Mamiya, Pentax, Contax, Rollei, or Hasselblad ?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by helinophoto, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. Hi

    I am fairly new to photography and I started out shooting digital, first with a
    Panasonic FZ10, then later with a Canon EOS 20D. After 1 year or so, I went
    over to 35mm film format and have been shooting (b&w mostly) with the Canon EOS-
    3, the Canon EOS-1V and also with a old, but mint Leica-CL coupled with a 40mm
    voigtländer f1.4.

    Anyway, I really like landscape photography, and have been doing some with the
    formely mentioned cameras, however, as I understand it, medium format is the
    way to go for that (if one does not want the hassle of large format cameras).

    So, been googeling about a bit and among other stuff, found some information of
    the Bronica RF645, which is discuntinued (and from my understanding, is not
    a "true" medium format because the individual frame is smaller than regular 6*7
    frames?). The Bronica's size, weight and portabillity appealed to me, and it
    also seemes to resemble the Leica CL "feel", alltough it is larger.

    Anyways, it's discontinued, has a default vertical orientation (ideal for
    people, but maybe not for landscape) and "smaller" individual negative frames?

    So what other _affordable_ options are there out there, the Hasselblad's seems
    to be very expensive (pay extra for the logo i suppose). I need a *easy to use*
    medium format camera, which has a good range of lenses (I like the wide <28mm
    type landscape view on 35mm), but it also needs to be affordable (alltough I
    understand that medium format is by default more expensive).

    Would it be safe to look for used medium format cameras? Seeing it is a
    typical "pro" format, I am afraid that used equipment will be worn with sloppy
    shutters and whatnot.

    Also, a real newbie question (and I am sure I can google it, but while I am on
    the subject). During the reading of reviews of the Bronica, people kept
    mentioning 120 film vs 220 film, what is the difference between those, is one
    larger than the other, or does the 220 films have more frames per
    cannister...what? :)

    I currently own a Nikon coolscan V negative scanner, which only takes 35mm
    negatives and slide film. Because of space issues in my apartment, I am limited
    to developing b&w film and then scan, I have no access to a true darkroom for
    development to paper. Does there exist a good scanner, which will produce the
    best resolution from both 35mm negatives as well as other formats? (and that
    does not cost a fortune?)

    Any tips, experiences, links and so on would be much apperciated, just give
    intput on the things you can, I don't expect that a single person can answer
    everything in this post. =D

    - Film isn't dead by a long shot imo.

    Kind Regards

    K
     
  2. If you're wanting to stick to 6x7 then the cheapest one is definitely the Koni Omega, a 6x7 rangefinder (around $150 w/90) with interchangable backs and four excellent lenses a 58, 90, 135 and 180, running in the $150-250 range except for the 90 which comes with the camera. But it is not automatic, requires a separate lightmeter and is relatively heavy.

    If you want a camera that is easy to operate, compact and relatively lightweight then that would be the Pentax 645, an SLR with a full range of lenses, built-in pentaprism, TTL metering and motor drive. It is also fairly inexpensive, a body w/lens running on Ebay or at KEH for around $250-350. Both cameras are well built, though the Konis are older and quite often need some repair of their seals and rangefinder adjustments whereas the Pentaxs are so tough they usually have nothing wrong with them. For a complete novice the Pentax would be the better choice even though it's a smaller negative.

    The Bronicas also have good lenses and are also much cheaper than they used to be but are not as rugged as the Pentax or Koni. As for 220 film it's just longer with twice the frames per roll, but few films come in it anymore so it's not used much.
     
  3. It's medium format if it uses 120 film. So the Bronica RF645 qualifies. And the negative is about 2.7x the area of a 35mm neg - that's a huge difference.

    How large do you want to print? I've found the 645 can produce superb 11x14 prints and is very very good at 16x20 (with HP5 plus film). Decide how large you want to print so that you can keep the cost and size of the system under control.

