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  1. #1

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    Medium format ... which one?

    I'm looking at MF cameras and I'm sort of overwhelmed and confused about which one would be the best choice for me. I shoot 35mm but i'm sort of getting bored of the format ... I've held one MF camera before and i really liked the feel and the look and the machinery (and I don't need to mention the size advantage of negs).
    My budget is around $300-350, I'm looking at SLRs. I don't need AF or AE, or anything automated for that matter, hopefully that should drive the price down. I have a slight preference towards 645 format, being the cameras are generally more compact and cheaper, but I'm also willing to use 6x6. I don't think a 6x7 camera would be right for me because I've read that they're bulky and expensive. I would prefer interchangeable backs (and rotating back, if they make those in 645), but beggars can't be choosers.

    I saw a Mamiya M645 kit at my local camera shop (I'm not sure about everything included in the kit) for $250. I might buy that camera, but I've read reviews saying that its difficult/cumbersome to shoot vertical photos (rotating back would help with this). Also, it does not have a removable back.

    I've heard good things about Bronicas, Hassys are probably (definitely) way out of my league.

    Or am I simply asking too much?

    I have a terrible attention span, researching things (even cameras) doesn't really agree with me, should I expect to get at least one "suck it up and do your own research" reply?

  2. #2

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    Sure: Suck it up and do your own research, eh?

    Ok, with that out of the way, get a Bronica ETR/S/i with a 75mm lens, a prims finder, a speed grip, and a 120 back. The prism finder makes it like a 35mm- rotate the camera for portrait format. Should run about $2-300 I think. Look at KEH for a package. KEH is well-respected for used gear, honest grading, and willingness to accept returns.

    Shoot that for a while. See what you think. You'll learn if the extra film turf is worth it for you and what you want out of photography. If MF strikes your fancy, then a whole new world of cameras and lenses and such awaits.

  3. #3
    Two23's Avatar
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    The Bronica is probably the best value.


    Kent in SD

  4. #4
    zsas's Avatar
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    Where are you located?
    Andy

  5. #5
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Mamiya 645E is a good camera, easy to use, lightweight and very good viewfinder, very good AE.

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  6. #6
    krb
    krb is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eralen View Post
    I saw a Mamiya M645 kit at my local camera shop (I'm not sure about everything included in the kit) for $250. I might buy that camera, but I've read reviews saying that its difficult/cumbersome to shoot vertical photos (rotating back would help with this).
    This is only an issue if you are using the waist level finder and it applies to all cameras, not just the Mamiya.
    If you use a prism finder then you can shoot vertical or horizontal just as easily as you can with any other camera.

  7. #7
    zsas's Avatar
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    As a Mamiya guy myself, consider if 1/500 is going to work for you? In the summer or otherwise bright days, 1/1000 is important to me (have a 1000s Mamiya), but I shoot wide open a lot, if you are landscaping this is not relevant or if it is relevant shoot 50 or 100 speed film and/or have a ND filter handy. You can't go wrong w a Mamiya 645, happy camper here (so long as you plan for the nuances).
    Andy

  8. #8
    Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    I have a Pentax 645, and I've had it for years. The Pentax has a second tripod socket on it if you want to shoot a lot of verticals. If the Mamiya has that, then no problem. Also, how many times do you get heavy on the verticals?

    Consider a Yashica TLR, or similar. These are light, cheap, and have very good lenses.

  9. #9
    woosang's Avatar
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    I picked up an RB67 for $129 all up, 90mm Lens & rotating back. so bargains are out there have you thought of a Kodak tourist that shoots 6x9? Around $25-50 on the bay.. Or a cheap yashica mat I paid $80 for a great one.
    Addicted to caffenol processing
    Will buy stereo cameras, Any Autographic camera with red bellows
    OR Any Vanity or Petitie Kodak Camera -working

  10. #10

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    zsas, I'm in Charlotte, NC

    Also, I think the camera in the shop was a 1000S, it had "Mamiya465" on the front, I believe the standard 645 only has "Mamiya" on the front
    Last edited by Eralen; 01-22-2012 at 01:56 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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