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  1. #11
    keithwms's Avatar
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    $300? Borrow, try, save, then choose.

    Just because something might cost less than $300 doesn't mean that it's the right tool for you. There is much more diversity in MF than any other format. Everything from p&ses, RFs, TLRs to SLRs to field and view cameras. Old plate cameras too. Do you really think you can make an informed decision based a scattershot apug thread?

    1/500 synch can be had with just about any leaf shutter lens.
    Last edited by keithwms; 11-10-2008 at 07:56 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  2. #12
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    High speed synch in medium format SLR means 1/500 max, which is achieved with lenses that have leaf shutter mechanisms in them. Best for this purpose would be one of the following: Hasselblad, Rollei, Bronica or Mamiya RZ67. (Rollei does have somewhat higher max leaf shutter speed.) Pentax or Mamiya (645) are focal plane shutter cameras that have a few leaf shutter lenses, but they are rather bothersome to use.

  3. #13

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    Phthenry,

    Perhaps some more information on what you hope to gain by going to medium format would help focus the responses. You mention resolution - do you have any photos in online galleries that show some problem photos? In general, the move from 35mm to MF should gain improved tonality but marginal gains in resolution (although in a print it may seem more improved but mainly because for the same size print the enlargement factor is less) Is there anything else beside resolution?

    What is the max size enlargement you usually print? B&W or colour films and are they usually ISO 400? If you don't print larger than 8x10, you will seldom see much difference in the print between 35mm and medium format.

    For your subjects, do you usually pose them or is it more following the action? If the latter, then you will likely need a MF camera that handles more like a 35mm. You may find the reverse image in waist level finders llike you find in twin lens reflexes difficult to adjust to.

    Finally, you should consider how to print MF film. If your current enlarger can handle MF negs, then you may only need to add a neg holder and perhaps a lens. Even there, you may find the max size is 6x6 (which would rule out 6x7 cameras). If you need a new enlarger, then your $300 budget would be very stretched.

    Before hearing your answers, my guess is that a 645 camera with a prism finder and a leaf shutter is probably going to be the most comfortable upgrade for you. An older model Pentax 645 with 75mm leaf shutter lens or a Bronica 645 are most likely to fit your budget. You would need to use a PC cord (not the hot shoe) to get the flash sync.

    Martin

  4. #14
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    Bronica ETRS with speed grip would provide a leaf shutter with a hot shoe for flash.

  5. #15
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    I reccomend one of the 645 slrs.. mamiya or bronica they are comparatively cheap right now. With a side grip they handle very well, and the enlargement from a 645 neg are nicer if you dont like grain. They are lightweight, have bright lenses, and with a side grip they handle much like a 35mm slr.
    Rolleiflexes are overpriced right now.
    6x7 cameras, including pentax, mamiya press and rb, koni omega, all look good on paper until you pick one up.
    Hasselblads are coming down on price, that may be an option.
    If you want to experement with 6x6, a yashica or rolleicord is a good value.

  6. #16
    Polybun
    Quote Originally Posted by darinwc View Post
    6x7 cameras, including pentax, mamiya press and rb, koni omega, all look good on paper until you pick one up.
    I think that all depends on just how stout of a person you are. I'm 6'1", 220lbs, I don't even notice it.

  7. #17

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    I think it depends on what else you're carrying.

    Everything about an RZ for example is bigger. The lenses all weigh more then a 645. Even backs do.

    Carry a body,normal,wide and long lens. A few backs. Then add a meter. Tripod. Suddenly we're talking real weight. Makes an 8x10 look nice and light.

  8. #18

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    Thanks everyone! I have taken your advice and have started looking at the suggested cameras.

    MarinB: I probably won't print many pictures larger than 8 X 10. Also, I both pose my subjects and follow the action, so yes, I would need a camera that handles like a 35 mm. I was under the impression that a medium format film would produce much clearer images with less grain. Am I mistaken? I use 100 ISO film these days.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by phthenry View Post
    I probably won't print many pictures larger than 8 X 10. Also, I both pose my subjects and follow the action, so yes, I would need a camera that handles like a 35 mm. I was under the impression that a medium format film would produce much clearer images with less grain. Am I mistaken? I use 100 ISO film these days.
    Given your use of ISO 100 film and 8x10 enlargements, I have found little difference between 35mm and MF film prints of "real" subjects in terms of grain and resolution. Strictly controlled tests can show differences (and I expect others can give examples) but in prints of negatives taken during normal shooting conditions, for me the differences are slight (and mostly in tonality)

    Since 35mm like handling will be important to you, I suggest a camera with a prism finder and avoiding a waist level finder since the latter takes getting used to (reversed image makes moving with the subject confusing at first)

    If you want flash sync above 1/60 or 1/125 then you will need a leaf shutter of some sort. You can get that with either a system where all the lenses have leaf shutters (Bronica ETRS series) or a system that has at least one leaf shutter lens available (Pentax 645 has a 75mm leaf lens and I think Mamiya has one for their 645 too) The focal plane shutter systems that have a special leaf lens (such as Pentax) require more fiddling than systems like the Bronica so it depends on how often you think you need the higher flash sync.

    I think the 645 models will be the easiest step up for you into MF and should fit into your budget. They have 35mm like handling and viewfinders, can be found in your budget, and are most likely to work with the current enlarging system you have. I have the first model Pentax 645 which I find has a nice bright viewfinder. I also have a P645N but that body will blow your budget. The P645 bodies have everything built in like 35mm bodies do (metering, winder, finder) so all that is needed is a body, a lens and a film insert(back) The Bronica Etrs is also very good but you need to assemble a few more pieces so if buying a complete kit make sure it is the combination you want - get the combination of body and finder for your needs. A Bronica user can give you better advice than I.

    A MF system will likely change the photographs you make. For me, it did not replace 35mm but gave me new options so if you are thinking of trying it out, I would encourage you go give it a try.

    Martin

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by phthenry View Post
    Thanks everyone! I have taken your advice and have started looking at the suggested cameras.

    MarinB: I probably won't print many pictures larger than 8 X 10. Also, I both pose my subjects and follow the action, so yes, I would need a camera that handles like a 35 mm. I was under the impression that a medium format film would produce much clearer images with less grain. Am I mistaken? I use 100 ISO film these days.
    In my experience, using Tri-X (ISO 400) and making 8x10 prints, one does indeed notice a difference. Even more so with color film, where I've found Fujifilm's pro 800 rather pleasing when shot on MF and printed to around 8", but when enlarged 8x from 35mm the grain starts to intrude. So yes, using fast film, even the modest increase in size matters.

    Having said that, recently I've printed some pictures made from Fujifilm Acros, from 35mm negatives, and the 8x10 prints are very close to "grainless" (I have to hold them close to my nose to start seeing the grain.) In this case the ISO 100 film won't show such an improvement if you only print 8x10, though I bet one could tell the difference if one printed enough from Acros in various sizes.

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