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Thread: I want a medium format film camera

  1. #1

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    I want a medium format film camera

    I don't know why, but I'm feeling nostalgic and want to go spend some money. Not a lot, just some to get me a good ole Hassey. I've been surfing the 500c/m, the 501's, and a plethora of others, but felt I would do myself a disservice if I did not create a post to see others thoughts on the antique concept of walking around with a "box full of 120". Not really sure where I want this to lead to, but anyone with any opinions on medium format is encouraged to give me their insight. Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Wayland's Avatar
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    Re: I want a medium format film camera

    Bronica gear goes for a song because there is no digital compatibility.

    I used it for years when I was shooting film and it's good solid kit.

    In fact I still have all my gear because I couldn't bear to part with it for the prices I was offered when I went digital.

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: I want a medium format film camera

    I shot with various medium format cameras when I was shooting professionally. In fact, I only did wedding work with 35mm gear late in my career and then only for the reception portions of the wedding coverage. My rationale was that as I aged, I would find myself getting more and more tired towards the end of a long day of wedding shooting and it was certainly a respite to put down my Blad and pick up a 35mm camera. Additionally, over the years, I began to realize that 8x10" prints were usually the largest ordered by any client from the reception coverage. The 35mm gear was certainly capably of providing excellent quality imagery of that size and it was far easier and quicker to shoot with.

    I loved shooting with medium format gear, especially 6x6 cm equipment such as the Hasselblad. The ability to achieve either a vertical or horizontal (or even square) image without tilting my camera was enjoyable. The Mamiya RB-67 (series) also allowed vertical/horizontal shooting without physically tilting the camera. I wasn't too keen on the 6x4.5 cm format because on most cameras, it required tilting the camera to switch from horizontal to vertcal coverage. The quality of the Hasselblad equipment was excellent. However, it was expensive equipment to buy and to shoot.

    It might be fun for you to shoot with a Hasselblad or Mamiya RB67 or some such camera but, IMO, the fun for me would be limited everytime I shot an image and realized how much it was costing me!

    Besides, I have been spoiled by digital photography's immediate feedback and by post processing on my computer rather than in a darkroom.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 10th May 2013 at 10:36 PM.

  4. #4

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    Re: I want a medium format film camera

    Thanks for the input Gary!

    And Richard, I completely the understand the costs involved. It's not so much of a walk-around venture for me, but moreso a toy to bring out every once in awhile and rekindle the fun from my youth when I would "steal" my photo teachers Hassey and polish off a few dozen images that almost always were horrible and yet likeable at the same time. That feeling you got when shooting was new, as though it's an experiment with every click of the shutter. Just something to use on occasion when the mood hits me. I'll still keep the 5D3 and 7D and all the L's for actual work, but I want to have something that may allow me to shut down everything else and slow down.

    As for using a Hassey at a wedding, I must commend you!!! Not an easy trick...

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    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: I want a medium format film camera

    I sometimes like the idea of getting a Nikon F5 35mm - at least it is compatible with my current lens and some old film sitting in the fridge. A good cold shower brings me to my senses and I think you should try it. (not sure if I am referring to having a shower or getting a 501 - maybe try the cold shower first)

  6. #6

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    Re: I want a medium format film camera

    I think nostalgia is fun so I suggest you definitely should go for it but with a second suggestion that you forget about the fume room and have your negatives/transparencies scanned and complete the process in the modern way ...one day I may take my own advice and use up the three rolls of 120 color film sitting in my fridge along with some B&W rolls using the Lubital 2 I bought for my son some thirty years ago and he never got it He had expressed a passing interest in photography after using my Rolleiflex for a school project.

  7. #7
    Wayland's Avatar
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    Re: I want a medium format film camera

    One big beware with Blads. Make sure they are wound on before changing the lenses.

    I lost count of the number of students that made that mistake and jammed a body and lens.

    Easy to do, expensive to fix as I recall.

  8. #8
    Wayland's Avatar
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    Re: I want a medium format film camera

    When I'm feeling really nostalgic I dust off my large format cameras and feel the weight a bit before going out with my digital gear...

  9. #9

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    Re: I want a medium format film camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayland View Post
    When I'm feeling really nostalgic I dust off my large format cameras and feel the weight a bit before going out with my digital gear...

    A good reason to keep it rather than auction it off for a song as I did Though dusting it regularly is a chore.

  10. #10

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    Re: I want a medium format film camera

    I Used some models of medium formats
    hassy 500cm, rolleiflexs, yashica 124g, mamya6; i also love to shoot 35mm films, my favourites atre the TX, ilfrod panf 50. I also like to make some experiments: in these days i'm back rolling in by the wrong side some 35mm colour films to produce some "redscale" images.
    anyway, i think the hassy has a better built quality than almost anything exceppet some rollei. to use on a set is more precise, but off a tripod, for street or reportage, i always hated the big mirror hitting up and down. to go around i loved the bi-optical system, rolleiflex are very good but also the yashica isa a surprysing economic but very very good functional quality. the lack of parallax is a very smaller problem than in studio, and without a mirror the safety times are amazing! i shooted clear images at 1/15!
    About the mamya i have to say in general i don't like the telemeter, so i didn't really enjoy shooting with it in any situation; of coure is a matter of preferences.

  11. #11
    plugsnpixels's Avatar
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    Re: I want a medium format film camera

    I started photography as a teen in the mid-'70s and was given an old 5x7 view camera and a press camera, in addition to my grandfather's old Kodak box camera. There's nothing more beautiful than seeing the inverted image projected on the ground glass of the 5x7!

    Later on I used medium format twin lens and Hasselblad equipment as well as 4x5s. And to be honest, I don't miss messing with the clunkers! The Hasselblad lenses do indeed jam. Loading them is fun too (like learning to load exposed 35mm film on steel reels, for instance).

    I recently saw a Canon AE-1 at a flea market and could have had it cheap (I used to use these) but had no idea what I would do with it now! Great bright viewfinder but I'm not into locating, buying and developing film anymore!

    Remember the Russian Kiev medium format cameras that were all the rage years ago as a cheap Hassie alternative? Anyone buy one of those?

  12. #12

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    Re: I want a medium format film camera

    Quote Originally Posted by plugsnpixels View Post
    Remember the Russian Kiev medium format cameras that were all the rage years ago as a cheap Hassie alternative? Anyone buy one of those?
    A collegue of mine used to own a very large kiev system with several lenses, viewfinders, back filmholders etc etc; actually he sold it just some months ago because he was given a new hassy system. he kept shooting with kiev for a lot of years and what he always told me (becaiuse of course i was always wondering if i could buy a kiev as well to save some money) is that in his opinion is all a matter of fortune: some components are very well made but the correct function depends on wich piece you're taking into consideration: for example he broke one on the backs but never had problems with the others two; he had to repair the shutter in the 90mm twice, but never had problems with other glasses.

  13. #13

    Re: I want a medium format film camera

    Years ago I bought a Rolleiflex TLR as an alternative to my then 35mm film camera, while living in SE Asia. I found that the near silent leaf shutter (no moving mirror) and waist level finder encouraged a much more relaxed response from the remote country people with whom I worked - something to do with seeing my face all the time, and not hiding behind a strange black object perhaps - not many of them would have seen a camera before. The Rolleiflex was also light, rugged, and had no lenses to change. Just basic fun. I still have it, and sometimes fantasise about going out with it again with a few rolls of 120. Then I think how easy it is to get quality images quickly with digital, and decide - maybe not....

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