Cost of Medium Format Film

Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by Horace, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I'd look into a low-priced twin lens reflex as a good compromise between price, portability, and the likelihood of the camera actually taking 120 rollfilm AND having a functional shutter and a properly working film advance system, along with the camera actually being a decent shooter. Yashica-Mat 124G, or a somewhat newer Seagull would likely, either one, to be in working shape and priced so that the car break-in will not be devastating.

    LOVE that double Chrysler building shot, Leonore....wow...what an awesome shot!


     
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  2. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I = Instant, B = Bulb - at least that's my understanding. Instant as in, take the picture now using a particular shutter speed rather than use the timer. Bulb as in use an old bulb style cable shutter release to hold the lens open for long exposures. Or sometimes the camera was marked T for Time, same thing, long exposures (I guess Time meant how much time you wanted to spend holding the shutter open).
     
  3. Horace

    Horace TPF Noob!

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    I think the lens quality is important to me. Yes this is partially supposed to be a learning exercise for me but the results need to be easily noticably better than what I get with APS-C digital. Otherwise it would feel like a big waste of time afterwards.

    With that said, in the lower price range, the cameras I see are box, plastic holga-ish types, folders, and TLRs. In that ascending price order. I see this folder here which seems ok but I have never heard of the brand or model.

    Zeiss Ikon - Mess Ikonta - Kanonskick & testad med film!

    Here's the translated description:
    A very nice Zeiss Ikon Mess Ikonta sold. See pictures! Has just taken a roll with it with very good results! Would like to say that all the time, even the longer reasonable. 1 sec is perhaps a little longer, but stable. The aperture works fine and the bellows is tight! Mätsökaren, which gives the camera the additional name of "Mess", also shows the reasonable distance.

    Grab a bargain a compact between the shape makers that take great pictures! Moreover, it is really nice and looks good on the shelf between the rounds photo!
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Zeiss-Ikon was a major producer of folding rollfilm cameras at one time. The Ikonta series was well-regarded and ran for many years, spanning several decades. The "Mess" series had an uncoupled rangefinder, as I understand it. The camera in question has a fairly simple, Novar three-element lens and a shutter that tops out at a rather slow speed. Expecting that this camera model will give markedly better photo quality than a modern, APS-C d-slr is, I think, kind of doubtful, really. Film needs to be shot, developed, and then scanned, and possibly printed. I think it's doubtful that a 60 year-odl, three-element lens in a folding body is likely to be able to out-resolve a modern d-slr with a rigid body. Film flatness, film curl, body alignment, lens issues...all those things could be issues with a 1950's-era folder. Not saying the photos would be bad, or garbage, or junky...but there is more than just the camera and lens in getting a film image to a viewable image, such as the scanner, the software running the scanner, and the operator who is using said scanner and software, and then the post-proicessing of the scanned image. This is whyI don't really think you'd be able to buy a 1950's folder with three-element lens and get images that are clearly noticeably better than what you could make with a modern APS-C camera and a decent, modern, multi-element lens.
     
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  5. petrochemist

    petrochemist No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    IIRC the T setting on my older shuttered lenses opens the shutter with one press of the trigger & holds it till there's a second trigger. Effectively giving the equivalent of a locking remote.
     
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  6. Horace

    Horace TPF Noob!

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    I found a local store that does development for quite a good price so I think in the beginning I will not do the development of the film, and all the steps that goes after it, myself.

    With that being assumed, what would you consider to be the entry level camera that can outdo a modern APS-C digital camera noticeably?
     
  7. petrochemist

    petrochemist No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I rather doubt that any film camera can outdo a modern APS-C digital camera consistantly. In some styles of photography large format will have a huge advantage, while in many ways the digital will have advantages.
    LF is a very different way of working, not for the faint hearted.

    To be able to beat a modern entry level DSLR in inmage quality, you're going to need a fairly good lens, and to print fairly big. Used well even a 5 year old DSLR will be able to produce prints that won't be noticably worse that medium format at 10x8 size prints.
     
  8. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If absolute resolution and image quality are the most important things, then as mentioned, either stick with digital or look for sharp modern lenses for medium-format, which results once again in the higher initial investment because you'll have to spend a lot more on gear.

    Comparing the Image Quality of Film and Digital

    (Edit: Oh, and PS - thanks Derrel! :) )
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
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  9. Horace

    Horace TPF Noob!

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    I read that article before and actually thought the Mamiya 7 did pretty well against the D800E. But if what you're saying is true, then I will just keep a Nikon F2 in the trunk of my car and call it a day.
     
  10. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yup, the Mamiya 7 did very well, but it's also a couple of thousand dollars to get one. If you're looking for similar image quality, you can probably still get it from a cheaper camera, but it's still going to be several hundred dollars at least to get into, for example, a Mamiya RB67, or Pentax 67. And as Mike said a few posts back, Hasselblads are known for their quality and great lenses, but again, they cost more, too - hundreds into thousands for a system.

    And then you're also talking about a kit that you don't want to just leave in the car. If you're just looking to have a little fun with film and experiment, then as you say, just pull out the F2 sometimes, or buy a cheap folder or TLR to play. In the meantime, save your money if you're still interested in trying medium-format in a more serious way.
     
  11. minicoop1985

    minicoop1985 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I can't recommend the Mamiya RB67 enough. They weigh a metric f*ck ton, but they're DIRTY cheap and provide incredible image quality for how much they cost these days.


    Mamiya RB67 Professional Medium Format Film Camera


    $135 plus shipping. Can't go wrong there.
     
  12. Horace

    Horace TPF Noob!

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    What's wrong with leaving a RB67 in the car in an air tight box?
     

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