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  1. #11

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    yeah all things being equal a hass would be sitting in my bag but i cant find one (from a dealer which is what i want for added piece of mind) whereas ive seen a couple of ETRS for £200. if 35mm gives me enough texture and feel over digi then that will be fine until i either get paid for work or find more money to build a MF set up. Some good suggestions here but realistically im ona dirtbag budget- £250 tops and a MF at that price also means an 80 rather than 150mm lens.

  2. #12
    narsuitus's Avatar
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    Over the years, I have shot 35mm, 6x6cm, 6x7cm, 6x9cm, 4x5inch, and 8x10 inch film.

    I no longer shoot 6x6 and I have never shot 645.

    If I were starting from scratch, I would select a 645 (Pentax, Mamiya, and Contax would be my first choices) and would probably never need any other film camera.

    If I were already shooting with Nikon digitals like you are, I would get a Nikon film camera so that I could share the lenses. I would consider any of the Nikon FM series cameras except the FM10. The Nikon FM2n that you are considering is a great choice. I would also consider the F100. My personal favorites, however, are the F2, F3, and F4 because they all work well with my older lenses and I need interchangeable viewfinders.

    The 85mm f/2 lens that you are considering is a great lens for the type of portraits I saw in your Flickr account. I shoot similar half-length and head & shoulder portraits with the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 lens.

  3. #13

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    thanks narsuitus, going on the advice ive garnered i may just go down the nikon 35mm path

  4. #14

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    But what do I know, I only have over 50 years of experience.
    have i dissed your experience unknowingly? I hope not.

    someone made a good point that in some ways 35mm is too close to digi SLR, in the above example i would carry my digi SLR and if i wanted a proper delicious portrait my [insert 35mm or MF] camera. perhaps im starting to answer my own question

  5. #15

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    Apologies, i havent heard of the company-im a scotsman living in madrid if thats any excuse?

    im seriously lured to the bronica ETRS but maybe its the siren's call...

  6. #16

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    Oct 2006
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    Looking at the faces/people section of your Flickr page it looks like you tend to prefer tightly cropped casual portraits by available light. Assuming that this would carry over to your film camera shooting, and based on your description that you would tend to use the film camera for portrait shots, and based on your concept of making the film experience different from your digital experience (slower paced, more contemplative I presume), it could be that a medium format SLR with a medium long focus lens (120mm, 150mm, or 180mm) might be your best bet. You could augment that with a second lens in the 80mm range. Your portrait lens should probably be relatively fast (f/2.8) to make best use of available light and for the option to minimize depth of field to emphasize the subject.

    A second option might be a Mamiya TLR with interchangeable lenses.

    A number of brands have been discussed. A wild card that has not been mentioned would be to get a Kiev 60 camera. (Let the shouting and criticism begin.) This is an inexpensive way to get into medium format, particularly because you can get some good lenses for relatively little money. The downside of buying a Kiev is that quality control of the camera bodies from the factory was poor. Consequently, there is some risk. One way to reduce your risk is to buy it used off the auction site, but only cameras that are described as having at least one of two treatments: 1) it has been upgraded by a company like Arax or others, or 2) it has a mirror lockup installed. The reason to look for mirror lockup (MLU) is that those cameras having mirror lockup have generally been worked over by the company who installed the mirror lockup to make them perform according to spec, something that you can't necessarily expect from a garden variety Kiev 60 camera.

    Prices vary tremendously on the auction site. However, if you are careful in your bidding you should be able to pick up an upgraded body with an 80mm lens for something in the range of $100, with shipping. Sometimes they go for less, and sometimes for quite a bit more.

    If you are careful in your bidding you can pick up a very good portrait lens (such as a 120mm f/2.8 Zeiss Biometar or 180mm f/2.8 Zeiss Sonnar) for something in the range of $150-$300, with shipping. A 150mm f/2.8 Kaleinar will sometimes cost somewhat less.

    This is probably not the camera to choose if you are going to make your living with it, but it can be a good camera for an amateur photographer who wants to shoot medium format for his/her own pleasure.

    Some may recommend getting a medium format TLR camera. Given the interests your described, this might not be your best choice because most of these cameras have just a 75mm or 80mm lens, not generally the ideal choice if your interest is tightly cropped portraits. The Mamiya TLR is an exception because it has interchangeble lenses.
    Last edited by alanrockwood; 05-23-2009 at 07:20 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    Choose your format based on what you are really looking for in the results and what you can afford. You can upgrade later when you have the money.
    I agree with this comment.

    For someone who has no experience in film, MF is perhaps a little too hard to start. I mean if you want to get into film processing and printing by yourself, I'm assuming you will, you have to learn the basics first somehow. And for that the 35mm format is perhaps easier/more familiar and cheaper/more cost effective.

    So, if I were you, I would take a slow step and get a Nikon 35mm film camera body, and like others already have said, share the same lens(s) with the digi kit, and later on, start searching for good MF stuff.

    Good luck.

  8. #18
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanrockwood View Post
    A wild card that has not been mentioned would be to get a Kiev 60 camera. (Let the shouting and criticism begin.)
    I will second the Kiev advice, with a few caveats:
    1) It is not the lightest camera around, if you are worried about weight.
    2) You need to get hold of a good one.
    3) You should flock the inside of the mirror box (inexpensive kits are available, it takes about 40 minutes careful work).
    4) There are several operating procedures (such as not letting the film advance snap back) which you should follow to avoid problems, all findable on the various sites devoted to the Kiev.

    I had a Kiev, before I replaced it with the Pentax 6x7 (I changed because of the format, not because of the camera).
    Mine was a "good" one (I bought it from a photo studio which had actually used it).
    Some of the lenses are outstanding (CZ 50mm and CZ 180mm), the rest mostly good (including both the CZ and Soviet 120mm). While not as brilliant as the 180, the 120 is much smaller and lighter.
    The Kiev also has *much* less mirror slap than the P6x7
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  9. #19

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    Jan 2004
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    if you want a camera to take portraits in dim bars, your d40 is pretty good for that already. i wouldn't bother with a 35mm slr; there would only be more grain.

    given more light, like from a window or outside in shady places, i'd recommend a 6x6 slr and a longish lens. you just strike me as a 6x6 kinda guy. these are some of the less costly ones:

    graflex norita 66, pentacon six tl, kowa six, bronica sq-a or sq-b, rolleiflex slx, hasselblad 500elx

  10. #20

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    cheers guys, some specific references to what i shoot which is v handy.

    Raizans-yeah thinkin ill use my fuji s5 (digi) is for low light candid in dim bars and film camera (whether it's 35mm or MF) for better light/more posed stuff. Interesting what you say about 6x6 it'd def be my first choice but finances might push me towards ETRS

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