On the road: MF question

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Seabee, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. Seabee

    Seabee Member

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    Sooooo.... I have not really traveled with a MF set up but I hope to soon.

    If you could take a Hasselblad of a mamiya 645 as your one travel companion... which would it be?

    I have not been able to work out the merits of the different cameras as travelling gear.

    Thanks
    Chris
     
  2. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    I own both a Hasselblad 503CX and a Mamiya 645 Super. They're about the same size and weight, though Mamiya's lenses are smaller and lighter because they don't have shutters in them as Hasselblad lenses do. I travelled a lot with my 645 over the years and it was a joy to use. I can carry the body, 2 backs, 45, 55, 80, and 150mm lenses, handheld meter and a supply of film in my Domke F1x bag easily. I recently got the Hasselblad with 50, 80 and 150mm lenses and I carry it in the same bag I use for the 645 setup. Overall a bit heavier. I guess If I was doing a lot of walking (I'm a thin, not very strong man) I'd go for 645 but if you're stronger than me it probably wouldn't matter (and I'd still use the Hassy if I knew I'd want square format, as I often prefer). So, overall I don't think there's a big enough difference to matter. Get the one who's format you prefer unless money is an issue, then Mamiya 645 gear is MUCH less costly.
     
  3. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Member

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    This is an interesting question. Over the years, I've owned a number of cameras in various formats. I had a Mamiya 645 with a few lenses and, as much as I liked the end result, I found having to vary the orientation (whether hand-held or on tripod) to be a real pain. I now have a Bronica SQ-B with 40mm, 80mm and 150mm PS lenses and WLF (as well as the prism finder - which I seldom use). I love the fact that 6x6 doesn't require me to have to adjust and re-adjust to get into portrait or landscape orientation. Once it's on the tripod, that's it - apart from composing....!

    The good news with the Bronica is that they really are excellent value and the lenses are superb. I've always hankered after a Hassy but I can't justfy the additional cost for the 'perceived' improvement in quality. I say 'perceived' as I can't tell what camera / lens took which photo after a certain point. Therefore, I'll save my money and enjoy the Bronnie.

    Paul.
     
  4. david b

    david b Member

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    I've never owned a Mamiya kit but I own a Hasselblad with three lenses and a prism. It all fits into a Lowepro MiniTrekker with no problem.

    I deal with the weight as just part of the package to make great photos.
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I would take the Hasselblad because I own one. On the other hand I would not take a Mamiya 645 because I do not own one.

    Steve
     
  6. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    The mamiyas travel well ... I have 5 of various ages and nary an issue with any of them. N.b. I do not keep any of them in velvet boxes, either!

    You may look at a travel kit as a 2 body + lenses kind of proposition. I don't think it'd be wise to set off on some expedition without a backup body.
     
  7. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    I have travelled with a Hasselblad set up on a number of occasions - India last year, Florida the year before, and on countless other shorter trips. I never regretted taking it, even India where I carried it with me at all times in a rucksac.

    Matt
     
  8. Frank Bunnik

    Frank Bunnik Member

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    I tried a Mamiya 645 years ago but I did not really like the 6x4,5 format and what I really did not like was the way the camera was held in vertical shots plus you need a prism ofcourse while I prefer a WL-finder by far. After that I bought a Hasselblad and became familiar with the square format. The Hasselblad has been on several trips with me, Cambodia, several timed to India, trekking to Everest base camp and the Gokyo lakes in Nepal, etc. So my advice would be the Hasselblad, but that's just my opinion.
     
  9. Paul.A

    Paul.A Member

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    I'd take the one one you enjoy using the most. A year to be restricted to a camera you don't like using would drive you crackers.
     
  10. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    Steve said it all!



    André
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    My two Mamiya 645's travelled every where with me for a number of years until I decided to only use a 5x4 kit and a 35mm with one lens. The 645's were easy to carry and great performers. I'm sure a Hasselblad wouldn't be much different.

    Ian
     
  12. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    Hello Chris,

    but you did not tell us what king of photography you have in mind? Landscape, macro, portrait, lowlight, handhold or with tripod? What are you limitations (budged, weight, etc) I would have a tendency to go for a camera like Bronica RF645, or Mamiya 6/7 or even the new Fuji/Voigtlaender 667 folder that is supposed to come out soon.
     
  13. gerryyaum

    gerryyaum Subscriber

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    hmm...am flying in let me see 7 hours and 34 minutes to Hong Kong and taking my new/used Hasselblad 501c. I love the square format and the amazing sharpness of the lens so I would choose a blad (a mamiya 6 thou would be my choice if I was doing lots of walking carrying gear).

    www.gerryyaum.com
    www.gerryyaum.blogspot.com
     
  14. michael9793

    michael9793 Member

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    I took my Hassey and 5 lens to Bermuda from Florida and 30 rools of film all in in back apck without andy problems. Take the largest format you can. Of course I just took my 8x10 and 3 lens on a plane to California and had no problem.

    mike a
     
  15. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    As always, let the light and the lenses guide your gear decisions.

    Unless you want to be constrained to shoot at high ISO and/or on a tripod and/or in [generally uninteresting] bright light and/or lug flash units and diffusers, then smallish MF (645/6x6) and 35mm might be the best options for travel.

    I have been in many situations where a fast, little 35mm RF kicks the butt of medium or large format gear. Yes the converse can be true too... but seldom when it comes to travel. In my experience.
     
  16. mealers

    mealers Member

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    I've just got back from 2 weeks in Cuba and I took my Blad. I havent really used it that much since I started LF but even though the Hasselblad is a great camera I was crying out for a 35mm because the Blad just wasnt quick enough (or I wasnt) for alot of street photography.
    My advice is to do some research into the area which your going to and decide which camera would suite your goals.

    I'm now thinking of selling the Blad and getting a Leica M3 :smile:
     
  17. Alexander Ghaffari

    Alexander Ghaffari Member

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    My RB67 is my walking around town camera, and since I like bigger negatives, I would definitely use the Hasselblad over 645 format. The main reason I shoot 35mm is for the Kodachrome. While I really do enjoy SLRs, perhaps I shall get a stealthy rangefinder one day.
     
  18. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    As a quickshooting compact travel cam let me suggest a contax g2 (or g2-converted g1). For under $500 you can have a full kit with literally some of the best lenses ever. Excellent companion to MF or LF gear when you're on the road. Some will suggest a manual RF like a bessa r3a or such, and I see a lot of benefits in that too. Definitely.

    I'd be a bit leery about extended travel with older Leicas, honestly. I mean, if you are going to take a Leica then take a new or very recently CLA'd one. The oldies really aren't travel/beater cameras, in my opinion. (No I am not dissing them, so don't flame me... I am just saying...)

    Alexander, you might consider the konica hexar af for compact stealth. I really miss mine. Very silent winding, and superb lens. The only drawback was the top shutter speed, but for indoors who cares.
     
  19. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Use whichever you prefer. As far as ease of travel, there is really no significant difference between various 645-6x6 SLR systems, in my opinion. Some people, myself included, travel with 4x5" or 8x10" or larger cameras, making differences between MF SLR systems seem trivial as far as portability go.
     
  20. Alexander Ghaffari

    Alexander Ghaffari Member

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    Thanks Keith, I shall look into that.