Doubts with Mamiya 7 ii + 150mm lens (also 43mm)

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by manueljenkin, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. manueljenkin

    manueljenkin TPF Noob!

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    After researching myself for long (earlier was looking at GH5), I have started saving up and am searching for a mamiya 7 ii with 43mm lens and 150mm lens, and waiting for a decent deal to pop up on them. Even with my phone, I always use manual focus,shutter speed and white balance when I'm in the mood to take photos so I don't really think manual control would be a problem for me. I always keep ISO at 100 on my phone and compensate it with long shutter exposure. And I have pretty stable hands, can manage upto "4 seconds exposure handheld" on my oneplus 3 (it has some minimal OIS helping me). Going through technical details of camera sensor electronic filters and software filters, I'm convinced that I'll be getting better results on film then scanning than any affordable camera can.

    Some of the photos I took on oneplus 3. The one with rocks on the beach was a 4 sec handheld (has some minor shake when viewed full screen). And the dog is a 2 second handheld taken at around 5AM.
    manueljenkin0

    I also like long exposure when it feels fit, or to compensate for my phone's shortcomings in low light without bumping ISO.

    My interests are street photography, travel photography (beaches, mountains, buildings etc), and portrait (of friends, family and pets.. mostly full portraits, not a lot of close up ones). My most favourite focal length used to be Full Frame 28mm with a fairly wide aperture, since it has a magical feel that draws you to a point in the image. After seeing the 43mm lens image on a 4 times as large illumination area, it's even more amazing (even with lesser f stop, i believe its f/3.5, its still has that effect) and it almost makes 28mm images look like they are trying too much in comparison.

    However I have doubts with the 150mm lens. It seems to be great for photographing landscapes, however it seems to have a minimum focus distance of 1.8m and I'm worried if it'll affect my use case. I'm not really into macro photography, but I'd like to take photos like the ones in this video, especially the one at 0.54-0.57 second mark where the subject is in focus and the walls in front and behind are blurred.



    He uses a leica m3 with zeiss 50mm f/2 lens. I'm not sure, but I guess the minimum focus distance of the zeiss is 0.7m. I'm not sure if he went close to the closest focus distance of 0.7m in this. I'd like to know if I'd be able to make shots like this (even if it requires a lot of effort, I'm willing to put it in). Is it possible to get such image if I crop in a bit (1.2-1.3x or something like that). It's not that I'd be shooting images like these all the time, I'm more into shooting the full body (like a dog playing with it's owner), but I'd love it if the camera gives me the freedom to do shots like the ones in the video as well.

    I believe the sharpness and contrast with these lens are top notch and also that the aberrations/fringing are within control. I'm not really a bokeh freak, but I'd like to know how well they do bokeh, atleast comparing to how the depth of field is on the images in the Leica M3 video. Bokeh doesn't look that special compared to the zeiss f/2 from the images I've seen but I may have seen the wrong images though as they didn't feel special even comparing to nocticron which is a Micro4/3 lens. Am I wrong on this? Or is it possible to get such an effect (or possible through cropping in?) . Its a 150mm f/4.5 I believe and to full frame equivalent depth of field it can be f/2.5 but I'm not really knowledged in how it translates.

    Some Images I found on the image that is giving me some hope (not really sure if they are really Mamiya + 150mm f4.5, and not sure if they are full or cropped). Bokeh/DOF not as effective as the zeiss, but I'm not that much bothered, since these images are tack sharp and color depth is great. If these are legit and especially if it can produce better close up portraits, I'm sold.
    Louise.
    OH
    Kelly @ Window
    Amy @ Window
    La merienda
    Arms folded
    EH
    Woolly hat
    Laces

    This photo here looks stunning (taken on mamiya 6), not sure which lens was used.
    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aJhPzyqt...beOkoZ4Y/s640/Jen-with-bike104retouced_pp.jpg
    The Visual Science Lab / Kirk Tuck: Jennifer. Triathlete. Mamiya 6 Camera.

    Also how does the 80mm compare. I'm settled on 150mm for a reason (has advantages in landscape photography) but would like to know if 80mm is That much better for closer portraits (once again, not at all into full macro like flowers etc).

    My main reasons for choosing 150mm (portraints, top down shots, mild action and the reach that it gives in certain situations like when looking from a cliff or building, or trying to shoot into the sea/giving a sense of emptiness in a vast area... and also to an extent, shallow depth of field).

