Having multiple MF cameras

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Luseboy, May 23, 2011.

  1. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    Hey,
    So after much thought I have decided that medium format is really what I can use most, because I hate 35mm for serious work, and 4x5 is almost useless for anything but still lifes/landscapes, and even for landscapes its tough because its tiring to carry around that camera for very long. So medium format has really become what i use most, and since I use mainly Pan-F+ with the camera on a tripod, i still get about the same resolution as i do with my 4x5 with tri-x 320. Well I currently own 2 MF cameras, a Yashica A TLR (really just sits on a shelf) and my beloved Bronica s2a, which is pretty new to me, and just got back from Koh's the other day. Well as much as i love the 6x6 format, I'm thinking it would be nice to also have a 645 camera (probably an etrs) and a 6x7 camera (most likely a rb67 or a pentax 67) I'm also looking into some 6x9 cameras and 6x12 cameras. I'm not sure if i'm just too interested in equipment (my dad always says i should stop looking into equipment so much and just work on technique) I know he's right, but i still love getting new cameras. Anyways I'm mainly just wondering how many MF shooters out there use multiple formats? I think the 6x4.5 would be the shit for portraits, and after seeing some of my photo teacher's 6x12 panorama landscapes, I want one of those too. 6x6 is beautiful to me, but sometimes the rectangle is really nice too. And yes I know i can just mask it off in printing, but i refuse to not print full frame anymore (those days are behind me!) so who else does this? is it silly to have a 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9, and 6x12 camera?
    interested in what everyone thinks...
    -Austin
     
  2. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Mate, to be honest, it sounds like you worry too much about gear.

    In saying that, there's nothing wrong with having a few cameras that do different things.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    Haha you know what? I think you are right... knowing me, if i were to get all these cameras, i would never know which one i wanted to use. I think i should just use my 4x5 when i want a rectangle... instead of buying new cameras haha.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    What about a 645 camera with rise/fall and shift? Shoot 6x6 and print 645, and that's what you have, because you can take the 645 crop from anywhere in the frame, and you have no rotating back to think about or awkward sideways shooting, which a few MF rectangular format slrs have.

    If you really must have 16 frames per roll, there's a 645 back for the S2a, if you can find it.
     
  5. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    I'll have to keep my eye open for a 645 back... that would be a nice accessory.
     
  6. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Also you can shoot roll-film with the large format camera. You could get a 6x17 back for a lot cheaper than a 6x17 camera ( I think!).
     
  7. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I happen to hate 645s. The only formats worth having in SLR or TLR format are 6x6 or RB67. The 6x6 because you can crop to whatever rectangle you want, and the RB67 because you can rotate the back. Except in something like the Pentax 6x7 or Mamya 7, rectangular formats without a rotating back are just annoying IMO.

    Also, get over your cropophobia.
     
  8. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    That's a bit mean:blink:
     
  9. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    Excuse me, but you are 17. I suggest one of two paths. One is to be a gear slut, crank film through any and everything that comes your way. Hang out at seedy flea markets, cruise the lower bins in the backs of vans, whatever falls into your hands- as long as it has a light-tight box, slide some film in and see how you and it get along. Eventually, the thrill wears off, you find yourself spending more and more time with one camera at a time, and the next thing you know....

    You pick one camera and let all the rest wait on the back shelf. Oh, one lens, also. Take it as far as you can. Make it work. There are very few images that can't be made competently with most any camera. Your instinct is right with the medium format- it strikes a nice balance. You just dropped a pretty penny on getting the S2a fixed up, yes? Go with it. It alone. This won't be forever but until you really commit to a camera you won't know what you are really made of. Sure boredom can set in and some day you'll find yourself back on Craigs list, clicking away at all the ones with the pretty orange 'pic' markers, if you know what I mean....

