    Personally, I don't find this limiting. It's a different camera, a different medium, with a different purpose.
     
  9. If Hassy lens line up does not satisfy you, I am wondering which kind of pictures you are taking. In my opinion, medium format system is for fine art photography, such as landscape, portrainature, architecture, still life, etc. It is not ideal system for action, photojournal and wild life.
     
  10. For me, the price/quality/value winner for a 6x6 SLR system is Bronica--no surprise.
     
  11. Thanks. Bueh, for mentioning the P6. ;)
    While I could never recommend a P6 system for a working photographer, those of us who have them love them in their own gritty and hesitant way.
     
  12. Thanks for all the responses. I think I am wrong with most of my gestures, but let me see....
    I personally prefer Hassy. No complaints on the wide (I have seen 40mm which I think is wide enough). However, on the tele side, the 300mm looks like only for the digital (H) system (please correct me). I checked B&H for availability. I have not got to the price because they will be collected as and when I have the money, but I want to start with the right system. Actually, I wanted to do some wildlife with medium format. Thats why I got bored of my Yashica TLR.
    Just in case, I wanted to mention that I prefer the 503CW model. I don't like to depend on batteries. I like the option to have both (yes and no to battery need).
    Thanks again.
     
  13. On the tele-side, there are two different versions of a f/8 500 mm lens that can be used on all V-Series Hasselblad bodies.
    Put a converter behind one and you'll have a f/16 1000 mm lens.
     
  14. A perusal of the KEH site reveals that you could pull out your credit card today and buy a comprehensive Bronica SQ-Ai outfit in excellent condition for around US$4,250. This would with a prism, a couple backs and eight lenses covering the range of the later model PS lenses from 40mm to 500mm (the top of the line fluorite model), including a macro, and the excellent 180mm f/4.5. This represents an outrageous value in a highly capable and reliable camera system with excellent lenses. Of course, the SQ cameras do need a battery, but they last a long time, and the electronic lens shutters controlled from the body require less frequent service and calibration compared to Hasselblad V system lenses.
     
  15. How often do Hasselblad V system lenses require service and calibration?
     
  16. Just curious, can I use the Mamiya 67 lenses on Hassy? Is that an option? I'm looking at a 100% manual system.
     
  17. No. You can only use Hasselblad lenses on Hasselblads.
    Hasselblad lenses are 100% manually.
     
  18. Q.G. de Bakker [​IMG][​IMG], May 08, 2009; 03:39 p.m.
    How often do Hasselblad V system lenses require service and calibration?​
    The answer is obviously that it depends. I have worked with full-time commercial shooters who sent in their whole Hasselblad system annually for CLA. A few others seemed to only send something for service when it outright failed, but they often made exposure adjustments based on known shutter speed discrepancies (for example, when testing revealed that the 1/2 second speed on their 150mm was a third stop off, they would just remember to compensate for it), or just made adjustments based on the results of Polaroid tests.
    A hobbyist who only shoots occasionally may not need to have his shutters serviced for many years. But it is a fact that mechanically timed lens shutters all gradually shift away from proper calibration with use over time. Electronic shutters are far more accurate over time, and tend to require less maintenance.
    Now, back to the more important point, which is price v. performance. How much would it would cost to purchase a comprehensive Hasselblad V system, with, say, a 503 CXi body, prism, two backs, and the following lenses: 40mm, 50mm, 60mm, 80mm, 120mm macro, 180mm, 250mm, 500mm (all in excellent condition and 1990s vintage)? It appears to me that buying such a system from a reputable dealer would cost almost three times as much as a Bronica system that delivers comparable results. Ultimately, if someone prefers Hasselblad, that's great, but Bronica is an astonishingly good deal these days. Personally, there are things I'd rather spend my money on than a famous brand name.
     
  19. I'm looking at the same. The Mamiya 7 system is nice, but if you hunt around on ebay you can find systems at reasonable prices. There was a CM body etc and 50, 80 and 150 lenses for $1500. Thats good value.
     
  20. Justin,
    The "important point" is that you 'know people who ...', etc. but don't know yourself.
    I have never experienced a lens shutter "shift away from proper calibration" in my Hasselblad lenses, either Synchro Compur or Prontor.
    If you keep using these things (which could be seen as 'maintenance', yes) they go on working accurately until indeed something fails (which happens perhaps once in 20 - 30 years. Perhaps not at all.).
    No worries! ;-)
    Another important point is that price thingy. Bronica may cost less. Yes.
    There is also a reason why. Why, also, it was not the #1 choice.
    (Part of that is in the "comparable" thingy. More in particular the outcome of the comparison. ;-) )
    Does low cost make up for that?
     
