Medium Format Camera Recommendation?

Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by gryffinwings, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. gryffinwings

    gryffinwings No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Honestly, I am not sure where to start, I'm looking at getting into medium format, and I'm trying to figure out what I would like to get, right now I'm thinking an Mamiya RB67 would be nice, however it can be a little pricey, but it has the ability to change the film back, and I plan on shooting b&w and color film in this camera. This will be my first step into medium format, so I really don't want to spend a fortune on gear, I can follow a manual to learn how to operate a camera. I'm also considering the Mamiya M645 1000s or 645e, both seem to be cheaper than the RB67. Looking for some guidance on what to get, the camera will be used for both landscape/building type photography and portraits.

    I'm open to other options, I think my max budget might be $500, but being under budget would be a bonus.

    Thanks for any guidance provided.


     
  2. snowbear

    snowbear fuzzy-wuzzy Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Messages:
    14,340
    Likes Received:
    5,591
    Location:
    SoMD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    • Like Like x 4
  3. compur

    compur Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Messages:
    3,250
    Likes Received:
    580
    Location:
    L.A.
    The RB 67 is a great camera but you might want to check one out before buying one sight-unseen. They're quite large and heavy. Not the camera for hand-held photography if that's what you like to do.

    A 645 or 6x6 format camera is much more manageable.
     
  4. Vtec44

    Vtec44 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,407
    Likes Received:
    1,732
    Location:
    So Cal
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Pentax 645's or 645n/nii's are great. I have them and use them for work along with my Pentax 67ii. On the 645 size, you get about 15-16 exposures on a 120 film, compare to about 10 exposures on 6x7.
     
  5. gryffinwings

    gryffinwings No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    That's actually a pretty cool idea, cheap camera, tons of film, what's the image quality like on one of these? Do you have any shots you can post?

    That is something I'm worried about, which is why I would consider the Mamiya M645. The plan is to use a tripod for most work. I'm not familiar with any 6x6 cameras.

    For the Pentax, those seem rather expensive on eBay, not sure I would want to spend the money on those. Thanks for the pointer on the film lasting longer.
     
  6. Vtec44

    Vtec44 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,407
    Likes Received:
    1,732
    Location:
    So Cal
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    If you don't mind manual everything, the Pentax 645 can be had for around $200-300 with a lens if you look hard enough. The 645n/645nii are more expensive because the additional auto focus system along with other automation. You can also use Pentax 67 lenses on the 645 system through an $80 adapter. The 67 105 f2.4 lens is beautiful on a 645 camera. I use that combo a lot for work.
     
  7. OldManJim

    OldManJim No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    95
    Location:
    Newark, DE
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I have both an RB67 and an M645. I find the RB stays mostly in the closet while the M645 gets more of a workout. I love the large negs from the RB for landscapes but the M645 is more useful for "general" photography.

    The earlier posters are right, the RB is a beast and needs a tripod. The M645 will benefit from a tripod but you can use it handheld in good light.

    I agree that the need to slow down forces you to pay attention to lighting and composition. (It can also cause you to miss shots.) I find that digital encourages "machinegunning" a scene in hopes of getting a useable image. Film doesn't allow that - it's much too expensive. Not to say that one can't get excellent images with digital - look at the many examples on this site.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
  8. pendennis

    pendennis No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    99
    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    At $500, you have a lot of options. You can get the RB67 Pro-S w/90mm; a M645 Pro w/80mm; Mamiya C330s w/80mm; Bronica SQ-A w/75mm; the aforementioned Pentaxes; Bronica ETRs; Yashica TLR's such as LM, D, Mat 124, 635 (120 and 35mm); Rollieflex; just to name a few. There are also a lot of roll film folding cameras that are fun to use, like some of the older Mamiyas.

    I shoot Hasselblad, Bronica, and several Mamiyas (RZ67, M645 Pro, C330s), and I also use a 6x7 back on my 4x5 cameras.

    Okay - The down side. Repairs are costly, since no spare parts are available from those companies. All parts are in the used/salvaged market.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. SoulfulRecover

    SoulfulRecover Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,443
    Likes Received:
    641
    Location:
    Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Id skip the RB and get an RZ 67
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  10. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    6,699
    Likes Received:
    1,134
    Location:
    Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I really like the Bronica SQ-A when I had it ... something about shooting square really appealed to me.
    If you can find one cheap, get the Zenzanon-S/PS 40mm lens. I had the 50 and it did not seem wide enough.
     
  11. webestang64

    webestang64 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,325
    Likes Received:
    661
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO. USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Love this Voigtlander I got for $35 (plus 2 other cameras, light meter and a 8mm movie camera).


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    42,029
    Likes Received:
    16,027
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit


    I have a Bronica SQ-Ai (crank advance) and an SQ-AM (permanent motorized-only advance)...shoots 6x6 square, OR 6x4.5, or 35mm panoramic, depending on the film magazine in use. Has metering prism options, as well as waist-level viewfinder option. Seiko inter-lens shutters in each lens, so...good flash synchronization, and no focal plane shutter to conk out; every lens has its own shutter. There are other, lower-priced options however, should you want to conserve cash.
     

Share This Page