Testing the MF Waters

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by denmark.yuzon, May 20, 2010.

  1. denmark.yuzon

    denmark.yuzon Member

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    Hi guys,

    Recently, I held a print taken with a 6x6 SLR camera, and it's obvious why I'm here now.. and sadly i could never get that kind of reso and detail from my 35mm cameras and even my digital..

    I am unfamiliar with MF slr cameras, but I've done a little bit of research which gave me an idea on what I want.. and it is timely that I'm going to shoot my first un-official pre-nup shoot for my cousin which is just for fun, and maybe do it in the future for cash...

    There are some cameras that stuck in my mind, bronicas, mamiyas and hasselblads.. the latter I can never afford unless I buy it piece by piece in a span of one or two years.. but just in case, I think i like the hassy 501cm..

    bronicas, I don't know which ones are the best bang for the buck.. the same goes for mamiya too..

    Im a one camera / one lens type of guy so Id probably stick to one good lens..

    could you help me out guys? thanks in advance! God bless you!
     
  2. raoul

    raoul Member

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    Not much difference between an older 500c/m Hassy and the newer 501's (except the price). That and a 80mm or 150mm will do nicely.
     
  3. manfromh

    manfromh Member

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    If you are happy with only one lens, how about a TLR?
     
  4. R gould

    R gould Member

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    If you are happy with just one lens then go for a Rolleiflex,I have one from the 1950s, working perfectly and as for the results, I don't think you will better it,Richard
     
  5. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I'm partial to TLR's, own several of them. My favorite is my Yashica D, followed closely by my Duaflex II. I have a Mamiya C-220, and several other TLR's from the 40's and 50's that are fun to shoot, and all give excellent results. The Mamiyas have interchangeable lenses, and are IMHO the finest TLR's ever built. They are versitile, rugged, and dependable. They are running fairly inexpensive these days, and lots of accessories are still available.
     
  6. jnoir

    jnoir Member

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    For MF SLR I like the Pentacon Six, with the Zeiss 120mm (Sonnar? Can't remember right now). The 80mm Biometar is also quite good. I have always wanted to own and use a 500C/M but I cannot justify neither the money (I'm just an amateur) nor the usage (most probably I won't feel comfortable in the street with it).
     
  7. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    So many good choices. Rolleiflex, Hasselblad, Bronica, Mamiya - all great cameras. Just make sure there are parts and service for the one you choose - some of the body models and lenses are getting quite old. This is no problem for performance/quality but may be for service parts.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Jeff
     
  8. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Agree with Raoul (welcome, Raoul, by the way). Absolutely what I was thinking.
     
  9. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    [the best bang for the buck.. the same goes for mamiya too..

    Im a one camera / one lens type of guy so Id probably stick to one good lens..

    could you help me out guys?
    ********************
    What Rainphot says makes a lot of sense. My two cents, additional.
    For doing weddings, flash synch can be a problem. Avoid mf slr cameras. Go for a leaf shutter.

    Rainphot also brings back fond memories of my Yashica D. I shot many a wedding with that camera. Simple, rugged, cheap. If you can find a later model with the four-element Yashinon lens, go for it. Even with the 3 element Yashikor, it is a good performer, optically. F/11 and bein' there.

    The Mamiya C series was often called "the poor man's Hasselbad" because of its decent performance and interchangeable lens system.

    I was told by ye olde experz that the "biggest bang for the buck" was a clean, used, RolleiCORD III or later.

    Have fun
     
  10. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I think before you pick a camera you need to pick a format. Do you like square negatives or rectangular ones? Personally, I would prefer 6x7 or 6x4.5 over 6x6, but it is your own preference that matters.
     
  11. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    You are absolutly correct Chazzy. Having a firm idea of what format, then finding the camera to go with it. I believe the OP has that in mind already, when stated "held a print taken with a 6x6 camera" , appears he's smitten with a square format.
     
  12. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Good advice has been given. I would add that a suitable tripod should be on your list.
     
  13. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Why not go with a Rolleiflex.

    Jeff
     
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  15. denmark.yuzon

    denmark.yuzon Member

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    Hi guys,

    I forgot to mention, I own a Yashica D. The one with a Yashikor lens.. I wanted one with a Yashinon, they say it's better, but, I say i go for the cheaper one, and besides, I think it's trivial, the difference between those two..

    I tried shooting with a TLR, it's fun, but it's slowing me down, and focusing without a split screen (My Yashica D focusing screen is not a split image type) is really a pain in my neck..