  21. I think I have been well directed by you all. Yes, KEH survey gave me 350 and 500mm lenses for the V system. My problem was, BHphotovideo did not have these items in their list. Actually, I have not seen the 500mm lens in the product list under the V system in hasselblad.com
    Are these available new at all? Not that I'm buying tomorrow, but just curious. (You know when you think about stuff, how you feel. Excuse me for that!!)
     
  22. Hi
    Apologies for piggy backing on this thread. I am also in the market for an medium format SLR system. I'm looking for one that does not have an electronic shutter as I like doing exposures of several minutes. I was thinking of RB/Z 67...
    Any ideas?
    James
     
  23. Many electronic shutter 6x6 and 6x7 MF SLRs offer simple and effective mechanical solutions for super-long exposures without draining the batteries. Among them are the Mamiya RZ, Bronica SQ series and GS-1, and Pentax 67II. I do mechanical exposures of several minutes with my SQ-A all the time.
     
  24. Q.G. de Bakker [​IMG][​IMG], May 09, 2009; 04:01 a.m.
    Justin,
    The "important point" is that you 'know people who ...', etc. but don't know yourself.​
    I have a great deal of industry experience, and really don't need to be lectured by someone who presumes to know what I do and don't know.
    I have never experienced a lens shutter "shift away from proper calibration" in my Hasselblad lenses, either Synchro Compur or Prontor.
    If you keep using these things (which could be seen as 'maintenance', yes) they go on working accurately until indeed something fails (which happens perhaps once in 20 - 30 years. Perhaps not at all.).
    No worries! ;-)​
    Others have had different experiences.
    Another important point is that price thingy. Bronica may cost less. Yes.
    There is also a reason why. Why, also, it was not the #1 choice.
    (Part of that is in the "comparable" thingy. More in particular the outcome of the comparison. ;-) )
    Does low cost make up for that?​
    Let's see.... reasons Bronica costs less:
    1) When new, because of lower labor costs, more efficient manufacture, lower materials costs, less investment in marketing.
    2) Today, it has a great deal to do with the fact that the people who actually used Bronicas – primarily professional wedding photographers – dumped their film gear en masse. Add to that the fact that Bronicas (and Japanese cameras in general) were never fetishized by gear collectors in the manner of Leicas and Hasselblads.
    The real difference in results is minimal, and many over the years have said that they can't see the difference between chromes from Hasselbland and Bronica SQ cameras with PS lenses. The difference in results in real world application really isn't significant from a practical point of view. It is a well established phenomenon that a lot of photographers like to think they own "the best," (for which they often use the justification that they want to know that they can blame any image faults on themselves rather than on inferior gear), but the practical advantages of using "the best" are virtually nil. The fact is that Japanese MF cameras make images every bit as good as Hasselblads, and in any case it is the photographer that matters, not the camera.
     
  25. I have a great deal of industry experience, and really don't need to be lectured by someone who presumes to know what I do and don't know.​
    Oh, but it is quite apparent that you do.
    The fact is that Japanese MF cameras make images every bit as good as Hasselblads,​
    Absolutely. But even you acknowledge that Bronicas are not those Japanese cameras that do.
    and in any case it is the photographer that matters, not the camera.​
    So why don't we all use Dianas or Holgas?
     
  26. Q.G. de Bakker [​IMG][​IMG], May 09, 2009; 09:09 p.m.
    Oh, but it is quite apparent that you do.​
    My, but aren't you the arrogant, patronizing jerk.
    Absolutely. But even you acknowledge that Bronicas are not those Japanese cameras that do.​
    For the record, in my experience, Bronica SQ-A and SQ-Ai cameras with PS lenses deliver results that are indistinguishable from Hasselblad.
    So why don't we all use Dianas or Holgas?​
    Don't be a prat. You're talking about apples and oranges.
     
  27. Debejyo,
    The bottom line here is to find a system that works for you and go make photographs with it. Don't pet it, don't drool over it, don't wear it as jewelry. I tried to point out that it is possible to get an extremely capable and versatile Bronica system for very little money, and apparently the Grand Imperial 'Blad Apologist felt his self-identity was being challenged. My apologies for the turn in tone of this thread.
    Best of luck with whatever system you choose.
    -Justin
     
  28. It's hard to compare between systems because people have different taste, preference to decide which system to use. I am sure Bronica has its advantages to appeal photographer and get work done. I started MF with Hassy and never looked back. I like Blad's for its design, its superior lenses, feeling good when using it, and above all the quality of pictures it takes. It really comes down to your own decision what to choose. Good luck for any system you are going to buy.
     
