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  1. #1
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    Mamiya or Bronica

    I don't currently own a MF or LF camera. The past several months I have been considering exploring LF with a 4X5. However, since I've been taking a 35mm B&W photography class, many questions have arisen as to whether MF would be a more cost effective alternative to LF.

    These questions have centered around film processing and printing and the time, effort and expense associated with those processes. I must admit the biggest concern I have about going the LF route is the cost of accoutrements needed for this format (lens boards and shutters, dark cloth, film, film holders, and lenses). I also realize I've been waffling between MF & LF. The only cameras out of these two formats that I have even considered are the Chamonix 45n-1 and the Mamiya RZ67.

    The Mamiya RZ67 PRO II seems like a good option. I believe you can rotate the back (portrait to landscape). I don't know much about Bronica's.

    Has anyone out there used both or either cameras?

  2. #2
    Tony-S's Avatar
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    There's a thread on this very topic a few pages down. The Mamiyas are easier to get repaired and there are a lot of lenses, backs, etc. still available on the used market. The Bronica GS-1 is getting harder to find, but I'm happy with mine. They tend to be less costly to get into.

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    I don’t know much about the Bronica but I bought my first MF (Mamiya RZ67) and love it. There are some MF bodies that seem to be more comfortable for hand holding but the RZ67 can be manageable with grips, straps, etc. I just got mine back from repair and can’t wait to get started shooting again.

  4. #4
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    "There's a thread on this very topic a few pages down ..." What exactly is the thread topic?

    I've noticed there have been more used RZ/RB 67's for sale. Maybe that's a good sign.

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    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    So, you're committed to shooting 6x7 or 6x9?

    I shoot 6x6 and love it...it is a consideration.

  6. #6

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    Lensboards aren't very expensive if you stick to cameras that take Linhof types or even the Sinar. Lenses come with shutters in almost all cases. You can make a darkcloth out of very little.

    Film costs more per shot but you'll shoot less. You'll need a 4x5 enlarger to enlarge but these aren't expensive today.

    I have the Mamiya RZ it out wieghs the 4x5 you're considering . I doubt a setup is really much(any) cheaper then a good used 4x5. The RZ is a nice camera. So are the Bronicas. I have the ETRSI which is 645 and can be very cheap with some luck on the used market. Closer to 35mm in handling. Much easier to handhold then a RZ.

    What to buy? I've no idea what you want to use it for. All these cameras will do some things great others less so. Tells us why you want a bigger format.

  7. #7
    Tony-S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilmsmaggie View Post
    What exactly is the thread topic?
    Here it is.

    I've noticed there have been more used RZ/RB 67's for sale. Maybe that's a good sign.
    There were a lot more Mamiya's sold, thus a larger pool of cameras and accessories on the used market. Bronica didn't push the GS-1 too hard, it seems. It's a nice sized camera and handles very well with the Speed Grip.

  8. #8

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    I don't know if the Chaminoix will take a roll film holder but if it does you could have MF & LF in one camera. The problem you might have is using wide angle lenses for MF where you may need a recessed lens board anything longer than 110 or so is easy..
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  9. #9

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    I've been using a Bronica SQAI for 8 years now and I think its fab. I've also got a 6x4.5 back for it if I choose, but I love the 6x6 format. There are often excellent deals on eBay UK, but always beware if you decide to buy and make sure you ask the seller plenty of questions.

  10. #10
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Zentena View Post
    What to buy? I've no idea what you want to use it for. All these cameras will do some things great others less so. Tells us why you want a bigger format.
    IQ and resolution is one criteria I'm considering when thinking MF/LF.

    Initially, landscapes -- maybe architecture. The Chamonix (sans lens) is a very lightweight camera . As someone pointed out, even lighter than a MF camera. But I'm hesitant to get into used glass. Buying a used body (35mm, MF or LF) is one thing, glass that's a totally different subject.

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