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Medium format advise please.

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by trinity, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. trinity

    trinity Well-Known Member

    I posted just recently about the Hasselblad 205fcc I had just bought, or thought I did, but on arrival at the shop I was disappointed it had been sold. I was looking to buy a mf camera for experience./ I will mostly be using it for some portrait work, landscapes and to try some architeture. I have read some good reports on the 205Fcc but most people seem to have gone for the 503cw amongst Bronica's etc. I am not sure what I am asking really. I have a budget of £1600.00. What would you go for and why.

  2. SteveEM

    SteveEM Well-Known Member


    As a former pro, I see very little point is spending anywhere near that amount of money for your first medium format camera when they are so cheap now. Many many pro's do not use Hasselblad since the square format means in effect the usable neg size is virtually the same as 645 when you print an oblong shape. Many pro's use the fantastic (but slightly large & heavy) Mamiya RB67 or RZ67, which gives a much larger neg size. The 6x6 format of Hassy is a bit neither 'fish nor fowl' I would buy either a 645 or 67 camera.

    The Pentax 645 is superb also the Mamiya 67's mentioned above. Check ffordes website for prices.

    cheers Steve.
  3. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Well-Known Member

    Like Steve, I much prefer the rectangular 6 x 7 format, but that is a matter of taste. The Mamiya RB/RZs are lovely on a tripod, but a bit bulky to use hand held or to lug around for landscape work. I use a Pentax 67II which looks just like a scaled up 35mm SLR.
  4. Blad_the_paler

    Blad_the_paler Well-Known Member

    My only advice would be to go to a gallery and view some square images. At the present time, square images are very much in vogue, they are very trendy when seen hanging on a wall. Add to this the Carl Zeiss lenses that are exceptionally sharp and also exceptionally expensive and you have an amazing combination. Team up a Hasselblad with Fuji Acros 100 in mono and the results are to die for. If you are a colour worker then try out said camera with Fuji Provia 100 and the results are amazing. Where other medium format camera are concerned, I've only used a Bronica ETRSi with many many lenses and it's lenses are nowhere near as good as the Zeiss equivalents.
  5. John_K

    John_K Well-Known Member

    I agree there is no need to spend a fortune on perfectly capable and fully functional MF cameras and lenses. With the reduction in film camera use you can pick up a camera from the Bronica SQ family for just under £300. 50mm WA lenses are about £200 and 150mm medium tele's about £180. Backs can be obtained from around £65 each. You can have a perfectly workable outfit from around £750.
  6. Blad_the_paler

    Blad_the_paler Well-Known Member

    One other thing to be aware of. The 2000 series of Blads have a titanium shutter at the rear of the camera next to the film back. This shutter is very easily damaged so check thoroughly before you part with a large sum of money. Do not buy without a return policy. Check out www.ffordes.co.uk
  7. trinity

    trinity Well-Known Member

    Hi, and thanks for all the advise. I went into London on Saturday and looked at severall film cameras. I was almost hooked on the Hasselblad H1 which was priced very reasonable. I liked the feel and it gave me what I think I wanted!! Having come away with nothing in the end I have now thought along these lines. I own a 1DS mk11 and need a back up camera. Perhaps I should look at the 5d as it will house everything I already own. Dazed and confused now...still no rush I guess.
  8. Blad_the_paler

    Blad_the_paler Well-Known Member

    Hey, the H1 is a class act in more ways than one. It is 645 which means that you don't have to constantly crop the image from 66 to 645. If you have a 66 format you inevitably find yourself cropping to 645 anyway so why not remove the need...??? On a minus note, it does not use Carl Zeiss lenses but Fuji. Whether that makes a difference is up to you.
  9. John_K

    John_K Well-Known Member

    What has been missed out is the benefit of a 6x6 format camera is you do not need to turn the camera on its side to get a verticle shot. You just crop as need be. Besides some images suit the square format anyway.
  10. Halley5

    Halley5 Member

    Still seems a shed load of cash on a format you may not get on with.

