Medium format system advice

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by segedi, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. segedi

    segedi Member

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    Looking at medium format systems and wish for some advice...

    I currently have a Bronica RF645 which is a brilliant travel camera, small, light and can use 120/220. Also have the Mamiya 7II. Wonderful images, smaller and lighter than most any other 67 kit out there. But neither of these is very good for the tight portraiture that I desire due to their limited minimum focusing distance.

    What I'd like:
    Something portable enough to carry/handheld as 75% of shots would be out on the street.
    6x6 would be ideal, 6x7 or 645 OK
    120/220 backs
    150-200mm lenses
    AE/Metered finder
    Upgradable to digital back; not a priority, but ya never know. Might be cheaper to buy a 50MP back a few years down the road compared to a new Nikon SC 9000 scanner!

    Comment with your ideal system and ideal system if budget wasn't an option. So practical advice followed by your dream system. Never hurts to dream!

    Thanks,
    Kevin
     
  2. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    Mamiya 7 or RZ67

    Those are the closest 2 I can think of.
     
  3. R Paul

    R Paul Member

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    which medium format camera?

    How about a Mamiya 645 Pro? They have removable film backs, AE prisms.and can focus to 2.25 to 5 feet depending on the lens
    I actually own the older 1000s, but they use the same lenses which aren't expensive at all, and are very ,very nice.
    Hope it helps
    r paul
     
  4. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Easy call... RB67 or RZ67. These bellows-focusing cameras are made for closeup, and most of the lenses have very pleasing out-of-focus rendition. They are on the edge of what most people consider handholdable, but... with an L-grip or on a monopod or tripod they handle very comfortably.

    Consider an all-mechanical RB with a 127 or 150 SF or 180 or similar; or you might try the more automated RZ with a 110/2.8. Hard to say what you'll want. Try 'em all, they're inexpensive and marvelous. Add a tube and go macro. I love 'em all. I have two rb pro sd bodies and an rz pro 2.
     
  5. paul ewins

    paul ewins Member

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    You already own a Mamiya 7II - that's going to make it hard to swap to anything else for street shooting. I have a Pentax 6x7 which is a couple of pounds lighter than the RB/RZs and (arguably) has better ergonomics for street shooting but I still wouldn't want to be walking around for any length of time with it in my hands and it sure won't be unobtrusive. If you would like something that is upgradeable to digital then your best bet is a Mamiya 645 or a Pentax 645. With the Pentax you would be better off getting a 645N or 645NII since they have AF and will be newer. The digital upgrade path then is a complete body (645D) which currently works out less than the add on backs for other systems. All of the Manual focus (A645) or Auto Focus (FA645) will work with the 645N/NII/D models. I don't know all that much about the Mamiya 645, but again it is the AF body you want.
     
  6. raoul

    raoul Member

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    Hasselblad. Especially for the handheld option...
     
  7. Wishy

    Wishy Member

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    Have you consider a rollei SL66? Or maybe the later 6006/8 models if you want AE?
     
  8. segedi

    segedi Member

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    Thanks for the recommendations. I'll see if I can't hold a Mamiya 645AF, RZ67 (like it's features over the RB, but not the battery situation!), and a hassy 500 series. Need to get a feel for them to see what will work.
    The rollie's are interesting, the Hy6 is a stunner, both in looks, features and price tag! Right now I'd have to say I'm leaning towards the Mamiya 6645 AF. It seems most like the 35mm SLR, isn't a beast and has a really fast shutter with the focal plane shutter.
    Thanks!
     
  9. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    I suggest not worrying too much about a digital back option at this point. If you want to go digital later, there will be several options then, and in the meantime, why limit yourself, as cheap as things are these days. Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai says she uses a Bronica ETRS with 75mm lens. Even with meter finder, I doubt that's 200 bucks. And she gets some great shots with that setup.
    If you want AF, the Pentax 645N or NII are also good options. If you don't care about AF, the Bronica ETR series and SQ series give some great results. On either, the 135mm and 180mm lenses focus to one meter. Incidentally, one of the digital back makers has an adapter for the SQ cameras.
     
  10. segedi

    segedi Member

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    Yeah, I'm not too concerned about the digital back at the moment, the film scanner should suffice just fine and why spend the bucks on a digital back when I could spend 1/10th on film and dev/chemicals! The newest LEAF back deprecates to older bodies very well.
    I am intrigued by the Bronica SQ Ai as well; 6x6 would be nice. Will just have to find some locally at the shops to see what works.
     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Hasselblad with a 45º prism like the PME provides a large system with many options. There is lots of equipment available. The system allows flexibility over all the other MF cameras. The V Series has been in production for over 50 years. If it was not meeting photographers needs, it would not have had such a long production run.

    Steve
     
  12. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    I think first you need to decide what format you'd like to shoot. Once you decide that it will be easier to make a decision as there are too many options and you'll hear every one of them recommended here.
     
  13. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    If minimum focusing distance is your only concern, why not get an extension ring for your existing system? I have a set for Mamiya M645. With proper ring in the middle, I can get pretty darn close....
     
  14. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    A very important consideration will be what type of camera fits you. You might like the Hasselblad/Bronica style of leaf shutter camera or you might find it not to your liking. Same with the focal plane shutter Mamiya or Pentax 645's. And so on.
     
  15. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    The battery in an RZ lasts nearly forever. IMNSHO, batteries like that are a non-issue when it comes to comparisons between cameras.
     
  16. TimmyMac

    TimmyMac Subscriber

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    dream system for me under those criteria is hasselblad 203FE or 205TCC, with the 110/2 or 150/2.8
     
  17. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    6x6 need not be expensive. Look for a good user Rolleiflex and get it a complete service. They were one of the most popular street cameras for those who were not into Leicas before the 35mm SLR. Shuttters are very quiet, a lot of negative to work with, lower viewer level helps in hiding the fact you are photographing. While the f/2.8 would be the choice for low level light, with the latitude and film speeds today a f/3.5 may be all needed. A user with little practice can easily handhold at 1/30th with the 75mm lense. An alternative would be one of the Yashica TLRs.

    Yashica made a set of tele adaptors for Bayonet I so they can be used on the Rolleiflex. While prices fluctuate, most can be had for not a lot of money but only double the effective length. I have a set and used to use them from time to time for portrait work as they are just a tad soft.
     
  18. segedi

    segedi Member

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    Decisions decisions...
    If the Mamiya 7II took extension tubes (i don't think it does) that would make the decision easier.
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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  20. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    Just go and get a Hasselblad.
     
  21. Wishy

    Wishy Member

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    The closer you get with a rangefinder, the more trouble you run into.

    The fixed focus point is inventive, but i suspect now what the OP wants

    Pumalite - and fiddle with extension tubes? I'll keep my SL66 ta very much
     
  22. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hasselblad, or Bronica SQ if not for the digital back requirement.
     
  23. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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  24. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Kapture Group sells adapters for SQ and ETR series which take a Hasselblad back.
    They cost about 900 bucks, though.