    Will you always use a tripod and MLU? Do you mind carrying a bit of wight and bulk? Then a 6x7 SLR might be a good choice. The Mamiya RZ is an excellent system - but most folks don't use it hand held as it's bulky and heavy. You could also look at the Bronica SLRs (645, 66, and 67 systems are available) or Pentax.

    for 6x6 you coould get a hasselblad or TLR. A nice TLR is probably the least expensive way to start (unless you go for a Rollei with a Zeiss planar lens). I like the Minolta Autocord because the lens is very sharp and the lever focus is easy to use. But factor in about $135 for a good CLA and look for one with a Citizen shutter as they are easier to service.

    I used to own a Mamiya 645. They are a steal right now, and the lenses are excellent. Look at KEH.com to get ideas on prices.
     
  4. You might also consider a rangefinder like the Mamiya 7 if Leica like and compact is what you
    are after. There are so many options available to you you it's staggering.
     
  5. Having used them for 25 years, I can assure you that the cost of a Hasselblad is not because of a label--of which, is smaller than the type you will see when reading this message.
     
  6. Mamiya 7II. Rangefinder-like, compact, light, easy to use, good meter, and the lenses are
    fabulous.

    I guess the Epson 700-V will be the way to go for a MF scanner. Not too expensive and a
    good resolution.
     
  7. I don't envy your search...the choices available to you are completely overwhelming. Unlike most 35mm cameras, which fall into two categories, SLRs and rangefinders, and are all very similar in overall design concept and use, the many medium format camera brands/designs available are much more idiosyncratic and uniquely individual.

    You should really do a lot more reading, and perhaps even try renting a few different models. There are a number of very good books available discussing medium format as a whole, and the various cameras/designs available. Even then, you may not find the information and advice you are seeking, and you may make several false starts in MF before you find the camera that really suits you. Many on this site have had to learn about MF by buying equipment, using it, selling it and then buying again. Sometimes it's the only way to learn.

    Everyone will probably tell you that you should first decide what format you want (6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, 6x8, 6x9, 6x12 or 6x17). That's very good advice. This will then narrow down the choices significantly. As previously stated, medium format is anything that uses 120/220 roll film (but it can also use cut film in various dimensions, but let's not go there).

    BTW, 220 film produces the same images and is the same dimension as 120 film, it's just longer (usually produces double the number of images than 120), does not have the full paper backing and cannot be used interchangeably in many cameras and separate camera film backs. If you want the convenience of using 220, so you can take more shots without reloading, then choose a camera that can either accept 120 and 220 film, or one that has 220 film backs as part of the system. Be aware that 220 film is not as available in many emulsions as 120 film.

    As for scanning...I own a Nikon V (for 35mm) and an Epson 4990 flatbed scanner which allows me to scan all sizes of MF films as well as 4x5 and 8x10. There are also a number of other reasonably-priced flatbeds out there. From all reports, the newer Epson 700 series flatbeds are supposed to be better than the 4990, and don't cost an arm and a leg. However, I'm of the opinion that you will never get the same results with the flatbed scanners as you will with your Nikon V, even with the much larger films. So, if you need the best quality scans with MF films, you're pretty much looking at spending a lot more for a MF scanner (like the MF Nikon CS 9000, and others).

    Getting back to MF cameras...

    If you want light and portable, which means hand-holdable cameras that you can carry comfortably and travel with, then stick to the various rangefinder models, and possibly the TLR designs. The Bronica 6x4.5, Mamiya 6x6/6x7, Fuji 6x4.5/6x7/6x9 (and 6x17), as well as a few other not-so-easily-found designs/brands, will be good rangefinder choices. You will find there are a lot of drawbacks to rangefinders...too many to discuss here. Good 6x6 TLRs, like the various Rolleiflex, Mamiya, and Yashica models, can also be lightweight and portable, and very reasonably priced.

    If you want full system cameras...those with a wide range of interchangeable lenses/backs/accessories...and you don't need the light weight/portability/simplicity/hand-holdability of the rangefinders, then then choose one of the various SLR designs. These usually include the Hasselblad 6x6, the Pentax 6x4.5 and 6x7, the Mamiya 6x4.5 and 6x7, the Bronica 6x4.5/6x6/6x7, the Fuji 6x8, and others. These are, by far, the most versatile of the many MF cameras.

