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Thread: Thinking about getting into medium format -- any advice?

  1. #1

    Thinking about getting into medium format -- any advice?

    I got into a conversation with a guy who told me he's shooting medium format on B&W film, developing it himself with Dektol and then scanning it at high resolution for manipulation and printing. I'd love to give it a try -- it's been years since I did any black and white or developed my own film, but I miss it.

    I know that medium format is going to give me staggering sharpness, etc. I don't mind putting a little bit of money into some equipment, so I'm looking for advice. I'd like to shoot portraiture (preferably natural light) and landscapes. I think I'd prefer a prism than a look-down viewfinder, to make focusing easier. Built-in metering would be nice, as would DOF preview.

    Mamiya 645 models seem to be available in decent shape used. Anyone know anything about their lenses or have any advice? I'd also need a decent scanner -- probably can pick that up used, right? -- and I'd appreciate suggestions on that too.



  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Re: Thinking about getting into medium format -- any advice?

    Used Hasselblad prices are steep and holding up since they launched their newdigital backs and gave their "Vsystem" lenses and the prism viewfinders a new lease of life.

    My wifeenjoyed herBronica 645 very much and was very sad when it got stolen.But thenshe went the wholenine yardsand got a 4"x5" viewcamera.

    Asyou like prisms, there's the Pentax 6x7, it's a real beast and might just work for you.It'sa 1970's vintage SLR system but done BIG! The sort of thing you'd have wanted at Cape Canaveral forphotographing an Apollo launch.

    Super Takumar lensescome in anhuge range of focal lengths andwide apertures for medium format. For portraits there's 105mm f2.4, 150mm f2.8, 165mm f2.8, 200mm f4; 300mm f4 is highly rated. Landscapescan be done witheverything down to a 45mm f4 super-wideangle.

    Roughly, halve the focal length to get 35mm equivalent, i.e. the cropfactor isabout 0.5 !You get10 shots to a roll of 120 film.

    For light metering in medium format, I think it's worth getting the handheld Minolta Spotmeter F and read Ansel Adams on the Zone System. It's almost as fast as TTL metering and gives that extra confidence when you don't want to use up lots of shots bracketing exposures.

    Lovely big60mm x 70mmnegswill make the scanner's job a lot easier, so you might not need to spend mad money on the scanner and can spend it on more lenses instead.

  3. #3
    Senior Member clemmb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Glenn Heights, TX

    Re: Thinking about getting into medium format -- any advice?

    I trade you my whole Bronica outfit for you 1D series canon.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Re: Thinking about getting into medium format -- any advice?

    There's always the other medium format:

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