Student with a question

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by theumguy, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. Ok, so I'm a college student looking to get into a fairly inexpensive
    medium format system, i already have a sizeable 35mm background, i own
    2 nikon mf bodies(FE, and FG), and a FED rangefinder i got for 15
    dollars. I really like the stuff I've done before with 6x6, and 6x7
    with school cameras and i'm seriously looking into getting into a
    medium format system, for the usual switch reasons.

    I don't care at all about size, or weight, or those things, I take my
    time with everything, and if I had the money I would shoot large
    format exclusively. Any help getting me down the right road would be
    greatly appreciated.
  2. if image quality is what you seek above all else, (when i say image quality, i'm also assuming very large prints) you should just go down the large format road and get a modern lens.

    when you say "if I had the money I would shoot large format exclusively" do you mean you can't afford processing costs? are you shooting color? it seems like largeformat system would be cheaper than a used hasselblad/mamiya/etc. (you don't need to get a spectacular lens right away for your large format system)
  3. I don't care at all about size, or weight, or those things, I take my time with everything,

    I assume you want a system that you can expand, not just fixed lens camera. You do not say your budget, so I'll go by my own definition of inexpensive.

    Mamiya RB67 Pro S (SLR). About $350 for basic kit (90mm or 127mm lens), 120 or 220 back, WLF. If this is too expensive, get RB67 (it does not have safety interlocks, otherwise is the same as RB67 Pro S).

    For 6x6, Bronica SQa or SQAi (SLR) or Mamiya TLR (if you are OK with TLR). I think Bronica basic kit will be about $400, Mamiya TLR $200 or $300.
  4. "I don't care at all about size, or weight, or those things,..."

    Many think so at the beginning, but many have changed their mind soon. Depends on what you like more, studio or walk around work.

    "a fairly inexpensive medium format system,..."

    TLRs are the cheapest entry, e.g. a Rolleicord.
  5. For 6x6, get a Bronica, or if you have the money, a Hasselblad (more expensive than large format). For 6x7, the Mamiya RB67 is a state of the art machine at ridiculous price. Just beautiful, but lenses might be more expensive than Bronica. I only didn't buy one because my enlarger cannot hold 6x7 negatives.

    If you are shooting black and white, a large format camera is not all that expensive.
  6. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    did you see this camera for $300?
  7. its not clear that the WLF is also proS, and the proS finder is much better than the older one, it closes completly and you dont get the irritation from light on your face or from somewhere else reflecting on the groundglass, Iwouldnt buy with old finder
  8. wow thank you everyone for your help, I didn't think I'd get a response so quickly, but I'll look into those things, I really like the idea of a 6x7 camera, and mostly I would like an slr, a system I could get into, and continue with. I'm going to look into those options. I also guess I should tell you about what I mostly shoot, it's a vast mojority black and white, I use 125 Plus-X for almost everything, and 400 HP5+ if I really need a faster film. I shoot some color sometimes, mostly the new ekatchrome 100 stuff that kodak just came out with. Other than that, if anyone has questions that would help with their answer, email me, or just ask it on here...
  9. what is cheep for you?

    Under $100?
    Under $300?
    Under $500?

    It really will alter what you look for. For example, my main camera is still my canon SLR, but for under $100 I picked up a Yashica-mat, at $300 you start picking up some really nice camera's, as the cost of MF is as inexpensive as it ever has been. (and is a buyers market.)
  10. Hi, I just bought a Fuji G690BL with lens for $630, I reckon I did well. Perhaps having one system for everything is not possible or really practical, so I look forward to shooting with the Fuji and
    aquiring some more lenses for it. I think the deliberate style of working with a large rangefinder will be very interesting for me.
    There is much for me to learn and I enjoy reading your posts.

    Cheers and good luck.
  11. take a look at the pentax 67 - you can get into a nice used system for not much moolah these days, and they are true professional workhorses. my daughter uses a mamiya RZ67 and loves it, but it is quite difficult to hand-hold if that is a consideration. that said, i still think the hasselblad represents the finest of MF equipment - simply beautiful machines built to last a lifetime. there are lots of affordable options out there these days - take your time and put your hands on everything you can before you buy. good luck.
  12. Clear to me.... You need a 2x3 Speed Graphic with a 101 Ektar lens to start. You can get various film backs including roll 6x6, 6x9, and sheet 2 1/4 x 3 1/4. Want a portrait lens for it? Ektar 127 or 152. Or mix and match. I know a 135 Tessar is tack sharp and usually pretty cheap.
    Want to do pinhole? Mount a balnk lensboard and a piece of brass.

    And they are all dirt cheep.

    Have fun, I do.

    tim in san jose

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