    What I want is an SLR. a 6x6 square. Maybe something that is not expensive and at the same time nicely built. Maybe a little plastic in it, Im no pro, so it will get like 1 to 2 rolls/ month.. I hear Mamiyas are good, but they say it is heavy, some say bronicas are the poor man's hassy.. maybe they are..

    What models should I go for? and a good portrait/all around lens to go with it, Since i'll be using it for portraits, and the occasional street/landscape?

    Thank you guys for all the input.. God bless you
     
  16. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Both are quite capable lense systems. I personally haven't seen any difference in performance, and I have had both versions. I currantly use the triplet, and its a sweet performer. The only real difference comes into play between the viewing lenses, and only wish I had the 2.8 version with my old man eyes.

    Slowing down is a good thing. Helps to dial in and hone the skills.

    As for an SLR type, Bronicas, and (if you can find one) a Kowa Super 66, are great performers, for small money.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2010
  17. funkpilz

    funkpilz Member

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    Another vote for the Bronicas, they're solid but relatively light, quality lenses and quite affordable. Of course in terms of affordability, nothing beats the Pentacon Six.
     
  18. R gould

    R gould Member

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    If you want a 6x6 slr that is great quality, with great lens, and affordab;le then look at the bronica Sq range, Richard
     
  19. r1ma

    r1ma Member

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    Mamiya's don't come square in a SLR - 6x4.5 and 6x7 formats.
     
  20. DLM

    DLM Member

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    I recently got a Mamiya M645 with an 80mm and 150mm lens, and teh quality is great. It feels good in the hands, and the controls are in just the right places (for me atleast). If you are okay with 6x4.5 format, I'd look into the M645. I would like to get a 6x6 slr at some point and would probably be looking at the Bronica SQ-A. I also have a couple TLR's, a Minolta Autocord CDS and a Yashica A. They are both nice cameras, and I could definitely recommend the Autocord if you are interested in going the TLR route. The 75mm Rokkor lens on it is super sharp, and the build quality is solid.

    Just saw your post about wanting to do some portraits also. For that I'd recommend a 150mm lens. The one I got with my M645 is a really nice lens, and I actually am starting to think that I prefer it over the 80mm as a walk around lens to use.
     
  21. denmark.yuzon

    denmark.yuzon Member

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    Thank you guys for all the inputs you have given.. One question though, I know that medium format (any ratio) can blow away a 35mm and even a 30 MP Dslr in terms of resolution and detail, but which of the ratios can really maximize the lens and the film used and give off the sharpness and detail that I want? 6x6, 6x4.5 or 6x7? with that in mind, I can narrow down my choices...

    Thank you in advance, and God bless you!
     
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    This is a good approach for acquiring Hasselblad equipment, but it applies will to other cameras. After one has used one lens for a while, the choice of the next lens may have changed based on experience and your personal usage. I bought Hasselblad lenses in this order 250mm, 80mm, 50mm, 150mm and the SWC 38mm partially based on when good lenses were available. Looking back with the experience that I have now I would instead gotten the 38mm, 50mm, 100mm and 250mm lens. So even spreading out the purchases of many, many months, the use later on dictates a different purchase pattern.

    Steve
     
  23. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    For printing ratio, 6x7 negs can print full frame on 8x10, but crop on 5x7. I love square format 6x6, and trim my paper to suit my needs. I also shoot 4x5, so enlarging to 8x10 full frame, no trimming. My 35mm (when I print any) enlarges to around 6.5x10 full frame, and I trim the paper. Decide which format you really want, not byconvenience of paper sizes, but by what fits your desires and vision.
    Pentax 67's are monsters, and aren't really hand-holdable. 6x6 TLR's are hand-holdable, and quiet(no mirror slap) I have hand-held my Kowas, and they are not too awfully heavy or awkward. Methinks the Bronicas would be similar(SQ for 6x6, ETR for 6x4.5)except the GS(?) 6x9 system.
     
  24. denmark.yuzon

    denmark.yuzon Member

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    So I guess it would be user preference on what ratio I think will work best for me.. I like 6x6 square for the uniqueness when I present my photos as squares..
     
  25. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    I have an 8x8 speed easel. I use the cut off 2 inch strip for testing.

    Rick, do you happen to have the 19mm for your Kowa system?

    Mike
     
  26. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Not quite. 6x7 is 1.17:1, 10x8 is 1.25:1 - Some cropping or wasting of paper is still required.


    Steve.