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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Medium format , 35m SLR .........Well have been toying with the idea of getting a film camera now for some time, I don't want anything ...
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Old 19-01-2008, 18:35   #1 (permalink)
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Medium format , 35m SLR ......

Well have been toying with the idea of getting a film camera now for some time, I don't want anything to complicated! purely for a hobby/learning experience etc although if I get used to it I could see myself using it for the business in some circumstances.

But being a Digital Bird I don't really know what would be the best


What d'ya think ?



(nice big open question for discussion )
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Old 19-01-2008, 18:47   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

If you go for MF, you will find lenses etc expensive. Unless, that is you go for a twin lens reflex without interchangable lenses!

At the cheap end there are the Chinese made seagull, or the Russian models. Yashica used to do a really good twin lens reflex - but I can't remember the model name. I bet Les can though.

Years ago I wanted a twin lens reflex, so I bought a Rolliecord 5b a 1959 model.

The 35mm route will be cheaper if you want to get a system together.
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Old 19-01-2008, 19:00   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

One of the cheapest routes to high quality, if you don't mind manual focus, is to get a decent Canon A-1 or AE-1 which date from the 1980s, and some Canon FD lenses (eBay) which are mostly of excellent quality but sell for peanuts because they don't fit Canon EOS cameras.

I had an A-1 for about 15 years until it finally broke , and in may ways it was the best camera I've ever owned. I wish they did a digital version!
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Old 19-01-2008, 19:13   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

I have an ae1 thanks to angela, and I think it's great! It takes good clear pics, obviously depending on the lens, is built very ruggedly, and with the motor drive can shoot up to two fps!
Another plus is that they're cheap, and the lenses go for tuppence on ebay. I recently bought a 28mm f/2.8 for 30!
I think it is well worth having one and experimenting in the darkroom, cos it gives you a much better understanding of the digital concepts that are now floodng the Market. Plus there is the irreplicable quality in the darkroom.

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Old 19-01-2008, 19:51   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

It's good to hear that another AE-1 has found a good home.

One thing worth mentioning is that the FD lenses date from a time when there was usually a significant difference in image quality between prime lenses and zooms, and it's best to stick with primes. As well as Canon, there were some other good FD mount lenses including the Tokina AT-X series.
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Old 19-01-2008, 21:47   #6 (permalink)

PLEASE NOTE

I TYPE USING CAPITALS DUE TO A DISABILTY

THANKS FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING
 
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

SUMMER, IF YOU WANT TO GO FOR MEDIUM FORMAT YASHIKA -MAT WAS A VERY GOOD
TWIN LENS REFLEX CAMERA, I STARTED OFF WITH ON OF THESE. ROLIEFLEX MADE ONE AS WELL, AGAIN A VERY GOOD CAMERA. MAMIYA MADE,( I DON'T KNOW IF THEY STILL
MAKE) VERY GOOD MEDIUM FORMAT CAMERAS. BRONICA AND IF YOU WANT THE BEST
THEN HASSLEBLAD.

AS FOR 35MM FILM, THE LIST IS ENDLESS, I HAVE A CANON A1 WHICH I HAVE HAD
SINCE 1980, STILL IN PERFECT WORKING ORDER, THEY ARE GREAT CAMERAS THEY
WERE WELL BEFORE THEIR TIME.

ALSO THE CANON F1 WHICH WAS MAINLY USED BY PRESS PHOTOGRAPHERS, PURELY
MANUAL, NO AUTO ON THESE, BUT GREAT CAMERAS IF YOU CAN FIND A GOOD ONE
THAT IS NOT TOO BATTERED.

NIKON MADE AND I THINK STILL DO VERY GOOD 35MM FILM CAMERAS.
PENTAX IS ANOTHER CONTENDER. TO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM.

BEST OF LUCK
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Old 19-01-2008, 23:40   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

Summer

It all depends on your budget. Certainly, 35mm is the cheapest route and I have to agree with those that have mentioned the Canon A-1 and AE-1. I have had two A-1's since 1980 and both are in excellent condition and I still use them now. They have never let me down in 27 years!

