I use 6x6, but one advantage of 6x7 "Ideal Format" negs. is that they are the right size and proportion to print on to standard printing paper sizes to take full advantage of the whole negative.
Franke & Heidecke offers new 6x6 of various kinds. You may look here for further information.
Well, I guess current MF gear means: Mamiya, Rollei, Hassies and Arax. If we're talking "new".
That doesn't mean you can't get excellent 2nd-hand Bronica, Pentax, Contax and other gear, for many years to come!
Sure: expecting a pre-WW2 Rollei in mint condition to pop-up just like that, might be stretching the relationship a bit too far... Still, even supposedly "cheap and nasty" gear can be truly amazing in the MF world.
Just put up this page: http://wizofoz2k.deviantart.com/journal/20107727/
to comment on the use of such cheap gear and what it can achieve if minimal care is taken.
(warning for the purists: digital content as well!)
Note that it's not an "artistic statement". Just a simple example of what can be achieved with very cheap gear.
Isn't MF wonderful? Hope you get a lot of fun out of it!
Thanks Laura, I just looked at the page for the Nikon scanner, and you're right! I wonder why I thought it could only do 6x6...(Scanning is very important to me...I like traditional prints, and a hybrid workflow. Not to mention, it is much easier to share my pictures with my friends over Flickr than trying to bring prints to them!)
And on the note of larger negs, I really wish there was an SLR that one could carry around that did 6x8. That would be even better than 6x7 or 6x9 if I'm printing in a 4:5 aspect ratio. The 6x8 Mamiya looks like it is the size of a 4x5 camera. I like lens systems (wide angle, macro, and tele = must), so the only-in-Japan 6x8 Fuji is out, too. Why didn't anyone ever make a 6x7.5 camera?
I don't know...Used Mamiya RZ67's look pretty cheap, although they are a bit more than Bronicas. And the AE prisms are as much as the body costs. (Why is the grip left handed, is it because the winder is on the right side? Why are Mamiyas and Hasselblads like that, compared to 35mm and other MF cameras?)
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Don't get hung up on negatiev size too much. Blowing a 6x6 neg up to 6x7 size only takes 1.3x extra enlargement (and then you'll have the equivalent of a 7x7 image, i.e. extra!).
That small, extra amount of enlarging really does not show.
What does however 'show' are the advantages of having a smaller, less bulky and less heavy camera, without a need for rotating backs and/or 90 degree prism finders.
Cameras like the Hasselblad were designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand (in Victor Hasselblad's rather smallish hand, in fact).
They are small enough not to need two hands, so a choice had to be made in which of our two hands it should be held. And that turned out to be the left hand, leaving the right hand free to do anything else.
A camera made and handled like 35 mm thingies may sound a nice idea, but it really is not.
Raising the camera in front of your face takes your arms away from your body, then no longer able to provide a stable support. (That's also why 45 degree prisms are favoured over 90 degree prisms). It's a lot more comfortable to hold the camera at chest height. Provides much better support too, reducing the risk of shake.
That's why with the exception of the Pentax, all MF SLRs are designed the way they are, and not like 35 mm thingies.
Even most 6x4.5 cameras. Though they need to be turned on their sides to change image orientation, thus need a 90 degree prism, and also need to be held at eye level.
If they were given a rotating back, they could be more comfortable to hold, but also lose any advantage they might have compared to other MF cameras: size. They would be bigger again.
The rotating back as found in the Mamiyas is a great solution. The RB and RZ Mamiyas are great cameras.
But not just great, but also hefty, heavy.
Paying the above mentioned (small) price of needing a 1.3 times more enlargement to make the same size print, you can reduce the size and weight of the camera again, making handling it (no need to rotate back or camera) much better.
So for a truly negligible loss in image quality compared to larger formats, providing a great loss in bulk and weight, and a great gain in ergonomics, you'll want 6x6 SLRs.
I guess I should go see if Adorama rents Hasselblads and Mamiyas. To find what is right for me, I should try a camera first, right?
Oh wow...Adorama does rent them! A Hasselblad outfit is about $100, and an RZ67 outfit is about $80. I think that's a small price to pay to figure out if I would prefer a smaller 6x6 camera, or a larger 6x7 camera. Then again, there is no AE prism for the 'blad, and I don't have a light meter.
I was actually thinking of the turntable cameras that some use.
Originally Posted by dpurdy
On another note, does the Fuji GSW690III have a built in meter?
Last edited by AutumnJazz; 08-23-2008 at 10:15 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Calumet rents them, and so should Lens and Repro, since I guess you would be renting in New York. Most rental houses have weekend deals where you can pick up the camera on a Friday and return it on a Monday for one day's rental fee. You can call ahead to reserve.
An addition to this: The Praktisix/Pentacon Six line, and the similar Kiev 6C/60, are designed like oversize 35mm SLRs.
Originally Posted by Q.G.
You can pick up an inexpensive light meter on eBay for very little money -- probably $10 or less if you shop carefully, and definitely under $50. This most likely won't be a top-of-the-line model, but it should be functional enough for testing a camera. Since you're talking about at least $180 to rent a pair of cameras, an extra $10-$50 shouldn't be that big of a deal.
Originally Posted by AutumnJazz
Arax? Not quite a manufacturer. He takes Kiev cameras and "upgrades" them. But one can still get brand new Kiev 88 and Kiev 60 medium-format cameras that utilize the 6x6 format. I think the factory (Arsenal) makes them up in batches when needed. The factory also builds other things.
Originally Posted by nsouto
No one has mentioned Seagull, which makes several 6x6 TLR cameras similar to the older Yashica-Mat. The current (manufactured by Fuji) Hasselblad bodies are not 6x6, but 6x4.5. I think the new Sinar6 made by Rollei is also a 6x4.5 camera.
There is still some Hasselblad 6x6 gear available new, but it may be old stock. However, Hasselblad was so widely used that it is fairly safe that repair and good used accessories will be available for the foreseeable future. ..and they take modern digital backs, if needed.