    Moulton Barn (Explored)
    'Hellfire Growlage'!
    Jump
    I've Never Felt At Home Here
    Cephalonia, Myrtos beach
    Winter Storm, Cromer, Norfolk
    Come-On-Then
    Baker Beach
    Hanoi, Vietnam 2015
    Abigail
    Look Down
    Mamiya 7 // 150mm // Kodak Porta 800
    Untitled

    And reasons for choosing 43mm

    Thisio, Athens
    Garden of Muses, Achillio
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gcap/36189871761/in/pool-1819653@N23/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/swig/35460510841/in/pool-1819653@N23/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/fotodudenz/35614471313/in/pool-1819653@N23/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gcap/5604021148/in/pool-1819653@N23/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gcap/5623845813/in/pool-1819653@N23/

    And reason for choosing Medium Format.. images felt more natural. The colour transitions gave a more 3d like feel and the objects in the images just felt bigger and easier on the eyes. Why film? Its cheaper than similar DSLR (also I don't believe an affordable full frame, let alone a medium format exists). And, none of my interested areas require autofocus and I can take control of other attributes. Also, film cameras don't have as much artefacts as digital camers. For general photography and situations where I need to keep clicking or need autofocus, I still have my phone. Sometime later down the line, if I save up enough and I feel the need, I'll get a gh5 for video!!

    Thanks


     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
  2. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The Mamiya 7 is a great camera and medium format is capable of capturing images wonderfully. The issue, in my view, is choosing a big camera like that for travel photography. I made my living with the Mamiya RZ system many years ago. First class equipment. But I wouldn't choose to carry it on vacation. The system filled two suitcases without tripod.
     
  3. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Mamiya 7 is a great camera -- can't go wrong if that's what you want.

    I'm not convinced and in fact I suspect the opposite. You mention scanning so your end goal is a digital image that you can display electronically. The scanner used and the skill of the scanner operator/image processor will be a huge factor in your ability get good results from film.

    What?! Objects felt bigger?

    Film, especially medium format film is more expensive than similar digital. Film costs are cumulative. The cost of a medium format scanner and/or the cost of those scans + film and processing will pretty quickly catch up with the cost of a more expensive digital camera. The Mamiya 7 shoots 10 frames per roll. At today's prices you're spending $1.75 every time you click the shutter to take a color photo and end up with a processed neg. Then you need a good scan. You can't get a good scan of a 120 neg for a $1.00. Think $1.50 per neg only if you order volume scanning and that's still a crap scan. You're now over $3.00 every time you click the shutter and my little pocket compact digital will out perform that scan. Take 500 photos and have them scanned and thats $1500.00. Do that for two years in a row and you've spent the money that would buy a digital camera that will easily out perform the results you're getting in those scans. You want scans that will equal the quality of a $3000.00 digital camera? You're going to pay more than that in a year to take 500 photos with the Mamiya 7.

    What?! Scanners do.

    Shoot film if you want to shoot film and you enjoy doing it. You're not going to save money compared to digital and you're not going to get better quality.

    Joe
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
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  4. manueljenkin

    manueljenkin TPF Noob!

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    I wanted to know if the 150mm would be able to do the thing I wanted (like photos form that Leica M3 video). I have doubts because of the 1.8m minimum focusing distance. I did try using my phone to judge how much would it be 2 metres away (phone is 28mm FF equivalent, and tyring a crop gave me an estimate) and it seems like I would be able to do it. Just wanted to ask opinions of acutal users before jumpin in that's why.

    My bad, I should have been clearer. I was meaning the depth perception. Looked at a lot of flickr images and I remember doing such comparisons between D750 and aps-c and m 4/3 quite a while ago. Not sure if it's just me. But in quite a lot of images, the ones that have objects in different depths, comparing ones taken on full frame and another taken on a smaller sensor. The smaller sensor image looks like 2 or 3 2-dimensional images layered together. A full frame feels like 10-15 2-dimensional images layered together.. the foreground to background transition is more smoother and 3d ish feeling. You can feel the depth difference between different trees/buildings/other objects better. On a smaller sensor it feels like all images in the background are in one single layer that had little to no depth perception. Especially when you go wide angle, you can really feel it. Those images on the 43mm mamiya 6x7 lens I saw on flickr... They just suck me into a point deep into the image and I can feel the object being deeper inside.

