Medium Format Camera suggestion...
Dec 1, 2008 at 3:08 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20

screwglue

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I don't really have a good reason for getting a new camera but I want one lol. I want to try out medium format (holga doesn't count) and I really love the color of film. In general I thought it would be fun to try something new.

I was thinking about getting a Hasselblad 500c. But I have heard a lot about how you can get the same picture from a 200 dollar bronica. Is that true? If it is i'd gladly save some money and get some new audio gear.

So could you guys suggest me some alternatives to a medium format camera?
 
Dec 1, 2008 at 3:52 PM Post #2 of 20

JadeEast

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Check out a Yashica TLR or a Mamiya C330 waist level shooting is totally different feel I haven't used one for years but I always associate TLR format cameras with medium format. I think you could pick one up for not much money.
 
Dec 1, 2008 at 4:13 PM Post #3 of 20

mbriant

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I've owned a Hassey 500cm and still own several Rollei SLR medium format cameras. Both brands take remarkable photos. I've compared the finished result to all the Japanese medium formats, and unless you're making 30' x30" or larger prints, you'd be hard pressed to notice any difference.
 
Dec 1, 2008 at 4:41 PM Post #4 of 20

leftnose

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I've got a 500C that I don't really use any more. I never could really get used to the 6x6 format. I learned on 35mm and was accustomed to composing inside a rectangle.

What is your method of developing/printing. Commercial or are you going to do it yourself?
 
Dec 1, 2008 at 7:09 PM Post #5 of 20
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I've got a Seagull TLR that a friend brought back from Beijing last summer. I cleaned it up really well, and so far I've been very pleased. I've seen them go for less than $50 on eBay in decent condition.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 5:57 AM Post #6 of 20

vibin247

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Best medium format camera I've used is a Mamiya 7. Not the cheapest option out there, but I find it easier to use than the Mamiya C330. The older Mamiya 6 can be found for around $400-500, or even less.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 7:25 AM Post #7 of 20

smashing

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You only appreciate the larger format when you gets your hands wet in the darkroom chemical. And after a while, you will be itching to try the large formats.
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Anyway, be mindful of the film size options for medium format. There are primarily 3 sizes, 6 x 4.5; 6 x 6 and 6 x 7. Size is important for the lens magnification factor is dependent on the film size, and composition as well. For instance, the golden ratio for composition doesn't work well on 6 x 6. Try dead centre for a change (for 6 x 6).

Hassy are by far the best 6 x 6 options. I have a 500CM for years and it has been with me through all kinds of weather conditions. It is abusable, and best of all, fail-safe.

Bronica GS-1 is a bit old and is one of the lightest system 6 x 7 camera around. It has a earth-shattering mirror slap though, but it is still one of my favourite street-shooting camera. I say, let the whole world know that I'm shooting!
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Problem with GS-1 is that it requires a battery and I have absolutely no idea what I will be able to do for it, if the circuits get burned out.

Plenty of 6 x 4.5 options out there, like Bronica EtrSi or the Mamiya 645. They are pretty decent camera too... but I really found no use for 6 x 4.5 format.

Of course, other than the system cameras, there are the rangefiners that vibin247 has mentioned like Mamiya 7 (6 x 7); Mamiya 6 (6 x 6) and Bronica RF (6 x 4.5). There are others that uses Fujinon lenses as well, and a Pentax SLR, all in medium formats.

And if you wanna cheap, go for the Russian MF. They are rather decent too.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 7:54 AM Post #9 of 20

smashing

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GS-1 is a battery operated camera. It is there to power the shutter mainly.

No inbuilt light-meter, unless you get yourself a AE-prism finder. With the speedgrip the film can also advance automatically, upon the circuit instruction from the battery-operated board (I think). Not sure about the speedgrip part, cos I love advancing the film myself.
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As for TLR, my advice is really to stay away from it. Not that it is not good. In fact, TLR gives very very impressive pictures. But if you are interested in having options to expand your shooting style, you should really just focus on system camera.

Again, TLR are good. Just that you would grow to develop some habits that would be irreversible when going to another cam.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 11:48 AM Post #10 of 20

screwglue

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Do you mind listing some?
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Anyways I'll hit up my local pawn-camera shop and see what they have.

So my two choices so far:

Hasselblad 500
Bronica Gs-1

okay. one more question. does anyone have a description or a link that describes the different types of films and what the picture turns out as color and forgiveness wise?

I tried googling it but I have NO idea how to phrase is lol.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 1:17 PM Post #11 of 20

smashing

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Medium format films are commonly known as 120 or 220 film. I have deleted all my photography links since I stopped my active learning of photography a couple of years back.

On top of that, I don't shoot colour, so I doubt I have any links for your question as well.
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I usually shoot Ilford HP5 plus, which is quite good and really forgiving. I usually underexpose my shots by 2 stops and develop it +2, mainly for extra grainy feel and also to get a bit more details during printing.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 3:23 PM Post #13 of 20

leftnose

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Quote:

Originally Posted by smashing /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I usually shoot Ilford HP5 plus, which is quite good and really forgiving. I usually underexpose my shots by 2 stops and develop it +2, mainly for extra grainy feel and also to get a bit more details during printing.


x2 on the Ilford except I used mainly FP4+ shot and developed normally.

My all time favorite was Agfapan 25 but it looks like that's been discontinued.
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Dec 2, 2008 at 4:55 PM Post #14 of 20

beerguy0

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Pentax 6x7 cm. Not sure how much they cost, but I always liked that camera. One of the main advantages is that it handles like an SLR. I've never liked the 6x6 format, too static for me.

I've got an old TLR around the house, but it's been years since it saw a roll of film. I always hated using it, just because it handles so differently from a regular camera. Parallax is also a problem if you want to get close.

Or, you can go totally nuts and buy a 4x5 and get a roll film back for it. I've got a Horseman 6x12 cm. back for my Sinar 4x5. I love the panoramic format.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 5:32 PM Post #15 of 20

mbriant

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The Pentax is a nice, well built, reasonably priced camera, and the easiest transition from 35mm, but IMO, it's main drawback is the fact that it has a curtain shutter which is loud, clunky, and only allows a slow 1/30 second flash sync. I believe they do sell a couple of specialty lenses for that camera with leaf shutters built in, which takes flash sync up to a usable 1/500 sec, but they are considerably more expensive than the regular shutterless 6X7 lenses and are a little awkward to use.

When I bought my first Hassey, I also found the square format to be unfamiliar and awkward. But I soon learned that if I was going for rectangular final prints, to simply imagine crop lines in the viewfinder. Some cameras have focussing screens that offer crop lines already, or if they don't, and you find it too difficult to visualize the final print's rectangular area, you can easily drop a home made paper crop onto your focussing screen. Then you'll only be able to see the final rectangular print area on the screen. Eventually rectangular cropping becomes second nature however. You do lose some negative area if you crop square to rectangular, but a square medium format cropped neg is still considerably bigger than a standard 35mm.

One nice thing about square format, is that you don't have to constantly flip the camera sideways to do vertical shots. You simply visualize portrait format crops in the viewfinder. Since medium format cameras are bigger and bulkier than 35 mm cameras, never having to flip the camera sideways is a nice bonus. Plus, if you're the type who likes to use a flash bracket centered high over the lens, you wind up with nice butterfly lighting (without awkward camera plus bracket/flash flipping) for both landscape and portrait style shots. Also, it gives you the opportunity to get creative using a square crop.
 

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