I started with Mamiya 645 Super, Rolleicord V, went to 645 Pro, then went to RB-SD
To me, decision was a combination of:
Modularity (repair by swap)
It was impossible to meet all of them at the same time. So by going RB, I sacrificed portability. I figured since going Mamiya 7 was out of my budget, anything else I choose with 6x7 size wouldn't be significantly lighter. (I wanted 6x7 film format) It's do'able but heavy. I have no experience with Pentax 67.
Modularity/repair by swap is an important factor for me. Sending a MF camera components for repair/CLA will cost just as much or often more than buying another part on second-hand market. So I had to choose a system that's highly modular.
Many people as the same question as you do (OP). What's the best MF camera for me? All of those threads pretty much ends the same way. Just about every make and model gets mentioned and OP is left confused. One good thing is, if you buy wisely, you can pretty much get most of what you invest in it back when you sell.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
My first MF was and is the RB67.
Having to do it over I would have gotten a blad, just due to the weight and footprint, compared to the RB.
For as much information as possible, consider LF, too.
Originally Posted by gus.
While you are deciding which 6x6 or 6x7 you want, you might consider hitting some rummage sales and flea markets to find a very cheap Twin Lens Reflex camera. That way you can start to satisfy the urge while you decide which expensive system you want.
Like ac12 says above, DON'T OVERLOOK THE TLR CAMERA! I have owned, handled and used almost all the cameras mentioned above and have my preferences. 1. First thing to think about is format size. Most women think "bigger is better" and when it comes to film size I feel the same way. The bigger the negative the better/larger the print/scan(as long as the lens quality is up there). 2. Next, is how are you going to use said camera? Weddings, street, landscape or fast moving pets/children - inside and out? Now I'll throw my 2 cents in! A very good street camera that is nearly silent. Is the Mamiya C220/C330 TLR. It has great lenses, can do 1:1, lovely focusing screen, very well built and rugged. I have had several and I never could blame the Mamiya outfit for a bad picture. Of course it's square format, but not bad. I just sold a nice Mamiya M645/1000s with AE prism and 80mm f1.9 lens that is/was as close as you can get to a medium format 35mm style camera. My problem with thw Maymiya 645's is the 645 format. Just to small for me, but that's just me. Other TLR's are top notch too and I still own two Rollei's and a very nice Yashiga 124G, but only use the Rollei's on very rare occasions. I still have two Koni Omega 6x7 cameras and must say they are great to use. A little big, but what a nice negative. The lenses for the Koni cameras are as good as any can be for medium format and the price is very cheap too. My very first wedding camera was a Bronica S2A with three Mags and I'll have to say it turned me into a professional wedding photographer. Thos interchangeable backs were a Godsend. I've had one newer Bronica and that was the SQA. It was a very nice systems camera, but I already had a Hasselblad so I sold it. I always wanted to try a Bronica GS-1 out for size, but I was pretty much done with weddings and doing camera shows and trading by that time. Now, if you want to invest in a system I believe there is only one and that's Hasselblad. Rollei's are great too and shouldn't be overlooked if the price is right. Even a old and used 500C is a thing to admire. I don't even want to get started on lenses for the 'blads, but will say that if you can't do it with those, then you ain't going to do it! I still have two Hasselblad bodies and one Superwide and they will be handed down to my grandson when I go. Nice cameras, but still that damn square format. Now to the Pentax 67? I have two bodies(they're cheap as 'blad backs right now) and eight lenses and it is my most used camera with my Hasselblad Super Wide next. It's really more of a tripod camera, but I have had some good results hand-held if you know what you're doing. I usually find a wall, tree, car or something to lean and steady the camera on for hand-helds. I also love the 6x7 negative/slide it pumps out and it's lenses are all very good also. Another good camera is the Fuji rangefinder cameras in 67 or 69 format. I used one of each for travel cameras and the results would take your breath away. The only thing that made me dump them was the lack of being able to focus close. So, I really don't know what you want to do or how you want to do it, but here might be a good place to start. Mamiya 330f PRO with the 80mm f2.8 "black" lens(chrome nose lenses are older). It's as cheap as you can get for a systems camera and will deliver the goods. Of course if you have money to burn then you can just buy a Hasselblad system and be done with it all. What I'm saying is that no matter what anybody says here, if you get hooked onto medium format film, then you'll likely end up with a 'blad sooner or later. If you have the money it might just as well be sooner. If you have any specific questions about any of the cameras I mentioned I'll try and answer them. Have fun shopping! JOhnW
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Holy cow! You guys are awesome!!! So much information. Well, I tried to process as much as I could and narrowed my thoughts down to this:
Pentax 67 - Better outdoors? Not modular.