On the MF side, I have used a Mamiya RB67 for, again, 27 years, with never a glitch. Totally manual, without any batteries, bellows focusing allows close work and interchangeable backs giving a 6x7 cm neg. Wonderful camera and lenses (have you seen my 'Blackstone Edge' shot in critique? Prime example of RB67 quality). The only down side to the RB is it's size, one hefty piece of kit BUT sits well on a decent tripod. Also, dirt cheap second-hand!

The other MF to consider is the Bronica SQ-A, again I have had one of these for over 15 years (although hardly used it) without problems. Smaller and lighter than the RB, with the 'speed grip' possible to hand hold in good light or with flash. Gives very sharp 6x6 negs with the Zenzanon lenses. I have the camera, waist level finder, two 120 backs, pola back, 80mm and 200mm lenses for sale if interested. I have always used the RB67 simply for the bigger neg size.

Heck, why not go the whole hog and go LF with a 4x5? OK, that might be pushing it a bit for you but if you want a real photo experience LF is the business. I love using LF for the versatility of image management it provides and with a neg of 20 sq inches compared to 1.5 sq ins of a 35mm neg. Getting all gooey just thinking about my beloved LF gear!

Mind you you could go the other way and buy an Olympus half-frame camera, gives 72 frames on a 35mm roll. Neg so small when you blow it up to 10x8 you have a picture of a grain of developed silver halide!

Dabhand: what do you mean "I bet Les can though", I'm not that flippin old! Yashicamat 124 was the TLR camera copied from the Rollieflex.
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Old 20-01-2008, 09:56   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Meehan View Post
Dabhand: what do you mean "I bet Les can though", I'm not that flippin old! Yashicamat 124 was the TLR camera copied from the Rollieflex.
See! I knew you would know. As soon as I saw Woody's post it clicked.
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Old 20-01-2008, 11:50   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

don't think its possible to be more confused than before, well actually......





will re read the above posts 4 times
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Old 20-01-2008, 11:53   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

Not to be a party pooper or put a downer on anything, but Summer I think that you would probably be better off going for a 35mm, rather than MF or LF. They take a bit of learning, and require much more time input (IMO), than "normal" 35mm film cameras. So basically, what I just told you to do was ignore everything after Silk's second post
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Old 20-01-2008, 12:40   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

you meanin because I'm a woman I might not be of the learnin type Jack ......











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Old 20-01-2008, 13:21   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

yeah. That's the one . Nah. I mean that I think that a mf or lf camera is a bigger commitment, and would be much harder to 'toy with' than a 35mm that would be much more familiar; seeing as you said "notning too complicated". But don't listen to me, its entirely your own choice

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Old 20-01-2008, 13:38   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......




true I did say that, but I never listen to myself
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Old 20-01-2008, 13:54   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

Summer, I agree about the cannon - however I should also say that I have used a minolta for years and years before going digital. and LOVED IT. I've recently been toying with selling the entire bag, I have 2/3 lens, filters, flash etc. I've recently become much more 'invested' in expanding my digital equipment. I've been solely "hangin'" onto the o'l gal for sentimental reasons & telling myself I might just use it again! I learned how to work in a dark room with that camera! Anyhow, I keep my things in perfect order, clean, boxes, manuals, etc. If you're interested I'll go write down all the specs. and lens I have and we can go from there.
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Old 20-01-2008, 13:57   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Summerleft View Post
don't think its possible to be more confused than before, well actually......





will re read the above posts 4 times
not too worry - all the big words boil down to just about the same thing - some of which seemed to go in circles - I had to re-read them myself... guess that's one of the downsides for and "open forum" asking for some NOT complicated advice!
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Old 02-03-2008, 15:21   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

Wanted to bring this back up, really in two minds at the moment about getting another DSLR or going for film, I think film would be a good next move but what else will I need for developing?

I have a budget in mind but I know if I buy a second DSLR thats where the spending ends however with film theres the dark room issues etc.

