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Medium format v. dSLR
Old 03-24-2006, 03:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I remember being stuck in the first row of my freshman football team picture (since I was about the smallest guy on the team), and coming eye-to-eye with the first medium format camera that I'd ever seen. "Hasselbad" it read and I always thought, "someday I have GOT to get me one of those."

So fast forward COUGH 15 years and I am starting to look in that direction. Granted it is a semi-serious look, as there are other items that are higher on the necessity list, but I'm getting that wandering eye.

My intention would be that this would become my primary camera for portrait work, and I'm curious as to what tidbits of information that the collective G1 crowd might have. It was suggested to me that I'd be better off investing in a new Canon D5 or 1Ds Mk II so that I would have a camera with greater "crossover possibilities" so that I could stay digital.

I welcome your feedback.
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Re: Medium format v. dSLR
Old 03-24-2006, 04:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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While I did not have the same experience (cough) that you've had, I have been considering adding a MF system to my stable of equipment. I discovered a MF forum on Rob Galbraith... http://forums.robgalbraith.com/postl...=0&Board=UBB25
...that has some ongoing discussions comparing MF vs Canon 1DsMk2 and the 5D with various MF systems. Its been pretty enlighting at times.

Still haven't made up my mind. Digital MF is SOOOOO expensive!

John
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Re: Medium format v. dSLR
Old 03-24-2006, 04:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Digital MF is frighteningly pricey...I'd stick with film for now until I had my legs under me.

I'll go back and take a look at that post...thank you!
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Re: Medium format v. dSLR
Old 03-24-2006, 05:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a medium format Digital, Hasselblad with Kodak back. It is great on a camera stand but lugging that beast around will kill you. With a 150mm lens, ELX body, viewfinder, digital back, and quantum battery to power it, it weighs in at about 8.5 pounds. I love 16.6 mp but my D2X produces as good images.

One of the advantages of a hasselblad is it longevity, but the way digital is progressing I do not think I woudl spend the money again for a great camer that will be outdated in 5 years.

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Re: Medium format v. dSLR
Old 03-28-2006, 10:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I worked with a RB67 camera during the late 70's and early 80's. With lens it was about 14 pounds, so you really knew you had a camera. With a Polaroid back you could get instant feedback just like digital. But I can't see ever going back. Sure you had the giant 2 1/4 x 2 3/4 negative or positive, but with today's 8 mega pixel and higher cameras you can get all the resolution you need. If you do a price comparison of a medium format body, 2 or 3 lens and maybe one zoom lens, a digital back and other needed accessories and then compare the prices with dSLR, I think you see that the price jump is not worth the quality jump.

cheers,
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Re: Medium format v. dSLR
Old 03-29-2006, 02:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you want to shoot film, now is not a bad time to pick up a used MF camera system. Cameras without a digital upgrade path are especially reasonable. I just bought a Mamiya M 645 1000S with an 80mm f/2.8, metered prism, and 2 120 film inserts for $220 because I couldn't pass it up. It was exceptionally clean. The same equipment went for almost $3k at the campus bookstore when I was in college.

You can regularly find Hassy 501CMs with the 80mm lens for ~$1400 (about 40 cents on the dollar) or a good, clean twin lens Rolliflex for under $400 if you don't mind being limited to just the one (normal) lens. A square format camera is a great learning tool because it really teaches you to compose an image and think about what you're doing.

However, if you want to go digital you really need to make the MF back pay for itself (or be wealthy) because they run north of $12,000. The only MF cameras you can buy new that accept digital backs are the Mamiya 645 AFD II, Mamiya RZ67 II, and Hasselblad H1/H2.

But even those cameras are optic-limited in relation to the latest crop of digital backs. That is, the optics won't let you take advantage of the difference between, say, a 22MP back and a 39MP back. And while there is a quality difference between a 16MP Canon 1DS Mk II and a 22MP back on a Mamiya or Hasselblad, it isn't enough of a difference for most to justify tripling the price.

I use medium and large format cameras extensively. I'll probably purchase a reduced-size view camera, digital lenses, and digital back later this year. But I haven't had a professional need for a 35mm digital SLR, and with the technology advancing so much every 18 months it made little sense for me to buy into a system. But I believe that things are finally slowing down. If I were going to purchase a single camera system to do portrait work, I'd go with a higher-end Nikon or Canon DSLR. Unless you're going to make really huge prints (bigger than 16x20), you won't see an obvious difference between them and a digital MF system.

-Chip
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Last edited by rolandogomez; 03-29-2006 at 02:30 AM..
 
Re: Medium format v. dSLR
Old 03-29-2006, 02:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Chip,

I'm going to agree with you, as I started out with a Yashica Mat 120G (TLR) way back when, about 25 years or more ago...it rocked, so I know what you mean about "square."

Currently I'm enjoying my Lecia R-9 with the digital back at 10MP, more MP than needed for most publication work, and certainly much better than a Hassy for the price, even with the cost of a Leica...thanks, rg sends! (PS--I accidently put this on your original post and rebuilt your post, hence the edited by, though your original post should still be in tact..thanks, rg.)
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Re: Medium format v. dSLR
Old 03-29-2006, 08:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Unless you are going to get a digital version of the Hassy. I'd stick with the Dslrs. I say this because it appears that film is going the way of all things extinct. Even now the great B&W papers are dissapearing off the market and some of the more exotic films are so scarce you have to order them for specialty houses. True it will take a few years but. . . I know of one gu that wanted a new Bronica system so he went out and bought the latest system only to have the studio he worked for switch over to digital. He fought it for two years but finally went digital after taking a huge loss on his equipment. Check out what the folks doing what you want to do are using and go with them. . . . unless you are into collecting vintage cameras.
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Thank you
Old 03-29-2006, 01:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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As always, thanks for the great feedback and insight. That $100 that I anted up for a lifetime membership paid for itself (again) with just the info that I picked up here. Looks like I'll set this decision aside for a few months, reevaluate where this part of my life is headed, and look towards that big jump to a digital back or will stick a Canon 1Ds MkII.

Again, my thanks to all!
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Re: Medium format v. dSLR
Old 04-09-2006, 01:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have been using a Nikon D-70 outfit with an SB-600 flash with a Stofen cover and I am very saitsfied. I use an RB 67 Pro for film, I think I just found the answer to only using one camera. It is a Leaf Digital back. It will work on Many medium format cameras. The only problem is the price ! Wow. Around 30k. Maybe it will come down, he he.
Here is the link to the sight for those who are curious.
http://www.leaf-photography.com/page...s/Aptus75.aspx
Note, the images in my portfolio are not with either of the camers lilsted above. They are old photos. New images soon.
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