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  1. #1

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    Buying a new MF camera

    Hi,

    I'd like to photograph in medium format. So I'm looking to buy my first MF camera.
    With 35mm I mostly like the smaller camera's. Like an Olympus XA for example. Since I take it far more easily with me.
    But I guess Medium Format is for the more controlled photographs. It's not the camera you take with you every time.

    Camera's that got my interest:

    Mamiya 6 (Expensive) + slow lenses for low light photography
    Fuji Ga645 (Sound?) + slow lens for low light photography
    Fuji Gs645w (Zone Focus=Portrait ) + slow lens for low light photography
    Mamiya Universal (Slower lenses/Fragile?) + mostly very slow lenses for low light photography
    Pentax 67 with grip (Camera porn)

    I think I'd love the mamiya 6. Only problem is it's fairly expensive. I'm able to buy the body near where I live reasonably priced, around 300 euro. But than I have to search a lens which isn't too expensive which seems to be impossible.

    The Fuji Ga 645 seems to stand up well against the mamiya 6. Things that scares me are the focus, it's AF. And is it really laggy? Or am I just worried too much? I'm not really a sports photographer nor a birds photographer but I don't like to have to press the button 4 times to get the picture. Also the sound it makes is it okay? Or more than okay?
    The Fuji Ga 645 has certainly my interest since it's priced around 300 - 400 euro. (Things to watch out for when buying one? I heard of the Lcd?)

    The Gs645S or W downside seems to be zone focus? Good thing about zone focusing is that it's fast. Downside is the accuracy. Or am I wrong?

    Mamiya Universal has most of the time very slow lenses. At first I loved how it looked, but the more I'm exploring the net the more I find myself attracted to the other camera's.

    Pentax 67 with the grip of course! It's very sexy. Professional looking. It has wide range of lens choices. Some are pretty fast for MF.
    It's bulkier than the Mamiya 6 and the Fuji's which will make me think twice before taking the camera with me though. I certainly want one in the future, but maybe now is not the time? As a first camera?. Also when they are reasonably priced in or near my country they come and go very quickly. (Too quick)

    You probably will advise me a Mamiya 645 system or the Rb67 but I don't like those. I don't know why, they seem so ultra bulky not practical.

  2. #2
    MDR
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    Mael you forgot the texas leicas meaning the bigger Fuji Rangefinders with fixed lens but with a good rangefinder and that fixed lens is very good. They are not as lightweight as the 6 and the GA though. Another choice would be the Bronica RF645 it usually costs less than the six and the lenses aren't bad either. The GA645 is a good camera the AF is not the most precise in the world but is still decent. The GA is also a lot more affordable than the Mamiya six. The P67 is heavy and not really a walk around camera. A good compromise between speed portability and interchangeable lenses is the mamiya c330 it's a TLR with interchangeable lenses and shows the parallax error/correction in the finder the drawback it is heavier than the six and lacks metering. The advantage is the price of the lenses, the body and its close focussing ability. Zone focussing is a bit hit and miss furthermore wide cameras are not the best choices for portraits.
    My Advice would be to get either the GA645 or the Mamiya C330 both great cameras for little money.

    Good luck
    Dominik

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the fast reply.
    I know I didn't add the texas leica's aka Fuji Gw690. But I haven't seen those a lot in my country. And their pricing comes close to a Mamiya 6 with lens.
    The Bronica RF645 is also pretty rare I think?
    TLR's and Foldables (old ones) are indeed less expensive. But no metering, slower, and more fragile. I'd like to have something not too fragile.
    Is the Fuji Ga645 60mm f4 good for portraits too? I'm having an option for around 300 Eur.
    I don't shoot a ton of portraits, just sometimes. I'm more all-round Portrait-Archetecture-Objects-Rooms-Spaces-Landscapes-Street-...
    Fuji Ga645 60mm f4 or Ga645 Zi Zoom?

