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  1. #1
    Markok765's Avatar
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    Considering Medium format

    Thinking about dipping into MF. I adore shooting people. have somewhat of a darkroom set up (would just need 6x7 neg carrier and 90mm for the enlarger)

    I've been looking around toronto C-list, and some RB67's with lenses are only around 350.. I know its a heavy camera, but I'm used to shooting the heavier nikons with a 20-35 2.8, so I can't imagine it being terrible... or am I wrong?

    How do you guys feel about MF? what do you like about it? is the 'slowing down' and quality difference justifiable for the weight and different style of shooting, given that I don't enlarger larger than 11x14 most days?
    Marko Kovacevic
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  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Markok765 View Post
    I've been looking around toronto C-list, and some RB67's with lenses are only around 350.. I know its a heavy camera, but I'm used to shooting the heavier nikons with a 20-35 2.8, so I can't imagine it being terrible... or am I wrong?
    I walk around with my RB67 and use it handheld in the street. A couple of things: the lens you use makes a difference. I have a 65mm and a 127mm lens, and the 127mm is easier to handhold (it is actually noticeably lighter and shorter than the 65). A good comfortable strap makes a difference. And after two or three hours you will start to feel it.
    "People get bumped off." -- Weegee

  3. #3

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    Try MF. A rangefinder or TLR would be a much better walk around MF though. I wanted to get into mf for the image quality and used a mamiya 6 as my main camera from 2007 - 2009. I loved the tonal smoothness of mf images. The quality from the mamiya rangefinder lenses is stunning.

  4. #4
    Slixtiesix's Avatar
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    Go MF! It´s addictive ;-) I find the waist level finder really handy for shooting people.

  5. #5

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    The availability of film types is limited (1 color, 1 b+w) , but a 127 film TLR would be the smallest way to get into MF. Baby Rollei's and Yashica 44's are pretty cheap, and easy to carry, and your negative is twice as large as 35mm. The lenses on both those cameras should be pretty terrific.

    --nosmok

  6. #6
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    I love the RB. Having fewer shots per roll is great for me, means film doesn't wait in the camera near as much.

    I do some hand holding but more often it's on a monopod or a tripod. The monopod is sweet for walking about.

    I have an older non-C 90mm lens that is "just fine thank you", and a 150SF C that is truly special as far as I'm concerned.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  7. #7
    CGW
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    Put together an RB kit 3 years ago this month. Yup, it's big but too much is made of its size and weight blocking its ability to deliver stunning images. It's a killer portrait camera. Close focuses without pricey macro lenses, extension tubes or diopters. The rotating back allows quick portrait/landscape changes without shifting the camera's significant mass(try that with a Pentax 67 on a less-than-robust tripod/head--scary).

    Watch out on CL stuff, especially if you're unfamiliar with the Mamiya RB 67. Go for a Pro S or Pro SD body+backs. The old RB has no double exp. lock-outs--problematic until you get used to the shutter cock/film advance 2-step. They're also getting very old. These were studio gear that usually did long, heavy duty service. A kit with, say, a Pro S body, WLF, 120 Pro S back, and a 90/3.8C lens is a good start. Backs and RB adapters often need new light seals--a fairly easy DIY fix. I'd almost recommend building a kit from pieces rather than jumping at a kit--while the trade-off is better quality often at a slightly higher price, there's also the old problem of "pay less get less" with used gear.

    I have 645 and 6x6 cameras but take out the big Mamiya most often. It's not a camera for fast moving subjects. The huge, plasma-like viewfinder with its magnifier allows for very precise focus. Remember that you'll need an accurate incident light meter, too, and flash metering capability if you plan on using strobes. The purely mechanical operation forces you to take your time and 10 shots on a 120 roll discourages carelessness.

  8. #8

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    Do it, do it! Are you stuck on 6x7 for any reason? I take all my best pictures with my Rolleicord V. It's light and VERY portable with the great Schneider Xenar... That and a Gossen Luna-pro is really all I need...

  9. #9

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    If all you shoot are head and shoulders portraits, I'm not sure you'll notice the difference at 11x14. But if you're shooting full-bodies I would guess that you will notice the difference in detail. Plus, the larger negs are easier to work with. You'll get used to the WLF.

  10. #10
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    You say you like to take people pictures, but how? Street photography, posed, studio? Bear in mind that using a MF camera with a waist level finder means just that, you'll be shooting from the vantage point of your stomach, about the viewpoint of about an 8 year old child. This would probably be most noticeable if you were fairly close to a standing subject, but still it's a different perspective than eye level. If you don't enlarge more than 11x14, your probably not going to notice the difference between 6x7 and 645. The 645 is a much easier camera to handle. I've used all medium formats and found that to me the Pentax or Mamiya 645s with eye level prisms are the easiest to use if your out and about. The basic Pentax has the advantage of multiple exposure choices including my favorite, aperture priority, and a built in motor drive. I also like the old Rolleiflex and Rolleicord cameras, as they are light and have decent lenses. (the newer ones have better lenses) The RB67 and RZ67s are great cameras, but are heavy and somewhat awkward to use hand held. If money is no object buy a Hasselblad. It'll last forever, and give as sharp a picture as you can take. If money is a real issue, buy a Holga, and just have fun taking weird pictures. There are lots of options for you to choose from, and you will definitely see the difference from 35mm with almost all of them. (except maybe the Holga) Good luck, and try to enjoy the process.

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