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  1. #1

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    Picking a project camera (MF SLR or 35mm RF)

    Hey!

    So I've to start working on a project soon which is basically shot as a documentary. I have been till now shooting on a Hasselblad 500c for most of my work but I find it a little slow to work on when it comes to any quick actioned, more impulsive work. So I got myself a Leica M3.

    Now the issue is that on this new project I can't carry too much gear, as I need to travel and the place I'm working is known for theft. So I need to choose either the Hasselblad or the Leica to work with. Because films are not available in that region so I'll also have to buy the films beforehand, so choosing the camera is a priority.

    I love what the hassey does but unless its a premeditated shot, its too slow. But the issue with 35mm is that I don't get the clarity and smooth tones which I really like with MF. So what should be done now?

  2. #2

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    Only you can decide if small size and speed of use outweighs technical resolution/quality.

    If you're up for buying new gear, look at Mamiya 7, best of both worlds.

  3. #3

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    I actually checked, I don't think I can afford a Mamiya RF. They are super expensive for me right now. My friend is selling one Mamiya 6 with three lenses for about 2,000$. But then its much too much for me.

  4. #4

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    Depends if you need the 3 lenses I guess. If you're OK with a fixed lens, there is the GF670, they can be had for about $1200 used, or $1699 new. If you want to go a lot cheaper, there is Rolleiflex. I think TLRs are an acquired taste, but if you like them, they're great value I think, and the lens is great on a Rollei.

    You could compromise on 6x4.5, then you've got Mamiya 645 or Pentax gear, all pretty cheap, and can be handheld like a big 35mm SLR. Might be a good in-between option, you get more shots per roll, but still get a big jump up on the resolution vs. 35mm.

  5. #5
    phirehouse's Avatar
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    You could compromise on 6x4.5, then you've got Mamiya 645 or Pentax gear, all pretty cheap, and can be handheld like a big 35mm SLR. Might be a good in-between option, you get more shots per roll, but still get a big jump up on the resolution vs. 35mm.
    Plus 1

  6. #6
    Tony-S's Avatar
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    Yeah, the 6x4.6 SLRs, or if you want to stick with a rangefinder there's the Bronica RF645. It's a fab camera with superb optics.

  7. #7

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    You said:
    Can't carry too much gear
    Need to travel a lot
    Theft is an issue
    Speed is important

    Why choose Hasselblad or Leica with these criteria?

    You said with 35mm, you can't get smooth tones but is it really so? I have been shooting Tmax 400 and Tmax 100 for a while. Especially with Tmax 100, the results are fantastic. Tmax 400 is pretty good in that department also but not to the degree of 100.

    How large do you need to print anyway? I have gone up to 11x14 and I have absolutely no complaints.

    With your criteria, I'd be picking two F100 (Nikon) and two semi-fast zooms - one for wide-mid and other for tele. If this is an important project and involve travelling, you really would not want to be without a backup gear....
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  8. #8
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Definitely go with a Mamiya 6. Sharper lenses than the Hassy and much quicker and lighter to shoot. RF645 is a good recommendation too, but not 6x6. If I had to choose one of the two you have I'd go with the Leica.

  9. #9
    xo-whiplock's Avatar
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    The 35mm is out because you already stated that it does not yield the results you want.
    The medium format camera does.
    Learn to be faster with the 500c and because it bigger, it will be harder for someone to take from you without knowing! LOL
    Or, a third option is to rent something that gives the speed you want along with the image quality that's insured! Um, digital would be about right... so you don't have to carry all that film around. LOL
    A compromise would be to borrow or rent a digital back for you MF camera.... just saying.

  10. #10
    polyglot's Avatar
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    A bunch of spare, preloaded backs makes things faster. Some of the new autofocus 645 SLRs would be faster than a Leica.

    35mm TMX and Acros are good for a 12x16" print in a pinch - is that big enough?

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