I want to get into med format.

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by f/16, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. f/16

    f/16 Member

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    Hello. I just got a tilt adapter for my Nikon SLRs and DSLR that uses Kiev 60/Pentacon Six lenses and it came with a 80mm 2.8 lens. That has sparked a new idea-I want to do med format. Been wanting to get into it for years. I've been leaning toward a Kiev 60 body-doesn't have to be the best quality, just want to get into it at a modest price. And are there any telephoto lenses in the 135-200mm range that offer decent image quality that are not too expensive? Another reason for wanting a Kiev 60 is I like Russian stuff. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    There are Kiev 88 bodies that have been altered to take those lenses.
     
  3. rawhead

    rawhead Subscriber

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    Are you kidding me? The Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 180mm f2.8 is the best 180mm lens you can get for medium format :D
     
  4. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Russian cameras are good but have you look into Mamiya RB67.

    Jeff
     
  5. alexfoto

    alexfoto Member

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    I say the lens is superb, but stay away from the body, tray Pentagon six tl, all the rest Russian body is problematic.
     
  6. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    I will go out on a limb here and say even though many people have preference to 6x6, 6x7, 6x9 or even 6x4.5 (which I have all of), all of them give you results that are superior to 35mm. I find the difference from the scans at my local lab (which are not high res, drum scans or anything special) to be amazing.

    I am finding after starting out with a Mamiya 645 setup that I am starting to fall in love with 6x9.....is bigger better? It sure seems so. If you are used to 35mm and the convienence of such systems, a "big slr" setup like some of the 645 cameras offer can be a great transition to medium format. Once you go medium format, you will get all the cameras or at least one camera that can do multiple sizes of meduim format. I don't care who the manufacturer is, ANY TLR offers a unique and wonderful experience and amazing results.

    I started out using color film with my medium format cameras but now find that the majority of my film work simply says more with black and white. Things look so spot on with black and white and medium format.

    Get your Kiev, but please don't discount the huge amount of great, high quality to superior medium format gear that is out there for a fraction of it's original price. Eventually I will have a Hassy, but for now, I find all the other stuff out there to be more than enough for me. I am the limiting issue for all of my equipment.....

    Good luck!!

    Bob E.
     
  7. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    You should be able to get a CLA'ed (serviced) Pentacon 6TL for a good price.

    Then you've got the large range of lenses available for your enjoyment, many of which are very good (50, 120, 180 and 300mm CZ lenses, plus the Arax 30mm fisheye).
     
  8. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    I've just spouted forth on the 'most disappointing camera' thread about how awful the Kiev 60s I had were (note, plural, the first was exchanged by the dealer. Both were rubbish).

    I liked the design in a part tank part concrete block sort of a way... but really terrible quality control. Look up 'ARAK' cameras in google. They take Kiev 60s and 88s (which can be modified to take P6 lenses) and rebuild them. I've heard good reports and I am tempted myself. I've heard of other companies that do the same thing, too.

    I really couldn't recommend a non-rebuilt Kiev 60 to anyone. I replaced mine with a Pentacon 6. This is a much better camera, but quite old now, so maybe hard to find a nice one?
     
  9. f/16

    f/16 Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. I'll stay away from any non rebuilt Kievs. Probably save many headaches. Steven, you mention ARAK...did you mean ARAX?

    And Bob, you have several Nikons I used to have-N80, N90(s), FA. I wish I still had the FA.
     
  10. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Query.

    Do you process your own film? If so, go to Large Format. Go directly to large format. Do not pass medium format. Do not collect 200 rolls of 120.

    No, the waters are really nice in the 4x5 pool. Jump on in.
     
  11. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    Yes, sorry, ARAX

    http://araxfoto.com/cameras/

    there is also a company called Hartblei who do something similar:

    http://www.hartblei.com/faq.htm

    I've heard very good things about ARAX, but there seems to be some confusion about who exactly Hartblei are and who owns the name, now. (Not heard anything bad, mind). I think there is also an American company, too.

    Of course, many people will have had good experiences with a Kiev 60 (or 88) - it was just the quality control was really terrible. You didn't know until you got one whether it was usable or a lemon. Buying a re-worked one from one of these companies with some sort of warranty maybe gives you a bit more confidence.

    I'm really tempted by an ARAX Kiev 88 with a P6 lens mount, myself. :smile:
     
  12. f/16

    f/16 Member

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    Hi Christopher. No I do not process my own film and don't plan on doing so in the future. Also not interested in LF at this time-just MF.

    I was looking on KEHs site. Looks like I could get a Pentax 645 in EX cond with 75 2.8 SMC A and 120 insert for about the same $$$ as a Kiev 60 rebuild setup. Pentax is probably a much better camera?? And is that 75 a good sharp lens? Does the 645 do horizontal or vertical images? Would hate to turn it on its side to shoot horizontal.
     
  13. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    I recommend you look at any camera of 6x6 or larger format, forget that 6x4.5, not that it is not a good format size, but when i used digital medium format which is almost 6x4.5 i wanted to have something bigger, so got Hasselblad 6x6 and RZ6x7proII, for both they are amazing nice, and when i've got Fuji GSW690III that is even better and amazing sharp nice results, i will never look back to 6x4.5 in film or even miss it, and if you will say about body weight then there are many 6x6 or 6x7 cameras can be so lightweight that you may want to have heavier.