  29. Try 135 format and go for the 300mm lens.
     
  30. Ok, Paul, let me ask you: is it better to shoot 135, or crop 120 after the shot?
     
  31. Debejyo: if wildlife means getting up before sunrise to catch that early light and animals in a non-sleeping position, or discretely shoot birdlife from a hide, I suggest you follow Paul's advice and forget about MF.
    Justin: maybe QG is comparing first grade oranges with third grade ones? (first grade being the hasselblad, of course).
     
  32. Debejyo: if wildlife means getting up before sunrise to catch that early light and animals in a non-sleeping position, or discretely shoot birdlife from a hide, I suggest you follow Paul's advice and forget about MF.
    Justin: maybe QG is comparing first grade oranges with third grade ones? (first grade being the hasselblad, of course).
     
  33. I think I will weigh in on the heated debate. My main observation is that film size and choice has more impact on picture quality than the lens used. That said both contax and Hassy have a quality that results in an indefinable quality in the image that Mamiya and Pentax do not quite capture. That said the difference is small and depends on the lens compared. I have most experience with Mamiya (6x7 and 645) and some of their lenses are definately inferior but others get very close. I have very limited experience with Bronica but have generally not been that impressed except for their rangefinders. I would suggest that you should not spend more than about $2000 on a film MF system and then you should spend it over several years as you need it. The idea of spending $4250 on a used Bronica system is rather extreme and I cannot see why anyone would ever need a 500mm MF lens today. For shooting space shuttle launches 10 years ago the 50mmmlens and MF body may have made sense but today a godd DSLR with 300 / 400 F2.8 AF lens with image stabilization is a much more versitle tool - it enables you to handhold (with the 300mm) and shoot fast moving targets. I actually have the 300mm F6.3 for the Fuji GX680 III and can't remember the last time I used it. Just to further expand the Hassy / Bronica debate - have either of you tried the Fuji. The GX680 lenses are remarkable (they make the Hassy glass these days) and with the front lens movement and a 6x8 negative the GX 680 produces incredible images - the 180 F3.2 is possibly the best lens I have ever used. By the way I am not recommending the Fuji GX680 as a general purpose MF camera as it is very heavy and slow in use.
     
  34. It's best to just buy a system and then drink the kool-aide that your system is the best. That way you won't be tempted to change, and you can annoy people who have chosen different gear.
     
  35. Philip: I like your 'indefinable quality'. Nothing wrong with a bit of magic. I would happily allow the Rolleiflex (2.8 lens) to join the contax and hassy on your list. And from all my hassy lenses, I find the 60/4 the most magical: half a century old, uncoated but providing definition, contrast and that feeling of roundness or depth (by lack of better words) like no other. Call me idolizer or fetishist, I will still admire and enjoy the mystical quality of some glass.
    Robert: Relax, some of us like poking a bit of fun to spice up the thread. No ill feelings intended!
     
  36. Jean-Marie sorry I forgot Rollei, I have only used the 6006 a couple of times but was very impressed with it. On your comments on the mystical qualities of some glass I completely agree. Unfortunately I think that the move to digital and mass production is killing this quality. My wife's Contax G2's for example have a quality that my top of the range Canon EF glass cannot match. The good news is that at the moment much of this glass can be picked up very cheaply. In 35mm the Contax lenses (both SLR and G series) are remarkable (as is Leica but they are still expensive). In MF Contax, Hassy and Fuji (although it is rare) also offer remarkable bargains. To Robert's point I was deliberatly stirring the pot for amusement and inteneded no offence. Over the years I have owned Mamiya 645 / 67, Hassy 500 series, Fuji 680s and for a brief period had a Contax 645 which I regret selling. My main point was not to criticize Bronica but to suggest that someone wanting to get into MF (Debejyo's initial question) should probably not spend over $4000 or buy a 500mm lens to start off with. I would suggest that he choses a system and starts modestly - building it up over time.
     
  37. Just one thing.
    As far as I know, Carl Zeiss made a collection ot twelve lenses for the Rollei SL 66 series. The shortest was (or better said "is") a 30mm and the longer is a giant (and heavy, and rare) 1000mm, the "Tele-Tessar" 8/1000.
    I saw two for sale at the web, one from KEH and another at e-bay.
    One fellow I know, who sold me my SL66, had one of this that Tele-Tessar's. He received it from his father who used it -as he told me- in spy activities here in my country in the 70's!!!
    I saw photos of the lens and it looks in -cosmetically- in very good shape, in his aluminium box. Since it's not in use for the last 20 years, it probably had some fungus.
    He's selling all his father equipment -you know, crisis- another SL 66 (not working, but probably nothing bad, again, 20 years unused), the lens and an Uher open reel recorder (to spy telephone communications!). He sold me my SL 66 for less than u$s 200 so, if somebody is interested, I can gave him his e-mail adress.
    He knows that the Tele-Tessar isn't cheap, but he probably will hear sensible offers.
     

Share This Page