Medium Format Choices.

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by awad, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. awad

    awad Member

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    Okay, I'm looking to start shooting more medium format, right now, i have a $25 TLR that i'm using that isnt the sharpest thing on the planet, and a holga. My budget is kinda tight, but i've narrowed my choices to a few cameras. Could you guys chime in and tell me which one is the best one?(great question, i know.)

    Option 1) Mamiya M645
    M645 SUPER WITH 110 F2.8 (58), PRISM N, 120 SUPER BACK, POWER DRIVE N.

    Option 2) Mamiya RB67
    RB67 WITH WAISTLEVEL, 127 F3.8, 120 BACK

    Option 3) Pentax 645
    645 WITH 75 F2.8 SMC A (58), 120 INSERT

    Option 4) Bronica SQ/SQA/SQAM
    SQ-AI WITH WAISTLEVEL, 80 F2.8 PS (67), 120-I BACK

    Option 5) Bronica ETR/ETRS/ETRSI
    ETRS 20TH ANNIVERSARY WITH 75 F2.8 EII, 120 BACK, AE-II, BROWN LEATHER

    Option 6) Bronica ETR/ETRS/ETRSI
    ETRSI WITH 75 F2.8 EII (62), 120 EI BACK, PRISM, SPEEDGRIP E

    so many choices.so little knowledge.
     
  2. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    Well, you can't go wrong with any of the options you've listed. Maybe before deciding which camera to get you should figure out which format you like. After that you can narrow your choices even further.
     
  3. Ranger Bob

    Ranger Bob Member

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    What's your budget? If it's around $1000, I would go for

    Option 7) Hasselblad 500 C/M w/waistlevel, 80C T*, 120 back

    Decide if you want square negs or that other format, then make your choice
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2006
  4. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Unless you're a collector I'd throw out ETRS 20TH ANNIVERSARY. The later ETRSI adds features and will be newer.

    Unless you really need the prism I'd suggest the waist level finder. The unmetered prisms just don't add much IMHO.

    If it was me I'd consider the ETRSI first. It's likely the newest of all the choices. Most flexible [asuming you can handle 6x45]

    The Pentax comes with more intially. Meters. Power winder. But you can add those later to your ETRSI if you need it.
     
  5. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    If the 645 format is your thing...go for the Pentax. Great lenses and it handles like a 35mm camera.

    Hans
     
  6. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    Also why so strict in those configurations? Sometimes its cheaper if not better to piece together a system from scratch.

    For example instead of getting a Mamiya RB67 Kit with a 127mm lens for about 215$ from keh.com I instead pieced together a RB67 Body + 90mm f/3.8C + 180mm f/4.5 + 120 Back, Waist Level Finder + Prism + Polaroid Back + 220 Back for just under 300$ , and got overnight shipping for a total of 310$.

    I prefer a big negative, but some people may enjoy the more handheld capabilities of a 6x4.5 camera. I also prefer the Leaf shutter in the RB67 where as I think the rest you listed are all focal plane shutter ( though I think the newest Mamiya 645 camera is a leaf shutter).
     
  7. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The most useful accessory I have for my ETRS is the unmetered prism. It makes it possible to shoot vertical format without falling over.

    With 6x6 it's different, and I would agree. But the ETRS is 6x4.5.
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Another consideration is that the ETRS has leaf shutters, which makes lenses a little more expensive. But the lenses are really, really great!
     
  9. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    Ditto as well, sometimes the shooting style just becomes different.

    In the case of my RB67 I need not worry bout vertical or horizontal when shooting either with a prism or waist level finder since the back rotates, but a 645 camera is a hell of a lot lighter in weight.

    By the way far as the hasselblad goes, you can get a 500CM with an 80mm f/2.8 T* for about 600 or so on keh.com
     
  10. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Just shows how often I turn my ETRSI on it's side :D
     
  11. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    Leaf shutters do not make the lens better, but rather allows for higher sync speeds when using flash, or in some cases better stability since you don't have the 'recoil' action of a focal plane shutter firing.
     
