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Thread: Medium format for landscapes

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    Medium format for landscapes

    Hello,

    I'm thinking about upgrading my current Mamiya 645S system to a larger format like 6x7, but I'm not sure what the best option would be. Large format itself is prohibitively expensive to develop in my location, so I'll stick with medium.

    It will be almost exclusively for landscape shots, tripod-mounted, and a high percentage will be long exposures of between seconds and many minutes (or longer, if possible).

    My consideration is that I have to physically hike around with my setup, and so I'd prefer something not ridiculously heavy.

    Budget is around $1000 for the whole setup, but if possible, $750 would be great.

    Previously I've considered the Mamiya RZ system as I'm interested in the shallow depth of field of the 110/2.8, and the bellows focussing system.

    And I've also considered a Fuji 690BL, but the wide-angle lens is really hard to find.

    I appreciate any and all suggestions!

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    I use a Fuji GX680, but it's very large and very heavy. Having tilt and shift with all lenses is rather nice though. Apart from that, and with your budget, the RZ (or RB) seems to be your best bet. A more lightweight solution would be the Mamiya 7, but that's more costly.

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    What about a Horseman or Fotoman 6x9? You can use LF lenses and 120mm roll film. I had a Fotoman 612 and a Schneider 58xl - fantastic combination with amazing detail. I currently shoot with the Mamiya RZ Pro II, and love the resolution. My favorite lenses are the 50mm ULD-L-A and the 110mm f/2.8 (that's pretty fast for 6x7). I'll bring this camera to very remote locations with no issues, and using MU is absolutely vibration free...perfect!

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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    I had actually considered using a 120 back on a large format body like you suggest, but ran into a problem relating to available room to achieve infinity focus with wide angles on a 2X3" body I was looking at from a local camera store.

    Can this be avoided by using a different 2X3" body, or would I have to go right to 4X5"?

    Thanks for describing your personal experience with the Mamiya RZ!

    Jorgen: I do wish I could afford a Mamiya 7 - that with the 43mm would be perfect!

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    Senior Member JoelM's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    There are a few options, but with your budget, I think that the Pentax 6x7 is the best option. I actually have never used one, but those that have, seen to love them and they are rediculously cheap these days. Also, you can add lenses as you accumulate cash.

    Joel

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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    The MF camera that has contributed the most landscape shots that I have mounted on my wall is my Rolleiflex 3.5F. I love the square for landscapes and WLF for low level work on a tripod is so logical to me. If you want something even smaller you could get the Rolleicord Vb both could be found inside your budget.
    David
    Auckland, NZ.

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    I agree with Joel....check out the Pentax 67. I've been shooting with them for about 30 years (lots of landscapes etc). Excellent lenses, widely available, reasonably priced. KEH often has a good selection.

    Good info on the Pentax Medium Format forum.

    Pentax Medium Format: 645, 6x7, 645D - PentaxForums.com

    Gary


    I think this was shot with the 105mm f2.5 lens.
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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    If you can push your budget to a secondhand Fujifilm GF670 or Bessa III as it is better known it would be ideal for hiking. I own the wide angle variant which I carry with me on most of my urban adventures. Only 1kg all in which is pretty light for a MF 6x7 camera.

    LouisB
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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    Wow, the Bessa III Wide looks perfect for what I'd like to do, but I can't find the wide version either by the Bessa or Fuji GF670 name - do you know what they go for (used)?

    I've heard good things about the Pentax 6x7, and have a friend who owns one. I'm not sure though, mostly because of the size and mirror slap.

    Honestly I think the rangefinder cameras like the Bessa III or one of the interchangeable 6x7/6x9 Fujis would fit me best in terms of portability, and would also allow me to use them more comfortably in other circumstances.

    Thanks for all the suggestions so far!

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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Pierrard View Post
    Wow, the Bessa III Wide looks perfect for what I'd like to do, but I can't find the wide version either by the Bessa or Fuji GF670 name - do you know what they go for (used)?

    I've heard good things about the Pentax 6x7, and have a friend who owns one. I'm not sure though, mostly because of the size and mirror slap.

    Honestly I think the rangefinder cameras like the Bessa III or one of the interchangeable 6x7/6x9 Fujis would fit me best in terms of portability, and would also allow me to use them more comfortably in other circumstances.

    Thanks for all the suggestions so far!
    At present there are a number of s/h Fuji GF670 or Bessa IIIs on ebay. I also have seen them in the UK at Ffordes and a London based company called Aperture that I can highly recommend.

    However, the wide version the Bessa IIIw or the GF670w is unlikely to be around s/h. They are pretty rare as it is. But they can be found with some dealers in the UK and US.

    A Hasselblad 500c or 500CM with a 80/2.8 is a very good landscape camera. I use mine quite often (see my Flickr) stream. It is not so much heavy as bulky, as it is a rectangular shape. You'll also need an external meter which is more weight. But the results are worth it.

    LouisB

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    I think a Pentax 67 with a waist level finder and the 90mm f2.8 lens weighs about 4 lbs. That's compared with 2.2 lbs for a Bessa III. Not an insignificant weight difference, but with the Pentax you have the added flexibility of interchangeable lenses.

    Re the Pentax mirror slap....it certainly does sound loud! When I shoot with it on a tripod, I always use the mirror lockup (very easy to do). I have also taken quite a few hand held shots with the P67 and like the Pentax 645, I think the P67 mirror is very well damped (as are the Hasselblad 500 series cameras I own).

