Sanity Check

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ronlamarsh, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    I and my wife are downsizing and I am looking to switch from LF (4X5, 5X7) and get into a hasselblad system: will I be happy?
     
  2. ransel

    ransel Subscriber

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    I think the question should be, not will you be happy with a Blad, but will you regret getting rid of your LF gear...? Use all of it :smile:
     
  3. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    That depends upon if you can live without camera movements and what your largest print size is. It also depends upon if you like a square format. If you crop for a rectangle you end up shooting 645 which may or may not be ok with you for enlargements.

    I own both 4x5 and 8x10 cameras plus a Hasselblad 500cm. If I had to give up one format it would be the 6x6 Hasselblad but that is me and only you can determine the right choice for you.
     
  4. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    have any CHEAP technical field cameras? I'll take them off your hands :smile: or one of them, I'm desperately seeking a cheap technical field camera, no rails lol
     
  5. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

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    I think you'll be happy if you are looking to spend a whole bunch of money. :cool:

    Seriously, the Mamiya RZ67 is an amazing camera. Verticals, horizontals, squares. Super build quality. Love it.

    If you really want a square, the Bronica SQ is available dirt cheap, and the lenses are very crisp and contrasty.
     
  6. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    Sell the two 4x5s and get a 4x5 reducing back for the 5x7. Two camera formats in the space of one.
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    As a former Hasselblad owner (I traded in my kit to get a 5x12 and some holders), I loved the system, but found at one point I wasn't using it enough to justify keeping it around. I've since returned to medium format in the guise of a Rolleiflex 2.8E (notice the square thing coming back?). I really like shooting square and I compose for it most of the time when using the Rollei. I think the best thing to do before you commit to a Hassy system would be to rent one for a week and use it to be sure you'll like it. This is not to ding other medium format systems (I have an RB67 in addition to the Rollei), but the Hassy is lighter and easier to carry than the RB/RZ, and it has a much better lens and accessory selection than the Bronica. Depending on what you want to shoot with it, that may or may not make a difference. If you want to do macro work, the Hassy is hands down superior to the Bronica, and at least the equal of the Mamiya RB/RZ, perhaps better. If you need long telephoto lenses, it's Hassy and RB. Portraits, the RB in some ways has an edge because of the built-in bellows focusing - you can put a 180mm RB lens on the camera and focus close enough to need exposure compensation even before adding any extension tubes. The Hassy classic "Portrait" lens (the 150mm or the 180mm) dont HAVE to have an extension tube but definitely benefit from an 8mm or 16mm extension tube when shooting tight head-and-shoulders or head-only portraits.
     
  8. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Can't go wrong with Hasselblad or RB67. Some form of Technika would be good . . .

    Seriously, I love my Hasselblad. I can't do without my 4x5 system. There are some things a non-view camera just can't do.
     
  9. dorff

    dorff Member

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    Why did you choose LF to begin with? If it had to do with tilt and shift options, then you won't be happy with MF gear unless you change your expectations. Do you print at very large sizes? Then you may have to change your expectations. There are some very sharp lenses for MF, and some fine films like Acros and TMax100, that will allow fair enlargement without resolution or grain being much of an issue. But only you know what your standard is.

    Unless you specifically want to pursue square (which in itself is noble), I do not think the 6x6 is the most practical use of film real estate. Closest to 4x5 in aspect ratio is 6x7 followed by 645. If you routinely print on 8x10, 9.5x12 or 11x14 paper sizes, then 6x7 is the ideal format that requires virtually no cropping. The more efficient system for me is 6x4.5, which prints straight to 12x16 and with minor cropping to 8x10 and 11x14.

    In 6x7 you have the Mamiya 7 rangefinder with its expensive and superb lenses, the Mamiya RB and RZ, and Pentax. In 6x6 of course Hasselblad, Bronica and one or two others. In 645 there's Pentax and Mamiya, and Contax as a higher end system.

    The Pentax 6x7, which is more SLR-like in handling, is an option with superb lenses and decent used prices. I would recommend it for field work above the RB/RZ type cameras, and above the Hasselblads too, perhaps. The Pentax lenses are more geared toward outdoor work in terms of their rendering, the available focal lengths and ergonomics, whereas I think the Hasselblads and Mamiyas excel at people photography and in studio. It is a really good idea to try out a system hands-on before committing to it, as each has its own quirks and output quality that require getting used to. I find the barrel focusing for instance much easier for handholding than the bellows/rail type. Others may see it differently.

    Note: I do not own any Hasselblad equipment, so my experience there is limited, and my opinion is based on what I've seen others produce with it. I do own Mamiya RZ Pro II and Pentax 67 II systems, though. If I had to keep one camera only, it would be the Pentax. In 645 I have a Mamiya 645 AFD II and since recently a Pro TL too. The lenses that I own are all good to excellent. I have yet to try a MF lens that is a real dud, although I do believe there are a few here and there.
     