    Given the collapse of used MF prices in recent years, I'd personally suggest the Hasselblad 500 series models and CF lenses. These used to be out of reach of many, but, these days, Hasselblad bodies/lenses/backs are a (relative) bargain. And I believe the Hasselblad stuff will provide the best combination of size, weight, portability, durability, image quality, system accessory availability, a full range of accessories, AND pride of ownership (it's more than just a name). I'm sure the Mamiya RB/RZ, Pentax 6x7 and Bronica fans will disagree...it's just my opinion.

    I'm also of the opinion that most of these SLRs are best used on tripods. Hand-holdability is not their strong suit. Nevertheless, I'm sure others will undoubtedly provide you ample anecdotal evidence of their very positive experiences when handholding a Fuji 6x8 at 1/30 second. My results differ.

    You can also shoot MF with a large format view camera (and smaller, dedicated MF view cameras) using roll film backs in various formats. These view cameras provide big advantages if you need perspective and focus control and incredible versatility. They can also be much less expensive. And you can also shoot large format film if you choose to go to a larger format. From my experience, I've found large format 4x5 cameras to be my preferred method for shooting MF regular and panoramic formats.

    If you really want to go wide, for truly panoramic landscapes, then choose one of the 6x12 and 6x17 cameras available. Linhof and Fuji make excellent models and, since they are pretty popular and rare, they are very expensive.

    I haven't even mentioned the many other MF brands/designs...like the many classic folder moldels, the various handheld, press-type, coupled-rangefinder roll film models, and a number of other exotic designs, like the Alpa.

    The choices are incredible...have fun making yours.

     
  8. I don't envy your search...the choices available to you are completely overwhelming. Unlike most 35mm cameras, which fall into two categories, SLRs and rangefinders, and are all very similar in overall design concept and use, the many medium format camera brands/designs available are much more idiosyncratic and uniquely individual.

    You should really do a lot more reading, and perhaps even try renting a few different models. There are a number of very good books available discussing medium format as a whole, and the various cameras/designs available. Even then, you may not find the information and advice you are seeking, and you may make several false starts in MF before you find the camera that really suits you. Many on this site have had to learn about MF by buying equipment, using it, selling it and then buying again. Sometimes it's the only way to learn.

    Everyone will probably tell you that you should first decide what format you want (6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, 6x8, 6x9, 6x12 or 6x17). That's very good advice. This will then narrow down the choices significantly. As previously stated, medium format is anything that uses 120/220 roll film (but it can also use cut film in various dimensions, but let's not go there).

    BTW, 220 film produces the same images and is the same dimension as 120 film, it's just longer (usually produces double the number of images than 120), does not have the full paper backing and cannot be used interchangeably in many cameras and separate camera film backs. If you want the convenience of using 220, so you can take more shots without reloading, then choose a camera that can either accept 120 and 220 film, or one that has 220 film backs as part of the system. Be aware that 220 film is not as available in many emulsions as 120 film.

    As for scanning...I own a Nikon V (for 35mm) and an Epson 4990 flatbed scanner which allows me to scan all sizes of MF films as well as 4x5 and 8x10. There are also a number of other reasonably-priced flatbeds out there. From all reports, the newer Epson 700 series flatbeds are supposed to be better than the 4990, and don't cost an arm and a leg. However, I'm of the opinion that you will never get the same results with the flatbed scanners as you will with your Nikon V, even with the much larger films. So, if you need the best quality scans with MF films, you're pretty much looking at spending a lot more for a MF scanner (like the MF Nikon CS 9000, and others).

    Getting back to MF cameras...

