Cheap/Good value Medium format : The Look

heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
edited January 2015 in General Discussions
What's a cheap good value camera and lense setup for playing with medium format?

I would think film is the way to go and maybe a mamiya or pentax ? what focal length?
Maybe something that is not bad so that if Interest grows I wont need to sell it to upgrade.

What would you recommend for general photography?
Post edited by heartyfisher on
Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

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Comments

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,089Moderator
    I have to say +1 to all that PitchBlack.

    Used Hassies aren't expensive are they? :-/
    Always learning.
  • kenadamskenadams Posts: 222Member
    edited January 2015
    I was thinking about getting a Mamiya RZ 67 or RB 67 for while. They can be had under 500€ for a whole setup including lens on ebay if you take a bit of time. A rangefinder style Mamiya 6 or 7 is much more expensive. Also to consider a Pentax 67 / 6x7.
    I actually like shooting film. I'd love to get to know the whole process of developing and printing, which, of course, is the whole point. A part of me likes the idea of not having a lot of leeway in post, as it seems to make a good result that much more valueable. But maybe that's just the romantic in me...
    Of course it is expensive, time consuming, and ultimately harmful to the environment, so why bother.
    Post edited by kenadams on
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    If you want the challenge of Film Mamiya RZ.RB are plentiful on Ebay, plus you can get parts for these cameras. Bronica is another MF camera which is even cheaper but parts can be difficult to get. Both manufacture offer good ranges of lenses. Dust is the biggest problem with film, something we tend to forget with digital cameras.
    In the last few years there has been resurge in B/W film and manufactures of film and paper have slowly increased their prices , so the cost factor of not just the camera/lenses should be considered when you look at the whole format.
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited January 2015
    @ heartyfisher
    Can you tell what sort of photography you have in mind
    for landscapes, the wide angle rolleiflex is, IMHO, impossible to beat
    but they are collectors items, and hard to find
    don't worry about spares nothing much to wrong
    your other option is, a roll film back for a technical camera
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member
    I've owed or used all of these at various times. I always wanted a Hasselblad but could never afford one. I also always wanted to try a Mamiya rangefinder but same thing. I'd be careful purchasing any of these used as they are getting super old now and it's probably a gamble unless you purchase one from a reputable shop, but then you're probably going to pay a lot more anyway. Also be prepared to slow way down. You only get 10 to 20 shots per roll depending on if you're using 120 or 220 film and processing can be expensive. Black and White is probably the least expensive option if you can process the film yourself.

    Holga 6x6 - 6x6 Super inexpensive toy camera if you just want to burn some 120 film. They can be fun.
    Yashicamat - 124g 6x6 Inexpensive Waist Level Viewfinder, not sure if the optics are the greatest, but fun
    Mamiya RB - 6x7 - Body is relatively inexpensive, lenses have leaf shutters so they can get pricey, but great for studio. Waist level or pentaprism depending on the attachment. Also hope you have a good tripod...
    Pentax 6x7 – Nice system, super heavy and don't forget to lock that mirror up! And they say the mirror slap on a d800 is bad... Landscape photographers choice.
  • funtagraphfuntagraph Posts: 265Member
    My only reason to go film and MF again: Traveling to a place with difficulties to get energy so I needed to go fully mechanical and use spotmeter - a 9V Block lasts ages.

    But then, all those surprises (good and bad) when coming back and developing the rolls (some risk...), the reduced choice of films these days (Fuji just put the Provia out of their list) against traveling light, shooting very quiet (as long as using leaf shutters only) and becoming underestimated like "look, granny still is using his battered say Cheeeeeese machine". I got some books about photographer Vivian Maier who was self taught street photographer and used to use a Rolleiflex. That was a moment I thought "yeah, could be fun to use".

    I'd stay away from electronical controlled shutters, Mamiya 645, Contax, Bronica, Rolleiflex SLX/6000 as they caused problems in their lifetime and won't became better after all those years. I'd stay also away of too old relics, seagulls and Holgas. These cheap things are toy-level quality.

    I still have an exposed roll from my Contax around but am hesitating developing it, don't know if the chemicals still work.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited January 2015
    I got some books about photographer Vivian Maier who was self taught street photographer and used to use a Rolleiflex. .
    There is also a film Finding Vivian Maier

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2714900/
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • funtagraphfuntagraph Posts: 265Member
    That I also have - kind of a story how she was discovered post mortem. Interesting personbality, great pictures.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    Perhaps the best cheap "medium format" will be the 50+ mp FX sensor when Nikon releases it.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited January 2015
    On the Does the equipment you use, affect your creativity ?
    - See more at: http://forum.nikonrumors.com/discussion/3760/does-the-equipment-you-use-affect-your-creativity-#Item_62
    No one mentioned the "feel" of the camera

    I think using Rolleicord, definitely has an effect on your creativity
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited January 2015
    ... I tried to shoot my 200/2.0 in the studio today while shooting a dancer and I just didn't have enough room, even though it gives you a medium format look.
    Get a bigger studio? Just kidding :P Put up a wall of mirrors, you double the length. Now I know where the phrase smoke and mirrors came from...
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    edited January 2015
    @ heartyfisher
    Can you tell what sort of photography you have in mind
    for landscapes, the wide angle rolleiflex is, IMHO, impossible to beat
    but they are collectors items, and hard to find
    don't worry about spares nothing much to wrong
    your other option is, a roll film back for a technical camera
    Maybe I am just collecting "formats" lol ! .. lets see I have a sumsung phone, a P&S, the Nikon1, DX and FX..

