Fastest MF camera to load?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Nikonic, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Nikonic

    Nikonic Member

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    Hey Guys, new here, but been shooting my beloved Bessa for years.

    Im looking to get into MF. The only camera I've used thus far was a hasselblad. And what a pain that was to load. Which body would you say allows the users to snap in a roll and get shooting the fastest? I'm thinking maybe a Mamiya 7, but, I don't really know, and this is one thing that spec lists don't cover.

    Thanks
     
  2. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I'd think any camera without a separate back would be quickest.
     
  3. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Baby Speed or Crown Graflex
     
  4. Nikonic

    Nikonic Member

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    These take 120?
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The Hasselblad is the fastest. You swap one back for the next back which you had already loaded.

    By the way, after a while you learn load a roll of film quickly without swapping backs.
     
  6. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    If you have pre-loaded the insert then a P645n takes a few seconds only. Actually once you have done it a few times, loading a P645 insert in the field is quite quick as well. With most kinds of MF photography the time taken to load a film isn't crucial.

    pentaxuser
     
  7. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    The Mamiya 645 Pro I had was very fast to reload if you had extra inserts loaded ahead of time. It also allowed quickly switching backs. The Hasselblad is fast to switch backs, but doesn't use interchangeable inserts. Both are a bit slow to load the film into the insert however.

    The Mamiya 7 is kind of like loading a big 35mm SLR. It's not fast, but not too slow either (probably about a minute to load new film, but I haven't timed it). You get the hang of the all of these cameras and with practice you can get pretty fast.

    The cameras with interchangeable backs are by far the fastest way to keep shooting, at least over span of a few rolls (assuming you buy a few backs or inserts and load ahead of time).
     
  8. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Rollei's are quick, the auto-sensing ones mean that you don't need to line up arrows, just get the tab onto the take-up spool and go.
    With practice you can reload a Hasselblad quickly, but they are a bit fiddley compared to many. One thing that helps a little if you aren't immediatly re-loading a Hasselblad is to switch the spools when you take the film out, that way the back is always ready for loading. (actually this is true for pretty much any roll film camera).
     
  9. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Yes, and in different formats, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9, plus you can have several backs, interchangeable at any time, only seconds to change.
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    My Mamiya C330 and the Mamiya C220 I used to have were simple and straightforward to load, and therefore very quick.
     
  11. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    Am I going to be the only one that's going to say reload speed should be lower on the list then other things when looking for a camera.
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It used to be quite important when I shot weddings!
     
  13. agfarapid

    agfarapid Subscriber

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    Another vote for the Mamiya 645's with film inserts. whether you have the Super/TL or the earlier 645 versions without interchangeable backs, the reloadable inserts are the fastest going. If you had 3 or 4 preloaded inserts, you could reload very, very quickly. They are also fairly inexpensive; the going price seems to be about $40. The Hasselblad (and I've been using one for a while now) are a pain, even if you pre-loaded the film inserts. They're just not as quick as the Mamiya 645's.
     
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  15. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Hands down Rollei 6000 series. Interchangeable backs, faster darkslide (no dropping them like Hassie), pre-loadable inserts, auto sensing *with MotorDrive*, heck even the inserts are reversible so you don't have to swap around the spool, spring loaded spool release. No question. I've used all the others and if you never actually loaded and shot with a Rollei 6000 your jaw will drop when you see how fast it can load (maybe I should do a small video on youtube?). Faster than many 35mm from empty roll to ready roll.
    Really fast. Did I mention Fast?
     
  16. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Classic Bronica backs were selling for $60 a piece when I was using them a few years ago with my S2A. Probably less now. I had five. Pre-load at leisure, swap at will.
     
  17. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    It takes less than 20 seconds to load a Hasselblad magazine. Seriously, are you thinking that is too long?
     
  18. thegman

    thegman Member

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    If you don't mind switching backs, then just about any of those cameras will be very fast. Otherwise, I think Mamiya 7, or Bessa III (Fujifilm GF670) would be be very fast, as you're used to load a Bessa range finder.

    Rolleiflex is not too bad, but I'm a lot faster loading my Zeiss Ikonta III than my Rolleiflex.

    For ultimate speed, get a camera with swappable back, does not really get any faster. Hasselblad is good for that as it won't let you remove the back without putting in a dark slide first, I'm not sure about other cameras, but my Fotoman with Graflock back does not have such niceties, and you can easily take of the back and ruin the film.
     
  19. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Good reload speed with any MF camera I've seen is mostly about being well practiced.
     
  20. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    How fast medium format cameras are to load depends on how many hours you are prepared to spend practising until you can do it with your eyes closed.
     
  21. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I have owned a Mamiya C330 and I have two Hasselblads. It is faster to swap backs on a Hasselblad than load a C330. Furthermore one can change film types mid-roll on a Hasselblad without wasting a frame or the rest of the roll. The Mamiyia C330 is much more fiddlely requiring flipping from one side to the other to set and cock some of the lenses. There is no such nonsense with a Hasselblad.
     
  22. j_landecker

    j_landecker Member

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    For me, the mamiya 7 is the fastest non-interchangeable-back loading. Compared to other cameras I've used, the spools pop in and out very easily. If I'm out with the hasselblad and shoot multiple rolls of a couple of film types, I'm not going to carry multiple backs for each film, so eventually I'll have to reload a back, and it may not occur at the most opportune moment... So loading speed is still a factor for me.
     
  23. sbjornda

    sbjornda Member

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    How about the SLOWEST? :smile:

    My vote for the SLOWEST is the Pentax 6x7/67. I love it dearly, but.

    As for fastest, carrying a whole bunch of sheet film holders for a baby Graflex (Century Graphic) can be pretty fast, especially if you have an assistant or really huge coat pockets. At least in comparison with the roll film back which takes a lot of winding to advance the frame.
     
  24. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    being left one-handd, this is an interesting subject to me. however, i'm afraidthe answer is 'digital!
     
  25. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    The good thing about the Pentax 67 is that you don't have to take it off the tripod to load it.
     
  26. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I carry both black & white film backs and color film backs. Sometimes I will take a composition with both backs. I spent a week at Yosemite at the beginning of December one year. I was only planning of shooting color, but it had just snowed and after shooting a few scenes in color, I ended up shooting only black & white the rest of the time. I have some fantastic photographs from that trip. Be prepared for anything and wonderful opportunities arise.

    Also when I am using the Hasselblad I already have the 50mm, 80mm, 150mm, 250mm lenses, the filters, close-up rings, 2X adapter and a 903 SWC available. How much more trouble does it take to have an extra film back too?