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06-07-2009, 04:29 AM   #1
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Giving up medium format?

Without a working wet darkroom and unable to afford a medium format film scanner,
though I love my Bronica RF645 outfit it seems rather impractical to keep.
So I am thinking about selling it to KEH while the trade-in value is still high.

FWIW I will definitely continue with 35mm film. I have a 35mm film scanner.
I still maintain hope that my darkroom will one day become a reality.

Of the handful of medium format users here, how have you faced the same dilemma?

Chris

06-07-2009, 09:01 AM   #2
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Don't sell it!!!

That is such a great little camera, I miss mine every day. I sold it because at the time, like you, I didn't have a nice scanner for medium format, just an Epson v500. I found that my K10D was roughly equal in quality to those scans(other than smoothness and DOF). Because the digital was so close to the Bronica, I figure what's the point of all the trouble with film and scanning. I decided to sell it and get a 4x5 camera to satisfy my film desires. While I don't regret getting the 4x5, I still wish I had my old Bronica too.

About a year later I got myself a Creo flatbed scanner and after scanning some old slides I really am kicking myself. The quality is really impressive! You never know what's going to happen in the next year or so, you could luck into a scanner at an unbeatable price. If you love the Bronica, just keep it! I'd sell the 35mm stuff before getting rid of that gem.

Do you have all 3 lenses and flash?
06-07-2009, 02:14 PM   #3
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What is KEH offering you? I found a nice deal on a Coolscan 8000 with the additional glass 120 film holder for under $1000 (and it was just serviced by Nikon) - so good deals are out there.
06-07-2009, 05:13 PM   #4
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watch craigslist in your area. I see entire darkrooms for up to 6x7 for a couple hundred or less. I got my (sadly now broken) 45mcrx with an ilford head for free.

deals are to be had, unless you don't have the space.

06-07-2009, 07:30 PM   #5
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You can get pretty good medium format scans out of a $79 or so Epson 4490.
06-08-2009, 05:19 AM   #6
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I have darkroom gear. The holdup with the darkroom is carpentry and plumbing.
Won't I get better results from 35mm in a film scanner than 645 negs in a flatbed?

Chris
06-08-2009, 06:36 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Won't I get better results from 35mm in a film scanner than 645 negs in a flatbed?
That's essentially the conclusion I came to. They were roughly equal or the medium format scans may have been slightly better. That's with a v500 that I paid $150 for. You have to do a ridiculous amount of sharpening to get a decent scan out of them. The V700 is better in this regard, but still only offers about 2000-2400 DPI of real usable resolution. If you don't do very large enlargements then resolution isn't as important. I got good 8x10s out of my V500 and passable prints up to 16x20 as long as you stay 2 feet+ away. If you're coming from a dedicated film scanner, then you'll likely be disappointed with consumer flatbeds. That's just my experience, so your mileage may vary.

If it were me, I'd sell the 35mm scanner and maybe some 35mm gear and put that towards a scanner that can scan both formats. What is your current film scanner? I didn't loose more than $50.00 when I sold my Nikon 4000. They retain their value very well. You could then pick up a used Nikon 8000 or 9000 or maybe a Minolta Multi Pro.

After looking for awhile I was able to pick up my Creo Eversmart Jazz+ and a G4 to run it for $1000. I had to drive out of state to get it and it takes two people to carry, but it's worth it. It retailed for ~$17,000 when it was new. You can find old prepress scanners like mine on craigslist all the time if you want to go that route. Just be aware that repair costs and software can be through the roof, so you need to make sure it includes everything and is in perfect working order. Models to look for are Fuji Finescan or Lanovia, Creo/Scitex Eversmarts, and Screen Cezanne Elites. Eversmart's are the easiest to find and parts are more widely available.

Refurbished pre-press scanners There are better deals to be had, but you can download brochures here and get an idea of what maximum going rates for these scanner are.

Anyway, just something to think about.

Edit: I see you're located in New York. You're sitting on a hotbed of old pre-press houses. My scanner originally came from the New York area. It shouldn't be too hard to find one at a good price if you look.
06-08-2009, 09:14 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
I have darkroom gear. The holdup with the darkroom is carpentry and plumbing.
Won't I get better results from 35mm in a film scanner than 645 negs in a flatbed?

Chris
You'll likely get more dynamic range, but if you develop for scanning (like using Diafine which gives nice flat negs) medium format negs will look beautiful on a flatbed... that goes for b/w obviously, not a big color fan for film anymore.

06-08-2009, 10:23 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
I have darkroom gear. The holdup with the darkroom is carpentry and plumbing.
Won't I get better results from 35mm in a film scanner than 645 negs in a flatbed?

Chris
Maybe, maybe not. It all depends on the scanner (and software). What's wrong with the third option - optical enlargement? Or do you think it will take too long to get the carpentry/plumbing done, and need something in the interim?
06-09-2009, 09:11 AM   #10
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It depends on what you are looking to do with your medium format equipment. If you are not a professional shooter or not looking to make fine art prints and enlargements, showcase your work in a gallery, or get your work published, then by all means, there's no sense in keeping a medium format kit just to upload to your computer or the internet.
06-09-2009, 04:46 PM   #11
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I'm not serious enough nor wealthy enough to consider spending $1000 on any scanner. I won't sell the 35mm gear to raise cash.
I prefer the wet darkroom to the digital darkroom. IMO that kind of money would be better spent towards completing my darkroom.

Chris
06-09-2009, 05:05 PM   #12
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Sounds like you might have made up your mind then. K-9 nailed it on the head. If you're not a professional then all your decisions are just based on wants, If you don't want to get another scanner or can't finish the darkroom at this time, then there is very little reason to stick with medium format other than wanting to keep the camera. Film's not going anywhere for awhile so you can always revisit MF later. I'm in a similar predicament... I want to take your Bronica off your hands, but can't justify the purchase at the moment.
06-10-2009, 04:05 PM   #13
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Though the cameras and lenses have gotten cheaper, the lesson I have learned (once again) is that you really can't do medium format on a budget.

Chris
06-10-2009, 06:17 PM   #14
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Heck Chris, MF to me looks like it would take more too much time, dedication (not to mention money). I'll stick to the 35mm. (and no, I still haven't taken the film for development).
06-10-2009, 09:37 PM   #15
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only shoot Slide for Medium Format
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