Camera for fuji pack film 3.25x4.25

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by cjbecker, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I have been shooting polaroids with my 500cm for a short while now, but it has really led me into some very awesome projects. All of the projects are portraits and are mostly handheld. Now I want to move past the little tiny square inside of the negative and want to start using the whole negative. I will mostly be using a normal lens and would like it to be somewhat fast. ie 3.5 or close.

    I have been looking into a few different cameras and have come across a few that I am interested in. I have been looking into a 4x5 speed/crown graphic, or a mamiya universal and polaroid 600se. They both have there plus sides, and negatives.

    The speed/crown graphic would be very nice to use because of the variety of lens and will be easily be able to cover the negative. I could also use it for 4x5 if I feel the need. It also has a huge following and parts and accessories will be easy to come by.

    The mamiya universal has a nice variety of lens and the ones that I would be using does cover it. I would be using the 127 but the problem there is it is a f4.7. I could always use the 100 f3.5 but I like a normal lens. It has lots of great accessories like the roll film backs and such.

    The polaroid 600se is very close of being a great camera for me but I would like to have a faster lens then it can come with. 4.7 is just not fast enough for me.

    What do you think would be the best camera for the job? any thoughts ideas? and If there are any other cameras that I should be looking at, just let me know.
     
  2. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    As a former owner of nearly all of those cameras, I would hands down say Mamiya Press system. In terms of handheld shooting, it puts the Crown to shame and the lenses are easy to focus, tack sharp, and best of all, fun to use. The 127mm is a great, great lens, so is the 100mm (both 3.5 and 2.8) and even the humble 90mm is surprising. if you can find the 50mm, my god is it good. The grip with cable release is easily had and makes the camera very easy to tote about.

    Shooting polaroids is a blast with it and I'd set mine up with a 6x9 and 6x7 back on camping trips which produced some of my best images.

    My $0.02
     
  3. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    Thanks for the input. Any body else have any thoughts. Klainmeister how hard is the graphic to shoot handheld?
     
  4. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Mini or full 4x5? I had a mini and it was "fun" kinda.... It just isn't all that great having to unfold out the bellows, composing, using the RF if it works, etc before taking a shot. With the Mamiya, the lens is there (no folding out or anything) and all you need to do is RF and cock the shutter. Done.

    The 4x5 is like the mini only more obtuse. I'm thoroughly amazed that Press cameras such as those were used for so long and so succesfully, seeing as though the Mamiya or even the Graflex XL press cameras are sooo much easier to handhold and frankly aren't a breakthrough in camera technology.

    Both will work. Both have great lenses, multiple backs, ect. Tough call.
     
  5. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I have not decided on a full 4x5 or a smaller one. I would like the 4x5 just to have the ability to shoot at that size. And I do see how a mamiya would be much faster to shoot, and easer.
     
  6. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    I just have been playing with these radar gun oscilloscope cameras I got---they're fixed focusabout 2.25 to 1 reduction ratio---I focus by using a string--focus is about 14" from the front of the camera--anyway--these are perfect for filling the polaroid 3x4film with a head only--they look like the full head portraits I've done wiht a 14" lens on 8x10---the only problem is framing as there is no vewfinder--I have more than one and am toying with putting two together gowlandflex style so I have a focusingand framing viewfinder----anyways--they're cheep, rugged and do the job---anyother type of rangefinder and you'll get parallax headaches---a specialcamera for a special job---Or you can set up a crown--i have crown graphic with special lmarks on the viewfinders for the close up distance--focus is a problem though since it's closer than rangefinder allows--and you cant focus and frame at the same time....so I was using a string with that too...but the osciloscpoe cam is lighter...so...that's what I'm doing now...

    check for others tool...or rig together a box camera--like a 620 ansco box cadet type camera---put a lens on the front and a polaroid back on the back..perfect size for this type of project.

    press cameras are not meant for frame filling shots of heads---best is slr/gowland or other special--like polaroid BIG SHOT--that's a fixed focus---actually it's similar to the oscilloscope cameras...but big shot has an optical rangefinder
     
  7. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Well the Mamiya Press system sounds pretty nice overall. But what are the repair/parts options? That's a point I always like to question just in case. In 6x7 you have the RB with the rotating back and then the Koni Omega Press. Also the Graflex XL. The Graphic's of course will never die cause their just a box with a bellows but the process is slower with a handheld meter being used and a rangefinder for only one lens FL unless you go with the Super or Top Rangefinder option. Look at the weights and question whether it will be too much or ok. Here's a comparison site I found that was interesting: http://www.mir.com.my/michaeliu/michaeliu/medformat/medpresscompo.html
     
  8. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    Just to throw in my recent experience, I just got a Polaroid back/holder for the smaller pack film (3.25x4.25) for my 4x5 monorail camera. The film back was cheaper, and the smaller FP-100C is much more affordable for me the than the 4x5 version of the film.
     
  9. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Just get a Polaroid camera. The 100 auto is good as is the 250 or the 360. All of the Fuji pack films will work in those camera and they can be had for less than any of the cameras you have listed.

    I was on Beale Street a few weeks ago with my wife and my 100 auto and a cheap flash plugged into the camera PC slot and got some great night shots. I also received a lot of attention from people that remembered those cameras. A singer in one of the clubs saw me taking a picture with it and even called me into the club over the PA system just to see it up close.
     
  10. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    +1
     
  11. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Polaroid Land Camera Automatic 100 all the way!
     
  12. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    I had mine out today and got some great shots, the only thing is, I need a portrait and close up kit.
     
  13. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I have looked at cameras like the 195 but find them fragile. I would not want to haul that thing around. I am not the nicest to my gear as it is a tool.
     
  14. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    I climb trees, ladders, fire escapes, crawl through bushes and all around rough on myself and my cameras and the 100, 190, 250 & 360 that I use have always been up to the challenge. The only thing to look out for is if you load a pack in, use it all and don't let it set up with dirty rollers they will create strange effects on the film but that is the same with any of the Polaroid equipment.
     
  15. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    My polaroid 360 (with two extra lenses and RF flash) was $35 and is rugged. Give it shot. It's pretty cheap and gives darn good results.
     
  16. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The smaller camera won't take a Polaroid back
     
  17. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    Yea I realized that after i posted it.
     
  18. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    ok, I have been thinking more and more, and I am probably just going to go with a view camera. I have been looking into the linhof kardan series (the older ones) I really like the kardan Bi but it only shoots polaroids in the portrait position unless you get a spacer, but it is hard to find. I also don’t know how what back holds the 3.25x4.25 pack film. Can you tell tell me which one? Also I can’t find which cameras in the kardan series can use a polaroid back with out an adaptor.