    For photos with one or two objects in concentration (eg portraits), this wasn't a big deal. I personally couldn't really spot any difference (other than when the larger sensor used a shallower depth of field). But looking into street photography, or landscape,.. or just photograph a space larger than just a person's shoulder and face, I can see differences.. As long as there's no oversharpening (which removes all this 3d feel) I believe can pick out a medium format image from a micro four thirds pretty easily on a screen atleast as large as an ipad, or my surface, given the image to be compared has more than one point of interest.

    I dont think it has anything to do with depth of field, or bokeh or anything like that.. just the non-linear light properties (a little bit dependent on dynamic range, like shadows make it feel more realistic). Even comparing generations old cameras I can still find these (again as long as the images are not oversharpened).

    Also, as I move to see something with a more telephoto lens than a wide angle, the difference starts getting narrower.

    some random images that I can remember going through to analyze this. Please let me know if my understanding is wrong.

    gh5
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/apertur/26878848449/in/pool-gh5users/
    Kids for Cars Show 2017
    Häuser an der Neiße in Zgorzelec - Houses on the Neisse shore in Zgorzelec (PL)
    20170414-_1011081

    Alberta, Canada with the Panasonic GH5 (6K photo mode)
    Alberta, Canada with the Panasonic GH5 (6K photo mode)

    D850

    Quietude
    _DSC2495_DxO

    d750
    Khuoi Khon

    5d mkii
    Untitled
    Orford Suffolk.
    †††
    Tokyo 原宿
    Untitled
    _MG_9177
    Untitled

    Mamiya 6
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/mpdavidson/36865797543/in/pool-mamiya6/
    Souvenir de Florence - april 2012
    QVB
    Calm #1 | 凪いだ景色
    Want to go back :-)
    venice pride (xpro). 2017.

    Mamiya 7
    In the castle chambers
    .
    Alleyway
    Southampton, 2017
    Salmaise
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/marloniraheta/36115570620/in/pool-mamiya7/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/swig/36921436420/in/pool-mamiya7/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/mariuszlemiecha/33852013401/in/pool-mamiya7/

    Excata 66
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/adrian-langhammer/35801298476/in/pool-mamiya7/

    https://petapixel.com/2016/07/18/full-frame-camera-really-worth-d610-vs-d7100-real-world-test/
    Even in the underexposed second Image, I can feel that there is more depth in the D610 image against the D7100.

    I'm not sure.. but scanners can take longer time than camera sensors right. Ain't their method a little different from cameras? Not that they'll be free of artefacts, but they'll be lesser than a normal camera I believe. Also, even if I'd want to scan with a camera, certain cameras today have this pixel shift thing (you can't use that mode when shooting almost anything that's not perfectly still) that kind of removes a lot of the issues caused by baeyer filter and interpolation algorithms.

    Something about films that I went through some time earlier.
    https://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2014/12/36-megapixels-vs-6x7-velvia/
    Not sure if I'll believe everything, but the results are spectacular and I can definitely belive lot of lenses outresolve digital sensors.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  5. manueljenkin

    manueljenkin TPF Noob!

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    For sure agreed. I always have my phone for any junk shots. I'm looking at the mamiya only for when I'm really into travel and in the mood of photographing. Fairly inexpensive scanner for most shots, and only when I feel like it's really worth it I'm gonna get it digitized by a professional (like the darkroom). Not sure about the better quality thing though.. Better Quality is subjective, for me, it's the depth that its large area of illumination gives and sharp lenses (and also that superwide 43mm framing).
     
  6. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sorry I didn't get back sooner -- out all day.

    So there's the test. I don't know you and just now engaged in this thread so all I have to go on is past experience with others. I suspect you're looking at photos already aware of the camera they came from and that condition is enough to allow you to see what's not really there -- my past experience with others. The test then is to try and sort them out blind -- images you've never seen and with no clue what kind of camera. Happy to oblige:

    img_01.jpg
    img_02.jpg
    img_03.jpg
    img_04.jpg
    img_05.jpg
    img_06.jpg
    img_07.jpg
    img_08.jpg
    img_09.jpg
    img_10.jpg
    img_11.jpg
    img_12.jpg
    img_13.jpg

    There's 13 images for you all mixed in type and subject. All of adequate resolution for you to get a close look. The res is higher than you would use for any electronic display. B&W and color. Can you sort them film/digtal and big camera/small camera?

