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Thread: Please help me choose a MF system...

  1. #1
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    Please help me choose a MF system...

    Hi there...

    I've read more about MF the last month or so that some subjects in University...

    So I want a MF system : I have no MF lens or whatever, so no legacy , I'm free to choose whatever I think its more appropriate.

    I'm down with a few contenders, my only limitation is, as usual, budget; I budget around 1000 pounds, or 1300 euros / 1800 usd for a basic working setup. Yap, few goodies can be added ( and will ) after, but for a lens + camera + back thats what I want to spend.

    So, here are the contenders :

    Hasselblad 500 C/M + A12 Back + 80mm CT 2.8 Lens
    PLUSES :
    Weight ( compared to other MF systems )
    WLF
    6x6 square format
    HUGGGEEE second hand market for lens and accessories
    Price ( around 600 pounds )
    MINUS :
    No meter

    FUJI GX680 III
    PLUS :
    Near Large Format size
    Very Adaptable
    Tilt / Shift / Whatever you can throw at it
    Looks the buissness !
    WLF
    6x8 format plus 6x6 and many others
    MINUS :
    Man, its big
    Not handholdable unless I'm the Governor of California
    Tripod a must, period

    Mamiya 645 AFD
    PLUS :
    Meters
    Imprints exposure information on film
    AF ( sort of Plus... )
    Easy to use
    MINUS :
    6x4.5 - is it really necessary to have this and a good 35mm like I already do ?
    Will compete directly with my Leica's
    no WLF

    CONTAX : I dont like them
    BRONICA : I dont like them
    Hasselblad H1/H2 : price out of my reach for what I want ( I want this for a fun more relaxed project )
    Rollei 6008 : no, please
    Mamyia RB/RV 67 : nope, too big, too akward.


    I'm also considering two other options :

    A Wista / Shen Hao camera ( not kidding )
    Forgetting about all this buisness and go on with my life, getting enough money and go M9 or H3D...

    Want I want is simple : A nice MF camera that I can shoot slides with, with good lens selection and that is handholdable. If it's something that MUST lives on a tripod, I frown at it... I know that 4x5 cameras must live at a tripod but at least they have massive negatives that are worth the trouble...

    I would love something with a meter, can't understand ( and I've read a lot ) if a Fuji GX680 III has a meter with a WLF - that would be my dream camera... or Actually a Hasselblad 203FE, that has metered WLF but price is way too high... I would bite the bullet on a 203 on the spot, even without back and lens...

    I'm really confused and just want something that gives me a new fresh photographic perspective and challenge at the same time - something that wont compete with my film Leica's... That's why I'm turning away almost 645 AF systems, because I think they are too close to a SLR hence I will put them down easily..

    So basically, I want :

    Something that meters, has a WLF and doesnt cost an arm and a leg. Ideas ?

    ps : I know that a 4x5 field camera doesnt have a WLF neither meters...
    ps2 : I'm thinking about giving a crap about the budget, double it and go with a Linhof 612 or a Fuji 617. Then getting divorced and have enough free time to use my large format panoramic camera.
    ps3 : help !

  2. #2
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    Re: Please help me choose a MF system...

    Go with Hassy V system [200, 500, ...etc], so 500CM is better choice for you, I have 501CM bought it used [Ex+] from Keh.com and also Mamiya RZ ProII LN same website, both are under $1000 each [not both], no lenses or so, i just bought new film back/magazine for each completely new while i was in USA for vacation, i bought Holga 120 WPC few days ago, all that to start film, and i have a planning to add large format as well sooner or later.
    Holga is plastic
    Hassy, WOW, i love its size, at least in same my Canon 1-series weight range.
    Mamy RZ67II, bulky and huge camera, i dunno how i can handle that camera.

    My advice, don't make that weight or size of the body to be an issue, i know that weight may be a factor but it is not everything, you want a camera to shoot with not a body to marry, so be wise what to choose, but out of the all options above, i think i will start with Hasselblad 500CM, i even feel i want to get this body even i have 501, 500CM is very popular body.

  3. #3
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    Re: Please help me choose a MF system...

    MF in SLR fashion on budget is simply not doable. A Hass 500 is so slow to operate that it will frustrate you. If you can afford only one camera, then get a metered rangefinder -> best image quality on budget.

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    Re: Please help me choose a MF system...

    Thanks mate...

    Fortunatly it seems I'm reducing the options : I've spent the whole day checking youtube videos ( lame but usefull ! ) about how to operate 4x5 cameras and I got the feeling the whole thing is not really for me...

