Help me decide on Medium/35mm format Camera.....Please

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by ultrajeeps, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. ultrajeeps

    ultrajeeps TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I have only used 35mm canon/nikon MF/AF cameras. I am amateur (pro wanna be....:cool:. I have decided to try my hands on medium format due to my recent passion for 6X6, or 4X5. So I started my online research which has lasted couple of months. This is what I have come up with:

    Mamiya 645 series. (don't know which model to go with)

    If I want to medium format digital camera ( I am gonna have to sell my lung and a splin for this new Mamiya with 22 MP) which I am not yet ready to do.

    Now If I go for a nice 35mm camera, I am looking into either Nikon n90s, or Nikon F5. But then I am gonna have to scan in film which is time consuming. I have also thought about getting one 35mm camera with 14mm lens.....any ideas?

    So I started to do some research on digital 35 SLRs and the outcome was:

    1. Fuji S2
    2. Sigma SA10

    Please help me with this delimma. My next shoot requires 6X6, 4X4 (PICTURES OF CHRISTMAS DECORS).

    I would highly appreciate any help.

    Thanks
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the Forum.

    There are a good number of people around here who use medium format...I'll leave that to them. ;)

    There is a time & place where you will want/need medium format and there is a time & place you will want/need to use 35mm SLR.

    If you want quality/resolution...MF is the way to go. I don't think digital can come close yet. Even 35mm film is still better than most digital...but it's pretty close.

    If you do decide to go with a 35mm SLR. You can save time by having the lab scan your negatives. This might not give you the resolution or control that you are looking for but it will save time.
     
  3. ultrajeeps

    ultrajeeps TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Big Mike,

    What do you think about Nikon n90s?
     
  4. SWFLA1

    SWFLA1 TPF Noob!

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    ultrajeeps -

    i pm'd you... but am not sure if pms work or not... i have my mamiya 645 af system for sale... if your interested drop me an email at
    roberthoagland@earthlink.net

    good luck
     
  5. Axel

    Axel TPF Noob!

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    I thin kas Big Mike says, they have two different uses. It depends what kind of shots you are going to take. Artistic and portrait - MF should be the best in most cases. For everything else there is Master Card... LOL!

    Nikon n90s are good! I would say that you can't go wrong with Nikon or Canon when it comes to 35 mm.

    When it comes to MF, I have to second what Big Mike says and leave it to those who claim to understand it!

    BTW, here's a good site which explains the MF and LF very good!
     
  6. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I've never cared for the 6x4.5 format myself. If I'm going to bother with the loss of convenience of roll film, I'm going to use 6x9, 6x7, or 6x6.
     
  7. Walt

    Walt TPF Noob!

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    There are certainly advantages in quality with medium format. You do give up a lot in respects to convenience and size of your bank account. You can't just run down to the local drugstore and get a roll of film developed. Lenses and accesories are very expensive.
    I have a Bronica ETR that I have decided I'll mainly use with B&W mainly because I do my own processing and the larger negatives are easier to handle. BTW, I just read Tamron has announced that they are ending production of Bronica. Too bad. They are a good solid camera and there are plenty of good deals to be had on Bronica equipment.
    I personally like the 6X4.5 format. The negatives are aprox 3.5 times larger than 35mm, they enlarge proportionally to 8X10 and the 645 cameras tend to handle very well. Try handling an ETR and then pick up a Mamiya RB67! That does vary between brands however.
    Good luck with whatever you choose.
     
  8. railman44

    railman44 TPF Noob!

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    Just for fun if you lean toward a manual 35mm camera, look into a Nikon F3. I bought a F3HP on eBay and think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. It will accommodate both Nikon AI and AIS lenses. It can be a fully manual camera with the option for an automatic shutter selection. I believe Nikon still makes the camera today. Built like a tank with timeless beauty. My .02 pesos...
     