    DOF changes with the size of the camera recording media. As a rule you get more DOF as the film/sensor get's smaller. DOF then can be an indicator of the size camera used. Bokeh is a specific lens property and unrelated to either film/digtal or big camera/small camera. Dynamic range between film and digital is very close with a slight edge to digital -- shouldn't be an issue if both media are properly processed.

    non-linear light properties?

    I wasn't sure what you meant by artifacts. I assume now you meant demosaicing artifacts. They are real but very well controlled now and very very small. See if you can spot any in the images above. Scanners do work differently but they are not artifact free. The analog film image has to be converted to an RGB digital image and that process is going to create artifacts. So we have demosaicing artifacts and scan artifacts and then there's display artifacts when you go to look at the photo. You're not buying a film camera to go along with your darkroom where you're going to make analog prints to show your family and friends. You've made it clear you intend to take photos to display and share electronically. We follow proper procedure to keep artifacts under control but all digital images have them regardless of the original source.

    No question medium and large format film has lots more fine detail resolution capacity than digital. Couple things about that: Don't make the neophyte conclusion that therefore film is higher quality. Image quality does not equal resolution capacity. We need to have enough resolution. Other image characteristics are more important -- resolution ranks a couple rungs down the ladder of importance. Modern digital cameras have more than enough resolution (better than 35mm film) and tend to outperform film on the more important characteristics. I can get better overall DR and tonal response from digital than is possible from film. I rank that more important than resolution since with digital I usually have enough resolution -- the fight is more often with DR. BUT film has plenty of DR capacity for normal contrast subjects and if you shoot medium format film with normal contrast subjects you should be able to get a great photo that's every bit as good as a digital version of the same with the option for increased resolution. NOTE: That increased resolution does not mean the super scan (best) option from the darkroom. Their super scan resolution from your 6 x 7 film is the same resolution as the image from my APS-C sensor camera. Look at the price for their super scan and realize what you're getting. Their enhanced scan is less resolution than my little $400.00 pocket compact camera and as I noted earlier I will seriously outperform a Maymia 7 ii with my little compact if all you're getting is the enhanced scan from the darkroom using their Noritsu LS-XXX scanner. That enhanced scan is the same resolution as the images I posted above.

    Anyway, film is great -- I made a career out of it. Do it if you want to do it but not because you think you're getting more and paying less.

    Joe
     
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  7. manueljenkin

    manueljenkin TPF Noob!

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    I tried those, here are my opinions.
    IMG 01 - Hard to tell
    IMG 02 - I'd say a fairly small sensor - APS-c (Image is really awesome though)
    IMG 03 -Hard to tell
    IMG 04 - Mostly APS-c. Not a large sensor
    IMG 05 - Probably Full Frame
    IMG 06 - Quite hard, but I'll vote Medium format.
    IMG 07 - Medium Format
    IMG 08 - Most likely Medium Format, at worst- full frame.
    IMG 09 - Not a large sensor, I guess Aps-c
    IMG 10 - The trickies, the background is kind of shaky. I'll guess Medium Format
    IMG 11 - Medium Format
    IMG 12 - APS-c, at worst Full frame.
    IMG 13 - Medium Format (At least Full Frame).

    Let me know how well I fared.

    I can definitely understand the tonal response part, but do modern DSLRs really have more dynamic range? Also why do a film makers like Nolan prefer film to digital if it's so hard to apply any color corrections. (of course their film is probably very different to the affordable ones I could buy, but just wanted to know).

    Yes I do know that. As the light path gets less narrower (either sensor size or wider aperture), more and more points converge ahead or behind the film, instead of on the sensor making them blurry - narrow depth of field. And yep, bokeh is related to the aperture blade shape, some lens materials etc.
     
  8. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    IMG 01 - Hard to tell -- 35mm film scan
    IMG 02 - I'd say a fairly small sensor - APS-c (Image is really awesome though) -- 4x5 sheet film scan
    IMG 03 -Hard to tell -- 6 x 7 transparency, 120 film scan
    IMG 04 - Mostly APS-c. Not a large sensor -- 1/1.7 sensor, less than 1/8 size of APS-C
    IMG 05 - Probably Full Frame -- 6 x 7 neg, 120 film scan
    IMG 06 - Quite hard, but I'll vote Medium format. -- 35mm film scan
    IMG 07 - Medium Format -- correct. 6 x 6 neg, 120 film scan
    IMG 08 - Most likely Medium Format, at worst- full frame. -- APS-C sensor
    IMG 09 - Not a large sensor, I guess Aps-c -- correct. APS-C sensor
    IMG 10 - The trickies, the background is kind of shaky. I'll guess Medium Format -- FF sensor
    IMG 11 - Medium Format -- 1/1.7 sensor, less than 1/8 size of APS-C
    IMG 12 - APS-c, at worst Full frame. -- correct. APS-C sensor
    IMG 13 - Medium Format (At least Full Frame). -- 1/1.7 sensor, less than 1/8 size of APS-C

