The farmers are tough round here, they work all the year round! In any case, I see this project as ongoing...
I've already drawn the lines on the screen and am working on waist level shooting as Ian suggested. Can't have him thinking I'm a wimp. He will be telling us next that he hand holds his 10 x 8 camera....
If your suggestions work out then I'll get a wider lens for the SQ
I think the SQ will be fine if you buy a prism to go with it. Sometimes you just need to have a prism, there is no other way to put it. But that said, so much these days is shot with a prism at standing level that having images made from mid level meet be different enough now to make an impact.
The only downside of shooting the 6x6 and cropping in the veiwfinder and in the darkroom is that you will get 3 less frames per roll than if you went with a real 645 back. I think I would just roll with it unless you really want to get a different camera. If you really want a different camera system, I'm partial to the Mamiya 645 1000s (generation1) or the Super/Pro/ProTL (generation 2). Since changing film speeds mid roll might be advantageous, I think I would recommend a generation 2 body, or maybe if money was not an object a generation 3 body (AF/AFD/AFDII/AFDIII) as both the gen2 and gen3 bodies have a film back. I'm happy with the m645 stuff that I have, it's cheap to pick up the manual focus stuff, and seems to be durable enough.
Also back to the lines... Remember that most viewfinders do not show the entire frame, most are somwhere in the 92% to 95% real film area. IF you draw the lines on the screen at the real film size for 645 (56mm X 42mm) then you will have 100% of the frame shown in the viewfinder. Make sure to take this into consideration when framing subjects. Since the SQ viewfinder is probably only showing about 55mm or 54mm (square) then you may want to move the the short side for the lines in a millimeter or so. Sorry, I forgot to mention this until just now, hopefully it won't mess you up too much.
Thanks again Greg for all the information. I did draw the lines as you have just suggested as I had noticed that my viewfinder didn't include the full frame.
OK, good. I'm surprised it slipped my mind when I first suggested it.
Since you wrote this I see you've gone with using the ETRsi, and marking the screen up for 645.
Originally Posted by AlanC
That sounds like a good solution to me and you still have the full square frame if you want to vary some of your compositions, and it will help if you want any big prints to spice up the exhibition you mentioned (obviously).
I do see what you meant about the shots where people are moving about a lot though. I'm fond of MF rangefinders and have a number of the Fuji ones. The 6x7 and 6x9 machines are wonderful, and comparable to the Mamiya 7 that you mention. But have you thought about the Fuji 645 rangefinders?
The older ones (real rangefinders, not AF) are a relative bargain now, and the GS 645S is a lovely camera for the sort of reportage/documentary project you describe. It has a 60mm f4 lens so is a moderate wide angle with a 'natural' portrait orientation, though it is easy to hold in landscape orientation too. The lens is extremely sharp, and I've found the meter is acurate too. Oh, and it takes 220 film if you want it to, so you can have 30 shots without reloading.
If you find that the ETRsi is proving difficult for some of the more 'action' type shots, the little Fuji might be a very nice addition to, rather that replacement for, that system.
There's not much to go wrong with them, though I had to replace a metering circuit once. The only non-obvious thing really to look out for is is to see if the shutter needs a service.
Just a thought...
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I remember watching the special features stuff on the Lost in Translation DVD. Sofia Coppola is walking around with a Fuji GA or GZ 645 camera snapping shots left and right. It was pretty hot.
If you use the "Sports Finder" feature built into the WLF on TLRs, you can actually hold the camera up to you eye, and follow the action around, with no problem.
If the lens doesn't read "ZEISS", then it just isn't.
Thanks for the good advice. I am still trying out various options , including the sports finder method on my TLR mentioned by Rolliejoe.
At the same time I'm getting on with things with mt 35mm camera.