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Hi there, just wondering whether anyone could offer me some advice about getting a medium format camera. I'm new to MF but have film 35mm and digital but would like to try MF. I'd like something that's not too cumbersome, has a light meter (a bit out of practice with manual exposures, although shoot manual digital) , not overly expensive, maybe £200-£300. Think that's it! I was looking at a Bronica Sq but not sure how big they are?! Any advice most welcome! Cheers
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How about a Bronica ETRSi, with 75mm lens speedgrip and AEII meter prism, it shoots 6x4.5cm. I used one for years as a workhorse, pretty good camera, expect to pay around your budget for one. Or a Pentax 645 - more automated ideal as a move from digital, price about the same. If you want a brick, you cannot go wrong with a Pentax 67 or Mamiya RB67, but they are big and heavy.
It's worth reading this article : Guide to Medium Format which explains the differences in format as that's the first thing you need to decide before which model. Some are multi-format, but at least if you have a clear idea of your preferred format you can start on the right lines.
Hi Frankie J, You don't explain what type of photography you wish to do with your MF camera, if you do not want to get additional lenses and your initial buget suggests that you don't, then why not go for one of the old Twin Lens Reflext type of cameras, I used to have a Rolliflex T (TLR) not too heavy, cracking build and image quality too and plenty of fun without the weight penalty, or you could go for the Mamiya C330 variant that offered a couple of lens options (interchangable) and lens plate that racked out with a built in bellows for close-ups if thats your thing. Note: both are square format though. If an SLR is what you'r after Mamiya's 645 system might work for you. Don't forget, that larger the format the better image quality is likely to be!
If you are wanting auto-exposure (or even built-in coupled metering) in an inexpensive MF camera, you are almost certainly looking at one with an optional AE-Prism Finder or suchlike added.
When I was shooting MF seriously for magazines a couple (or 3) decades ago, my favourite was the Pentax 6x7 which handles like an oversize 35mm SLR. More recently I got a lot of fun playing about with a Mamiya RB67. Both models, although very different, were great cameras and can be picked up very cheaply on eBay or elsewhere.
I would definitely go for a 6x7 format (10 on 120) rather than 6x6 (12 on 120) as you get just that much more negative area to play with. The RB67 has a rotating film holder so you can switch from landscape to portrait with a twist of the wrist. The Pentax, of course, you simply hold to your eye in the desired orientation.
The later Yashica-Mat TLR`s had a basic exposure meter that worked well.
Quote: I'd like something that's not too cumbersome, has a light meter (a bit out of practice with manual exposures, although shoot manual digital) , not overly expensive, maybe £200-£300
The Lubitels are tiny, no metering but separate light meters are cheap enough.
How about a 'folder' like this I was GIVEN Free by a Camera Club member - I have got many 16x12" Exhibition prints out of it !
Hi thanks for all the advice. I'd want to use it predominantly for portraits/environmental portraits, so not sure what would be best format 6x6?
sorry I meant 6x7!
What sort of scanner do people use? would an epson flatbed one suffice? I think there's a big price hike in the next step up?
I wouldn`t bother with a scanner, most film processors will include a cd of scans if requested at the time of processing.
Maybe the folder cameras like the one above would be better, can anyone recommend a good brand/model?
Quote: I wouldn`t bother with a scanner, most film processors will include a cd of scans if requested at the time of processing.
Most will. But how do you find a decent one. I tried several "develop and scan" services before buying an Epson V700 to do my own.
When you want to use anything larger than 35mm, the price of a half-decent scanner will rocket.
I was GIVEN an older Epson 1650 flatbed scanner by a Camera Club member which was really for 35mm only BUT he found if he made a cardboard mask thing it would take 6x6 medium format negs from his Yashica TLR camera -- then he gave it to me as he got another model with a wider 'light strip' so I made a mask for 6x7 format and tried -- sometimes it worked with the Epson Software, other times it would not 'find the film' ---- then I WON FREE Ed Hamrik's 'Vuescan Professional' and it works with all my formats !! ( But I do NOT PRINT from my Scans -- if I want a PRINT I do it in my Darkroom with B&W or RA4 Colour chemistry. My photo of my AGFA Islolette III was with my old Epson 1650 and Vuescan. )
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