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02-28-2012, 11:28 AM   #1
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The official "I want a medium format badly" thread.

Here we go..

This is crazy, I have not since my mid teen-ages been interested in photography (and then I think it was mostly because the photo class in school had cool intellectual girls in it...), and after years of hopeless compact-digital crap pictures from vacation and family parties, I decided to get us a nice good DSLR, which ended up with a Pentax K-r (as I am in to astronomy too, and thanks to the gps unit for astro trace, the choice fell on the K-r, though I dont have the gps, yet...).

Anyway, after hanging out here on the forum, and on flickr (of course I got account both here and on flickr only days after I got my K-r) and watching pictures for hours a day, I am so totally in love witih medium format film photos... I just got myself a 35mm film body (MZ-6) and have started to shoot with this since the end of last week (7 rolls of BW so far), and now I am looking at developing stuff and have ordered the Epson V500...

But I know where my aim is, I can't stop looking at those nice big photos, and I can't help myself thinking, "a 67 II or maybe the 645n, or a hassie, or a.... ", and so it goes on now day after day...


So this thread are for all of us who probably one day will get a medium format, and need to chat about all aspects of it, the addiction, fascination, tech stuff, whatever, if you want a medium format and need to talk about it, here we go!


(I have decided for myself that I will need to get damn good on 35mm film shooting and developing before I even think about seriously looking up any potential medium format objects or consider buying any of them...).





Last edited by JFN; 02-28-2012 at 01:31 PM.
02-28-2012, 11:42 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by JFN Quote
Here we go..

This is crazy, I have not since my mid teen-ages been interested in photography (and then I think it was mostly because the photo class in school had cool intellectual girls in it...), and after years of hopeless compact-digital crap pictures from vacation and family parties, I decided to get us a nice good DSLR, which ended up with a Pentax K-r (as I am in to astronomy too, and thanks to the gps unit for astro trace, the choice fell on the K-r, though I dont have the gps, yet...).

Anyway, after hanging out here on the forum, and on flickr (of course I got account both here and on flickr only days after I got my K-r) and watching pictures for hours a day, I am so totally in love witih medium format photos... I just got myself a 35mm film body (MZ-6) and have started to shoot with this since the end of last week (7 rolls of BW so far), and now I am looking at developing stuff and have ordered the Epson V500...

But I know where my aim is, I can't stop looking at those nice big photos, and I can't help myself thinking, "a 67 II or maybe the 645n, or a hassie, or a.... ", and so it goes on now day after day...


So this thread are for all of us who probably one day will get a medium format, and need to chat about all aspects of it, the addiction, fascination, tech stuff, whatever, if you want a medium format and need to talk about, here we go!


(I have decided for myself that I will need to get damn good on 35mm film shooting and developing before I even think about seriously looking up any potential medium format objects or consider buying one...).


Been down that road myself. In film days i longed for a medium format but could never justify the cost to myself many of the lenses alone costing more than most of my 35mm kit

A few years back I finally took the Plunge and built a 645 Bronica kit (which is easily the most affordable way to go now) For about $900 I have amassed 3 back, a Prim and WL finder, Body, 40.50.75 and 150 lenses and a decent light-meter
I don't use it any where near enough actually but when i do it's a beautiful piece of kit to shoot
last year I bought a Mamiya super 23 6x7 (that I can get 6x9 cut film and roll film backs for) it's an interesting press camera (bit of a huge beast) and mine seriously needs a good CLA on the shutter which i will get to - Price $200 with an enlarger and other darkroom bits and pieces
CLA will set me back more than the camera did and the backs are harder to come buy - if i'd been intentional shopping for this type of MF i would have paid the extra and got an older mamiya 6 which has a lot more parts available in the market (but has more limited functionality)

Certainly you should be able to find a nice 645 kit (back body normal lens) for $250-400 without any problem at all. Since the advent of the 645D the Pentax lens prices have jumped. mamiya and Hassy lenses also have held much higher value being useful on their digital cousins
There should also be a good number of Bronica ETR(si) or SQ(ai) - the 6x6) out there since they were both hugely popular wedding cameras

EDIT - I will add the danger to going dwon this road is you will start looking at large format cameras and think oh that is so pretty and look at the negative size ...... that's where i am now I've been on the edge a couple of times when i came across amazing deals SHMBO has been the main hindrance
02-28-2012, 11:50 AM   #3
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I was there in the same place almost 2 years ago and now own a Pentax 645 with lots of nice A lenses and a 6x7 as well.

I also have parts of an old 4x5 setup I inherited that I'm toying with trying to get going again, yep, I'm hooked.
02-28-2012, 12:12 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
I was there in the same place almost 2 years ago and now own a Pentax 645 with lots of nice A lenses and a 6x7 as well.

I also have parts of an old 4x5 setup I inherited that I'm toying with trying to get going again, yep, I'm hooked.
If I lived in your very scenic neck of the woods I'd have that 4x5 up and running and be taking weekend trips to Yosemite at least once a month and doing the Ansel Adams bit Wonder if you can still get a donkey to trek in with

02-28-2012, 12:45 PM   #5
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I have used a Rolleichord since the late 70s. Did not use it much in the 90s and later due to lack of darkroom and never really cared for the way that labs printed 120 colour. I also used a Mamiya 645 at a previous job. Six years ago I got a job where there was a Hasslelblad sitting unused so I corrected that. Bad mistake as now I do not work there but although can still borrow it I got myself my own camera and have three lenses. With 5 backs and extension tubes the cost was still less than a K5 with 16-45 lens when it first came out.

