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03-07-2009, 01:53 PM   #1
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Medium Format Advice

Ok, I just got my federal tax refund and I'm planning on using some of it to make a jump into the medium format film world. I've already looked around and done some research on what I think I want but I'm looking for some final input before I make the decision.

At this point I'm pretty sure that I want a 6x7 or a 6x6.

I've narrowed my choices down to the Pentax 67 (why I'm posting here) and the Bronica GS-1. Both seem to be priced around the same amount at KEH and Adorama with the 6x7 lenses maybe a tad cheaper.

I like the 6x7 form factor, but the Bronica has a few things going for it also.

I really like the fact that the Bronica has removable backs to allow the swapping of film, and with those backs I can change format from 6x7 to 6x6 or even 6x4.5 if I wanted to and bought the appropriate back.

The Pentax lenses seem to not only be a little cheaper but they are also faster from what I've seen. Bronica only has one lens faster than f4 and that is the 105mm f3.5.

My main concern with the Pentax is the Mirror slap issue so I have been looking for one with mirror lock up. I know the Pentax is not the best handheld camera in the world but what are your experiences with using it as such. I'm a big fan of using cameras hand held and from what I can see the Bronica with its speed grip is pretty good.

So after my insensible ramblings does anyone here have experience with both of these cameras? I'd love to hear any advice you all can give.

Thanks!

Morgan

03-07-2009, 02:00 PM   #2
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i'm sure you've would have seen these if you googled pentax 67 but if not, i think both address your concerns w/ handholding

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03-07-2009, 02:31 PM   #3
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Hi Morgan,
I can"t comment on the Bronica as I've never used one. Only you can decide if interchangeable film magazines are a requirement. Most of my pentax 67 work is done on a tripod, but I have used it handheld with no problem. I think the newer 67II is better for handheld work because of the integral grip. Any reflex camera is going to have some mirror slap, the bigger the mirror, the bigger the slap, so I don't know if the Bronica is going to be less affected by this. That being said, I've handheld the pentax with tack sharp results down to 1/30sec.
If you can, try to handle both systems before deciding. I think both systems have some great lenses, with pentax offering more long, fast lenses.
If you go with the pentax, make sure you get a MLU model as the non- MLU bodies are quite old and repairs might be impossible. If you can afford it, get the 67II with the AE prism, it's a nice upgrade from the 67. Good luck.

Scott
03-07-2009, 05:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I have indeed read both of those articles and I know the 67 can be used handheld, I just like hearing anecdotal evidence from people who have used one. The film backs aren't essential but are nice indeed. This is going to come down to price in the long run, and at the moment the 67ii is definitely out of my price range. Most likely I'll be getting a 67 or a 6x7 that has been modified to have the MLU added. Those are in my price range.

03-07-2009, 06:15 PM   #5
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Try to find a 67 body as opposed to a 6x7 body. It will be newer, and shouldn't cost much more.
03-07-2009, 06:20 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfotog Quote
...Any reflex camera is going to have some mirror slap...


03-07-2009, 06:30 PM   #7
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Thankyou Mike Cash :-)
03-07-2009, 06:39 PM   #8
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Thanks Mike Cash. Your post just reminded me that my grandfather left me his old Rolleiflex T a few years back and I had forgotten about it because it was in need of some repairs. If anyone can recommend a good place to repair a rolleiflex that won't cost me an arm and a leg I'd be pretty appreciative. I would love to use that camera again. I can remember being a little kid and playing with that with my grandfather.

03-08-2009, 09:26 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mk07138 Quote
Ok, I just got my federal tax refund and I'm planning on using some of it to make a jump into the medium format film world. I've already looked around and done some research on what I think I want but I'm looking for some final input before I make the decision.

At this point I'm pretty sure that I want a 6x7 or a 6x6.

I've narrowed my choices down to the Pentax 67 (why I'm posting here) and the Bronica GS-1. Both seem to be priced around the same amount at KEH and Adorama with the 6x7 lenses maybe a tad cheaper.

I like the 6x7 form factor, but the Bronica has a few things going for it also.

I really like the fact that the Bronica has removable backs to allow the swapping of film, and with those backs I can change format from 6x7 to 6x6 or even 6x4.5 if I wanted to and bought the appropriate back.

The Pentax lenses seem to not only be a little cheaper but they are also faster from what I've seen. Bronica only has one lens faster than f4 and that is the 105mm f3.5.

My main concern with the Pentax is the Mirror slap issue so I have been looking for one with mirror lock up. I know the Pentax is not the best handheld camera in the world but what are your experiences with using it as such. I'm a big fan of using cameras hand held and from what I can see the Bronica with its speed grip is pretty good.

So after my insensible ramblings does anyone here have experience with both of these cameras? I'd love to hear any advice you all can give.

Thanks!

Morgan
No experience with the GS-1, though I did use an ETRs for a while.
The film back issue was never a big deal for me. When you are only getting 10 shots per roll of film, it isn't difficult to finish a roll if you want to change film types. The only reason I see for interchangable backs is to be able to work more quickly in bursts before having to reload backs.
Remember that interchangable backs can cost reliability.

Mirror/shutter slap is only an issue with the Pentax at certain speeds and if the camera is on a lightweight tripod. If you are using the camera handheld it is no longer an issue, and the camera can be handheld for surprisingly long shutter durations, far longer, in fact than 35mm cameras can be successfully handheld.

I'm in the process of selling my 6x7 kit, if you are interested in some nicely kept, used but not abused gear, PM me.

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