    Shoot. Print. Show to people. Rinse lather repeat. If new gear keeps this happening, it's the right thing to do. If new gear keeps you from getting into a groove with your shooting, it's a mistake. It's really not that difficult. Relax. Nothing you do now will be with you forever.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2011
  10. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    .
    You are 17, and it's tiring to carry around a 4X5 camera ?
    When I was your age, I had to carry my 4X5 barefooted ...

    Get a friggin' jogging stroller to haul your camera around, CryBaby !!!

    A 4X5 Camera, and roll film adapters equal affordability, and versatility.
    And $25.00 should get you a used stroller in great condition.

    Ron
    .
     

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  11. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    What sort of results do you want?

    By that I mean -

    - do you like to project slides?
    - do you tend to print to a wide variety of sizes?
    - do you usually print to a standard size?
    - do you need to print really big?
    - do you like to contact print? and
    - do you have an enlarger and all the necessary accessories to print multiple formats?

    My suggestion - try to borrow some of the formats you don't own.
     
  12. greg pb

    greg pb Member

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    Buy an RB67, with it you can shoot 645, 6x6 and 6x7. Then look for a nice 616 roll film folder to convert to 120 film. Personally I dislike 645 and don't bother with it
     
  13. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    You don't need a camera for every subject and purpose. If you like medium format, stick with one or two that you like. Something like Mamiya RZ or RB will allow you to use 645, 6x6, 6x7, and 6x8 (I think RB will). You can also have fun with square like Bronica. For panoramic, you can crop top and bottom. Printing full frame is one style. There is nothing wrong with cropping like many of us. You can also do wonderful thing with 35mm, too.

    It's one thing to like gear and play around with many. It's quite another to think and limit yourself that without certain gear, you can't take/make an image that's right in front of you.

    I use 35mm most of the time and 645 when I feel like it. I have a TLR (6x6) that I play with every now and then. At my print size (11x14 at most), I haven't felt a need for anything larger.
     
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  15. agfarapid

    agfarapid Subscriber

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    I have several medium format rigs and use them all. Currently I have 2 Mamiya 645's (one is a super), an RB Pro S, a Fuji gs 645 and a Mamiya C33. My Fuji is my favorite walk around camera and my Mamiya 645 Super gets a lot of use. I enjoy the C33 because of the square format--great for the street with a 65mm wide angle. Finally, I have 2 pocket folders, a Zeiss Nettar 6x6 and a little Zenobia 645. I've acquired them over the past few years and enjoy using them all. I do have to admit that I have moments of indecision as what to shoot with but it makes adds variety to my shooting.
     
  16. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    OK! OK! i give in, i'm being lazy. I know thats a lame excuse with the 4x5. Although there are some landscapes around my area that i really want to capture that are like a few miles up a steep hill, no trail, lots of bushwacking. Not exactly 4x5 teritory. I am just going to stick with what i have for now. If i find a good deal on a camera that i want, like an etrs, pentax or mamiya 645/67, etc. I'll pick it up. I wasn't saying that i was just going to stop working with the bronica altogether until i get more cameras (that would be rather silly), but merely just trying to wrap my head around what other photographers have-equipment wise. You know its funny, when i was looking into medium format slr's a while back, i was totally tied to the 6x6 format, hence why i got the s2a. I'm more open to other formats now, but i do still love the square format. Also, I'm not saying i'm an equipment slut, more just saying that it is nice to have a choice. I think if i were given too many choices, i would never really be able to decide... so i think for now i am going to kick the idea of having more cameras out of my head... And maybe when i get the rectangle urges again, i will pick up a photo backpack and pack my cambo up in it and haul it up the hill. Anyways I was really just wondering what everyone thought, and i get a strong feeling of "stick with what you've got, stupid!" haha :smile:.
     
  17. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    As Woody Allen said in Annie Hall, “Excuse me, but I have an appointment back on the planet Earth!”

    Tough crowd out there.

    I agree with Dan Daniel who said roughly 'one camera, one lens'. You would be amazed what it could do and how good you could get with it. Starting out I had a Mamiya 645 and an 80mm lens. I moved in and out and all about to get the shots. I would recommend this to anyone. There is a tendency to go into equipment overload which leads to analysis paralysis. With one camera and one lens it takes the over thinking out, at least give it a try. Focus on seeing instead of the equipment.

