Medium Format choices

Discussion in 'Film Cameras' started by dan swiger, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. dan swiger

    dan swiger Well-Known Member

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    I thought I would take advantage of being the 1st to post on this sub-forum.
    I first decided to get back into film in 2013 after getting frustrated/jaded with my spray & pray mentality with my DSLR. I wanted to have a more contemplative process & not an instant gratification experience.

    The camera I decided on was an RZ67 ProII, with four lenses, multiple backs & accessories.
    I think it had the 110mm/f2.8 , 180mm/f4.5 , 65mm/f4.5 & a 50mm (not the ULD)
    It also had the metered prism viewfinder.
    It was a well worn kit, but everything worked.
    I was enamored of the bright viewfinder & the sound of that big mirror!
    I was kind of clueless about film types & exposure techniques.
    But when I got it right, the images were stunning.
    That summer I carted it on an Eastern Sierra Fall color trip.
    Imagine a backpack filled with that gear on a 2 mile hike!

    I sold this kit after about a year. Probably from the physical exhaustion of carrying it on any serious trip.
    A few years later I longed for the experience, here we go again. This time with a smaller kit, the 110mm/f2.8 & the 65mm/f4.5. but soon added a 360mm & and a 50mm.
    This time around I was getting the hang of it & being more selective about what to bring.

    Like the 1st kit, this one was sold a year later. This was followed another year with a kit built up in pieces.
    This was a total of 3 RZ kits/systems over a four year period!
    The good news is that I never sold any of it at much of a loss. Breaking even most of the time. I had become skilled in the art of picking good Ebay deals I guess.

    I finally realized that while I loved the image making possibilities, it was too cumbersome & at times temperamental.

    The last time around I picked up a Mamiya 7, buying selected lenses.
    I have the 50mm/65mm/80mm & 150mm. All where purchased separately.
    I love this kit now & have taken it on many trips & vacations.
    It is much lighter than the RZ system & it's optics are equal or better to the RZ lenses.
    The downside is that it's a rangefnder camera. This requires different techniques with filters as you are not viewing thru-the-lens. This also means you don't know when the lens cap is on!
    It's not something that can't be mastered but requires some planning.
    The metering is very accurate, especially with the 65 & 80mm.
    But for critical work, I use a Seiko light meter, practicing the zone-system.

    Dan
     
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  2. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    Hey Dan,

    Congrats on the first post in the Film section.

    Reading what you wrote made me feel just a bit nostalgic even! Growing up on film back when I was 11 years old, I will say that film does have a soft spot in my heart. And going to the monthly Camera swapmeets we have here in SoCal doesn't make it any easier. There is so much film gear that is practically being given away.

    I will say that the Mamiya 7, is a great choice for you, and it's one that would be tempting to me also.

    Now hopefully we will get more people jumping in here.

    Jim
     
  3. Bob Denton

    Bob Denton Well-Known Member

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    The Mamiya 7 is a solid choice for film work.
     
  4. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    Hey Dan,

    How about a photo of your Mamiya set up in this thread? It would be cool to see the real thing... :)

    Jim
     
  5. dan swiger

    dan swiger Well-Known Member

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    Per Jims suggestion here is my Mamiya 7 kit
    The viewfinder on top of the camera is for the UWA lenses for parallax & framing.
    A separate one is needed for the 150 & 210 mm lenses, which I don't have. They're not cheap.
    I've had this camera for over two years. Had an unfortunate accident where it tumbled out of the car in the Spring.
    The bad news is that it cracked the top & the S/S knob wouldn't go to bulb.
    The good news is that it was insured. Sent off to Precision Camera where it wasn't just repaired, more like restored.
    The bill was ~$800. Works like new.
    The zip-tie on the lens cap is for not forgetting it's on!

    IMG_4902w.JPG
     
  6. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Supporting Member

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    Nice kit, Dan. You're have been through a few of them!

    My MF days were all about the Pentax 67. I still have the two bodies, half a dozen lenses and most of the accessories made for them. I remember doing a three day shoot at Bodie, CA, mostly with the 67 and BW film.

    Not trying to hijack your thread, Dan, just making a contribution .

    mainstreet3.jpg


    pianokeys2.jpg

    stairwellBW.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  7. dan swiger

    dan swiger Well-Known Member

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    Jeffrey, absolutely no problem. I enjoy the contemplative approach to photography & film is certainly of that type.
    Hey, we want to see the Pentax!
     
  8. dan swiger

    dan swiger Well-Known Member

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    Jeffrey,
    I didn't mentioned I also had a Pentax 6x7 w/o the metered finder. I think I had a two lens kit. The back story on the Pentax is that I 1st spotted it in a photography magazine while in Vietnam. That big-pregnant SLR was appealing and considered getting one when I returned home. So a few years ago I located a nice one on Ebay. It turned out to be a bit tempermental due to previous owners handling. I kept it about a year.
     
  9. John Brewton

    John Brewton Member

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    Interesting. I've always admired the Mamiya 7 and photos I've seen taken with it. I played around with a Pentax 67 for a while, but even more off-putting than the body size was the sound of that giant shutter going off!
    I currently shoot a RM3di and while I do have a digital back, I also have a Hasselblad 12 back for film and am currently enjoying the film process again for the first time since 2010 when I sold all my other film bodies.
     
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