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09-21-2012, 07:47 PM   #1
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new 35mm lenses or switch to medium format?

i currently have a very nice k1000 and 50mm f2 m-lens and aside from one of the magnets in the light meter not working it is pretty mint. i am considering either just getting a nice wide angle lens and a bunch of film or trying to sell my k1000 on here after i donate or on ebay and then either see if i can pick up a mamiya 645 1000s on ebay or somethin or if there are any cheap medium formats on here.

now i guess my question is for me, a high school senior who loves film photography/photo and video in general, would i see much of a change? i feel like i should just get a wide angle lens but i also feel like after that i will still want a medium format camera

is it harder to shoot medium format? since my light meter doesnt really work on my k1000 i just eyeball everything and guess what my shutter speed and aperture should be and i think ive take a couple decent pics?

anyways if anybody can leave any feedback on this topic or medium format thatd be great thanks in advance!


Last edited by chris*; 09-21-2012 at 09:20 PM.
09-21-2012, 08:17 PM   #2
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1. everything is more expensive with MF. Film, processing, glass. You name it. A good 120 film scanner will set you back $2,000.00. A decent flatbed can get you by.
2. That K1000 is much easier to carry around everywhere and you are much more likely to have it with you and use it.

What are your goals with photography? Shooting MF or LF is the result of profession or obsession. I have never met a casual MF shooter.

If you are thinking you want to pursue a career in photography the go for it if you can afford it and are willing to carry it around with you all the time. I might recommend a cheap 6x6 with a waist level VF and a lens that fits your style. Keep it as small and compact as possible. You are more likely to use it and practically nobody will realize what you are doing with a waist level finder. If you're not holding a camera up to your face most people wont think you are taking a picture.

Invest in a basic hand held meter and learn the zone system. Shoot B&W and learn to process the negatives yourself. Then scan the negatives. It will save you a fortune over paying to send off 120 film and waiting for it. Do any local labs process 120 where you are?
09-21-2012, 08:24 PM   #3
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I would recommend getting the K1000 fixed (it probably needs a CLA anyways). The 35mm Pentax M series of lenses can be had super cheap (you don't need A series lenses with the K1000) so you can get a whole set for less than the 645 body and develop black and white at home or do color (or C41 B&W) at any place that still processes film.

EDIT: this is a K1000 that has the AoCo logo on the front of it right? If its a made in china without the logo just junk it and get another one.
09-21-2012, 08:34 PM   #4
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Just like with 35mm cameras the handling of a medium format camera changes dramatically depending on the body you are using. A Pentax 67 with a metered prism would have similar handling to your K1000 but be heavier and bulkier, while a medium format rangefinder or a TLR would be a very different experience, and a system like the Mamiya or Hasselblad bodies where you can change backs, grips, finders, winders and other accessories can be set up many different ways. Many older bodies come without a light meter or had them as optional accessories.

There is also the question of which aspect ratio you want to go with - 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9, etc. Which one you choose will impact composition and change the feel of the camera.

You might see if you can find a camera show, a dealer, a club or some friends who can let you try handling different body styles to see what you might like. The group of photographers I hang out with averages somewhere over 4 camera systems per person so an email would bring a huge variety of medium format cameras to the next meet.

You may find that people react differently to you when you are carrying a larger camera around, and it can have an impact on candid shots.

09-21-2012, 08:35 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
1. everything is more expensive with MF. Film, processing, glass. You name it. A good 120 film scanner will set you back $2,000.00. A decent flatbed can get you by.
2. That K1000 is much easier to carry around everywhere and you are much more likely to have it with you and use it.

What are your goals with photography? Shooting MF or LF is the result of profession or obsession. I have never met a casual MF shooter.

If you are thinking you want to pursue a career in photography the go for it if you can afford it and are willing to carry it around with you all the time. I might recommend a cheap 6x6 with a waist level VF and a lens that fits your style. Keep it as small and compact as possible. You are more likely to use it and practically nobody will realize what you are doing with a waist level finder. If you're not holding a camera up to your face most people wont think you are taking a picture.

Invest in a basic hand held meter and learn the zone system. Shoot B&W and learn to process the negatives yourself. Then scan the negatives. It will save you a fortune over paying to send off 120 film and waiting for it. Do any local labs process 120 where you are?
its a hobby but i really do enjoy it. and as far as processing goes i was planning on trying what other people have seemed to do is where you take it to walmart lol this sounds bad but you take it there and they send it to fuji labs i believe and you just need to make sure you mark what you want on the envelope clearly.


QuoteOriginally posted by PPPPPP42 Quote
I would recommend getting the K1000 fixed (it probably needs a CLA anyways). The 35mm Pentax M series of lenses can be had super cheap (you don't need A series lenses with the K1000) so you can get a whole set for less than the 645 body and develop black and white at home or do color (or C41 B&W) at any place that still processes film.

EDIT: this is a K1000 that has the AoCo logo on the front of it right? If its a made in china without the logo just junk it and get another one.
yes it is that model. i believe when i was researching i read it was the one they made before they started being made somewhere else in mainland china or something along those lines. but i just am under the conception that its a better build quality than the latter ones. i am still trying to figure out if it would be a good idea to just get it serviced and some nice new glass.

any suggestions on where to take it? i live in southern california but i could probably google it and see if one is in my area


QuoteOriginally posted by Steinback Quote
Just like with 35mm cameras the handling of a medium format camera changes dramatically depending on the body you are using. A Pentax 67 with a metered prism would have similar handling to your K1000 but be heavier and bulkier, while a medium format rangefinder or a TLR would be a very different experience, and a system like the Mamiya or Hasselblad bodies where you can change backs, grips, finders, winders and other accessories can be set up many different ways. Many older bodies come without a light meter or had them as optional accessories.

