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  1. #51

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    I started with a Rolleicord III, still have it and use it occasionally. Discreet, quiet, everyone smiles when they see it. The simple lens renders some nice images. Eventually I moved up to a Hasselblad. Took a while to get used to, but now I get it. Easy to use, while not as fast as a 35 slr for action photos, and it is hard to compete with the 4x5 for landscapes, it is good enough for 90% of what I do. Biggest problem is not buying too much in the accessory department. I started with a basic body, lens and back. Then added a 2nd back. Then a grip. Then metered prism. Found a Metz flash for cheap. All this stuff was silly expensive when new and is a bargain now on the used market. You put the money into the lenses, but everything else is surprisingly affordable. ELMs for under $200. Backs for less.

    It is probably cheaper to get into a Blad today than one of the new modern Canon or Nikon pro level systems.

  2. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    If you want an RZ67*, then buy an RZ67! You're a student, right? You're young, you can easily handle the weight and bulk. I suspect I'm twice your age and my RZ67 always comes with me for international travel, including a lap around Europe & Asia about three years ago and a wander around bits of Canada last year. Consider that if you're trying to take good photos, you need a tripod anyway. The tripod is bigger than any MF camera and possibly heavier too (unless you go carbon fibre, and that will cost as much as your camera+lens), so are you really saving much/any weight by buying a smaller camera?

    A Hasselblad body may well be affordable but the good lenses are not. Go look on KEH or something and budget out a high quality 3-lens set (wide, normal, apo tele) for the two systems and you'll see what I mean. Blads are much smaller though.

    If you want to try quality 6x6 on the cheap, I would recommend something like a C220 or C330. They're not as small/light as a Rolleiflex, but they are literally about 1/6 of the price, just as sharp, and you can interchange the lenses. If you don't like the parallax errors with TLR, you can sell it on again with no loss. I have a few shots from my C220 that I love, and that I probably would not have taken with the RZ, but my keeper rate from the C220 is lower because of parallax errors and the difficulty of seeing on the dim focus screen. And I have many photos from the RZ that could never be taken on a TLR.

    TLRs are nice for shooting IR because the filter won't block your viewing lens. Not much in the way of any good IR films available in 120 though, so that's no longer a good argument. And a polariser is harder to use on a TLR unless you buy a Minolta and its $$$$ coupled polariser.


    * I have a Pro, not Pro-II. Far cheaper, lacks the fine-focus control (who cares) and the half-stop speeds (not really a problem).

    Thanks for your reply, I've been in Cornwall for just under a week and only just managed for find somewhere to connect to the internet! You mentioned that Hasselblad lenses are very expensive, I've found a couple for £149 from Ffordes, the chrome 'C' versions, are they any good? Although I think I'm going back to mainly wanting to get the Mamiya RZ67, I have a carbon fibre tripod which is very light for it's size, I'm just under 6'4" and it's a very good height for me to work at with a telephoto lens without even extending the centre column.

    If I manage to get the Mamiya I might still want to try square format, so getting a TLR to try it out sounds like a very good idea. Also as other people have said a folding camera would still also be a good alternative to try out a different format with a smaller system.

    I've also looked at Bronica, but I've yet to hear anything amazing about them, I've found loads of sites and reviews talking about how amazing the Mamiya is for portraiture and other photography, but the Bronica systems are normally just described and being very good. Although, I still think they're well worth having a look at due to their prices, and the 'Japanese Hasselblad' nickname sounds promising! I also love the right hand grip they provide so I'll be looking at them too. If there's anyone that uses a Bronica system I'd love to hear about your experiences with them.
    James

    My 500px Profile --> http://500px.com/James_EG

  3. #53

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    Not sure if you are already acquainted with the differences between the 4 types of medium format cameras. Knowing the differences and what suits you may help you to narrow down your selection a little.

    I started off with an old folder (Agfa Isolette) and moved on to a Mamiya C220 TLR next. I would say just skip all folders, save for the Fuji 645 folders. I believe you will be pleased with the Mamiya TLR. The optics, while not the sharpest, are decent and offer versatility in the form of interchangeable lenses. I've done landscapes, portraits and architecture with it and the results were very pleasing. Bronicas are good, reliable cameras for most purposes, but if you scrutinise them compared to the very best then it will fall short. Also, Bronicas are becoming increasingly unwanted and it may be difficult to sell it off because the prices are already rock bottom.

    My advice is not to get caught up with the technical details too much. The variance in image quality among MF cameras is less than the variance between the skill of individual shooters, so don't let anyone tell you that you can only do something with an SLR and not with a rangefinder, or something like that. If you just pick up a decent MF camera for your budget (Mamiya C220/C330, Fuji 6x9, Mamiya RB/RZ67, Rolleicord) and devote time and intelligence to learning how to use it properly, you can create wonders.