RB67 - Fully modular, cheaper, and just as sharp?
RZ67 - Same as RB but with electronic shutter (better accuracy?), 'one-motion' frame to frame and I read its use is more intuitive than the Pentax?
Ultimately, I couldn't get past the Pentax not being modular. Also, after reading more about the RB/RZ I understood how awesome they are! Unlike my 600 shots/10% accuracy days with digital, film has taught me to be more precise with my shooting and it's really helped my success rate. That said, I do believe I would want the option of switching from, say, color to b/w mid shoot. Or even different films to narrow down a favorite? Oh, and not losing any chemistry with my subject having to reload film if I have a few backs. Also, the camera will live on a tripod 95% of the time so the weight/size is no prob.
I was looking to spend around $600 - $800 and there are TONS of options in that range. I decided I liked the few extras of the RZ over the RB and you'll all be excited to hear that I'm currently the high bidder on an RZ Pro II with a 110/2.8! Wish me luck gents!
Wish I could buy you all a beer! ;D
I'm not sure why folks keep talking about the Hassy when the OP is clearly talking about 6x7... Of course the Hassy is hard to beat for what it does. But it doesn't do 6x7; plain and simple.
Each camera has its strengths and weaknesses and most of them have been covered already
RB and RZ are great for studio work; really hard to beat, but bulkier and heavier than most for hand held work.
GS-1 is great as a carrying camera, as far as SLRs are concerned. Light, and very ergonomically pleasing with the speed grip and AE finder attached. Leaf shutters are a big plus too.
Pentax 6x7 and 67 are about half way in between the two mentioned above. Easier to hand hold than Mamiya, but not as easy as the GS-1 and no leaf shutters except a couple specialty lenses. The broom handle grip and focus levers make it better for hand held, but not as sweet as the GS-1.
When I owned all three I tended to use the RB in studio, the GS-1 for hand held work and the Pentax for landscapes.
But the fact is that there are plenty of photographers who use each one of these cameras in the areas they supposedly don't excel and still get fantastic results. It just takes commitment and skill. All three are extremely capable cameras.
If you want to delve into the world of range finders there are a few more options, most of which have some limitations but some great advantages too. Fuji has a long history of great rangefinders in 6x7. The so called "Texas Leicas" are optically very good, but all but the earliest models have fixed lenses. And none have built in meters. The newer GF670 offers both 6x6 and 6x7, is extremely compact (its a folder!) and has a lens that is second to none. But once again... fixed lens. The GF670W is wider but isn't a folder. The Mamiya 7 is one of the few modern 6x7 range finders that has exchangeable lenses. Unfortunately it isn't quite as compact as the Mamiya 6 (6x6) since the lens doesn't collapse and the lens specific external view finders can be bothersome.
In the end I think you could be happy with any of these 6x7 cameras as long as you aren't too concerned about "greener grass" issues. If you go for the Pentax just make sure you get one that has MLU. It's very helpful and only the earliest 6x7 doesn't have it.
Boy, that's a good question. What defines whether the enlarger is 6x6 or 6x7? Crap, I'm worried now, haha. I've done 120 on it. Does the head define how much it can light?
Originally Posted by ac12
I have an Omega B5. This guy,
No problem - that enlarger will handle up to 4" x 5".
Originally Posted by gus.
Some enlargers are big enough for 6 x 6, but not 6 x 7. You definitely don't have that problem.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Is it a matter of height or the enlarger head that defines how large it can print?