    Disclaimer: This is my opinion, I fall victim to the overload too so I'm not perfect.

    Best of luck,
    Curt
     
  18. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have a Rolleiflex 2.8F which I enjoy once in a while, but I really like the RB67. Go with the RB67, you won't regret it.

    Jeff
     
  19. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    You know, thinking about it, I should have known better in the first place to even consider wanting so many cameras. I learned photography with my dad's un-used Canon Eos a2 35mm with a 14mm rectalinear fisheye. As you can imagine, I had to be right up next to my subjects. With my bronica, I have 4 lenses for it. One sits unused (a massive 400mm lens), and two others usually sit in the camera bag. I almost always use the 50mm lens with it (what can i say, i like wide-angle lenses) So I guess i truly do just use one lens in most cases. I will sometimes take out one of the others, for the times when I need it, but it really is usually just the 50. The greatest focusing tool any camera has is your feet...
     
  20. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Do they still make nappies for that thing?:tongue:
     
  21. NJS

    NJS Member

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  22. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    My first medium format camera was the Mamiya RB67, which I love. So versatile with different backs including Polaroid for instant results. But heavy and noisy, at a recent APUG meeting even the photographers noticed the door slamming sound that is the mirror slap of the RB67. The 6x8 back is a bit of a joke, it is a whole 6mm wider than the 6x7 image only in portrait orientation IIRC!

    My Dad gave me his old Yashicaflex 6x6 TLR and for candid stuff it is great. Just a fixed focal length, 80mm standard, and square so I think about composition differently. To be honest, I don't feel it is "cropaphobia" to want to shoot square differently than rectangular formats. I think if you just lazily shoot 6x6 and crop whatever later you'll find the resolution is poor, effectively the same as 35mm if you use 80mm for "stand offish" portraits which is OK, 35mm enlarges well but the RB67 with a longer lens makes a much better portrait IMO.

    For $6.50 I picked up a Kodak Tourist 6x9 folder. It is really compact and simple, no meter, no focus aid other than a scale. For a camera just to keep in a jacket pocket it is easier to have on me than even a 35mm SLR. Only a collapsing lens compact is smaller than a folder.

    For best results I use my RB67, the others are for quiet operation without a big slapping mirror in a more compact package.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2011
  23. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I used to be like you.....young with more cameras than I could really use....looking at other people's photographs and thinking I could do that with the right camera. I still have too many, but I've really ended up with three and they have their own justification/excuse. Hasselblad for almost everything, a Fuji GA645Zi (hate the automation, love the images) for handheld, and an ancient, beat up Leica for low light and fondle-factor. I really don't need to the Leica, but it is just too wonderful to use.

    My advice is to stick with the Bronica mostly. For low light and handheld, you have the TLR. Buy a ton of film and paper and learn how to print. That is the hard part anyway!
     
  24. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

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    You lost me when you wrote you hate 35mm for serious work.
     
  25. Dave in Kansas

    Dave in Kansas Member

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    If you are concerned about the size, weight and bulk of 4x5, then you probably don't need to look at the RB67. I feel certain that my 4x5 Speed Graphic and 4x5 field camera weigh less and are more compact and easier to carry than my RB 67, which mostly sits on a shelf.

    I had the opportunity to pick up several medium format cameras over the past several years. Some were even given to me. In using them all, I have determined my favorites. You really can't go wrong with the 6x6 format. I like 645 for some things, such as slides. Rectangle slides seem a little more normal than square, but that is probably due to looking at 35mm slides for so many years.

    A better or different camera won't necessarily make your photographs any better. That's what I've found.

    Dave
     
  26. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Sell your TLR, sell the three lenses you never use and with the money buy a holiday to some great place you've never been before. Using just one camera and one lens you will amaze yourself by how good your photos are and with luck you may cure yourself of GAS.