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Author Topic: Digital medium format camera reviews?  (Read 6464 times)
spaspa
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« on: December 06, 2005, 08:50:40 AM »
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Hi all,

I'm new to this site and am in the market for an affordable digital medium format camera. I'm an art photographer, not a pro, and have been shooting on film SLR and a little digital 'point and shoot'. I now want to step up to high quality digital but prefer the aspect ratios of 6:5 or 6:6, rather than 3:2 or 4:3. I'd like to be able to shoot directly in this composition rather than crop afterwards. A camera that allows you to adjust the aspect ratio would be ideal but I've not come across this as yet..?

Could anyone direct me to some good reviews? I've seen Michael Reichmann's 'Medium Format Digital In The Field' pages but I'm wondering what equipment/reviews have come out more recently than 2003??
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BJL
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2005, 04:20:22 PM »
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I ... prefer the aspect ratios of 6:5 or 6:6, rather than 3:2 or 4:3. I'd like to be able to shoot directly in this composition rather than crop afterwards.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52913\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Square medium format is more or less in the digital world; recent development of medium format cameras is almost entirely in the 4:3 shape of 645 (actually 56x41.5mm), and all recent sensors are also 4:3 shape.

There are still some medium format backs using an older square format 4000x4000 (16MP) 36x36mm Kodak sensor, but that crops significantly from the square MF film frame of 56x56mm. That sensor crop means you are no better of than cropping to square or 6:5 from one of the newer 48x36mm sensors.

I do not understand why someone careful enough to use medium format would insist on a getting one particular shape without need to crop; it seems an amazingly rigid approach to composition. Why not just use an available 4:3 shape sensor, make sure that everything that you want is within the frame, and crop to taste afterwards? Who knows, you might discover that some images work better at shapes other than square or 6:5.

But maybe a gridded focusing screen would help you see where the 6:5 or 1:1 crop will fall?
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boku
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2005, 06:02:08 PM »
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Having at one point in my life been a heavy user of vaious medium format cameras, I am wondering if these 645 digital backs force you to flip the camera for horizontal<->vertical orientation. If so, I can see the beauty of square and then crop suit later. In my day...

Mamiya C330 TLR - 6x6 square - just shoot and crop. Simple.
Mamiya RB67 SLR - 6x7 rectangle - just rotate the back to orient. Simple.
Mamiya 645 SLR - 6x4.5 rectangle - flip the camera on the tripod or flash bracket. Royal PITA.

OK, so I just dated myself.

If you have to flip these current 6x4.5 cameras, do they at least make L Plates?
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Bob Kulon

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Anon E. Mouse
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2005, 07:00:58 PM »
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I'm new to this site and am in the market for an affordable digital medium format camera.

That might be your biggest problem - affordable. Any reason you don't just go for a high-end scanner and scan medium-format film? The digital medium-format options right now are IMHO a little bit if a compromise as well as being very expensive.

I shot full-frame medium-format as well - 6x6 and 6x12. Since I still print in a darkroom, I have full-frame carriers. Digital makes that full-frame touch of the black border a little bit of a trick. If it is just the disipline of shooting full frame, which I think is excellent, then digital offers fewer format options.
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mikeseb
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2005, 07:37:41 PM »
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If you have to flip these current 6x4.5 cameras, do they at least make L Plates?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52946\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Really Right Stuff makes a very sweet L-bracket for the Contax 645--when mounted on its battery grip, which it should be anyway unless your hands are gnome-sized and you like battery replacements with each roll of film!

I second mark's longing for an affordable medium-format digital back. I hope in time the prices will fall enough that I can afford at least a decent used back of 16MP or more. Sigh....

'Til then, it's film, Jobo, Xtol, and scanner. How tedious.
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michael sebastian
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