I'm done with 35mm... need a few MF alternatives!

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jasonjoo, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Hey folks,

    I've recently been using both a Canon EOS 3 with a 17-40L, 135L, and very rarely the 70-200 f4 IS. I'm not sure why, but I just cannot get a decent scan from my 35mm negatives, no matter what I try. My 120 roll film scans are coming out BEAUTIFULLY. But I digress...

    I'm on the fence right now, but I'm 75% sure that I will sell off my 35mm gear. This should free up roughly $2000. I wouldn't mind saving some of this, but then again, I wouldn't mind investing in a solid MF setup either. I have 2 Rolleiflex 3.5E TLR's (one is currently unusable, but a CLA should put it in tip-top shape) and really do love the TLR form factor, but I really find myself wanting to have an interchangeable back and interchangeable lens system. I don't mind letting one of these go (probably the one that needs a CLA), so this may few up a few hundred more dollars.

    Anyways, I'm currently looking at the Hasselblad system. Perhaps a 501C with a few lenses and a few backs but I have also heard great things about the Pentax 6x7 II system. I am open to the Mamiya 7 series as well, but while the rangefinder seems great, I think I would prefer to have a SLR type camera.

    Any suggestions? My budget is around $2000, give or take $200 (or even more on the minus side). I do not want to spend any more than this.

    Thank you for your help (and sorry for my brief rant in the beginning :smile: )

    Jason

    Edit: Sorry, a choice of lenses with either setup would be helpful as well. I shoot mainly landscapes and portraits (I know this is quite diverse, but the longer lenses for portraits could double as a landscape lens!).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2008
  2. david b

    david b Member

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    The Hasselblad 501c kit with 80mm lens should go for about $1100.
    A 50mm CF lens is about $700 and a 150mm CF is about $500

    That's a great travel kit. Buy another back when you can for about $200.
     
  3. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Thanks David. I'm adding some different combinations into my basket at KEH.

    What's the difference between the backs? I'm looking at the A12 back with dark slide, but I see this:

    A12 BLACK 6X6 (30213) WITH DARK SLIDE HOLDER INSERT # DOESN'T MATCH BACK

    Does this mean the back won't work with a certain body?
     
  4. david b

    david b Member

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    Get an A12 with matching insert.

    An A12 back has a serial number on the shell and a matching number on the insert. This means they were made together.

    Also, go to http://www.hasselbladhistorical.eu/ to learn how to tell how old the gear is.
     
  5. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    MF SLRs are HUGE!
     
  6. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    I understand what the backs are for, but what's an insert? And thanks for the link David!

    cotdt, I really should ask and see if I can hold my friends Hassy for a bit. I don't remember it being too big, but definitely bigger than a 35mm SLR. However, I'm getting tired of these small negatives :wink: Thanks for the warning however. The Pentax 6x7II doesn't seem TOO monstrous. Is it?

    Jason
     
  7. Kent10D

    Kent10D Member

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    Personally I'm a big fan of the Pentax 67 system. Used bodies and lenses are quite cheap these days, and the quality is excellent. And the 6x7 format is a little more in tune with the way I shoot than 6x6. The main drawback is the weight (these suckers are HEAVY!). Mirror slap can be an issue if you're shooting handheld, but that goes for a Hassy too. A sturdy tripod and mirror lock-up are the way to go (don't get the very earliest model -- the Pentax 6x7 -- because it doesn't have mirror lock-up). There are no interchangeable backs though, so if you want that convenience then a Hassy might be a better choice.
     
  8. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Hmm yeah, the interchangeable backs would be very helpful. How hard is this mirror slap? I know I won't be hand holding and taking images at 1/8s like with my Rollei, but is the mirror slap that bad? What's a "useable" shutter speed to overcome this mirror slap?

    The lenses are much cheaper with the Pentax system, but I think I'm weighing towards the Hasselblad 501C...

    Jason
     
  9. Kent10D

    Kent10D Member

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    I think the general recommendation for minimum hand-held shutter speed -- for both the Pentax and the Hasselblad -- is about 1/125 with a standard lens. You'd have to go faster with longer lenses. But of course there are always those "human tripods" who consistently manage to get sharp images at slower speeds.

    I know of one pro who uses a Pentax 67 handheld who actually activates the MLU just before taking the shot. Tricky technique.
     
  10. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  11. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Oh my, that is monstrous.

    Hassy it is!
     
  12. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Hmm, 1/125 is actually quite slow! Even shooting with Delta 3200, I am constantly shooting at f3.5 and a rather slow shutter speed with my Rollei...
     
  13. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Stoop. Its compared to a smaller SLR than the EOS. I have a Nikon F100 the size of that with a 85mm f/1.4 is not much smaller than my P6X7 with a 75mm. Agreed the weight comparison is another matter. approx 1600g vs 2550g
    Kind regards
     
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  15. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    Remember that image is comparing a Pentax 110 to a 6x7.
    I had a Pentax 6x7 for a while and loved it, sharp lenses, well built and cheap.
    The disadvantages compared to a Blad are no interchangeable backs no leaf shutter (no flash sync at all speeds)
    Advantages are eye level operation (although you can get WLF for Pentax and Prisms for Blads) and the lenses are a lot cheaper, it also handles a lot like a big 35mm.
    Make sure if you go for the Pentax you get a MLU version some early ones were sans mirror lock.
    I swapped the Pentax for a Fuji 6x7 RF, which although doesn't have interchangeable lens or backs is very quiet and fast to use and I can hand hold down to 1/8 sec
    Mark
     
  16. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Unless you like the square format, why not try 6x9cm with Mamiya Press? It's almost the same ratio as the 35mm. The 23 Standard or Universal can do the great job and be had for 200 bucks with a body and a normal lens a 6x9cm folder and a grip, but you don't really need a grip. The size and the weight is in the game with Pentax67, but because of the lens-shutter, you can hand-hold the Mamiya Press down to, I would say, 1/30th of a second pretty steadily.
     
