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Nick De Marco

Favourite medium format?......

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My latest blog entry takes a break from my Leica IIIs and features what is probably my favourite medium format kit, the Mamiya 6, especially with the 50mm lens.

 

To read my review and view the most recent pics taken with this click on my blog here:

 

Rangefinder Chronicles: Mamiya 6 in Hackney and Mile End

 

(I better not post any of the photos since they are not taken with a Leica....)

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I like the Pentax 6x7. It's part of my fitness program.

 

I love it! I gave up the Pentax 6x7 mainly for its shutter shake ... you know the arguments, for better or worse. It was a thrill to hand-hold - if you used a recoil pad.

 

Then I moved on to a Linhof Super Technika and Zeiss Super Ikontas and have been so happy since.

 

...just proselytizing

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I am using three main medium format cameras at the moment, each of which could be called a favourite.

 

My favourite medium format camera of all time is my 120 Pan Holga (6x12) with a Schneider 90mm Angulon on a Compur shutter. It gives astonishing quality negatives although you have to make the body as reliable as possible with various mods so you don't get the usual Holga characteristic's of leaks and stuff. The body is really just a cheap box for the film, but it makes a very light camera for a 6x12.

 

The next is an Agfa Record III 6x9, with a Solinar lens, the best that was available for it. Superb image quality, and pocketable, it even has the shutter release on the right side and the shutter is quieter than a Leica.

 

The third which I am enjoying is a 1930's Vollenda 620 6x9 (which I use with 120 film) and this has the scarce Leitz 105mm f/4.5 Elmar on a Compur shutter. It's a low contrast lens, but very sharp.

 

I'm mainly using slow film, so all three of these need to be used on a tripod with accessory rangefinders and ideally a spirit level to get the most out of them, but the Agfa is a great hand held camera if you put in a roll of HP5.

 

Steve

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Nice work Nick. That gallery looks interesting, I must pay a visit.

 

I have a Bronica ETRS 6x4.5 which I used for weddings. It had the benefit of economy (15 shots per roll) and speed (less film changes, and extra backs).

 

That said I do like the 6x6 format, and using a WLF instead of a prism.

 

I have a few others, a Rolleicord, Seagull, a few Zeiss folders, box cameras, and a 'Pinhole Blender' 120. Oh and a Baby Rollei. Far too many cameras!

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Have always wanted a Mamiya 6 (and/or a Plaubel Makina) and finally got the chance to buy an unused in-box kit (which relieves me at least a bit from anxiety that the wind mechanism might break in the foreseeable future - one of the things that's always held me back).

 

Have to say that I'm absolutely STUNNED by how wonderful the camera is to use: enormous clear and precise viewfinder; compact and relatively light; feels solidly built (with a couple small reservations*) and all-in-all I feel like I've found the Dr. Robert Bruce Banner version of a Leica M6.

 

Scanning some test shots I did last week, the lenses appear to be the sharpest I've ever used. While I'm not a sharpness fetishist, I really can't wait to try these on some landscapes.

 

The only minor reservations I have are about how small (and possibly delicate?) some of the buttons are - for instance the on-off switch: why is it so tiny? And the curtain release feels like the sort of part that would break after 10 years. Being used to cameras like M2s that are 50+years old and still going strong, I guess I've been spoiled.

 

Plus I would have loved for the 150 to focus at 1m instead of 1,8m, and if the laws of physics had allowed it, I'd like the 75mm lens to be f2,8 instead of f3,5 while retaining its small dimensions.

 

But overall I'm absolutely in love with this camera - a truly portable 6x6 medium format camera that's barely larger than a regular DSLR.

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Favourite by far is the Rolleicord IV...very light and tremendous optics.

I use it far more often than my Rolleiflex 2.8f.

2nd favourite is the Folding Solida, cheap but so compact and reasonable lens.Even this lens beats the best 35mm so any MF is a step up really.

MF is really fun particularly with old Folders....

 

 

andy

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My medium format "weapon" is a Rollei SL66E with lenses from 50 to 250. I can't carry the bag very far anymore (I'm 79) so I use a collapsible cart.

 

Morry - perhaps we can start a separate thread. What kind of cart? I am building a collapsible rolling backpack frame with pneumatic tires. It seems promising but ideas are always helpful.

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Use both a Rollei SL 66 and a Rolleiflex F2,8 -- great MF cameras; yet my favourite MF camera/lenses are the Mamiya 7 (I use the 43 and 80 FLs for the most part): it is light and portable and gives gorgeous 6x7 negs that are a delight from which to print. I think my preference is largely because of two things: I love the 6x7 format more than the 6x6 square; and the incredible 43mm f/4,5 wide angle is a fantastic performer.

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I resurrected a love of 6x6cm by buying a Rolleicord Vb - chosen over others such as a Hasselblad primarily due to weight. The Rollei enables me to obtain superb results without aching shoulders and neck!

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Hasselblad has always been my workhorse, ending with the 203FE body as my last one. Still have 503CM ; 500ELX; 2000FCW bodies as 'backup'.

 

After 'fighting' the convention of 'standard' size papers etc. I finally blossomed into the square format native to Blad and realized the extra potention of NOT having to rotate the camera to switch from H to V format. Such a picture loser when that happens in a 'live' situation. Cropping, if necessary, is done mentally and followed through at printing.

 

I have many lenses for the kit, which is why I sold (mistake) my Rollei. One lens was never good enough to work with unfortunately.

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My favorites are the Rollei TLRs (2.8F and 2.8E) and Rollei 6008s. Favorite lens is the 90 F4 APO for the 600X

 

For travel, my Mamiya 7II w/80 is my favorite. Favorite wide angle is the Mamiya 43mm f/4.5. However, the Mamiya 6 w/50 is a better travel kit which I do not have

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Hasselblad 903

Hasselblad 203FE with 110 f2

Bronica RF645

 

Love 'em all, but am usually using a Leica.

 

Nikau, how do you usually work with the 110/2.0 lens on the 203FE?

 

I also have that combo but find f2 not very workable, except for bright viewing of image motif. I usually stop down to at least 2.8. I do like the focal length though. If closely matches my vision.

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Reply for Pico:

The cart I use is called Kart a Bag, model super 600. It folds up very flat and small. Small enough to ride comfortably in the trunk of my VW Beetle. I got it from B&H. It handles cases and bags easily. Tripod leg slips into a length of plastic drain pipe (3") with a cap. This is attached to the cart's hand by bungee cords. Hope this is of some help.

Cheers.

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