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Thread: Medium format film camera

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    Medium format film camera

    Well, Im using several medium format camera from my college. But I can not use it for the entire life. It is a waste of time since I commute between my college and home. Because of this, I have to finish to shoot films within 24 hrs but I can not finish it at all. I have to study tho.

    So, Im thinking to buy the medium format film camera. Hasselblad H or V series, Pentax 67 or 67ii, Mamiya 67 pro, or Contax 645 would be nice to me.

    For Hasselblad V series, it's hard to choose which one should I choose. I have to pick between fully manual(no light meter) and semi auto.

    On the other hand, Hasselblad H2 seem to be great choice to me.

    Maymiya 67 pro is interesting but it seems to be really huge...

    Pentax 67 and ii are great. But not sure.

    Contax 645... is too expensive.


    Im not sure about picking medium format film camera for first time... What should I choose?

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    Re: Medium format film camera

    When choosing a MF camera two things I find important. First, the format, 6x6 and 6x7 are very different. The next would be whether you prefer an eye-level or waist-level camera. While a Hasselblad V can be an eye-level camera, it is a better waist level one. The Mamiya RZ/RB67 are also waist level. The Pentax 67 and Hasselblad H are eye level. I guess then I would think about the cost and availability of optics, particularly regarding focal length.

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    Re: Medium format film camera

    contax 645 is expensive?
    the body + 80mm goes for quite a lot yes, thx to the wedding maniacs.

    but all the other lenses in this system are going for reasonable fine prices.
    just a few weeks ago i got the 120mm makro for about 880US$ who can complain about this? including caps and hood.

    i love my C645 system for its simplicity, the most complex piece is the digital back

    i for one will not let it go any time soon!

    my 2cents

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    Re: Medium format film camera

    While the Contax is very nice, I too think it's expensive. One can get a brand new Mamiya 7 II with 80mm for what a corresponding Contax will cost second hand, and with an uncertain future for parts and service.

    I went for the GX680 III when I bought into MF 3 years ago, and will probably buy a smaller body for travel etc. Hasselblad is always a great alternative, and older bodies and lenses are dirt cheap. Rolleiflex TLR is also nice. If I could afford it, I would buy a Mamiya 7 II.

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    Re: Medium format film camera

    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    contax 645 is expensive?
    the body + 80mm goes for quite a lot yes, thx to the wedding maniacs.

    but all the other lenses in this system are going for reasonable fine prices.
    just a few weeks ago i got the 120mm makro for about 880US$ who can complain about this? including caps and hood.

    i love my C645 system for its simplicity, the most complex piece is the digital back

    i for one will not let it go any time soon!

    my 2cents
    I will never diss the Contax 645, which I regard as the classiest SLR ever for 645 film shooting. (For digital backs, it works, but it just doesn't integrate as well as the Mamiya 645AFD and up).

    But it's hard to defend the idea that it represents good value in the used market. Where there are equal-specced Mamiya AF lenses (35/3.5, 45/2.8, 120/4 macro, 210/4), in the same condition and from the same dealer (e.g. Ffordes), the Contax ones cost at least 25% more. And for the same lenses in the Mamiya MF line, you're looking at more than double the price for the Contax ones.

    Anyway, back to the OP's question:
    You have two major decisions to make first. Format size...and shutter type (in the lenses, or in the body). Deal with those, and the decision tree starts to get a lot more manageable.

    Ray

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    Re: Medium format film camera

    You need an SLR if you're doing school assignments. The Pentax 67 - the newest model - is excellent, rugged, and good value. If you want a smaller camera, I suggest the Pentax 645NII. Even with the surge in the market for lenses now that the "Z" is out, the 645 film cameras are superb value, and produce excellent images.

    Let the Contax for those with more money, and forget the 645 Mamiya b/c it was kind of junk.

    The Mamiya 67RZs were great cameras too, but really only for tripod/studio type work.

    Happy shooting.

    - N.

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    Re: Medium format film camera

    I don't know what you are doing in your classes or what you need in a camera, but I would think that a camera that you can swap backs on is important, and one that has polaroid backs easily available. It's hard to beat the simplicity and flexibility of the V-system Hasselblad. A Hasselblad H2 is probably the most overall compatible system since you can shoot film and digital on it, and slowly build and grow the system to include new lenses and new digital backs. However, I feel like if you are going to bother to shoot film, you should shoot at least 6x7 which gets you to Mamiya or possibly Fuji. If you want Hassy V, go 501 or 503. Mamiya, buy the newest you can afford so you can put a digital back on it.

    MF cameras are very use specific, with a few generic cameras (H2, Mamiya 645) that sacrifice image quality (smaller film) for overall flexibility. It is most important to understand what you have to have. A Mamiya 7ii is one of the most overall elegant cameras ever built, but it is worthless for macro, telephoto, and you can't swap backs on it. So what is it that you NEED to have?

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    Re: Medium format film camera

    Its all up to you. Just buy what you are most confident using.
    If you want fully manual and waist level then Hasselblad V or Mamiya RB67.
    If you want automatics and the handling of DSLR then Contax, H2 or Mamiya 645 or Pentax 645
    If you want 67 and SLR like handling, then Pentax 67

    If you should chose Hasselblad I can recommend the 501CM (fully manual), 503CW (Flash TTL) and especially 553ELX and 55ELD. the latter are motorized.
    Should you buy a 500CM make sure it is in good working order.

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    Re: Medium format film camera

    A Rolleiflex TLR should also be in consideration. It's a timeless design and the newer Rollei models FX-N or GX have good built in exposure meters, which I think make it much easier to use these medium format cameras.
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