  4. #54

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    Normally, you decide what format you want before picking a camera. Since you are unsure on format, why not pick up a Yashica D TLR for dirt cheap? Shoot it for a month and you will learn if you like TLR's and/or the square format. If you wish to sell it later, you won't be out much if you don't get all your money back and you will have received an education.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by James-EG View Post
    Thanks for your reply, I've been in Cornwall for just under a week and only just managed for find somewhere to connect to the internet! You mentioned that Hasselblad lenses are very expensive, I've found a couple for £149 from Ffordes, the chrome 'C' versions, are they any good? Although I think I'm going back to mainly wanting to get the Mamiya RZ67, I have a carbon fibre tripod which is very light for it's size, I'm just under 6'4" and it's a very good height for me to work at with a telephoto lens without even extending the centre column.
    I'm not a Hasselblad expert, but my understanding is that you want the black ones ("CF" maybe?) with T* coating. If it's a tele (longer than about 150mm), it wants to be apochromatic especially if you shoot colour. For example if you want a 250mm from KEH, it's $3600 for a Hasselblad 250/5.6 superachromat or $620 for the non-apo CF T* version. For RZ67, it's $550 for the 250/4.5 APO or $160 for the non-APO version. Having shot both (my RZ and a friend's superachromat) on fine film, you cannot tell the different between the two except that the RZ gives you more negative and half a stop more speed for ~20% of the price. The RZ is slightly heavier though.

    Quote Originally Posted by James-EG View Post
    If I manage to get the Mamiya I might still want to try square format, so getting a TLR to try it out sounds like a very good idea. Also as other people have said a folding camera would still also be a good alternative to try out a different format with a smaller system.
    Yeah, a TLR is good because it's cheap My beater C220+80/2.8 cost me $150, I've dropped it twice and my idiot dad stepped on it (bent the focus knob) but it still takes perfectly good pictures. If it takes a swim in the ocean, I'll be a lot less unhappy than I would if it were my RZ67 or god forbid, a rolleiflex. And if I decide that I'm sick of it, I can sell it for probably no loss. They're a good fun thing to play with.

    Quote Originally Posted by James-EG View Post
    I've also looked at Bronica, but I've yet to hear anything amazing about them, I've found loads of sites and reviews talking about how amazing the Mamiya is for portraiture and other photography, but the Bronica systems are normally just described and being very good. Although, I still think they're well worth having a look at due to their prices, and the 'Japanese Hasselblad' nickname sounds promising! I also love the right hand grip they provide so I'll be looking at them too. If there's anyone that uses a Bronica system I'd love to hear about your experiences with them.
    hoffy has a Bronica and seems to like it. I get the impression that there's not really anything wrong with them, but that their unpopularity is a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. They seem to be hard to sell; there were a lot less made than Mamiya systems, so the market isn't as big and fluid. Harder to find exactly what you want, harder to shift stuff you changed your mind about.

  6. #56
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    There is no real need to go for the Superachromats when shooting Hasselblad. It is true that the 250SA is much better than the 250 Sonnar under higher magnifications, but the if you don´t need 250mm of focal length, buy a 180/4 CF for a fraction of the price of a Superachromat. Or just buy the 150/4. This is a sharp lens with wonderful bokeh and very even picture quality across the frame.
    The Old 150mm C lenses will suffice, but mind that the shutters are quite old an may need a service sooner or later. Recently, 150mm CFs have become really cheap and even 150mm Cfi lenses are very affordable these days.

  7. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuff View Post
    I think the Australian and USA standards of calling people are different. I think most American's would get very upset hearing how best friends call each other in Australia.
    Except for me! You can call me anything, it wouldn't bother me!

    Jeff

  8. #58
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    You should all try meeting a scotsman sometime; now there's a culture that seems to cultivate quick and deeply biting repartee.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slixtiesix View Post
    There is no real need to go for the Superachromats when shooting Hasselblad. It is true that the 250SA is much better than the 250 Sonnar under higher magnifications, but the if you don´t need 250mm of focal length, buy a 180/4 CF for a fraction of the price of a Superachromat. Or just buy the 150/4. This is a sharp lens with wonderful bokeh and very even picture quality across the frame.
    The Old 150mm C lenses will suffice, but mind that the shutters are quite old an may need a service sooner or later. Recently, 150mm CFs have become really cheap and even 150mm Cfi lenses are very affordable these days.
    Well of course you don't need the APO, but my point was that if you are willing to give up the Swedish badge, you can have a lens that is as good as the superachromat for less than the price of the non-APO. Similar pricing ratios exist between the brands across the lens range, no matter what level of quality you want to buy into. Hasselblad gear is wonderful stuff, but you do have to be aware that you are paying also for the name and the cachet that goes with it. Not as bad as buying Leica, but the same principle.

    There's a reason we don't have an "Is that a Mamiya?" thread...

  10. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    Wow, and I thought I was uptight.

    Everyone is an idiot sometimes.
    Sorry... I've just been thinking about family a lot lot lately. There aren't not many left now. Yeah, I'm a bit oversensitive sometimes. I asked the mods to delete that post.

    Sorry for going OT.



 

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