Seeing Square

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Eric Redard, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. Eric Redard

    Eric Redard Member

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    Hey Everyone.

    I am new to MF and am loving it. My dream job and ultimate goal is to become a portrait photographer. I currently have a Bronica SQ-Ai and really like the camera. I have made some nice images with it too.

    In my studying about posing, modeling, composition, etc, it seems MANY pros use 6x7 format. My question is, should I be looking at a 6x7 format rather than 6x6? Who are some well known photographers (besides you Cheryl) who use square format rather than 6x7?

    Coming from a 35mm background, moving to an RZ might be my answer.

    I don't know what to think, that's why I'm asking you for your opinion.

    Shalom,
    Eric Redard
     
  2. ian_greant

    ian_greant Member

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    take a look at the hasslebad web site. They like showing off photographers that use their format.

    Cheers,
     
  3. Huib

    Huib Member

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    Eric,

    I own also a "squarrish" camera but never restrict myself to fit all in the square format. What would that be good for? I also do not try to fit compositions to paperdimensions. I crop (negative/paper) to whatever is best for the picture.

    Free yourself from this doctrine of using a fixed aspectratio for all your pictures.

    Huib
     
  4. 127

    127 Member

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    The most rational argument I've seen for 6x7 is that a lot of pro's are shooting for magazines and stock libraries (which ultimatly end up in magazines and the like). In these cases the rectangular format (ideally 6x9 but 6x7 is more practical) allows more of the negative to be used in the final image. 6x6 would need to be cropped to fit a magazine page.

    If you're aiming to produce work for your own benefit, and to sell as artifacts in themselves then stay with what works for you.

    Ian
     
  5. wfwhitaker

    wfwhitaker Member

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    Ian said it well. I'll add that 6x7 also relates well to the 8x10 proportions which is a popular print size, especially with portraits, hence its use in commercial situations. If you really like the Bronica as you indicate, stick with it and make photographs.
     
  6. matthew

    matthew Member

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    I tried...I just don't see square.

    One thing to consider is the difference in camera size and weight. A 6x7 camera can be a lot bigger than a 6x6....RZ/RB compared to a 'blad or TLR
     
  7. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    Eric, I really don't think there's a format you "should" use. I think you have to follow your heart and use what feels right and results in the least amount of chopping possible. For me, I was always chopping off the end of my 35mm frames because I naturally see square. Since squares are becoming more popular, it's much easier to find frames and mattes to suit them.

    Of course, if you're doing commercial work that requires a specific format, then you have to consider that. Otherwise, do what's you.

    Thanks for the grin. *lol*
     
  8. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    I have a Mamiya that is lighter than most 35mm. The 7II is very light and if you have steadier hands than me, is quite hand holdable. The 150mm les for it is a great portrait lens.
     
  9. David A. James

    David A. James Member

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    Format Jitters.

    Format is only one issue, the real question is negative SIZE and 6X7 is obviously larger that 6X6 unless, of course, you intend to crop it to SQUARE. The other way around always results in less usable negative area. Bronica, by the way, makes a fine 6X7 that handles very well. Portraits? Studio or in situ? It makes a difference if your work is dedicated studio; in that case, 6X6 hardly makes sense when you can enjoy a 6X9 roll film adapter on a small (Linhof, Plaubel, Sinar) 21/4X31/4 view camera. Keep your Bronica and buy a small view with a good convertible portrait lens. You will be surprised how versatile that little gem will be. Shalom, David.

     
  10. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    Eric,
    My advise would be for the time being, stick to using the Bronica SQ-Ai (it's a fine camera) and really use it a lot. Eventually you will know if it suits your needs or if you feel like you are missing something: a different format; studio vs available light work; SLR vs TLR vs RF. After using the Bronica for a while you will know.
    For now, enjoy learning with your Bronica.
    gene
     
  11. Eric Redard

    Eric Redard Member

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    Thanks Everyone:

    I think I am going to enjoy what I have and shoot lots of film. It's the only way I will learn.

    Shalom.
    Eric
     
  12. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    Eric,
    What part of the Bay State are you in?
    gene
     
  13. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    I think you will notice rigth away if it fits you. I love the square format, as a matter of fact I am thinking of asking Jim Chinn to make me an insert for his holders with a square format, something like 12x12, dont know, but square I found very easy to compose and shoot. Hope you like it.
     
  14. fotographz

    fotographz Member

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    you can always crop the shot

    Eric,
    I like the square its equal on all sides, meaning that you will never
    worry if you're going to shoot vedrtical or horizonal...you can crop to either
    or leave as is. There is really nothing like Zeiss lenses.
    cheers
    Frank
     
  15. photomc

    photomc Member

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    You know that would make some really nice work, different ... kinda like the round work Kerik did on 8x10. Jim may be opening up a whole new market for all of us, just think a 12x12, 16x16. Seems like there were a lot more UL formats at the turn of the last century...would be cool to see more again.
     
  16. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    Many magazine editors like the square neg as they can crop it any way they want, giving more options for final page layout. No doubt there are editors who prefer the rectangular formats, but I doubt either would turn away a good photo.
    Just because you have a 6x6, doesn't mean you can't have a 6x7, or 6x4.5, or 4x5 or 8x20 or... :wink:
     
  17. AndyH

    AndyH Member

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    I shoot an old Rollei 6x6cm and I too have difficulty in "seeing square". One aid that works for me is a small device I made from a piece of thin clear acrylic and two pieces of mat board that crops my groundglass to the "long" 8x12 format. When I'm feeling ambivalent about what format will reflect what I'm seeing I just drop the thing onto the finder and see whether it makes the image pop in a different way.

    Or I just say "screw it", shoot square and crop in the darkroom! :wink:
     
  18. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    I shoot a Mamiya TLR AND a Bronica ETRsi.

    Honestly, I just crop in the viewfinder and waste paper if I have to.
     
  19. AndyH

    AndyH Member

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    That's my usual shortcut too, but sometimes I really want to "see" the image, not merely pre-visualize it.

    I think I still have an old piece of black/white matte board cut into the traditional rectangular proportions that I made after reading Adams for the first time.
     
  20. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    There is a point to that. I did get my ETRsi because I didn't want to figure things out when it came to images best served by a rectangular format.