Current medium format camera makers?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by bryanphoto, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. bryanphoto

    bryanphoto Guest

    Can anyone tell me the current medium format camera makers? The offerings for film cameras continue to dwindle -- from what I have seen -- with few offerings from Hasselblad, Mamiya, Fuji, Alpa and DHW Fototechnik. Can anyone tell me if there any others? I am particularly interested in cameras of durable natural materials. I would love to find something made with brass (like the Leica M series, but for medium format). Thank you.
     
  2. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Brass is an alloy of Copper and Zinc and doesn't appear naturally, a Brass medium format camera IMO would be far too heavy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2011
  3. thegman

    thegman Member

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    Seagull, Kiev? Pentax still seems to be listing the 67II as a current product.

    I think if you're after Leica style build quality, I've heard some say Rollei is as good if not better.
     
  4. bryanphoto

    bryanphoto Guest

    Thanks for the suggestions. As far as the brass, it might only be used for certain parts. For example, with the Leica M, it is used for the top and bottom plates. But I imagine its use being possible for bodies of camera systems such as the Alpa, which currently uses an aluminum alloy. However, because the body is very minimal and small, I figure something like brass would be possible, and, to me, preferable.
     
  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I guess if you wanted to make one yourself you could do it. Easiest, of course would be a pinhole.
    I'd guess that because the object of any corporation is to provide a product at reasonable cost, using brass wasn't practical.
    As you said "for certain parts" usually bearings or pivots, not much else.
    I understand the newer chrome Leicas no longer use brass covers, but the black ones do. :smile:
     
  6. bryanphoto

    bryanphoto Guest

    It would be interesting to make the camera. I might have to learn a bit more about metalworking, or try something in wood, but it would great to be able to build a body that perhaps utilizes other currently available parts for the lenses and film back or holder. Hmm.
     
  7. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Natural materials and lightweight homemade MF camera

    Try to google and find free Pinhole Paper Hasselblad .
    There is a website and blog and detailed print and cut pdf file devoted to that and a 18 minutes video , how things work.
    You can cut from thicker paper and get a more durable one.
    I saved your 1000 dollars

    Umut
     
  8. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    I think the best option is to buy high quality used MF gear while you can, and have it serviced by a qualified service repair person while they are still in business.
     
  9. bryanphoto

    bryanphoto Guest

    It certainly seems to offer more options nowadays to look on the used market. But I am curious what companies are still producing new.
     
  10. sidearm613

    sidearm613 Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but in Europe you might still be able to find new Rolleis. Franke & Heidecke closed up shop last year, and good luck finding a new one in the States, but you never know.... maybe there might be an extra Hy6 hanging around B&H in New York.

    Oh, and while Pentax Japan still lists the 645 and 67II, Pentax USA doesn't, so at least in many markets, those are discontinued
     
  11. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    Cosina Voigtlander Bessa III is currently manufactured. Fuji GF670 also. Hasselblad 503CW. The Mamiya RZ67 may still be in production since there is a digital back being produced for it. Holga and similar low-cost plastic cameras, too.
     
  12. bryanphoto

    bryanphoto Guest

    Thanks for the tips. The last I read, DHW Fototechnik is now producing the Rollei medium format cameras, but in fairly limited numbers. I wonder if the Pentax medium format film cameras are still available in Japan. Might be worth investigating.
     
  13. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Apparently not, nor any other kind of film camera. Why not just shop for a good used or NOS example of the sort you want? There's no great mystery about what's still in production for MF film systems.
     
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  15. sidearm613

    sidearm613 Member

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    I second CGW's opinion. I don't think its worth buying a new MF film camera these days unless you are a well-heeled Luddite. The fundamental systems are similar to what's been around for the past 10-40 years. I picked up a couple years ago an early 2000s 67II in really good condition and payed for it and several lenses less than buying a new 67II from Pentax. That equation will be mirrored throughout the MF marketplace, especially in regards to Hasselblad
     
  16. CGW

    CGW Member

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    I've lucked into NOS Mamiya RB and barely used Bronica SQ-B kits for very little money(e.g., $125 for a boxed NOS RB67 Pro S body+120+WLF). They're out there. KEH is clearing a pile of new Mamiya RB KL lenses for peanuts(<$200). I'm picky but patient--a strategy that's let me put together new cameras, lenses and accessories. Most of these MF system cameras sold well, so its often possible still to find good quality for very little $. It won't last, so don't dither if you want in.
     
  17. bryanphoto

    bryanphoto Guest

    Yeah, I think the "picky and patient" approach is probably the way to go. I have had back luck with used purchases, though, so it has given me a bad taste. However, I agree that it is probably still worth looking around for good used pieces.
     
  18. sidearm613

    sidearm613 Member

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    Also keep in mind that (at least in my experience) the cheaper systems will be the ones not offering a way to mount a digital back.
     
  19. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I always buy used cameras. I found that a digital back for a RZ67 can be pricey.

    Jeff
     
  20. sidearm613

    sidearm613 Member

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    Just a bit. And think about the quality you.... lose
     
  21. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    The quality difference between film and a digital back is like the size of my fingernail to the size of the sun in the digital back's favour if you're scanning your film with a flatbed.
     
  22. revdocjim

    revdocjim Member

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    Here in Japan Pentax is selling off their remaining stock since they have officially discontinued both the 67 and the 645 in favor of the 645Digital. Many stores still have a few sitting on the shelf. The Mamiya 67RZ is still in production but the RB is not. Nevertheless I was able to buy a new RB a few months ago with the standard lens and film back for under $500 and Mamiya is still happy to service the RB.
     
  23. bryanphoto

    bryanphoto Guest

    Thanks for the update on the status of Pentax offerings in Japan. I appreciate the information.
     
  24. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Arca Swiss and Silvestri still produce cameras that are relatively small and can take MF backs.

    Besides that, I agree with those who say that the second-hand market is still a very valid choice also in the long term.
     
  25. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    I came late to buy some of those 67, but i bought my new film MF 6x7 which is Mamiya 7II, i would like to send it for repair as it doesn't work, but not sure if i have to send it to Japan or USA.
    I bought Hasselblad 501cm and RZ67II both used, i was hoping to buy RB new when it was in stock online, but they are not and i can't follow all the websites in the world to get it new in stock somewhere, but i think i will just forget RB forever and keep my hand on RZ and Mamiya7, i wish if i can replace my RZ as it looks like good condition but need more service, so i wish if i can still find RZII "NEW" body only if available.
     
  26. Hikari

    Hikari Member

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    I you have a lot of money, there is also Alpa. And the new Fuji rangefinders, both the folder with an 80mm lens and the upcoming fixed lens wide-angle version are very interesting.

    And if you buy new, good for you. The secondhand market will not support the companies still brave enough to invest in film cameras. If we don't support them, how will they support us?