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Thread: Going MF?

  1. #1
    Ambar's Avatar
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    Going MF?

    So, I've only shot 35mm so far but I've got my eye open to step up to a MF. Question is.. which family do I go for? I know there's a lot of personal opinion going for everybody, but let me try to explain my situation.

    Let's be pretty basic before going on to brands and stuff.
    6x6 format is quite attractive but the possibility to go 6x7 is just as appealing to me. A camera that could do both is best.
    I have a 35mm slr family of lenses. I stick with fixed lenses always. So, I am accustomed to sticking with one lens (a normal lens fits the bill for most of my stuff).
    Portability and ease of operation. I'd like something that is as straight forward as my FM2n. I'm a quick learner so adapting to something new isn't my problem. Just that once I've adapted.. I don't want to feel like I'm fighting the camera every time just to get a light meter going.
    Quiet operation? Dunno how these cameras operate noise-wise.. but I stopped using one of my nikon bodies almost exclusively because of this problem (n8008). I'm using a FM2n.. how do other MFs compare? similar?

    I guess the usual suspects are Hassleblad 5xx and Mamiya RZs/RBs for SLRs with interchangeable lens systems. We have an interesting used market here in Brazil so, I could find myself a Rolleiflex with a 2.8 planar lens for something around $900 (us dollars). They are good buys I guess, but I do get stuck with one lens and no 6x7 option. I recently was reading about the Fuji GF670 (apparently Voigtlander builds an identical one aswell). The form factor and possibility of shooting both 6x6 and 6x7 without additional backs and accessories were quite appealing (it is a range finder). Does anybody have any experience with this camera? It does go for over $1600, which I find a little steep (Am I nuts?). Don't think I can get a used one either.
    PS: I've gotten word of a used Hasselblad 500CM with a Zeiss 80/2.8 lens going for $1930. I haven't seen it, so, I don't know the actual condition it's in but something tells me that still ain't cheap.

    Anyways.. I'm putting some money aside for this project but I just feel a little lost amidst these options. Also, have I over looked some other option?

    Any input will make me happy! Thanks!

  2. #2
    tomalophicon's Avatar
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    You could always crop your 6x7 frames to 6x6.

    If you like SLRs you can consider the Pentax 6x7 too.

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    segedi's Avatar
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    The Fuji GF670 is a great single lens, quiet, compact camera that I think would fit your requirements nicely. It has a meter and AE if I'm not mistaken, so slr like in that respect. No personal experience with it... yet. Your next best bet is Hasselblad. But they are loud. No 6x7 either, but so nice to use. But you can find much better deals than the one you heard about. I recently stepped up to MF and hope you enjoy the format as much as I am.
    -----------------------

    Segedi.com

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    Are you gonna shoot from a tripod or handheld? That's an important question since most "box shaped" SLR:s aren't very convenient for handheld shooting (I know many others disagree about that).
    Also, a waist level finder (just looking directly at the matte screen) can be a PITA to compose images with. But it's also a nice way to slow down of course.

    Noise? Don't even think of the Pentax!!! It makes any 35 mm SLR seem very, very quiet. I think you can say the same about all MF SLR:s.
    There are a lot of different rangefinders too, but you're maybe gonna be surprised of how large they are IRL.

    I think we need to know a bit more about your shooting style. Do you need an inbuilt meter? Do you want smooth bokeh, or are you gonna shoot well stopped down? Do you need to frame the image accurately and/or fast?

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    Most TLRs are quiet. While the RB67 is not really that quiet but is really cheap from KEH.

    Jeff

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    Why not go Large Format 4x5? The weight of my LF is not more than my MF. But it all depends on your shooting style off coarse!

  7. #7
    Ambar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makten View Post
    Are you gonna shoot from a tripod or handheld?...
    I think we need to know a bit more about your shooting style. Do you need an inbuilt meter? Do you want smooth bokeh, or are you gonna shoot well stopped down? Do you need to frame the image accurately and/or fast?
    Your right.. This info should be useful..
    I shoot hand held 95% percent of the time. I tend to take advantage of shallow depth of focus so (I'll stop down as far as 5.6 or maybe 8 on my 35mm, but my preferred MO is f/4 or f/2.8). I do quite a bit of low light handheld stuff (which goes against the whole MF ideia), but I will frequently and quite happily push film (tri-x to 1600) in these situations.. even if my nikkor goes all the way to f/1.4 I'll try to stay above f/2.8. I think I can deal with a f/3.5 lens but I wouldn't get anything slower I think, at least not as my all round/default/first lens.
    I like to frame things relatively fast. I'm a patient photographer but I'm not meditating during my shooting.. If you know what I mean.
    THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!
    I NEED AN INBUILT METER! Yes this is very true and well pointed out Markten. It's a reason for shying away from most of the Rolleis, as well as a point of severe confusion on my behalf when looking at some Hasselblads. After all.. do they have a meter? yes or no/sometimes/it depends?

  8. #8
    Luseboy's Avatar
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    If you plan to do no handheld, I agree with going 4x5. I do however, think you should start small. MF is a whole new ball game. I would start out with a yashica tlr of some sort (one of the ones with a light meter and the nicer lens), easy to use, lightweight, small, rarely a problem with it, and very quiet. Judging from your noise complaints, you will hate pretty much any MF slr, the mirror slap is incredibly loud. Personally, i like the loud camera, but obviously, you do not. So I'd stick with a tlr, and if at some point you decide to go for an slr, then you can at least have an idea of what your willing to compromise with. Those prices all seem extremely high, I've seen hassys go for 500 w/ lens, back, and WLF (in bad condition, but still) on ebay. I would not spend that much. I would also not start with an slr, as i said. Jut get a yashica tlr, and even though it's 6x6, you can always go for a 6x7 later. If i were going 6x7, i would go for the pentax personally.
    the mamiya is just too big.

  9. #9
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    KEH? (What does this stand for?)
    Pardon the ignorance..

    Thanks for the feedback Luseboy! That's really good info. I do like to be quiet when I'm shooting. I often find myself shooting in Recording studios (audio, I'm an audio engineer aswell) and the quiet concert here and there. I also plan on doing a series on rehearsals which, needless to say, requires an unobtrusive demeanor.

    StigHagen,
    I WILL GO LF ONE DAY!! Yes, I have every intention of shooting 4x5' or even 8x10'. But this isn't what I'm going for now. I want to be able to push film and play around with some bigger enlargements later on. I could dish out some heavy cash and upgrade all of my lenses.. but that just doesn't make any sense. I still won't get that all round look and detail that MF affords. I think I might be hitting he 35mm wall soon..
    Last edited by Ambar; 05-20-2011 at 03:27 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Adding stuff

  10. #10

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    I'm not sure myself but they do sell used equipment and are very good.

    Jeff

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