    If you want light and portable, which means hand-holdable cameras that you can carry comfortably and travel with, then stick to the various rangefinder models, and possibly the TLR designs. The Bronica 6x4.5, Mamiya 6x6/6x7, Fuji 6x4.5/6x7/6x9 (and 6x17), as well as a few other not-so-easily-found designs/brands, will be good rangefinder choices. You will find there are a lot of drawbacks to rangefinders...too many to discuss here. Good 6x6 TLRs, like the various Rolleiflex, Mamiya, and Yashica models, can also be lightweight and portable, and very reasonably priced.

    If you want full system cameras...those with a wide range of interchangeable lenses/backs/accessories...and you don't need the light weight/portability/simplicity/hand-holdability of the rangefinders, then then choose one of the various SLR designs. These usually include the Hasselblad 6x6, the Pentax 6x4.5 and 6x7, the Mamiya 6x4.5 and 6x7, the Bronica 6x4.5/6x6/6x7, the Fuji 6x8, and others. These are, by far, the most versatile of the many MF cameras.

    Given the collapse of used MF prices in recent years, I'd personally suggest the Hasselblad 500 series models and CF lenses. These used to be out of reach of many, but, these days, Hasselblad bodies/lenses/backs are a (relative) bargain. And I believe the Hasselblad stuff will provide the best combination of size, weight, portability, durability, image quality, system accessory availability, a full range of accessories, AND pride of ownership (it's more than just a name). I'm sure the Mamiya RB/RZ, Pentax 6x7 and Bronica fans will disagree...it's just my opinion.

    I'm also of the opinion that most of these SLRs are best used on tripods. Hand-holdability is not their strong suit. Nevertheless, I'm sure others will undoubtedly provide you ample anecdotal evidence of their very positive experiences when handholding a Fuji 6x8 at 1/30 second. My results differ.

    You can also shoot MF with a large format view camera (and smaller, dedicated MF view cameras) using roll film backs in various formats. These view cameras provide big advantages if you need perspective and focus control and incredible versatility. They can also be much less expensive. And you can also shoot large format film if you choose to go to a larger format. From my experience, I've found large format 4x5 cameras to be my preferred method for shooting MF regular and panoramic formats.

    If you really want to go wide, for truly panoramic landscapes, then choose one of the 6x12 and 6x17 cameras available. Linhof and Fuji make excellent models and, since they are pretty popular and rare, they are very expensive.

    I haven't even mentioned the many other MF brands/designs...like the many classic folder moldels, the various handheld, press-type, coupled-rangefinder roll film models, and a number of other exotic designs, like the Alpa.

    The choices are incredible...have fun making yours.

     
  9. This is what you want or, as she said in the movie Risky Business: "It's what every boy who lives on the lake wants!"
    00JmVH-34743784.jpg
     
  10. that's just the lens above: here's the kit, I hope
    00JmVL-34743884.jpg
     
  11. All I can say if WOW!

    Theres something about photography forums that keeps amazing me; The wealth of knowledge and the willingness to share to lesser experienced folks like myself. Mr Ortega, I thank you for your informative answer, the rest of you also indeed. There's enough information in this thread alone to keep me tinkering for a couple of weeks. :)

    I see that I have a lot to learn about this (thats why I'm still in research mode) :)

    I do have the book "the camera" by A. Adams where he discuss a lot of different formats and camera types, although it is easy to fall off the page when he gets super technical. I will review that book again I think, and hang around here some more and read other peoples questions and concerns.

    - I saw that I was a bit quick in posting, as I later found many threads where people were basically asking the same thing as I do in this thread, but thank you for your wealth of information anyways. :)
    (thats what happens when you check the internet at work instead of working I guess :) )

    The hasselblad remark is redrawn, as I see now that it is more to it than just a name.
    I have no problems hauling some gear around, I've been hauling my 20D + battery pack + tripod and two 6 pound super teles out and about before, a little back breaking exercise never hurt anybody =).

    As for scanner, I see that I might just have to sell my Nikon V and go for the pro Nikon negative scanner, though the price makes my ears warm, hehe! (hey it's cheaper than a drum scanner....)