  10. nicholai

    nicholai Member

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    Just sold my MPP Micro Technical..... he
     
  11. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Aiii I hate you :devil: :laugh:
    No breathe now. I gotta stay calm and save for the Chamonix :tongue:

    To OP. May I ask why you are downsizing? Why not stay in 4X5? 4X5" cameras need not be big and heavy.

    Best regards
     
  12. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    I just see 4x5 and MF as two completely different worlds (with the Fuji MF system that has movements being a strange & "wish I owned that" hybrid).

    I just don't think you can "replace" one for the other; the process, gear, and results being markedly different.

    Not saying "don't do it", just keep in mind that if downsizing is the deciding factor, be prepared for a very big change in how you make your art (or enjoy your hobby or produce your client work). My 4x5 gear all fits in one case (that hasn't been opened in a few years to be honest) so this doesn't have to be an "either-or" deal unless money is the major deciding factor. And even if budget is driving your decision, you could likely find a used RB, 645, Rollei or even a Kiev and shoot a few rolls to get a feel for the process & the results.

    I'd vote for trying to have both systems available to you, at least for a while.
     
  13. nicholai

    nicholai Member

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    Everyone is talking about how LF cameras doesnt need to be bigger than MF ones, but the enlargers. Those are big, and you need even more space if you want to make big enlargements.

    Søren: Woops! 2500 kr,- :wink:
     
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  15. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Yes. If you're exactly like me and don't like using sheet film. If you love using sheet film, you may regret it. I have never missed the extra print quality I got from 4x5 in enlargements from 120 film (or 35mm for that matter). That may not apply to you, if you're really into the ultimate print quality.
    The Hasselblad and I get along really well. It's quick enough to set up that I can be responsive to quickly changing conditions, even react on intuition when I hand hold it. It's very easy and accurate to focus, and the lenses are superb. If you maintain your camera they are mechanically very good and reliable. It's a camera that really gels with how I photograph.

    Good luck with your choice. I think only you can answer your question, since we're all different.
     
  16. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    Thanks to all for the sound and thoughtful advice
     
  17. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    If you can live without movements the hasselblad kit is a very versatile kit. But when you want movements, Only a camera with movements will do. Thats why i'm moving back into 4x5. The depth of field I want can only be done with a camera with movements.
     
  18. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    If he already has a 4x5 enlarger he's probably not going to downsize it to a medium format one. I wouldn't even if I gave up 4x5. The big 4x5 enlarger is more stable and you can always go back to 4x5.
     
  19. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Me too. You will still have all of those 4x5 and 5x7 negatives, and what's the point unless you can print them? (or, maybe OP uses 'different' methods of printing).
     
  20. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Well, if you find you're missing movements, and you get into the Hasselblad system, there's always the Arcbody and the Flexbody to give you some degree (not nearly what you had with your 4x5, but still) of movement. They're not cheap, and they're not quite as straightforward as a 4x5, but they'll get you in the ballpark.
     
  21. kintatsu

    kintatsu Member

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    I'd suggest just putting away your LF gear for a while, and taking a break to see how you like being away from it. That way you won't regret it if you do want to keep at it. Plus, times change and you may find yourself wanting to go back later. Keeping what you can spare room for means fewer purchases and less money spent.

    At least for me, working with my 4x5 film in the dark is relaxing, and it gives me an excuse to get away without leaving! :smile:
     
  22. artobest

    artobest Member

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    The Rollei SL66(E/SE) is another alternative to consider, with limited movements (tilt only) and outstanding close-up abilities without the need for extra lenses or extensions. Essentially the same glass as the Hasselblads.
     
  23. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Are they??? Whoops right my Omega D3 is twice the size of my Durst 700 :D
    Nicholai: Tempting.................... very tempting. Whats included in such a deal and what more is needed (got DD's) for a working outfit?
    Best regards
     
  24. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    I second the advice on the SL66. Optics are the same as Hasselblad but cheaper. They do not need maintenance also since they have no shutter or helicoid. Only once with my 150mm lens I had the aperture to be fixed. A great advantage is the seamless close up focusing. If you want to use the older lens designs like 80mm/120mm Planar or 150mm/250mm Sonnar I would favour the Rollei. The 50mm lens is also very good once stopped down. However, the Rollei ist more heavy and bulky compared to a 500cm. You will need a stury tripod.
     
  25. nicholai

    nicholai Member

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    Hehe! I was about to get a Durst 138. Thats one big thing! He. I think you misunderstood me! I already sold it, for that price. :wink:
     
  26. Shootar401

    Shootar401 Member

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    I just did the opposite kind of. Sold all of my 35mm film except for my NIB F4s body and now shoot 4x5 almost exclusively. Yeah I'm that guy that walks around with a 4x5 Speed Graphic.