Medium Format Reading material?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by RebeccaSC, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. RebeccaSC

    RebeccaSC Member

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    Hello,

    Does anyone know of a good book they would recommend I'm pretty much self taught from books on the normal 35mm SLR and the workings of a dark room but before I head off and buy everything written I wondered if there was a particular book or something that maybe some one here could suggest as a valuable lesson in medium format photography?

    I'm very very much a beginner and have just take possession of a Yashica mat 124G Medium Format TLR Camera. I've down loaded a manual so I'm just looking for a classic a-z really if you know what I mean.

    Many thanks once again for your invaluable advice and time

    Rebecca

    http://www.rebecca-sichelcoates.com
     
  2. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning, Rebecca,

    I have a book calledHow To Select & Use Medium-Format Cameras by Theodore DiSante. It's copyright 1981 and probably unavailable new, but is perhaps attainable used. It gives a reasonably good overview of the subject. No doubt there are other similar books available also.

    I'd suggest APUG as a good resource. The Forum contains numerous post on various MF gear. Lots of opinion, of course, but usually informed opinion.

    Konical
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2006
  3. DBP

    DBP Member

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  4. jadphoto

    jadphoto Member

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    Try Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz book on medium and large format. Lots of great information and plenty of Roger's Brit wit...

    Like all the projects these two tackle the outcome is predicatively marvelous.

    Joe D.
     
  5. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Rebecca what are you looking for? Outside of the film a MF is a camera the same way a 35mm is. If you're looking for comparisons on different cameras the Monaghan website will help.

    Let me put it this way. If you take something like a Pentax 645 it's pretty much an over grown 35mm.
     
  6. DBP

    DBP Member

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    Agreed. Other than the adjustment in going from 35mm cartridges to roll film the cameras are mostly larger versions of 35mm (or, to be more historically accurate, 35mm is scaled down MF). There are a few general differences:

    1. Loading roll film is fundamentally different - but not hard. I don't think I have ever misloaded a roll of 120 or 620, whereas I have lost a few rolls of 35mm over the years by the leader slipping out of the pickup slot.
    2. 35mm TLRs are rare whereas MF TLRs are common.
    3. Interchangeable backs on some cameras allow you to switch film mid roll - and give you a chance to leave the darkslide in and miss pictures.
    4. For a given type of camera, medium format is bigger and usually heavier. That being said, there are many small and light MF cameras that are actually easier to carry around all day than a Nikon F5 with a big zoom. TLRs and folders are generally light and easy to carry.
    5. MF cameras tend to have less automation and more flexibility. For example, interchangeable finders are common in MF SLRs and rare in 35mm. Autofocus is common in 35mm and rare in MF.
    6. MF cameras tend to cost more at a given level of capability, though using MF need not be expensive if you are willing to make some compromises.
     
  7. matti

    matti Member

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    Not only about MF but a book I can really recommend is Edge of Darkness by Barry Thornton. It thought me a lot and is a great inspiration on how to be more thorough both taking pictures and in the darkroom. It is not an a-z, though.

    /matti
     
  8. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I second jadphoto's recommendation for Roger's and Frances' book: "Medium and Large Format Photography; Moving Beyond 35mm for Better Pictures" It's published by Amphoto Books, is soft bound, not too expensive ($24.95 in the USA), and not too difficult to find in a store like Barnes and Noble or Borders.

    It's very comprehensive regarding medium format, and not too shabby covering large format either. Besides, there are lots of funny looking pictures of Roger! :wink: (which is probably why it's not more expensive.)
     
  9. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Hi Rebecca,

    Like you, I am new to MF (after years using 35mm I decided this old dog needed to learn some new tricks).

    I am reading "The Medium Format Advantage" by Ernst Wildi. He seems to be something of an "expert" in the format.

    If you are an experienced 35mm shooter, I think you'll climb the learning curve fairly rapidly. After all, aperture is aperture, shutter speed is shutter speed and "Sunny 16" still m/l "rules the day"!

    Of course, having previously enjoyed Roger's and Frances's book on Rangefinders, based on what's been posted here - I may have to get the MF/LF one being recommended - if just to see the funny pictures of Roger! :D
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I have this book and I can confirm that it is both excellent in content and that it does indeed have some great pictures of Roger taken at various stages between his bi-annual haircuts and beard trimmings!

    Steve.
     
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  11. Abbazz

    Abbazz Member

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    Hi Rebecca,

    Ernst Wildi's book has a very technical approach and I found it hard to read. The quality of the pictures featured is quite disappointing. This book deals almost exclusively with Hasselblad cameras, so you'd better look elsewhere to learn how to use your Yashica TLR.

    Roger Hicks' and Frances Schultz's book is a very good introduction to MF and LF photography and is easily available new. You could also try to get "Medium-Format Handbook: A Guide to Rollfilm Photography", Roger Hicks' previous book on the subject (ISBN: 0713716576), which is available used trough Amazon.com. This one also includes some funny pictures of a younger Roger.

    Theodore Disante's book is the second best choice, but it is not available new and is quite hard to find used. "Medium Format Cameras" by Peter Williams (ISBN: 1584280425) offers a similar approach as Disante's book, is available new, but the general quality of the book is poorer IMHO. It features a few pages on the Yashica TLRs.

    Cheers,
     
  12. RebeccaSC

    RebeccaSC Member

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    Thanking yeee

    Brilliant - many thanks off to purchase suggested reading matter
    best
    Rebecca

    p.s can not wait to develop my first roll - the thrill I got when I got my first glimpse through the view finder was ridiculous! One thinks I may be taking all this slightly too seriously.......................!:

    http://www.rebecca-sichelcoates.com
     
  13. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Rebecca,

    After you shoot that first roll you may want to check out this thread I started once I did my first:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=32843
     
  14. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    Hi Rebecca,
    As a Yashica 124G and Mamiya 6x7 and Fuji 6x7 owner I believe that Wildi (Focal Press) is worth checking out. He does have a bias toward square format, and that's fine for your Yashica, but he covers several other medium formats as well. You may find yourself liking 6x6 enough to try 6x7 or 6x9, or wanting the non parallax accuracy of a SLR MF camera, and Wildi covers them.
    Regards - Ross