    Money wise, I am ready to put maybe up to $2000-$3000 up front in a good system to be used until it starts to come apart, hopefully in the far future. (or until film isn't produced anymore at all whatever comes first). And from what I gather here, Hasselblad can probably provide the range of accessories and lenses needed as my experience with the format grows?

    I've put about $15 000 into my slr/dslr gear till now , and I've tried to keep the buying sane and sensible, so I know that photography isn't a cheap thing to deal with, especially over time.

    I'm not into this because it's cool to have a new "toy" either, but to learn, experience and grow and maybe in time even earn a buck or two, who knows. =)

    I will take the information here with me and try to narrow the search into what it is that I am going to shoot, weight limitations (if any) and so fourth, so I will end up with maybe 2-3 concrete cameras that will probably fit my profile. Right now it feels a bit like I am marching forward in every direction :)

    Thanks again for your informative answers, I will check out the past forum threads a bit closer in the future, to avoid watering out the willingness to share information on here.

    Best regards

    K
    Oslo, Norway.
     
  12. It's too personal choice.
    I can tell you mi own experience so you wont do the same mistakes.

    The first MF camera I got was a Rolleiflex 6008 integral. Superb quality but has battery and it's very heavy. For studio is perfect! IMO better than hasselblad and with the choice between Zeiss lenses and Schneider lenses. Expensive.

    Then I sell it because the lenses where too expensive and it was heavy for the photo I like, landscape.

    then I buyed a Kowa six (Hasselblad style) with some lenses for 350?. It was old and was broken after 2 rolls. I send it to the seller and never saw it again, the seller changed address and didn't feel the need to repair it or send it to me.

    I then buy a rolleyflex 2.8D at very low price in ebay. Superb quality but broken after the first roll!. Repair shooter and complete cleaning was not cheap so I decided to sell it. I "only" left 50? in that operation. Compared to nothing as with the kowa it's not bad.

    I then went for a Hasselblad 500 C/M. Superb quality too but I just didn't like it, after the the rolleiflexes it had a cheap feel (this is just my opinion please don't cut my head), just as the Kowa, well not as mach as the Cowa. Besides after the rolleiflex 2.8D I liked a lot the lack of mirror and shooter vibration, no tripod needed!

    So I finally got my Mamiya 7II wich just meet my needs: NEW, well built, no mirror, lightweight, super sharp lenses for landscape detail, no tripod (It's always better to have one but just as it was a 35mm camera, not the same need as with other MD cameras), and bigger negative. Sublime 43mm super wide angle for landscape!.

    My advise is to avoid old cameras, they seem bargains but you depend on luck. Also buy something you are shure to use a lot, not too heavy if you plan to walk with it. I use the M7 as I use mi 35mm, I just grab it geting out of my appartament (BTW It is possible to make a good darkroom in a litle bathroom of an appartament). I can forget about close or macro photo but the fact is that I use it almost avery day, I couldn't say the same about the others I had.

    Also the Pentax 67 (6x7 neg) is liked for landscapes. It is a SLR like a colosal 35mm look. Yes it is an SLR but have the mirror and shooter vibration litle downside (between 1sec and 1/125 some users report unsharp results) so you need an equal colosal tripod.

    The choice is long but tell you something, large format is even worse to choose so forget about view cameras with 120 backs because then you will go around and around for months!
     
  13. Personally, whatever format you choose to go for I would recommend to go for an SLR. Rangefinders are handy if you are weak and feeble and can't carry the heft of and SLR up the mountain but you won't be able to use certain filters (grad. ND, PL) very well. The fact that grad. NDs are almost impossible to use on a rangefinder camera makes it a bad choice as a single, serious landscape camera.

    As for format, I would stay away from square unless you like taking square landscapes. Some people like squares and some don't. Its all a matter of preference. I would also stay away from 645 since I find it a bit too small still and if you are going medium format, you might as well go all the way! So that leaves 6x7 and up. If you like panoramics, then 6x12 or 6x17 is nice. Good cameras in both sizes are available even if they are expensive and more like large format cameras in use. 6x8 is a weird format which as far as I know, is only supported by Fuji and their 680 series of cameras. 6x9 is oversized 135 basically and there are a few cameras around but not many. This leaves 6x7, which is for me the perfect size. Big negative and good availability of cameras. Plus nearly all cameras in this size are cheap!

