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Photojournalism / Street Photography with a MF Camera



 
 
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  #11  
Old May 4th 05, 12:37 PM
Matthew McGrattan
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On Wed, 4 May 2005 00:58:41 +0100, "Bandicoot"
wrote:

"Michiel Fokkema" wrote in message
. ..
[SNIP]

I use a Bronica rf645.
For street photography I prefer light wide angle lenses. The 65 on my

Bronica is perfect in that apsect. The camera is fast and silent. the
optics are super sharp.
Drawbakc might be that you that th Bronica shoots in portrait. For
me however that is an advantage.


If the OP is happy to use 645 for this caategory of work, I too would
suggest looking at the Bronica.

Another option is a Fuji 645: these have fixed lenses, and are very light.
The 60mm lens on the GS645S would make it a very good tool for this sort of
work - I have one and it's a great camera. The GS645 has a 75mm lens and is
also an excellent camera, though the bellows are often perished and need
attention.




I use a GS645S and it's great. They are really small -- not really
much bigger than my Fed-4 35m rangefinder -- and the wider angle lens
is good.

The ony problem I find is the rangefinder spot is pretty dim. It's
sometimes hard to see and to focus with. Not a problem if you have it
on infinity or if you're focusing to the hyperfocal length. But
irritating if trying to focus precisely.

The Fed, despite being a whole order of magnitude down from the Fuji
in terms of quality, has a much brighter rangefinder spot.

Matt

  #12  
Old May 4th 05, 12:40 PM
Matthew McGrattan
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On Tue, 03 May 2005 23:29:41 +0200, Borghesia wrote:



OnSafari wrote:

Thanks for your input. I had never thought about using a Rollei TLR.
I will keep it in mind. I know you said that you feel that they are
about the best for handholding, nut my thoughts would be that since you
need to look down in to the viewfinder, it would make you more apt to
shake the camera. Am I wrong in this? What size images do they
produce?


In contrary...a TLR has the shutter build in the lens, because it has no
mirror clapping up and down, there is less camera shake.
I am comfortable to take pictures down to 1/8 of a second with my flex,
and still have perfectly sharp objects.


TLR have the 6x6 format.



Not all TLRs are restricted 6x6. I have a (meopta) Flexaret VII which
does 6x6 but also has masks for 6x4.5 and 35mm. There's even a mask
which drops into the viewfinder to mask it for 6x4.5 - although
there's no real need as it has frame lines for 6x4.5 already.

The frame counter/advance mechanism works for 6x4.5 as well as for 6x6
which is handy.

I agree on the shake though, braced against the belly and with the
strap tight it's easy to hold it steady.

Matt


  #13  
Old May 4th 05, 02:33 PM
OnSafari
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Thanks again everyone. Your adive is quite helpful.

As far as the 645 format is concerned, a couple of years back I
purchased a Mamiya 645. After getting back the images, I thought they
were slightly better than my 35mm, but only slightly, and not enough
for me to justify the cost of the system, so I had returned it. Also,
the 645 was much larger than my 35mm.

It is interesting to find more than a few of you agreeing that the TLR
is something I should consider. I originally thought everyone would
come back saying that my choice of (potentially) going with the Mamiya
7 II was dead on, but no one has mentioned it other than saying that
the TLR would be a better choice considering the image quality and the
cost savings.

EBay has had quite a few near mint Mamiya 7 II systems (body & 80mm
lens) sell between $1375-$1525 recently. There is even a Rolleiflex
3.5F available, which the owner is claiming has never been used. The
auction is up to $1,000+ now with 4 days left!

Should I be concerned that the Rollei 3.5F was produced in the 60's,
whereas something like the Mamiya 7 II is a current model? That would
be a consideration as well when considering cost factors. By this I
mean that parts for the 7 II if needed would be more readily available.

As far as the Rollei is concerned, what should I look for (year, s/n,
features), and how much on average should I expect to pay for one in
very good to mint condition?

Chris
~Stay in Focus~

  #14  
Old May 4th 05, 03:15 PM
David J. Littleboy
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"OnSafari" wrote:

It is interesting to find more than a few of you agreeing that the TLR
is something I should consider. I originally thought everyone would
come back saying that my choice of (potentially) going with the Mamiya
7 II was dead on, but no one has mentioned it other than saying that
the TLR would be a better choice considering the image quality and the
cost savings.


The problem with not owning a Rolleiflex is that you really aren't a
photographer unless you've worked with a 'flex. It's simple part of the
culture. It's like being a sports car fan and never having driven a Spyder.

Shut up and buy a Rollei.

By comparison, the Mamiya 7II is just a camera. But it's a far better camera
than any TLR. The lenses are better, the film is flatter, and you have a
choice of six of the best lenses ever made. Any one of the 43, 50, 65, and
80mm lenses would be great for street photography. And did I mention that
the lenses are better? And that the film lies flatter?

But it's just a camera. And a really ugly one, at that. The Rollei is a work
of art.

EBay has had quite a few near mint Mamiya 7 II systems (body & 80mm
lens) sell between $1375-$1525 recently. There is even a Rolleiflex
3.5F available, which the owner is claiming has never been used. The
auction is up to $1,000+ now with 4 days left!


Don't spend that much on a Rolleiflex. Look for a 'flex with the f/2.8
Xenotar from around 1960, and plan on spending US$500 or so.

Should I be concerned that the Rollei 3.5F was produced in the 60's,
whereas something like the Mamiya 7 II is a current model? That would
be a consideration as well when considering cost factors. By this I
mean that parts for the 7 II if needed would be more readily available.