    Good luck!
     
  14. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    My Mamiya RZ has an option to rotate the back only [not the body] so you can take landscape/portraits orientation so easy.
     
  15. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I was going to agree until he said he didn't process film.

    IMNSHO anyone not doing darkroom work is missing at least 50% of the creative potential and about 65% of the fun of film, but that's just me - and I realize not everyone has a place they could set up a darkroom, even a makeshift one.

    I did just this BTW, straight to 4x5 back in the 90s. Now I've started doing some MF too, bought a Yashica Mat 124 (plus a 6x7 roll film back for the Linhof mainly for affordability and film choice in color.) I really like using the Yashica but neither it nor my 35mm replace my Linhof, which doesn't replace either my 35mm kit or my Yashica. I am thinking of getting a second TLR just so I can carry two types of film loaded! Horses for courses and all that. All are fun, all are different.

    To the OP, jump in, you'll almost certainly love it.
     
  16. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Do you promise not to do a cannonball off the high dive?
     
  17. fmajor

    fmajor Member

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    I'm a recent entrant (only about 1 year) to medium format and i gotta say i love it!

    I have an RB67 Pro-S and it's super. I also have a Minolta Autocord TLR and it also great (though i prefer the RB67!!!). My RB offers such a huge increase in the joy i find in photography (the ease of switching from portrait to landscape while tripod mounted is enough in itself) that i have a hard time using my 35mm gear.

    If i want to shoot something for *me* (no events/meetings/etc), i'd usually grab my 35mm stuff and go to it. Now, my 35mm gear just sits. I have a roll i've been 'working on' for 2-3 *weeks* that i've not finished.

    For me, i chose/choose medium format (roll film) over large format for many reasons. Medium format is the largest format which is reasonably convenient for me - whereas sheet film presents too many inconveniences e.g., variety of film, developing, actual use of the cameras (i don't like the dark-cloth required), changing lenses, general size (not weight - i don't mind weight-i shoot an RB67!!!), etc. I can buy a load of film and use it in my RB67 *or* my Minolta Autocord TLR - i love the verstility of medium-format roll film!!!

    I'm sure someone who prefers large-format will jump all over my comments about large-format, but f/16 inquired of medium format. Unfortunately, I'm not able to recommend/comment on any of the Russian cameras...
     
  18. brunico

    brunico Member

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    f/16,

    I really wanted a retro-cool chrome Kiev with Cyrillic script too, not least because I thought they would be a $100/£100 entry into a more versatile medium format than the old Moskva-5 folder I used to have. But I was astonished how expensive the Kievs modified for mirror lock-up were and how inexpensive Bronicas had become since I last looked a few years ago. The lenses, too, run to roughly similar prices, at least on eBay. I found there were lenses in the Bronica SQ series that I liked the look of, Bronicas with WLFs seemed easier to come by and they had conveniences such as longer shutter speeds and lighter weight, and I went Bronica. But no tilt/shift possibilities, AFAIK.

    I don't think the Kievs are bad cameras - though I'm aware of quality control issues, and I've had my share of old Soviet equipment in Leica thread mount - just that, for me, they weren't as good value.

    I toyed with the idea of a Mamiya 645 - not least for the 80/1.9 - but I fancied something with a different aspect ratio from my 4:3 digicam, and I liked the idea of a WLF to keep the weight down and not needing to turn the camera for verticals. So the square format will hopefully make me think about composition in new ways, rather than just having a big film version of my digicam. I'm sure I'd have been happy with any of them, but that's why I eventually made the decision I did.

    I've not had my Bronica long, but it's really cool being able to look down onto that big screen - one of the attractions that drew me to Kievs in the first place - and much more satisfying than doing the same thing with a Nikon F series.

    But I'd still like a Kiev at some point. Just not at current prices, so I might have to settle for one without mirror lock-up.
     
  19. jnoir

    jnoir Member

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    FWIW, I have rediscovered my P6TL since I bought the Flektogon 50/4. I am actually travelling abroad, and while in the last year I have travelled with an average of 3 cameras, this time I have taken just the P6TL with 50 and 80. The 65 was left at home, and the 120 and 180 will be mine soon, eventually.

    Thing is, that I bought the Flek as a cheap way to decide whether to go for the 43 or the 50 with my Mamiya 7II. On those few times when I have used 35mm film, I find that I always use the 24mm lens. But I have never tried anything wider, and I do not rely on russian cameras or lenses. The Flek 65/2.8 for the P6, despite regarded as one of the worst lenses in the set, is worth testing, and I found it dirtly cheap.

    I was planning on selling the full set once I make up my mind about what lens to buy for the Mamiya 7II (one P6TL and one Praktisix, Flek 50, Flek 65, Biometar 80, metered prism, macro and extension rings, hoods, filters, screens...), but now I am not that sure at all...
     
  20. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    I think the Pentacon 6 is a great outfit. Alas, I have yet to track down a 120mm Bometar. I once saw a 300Mm sonnar at a camera fare and thought twice about it. I've regretted it ever since. I have the Zeiss 50, 80 and 180 mm lenses though. All great performers.

    The icing on the cake is to have the fresnal screen upgraded by that nice German chap and buy one of the Kiev 60 metered prisms and an adaptor plate off him ;-)

    http://www.baierfoto.de