    Personally I went for the Pentax 67II. This camera has one of the biggest system of lenses of any of the camera makers. From fisheye to monster teles. Plus the lenses are a lot more affordable than most. The lenses are maybe not up to legendary Hassy glass but I'm sure there are people who would beg to differ. The best thing is that it is easy to use. It's just like a big 135 flim SLR.

    The other main choice is a Mamiya RB/RZ67. These are big though and more suited to the studio.

    Whatever camera you get, you will need to factor in a good amout of change for a decent tripod and head. MF landscape requires a solid tripod setup to get the most out of it.

    As for scanners, I don't know! I heard the Nikon line was a good bet but they are expensive!

    Well, have fun deciding!
     
  14. MF is any camera that uses 120/220. if you are using 6x6fromat camera you get 12 cuts for 120 film, and 24 cuts for 220 films. but must be carful if the camera accepts 120 roll or 220 roll or both.
    in 35mm film there used to be 24cut rolls, and 36cut roll, but can be used on any 35mm films, in MF film holder or magazine but be specific for the type of roll it takes. there fore you must varify this first before loading the film. If you like Rf type camera than mamiya 7 or 7II is for you. If you want simple MF than TLR is for you. Rolleiflex TLR is very expenasive, but there are also cheepr TLR, of course all used. and if you want a versatile MF system than hasselblad is you carmera. and if you want a panorama camera than linhof, Horseman, noblex, or fuji is for you, but they are very expansive and heavy. So consider your need before deciding, from what you wrote above, I'd recommend the mamiya 7 or 7II.
     
  15. I love medium format, but I'd suggest you take it slow in choosing. As you study, there's nothing stopping you from making landscape photos with your 35mm gear. Pick a top quality slow speed film, hopefully a tripod if you want to get more into the deliberate feel of the serious landscape shooter, and make an effort to learn the genre. After some experience you'll have a better sense of the kind of shot you really like to make, and this will help guide you to larger equipment that is right for you.
     
  16. For landscape type work, you want an SLR. A rangefinder will limit you any time you want to shoot closer than about 3 feet or if you want to shoot a lens any longer than the 135mm equivalent in 35mm format.

    Pick your format (6x6, 6x7, 6x4.5, 6x9, etc), then start checking your camera options. Consider carefully as the lenses for some systems can really add-up. (Hassy, Rollei 6000)

    I scan medium/large format on an Epson flatbed scanner. I keep my film scanner around for 35mm and I suggest you do the same.

    My choice is 6x6 - I often print as a square and I like the no fuss vertical/horizontals.
     
  17. My .02 cents as a landscape shooter and owning just about every format. Great photographs, including landscapes, have been taken with every format. It really comes down to the following; What you feel is better in your hands. Need for DOF preview or movements for city architecture. Lens choices, availability and cost. Pack weight and size that would entice you to pick it up and actually use it. Your required output size and lastly what are you trying to sell if anything?

    I've read of people who hike all over with RB camera's and of course know of others that use pretty full 4x5 systems as professionals out in the field. Then there are those that prefer to carry as small a pack as possible while touring Europe.

    Overall only you know your requirements and just about any mf system out there will suffice. Do yourself a favor and handle what's of interest to you before buying and only buy once. Turning systems over is a big big waste of money.

    My preferences for true landscape, take your time photography out of the back of a car and on a hike up to one mile out would be a 4x5 or 6x9 field camera or a 6x7 RZ/RB. For touring Europe on foot or by public transport I would take a small light 6x6 SLR with one lens and perhaps a 35mm camera with one lens or a Mamiya 7 series pack. If I could carry a heavy load or if I had all the time in the world to get out in my car shooting, I'd probably pick an 8x10 and contact print.