Any help?
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Old 02-03-2008, 15:58   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

Yeesh - just buy a 35mm film SLR, it'll cost you all of 20, then you can get a dark room as and when funds allow

Ricoh KR10, Chinon CE4 both great 80s bricks, I own and love em both.

If you find film to your liking, and you will, you can then go ahead and find a good MF kit. I think prices have pretty much bottomed out now at around 200 off ebay, 300 from a dealer for something like a Bronica ETRSi + back, lens, viewfinder etc.
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Old 02-03-2008, 16:00   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

Honestly, I think going film may do 2 things:

1) Cost more than going digital in the (slightly) longer run. Darkroom chemicals are expensive, film is quite expensive, paper is expensive if you want any decent amount at a decent size, and then there's all the accessories, dev tanks, baths etc. which don't come cheap.
2) I appreciate the idea of wanting to learn film. I am at the same stage, maybe a bit ahead as I have already started, but I think, as was mentioned in the thread I made called "Expert" in General Chat, if you are going film because you think it will help you 'understand' photography better, the consensus seems to be that there isn't much difference.

I really don't want to put a downer on your plan or anything like that, they are just my thoughts, and I might be completely wrong, and you might be completely set on experimenting with film. I mean, it definitely has made me think about composition on digital a lot more, cos the frames aren't expendable, and patience is definitely something you'll gain.




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Old 02-03-2008, 16:11   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

i may be thick here........and im not trying to upset or insult anyone.......... but........ in this day of technology etc WHY do people want to take a step backwards? as in go back to film... ok i completely understand people who still use their film cameras cos they already had them etc..... but arent we supposed to be moving forwards with technology? so i just cant get to grips with people who actually want to step back and move into the film part when they have already started out in digital.........

Ok i understand the curiousity part, i have been curious about it all etc as well, and i guess a part of me would like to compare results etc....... but you lose the control over your images in post proc essing the minute you hang over your film to the developers surely..... and i realise it realtively cheap etc to buy the camera and lenses but by the time u pay out to get each roll of film developed its not going tobe quite as cheap.

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Old 02-03-2008, 16:28   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

Quote:
Originally Posted by silkstone View Post
One of the cheapest routes to high quality, if you don't mind manual focus, is to get a decent Canon A-1 or AE-1 which date from the 1980s, and some Canon FD lenses (eBay) which are mostly of excellent quality but sell for peanuts because they don't fit Canon EOS cameras.

I had an A-1 for about 15 years until it finally broke , and in may ways it was the best camera I've ever owned. I wish they did a digital version!

What he said!
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Old 02-03-2008, 16:28   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

Do we need a reason beyond enjoyment?

There are lots of things that have been made easier, more efficient, cheaper by technology but it can sap the soul of something at the same time.

It probably makes more sense to buy goretex walking boots but I will always buy leather ones with their initial pain and regular maintenance. I just like them.
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Old 02-03-2008, 16:36   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

A purely technical point, you keep control if you develop yourself
But Fi, I can see where you're coming from, but it doesn't feel like a step back, it makes it seem much more like an art form. The 'hands-on ness' gives you a wonderful sense of achievement when you've produced a decent print, or when you see that you've got a good neg...
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Old 02-03-2008, 16:41   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

but not everyone is in the position to be able to process for themselves Jack, maybe they dont know the first thing of how to go about it, or have the money to set up a dark room. or even have the space for one.
In my mind anyway making the decision nowadays to move to film is incomprehensible, its like opting to have a betamax instead of VHS............ although betamax was always the better picture its dead nowadays......oops just realised u probably wont know what betamax was!
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Old 02-03-2008, 16:44   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

The reason I want to do it primarily is because I'm interested, the only thing stopping getting a film and another digital is because of the budget

For the business yes it would be easy to get another DSLR and leave it at that, but I want more depth to my knowledge and still some publishing houses will only accept film also some clients have said they would like it as a bit of a nostalgia trip, it could be seen as a bit of a fad on their part, still if its requested I want to be able to provide it.

