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Cheap Medium Format System


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#1 markgoldstein

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 02:02 PM

Hi,

I'm "researching" e.g. looking to buy a cheap medium format system. I'm guessing that this should consist of: camera / lens / film back / grip / WLF.

So far I've narrowed down my choice to the Bronica ETRS/ETRSi or the Mamiya 645. Any info on these two makes and the various models would be appreciated.
Mark Goldstein
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#2 collinf

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 05:08 PM

Why would that be Mark? wink.gif

The Bronica ETRS/Si is a superb system, as is the Mamiya. accessories for the ETRS/Si are more readily available s/h, but that's mainly because more were made and are now being sold s/h as people move to digital.

I went for the Broni as the kit I got came as a complete system for 1400, however, have a look at www.ffordes.co.uk as they have complete units (often without grip) for around 450.

I don't know too much about the Mamiya, but you have chosen the exact two that I was considering when I got mine. IFRC have a look at your own (old) forum, I think there were links to comparison pages in there. I'll have a look on Ephoto as well as I know there are some there.

Alternatively, if you just want to "try" the MF experience, why not consider a Seagull TLR (or similar)camera? They are (I think) copies of Rollei units made in China. Still 645 negs (much better than 35mm), and I've heard of them selling for as little as 60 s/h on ebay.

Collin
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#3 collinf

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 05:12 PM

ETRS & ETRSi info

MF Film

ETRS vs Mamiya

ETRS vs Mamiya 2

All these are Ephotozine Forum links.

smile.gif
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#4 collinf

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 05:13 PM

Don't forget you'll need a light meter if you haven't already got one.

I would suggest the Seconic that Jessops are flogging for around 160 as a good starter unit.

Collin
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#5 collinf

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 05:15 PM

And another one!

I'll stop now smile.gif
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#6 markgoldstein

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 06:15 PM

Cheers Collin!

Have you been on here all day?! biggrin.gif

I'd like to add a medium format camera to my kit-bag just because of the negative size. I've had a couple of requests lately for enlargements up to 1.5m square! Files from my 10D have to be resized by about 3-4 times to achive those enlargement sizes.

I had a play with a Bronica ETRS in Jacobs on Saturday - it was quite refreshing to use something so basic!
Mark Goldstein
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#7 collinf

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 06:31 PM

Basic he says! Ha!

Seriously, I know what you mean.

and yes, on and off I've been either here or Ephotozine all day smile.gif
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#8 markgoldstein

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 06:47 PM

I had to set the aperture on the lens, then set the shutter speed on the body, then compose the picture through the waist level viewfinder.

And then I remembered that I had to focus the damn thing as well!

tongue.gif

No wonder you have to take more care over your photos with a medium format camera!
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#9 collinf

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 08:02 AM

I have put about ten films through my Broni so far (at 9 for 15 shots at 5x4 it ain't cheap!). That's 150 photos. Of those I have about 40 photos that are a) focussed and cool.gif correctly exposed.

So many times I forget to either focus or set the aperture or shutter speed. I will remember two of the three and then forget the third.

Or, I've forgotten to change the Film speed on the lightmeter.

I'm also guilty of setting the lightmeter correctly, getting a reading, setting the shot, getting interrupted, re-doing the lightmeter reading and then forgetting to reset the camera.

Thank god that print film is so forgiving!

I've only done one roll of slide, and only got 6 useable exposures from it.

All that said, I still love it, and the results speak for themselves! biggrin.gif

Collin
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#10 markgoldstein

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 03:02 PM

9 for 15 shots! I'd forgotten how expensive film is :-)

Perhaps you should write a checklist for yourself Collin!!!
Mark Goldstein
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#11 collinf

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 04:21 PM

Might be wise smile.gif

Perhaps I should go buy that 10d...
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#12 markgoldstein

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 05:54 PM

Well, so far it's cost me about 2,000 for over 5,000 shots :-)
Mark Goldstein
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#13 Guest_Scott_*

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Posted 07 November 2003 - 09:31 PM

I looked at both cameras before selecting a Hasselblad 503CW. The Bronica's & Mamiya's are much more affordable than the Hassey, as the Hassey's seem to be holding their prices better than the others during this rush to digital. I wish they would drop, cause I'd like some more lenses for my Hassey.

Anyhow, between the Bronica & the Mamiya, I would choose the Bronica. I see more used bodies, backs, and lenses for it AND most importantly, the Bronica uses Leaf Shutter lenses, which allows you to sync your flash up to 1/500sec vs Mamiya's 1/125 sec. This is a HUGE deal if you plan on using fill flash outdoors. It allows you to open up the aperture by 2 stops, allowing less depth of field and better outdoor portaits.

Both are great cameras, but I'd give the nod to the Bronica.

If you want new, and can live with the slow flash sync of the Mamiya's then the Mamiya 645E isn't a bad deal at the prices it is at - even if it doesn't have interchangeable backs or prisms.

#14 markgoldstein

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Posted 08 November 2003 - 09:34 AM

Thanks for the clear answer Scott. I hadn't realised the full implications of the shutter speed until you pointed it out biggrin.gif
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#15 markgoldstein

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 12:24 PM

I've sort of decided on the Bronica ETRSi - just need to find a decent 2nd-hand kit now :-)
Mark Goldstein
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