  12. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    From a quality viewpoint, bigger = better, though (for example) I'd rather have good 6x6 than mushy 6x9 -- lens quality counts for a lot.

    For size/quality relationship, I'd back Hasselblad or Linhof (the latter bigger and heavier, but a much bigger useful neg).

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  13. Terence

    Terence Member

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    What do you shoot, and how do you shoot it?

    If you almost ALWAYS use a tripod for landscape or studio, the bigger the better. If you shoot candid portraits or street photography, the lighter the better, etc.

    For tripod-based work, I'd also recommend the Hasselblad. I put together a system from KEH with everything "bargain" rated except the film magazine (excellent), for around $600.

    For non-tripod work the Mamiya M645 series with interchangeable finders are great.
     
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  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    A couple of comments about the Mamiya M645 Super:

    The "package" you have listed includes a 110mm lens. You may like that focal length, but it is a bit longer than most of the rest of your choices.

    I note that Karl Blessing indicates in one of his posts that you cannot change film mid roll. The Super is, in fact, the first model of the Mamiya 645 cameras that uses removeable backs so, if you have multiple film backs, you can change them mid roll.

    I have two M645 Supers, and they work fine, but the two models that followed them - the M645 Pro and the M645 Pro Tl are newer and are reportedly more rugged, especially if you plan to use a motor winder. Most (but not all) of the accessories fit all three types. All of the Manual focus lenses fit all three types.

    Matt
     
  16. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    True. But the Zenzanon lenses are great - independent of the shutter. :smile:
     
  17. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    I don't know about you, but I love my RB67

    *hugs his RB67 (mainly because you need both arms to hold it)*

    Though I'm sure my thoughts would change if I owned a hasselblad 500CM.
     
  18. Terence

    Terence Member

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    I love my 500CM and 501CM, but they ARE finicky compared to a lot of other cameras. For me the choice in cameras comes down to my desire not to use batteries whenever possible (they always seem to die at the most inopportune time). My light meter is my only battery operated device and if I lose the juice I can usually guess close enough to bracket and get the shot I want.
     
  19. Jeffrey A. Steinberg

    Jeffrey A. Steinberg Member

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    Mamiya C330 TLR would be my choice. or a Mamiya 7II (6x7)

    very different price points and very different styles (LTR versus rangefinders).


    It all depends on your application. What are you shooting?
     
  20. DeanC

    DeanC Member

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    Is shutter recoil really that big of an issue? I'd expect the shake from the shutter to be way down in the noise compared to the mirror slap.
     
  21. Jeffrey A. Steinberg

    Jeffrey A. Steinberg Member

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    Shutter slap is a big issue. Try hand-holding a Pentax 6x7 and trying shooting at 1/30 of a second--really impossible. Tripod a most.

    --Jeffrey
     
  22. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Does it have to be an SLR? There's a lot to be said for rangefinders, and Koni Omega stuff is available dirt cheap on eBay. Even if you get an SLR later on, the rangefinder would be handy. The Koni Omega lenses are excellent. I understand that the lenses for the Mamiya Universal can also be excellent, if one gets the right ones.
     
  23. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    I just picked up a Tele Rolleiflex after owning a number of normal Rolleis. I must say, this Tele Rolleiflex is a fantastic camera. I just uploaded a portrait of Dasha to the Critique gallery that I shot with the camera yesterday. I am looking forward to putting this camera to work.

    Sanders.
     
  24. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    One of the newer ones? How closely will it focus without resorting to supplemental lenses?
     
  25. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    No, this one's a Type one, ca. 1970. The portrait of Dasha over in the Critique gallery is shot as tightly as the Sonnar will allow, handheld, wide-open at f/4. Not bad, considering.

    Sanders.
     
  26. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    I'd say go 6X6 and go with the SQA-i. Actually you don't need the prismfinder, the waistlevel is great except if you do some more actionlike shots. The Bronica is a great camera and the lenses I have tried where superp. I still regret... ah never mind that. :smile:
    Cheers
    Søren