Yes. But being a classic, there are people who work on Rolleis, so as a
practical issue, it's not a problem.

As far as the Rollei is concerned, what should I look for (year, s/n,
features), and how much on average should I expect to pay for one in
very good to mint condition?


See above. I think that a Rollei with a meter is an (aesthetic) abomination,
but unfortunately the vast majority of Rolleis made (at least after 1960)
have meters. Sigh.

David J. Littleboy
Tokyo, Japan



  #15  
Old May 4th 05, 03:24 PM
Robert Feinman
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In article .com,
says...
Thanks for your input. I had never thought about using a Rollei TLR.
I will keep it in mind. I know you said that you feel that they are
about the best for handholding, nut my thoughts would be that since you
need to look down in to the viewfinder, it would make you more apt to
shake the camera. Am I wrong in this? What size images do they
produce?

As for an earlier reply that I received stating that MF might product
too large of an image for typical photojournalism, I need to better
convey what I am doing. What I meant by Photojournalism / Street
Photography, would be more towards the images of Paul Strand or Henri
Cartier-Bresson. It is more of a look that I am trying to capture, and
not actual photojournalism itself. If I were to go on a
photojournalistic assignment, I would probably shoot with my D100 or
F100 depending on what I needed to capture. I am looking at producing
these types of images, but seeing them blown up to gallery size.

Please keep the suggestions coming.

Chris Jett
~Stay in Focus~


One thing to note is that Rolleiflexes are now very rare. Whenever I
walk around with mine I get lots of stares and some questions.
Not the best thing if you are trying to be inconspicuous!

I have good luck with a Pentax 67 for street photography. When covered
with black tape it doesn't look too much different that a large 35.
Easy to hold, but it sure is heavy.


--
Robert D Feinman
Landscapes, Cityscapes and Panoramic Photographs
http://robertdfeinman.com
mail:
  #16  
Old May 4th 05, 11:12 PM
Pat OBrien via PhotoKB.com
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Do you use the black tape to camoflague it? good idea.

--
Message posted via http://www.photokb.com
  #17  
Old May 5th 05, 12:27 AM
OnSafari
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The problem with not owning a Rolleiflex is that you really aren't a
photographer unless you've worked with a 'flex.

Noted. ;-)

Shut up and buy a Rollei.


So what are you saying?

Don't spend that much on a Rolleiflex. Look for a 'flex with the

f/2.8 Xenotar from around 1960, and plan on spending US$500 or so.

Thank you. Very solid information to go on.

This of course leads in to the next question. What is the difference
between the Xenotar and Planar lenses, and which one should I look for?

Look for a 'flex with the f/2.8...
grab yourself ... a Rolleiflex 3.5F


So which one should I look for? Obviously the f/2.8 is faster, but I
though someone had mentioned that the 3.5 was the better of the two?

the Mamiya 7II is ... a far better camera than any TLR. The lenses

are better, the film is flatter, and you have a choice of six of the
best lenses ever made....

Now I am confused. This was supposed to be easy.

I am sinking this all in!

Chris
~Stay in Focus~

  #18  
Old May 5th 05, 01:30 AM
Chris Brown
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In article . com,
OnSafari wrote:

the Mamiya 7II is ... a far better camera than any TLR. The lenses

are better, the film is flatter, and you have a choice of six of the
best lenses ever made....

Now I am confused. This was supposed to be easy.


OK, I have a Mamiya 7 with 43mm lens, and two Rolleiflexes, a 3.5E Xenotar
and a 3.5F planar. Both the rangefinder and the TLRs are great cameras, but
for different reasons.

If you're going to get the Mamiya, make sure it's for the optics - they're
about the best you can get in medium format, but remember that you're buying
a camera that has some ergonomic irritations (the Mk II is somewhat better
here, but whoever designed the lens hood for the 43mm lens will be first
against the wall when the revolution comes), and has some build quality
"issues", to the extent that bits have a habit of falling off them.

If you're going to get a Rollei, get it for the ergonomics, the build
quality and the joy of using it. People tend to see them in the same light
that the 35mm Leica crowd see their equipment - solid engineering, well
designed, a camera designed for photographers (or at least the ones who can
get used to seeing left and right reversed ;-)). You won't get the opical
performance of the Mamiya 7 system (then again, there's not much that does),
but there's nothing "wrong" with the Planar and Xenotar lenses - they're
perfectly decent lenses (and although some will fight holy wars over Zeiss
(Planar) vs Scheider (Xenotar), I can't say I've found there's much to
choose between them).
  #19  
Old May 5th 05, 10:30 AM
Chris Brown
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In article ,
Patrick wrote:

For MF street photography, try a Fuji GA645 Zi. It has an AF leaf
shutter zoom lens that is sharp as hell.


Auto focus? Zoom lens? Gazoinks! This is witchcraft, sir!
  #20  
Old May 5th 05, 10:47 AM
David J. Littleboy
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"Chris Brown" wrote:
Patrick wrote:

For MF street photography, try a Fuji GA645 Zi. It has an AF leaf
shutter zoom lens that is sharp as hell.


Auto focus? Zoom lens? Gazoinks! This is witchcraft, sir!


Really. Sacrilege and blasphemy. Real men don't use AF. What's interesting
is that a lot of Pentax 645 users get some great mileage from the Pentax
zooms (especially the 33-55), at least the folks who get images into my
favorite Japanese landscape photography magazine.

David J. Littleboy
Tokyo, Japan




 




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