    Gary

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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    The truth is that there are lots of good choices for all budgets because the majority of human kind has rejected film for digital.

    Thank goodness. Lots of good film bargains out there!

    LouisB
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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    I have been carrying around a Linhof 612 for landscapes. I often pair it with my Sony RX-1 and with the weight/space saving of my on RX-1 over any other digital the Linhof is an easy carry. Results are worth the heft in my mind.
    David
    Auckland, NZ.
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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Pierrard View Post
    Wow, the Bessa III Wide looks perfect for what I'd like to do, but I can't find the wide version either by the Bessa or Fuji GF670 name - do you know what they go for (used)?
    $2000++ when you can find one.

    If you don't mind a fixed lens camera, you might be able to get both a Fuji GW690 mark I or II (90mm lens, comparable to 39mm on 35) and a GSW690 mark I or II (65mm lens, comparable to 28mm on 35) within your $1000 limit. The mark III versions tend to be much more expensive, but the glass is the same.

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    Senior Member JoelM's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    Very nice pictures, but the OP stated his budget was $750 to $1000 and your cameras certainly don't fit that requirement. Of course, if you're selling the Linhof in that price range, consider me a buyer


    Joel


    Quote Originally Posted by Hausen View Post
    I have been carrying around a Linhof 612 for landscapes. I often pair it with my Sony RX-1 and with the weight/space saving of my on RX-1 over any other digital the Linhof is an easy carry. Results are worth the heft in my mind.

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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    Thanks Joel, will keep that in mind My second choice would be a Rolleiflex then. Am going to Hawaii in July and I think Rollei will be going. WLF on a lightweight tripod works well for me with landscapes. And I love the square. I have a 6x6 wall in my office and needs filling.
    David
    Auckland, NZ.

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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    Trade in your Linhof for a Horseman SW612 or SW612 Pro--the pro model has shifts. The Horseman can take 6x12, 6x9, and 6x7 roll film backs. The down side is the expense.

    Horseman made a beautiful 6x9 view camera. You could also get a 4x5 view camera and get roll film holders for it. You could get dedicated 6x6, 6x7, 6x9, and 6x12 holders. Or you could look for the Sinar model that will do any format between 6x4.5 to 6x12. I think another company made a multi-format holder for roll film, but the name escapes me.

    One of my favorite cameras was the Mamiya 6 if you like the square. Unlike the Mamiya 7, the lens collapses making it very compact. Three lenses were made for the 6 and they are very good.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format for landscapes



    Aww crap, I didn't need to see that 612 Pro ... I've been wondering about getting something with rise/fall as an alternative to my Fuji G617 and now I see this!

    Thanks!
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Member GregMO's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post


    Aww crap, I didn't need to see that 612 Pro ... I've been wondering about getting something with rise/fall as an alternative to my Fuji G617 and now I see this!

    Thanks!
    Rise & Fall was a major feature when I choose a Gaoersi 617. I use it all the time. Gaoersi was the least expensive camera with that feature & also shoots 6x12 & 6x15 formats.

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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    The Fujica 690 cameras with 65mm lens offer a 6x9 negative.

    The Fujinon lens is very sharp.

    With some effort, you can buy this combo at a reasonable price.

    The 50mm Fujinon lens is wider, but very, very scarce + >$2,000 generally. I find the 65mm better for long views of landscapes, because the 21mm equivalent 50mm sort of makes details disappear. The 50mm Fujinon is better for closer panoramics, such as getting a wide view of a confined space or detail which are closer.

    Another possibility is the Noblex 150 camera. I bought mine for about $1,000. This camera gives 140* views and is very! very sharp.

    6x6 and 6x7 cameras don't fit my eye for landscapes - too narrow a field of view!

    Texsport
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    Mamiya 7II is my idea of an almost ideal portable landscape camera. You'll be wanting the 43/VF & 65mm as a minimum. I've had three and sold them and I KNOW that I'll buy a fourth when I've got money to burn again.

    If I were to choose a single lens outfit it would be the Mamiya 7II & 65mm (or 80mm if you prefer a bit longer). With the Mamiya the lenses are superb but ignore the hyper-focal settings and stop down another 1-2 stops in my experience.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post


    Aww crap, I didn't need to see that 612 Pro ... I've been wondering about getting something with rise/fall as an alternative to my Fuji G617 and now I see this!

    Thanks!
    You are welcome. What are fiends for? ;-)

    I will not tell you that Horseman also makes a 6x17 camera with rise and fall. It might be too much of a temptation.

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    Re: Medium format for landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Mamiya 7II is my idea of an almost ideal portable landscape camera. You'll be wanting the 43/VF & 65mm as a minimum. I've had three and sold them and I KNOW that I'll buy a fourth when I've got money to burn again.

    If I were to choose a single lens outfit it would be the Mamiya 7II & 65mm (or 80mm if you prefer a bit longer). With the Mamiya the lenses are superb but ignore the hyper-focal settings and stop down another 1-2 stops in my experience.
    Unfortunately, cannot be purchased for the $750-1,000 budget described.

    Texsport
    Exacta VX,500;Leica M3;Voigtlander Bessa L;Olympus OM4, OM4T,35SP,E-M5;Nikkormat FTN;Nikon FG,F4,F5;Canon EF,T90,EOS A2,EOS3,SL1;Fujica 670/690G and BL;Pentacon Six TL;Rittreck 66;Warner 66;Norita 66; Widelux F7;H XPan;Noblex 150;Linhof 617.

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