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Back to shooting film.
Old 01-13-2008, 08:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I know that most people will think I am going backwards, but for me it's progress. I have never shot wide format film before. I always shot with a 35mm SLR, and then went do digital. I always wanted a medium format camera, and came across a Mamiya 645 AFD II on ebay for a VERY reasonable price, albeit with a film back.

So I bought this camera and now need advice. Eventual I am planning on getting a digital back for this camera, but for now I will be using it with film. Since I have very little knowledge of medium format film, can I please get some recommendations on what I should be using. I mostly shoot glamour, in a studio, using hensel mono lights.

Thank you all for your help in advance.
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Re: Back to shooting film.
Old 01-13-2008, 09:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Your options are very limited now days. First you need to buy film, and then you'll have to get it processed. There is not much 120 and 220 film out there any more outside of large camera shops. It is usually best to try and buy film locally. Be sure that whoever you buy it from has properly stored it (usually refrigerated). Also be sure to check the expiration date since a lot of old 120 and 220 film surfaces from time to time (I see lots of 120 and 220 film on bargain shelves at large camera stores - all out of date, of course). Expect to be overcharged for the film in some cases as there is not much available. I always used Kodak film for my medium format work (RB67) and I often developed it myself.

As far as getting a digital back for your camera, right now the prices for any back will be in the $10,000 to $20,000 range or higher. I don't see the prices coming down too much in the near future.

For shooting film, you will need a good scanner because you have to have some way to digitize the photos for putting them on the web.

Good luck.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Back to shooting film.
Old 01-13-2008, 03:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply RSF!

I know that a digital back will run me a fortune, and that is why I want to give film a try for now. I am planning on having the lab scan the film for me right after developing.

What I really need to know is what kind of film I should be using. 120 film for me is a mystery. What are the better brands (Fuji? Kodak? Other?) and what type of film should I be using.

Thanks...
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Re: Back to shooting film.
Old 01-13-2008, 04:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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there is the mamiya ZD back for 7K http://www.mamiya.com/products/default.asp?ID=48



Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Fredrick_Smith View Post
Your options are very limited now days. First you need to buy film, and then you'll have to get it processed. There is not much 120 and 220 film out there any more outside of large camera shops. It is usually best to try and buy film locally. Be sure that whoever you buy it from has properly stored it (usually refrigerated). Also be sure to check the expiration date since a lot of old 120 and 220 film surfaces from time to time (I see lots of 120 and 220 film on bargain shelves at large camera stores - all out of date, of course). Expect to be overcharged for the film in some cases as there is not much available. I always used Kodak film for my medium format work (RB67) and I often developed it myself.

As far as getting a digital back for your camera, right now the prices for any back will be in the $10,000 to $20,000 range or higher. I don't see the prices coming down too much in the near future.

For shooting film, you will need a good scanner because you have to have some way to digitize the photos for putting them on the web.

Good luck.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Back to shooting film.
Old 01-13-2008, 04:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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FWIW
I have been using Mamiya Rb & Rz's for awhile now. I do have an older digital back, yes it was VERY spendy. It is used mostly for studio work (products) as it needs to be tethered to a computer by fire wire. As for film, I use Ilford Deltas for B&W, Kodak Portra both NC and VC, but of late, Fuji Chrome. I process myself and find the transparencies are easy to do. No real darkroom needed, just a processing tank, a GOOD themometer, several jugs and a real dark closet to load the tank.. and a timer of some type. I have had pretty good luck with the Tetenal chemistry. Less steps, less chemicals, less time and MULTI use. I do have a regular darkroom but still like this process over the Kodak. Both B&H and Calumet carry everything you might need. There is something rather old school and special about processing yourself. I remember when just about everyone required med format or 4x5 slides for publication, now it is all digital. As mentioned above, you will need a GOOD scanner for the slides when done. I guess with todays post production and editing software, color balancing is moot. Take a visit to the APUG site for a little more info.

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Re: Back to shooting film.
Old 01-13-2008, 04:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ilford B&W is great I like Hp5 400

Fuji astia (people )
Fuji provia, velva,
Fuji Acros 100 for some real fine grain 100asa
Fuji also has alot of great pro color neg stock...

Check B&H that where I have always gotten mine...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ffppro View Post
Thanks for the reply RSF!

I know that a digital back will run me a fortune, and that is why I want to give film a try for now. I am planning on having the lab scan the film for me right after developing.

What I really need to know is what kind of film I should be using. 120 film for me is a mystery. What are the better brands (Fuji? Kodak? Other?) and what type of film should I be using.

Thanks...
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Re: Back to shooting film.
Old 01-13-2008, 07:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It is a tethered unit, however, which is probably why its under the $10,000 figure.

The other thing one needs when shooting film with medium format is a Polaroid back. Back when I shot regularly with an rb67 the Polaroid back was in everyday use for establishing lighting ratios, color balance, etc.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Back to shooting film.
Old 01-13-2008, 09:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm not sure the Polaroid will be as useful now as shooting a quick digital will do about the same thing.
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Re: Back to shooting film.
Old 01-13-2008, 10:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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He would have to have a second camera then and the focal length would probably not be the same, etc. Also would have to change the flash sync cord from the film camera to digital. But it would be better than just winging it.
Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Back to shooting film.
Old 01-14-2008, 07:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yep, but when "establishing lighting ratios, color balance" digital would give much quicker feedback. The thing I always hated with polaroids was having to wait the 60-90 sec.

Problem with instant gratification is having to wait so long for it.
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