Almost all the medium format cameras are great to use. I always loved the square format and the Hasselblad just feels right. If I cropped to a rectangular format or 8X10 aspect I would think of the 645 format in which there are at least 5 companies that made them.

The cheapest and also one of the more expensive routes to go is with twin lens reflex as many are even less than $100 however they can top at over 2 grand. Other than that most of the systems were/are good ones but there are differences in cost to buy them. Remember though if the system is cheap to buy it will also sell for less than say a Hasselblad.

I have no regrets gettting the Hasselblad. I think there are people who would say the same for their Bronia, Pentax, Mamiya, Contax, Kowa etc. I enjoy my MF system much more than my LF one. Others are the opposite. If you can borrow a camera do so otherwise might be best to try on one of the less expensive ones.
02-28-2012, 12:46 PM   #6
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LOL, it's only 5-hours away and I don't get there as often as I used to in my rock climbing days. Thanks though you do give me a new reason to get that 4x5 running again. While I think you can rent donkeys there, it dealing with the more numerous 2 legged kind that's the problem...
02-28-2012, 12:52 PM   #7
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Don't you know, film is dead. Just ask anyone on the other threads with their whiz-bang auto everything cameras. Seriously, though, you may find MF film cameras a series of compromises. The 645N is one that people gravitate to that want all of the auto features of 135 format but at the expense of the smallest image projected on a 120 roll.

Last edited by tuco; 02-28-2012 at 12:58 PM.
02-28-2012, 01:05 PM   #8
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I was contemplating the 645 in Dec, and see how the system has grown! There are days when I just gaze through the Pentax 645N's viewfinder without firing a single shot walking about in the woods - never imagined that I would be this happy with a camera even when I dont use it to take a picture! I have still not printed the pictures big enough to take advantage of the format. Hopefully will do so soon.
Good luck in your pursuit/research of a MF system.

[IMG] [/IMG]

02-28-2012, 01:37 PM   #9
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Oh, man MF porn!
02-28-2012, 02:11 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Don't you know, film is dead. Just ask anyone on the other threads with their whiz-bang auto everything cameras. Seriously, though, you may find MF film cameras a series of compromises. The 645N is one that people gravitate to that want all of the auto features of 135 format but at the expense of the smallest image projected on a 120 roll.
So true, so true. I love the handling and form factor of the 645N, but wish the negative size were larger. 6x7 is soooo nice.


Steve
02-28-2012, 03:16 PM   #11
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I have owned the 645D for a while now and love it. I have used it for 100% of my portrait work professionally and my landscape work. But I recently picked up a 645N and have been using it along with a Mamiya rz67 that was given to me by a family member. I love all 3 cameras. For the past two weeks I have been shooting almost nothing but film and developing it myself (b&w and c41). The experience is great.

I do own a Canon 5D MKII, but my wife has pretty much taken that camera for herself. When I do professional shoots its me with the 645D and my wife with the canon. I did my first professional shoot yesterday with film....but I must admit that I still used the Pentax 645D just to be safe. I shot 4 rolls of film (2 in the Pentax 645N and 2 in the mamiya). Both shot with Portra 160N film. I did about 40 photos with the 645D. Each camera has it's own unique look. The film produced something that is more artsy in my opinion while the 645D produced a very sharp and color accurate photo. The client actually selected 9 photos from the 645D and 11 from film. So % wise the 645D technically won here. I do expect this sort of thing to go back and forth because everyones opinion of what they like is different.

Back on subject. I can tell you that going from a 35mm film camera to a 645N will be a very easy transition. Going from 35mm to a 6x7 system will be much harder....manual focusing can be a shock. I love my 645N and the look of film (large film especially) is very nice. Lenses I recommend are: 75mm, 45mm and the 120mm macro....but pretty much every lens from pentax is awesome.
02-28-2012, 03:23 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shuttershane Quote
...
The client actually selected 9 photos from the 645D and 11 from film. So % wise the 645D technically won here.
...
9 out of 20 beats 11?
02-28-2012, 03:48 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
9 out of 20 beats 11?
2 rolls of 6x7 = 20 shots
2 rolls of 645 = 32 shots

Total film shots 52, total digital shots was 40.
02-28-2012, 04:28 PM   #14
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I love the 645N's ergonomics, and the quality of glass, but having had a Plaubel Makina 67 (with 2.8/80 Nikkor), I still crave 6x7 (or 6x6).
I had to sell that camera, but wonder whether I shall try to get it back. The Pentax 67 seems to large to me - not to handle, but to carry. I'm thinking of a TLR. All if and when cashflow is back to normal
02-28-2012, 05:30 PM   #15
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I've gone in the opposite direction. I used 6X7 for many years for landscape photography. I don't mind the weight of a 6X7 system in a backpack, but find the dynamic range and editing control of digital allows me to produce better images on a K-5 than I got from medium format film. Still, I do want a larger image for several reasons, so at some point I will move to full frame 35mm or medium format. I will need to develop an income stream from photography before I can justify [to my wife if not myself] spending 10 grand on a 645D, but the Nikon D800 is a possibility.

Now, if B&W were my passion, the 6X7, or a 4x5, would be my tool of choice; but for color, digital is very powerful.
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