  9. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    I have always had a soft spot for the old Pentax 6x7 (the one like a giant SLR). But as an old pro I have learned that these days (with CAD CAM and all) there is virtually nothing to separate most cameras in terms of quality and it comes down to personal preference. You only notice performance differences when working at the technical limits of your equipment and you don't often do that - even at top end pro.
    The best advice (indeed the ONLY advice) I can give is: you must have a camera you feel comfortable with. You can't begin to take pictures worth a damn if all the time you have your mind on the bit of technology in your hands.
    You wouldn't believe the number of amateurs that have come up to me over the years, raved on at length about the fabulously expensive camera they just bought and how it can do everything including making them breakfast in bed. Then they go thoughtful and plaintively ask why, given this wonderful piece of kit, there pictures are not really any better and they still haven't figured out what THIS button does. If I like them I take them aside and reveal the secret of the Universe. They usually burst into tears; "you mean I've wasted my money!?!" No but you are going to have to put in a whole lot more work.
    Don't bother reading the reviews in the magazines - those guys are PAID to say those things (often by the manufacturers).
    Don't buy a particular camera because everyone you know has that model. What's right for them does not mean it's right for you.
    Pick up and play with every camera you can. Sooner or later you will pick up one that feels like it belongs in your hands. Buy THAT one (whatever the price).
    My cameras - especially my 35mm's (Olympus OM's) - feel like part of me. I can operate them with my eyes shut, half asleep and blind drunk. I don't have to look because I can feel it's working right - and you can feel when something changes and then you look. I know exactly what they are going to give me so I can concentrate totally on what is in front of the lens. THIS is the main difference between am and pro.
    Same with format. If you don't like the proportions don't buy it. Get one that you think looks right. I shoot portraits on an old Mamiya twin lens (you can still see what you are getting when you press the shutter) and I have often put a card cut out over the ground glass to get a visual crop - but this is what works for me.
    The main advantage with larger formats is you can see better what is going on in the frame and this improves your eye. When I was training I spent a whole year working on nothing but 5x4. When I picked up my 35 - after the initial shock of how tiny that viewfinder is - I discovered I could see a whole lot more in there and I could use it better.
    A late night drinking session in the 80's with some of the UK's top pro photographers turned technical. It was agreed that what was shot on 10x8 for 48 sheet posters could be done just as well - and cheaper - on 35mm with acceptable quality (printing with half-tone covers a lot). The main reason we used 5x4/10x8 was that AD's expected it and it impressed the clients....
    To sum up the disjointed ramblings of a senile old man: what are you going to use it for? Do you really need it? Find one that you like the feel of. Then eat with it, sleep with it and get closer to it than you have with any person (your partner will get jealous but hey!) :wink:
    In terms of digital - I think the same applies. Whatever format you buy the CCD that captures the image is about the same size. It's all to do with the number of pixels used. What you are paying for is the glass and plastic around it and the name of course.
    I can get a perfectly acceptable 10x8 out of my 4meg Ixus and it does what I want.
    What are you going to use it for? Just how big are you going to print? Are you going to use it to take pictures or impress the neighbours?
    Sorry if I bore. Tell me to shut up.....
    I'll go quietly officer......
     
  10. Jamie R

    Jamie R TPF Noob!

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    You're far from having a vehicular or a mental breakdown Hertz (no car puns intended ;) - that's very sensible and good advice you're giving.

    I quite like my seniors too: t.v. and advertising had it that to be young and hip means to sneer and be dismissive; to be cynical and laid back uncaring was cool. On the other hand, to be old was to fade away into oblivion and have lost one's marbles.

    Now the younger generation are waking up as emotional invalids, they realise that with age comes experience and a wealth of knowledge too and that they got it all wrong because puberty makes one do digital things and mistakes with one's digits! So congratulations on your 101th birthday!

    OTT - apologies! I'm rambling in my 20's and I've dunked my digicam :)
     
  11. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    158 next month. I attribute my longevity to riotous living, alcohol and photo chemicals - usually in the same glass ;-)
     
  12. ultrajeeps

    ultrajeeps TPF Noob!

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    I can't thank you enough for all your advices. I have always adored photogrpahy and stayed away from AF camera. I have been using my AE-1p but when I travel, I do feel that I need to have perhaps a Nikon F5 or N90s. Whenever I end up in Europe, I just want to capture it as much as possible...LOL. For the past few years, I have been dragging all my lenses and body with me which gets to be a pain but when I see the results, I just appreciate the manual cameras more and more. I don't why but I am able to see and feel the difference between those good old cameras and new crapy stuff. I own a 1978 benz which is built like a tank and never lets me down. (it is a diesel). And when I test drove the latest benz series, It felt so crapy.....but then again, perhaps it is just me.

    I don't like digital results but I need to get one so I decided to go for the Fuji S2......why Fuji, I am tired of hearing the battle between Canon and Nikons. I have used Nikons and Canons, and they all are good.

    Anyway, I ended up getting a Mamiya RZ 67 pro II. I will write more in coming days......gotta run..

    Thanks you so much..
     

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