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    Re: Please help me choose a MF system...

    Why not buy a used Mamiya 7 rangefinder? No WLF, but it has a meter and is hand-holdable. You already said you like rangefinder shooting. The lenses are stellar.

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    Re: Please help me choose a MF system...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    Why not buy a used Mamiya 7 rangefinder? No WLF, but it has a meter and is hand-holdable. You already said you like rangefinder shooting. The lenses are stellar.
    Thanks Cindy for making things even more complicated

    No, I ruled out M7 system : for rangefinder I have my Leica's already, dont want something similar with just a bigger negative...

    I want a bigger negative but something different that I can carry WITH my Leica's, not OR my Leica's...

    Why I would carry my MP and a Mamiya 7 ?

  7. #7
    DougDolde
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    Re: Please help me choose a MF system...

    Pentax 67

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    Re: Please help me choose a MF system...

    Quote Originally Posted by proenca View Post
    Thanks Cindy for making things even more complicated

    No, I ruled out M7 system : for rangefinder I have my Leica's already, dont want something similar with just a bigger negative...

    I want a bigger negative but something different that I can carry WITH my Leica's, not OR my Leica's...

    Why I would carry my MP and a Mamiya 7 ?
    You have to decide. I carry the Mamiya 7 and my Leica M4-P. The Mamiya 7 gives a big 6x7 negative and is super sharp. M4-P is useful for backup, close-up or times when I need a very fast lens and/or shallow DOF. Just because they use the same focusing method does not make them the same tool (with one just bigger) to me. YMMV....but isn't it fun choosing the tools?

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    Re: Please help me choose a MF system...

    Is the Fuji that big compared to the 'blad ?

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    Re: Please help me choose a MF system...

    Sell the Leica and get a Mamiya 7 II.

    You'll love looking at the transparencies on a light table.

    You can get a 6x7 Mamiya Cabin projector and project slides with unbelievable clarity and color.

    The camera and lenses are light and superbly constructed. The lenses have the highest ratings on photodo.

    I have a print that is 12 fee by 14 feet from my Mamiya.

    End of conflict. Able to sleep at night. Vivid dreams of huge transparencies and prints.

  11. #11
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    Re: Please help me choose a MF system...

    I have a Hasselblad and a Contax 645 system, and find them both very nice. Note that if you want to hand-hold, it is extra-convenient to have a meter in the camera, which would mean that the Hasselblad is out. Otherwise you have to hang the camera from your neck, meter, pick it up again...

    I am very surprised that you don't like the Contax, but like the Mamiya 645. The later Mamiyas are much better than the AFD, which I have never heard anything good about (other than it works fine). The Contax prices are very low, the lenses are Zeiss and some of them are very good, better than the older Zeiss lenses for the Hasselblad, for the most part. The Contax also has a waist-level viewfinder, and a very well damped mirror, so I think that for hand-holding, it really should be an option.

    The Fuji you can nuke off your list, the camera is absolutely huge! I saw one at a trade show, and was shocked at the size of it. You could probably fit an RB67 and an RZ67 inside with a bit of creativity. The camera is roughly 19x23x22cm and weighs about 4.5kg with a normal lens...

    I am also surprised that you removed the 6008 from your list, probably the most advanced camera you listed, but very much a medium format experience. I would love to own one of these. One day... The lenses are Zeiss and Schneider, and very high quality. There are very cheap options available, but you can go all the way to the newest AF lenses with top-notch formulas if you decide to expand later. The lenses are forward compatible with the Hy6, as an aside. There has been trouble finding Rollei stuff in the States, but in Europe the availability is much better. From your short list of what you want (WLF, metering, cheap prices, and a MF experience), I would have thought that this camera might even fit the description best of all that has been mentioned here. Here is a link to a kit with the bidding starting at 850 Euro:

    http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...m=320484042220

    Another kit with low bidding started:

    http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...m=330404073696

    I think from time to time if it would make more sense for me to sell my Contax 645 and Hasselblad kits, and get the Rolleiflex as a single system, but the lack of a 35mm lens and the huge hassle of having to sell 2 bodies and 6 lenses, as well as the difficulty of finding the 110/2 for the Rolleiflex has kept me from trying so far.
    Carsten - Website

  12. #12
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    Re: Please help me choose a MF system...

    Quote Originally Posted by proenca View Post
    Hi there...


    So I want a MF system : I have no MF lens or whatever, so no legacy , I'm free to choose whatever I think its more appropriate.

    !
    Sounds like you are an ideal candidate for an S2.

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