I would rather have one of these...
Note: I am not affiliated with either seller and have no stake in either auction. I haven't read the auctions, for that matter; I point these out because these kits are what I recommend.
Right now in Spain they're holding the Running of the Bulls,
followed by the Soiling of the Pants, and the Burying of the Idiots.
Sorry CGW - I edited my post while you were typing. I've learnt lots from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mamiya and have edited my earlier reply accordingly. Thans for the details though, much appreciated.
Hasselblad 501CM...my 2nd love.
That 2nd link you've posted looks great! I am very very tempted!! It looks in great condition, reasonable price etc. Worried about rushing in though. Must be a good starting point though, having only used 35mm my entire life!? Spending so much on a Hasselblad might be risky. This Mamiya sale looks very tempting.
Hasselblad 501CM...my 2nd love.
Moving up from the 35mm format to the square format can be both a blessing and a curse, but it is immediately satisfying. But don't turn your back forever on 35mm at the beck and call of the larger frames. Maybe you should try before you buy. There are those satisfying kickbacks of a much bigger view, lots more space to fill (remember to fit the subject to the frame, not the camera to the subject), a lot better quality of the format (e.g. 6x7 is 400% larger than 35mm) but the square format, or 645, can be quite restrictive in a landscape context. With brilliant skill, Russian wilderness landscape mogul Oleg Novikov uses a Hassy much of the time for his landscape work, and his images are the stuff of dreams. Big formats give a big picture, but I think the square format has its place in formals and studio work. I think the Mamiyas and Bronicas are fairly heavy beasts? I recall reading something here on APUG somewhere about that?
do you have any photo-buds you can borrow a camera from
or a pro shop you can rent something ? i have learned that often times
things look and seem different than they do once you are holding them in your hands.
and sometimes things look and feel great in your hands, but they aren't as intuitive as you might
have hoped, so they don't lend well to your photographic style ..
that said, i agree with pinholemaster ... try it, you like it ( or maybe not ) ...
good luck !
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With 1500 quid (why doesn't my keyboard have a pound sign?) at your disposal I would think you could have the best of both worlds with a Mamiya 645 and a Nikon. I bought a Mamiya 645 1000s recently to go with my Pentax 35mm kits and find myself using it more and more for everything, even street. Not so good in tight , fast-moving situations and certainly there isn't the vast range of lenses you'd have with Nikon etc., but it's just so much FUN!
I love my Blad and until it jammed up in a very new and cruel way I used it as my daily shooter. Not any heavier than my 35mm gear with a zoom. Nothing beats the images I get from it IMHO.
If you print your own work, there is nothing like a larger negative. I went from a Rolleicord to a Mamiya C220 to a Pentax 645 to a Hasselblad 550c/m. I wasted a lot of time with those other cameras...(: I can guarantee that any of the relatively modern medium format cameras will provide a far sharper, less grainy image than any 35mm. I still use a 35mm occasionally but not very often anymore. For the money and what you described, I'd get a 3 lens kit of a Mamiya 645 or Pentax 645 and a 3 lens Nikon kit. If you like to use any automation, the Pentax really does handle like a big modern 35mm and is probably the most "hand-holdable" of the medium format SLRs. It wasn't for me, but it might be perfect for you.
The only downsides of the AF series of the Mamiya 645s vs the manual focus Pro or Pro Tl are:
Originally Posted by ted_smith
1) They have fixed viewfinders - there is no waist-level option. This doesn't mean a lot if you ever shoot anything vertical ;
2) They have built-in winders rather than a manual winder, with a power-winder option; and
3) The wonderful, relatively inexpensive and readily available manual focus lenses only work on the AF models if you are comfortable using stop-down metering; and
4) The accessories for the AF cameras, being current and newer, are more expensive.
With respect to item 3, some of the older accessories for the manual focus bodies can be hard to find.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
If you get hung on the 645 idea, the mamiya 645 afd would be quicker to use than a hassie V series. And on the H system hassie, I do believe they have film backs (645), however yes they're expensive. I have seen the odd pretty good deal for the mamiya afd systems. Plus they're a current system (lenses etc).
This all depends on how good you get with the medium format systems. I can use my mamiya RB relatively quickly if I have to even with the waist level finder. But it won't autofocus of course. I've known a number of photographers with V system Hasselblad's, and they all adore them. Plus they do have a nice classic pretty look to them.
As what has been mentioned, you look at the large negatives after using 135 for so long and it is really a wow factor. I remember when I saw it and I thought it was amazing.