How's it doin'?
I was just wondering...
What are your thoughts on the current state and future of medium format photography?
How is medium format film photography holding up?
Is it still being used in majority in the high-end commercial and fashion photography? Have the prices of equipment been moving either way?
Also, as a small format user, I ask you:
Is it worth entering the world of medium format film now?
If I did such a thing, it would not be a small investment for me, but I'd be willing to do it If it lived for another 5 years in a state similar to present state.
Jump in... the water is fine. I have no worries as to supplies, with Ilford and J&C stating strong commitments to film based photography.
And I still enjoy printing MF negs much more than 35mm, but I also shoot 4x5 & 5x7. Different tools for different photo opportunities.
So Ed, what are you waiting for? It's still a blast!
Long live Ed "Big Daddy" Roth!!
"I don't care about Milwaukee or Chicago." - Yvon LeBlanc
Well, I'm sure BW will outlive color film, if not end up as the only survivor of the digital vs. film war. I'm worried about color film, because I mostly shoot in color
"So Ed, what are you waiting for?"
I'm waiting for about $1500-2000 to get me started.
I know I can get used equipment for low prices, but If I'm going to enter MF, I plan to do it right, with the smell of a brand new camera, and all that...
I know that if I could brake the ice of buying the equipment, the image making would be even cheaper than it is now. A roll of 120 film is cheaper than that of 135 (exept that you get less frames), the processing is the same, plus there is more satisfaction in watching MF slides (you don't even have to proof them)
With the prices on very good used equipment being what they are, you can get some stunning bargains from KEH on some pretty sweet kit.
Originally Posted by Ed_Davor
It's worth a look.
Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!
So... get started with less expensive equipment. A nice Rolleiflex from the 50's will give you a great sense of what it is about medium format that you could love and it will cost you short money. A decent Bronica outfit won't set you back much either if you want to go that way. Go for it, but low budget. The expensive stuff will be even less expensive in a few months when 1) you decide whether MF really is worth it and 2) more of camera stores start to liquidate their MF gear to put glitzy new digicams in the cases.
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And what kind of prices can I expect to find on old single lens Rolleiflex cameras (from 50's or so)?
I bought a Mamiya body and 80mm lens and the next thing I knew I had a selection of lenses and accessories for a tiny fraction of their cost just a few years ago. I never pick up my 35mm gear anymore! The only problem is that I didn't stop there. I have started to shoot more and more 4x5 these days, and just picked up a 4x5 enlarger, and am looking at 8x10....
There's such a glut of MF gear out there now, you could get a really nice setup for not too much money. I'd say jump right in, but then again, I just bought a Super-8 camera, so maybe I'm just crazier than the rest.
A guy from Kodak told me that MF film sales are terrible. But the stuff is still available in vast variety, so I'm happy. At the camera club and in the field I see more and more MF gear. It seems like people are abandoning 35 for both digital and MF/LF. All love the bigger film image and the easier to handle film. They like the slow film loading and expensive equipment a bit less, but are willing to accept the trade for the image.
I would say its definitely worth it. I recently made the jump myself and picked up a Mamiya 645 system in great shape for a fraction of the new cost. The larger negative size is perfect for the size prints I usually make (11x14) and interchangeable backs is a huge benefit in the versatility department. With today's photographic marketplace, anything is a crapshoot (digital cameras as well) in terms of future compatability. With that in mind I think its safe to say you will get more than 5 years out of a MF system.