    You got 3 1/2 right out of 13. I teach photography and have done so now for 40 years. I frequently encounter folks who are certain they know a film image when they see it, a darkroom print versus an inkjet print or that they can sort out the color palettes of films or different digital cameras. In most cases when they claim this ability it's because they are personally invested in one being better than the other. What's really happening is that they see an image that fits their expectations but at the same time are given the source of the image. The real sequence going on in their heads is A) here's an image from______, B) yep! I knew it. Then they reverse the A) B) order in their heads. That's not a blind test. Faced with a real blind test most walk away and don't take the challenge. Fuji X (digital) camera fans for example rave constantly over the colors generated by the Fuji image processor and the embedded film simulations in the camera. I've had a number of occasions now to invite them (over on some of the Fuji forums) to demonstrate that they can sort them in a blind test -- haven't had a taker in years.

    Both technologies (film/digital) can produce excellent images. Once the images are in final form with a little simulated film grain added to the digital image they really are indistinguishable. There are real differences between big and small cameras and you do stand a better chance of sorting those out but it's really really hard. It is basically the differences that result from DOF variations and the way that out of focus background details render. There's another thread here on TPF that's had recent activity: Photos Fuji can't take -- it's an older thread that was revived. I posted to it previously and posted an image that indeed an APS-C camera can't take. The image I posted is a 4 x 5 film scan. An APS-C sensor from the same distance and with the same angle of view couldn't render that DOF.

    Absolutely, but only fairly recently and only if it's taken advantage of by shooting and processing raw files. Unfortunately this whole topic of film/digital is often strained by people grinding axes on both sides. King of the Hill in film DR is going to be sheet/medium format Tri-X. We can go into a long harangue about exactly what the difference is between measurable versus usable DR -- same problem with digital and I could quote you DXO sensor measurements or sensible values from Bill Claff. It's fair to say right now that using sensible standards for both, the DR difference between big film Tri-X and modern digital is a wash. They can both give you 10 to 11 stops of usable DR. Now with Tri-X that's only if you scan it. And if you're scanner didn't cost you over $10,000 then you'll have to scan it twice -- once for the highlights and again for the shadows and then combine those images through complicated processing. Now add in color. That 10 to 11 stops of DR for digital is for color or B&W -- no way for color film. Step down from big film Tri-X to color film and you're going to take a DR hit of a couple stops.

    You'll have to ask him.

    Hard to apply color corrections? With rare exception, all media for public consumption is now ultimately digital. At the point it's in digital form it's easy to manipulate. Consider that someone might balk at my statement there and note the resurgence of vinyl music distribution. And I ask how many of those new album releases were recorded using state-of-the art digital recording hardware. Hilarious irony that we would record music with direct to digital hardware and then release an analog translation for the consumer. That tells you it's not about the quality differences in the media so much as it's about self-image and fantasy. The same is often driving the film/digital camera debates.

    Final comment, I know some folks (some here at TPF) who genuinely shoot film because they genuinely enjoy doing it, love the process and get real satisfaction from the results they produce. Nothing could be more appropriate and valid. Film continues to have an important roll -- very important in the arts, and when some bean counter at one of colleges where I teach comes along and asks if it isn't time to close down the darkroom I'm the first faculty member to jump down his throat screaming and pounding my fists on the table.

    So go ahead and shoot medium format film if that's what you want to do -- I loved it for 25 years. I first responded to your thread because you said, "I'm convinced that I'll be getting better results on film then scanning than any affordable camera can." and, "Why film? Its cheaper than similar DSLR (also I don't believe an affordable full frame, let alone a medium format exists). And, none of my interested areas require autofocus and I can take control of other attributes. Also, film cameras don't have as much artefacts as digital camers." You've been reading too many blogs written by axe grinders. Those are wrong and the wrong reasons to shoot film.

