I agree Roger, this almost doubling is a significant step.
Originally Posted by Roger Cole
HP5+ is a good practical example, It is a film I enjoy in Medium and Large Format. In 35 mm I have a love hate relationship with HP5+.
it is dependent on the subject matter. If the main subject matter is large in the frame it seems to work fine for me; Head and shoulders portraits for example, full length portraits, not so much. What changes for me is the size of the details in relationship to the grain.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
I've owned a 1950s era 6x6 folder (Nettar), and I have to say, the images were incredibly sharp. It took far better pictures than I expected, AND it was no bigger than a 35mm SLR. However, I only shot two rolls of film with it and then sold it. Why? because the view finder was uselessly small. Maybe if I had a shoe mounted VF things would be different, but I just found it too hard to use.
I have since moved on to a Bronica ETR-Si. I've only shot a handful of rolls on it. But, without the grip it isn't too large to carry in a DSLR bag, and holding it isn't overly akward (even with a prism). Adding the grip makes it pretty huge, but very easy to use. For all the talk of mirror slap, I took a number of very sharp hand held shots at 1/30 (something I really can't pull off with a 35mm SLR).
I can't comment on the quality of 6x4.5 vs 6x7. But, as has been mentioned, for non-square prints, there is effectively no difference between 6x6 and 6x4.5. When looking at enlargers, many enlargers can only do 6x6, so if you have your own dark room (or aspire to have one), a 6x7 or larger will require a larger enlarger.
I'm still new to darkroom printing, but I found that making really good looking prints from 645 is easier than from 35mm, and at 8x10 I can tell the difference. After making my first 8x10s from 645 I've vowed to use my Bronica much more.
I think the idea of a TLR is a very good one for the OP (presuming you can get used to the WLF). They are small, take great photos, and work especially well on the street. With a WLF the 645 SLRs can be used similarly, but are longer and (imo) bulkier. The nice thing about a 645 is that it gives you choice, it can be a waist level street camera on day and a traditional SLR the next.
When it comes to shooting slide film, there is significantly more to extract from 645 format than 35 mm. Typically 35 mm will be scanned at 4800 dpi giving a 4535 x 6803 (i.e. 31 MP) file of not such great quality. A 645 will be scanned typically at 3200 dpi, giving a 5291 x 7055 (37 MP) file of much better quality. The best scanners (like the Hasselblad Flextight / Imacons) will get a great deal more out of a 645 than a 35 mm. I often shoot slide on 6x7 (Pentax), but very seldom in 645, preferring it for black and white which is always intended for darkroom printing rather than scanning. In printing, there is a significant difference in the two formats (35 mm and 645), which is immediately apparent, especially when faster film is used (but that is sort of a circular argument as faster lenses exist for 35 mm). My personal view is that the MF lenses paint a bit differently than the 35 mm lenses, and the combination with film emphasizes that. The best MF lenses are very significantly better than the best 35 mm lenses on the same film. It shows in prints even as small as 8x10; by the time you get to 16x20 it is obvious. Yes, 6x7 is much better than 645 even, but the jump from 35mm to 645 is more pronounced than the jump from 645 to 6x7 or even 6x9. 645 is a very practical and useful format, and most of the lenses are really excellent.
Originally Posted by Tom1956
With regards to what the OP wants to do with it, the 645 rangefinders seem an obvious choice, but the Mamiya 6 and 7 are also worth considering. Unless you take a very slow and measured approach, you'd want something with AE capability for shooting slides. That rules out most TLRs and many of the more basic SLRs as well, unless you get AE prism finders for them (assuming they exist).
Whatever, Tom. That is a faux argument, as the OP is not a wedding photographer and very likely already has a silicon chip camera, or would have had if he really wanted to do photography that way. Most of us have hybrid systems, and still prefer MF and film for good reasons for some purposes. It stands to reason that commercial work on film is now rare, but that certainly doesn't discourage my interest in film.
Originally Posted by Tom1956
Bronica RF645 all the way. Much better camera than the fuji's though more expensive. Interchangeable lenses and superb VF and metering. Best walk around MF camera IMO.
I'd love to jump up to 6x7, but that's HUGE
Sure, I can get a Graflex XL (worst user interface camera for a "press" camera, EVER), but the RB/RZ are giant, and the Pentax 6x7 is crossing the price boundary for me
I don't really think in square either...
This is just for fun, and I love the slide colors and I'd love to shoot more of it in case it ever goes away (Fuji doesn't inspire confidence)
Last edited by GarageBoy; 03-05-2014 at 10:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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One of the fun things about square is not having to turn the camera 90 to change orientation. P vs L.
Originally Posted by GarageBoy
Crop however you please later.
I can speak for the Mamiya 645 1000S. I don't use mine much (I prefer 6x6 negatives so my Rollei and Kowa receive more attention), but it is a solid camera, with a variety of gear choices for little money. The prism finders aren't bad, however make sure to watch out for glass separation (looks like a solid grey line when viewing through the prism. They are bulky, but very robust cameras.
645 is 3 times the area of 35mm. 6x6 is over 4 times. Darned right that's significant.
I had a lot of trouble with the square format. It took 3 years to start to get acceptable results, but now I 'm hooked and am enjoying it much more than 35mm. If you don't want to make any radical change in format shape, 6x9 is the closest to the 35mm layout, and it is over 6 times the area. When I was at your decision point, I got an inexpensive Zeiss zone-focusing folder, liked what it did and then moved up to a Mamiya tlr. Right now on eBay, Jurgen (certo6) has 3 Zeiss 6x9 folders ranging from $120 - $450, depending on the model, so you can get in pretty cheaply, or not so cheaply. All of his cameras have been CLA'd and are in good user condition.
“You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt
Well no. And I'm sure they are winderful, albeit quite expensive cameras. Of course however a camera is designed a 645 of the sane design can be at least a bit smaller than a comparable 6x7. That doesn't mean such "otherwise comparable" cameras are actually made if course.
Originally Posted by RattyMouse
My real point is just that 645 is a viable format and a very significant step up from 35mm.
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They're really cheap these days. I got into my system because it's one of the few 645's with interchangeable backs, and it's one of best values for money.
Originally Posted by mweintraub
To echo some other comments, the Fuji GA645zi has probably been one of the best cameras I've handled. Basically a P&S camera with a stellar lens onto s 645 piece of film. Light and small, too!
New-ish convert to film.
Pentax MX for 35mm
Bronica ETRS for 645