    Luck with your decision and let us know what you wind up with.
     
  18. I guess the best thing is if there is a rental outfit nearby, see if you can rent a couple camera's to see what brands you like, as each has things that are good, and things that are not so good with each. and also a big question is do you have $200 or $2000 to spend?

    I am much closer to the $200 side, so I bought a YashicaMat TRL and then pounced on a steal at KEH on a Mamiya 645 system. But what I chose may not be what is best for you. The most important thing is that you have fun, enjoy yourself, and take great photos...
     
  19. I am very happy with my Pentax 645 but you cant go wrong with any of the cameras mentioned here.
    00Jnfo-34774284.jpg
     
  20. Not get prophetic or anything, reading your posts - it looks like a fair bet that you will eventually want a 4x5 :)

    -A
     
  21. Being this is the medium format forum, I might get booed for merely suggesting it, but you might want to also consider upgrading your DSLR to one of Canon's full-frame bodies, the 5D or the 1Ds Mk II.

    Primarily the biggest advantage that medium and large format photography offers over 35mm is sharper imagery because of the larger negative size. But the higher-end DSLRs are coming out with megapixel ratings that rival medium format for sharpness, especially the 1Ds Mk II. Also, the Canon full-frame bodies have the advantage over their cheaper breathren (as well as everything made by competitors) that by being full-frame, they function better for wide-angle shooting as they don't have the crop factor that most DSLRs do (i.e., a 28mm lens on a 5D or 1Ds Mk II functions as a 28mm, not closer to 35mm like it would on the 20D).

    Most processors can print digi-prints on the same archival paper as they do film prints now, with the same quality results, too.

    I mention this since you asked about budget options. Since you appear to have a pretty healthy investment already in Canon 35mm equipment, merely getting a new body might be a budget choice compared to investing in all new gear to support a format switch.
     
  22. I have a Mamiya RB67. It's my first medium format camera and I really like it. But remember that it is a tripod camera for the most part - if you want to do landscapes you have to have a tripod (or a very steady and strong hand). It comes with a number of view-finders and a range of lenses ranging from ultra wide angle up to 500mm. I still think in 35mm terms for the most part and so I translate back to 35mm. IOW - Standard lens for the RB67 is a 90mm lens, in 35mm terms a 50mm lens - IOW - 5/9. 5/9 of 90 = 50.
    The RB67 has 4 backs - 645 120, - 16 shots, 120 6*7 - 10 shots, 220 6*7 - 20 shots and a 70mm back - I'm not sure how many shots. "RB" stands for "revolving back" which means that if you want to take a vertical shot you revolve the back until it is vertical. It takes some getting used to but not much. The RB is completely mechanical in that it has no electronics - you will need a lite meter. I have a Luna Pro that I like very much.
    They have been making the camera since 1970. From 1970 until 1974 it was "The Professional" In 1974 they upgraded to the Pro S, and in 1990 they upgraded to Pro SD. If you go to B&H photo they always have some there and they have some excellent bargains there too and there are bound to be some on E-Bay. On a recent visit to B&H I found a new body for $800 so prices are reasonable.

    The negative is 6*7 cm and it is actually 56*69.something, IOW almost a perfect 4*5. This means no loss on prints - you can go full frame. The negative size is almost 5 times the size of a 35mm print. I use mine strictly for black and white and there is no shortage of different kinds of film. Have fun
     
  23. Hi again!

    Well, I've been reading up on these answers, as well as chatting a bit on a norwegian photo forum and pondering back and fourth.

    So, basically this seemes to boil down a bit now, since I can see that there are two very interesting alternatives that seem to be most likely;
    Those are the Mamiya RZ 67 II and the Hasselblad 503CW.
    (I do know the mamiya is a heavy beast :) )

    Why these two? Well, they are of a newer date of their respective brands first and foremost, the likelyhood of finding a mint speciment is pretty high, both systems seem to offer a wide range of lenses and accessories and seem to be very popular. (A good user base to ask/buy used from never hurts).
    Format wise I am a bit unsure still, wether to go for 6*6 the hasselblad produce, or go for the 6*7 (which really suits landscape better imo) and the Mamiya camera.