    Joe
     
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  9. Dave442

    Dave442 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't see any problem in going with the 43mm and 150mm now. The 1.83m close focus distance of the 150mm seems reasonable. If you haven't shot film before then this is certainly one way to jump in and give it a try.
     
  10. manueljenkin

    manueljenkin TPF Noob!

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    Hey, thanks a lot for the guidance man. IMG08 being taken on an APS-C was the one that surprised me the most, followed by IMG 11 and IMG 13 taken on 1/1.7". IMG08 felt extremely 3d-ish and well layered. May I know which APS-c and 1/1.7" cameras they are. Also would like to know the lens used in these 3 cases. And also, was the ones taken on 1/1.7" done with a long focal length?

    To be honest, between full frame and medium frames that I voted, I was only guessing it for the most part. The only two images I was confident on being Medium format were IMG07 and IMG11, the former which was woefully uncorrect. But the only Image I was confident on being from a small sensor was IMG04 which was correct.yaay.. lol. IMG09 guess which turned out correct, was a fluke tbh.

    Ignoring IMG01 and IMG03 which I couldn't even take a guess.. I was completely wrong on IMG02, 08, 11 and 13 even if I had to ignore full frame vs medium format which I was guessing. Even with such unstable choices, my hit rate was only 7/11 (or 7/13). And like you said, if I were to try and distinguish between medium format and full frames, my hit rates would be really null (like 3/13 I did just now). And I had to look for quite a lot of time to even make these guesses.

    Definitely understand and agree with your opinion. The mamiya still has that 43mm lens to draw me back. Maybe after a few months owning them and looking at images, I might wanna take blind tests again to see if I fare well (not so confident on that though).

    True! And yep, I do really want to try out film. I guess the above were just probably bland justifications my mind made up since I want to experience this. For the photographs I take on phone, I just feel that the algorithms that the cameras use to set attributes don't match anywhere close to what my mind thinks. Is there anything really there to 6x7 format tho (other than narrow depth of field).

    100% agreed. I was wrong in both analysis. But alas, I'm never worried about making mistakes. It is nice learning things the proper way.

    On a side note, It's really hard to find a mamiya 7 ii for a reasonable price now. Everything on ebay is like 2K bucks just for the body alone. I believe it was much less expensive just a couple of years ago. Am I looking at the wrong place.. What are some good places to check for these? Location : either USA or India (I'm in india, my sister is in USA so either of us can get it).
     
  11. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The APS-c images were from Fuji X cameras. A couple years ago I traded a Canon 5dmkII system for a Fuji X-E2 and now use a Fuji X-T2. The X-T2 is an overall superior camera to the 5d. The FF image was from the 5d and the three APS-C images from the X-T2 using the 18-55mm zoom. The 1/1.7 images were from my main camera a Samsung EX-2 which was their flagship compact before they got out of the camera business. I call it my main camera because it goes where I go and I use it nearly daily. The lens is a Schneider zoom 5.2-17.2mm f/1.4-2.7. In 35mm equivalence that's a 24-70mm zoom. The photo of the stone arch bridge was taken at the wide end while the other two were taken at what would basically be a normal lens focal length -- not long lens.

    The Mamiya 7 with the 43 is an awesome camera. I also have a personal preference for lenses on the wide end and bought the Fujis initially because of the 14mm 2.8.[/QUOTE]

    Shoot film because you want to do it and enjoy it.

    There's a huge difference between a phone camera and a digital camera that saves raw files, has an available lens system, and provides exposure control.

    6x7 is awesome. I spent most of my early years shooting 120 roll and 6x7 was my favorite. I used Hasselblads and Rolleis a lot but my favorite cameras were an Arca view camera with a 6x7 back and an old 2x3 Graflex with a 6x7 back. Lenses I used with those cameras were 47mm, 58mm, 65mm, 75mm, 95mm, 150mm, 180mm and 210mm -- the wide lenses were my favorites. I did my share of sheet film shooting as well, mostly 4x5 but 6x7 was the best overall option for ease of use with a big piece of film. Is there anything really there? I think 6x7 is where all the different variables that effect the final image come together close to optimized. But really the difference you're going to possibly see comparing formats is DOF rendering. Hyperfocal distance with a 6x7 camera is so much farther from the camera than with smaller format cameras and that's going to alter the background blur in a landscape -- no magic.

