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  1. #21

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    Here are some film suggestions.

    I have recently started shooting medium format film, although in 6 x 4.5 cm size. I am totally amazed at the color slide film I get. Just incredible colors! I would die to see this in the larger formats. So I suggest you shoot some Provia 400X. It is an amazing film and you will just revel in the amazing slides.

    Second, if you have good light, Neopan Acros 100 film is just incredible too. I never shot this film back in the film era. I am not even sure it existed back then. But now that I have seen it, it is my GO TO film for good light. A shame that it is not available in 400 speed so in those cases I fall back to Ilford film.

    Good luck!

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by the.ronin View Post
    I finally won an auction for a medium format film camera - a Fuji GSW 690II SW for $445.
    Great price for a terrific camera. Congrats.

    Some questions I had if anybody could provide some guidance:

    1) Light metering
    I understand this line of cameras has no light meter. I know I could use the meter in my DSLR set to manual but I foresee my using the MF in times when I might not even carry around the DSLR. Any recommendations on an affordable / entry level light meter?
    Most of the time I use mine with a Pentax spotmeter (Rule - meter size must match camera size ) But, if I'm not in the mood I will work with my little Sekonic L-208, though I usually just hang it around my neck.

    2) Film
    Any recommendations on color and BW film for the Fuji GSW 690II SW? I will likely use 120s equally for the price and the forced discipline of fewer exposures per roll. (Wow this is going to be such a change from my DSLR!!)
    Fuji Velvia 50 and 100. Fuji Provia 100. Kodak Portra 400. Kodak Tri-X. Ilford FP4+. These are all great choices.

    3) Developing
    If possible I would like to minimize the cost of developing film. I would anticipate having colored film developed at a lab given how involved it is. However, I would consider developing BW at home. Any issues I should consider?
    I use the standard Arista Premium reels and tank for hand developing. Works fine for both color and for black and white. I really don't treat it any different than 35mm. I do send my slide film out for no other reason than I have never fiddled with E-6 home developing. I'm relatively confident it probably is no more complex than C-41.

    4) Scanning
    I definitely would consider scanning negatives at home and saving them as TIFF (which I understand preserves the greatest amount of range in the shot). For this, I've been eyeing the CanoScan 9000F. I've read that the Nikon Coolscan scanners are of particularly great quality but just way outside of my price range. From the TIFFs, I plan to export to JPG for online publishing or print to photo paper using an Epson Artisan 710. Again, any recommendations on this setup would be appreciated.
    I prefer to print the negs using my Besler, but if I am going to scan I use my Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner because it is all I have. It does seem to do a pretty good job on medium format though. I just use the standard Epson Scan software. I have a Better Scanning adjustable glass holder because my color negs turn out quite curly sometimes. I have tried scanning direct and then reversing in photoshop, and I have scanned direct to a tiff, letting the software convert, and it is easier for me to let the software convert, but both methods work. If you are going to print to an inkjet then you will be working with Photoshop, or some other editing software, so I would let the scanner do its thing.

    5) Bag
    How do you folks carry this brick? LOL
    I have a very nice Optech strap that fits mine perfectly and makes packing it almost easy. Usually it just gets tossed on the front seat alongside my 45 Colt but if I intend to pack it on a short hike or on an airplane I put it in a small backpack.
    Enjoy it. It won't take long to get hooked on those big negatives and the next thing you know you will be asking how to use and carry a Crown Graphic.

  3. #23

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    Ultimate Exposure Meter

    Here's a link. It's fun to be reliant on your own perception.

    http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm

  4. #24

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    @Pioneer
    I did that
    35mm for MANY MANY years
    then 6x6. The price dropped so I could afford a Hasselblad, and it was cheaper than my D70.
    then 4x5. Although I have not shot yet, still gathering parts

  5. #25
    eddie's Avatar
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    Mine arrived yesterday. I wasn't home, so I picked it up at the PO this morning. (Auction ended Sunday. In Virginia on Thursday- not bad...)
    It's huge! I'm going to try to run some film through it this weekend, but the basic functions all seem to work. Still, can't be sure until a roll goes through it. Here it is next to an Olympus for sense of scale:
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by the.ronin View Post
    I finally won an auction for a medium format film camera - a Fuji GSW 690II SW for $445. I am particularly excited because I had honed in on the Fuji line of MF cameras but was always outbid. This was a little more than I was willing to pay (wanted to keep it sub $400) but my sense is, assuming this camera is in good condition, this is a decent price.

