If you can live with the Rangefinder issues (close focus, lack of long lenses, non-SLR viewfinder), the Mamiya 7 is the best, no doubt. If you want an SLR, the Mamiya RZ is really not that bad, hand-holding. I handhold mine all the time, and that's with a grip, motor drive, prism, and any of the lenses. It's heavy, sure, but reasonably ergonomic (stop laughing!) with the L-grip and prism. The motor is a nice addition, since it frees up from having to deal with winding between shots. I've even handheld it with the above stuff and the 500mm f/6 APO. Not for long stretches, but enough to shoot a whole airshow that way.
for handheld 4x5, there are options too though. I have a Chamonix Saber, which is a great little 4x5 built on the polaroid-style design. Very hand-holdable, works great with many types of backs, and can be fitted with a modern lens. There's also the usual litany of Polaroid 110/etc. type conversions to 4x5, but all of those are more clunky and far less elegant than the Saber, IMNSHO.
Originally Posted by b.cipolla
What Ed said, without any doubt at all.
Originally Posted by EdSawyer
I'm not! I'm weak!
Originally Posted by mopar_guy
Actually if the tripod is the issue, a monopod may be the fix. I use my RB that way a bunch.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
Not meant as a recommendation above the other cameras mentioned already, but I will speak up for the Pentax 6x7 as a hand held camera. I worried about it when I bought one, but never had any trouble. I didn't even find a need for particularly high shutter speeds (I think most of the kerchunk is when the mirror slaps back down).
The Pentax 6x7 was about the most fun camera I ever shot with. I even used it as my bicycle camera for a while, though it did noticeably affect the bicycle's handling (carried a the handlebar bag).
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I use a Pentax 6x7 handheld and don't find it that bad to deal with, and I have shot 1/60th handheld successfully with it (although I prefer 125th and above).
Nikon 35mm, Mamiya 645 & RB67, Leica IIIb, other bits and pieces
These are all good suggestions and trying many of them would be rewarding. I like the Koni Omega idea: inexpensive and versatile. Mamiya 7 came quickly to mind (and they can be rented).
What I like about my Pentax 6x7 ...
o bright viewfinder
o sharp, contrasty glass (in all key lengths & types including leaf shutter and PC-shift)
o lenses are affordable & plentiful
o did I say the viewfinder is bright?
o shutter is loud but does not materially affect my images (down to 1/30)
o great meter (in the metered prism)
o 6x7 bodies are inexpensive and there are good service people in the US
o 67ii model has a nice grip that makes handholding easier (but it's well more expensive)
o built strong
o oddly a good street camera, especially with the waist level finder.
o not very stealthy / hard to get candid portraits
Hi, I'm a Pentax 67 user, too. And indeed, there is no problem with mirror slap. I shoot handheld all the time. The lenses are superb, focusing is fast and easy, and metering prism is perfect. This image was taken in very crawded place, so no time to precise measure with a spot meter:
Other positive: you can get 21 frames out of a 220 film (it is a pity the Provia 100F 220 is available in Japan only)
The only problem with P67 is loading and unloading a film. If you are using Fuji Easy Loading spools, you are fine. If I shoot with Kodak -- I have to use a duct tape to take out the spool.
Last edited by JaZ99; 11-02-2011 at 02:56 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I use two Fuji cameras primarily for shooting weddings, posed group shots, full-length portraits, scenic shots, and the architectural shots that do not require the perspective and depth-of-field adjustments provided by large format view cameras. With the 6x7 Fuji, I can take 10 shots on 120 film or 20 shots on 220 film. With the 6x9 Fuji, I can take 8 shots on 120 film or 16 shots on 220 film.
Originally Posted by b.cipolla
I have the RB, RZ and the Mamiya 645 and the one I gravitate to the most is the RZ. I have handles for all three and have used each one handheld. The RZ is smaller and lighter than the RB but not as small as the 645 but it has the 6x7 format as well as the rotating back.
Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
And sleep to dream till day
Of the truth that gold can never buy
Of the bawbles that it may.