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  1. #1
    AutumnJazz's Avatar
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    Are any square (or larger) formats still actively supported?

    I ask this because I am considering getting a MF outfit. Hasselblad, Mamiya, et al. seems to have moved backwards to 645 because it's cheaper to make smaller sensors. I've been considering a Bronica SQ-Ai or GS-1, but I'm just not sure it would be a good idea for me to get a dead-end system. I realize this is a strange thing to ask, consdering how many people on APUG use 100 year old cameras made by long gone companies...But right now, I have a Nikon F100. I can still get new lenses and accessories for it, and Nikon can still repair it for a nominal fee. Nikon still makes a new film camera (the F6), and many film shooters are even hoping for an F7 (basically a film D3/700), and honestly, so am I. I just don't see how I could go from a platform that has new lenses coming out for it all the time, to one that stopped production years ago.

    So is there a Nikon or Canon of the MF world, that is a company whose products work with their current offerings, and previous ones. Somewhat like how I can get a brand new 14-24mm lens by Nikon, and strap it on to my F100, or an even older camera. Or should I just not worry about it?

    (On a side note, does Tamron still service Bronicas?)

  2. #2
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Taking pictures is easy. Making photographs is hard.

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  3. #3

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    Rollei, Sinar are both supporting film in a major way.

    Both Rollei 6000 series and the new Sinar (Rollei made) have incredible lenses from both Zeiss and Schneider. Both cameras can accept film as well as digital backs.

    Check them out.




    Per Volquartz

    http://www.pervolquartz.com

  4. #4
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    I am trying to think of a 100 year old camera that someone might be using. an old plate camera? From companies long gone? I guess there are a few cameras that people use that are from companies long gone. Mamiya Hasselblad Rollei I guess Pentax stopped making film cameras.

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    There still are highly qualified repair technicians who can service older cameras, and it's not as if there are really enormous advances in lenses for medium format happening, since most of them are prime lenses that don't have features like image stabilization, and most of them are manual focus.

    If you like the Bronica system, it's cheap enough that you can afford plenty of backups. I think Tamron is committed to servicing the system for 7 years from discontinuation, but there are also places like Koh's and CameraWiz (Frank Marshman) that do excellent work on Bronicas.

    If you want an older system that offers compatibility with those backs that aren't discussed on APUG, I'd look at Mamiya or Hasselblad.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  6. #6

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    A quick check on B&H shows that they're selling new MF cameras from Hasselblad, Mamiya, Pentax, and Rollei. Of these, I see 6x6 square format options only for the Hasselblad and Rollei. B&H doesn't carry them, but Kiev MF cameras are also available new in 6x6 format. I'm not really 100% positive that the Kievs are still being made, though (new stock on FSU cameras seems to last for years after production has ceased), and I wouldn't exactly want to count on them for new lens designs in the future or getting the latest technology, even if the factory's still churning the cameras out today.

  7. #7
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpurdy View Post
    I am trying to think of a 100 year old camera that someone might be using. an old plate camera? From companies long gone? I guess there are a few cameras that people use that are from companies long gone. Mamiya Hasselblad Rollei I guess Pentax stopped making film cameras.
    Well, there's my 11x14" American Optical, which probably dates from the 1890s. I also have a 5x7" Press Graflex and 7x17" Korona that are still going in their nineties. My oldest lens would be a Petzval from the 1860s.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  8. #8
    AutumnJazz's Avatar
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    I think I may just stick with Bronica, as it is just so much cheaper than Mamiya.

    Now, what about 6x6 vs. 6x7? Is that extra cm worth having access to pretty much no slide projectors, high-quality consumer scanners (Nikon's most expensive one only does 35mm, 645, and 6x6), having to rotate the camera for vertical shots, and just general incompatibility. I'm having a hard time deciding between the SQ-Ai and GS-1, now.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by AutumnJazz View Post
    I think I may just stick with Bronica, as it is just so much cheaper than Mamiya.

    Now, what about 6x6 vs. 6x7? Is that extra cm worth having access to pretty much no slide projectors, high-quality consumer scanners (Nikon's most expensive one only does 35mm, 645, and 6x6), having to rotate the camera for vertical shots, and just general incompatibility. I'm having a hard time deciding between the SQ-Ai and GS-1, now.
    The 6x6 cm format was more or less popularised by the Rolleiflex - the idea was
    a) you would never need to worry about turning the camera on its side and
    b) you would tend to frame fairly loosely when taking editorial pictures to allow a number of cropping options.
    Today, in a nutshell, the difference between 6x6 and 6x7 is that 6x6 cameras are significantly more compact and lighter (compare a Hassleblad with a Mamiya RB67), while 6x7 provides a much bigger effective negative (you will tend to use most or all of it for the final picture). A lot of users think the Mamiya 7 is a useful combination of compactness and a big negative.

  10. #10
    lns
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    Nikon's Supercoolscan 9000 does scan 6x7 film -- actually it can handle film up to 6x9.

    -Laura

    P.S. -- I didn't mean to talk about anything forbidden; I'm just noting that this shouldn't necessarily be a factor in choosing 6x6 or 6x7. I prefer 6x6, personally, but I love the square, so I don't often crop it down. If I would regularly crop to a rectangle, I'd use a 6x7 and get a larger negative to boot.
    Last edited by lns; 08-22-2008 at 10:13 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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