  4. #4
    MDR
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaŽl View Post
    Thanks for the fast reply.
    I know I didn't add the texas leica's aka Fuji Gw690. But I haven't seen those a lot in my country. And their pricing comes close to a Mamiya 6 with lens.
    The Bronica RF645 is also pretty rare I think?
    TLR's and Foldables (old ones) are indeed less expensive. But no metering, slower, and more fragile. I'd like to have something not too fragile.
    Is the Fuji Ga645 60mm f4 good for portraits too? I'm having an option for around 300 Eur.
    I don't shoot a ton of portraits, just sometimes. I'm more all-round Portrait-Archetecture-Objects-Rooms-Spaces-Landscapes-Street-...
    Fuji Ga645 60mm f4 or Ga645 Zi Zoom?
    TLRs are much less fragile than RF since the Rangefinder can't get out of alignment something that does happen even on the Mamiya six. Furthermore most TLR are made completely out of metal the newer RFs are more fragile than any Mamiya or Rollei TLR. The 60mm lens should work for portraits just don't get to close to the subject or you will get some distortion. Wideangles are better suited to environmental portraits were the photographers wants to show the subjects surroundings. Some TLR like the later Rolleiflexes do have metering btw but are expensive. If you can get the GA for 300Euros get it it's a great camera.

    Dominik

  5. #5

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    MaŽl, you seem to suggest that both the Fuji GS645S and GS645W are zoned-focussed. That's not true; the GS645S is rangefinder focussed.

    I actually traded in my Texas Leica, a Fujica GW690, for the GS645S. While the GW690 was sturdier, and produced a stunning 6x9 negative, the GS645S has the following advantages:

    - smaller and lighter, which means easier to carry and less imposing to your subjects
    - includes a light meter

    The lens on the 645S is a nice "normal-wide" which can work for portraits. I ruled out the 645W because of zone focussing and the wide lens being less useful for portraits.
    My other camera is a Pentax

  6. #6

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    Ow, that is good news!
    Than indeed I'm interested in the Gs645S!

    Fuji Ga645 (60mm f4) vs Gs645S

    Any thoughts?

  7. #7

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    You might consider the Mamiya RB67. While it is big and heavy(I use a tripod) it is not that expensive.

    Jeff

  8. #8

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    I see that you're unhappy with all of them due to slow lenses for low light. MF will always have slower lenses than 35mm and LF will have even slower lenses that's a given. Even if you can get fast lenses I don't think it would help much in term of low light shooting. If you have to do low light hand held and/or subjects move then I don't find any film camera works well for that. But if the subject doesn't move then it's not a problem with slow lenses. Besides, I don't know about you but I can't shoot wide open even with 35mm and doing so with MF I would have much shallower depth of field. I know a lot of people love to take picture with an f/1.2/ f1.4 lens wide open but I never find an image that I can successfully make with such a shallow depth of field.

  9. #9

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    Buying a new MF camera

    Mael, Have you considered a Pentax 645? They are great cameras with some very sharp lenses and the first 645, the manual focus cameras, are fairly inexpensive. I have used one for the past 10 years and have been very satisfied with the reliability as well as the quality of the images and 15 shots to the roll of 120 film is a good thing. I used a Pentax 67 for many years before my 645 and was very pleased with the image quality, but it is considerably heavier than the 645. The 645's meter is center weighted almost a spot and was very accurate as well. Check it out.

  10. #10

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    On the low light, that is true. It's just a point a made, but maybe a useless point. Sorry for that.
    Maybe me learning to use a flash could do wonders

    About the Pentax 645 is not my taste, it's very bulky unpractical looking. I'd take a Pentax 67 any time over the 645.
    I think the pentax 67 is for a future purchase.
    Right now it's between the Fuji Ga645 (60mm f4) and the Fuji Gs645s. The Bronica Rf645 is nice too! But seems to be more expensive like the Mamiya 6.

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