There is also the question of which aspect ratio you want to go with - 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9, etc. Which one you choose will impact composition and change the feel of the camera.

You might see if you can find a camera show, a dealer, a club or some friends who can let you try handling different body styles to see what you might like. The group of photographers I hang out with averages somewhere over 4 camera systems per person so an email would bring a huge variety of medium format cameras to the next meet.

You may find that people react differently to you when you are carrying a larger camera around, and it can have an impact on candid shots.
i wanted to go with a mamiya 645 1000s with the 120 back i believe and the waist level finder. ive been trying to do my homework and that seems like a good setup from what ive read
09-21-2012, 08:49 PM   #6
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Get it fixed, you could find another with a working light meter but it would probably cost just as much since then you would have the purchase price, plus you would still need to have a CLA done since the light seals and mirror bumper are usually goo by now and the mechanical shutter speeds tend to wander a bit with age. Once you have it repaired and properly serviced expect another 30 years out of it.

Perhaps someone can recommend an alternative to Eric since he is out of commission at the moment. I know there are a few good places in CA and especially the Seattle area up north. If you call around make sure they specifically have experience fixing K1000 light meters, a lot of the new staff could manage a CLA with a repair manual but that repair is a bit touchier.
09-21-2012, 09:11 PM   #7
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alright it looks like im just going to stick with my current camera now that i think of it. so would i see much difference between a 28 and 24mm besides price haha. im probably going to go ahead and pick up a 28mm in the marketplace
09-21-2012, 09:31 PM   #8
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An M28 F2.8 could be had for pocket change off ebay. Unless you are a wide angle freak like me its not worth the cash to go wider with a FF film camera.

09-21-2012, 09:59 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by PPPPPP42 Quote
An M28 F2.8 could be had for pocket change off ebay. Unless you are a wide angle freak like me its not worth the cash to go wider with a FF film camera.
what would you consider pocket change for one of these?
looks like im going to try and pick up a vivitar 28mm f2.8 wide angle multicoated. going to do a little homework on it before i pull the trigger though.
09-21-2012, 10:47 PM   #10
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I suppose pocket change was a bit incorrect, I am too used to the over inflated cost of my A lenses.
I would say between $50 and $100 shipped, which is about twice what the Vivitar would cost. There are a number of them on there right now actually.
09-22-2012, 05:38 AM   #11
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I would definately recommend getting some MF gear.

There are a lot of choices, but you could start with a fixed lens TLR camera. They are very fun and easy to use. I started out with a Yashica D. You can get them very cheap.

There is a big difference in the negative size and it shows in the IQ as well.
09-23-2012, 07:17 PM   #12
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Medium format is cool, though as noted above, it can get expensive. Think paying the same for film and processing and only getting 10-16 photos per roll, depending on format. If the camera supports interchangeable lenses, they are 2x-3x the price.

On the other hand, there is the larger negative and the quality increase that goes along. There is a price for quality, however. Notice that there is no super fast glass. The main reason is that there is almost no DOF at f/2.8 with 645 and the problem gets worse as the negative gets bigger.

If you want to give it a try, I TLR is probably your best option.


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09-24-2012, 04:38 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
If you want to give it a try, I TLR is probably your best option.
That is correct. Chicks dig em. The other day in NYC I thought I'd bopped one on the head with mine, they were staring at my camera so intently.

Re. scanners - we're talking ordinary mortal money here, and the scanner will be the limiting factor regardless. Unless you have access to one of the super 35mm only dedicated Nikons or Minoltas (et al), you'll be using a flat bed. The ones that take 120 film will be more expensive, but not by much, and you'll be wanting these scanners anyway for their better performance. And these flat beds do better with 120 than 35.

Probably the wisest thing is to try out some lenses first, though keep an eye out for another Pentax K mount camera. Often the camera + lens goes for less than either one separately. The vivitars are a good place to start as well, as are tamrons, soligors, sears, etc etc... there's a whole education to be had just shooting different lenses and learning what makes a good one.
09-24-2012, 08:37 AM   #14
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I have a nice Yashica 6X6 TLR with waist-level finder sitting in my collection. I'll tell you my experience, but recommend you find a used camera or borrow one and shot a few rolls of film. Your experience might be completely different.

I can't disagree with anything you have read in this thread about MF photography. What I never really came to terms with were two things about my TLR camera ... I found composition harder when a rectangular format was not enforced in the viewfinder, and I rarely found a waist level viewpoint as interesting as an eye level viewpoint (but there are always exceptions). And waist level viewfinders can be particularly challenging to some if you like to shoot action images.

Still, every now and then I am tempted to give MF another try...
09-24-2012, 12:41 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
And waist level viewfinders can be particularly challenging to some if you like to shoot action images.
That is why many TLRs have a "sport finder" built into the focus hood. It is a simple framing device (no optics), but it allows the camera to be aimed at eye-level with focus done by zone.


Steve
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