    The most important thing is that both cameras can be used with nd grads and various filters etc. The Hassel seemes to be a bit "funny" though, as it dosen't seem to come with a built in light meter(?). I do know that one is probably better off with a hand held meter, but considering my virtually non-existent experience with that kind of equipment, it would be nice to have a camera that can measure the light for me properly. (The mamiya comes with this by default from what I gather, the rotating back of the mamiya is also appealing).

    (what kind of hasseblad is shown in the above picture btw?)


    I'll keep you posted how it progresses :)

    Kind regards
    K
     
  24. To Mr. Crenshaw on the pro dslr range.

    I have considered that also, especially as the rumors at dpreview and other places now tell tales about a 1ds mkII replacement.

    The 5D it tempting, the 1ds mkII is still out of my budget unfortunately. That leaves the 5D, which still cannot rival medium format (from what I've read). Accodring to this: http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/scandetail.html a drum scanned 6*4.5 negative yields around 68 mpixels. Even at a pessimistic level, claiming he is totally off and that medium format is maybe half of that, it is still much more than any digital can produce today.

    So, for my part, a 5D or a 1ds mkII would be used for wildlife photography mostly.

    Atleast,thats how I see it at the time atleast. :)

    Regards

    K
     
  25. You can't go wrong with the mamiya RZ. I think the Mamiya is much more practical than the Hassl even if it's heavier.

    For what I see in the school you can get A LOT more from a 6x7 neg than a prof DSLR.
     
  26. Careful Knack when comparing scanned negatives to natively digital images. You're getting into apples and oranges there. For starters, a digital image shot in RAW is still an orginal image; a scan of a negative, even a very good negative like a medium or large format negative, is a copy and any time you make a copy of a copy, you lose resolution. The megapixel ratings you see on that scanned negative are reflective not of the sharpeness of the negative but of the scanner's resolution. In other words, if I've got a scanner that can scan at 68 megapixels, it doesn't matter if I start with a large format negative, medium format negative, 35mm negative or even a 110 negative, the resulting image is going to be 68 megapixels because that's what the scanner scans at. Still, there will be no comparison between the sharpness of the large format negative scan and the 110 negative scan, clearly that large format negative is going to yield a march sharper scan, even though both images are technically 68 megapixels.

    However, it sounds as if you've got your heart set on moving to medium format film. Which is cool, and I wish you the best in your shooting.
     
  27. Update:
    I think I owe you all an update since I got such a tremendous amount of good advice in here:

    After my initial post here, I spent some time checking prices on mf cameras and acanners and also the availability of film and develop options for MF film and finally concluded;
    I went for the Canon EOS 1ds mk II (new), yes, I went for a full digital option.

    After checking the cost of lenses, mf body and a nikon 9000 scanner + expenses of film and developmet (and also pondering about the mobillity/usage areas of a mf camera as well as the future prospect of the film media in the future), I really could not justify it. I did have a good L-lens setup for my 20D, which ment I only needed a new body and off I went (and I could sell my 20D and therefore get the 1ds MK II a bit cheaper than from scratch).

    From reviews, the 1ds mkII is "on par" as they say, to 4*5 MF, but can also be used for so much "more", because of it's durable build quality, AF performance, lens selection and many "perks" that comes with a digital 1 series EOS camera.

    A week after I bought the mentioned 1ds MK II, I got my first paid gig too, very convenient :) (its for a magazine located in Tokyo), I would not have been able to do the job with a MF camera for sure. (varying from moving people in badly lit conditions, to portrait sessions to journalist style "portaiture" of key people in an city environment).

    Anyway, I still thank you all for all the great advice, I wish I had a MF camera to play around with (along with a good scanner), I love film in both color and b/w. I will still be snappin some with my 1V (35mm) in the future, simply because I love the process. =)

    Regards

    K
     

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