    I bought a Bronica ETRS with 2 lenses, bellows, waist level finder, prism finder.... and shed loads of bits for £300... not the worlds finest MF camera, but I have learnt one hell of a lot, and really enjoyed using it. There is no light meter on mine (but I can get a prism finder with one on), but I've been using a light meter for a while anyway. It has really streched me technically and made me re-think my method of taking pictures. The fact that it slows me right down means I think much more about composition... the end result is a much higher success rate than with my 35mm... which I still love

    Its a great format to get into... but I reckon it will suit some photgraphers where it won't suit other

    (now that is a pretty bloody obvious statement!!)
  11. bagpuss

    bagpuss Well-Known Member

    Agreed - I have a Bronica ETRSi with prism and meter, and I find it really does focus the mind. ;)
  12. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Well-Known Member

    A Mamiya RB67 gives you that too as it has a rotating back, and having the rectangular format doesn't stop you croping down to square if you want to. In fact I think you can get 6 x 6 backs for the RZ67.
  13. bagpuss

    bagpuss Well-Known Member

    Ah, but Bronicas and Hasselblads have leaf shutters!
  14. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Not all Blads do - and I've got a leaf shutter lens for my M645, too. And I can use my Pentacon 6 lenses on it with a simple adaptor, and my Pentax 67 has 1/1000 second top speed - so swings and roundabouts, somewhat.
  15. bagpuss

    bagpuss Well-Known Member

    Really? How very interesting! I'm sure I heard somewhere that you couldn't get leaf shutter lenses for Mamiyas...

    You learn something everyday I guess!
  16. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    There are a limited range of leaf shutter lenses available - mine is a 70mm f2.8, I believe there is a 55mm and a tele, but I'm not sure which. It only has faster speeds - logical enough - and the process is a little complicated compared to the normal one. TBH, I would swap it in a flash (groan!) for the 80mm f1.9, which is one of the other advantages of no leaf shutter - faster lenses. But I only really got into the Mamiya M645 by acccident (I found the camera cheap!)- I always wanted an ETR, then -S, then -Si. But once I got the Mamiya, I fell in love with it - the shutter makes a very nice noise for an MF focal plane shutter, the camera is nice to handle and the results are pretty decent.
  17. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Well-Known Member

    So does the RB67.
  18. DS2

    DS2 Well-Known Member

    In regarding your situation,there are numerous cameras to consider. Mamiya 7 Rangefinder, Mamiya RB67 and Pentax 67II.
    Let me start off with the first camera the Mamiya 7.
    This camera is a 6X7 Medium Format Rangerfinder,the reason why I would give this camera some consider because of it's portability.

    The second is the RB67, this camera is excellent for portraiture but not so great in terms of portability, however it is extremely durable.

    The third camera is the Pentax 67II great camera for portability, lousy for studio work 1/30 flash sync. Large selection of lenses. The main selling point is that the camera package with the 105mm 2.5 is approximately 1,500 quid!

    I hope this gives you something to consider.

  19. trinity

    trinity Well-Known Member

    Apologies for not replying sooner. I finally decided on a Bronice SQAi. It came with a metered prism,80mm and a 50mm. It also had a WLF and speed grip. I have taken my first images with it but am disappointed. This maybe due to the lack of experience with film and this type of camera. My first images were just out and about and found they all lacked PUNCH. They were developed on a 5x5. The other was a B&W and also lacked PUNCH there were developed n a 5x5 as well. Do you think I should have got these developed on a larger scale to see the differance? Not sure I have done the right thing here or should I stick with what I know (digital)????
  20. DS2

    DS2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Kevin,

    Here's what I do with film cameras, I usually shoot slower than the actual film speed. 400 ASA, I shoot at 200 ASA, this gives me contrast on a bright sunny day. However, on the SQAi this camera has an Aperture Priority Mode, I would suggest that you give my experiment a try and see if you like the results.

    If not, leave me a detailed on my e-mail by clicking on my username.

    Simon :)

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