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Film camera for studio portraits

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Hi! I have been shooting film for a while now, I have been using Leica M cameras, film, for all my personal stuff, documenting dAily life.. Recent I've started a workshop of darkroom printing to learn the process and do my own prints 


But during this workshop they have also tough us so studio lighting and portrait sessions, and I felt in love with that


Now I use strobes at home with my Leica MP with a trigger. And I started doing some portraits too, but I feel my 50 summicron rigid and Leica M body are not meant to do that job, or at least another tool could do that job better


So I am thinking adding a film medium format camera to do some more studio portraits style 


Would you have any preference or suggestions? Or do you use your M body to do this kind of photography too? 


Thanks so much for sharing here your thoughts 

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Over the years I have used many different cameras for portraiture. All fine for the job. Probably my favourite over the years was the Hasselblad, for a number of reasons. Its ergonomics are particularly good in that it naturally sits on the palm of your hand and does not have to be gripped between fingers like most other cameras. Also, the square format supports both vertical and horizontal cropping without having to constantly rotate the camera. IMO, it should be used with a 45 deg. finder which improves ergonomics considerably. Then add a winder and a 110mm lens and you are humming. But never be limited by this, or any other arrangement.

In your case I would stick with the Leica MP for the moment, and add maybe a 75mm or even 90mm lens for portraiture. This is assuming you are confining to the studio set. Outdoors, any lens is valid for portraiture which need not be restricted to head and shoulders. Some of my better portraits were done with a 24mm lens on a Leica M6. There are no rules, and if you encounter any, feel free to break them.

Be mindful of the synch speed limitations of the MP when using flash, especially when balancing with daylight, such as flash balancing with daylight outdoors.

An important factor is be comfortable and familiar with the gear you choose, because your tech skills must be automatic and secondary to your ability to direct your subject who should be given your maximum attention.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My recommendation would be "The Big Mama" (not the real name or nickname for that matter, Only I call it that).  Mamiya RB67.

-Huge 6x7 negatives

- RB = rotating back - no need to change camera holding position when moving from portrait to landscape orientation

- leaf shutters in lenses - full flash sync speed at all camera speeds

-lots of lenses in the system - mostly all are high quality

-lots of bodies and lenses currently available for decent prices

-lots of accessories available, extra back, different format back s (6x4.5;6x6 and some bodies allow for 6x8, even some user made backs that allow for 35mm panoramics or current production polaroid film to be used), eye level viewfinders and completely modular system

-fully manual camera easily repairable and no electronics or circuit boards 


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