Yup, luv my Hassy! I've used her in the rain, in extreme humidty, in -15F, in a snow storm, in the desert, and everywhere else. And guess what? Never a glitch! The nicest thing is the ability to add 645 backs when you want it and 6x6 too. I use my 503CXi the most, with a winder CW. The infrared remote is really handy in the studio and really comfortable to hold all day (through a 10 hour wedding) and I sling her over me' shoulder during vacation when I'm walking around.
And, for those who want more frames per roll, the 645 backs give you *16*, not 15 shots!
I plan on keeping my Hasselblads for quite a while! Plus, right now with everybody dumping their MF film equipment for digital, they are CHEAP!
I bought a used Rollei SL66. It uses lenses very similar to the Hassy - All Zeiss. The difference is the common lenses do not require a shutter and the investment is much less. The SL66 also has front rise and fall. I wouldn't confuse it with a view camera but it is often a life saver. I am completely satisfied with it for the money.
My photos are always without all that distracting color ...
I respectfully disagree. 645 is far more flexible than larger medium formats. Cameras are generally lighter, richer in features and faster to use, systems are usually more comprehensive than and the DOF issues that plague 6x7 or larger are not as pronounced.
Originally Posted by Goldfarb
To me a 4x5 and a 645 are perfect companions. When the former is impractical, the latter will often get the shot. 6x6 is not everyone's cup of tea (and you usually end up with a 645'ish crop anyway), 6x7 and larger get very bulky and suffer greatly when extreme DOF is needed.
If you're willing to deal with the bulk of 6x7, may as well go straight to 4x5. If you want flexibility but can't live with puny 35mm, 645 is the logical choice (and will still get you pretty nice 16x20s). Both together will cover you for most situations.
I'd like to pipe in, in agreement with almost everyone and recomend the fuji 6x8 it's a bit heavy but amazingly versitle. I to am a multi format user from 35mm on up. I find the 6x8 I use 70% of the time. each camera has it's own personality as already stated here but I find the 6x8 tobe the most versitle. Course you could always try a holga!
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I was not referring to rangefinders. A rangefinder will obviously be lighter, but as you mentioned yourself - is severely limited in selection of lenses, use of filters, close focusing, availability of acccessories (interchangeable finders, backs, power winders) etc. To me a rangefinder is always a compromise when various constraints dictate giving up some creature comforts.
As for DOF - at any given angle of view, a shorter focal length will always give you smaller circles of confusion at a given aperture. Whether you agree or not - it's hard to argue against physics. I have shot 6x7 almost exclusively for over 2 years and a variety of other formats for over 14 years. When critical DOF is at stake - a fixed focus plane 6x7 with lenses that only stop down to f/22 is not the ideal tool.
Uh... not quite. The limiting factor here (reduced to a whole lot of simplicity) is diffraction. That is why short 35mm lenses rarely have apetures of less than f/16.
Originally Posted by Guy
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Diffraction has a degrading effect on all lenses no matter what format. All well and good having a 4x5 lens that stops down to f128..while you get great DOF the results look a little better that a pinhole.
So if high quality imaging with really good depth a field calls for a camera with movements. Available in MF and LF but at the expense of lightness and portability.
My most portable MF camera is a baby graphic with a 6x9 roll film back and a reversed front standard that allows the front to tilt downward rather than upward. Works a treat and even with three lenses is way lighter than my 6x6 outfit.
I've gone down to f128 with my 19" Artar and the results look a LOT better than a pinhole. Sometimes movements just won't help.
Originally Posted by MikeK
Everybody always recommends their favorite camera - I've go no problem with that because you see very strong feelings about choice of format, camera operation, etc.
I'm going to advocate that you sit down and actually make a formal list of what the "perfect" medium format camera would be for you - and then look at manufacturers and model - and see what gets closest to your ideal camera.
Think about the type of work you plan on doing. Macro photography? That pretty much rules out rangefinders - so take the Mamiya 7 off the list.
Backpacking with several lenses? Ok, that pretty much points you at the Mamiya 7 for least weight, smallest size. See what I mean?
Camera that is not good for one application is perfect for another.
I have a Hasselblad specifically because it's important for me to have interchangeable backs for some work, be able to hand hold it, carry a complete kit on an airline in the overhead compartment, etc. That rules out the RB / RZ 67 for me personally.
I have a Plaubel Makina 670 because it is the smallest form factor medium format when it's collapsed making a hike with it no sweat. It also has a terrific lens, and maybe the most intuitive metering system I've ever used. I also don't mind that it doesn't have interchangeable lenses as I "see" its field-of-view as being "normal" for me. Some people couldn't live with the constraint of not being able to change lenses.
Again, a personal choice and should be part of your shopping list.
Just put your shopping list together and get the camera that is the best fit for your anticipated uses. You probably can't find a camera that will be 100% for every application. I can't, that's why I own many different cameras.