  17. weasel

    weasel Member

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    When I first decided I " needed" a mf slr, I figured interchangeable backs was a very important feature. After shooting one for several years, I found interchangeable backs much less important than I first thought. Frankly, I just didn't change backs very often.
    Over the years, and many cameras later, my mf slr needs are now covered by a pair of pentaxes, a 67 and a 645. The 67 is big, but not huge. Not much bigger than a hassy, but a different shape. Also a bigger format. They are great cameras, and have gotten cheap for what they are. Great selection of glass. Built like tanks.
    The 645 is a different sort of beast. It really is no bigger than a bigger 35 or dslr, and has many of the same advantages. While it lacks interchangeable finders, the finder it has is big, bright, has a diopter correction, and is one of the few cameras I can see the whole screen with while wearing my glasses. It has a great meter with several auto modes, is auto wind. The lenses are superb. The mirror is extremely well dampened. It uses AA batteries.
    It can also take the same lenses as the 67 with an adapter.
    One thing I have learned over the years that I don't see mentioned often, is the issue of film flatness with mf gear. Some cameras do a poor job of holding the film flat, degrading sharpness.So a well designed and manufactured 645 may very well end up being sharper than a format with a larger negative. Just something for you to research before diving in.
    Of course none of these will make images any better than the Rollei you already own.
     
  18. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    cotdt seems to be a little less than honest with his picture there.
    Of course it's monstrous when it's compared to a 110 camera that's what? Three inches wide?
    The Hasselblad is one of the more compact 6X6 SLR's but Bronica also offers an alternative.
     
  19. Edwardv

    Edwardv Member

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  20. JRJacobs

    JRJacobs Member

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    I own a Mamiya Universal Press and a Pentax 67 - the Mamiya is a LOT bigger and heavier than the Pentax.

    Look into the Pentax 67II - it is really a nice improvement over the original 67 - TTL metering with spot, matrix, and CWA modes, much lighter than the original , and a much brighter screen. 6x7 is a great format as you don't have to crop when enlarging for most paper sizes, and the SMC lenses are wonderful.

    Another option for 6x7 SLR is the Mamiya RB67, which has interchangable backs and can be had for dirt cheap prices these days - although it is much bigger than the Pentax 67.
     
  21. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    With only $2000, I doubt you will be able to get much of a Mamiya 7 system. Depending on the scanner used, bigger film = better results because there is more information on the larger films. For mostly landscapes have you thought about a 4x5 camera? Maybe one with a 120 roll film back? Just tossing out another idea.
     
  22. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    Seems like every successful and world famous Rollei user eventually switched to Hassleblad. That includes Penn and Avedon. I watched a video of Helmut Newton the other night, guess what, using a Hasselblad. You know with a hasselblad you are getting absolute top optics.

    The problem with range finders is that you must look through a window and the problem with SLRs is you must deal with the mirror. A Rollei offers range finder quietness and shutter as well as viewing through a lens like an SLR. Of course it's downfall (?) is noninterchangeable lens. You could go with a Mamiya TLR but it is IMO ugly and heavy. So go with a Hasselblad and use a tripod and lock up the mirror.
     
  23. JRJacobs

    JRJacobs Member

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    LOL - I'm convinced that the design team at Mamiya had the goal of making every one of the MF cameras HEAVY and UGLY. RB67, the TLR's, and the Mamiya Press cameras - all way heavier than their counterparts. That being said, there is no arguing that the are solid dependable cameras.

    I think it boils down to format - if you want 6x6 square in an SLR, then Hasselblad is definitely the one to go after. I prefer 6x7, so I use the Pentax, and use my Rollei for when I am in a square mood. :smile:
     
  24. middy

    middy Member

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    Bronica SQ are quality gear and going for dirt cheap right now. You could get a complete set for about 2000, including extension tubes.
     
  25. walter23

    walter23 Subscriber

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    If I was buying MF gear right now I'd probably go with the RB67. I like the 6x7 aspect ratio, the optics are great, and the camera looks like a 70s sci-fi plasma cannon. Much cheaper than Hasselblad and similar quality (just not as flashy). How can you go wrong with that :wink:

    But why not just skip the MF and go to 4x5? You'll get movements for perspective and focus control, easy film handling (sheets are simple to deal with in the dark), impressive scans of 40 to 200 million pixels, and the ability to dabble with contact printing methods like cyanotype, salt printing, van dyke brown, etc.

    Oh, and phenomenal optics with little distortion and corner to corner sharpness.

    If you're already scanning your film anyway, you may also consider keeping your nice L lenses to put on a, well, another small format 35mm-compatible body that is forbidden to discuss here at APUG. A lot of us do secretly use them from time to time, you know.




     
  26. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Keep your 35mm and buy an enlarger.