    I've used strictly DSLR (Nikon D40 and now a D90) as a hobbyist but my wife started getting into film as part of formal photography classes. I researched a bit into film and was blown away by the quality larger format cameras are capable of capturing. In general, the Fuji line seemed to be the most compact and accessible and, not the least of which, far more affordable.

    Unfortunately, the shipper is doing what I think is parcel post so it may take upwards of a month to get here LOL. In the meantime I wanted to do as much research as I could.

    Some questions I had if anybody could provide some guidance:

    1) Light metering
    I understand this line of cameras has no light meter. I know I could use the meter in my DSLR set to manual but I foresee my using the MF in times when I might not even carry around the DSLR. Any recommendations on an affordable / entry level light meter?

    2) Film
    Any recommendations on color and BW film for the Fuji GSW 690II SW? I will likely use 120s equally for the price and the forced discipline of fewer exposures per roll. (Wow this is going to be such a change from my DSLR!!)

    3) Developing
    If possible I would like to minimize the cost of developing film. I would anticipate having colored film developed at a lab given how involved it is. However, I would consider developing BW at home. Any issues I should consider?

    4) Scanning
    I definitely would consider scanning negatives at home and saving them as TIFF (which I understand preserves the greatest amount of range in the shot). For this, I've been eyeing the CanoScan 9000F. I've read that the Nikon Coolscan scanners are of particularly great quality but just way outside of my price range. From the TIFFs, I plan to export to JPG for online publishing or print to photo paper using an Epson Artisan 710. Again, any recommendations on this setup would be appreciated.

    5) Bag
    How do you folks carry this brick? LOL
    First, congratulations on buying this camera. It will not disappoint.

    1) If you want a modern meter, I would recommend a simple incident meter like the Sekonic L-308S. I have one myself: they're cheap, reliable and easy to use (and they take AA batteries). If your budget is tight, any older model will do, really.

    2) A 6x9 camera just begs for transparency film. Get yourself some of the current Fuji offerings, they're all excellent. My personal favorite is Velvia 100F. For black and white, the possibilities are limitless. I like Tri-X or HP5+ in Xtol.

    3) Developing B&W film at home is much easier than you'd expect, and the results are so much better than minilab-processed film. Read around, there's a lot of good information on this forum with regards to developing your first rolls.

    4) I've used the Canoscan 9000F in combination with a GW690. It's a very decent scanner with a true resolution of about 1600-2000ppi. Canon claims 9600ppi optical resolution, but that's nonsense. I scan my medium format negs and slides at 1600ppi, which is more than enough for most digital purposes. If you want to print really big, you may have to use a professional grade scanner (like a drumscanner or a Hasselblad) somewhere. APUG is not the place to discuss these things, so let me just conclude: yes, I'd recommend the 9000F.

    5) The GW690 has strap lugs on the side of the camera, I don't know if the GSW690II is the same. Get yourself a good neoprene strap and you'll soon forget you have a camera hanging on your shoulder. As for bags, there is a plethora of choices. I use the (rather expensive but well worth it) F-stop Loka with a medium ICU.

    Enjoy!
    And the sign said, "long haired freaky people need not apply"

  7. #27
    M Carter's Avatar
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    Wow - that's a freakin' beauty! Just love it!

    My .02 -

    A dslr is fantastic for learning and testing, and comparing your film later. Take plenty of notes as you shoot. Keep in mind the dynamic range of a DSLR will differ from your film. My Nikon has the ability to make custom in-camera profiles. I've been experimenting with a black & white profile (though this interests me for some upcoming film projects that will have paid models, stylists, and complex lighting - little room for surprises). I'm finding pushed B&W negs lose a lot of shadow detail compared to the DSLR and I'd like to have an on-set proofing setup that shows this.

    The iPhone light meters - really quite good in my experience. And the Sekonic 308 was my first meter (and I still use it).

    I'll be the lone dissenting voice on reels - Hewes for 35mm is a no-brainer. But for MF, I find plastic reels much much easier to load. I do a lot of snip-testing (running half or third rolls to try developer times, etc) and a plastic reel is an absolute must for this, as it doesn't damage the tail of the film.

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