Thanks, Graham. 6x7 certainly is sweet, and IMO noticeably more sharp and neat than 6x4.5 at the same print size (or just as sharp and neat at a larger print size). If that is what you are after, it is worth the jump. it also lets you use faster films with less grain.
You do lose some features that are great about 6x4.5, however. Fast lenses, very low cost, smaller size (in general), less mirror shake, and all this adds up to fairly easy hand holdability...but if those things aren't a issue, there is no problem.
I would not say to bother going from 6x4.5 to 6x6, unless you specifically want to print square prints. Once you crop, you end up with practically the same amount of enlargement as 6x4.5.
I am at a point where I am trying to convert to 6x7 as a 4x5 alternative for many situations, so I have similar considerations, but in reverse.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
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Hello again 2F/2F, what i thought i had is not a Rollei, it turned out to be a (Cornonet Twelve 20) Colour filter Model, made in England. The other one is a No 2 Brownie.
But the wetting has been done by your comment on differences in final print. I do not go above 20"x16". I do and can get that with the 645, but we are all ways looking for info in the final.
I use both 645 and 6X9 cameras. The 645 SLR (I have an old Pentax) is great - easy to handle with all the SLR conveniences. But there is no substitute for square inches in the negative. A 6X7 gives a better picture. As for 6X6, you will usually crop the result to something close to 645. Unless there are cost or operational considerations, I would go for the more versatile 645 or the bigger 6X7 (with a bias toward the 6X7).
If you want to know how big the difference is between a 6x4.5 and 6x7, print a 6x4.5 neg on, say, 8x10" paper, and then print the same negative on a sheet of larger paper, to a size of 10.3x12.9".
I bet you'll then wonder what people are lugging those big things around for...
The 645 format is great for building a system, and you will get fancy things like a light meter (and priority) and lenses that you can change quickly. if you spend more than GBP400(ish) you might even get AF... I have a Mamiya 645 Super, power winder, prism and a few lenses - great and cheap and the quality is great. If i want big (16x20) prints with little grain - use slower film. IMHO, the results are better on 6x7 or 6x9, but i think that if you are worried about the size of enlargements rather than the content of the shot then you would have to reasess your approach. i.e. will the camera do the job of getting your shot - what are you shooting? e.g. if you want fine grain, big prints of portraits shot in a studio - slow film with a 645; 6x6, 6x7, 6x9 will be fine regardless of their features (except for lens.) if you want to to take candid portraits on the fly, (or street,) a 645 Mamiya/Pentax is much more versatile and easy but you will need a more versatile film like HP5 to hanlde difficult light - IMHO.
I personally use a 4x5 in the studio for portraits/nudes and a 6x6 c220 for walking around. 4x5 for grain free enlargements (which i love) and the 6x6 for fine grain stuff, but due to the nature of shooting and subject, grain is not too much of a problemas it becomes part of the feel of the shot. Thats just me tho.
Best of luck. B
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You know, I have been shooting and developing film in all formats since the late 60's, and all I can say is that a lot of the old assumptions that I used to adhere too are outdated.
The old adage that bigger is better is not always the case. Modern films are light years ahead of what we used to shoot in terms of resolution and grain. Lenses are much better.
In my own head to head testing, I find no difference between 645 and the larger medium formats that can be attributed to negative size.
I think that with any fairly modern mf camera in good repair, film choice, and technique, from shooting through to the final print, is going to have much more of an impact on image quality than the difference in film size.