I don't want to be on the back foot by not having the knowledge, I enjoy making images, and although yes digital is great , film would be so much more of a challenge.

ETA: I agree with Jack on his second point, it is like an art form, to me its learning the basis of where photography came from in a way, and to be honest I'd feel always ignorant if I didn't
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Old 02-03-2008, 16:47   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

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Do we need a reason beyond enjoyment?

There are lots of things that have been made easier, more efficient, cheaper by technology but it can sap the soul of something at the same time.

It probably makes more sense to buy goretex walking boots but I will always buy leather ones with their initial pain and regular maintenance. I just like them.
lol i buy goretex. however it doesnt really matter if the water goes over the top
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Old 02-03-2008, 16:49   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

Ain't that the truth
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Old 02-03-2008, 17:15   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

"I don't want to be on the back foot by not having the knowledge, I enjoy making images, and although yes digital is great , film would be so much more of a challenge."

I still use film,Minolta 35mm and a slide/neg scanner; all can be bought quite cheep.
I also use a digital camera so:-
You can learn every thing you need to know with digital.
Darkrooms are sweaty,smelly and downright hard work, you are stuck in there until the job is finished; there is no walking away!.

If you do go for film a Mamiya 330 is a good MF with interchangeable Lenses....Kenny

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Old 02-03-2008, 17:41   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

I'm really hurting myself by saying this but...

FOR BUSINESS - if you are staying with 35mm stay with digital. The fact is digital and film quality are now on a par in 35mm and you would do better to put every last penny into the absolute best DSLR (At least a Canon 5D or better). No shooting costs in terms of materials and the benefits of digital now far outweigh the benefits of 35mm film use. This is making me feel ill saying this but it is a fact! (5 years ago I wouldn't have said that!)

FOR PLEASURE/EXPERIENCE - go for a MF or LF film camera and the best film scanner (most good flatbeds are fine now for film scanning and with MF or LF you don't need the same quality scanner as for 35mm). There is simply NO POINT in buying a 35mm film camera (cheap but need more stuff, at least a film dev tank, also cheap, and film scanner)! If you are going for film at least go down a road that brings you something a DSLR cannot and that is better quality! Only MF or bigger can give you better quality than a DSLR under 2000 quid!

With LF you develop the film in a set of four trays in the dark so equipment is cheap. With MF use a Paterson dev tank, also cheap.

Unless you really want to do darkroom (and it can be great), also buy a good flatbed scanner (at least a Epson 4879 Photo) to convert the negs into digital and post-process in Photoshop as usual.

I love film but one has to be realistic, especially for business use. Film may give you immense pleasure and a great learning experience but don't confuse this with business where time is dosh and the clients wouldn't know the difference anyway.

If you have a portrait client that likes the look of film prints you can replicate that look easily by adding film grain to the DSLR image, dead easy and the punter won't know the difference either.

Also, to make really good darkroom prints means you need to be taught by an expert (otherwise you may waste years of your life learning by trial and error, great waste of your new married life!). By expert I don't mean Uncle Joe who happens to knock out a few soot and whitewash prints.

It could be the start of something great BUT don't do it for business reasons because there aren't really any business reasons that would justify going to 35mm film.

Now MF or LF, that's another story...

BTW, when you have decided to buy MF ask me about my Bronica outfit!

OH, don't bother with 6x4.5 format, 6x6 or better 6x7. I know, 6x6 is usually cropped down but using a 6x6 camera is easier than a 6x4.5 because you don't need to rotate it to change from landscape to portrait format.

Cheers...
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Old 02-03-2008, 18:11   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

I have thought of going back to a film SLR for a few films just to relearn the basics with a media that you can't change.

I reckon digital has made me lazy, and the challenge of a roll of film is quite interesting


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Old 03-03-2008, 22:29   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Medium format , 35m SLR ......

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I have thought of going back to a film SLR for a few films just to relearn the basics with a media that you can't change.

I reckon digital has made me lazy, and the challenge of a roll of film is quite interesting

I like that idea, and your reasoning!
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