    Actually I dont know what I will be shooting with it .. there is a lot of talk of the Medium Format "look" not so sure what it is :-) so what subjects most suit this medium format "look" ? (and what is it?)

    I have tried to replicate it here .. using my 50mm ais on a DX with a 3 photo merge. maybe I will try it again with my FX camera ..
    image
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited January 2015
    but it does have the pov of a TLR or a hussy

    If you are just a cheap camera, look at Rolleicords cheaper the the flex
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    edited January 2015
    I think my image works out to be equivalent to about 30-40 mm FOV. Is that why there is the "fun house" distortion? ie the wideangle FOV. I was planing to try with a longer focal length.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • FlowtographyBerlinFlowtographyBerlin Posts: 477Member
    edited January 2015
    [deleted, sorry, was just a test]
    Post edited by FlowtographyBerlin on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,089Moderator
    @heartyfisher: Depends on what the distance to the subject is hearty. I took this snap with my DX D7000 using a 50 f1.4 and it has some of that about it. If it were a full length shot it would have been OK.

    untitled
    Always learning.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    edited January 2015
    Sorry, I just wanted to be clear exactly what @pitchblack meant when he was describing the "funhouse" look.. :-) vs the medium format look ( "with compression" ) .

    I guess what I want to know is what is this "medium format look".
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,059Member
    If you shoot from about 15 feet away (5 metres) the image will look similar to how the human visual system perceives it. The focal length is irrelavent. Of course if you shoot from 5 metres with a wide angle, a human subject will be pretty small.
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 559Member
    @PitchBlack: Are you saying that a 35mm on DX will look different than a 50mm on FX if you try to frame the same? I don't know how to convert to MF so I used DX and FX.
  • funtagraphfuntagraph Posts: 265Member
    This shows how different focal lengths affect distortion. Notice the faces don't look natural as you get wider at the same framing. They look like a funhouse mirror:
    image
    If the face has the same size and the focal length varies - there must(!) be a change in distance ;) inevitably. And that's the only thing making the face looking like in a fun house. If you keep the same distance and crop the faces, there wouldn't be this effect.

    There's no way imitating a (true) medium format by using FF. Using a film cam like Rolleiflex or Hasselblad, it's 56 × 56 mm. Compared to FF Sensors and given a square format, it's a crop factor of 2.34, so the 80/2.8 standard lens actually would be a 35/1.2 on FF
  • calengorcalengor Posts: 277Member
    I think he mistyped. I think @PitchBlack meant to say that keeping the face the same size in the frame while changing the focal length does what is pictured in the set of shots.
  • funtagraphfuntagraph Posts: 265Member
    edited January 2015
    That's kind of a very artistic mistyping :D but I strongly agree with @PitchBlack's point that MF is more than just Megapixels. In theory we might get more details out of those 80 MP sensors, but still, the squarish 6×6 is a totally different feeling and way more beyond megapixels. Don't get me wrong, I love my FFs. I just know, MF is a different world, even if I only used a battered TLR like Rolleiflex or Mamiya C330 and scan the negatives afterwards.

    Anyway, these days none of the so called medium format cameras comes close to what was medium format. Most of those sensor are a bit smaller than even 42 × 56 mm (6 × 4.5 cm)
    Post edited by funtagraph on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    edited January 2015
    I have never understood why that so called "medium format look" couldn't be duplicated with the right lens on a high megapixel FX body. Sometimes I think the "uniqueness of MF" is an illusion. It should all be a matter of optical physics and an identical "look' should be attainable. But I have never shot with medium format so the charge can be made that I don't know what I am talking about.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • funtagraphfuntagraph Posts: 265Member
    It's all about proportions of the real scene to a certain film or sensor size - megapixels only define kind of resolution. The bigger the sensor / film, the less on needs to enlarge until we see the finished picture. The less we need to enlarge, the more details are kept and the less noise - film grain or sensor noise - is taking over the details. If you could substitute sensor / film size, @donaldejose you'd get great wall size pictures out of a smartphone.

    So, why is nobody getting great wall size pictures out of a smartphone? If it's just an illusion? If you don't see the difference what PhaseOne and Hasselblad show you on their galleries, then it's just nothing for you. Otherwise, try to make one of those picture with your FF and make it looking the same way.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    The DoF will be different even though the FoV will be equivalent. Also the "compression" will be less (extention) due to the shorter focal length.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspective_distortion_(photography)
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