Medium format camera with portrait lenses

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by john_horvath|1, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. I've been using a Mamiya 7 for a while now, and it's a great camera, but it doesn't have any portrait lenses in the classical sense. What other medium format camera would you recommend, that has lenses for shoulder/head or tighter face portraits?
  2. Does it have to be a rangefinder type medium format film camera? In that case the options would be (very) limited, only (interchangable lens) option I'm aware of is the Bronica RF 645. Hasselblad admittedly has the X1D, but apart from the very limited availibility, it IMO still very much/too much in the trial phase to be taken serious.

    If however you don;t mind a SLR type medium format film camera there plenty of alternatives:
    - Hasselblad, eg the nowadays quite 'affordable' 500CM up to the more modern (and far more expensive HxD models
    - Mamyia 645 or C220/330
    - Bronica SQ
    - Pentax 645
    all of which can be found abundantly (just like the interchangeble - portrait - lenses to go with them) offered for sale on the internet
  3. The Hasselblad 500 C and newer are all excellent cameras for nearly anything. The 150 is the portrait lens of choice in that line and a very good one. I prefer the RB67 and their 180 which is a superb portrait lens as well. It's bigger and heavier but certainly useable without a tripod and has the 6x7 format instead of Hasselblads 6x6 square format. There are also many options in 645, the Bronica ETR series, Mamiya has some very good ones and both have a good 150mm portrait lens. I've always though the Bronica lenses are superb, they just bring a special look to film. Lots to pick from and cost is very reasonable.

    Rick H
  4. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    I used the 80mm for portraits when I was shooting with the Mamiya 7, both professionally and for myself. Never had an issue.
  5. I second the use of a 150 mm lens for portraits on an Hasselblad 200/500 body. It is small, establishes good perspective for head and shoulders portraits, and focuses close enough without auxiliary lenses or extension tubes (the CF180 needs a 16 mm tube to focus as close as the 150). Since so many were made, the 150 is readily available used at a reasonable price. The 120 Macro can also be used, but may be a little short for a face shot. I use a CF100 or CF120 with a cropping (1.5x) digital back.
    Vaidas likes this.
  6. Mamiya C33(0) is an interchangeable lens TLR system with 135mm f4.5 and 250mm f6.3 and some 180mm in between. Drawback: You have to do parallax compensation by hand according to some needle in the view finder.
    As an alternative you could ponder one of Mamiya's 6x7 SLRs. These come with an integrated bellows too and have rotating backs so you can shoot with a WLF or chimney finder. Drawback: they are on the heavy & bulky end of the rainbow.
  7. I love the 80mm as well, but sadly you can't do close-up portraits with it.
  8. I was looking at the RZ67 or the RB67 as well.
  9. Just make up your mind if they'll float your boat. - Mine might sink since I am usually backpacking my gear on 2 wheels. Pentacon Six (& Pentax 67 probably too) are out since they will not focus close enough without additional tubes. My 120mm (on P6) ends at almost 1.3m, tight headshots impossible. The Technika would focus close enough but the Linhof system finder with mask frames pesimistically and relying on the groundglass would be slow.
  10. Another vote for the RB67 and 180mm lens for portraits.
  11. The suggestions could be endless. Just about any medium format body with a 100-200mm lens will work.
    My favorites are my 135mm f4 PS and 180mm f4.5 PS for my Bronica SQ-A, both of these lenses focus closer than 3'. For 6x7 I like my 150mm f4 PG and 200mm f4.5 PG for my Bronica GS-1. I prefer working without a tripod and the mobility of a 6x6 SLR, I can work at any angle and get there quickly.
  12. Pentax 67 with the 165mm f/2.8.
  13. People (including me) tend to be biased based on what they know and use.

    I went Hasselblad, and my choice of a H&S portrait lens is the standard 150. A tight face may want the 180 or even 250, depending on how TIGHT you want. For H&S, between the 150 or 180 depends on your working distance, and affording the extra $ cost of the 180.

    But it also depends on your style.
    • If you move around and hand-hold the camera, then a lighter camera; 6x6 or 6x4.5
    • If you shoot from a tripod, then the heavier RB67 is not a problem.

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