    Mamiya 7 is a choice option for 6x7 and the used market is demanding top dollar. You've settled on the "Audi" option. You can wait to try and uncover a deal from someone who doesn't recognize what they have or you can compromise and look at some of the "Acura" or even just "Camry" options. Problem is your desire to have a travel camera. I'd tell you you can pick up an old RB for cheap but it needs its own suitcase. You can consider starting out with a 6x6 twin lens which would be cheap and keep watching for a used Mamiya 7. You can expand your search for one of the Fuji range finders including the 6x4.5 models but they can be pricey as well.

    Good luck.

    Joe
     
  12. Dave Colangelo

    Dave Colangelo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Mamiya has a great rep and you cant really go wrong with a nice example of one. But others here have gone over all the good points on the camera its self, I'm going to touch on some points that are a bit more general as our use cases are somewhat similar. The main one being the casual use of film in todays market over digital.

    I shoot the better part of 90% of my photography on film currently. Its not better or worse but since, for me, its a hobby, I enjoy being a part of the whole process and I would rather spend a day getting 12 images from film loading to printing in my dark room than going out and just burning through memory card after memory card. FWIW the images most likely come out better as I am forced to spend more time on them individually. But any way,

    Cost: Film is NOT cheap. BW will run you on average $5 a roll and close to double that for color (and a bit more if its slide film). I process all my BW at home now which is pretty easy and a bit cheaper than my lab. Most labs charge ~$8 for processing and it sounds like you are getting a scanner so you will be doing all your own scanning. A decent bed scanner that can take 120 will run you a few hundred (I have a V800 that I LOVE and it was not cheap). You need to keep film around, in multiple speeds, and a few rolls of each at least for when the mood hits. This is an upfront cost and depending on how much you shoot may be as little as $5 a month and then of course the skys the limit. Practically speaking I spend ~$30 a month on film in a slow month and double or triple that when Im shooting a lot. For BW figure ~$3 of chemistry to develop a roll at home.

    Size: I was lucky enough to come across a full V Series hasselblad setup at an antique store in its original case. Its no small item to cary around. Its heavy, takes up a lot of space and quite a bit of time to set up when I want to use it. This of course is all part of the experience for me but I would not really call it a "casual" thing. The 7 may be a bit faster as its a bit smaller and manageable. Either way its a MF camera and you are going to be swapping film rolls every 12-16 images, most of the lenses (if not all) are primes which I know bothers some people.

    MF Quality: Im not going to open up a huge can of worms here but I do agree that MF has a certain quality to it that I dont see on my digital. The square format forces a slightly different composition generally speaking, the neg's allow for some serious scanning and if you go the route of building a home dark room like I did your printing options are pretty epic.

    Servicing: This can be a real killer for some people and often the most over looked. While any one will tell you that most of the classic film cameras are built like tanks they wont tell you that they need fairly regular service. Regrettably the people who really know these things in and out are slowly closing up shop or passing away. To keep a MF camera in good working order it needs regular servicing. If you are buying second hand from anywhere that cant assure the camera has been really tested you should budget for a full on CLA or at least enough to send it off to have everything tested.

    Your going to want a dark room. I snagged all my dark room gear from a local lab that was dumping it, it was free and they were happy to give it to me. Theres plenty out there you can find on this front but if you really want to get the most out of a MF camera print at home. Its not all that hard and I find it to be a lot of fun. If you are going to get a film camera its a great add on.

    MF Lenses:

    43mm: I cant speak to this directly but the closest I have is a 50mm for my blad. Its a solid focal length for wide work and can allow for great depth of field when used correctly.

    ~80mm: You should be able to find one for any MF system fairly easily as these are the "standard" focal length for MF. Its a solid go to and a good thing to have in the bag, think of it in the nifty fifty sense.

    ~150mm: is a great portrait MF lens and I use mine quite a bit. Its a handy lens on the MF front but may be physically larger than you expect. You are correct that the minimum focal distance is longer than your average 35mm system this is because of the physical design of the system which becomes a limiting factor. You simply cant escape physics.

    Since you are using the camera casually and in limited situations you may want to consider looking at the Mamiya system stuff (RB67, RZ67, 546 etc) you may find that the available parts make for more options when you are configuring your outfit. Also, once you have had the luxury of swappable film mags there is truly no going back..... (consider yourself warned:1219:)


    You can take a look at some of my stuff here anything thats square was more than likely shot on the blad (or a rollei 3.5) if you have any questions feel free to give me a shout.
     

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