Medium-format question

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Rob, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I'm planning to go medium-format soon. I was planning to buy some Hasselblad gear, but it's proving a nightmare as most of it has seen seriously inconsiderate professional use and is knackered (but still got a four-figure price). I'm obviously going to need to spend a lot more than I anticipated, so I thought I'd compromise before going for the most expensive thing out there!!

    In the mean time, I'm going to buy something as a stop-gap to try out MF. I was thinking of something good value like a Mamiya 645, Bronica ETRSi or perhaps even something like a Kiev 88. Anyone have any tips or opinions for me?

    Rob
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Hasselblad are somewhat overpriced - the increase in quality isn't really worth the extra cash.
    Mamiya 645's are nice but a little small for my tastes.
    Instead of a stopgap consider Bronica. Their lenses and bodies are now up in the pro bracket but the price is still reasonable.
    The Mamiya RZ/RB67 is definately worth a look - lots of flexibility and thay lovely 6x7 format. Pentax 67 is also good but a bit of a beast - and you go deaf when you fire it off.
    Best thing to do is try them out. But i wouldn't reccomend Blads unless you've got money to burn.
     
  3. santino

    santino TPF Noob!

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    I'm really impressed by the Hasselblad's CF Planar.
     
  4. sbalsama

    sbalsama TPF Noob!

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    I'm personally hoping to pick up a rebuilt Kiev 88 from ARAX if the money ever comes around. Sure, a Hassy or Mamiya would be nice, but I don't "need" it. Although not on the same level, the Kiev isn't some junk camera either. If you're a pro or demand the exacting performance, certainly go with the big names. Otherwise, check out the "lesser" brands. I often hear about how people will buy Kiev accessories for use on Hassies because they admit the original accessories are too expensive (and approximately the same quality)!
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I'd start out with picking a format: 6x4.5, 6x6, or 6x7. Keep in mind that when you make a rectangle from a 6x6 you're chopping it to 6x4.5 or so. On the other hand the 6x7cm cameras tend to be pretty big for some people to handhold.

    Next I'd consider what you are going to be using it for, and what camera design would be best: SLR, rangefinder, view camera, TLR, folder, etc... Each has it's strengths and weaknesses.

    Then consider any features or accessories that you gotta have. If you want interchangable film backs, then a Pentax 67 or Fuji rangefinder is out. If you need shutter speeds higher than 1/500th then Hasselblad is out (at least the leaf shutter models). Some cameras don't offer interchangeable lenses, TTL metering, fancy exposure modes, and so on.

    I don't know how you feel about Ebay, but used medium format gear is going cheap there. Bronicas are really cheap these days, and even the Hasselblads are a pretty good deal. I bought a super clean Hassy 500c/m, lens, film back, and metered prism, all still with the original boxes and manuals for under $900. I think that's a pretty good deal for a Hasselblad.

    If you want to try out medium format really cheap check out the TLRs. You can get a good set up there for under $200. You can get a Norita 66 SLR dirt cheap; it's basically like a big Pentax K-1000, with a really fast lens for medium format.

    I have a few medium format cameras in the collection. I'll list the ones that see regular use, and if you have any specific questions about these particular models feel free to ask.

    Pentax 67II (6x7 SLR): 90mm leaf shutter lens, 165mm leaf shutter lens, WL finder, prism finder
    Hasselblad 500c/m (6x6 SLR): 80mm lens, 150mm lens, 2 A12 film backs, WL finder, metered prism
    Rolleiflex 3.5E Planar (6x6 TLR)
    Ansco Titan (6x6 folder)
    Zeiss Ikonta C (6x9 folder)
    Norita 66 (6x6 SLR): 80mm lens, prism finder
     
  6. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Hey, thanks for all the advice all. I forgot to say that it's going to be used for portraits, mainly under very controlled conditions indoor, but occasionally out and about.

    Matt - I'll give you $900 for the Hasselblad!!! Lucky purchase there... You'd be lucky to get the body for that in the UK.
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Just keep looking, it's not like the prices are likely to rise on film equipment. ;)

    EDIT: I don't know what it's like over there, but in the US on Ebay Bronica medium format SLRs are going really cheap. I just looked, and it seemed to me that there were several complete cameras (body, lens, back, finder) going for under $400.
     
  8. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a couple of Mamiya RBs, a Mamiya 654, and a Hasselblad. The 654 system is OLD, and has film inserts rather than backs... not an asset. Can't do Polaroid proofs or swith films mid-roll.

    I've used the RB in the studio for more than 20 years. I like the larger format, but the camera is larger too. The lens barrels are 77mm! Nothing you'd want to use hand held. Still, my choice for portraits.

    And, yeah... the prices are REALLY cheap over here. It was just two years ago, a used Hasselblad with one back and no lens or finder would fetch $1000 in Chicago. Now a fellow would be luckey to get $300.
     
  9. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Have you thought of a Mamyiaflex, aka C2 or C3? Their lenses are very good performers for portraits. And they're dirt cheap on Ebay.
     
  10. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Mitica,

    Nope I haven't - forgive my ignorance, but what is it and why would I want one?

    Rob
     
  11. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It's a TLR camera with interchangeable lens. There are some variations to it, such as the C2, the C3, the C330. Basically the same camera (Mamyiaflex) but with more bells and whistles. If you're into portraiture, the Sekor lenses on these cameras are great, being slightly softer than other 80mm lenses out there.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Seen here with the normal 80mm lens and the 180 Tele lens.​
     

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