I need a new camera

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#1
I'm loving film and film cameras but I really think I need more, I currently have the following;
  • Olympus XA2
  • Mamiya RB67 pro SD
  • Yashica Mat 124G
  • Polaroid 180 Landcamera
  • Canon EOS 600

The Olympus is great for chucking in the pocket, the Mamiya is great if I want to lug around a tripod or shoot indoors, the Yashica is pants, I really don't like the picture quality and the Polaroid is for fun.

I like medium format better than 35mm and I like 6x7 size above 6x6, that's not to say I wont have either a 6x6 or a 35mm. I want to get a reasonably portable camera and I shoot pretty much everything, would like to do more film portraiture one day and image quality is important.

So, a couple of the cameras I'm considering,
  • Hasselblad X-Pan, yes its 35mm and yes its a rangefinder, but I really do like the natural looking panoramic's and from what I have read the picture quality is good. Problem is that the prices vary so much for the few that are about.
  • Contax G2 looks like a good alternative to a Leica, I'm not hung up on the name and I understand the image quality is about the same. Reasonably new to me.
  • Hasselblad 501, newer than the 500, I really love the chrome and black classic design and the lenses are great quality.
  • Pentax 67, big thing but from what I've read its got great lenses.
  • Mamiya 7, medium format with a very good reputation, quite light and portable.

I would really appreciate people thoughts, suggestions or experiences with any of the above, or even suggest something else. Budget is probably around a grand.
 
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#2
Of the list the only two camera's I'd have along side the RB are the 7 and the X-Pan. Both are way out of my budget.
 
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#3
Surprised by the panning of the Yashica, they are well regarded and their Yashinon lenses are usually considered quite respectable. They produce great portraits!

The Pentax 67 is brilliant, but if you want a reasonably portable camera, that's out. The 'blad 501 will be on the large side as well. If you want portable + 6x7, the Mamiya 7 is pretty much designed for that brief, albeit a full kit (especially if you want all 3 main lenses, since you "shoot pretty much everything"), will probably tip you well over a grand - the last time I checked.
 
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I'm loving film and film cameras but I really think I need more, I currently have the following;
  • Olympus XA2
  • Mamiya RB67 pro SD
  • Yashica Mat 124G
  • Polaroid 180 Landcamera
  • Canon EOS 600

The Olympus is great for chucking in the pocket, the Mamiya is great if I want to lug around a tripod or shoot indoors, the Yashica is pants, I really don't like the picture quality and the Polaroid is for fun.

I like medium format better than 35mm and I like 6x7 size above 6x6, that's not to say I wont have either a 6x6 or a 35mm. I want to get a reasonably portable camera and I shoot pretty much everything, would like to do more film portraiture one day and image quality is important.

So, a couple of the cameras I'm considering,
  • Hasselblad X-Pan, yes its 35mm and yes its a rangefinder, but I really do like the natural looking panoramic's and from what I have read the picture quality is good. Problem is that the prices vary so much for the few that are about.
  • Contax G2 looks like a good alternative to a Leica, I'm not hung up on the name and I understand the image quality is about the same. Reasonably new to me.
  • Hasselblad 501, newer than the 500, I really love the chrome and black classic design and the lenses are great quality.
  • Pentax 67, big thing but from what I've read its got great lenses.
  • Mamiya 7, medium format with a very good reputation, quite light and portable.

I would really appreciate people thoughts, suggestions or experiences with any of the above, or even suggest something else. Budget is probably around a grand.
Well, you certainly don't need anything else, as the cameras you have cover a wide range of uses and are quite capable. What are you looking to get out of your new camera purchase other than 'image quality'?

If you went for a Bronica SQ-A, you could have the portability and 6x6cm capability of the Hasselblad 501 as standard and, if you picked up the 135 panoramic back for the SQ series, also have the panoramic capabilities of the X-Pan at the exact same time. Two birds with one stone. All yours for less than £500.
 
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#5
Surprised by the panning of the Yashica, they are well regarded and their Yashinon lenses are usually considered quite respectable. They produce great portraits!
It could be that I need to use different a film and try an improve my handling skills, the first few rolls I banged through sort of put me off trying further, especially compared to the output of the RB67

Well, you certainly don't need anything else, as the cameras you have cover a wide range of uses and are quite capable. What are you looking to get out of your new camera purchase other than 'image quality'?
I fully acknowledge I don't need anything else, but a big part of the film stuff is that it appeals very much to the collector part of me, as well as being a nice new shiny toy, it is nearly Christmas after all.


Thanks for the input though.
 

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#6
You need my complete Bronica SQ system that I'm selling soon. :D
 
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It could be that I need to use different a film and try an improve my handling skills, the first few rolls I banged through sort of put me off trying further, especially compared to the output of the RB67
I always put T-Max 400 through my TLRs - a nice, forgiving and strongly performing film. The strength of a TLR is definitely in the change in perspective, quick handling and ability to handhold at far lower speeds than most medium format cameras.

Obviously, a TLR isn't for everyone - and it certainly sounds like you want to scratch an itch. You have covered quite a few bases with that list of cameras, but I do note it is missing a nice, higher end 35mm SLR. I'm not the biggest advocate of 35mm, but it's always nice having 1 or 2 (or 8...) in the arsenal - they are versatile, the widest lens choices, the most intercompatbility with digital, and available for very reasonable prices. That would fulfil the portability requirement, the need to shoot everything (they are versatile, and a good lens selection would help), and with a nice 85mm or 105mm on the camera, film portraiture would be great.
 
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You have covered quite a few bases with that list of cameras, but I do note it is missing a nice, higher end 35mm SLR.
I will try the T-Max and possibly a tripod just to see what I can really get out of it. I also agree on the 35mm slr choice, I really quite like the Canon AE-1 and Nikon F3 for their designs and they have good write ups. Design and aesthetics are always a plus.

It doesn't help that I've just discovered an article on the Fuji GX617 :eek:
 
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#9
I will try the T-Max and possibly a tripod just to see what I can really get out of it.
As @freecom2 has noted, the Yashica Mat should be more than capable of good images. Some of my favourite photographs were shot with a 75-year-old, uncoated Rolleiflex and I would expect the Yashica Mat to at least be the equal of that, assuming that it's fully operational. You might need to pull out the tripod though.



 
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#10
Out of the cameras you have listed, I'd vote for the Pentax 67. The 6x7 and 67 bodies are relatively low cost. The lenses are excellent + much cheaper and more versatile than the Mamiya 7 ones. With the same kind of viewfinder and lens, it's almost the same weight as the Hasselblad and the accessories are much cheaper, from what I've seen.

There seem to be quite a few almost perfect 35mm cameras, depending on the type you prefer (SLR, rangefinder etc.), but medium format cameras tend to be a compromise. Lightweight cameras have fixed lenses, or don't have accurate viewfinders for macro/close up work. The ones with accurate viewfinders and interchangeable lenses are either heavy, very expensive or both. A bit like cars really...
 
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#11
I will try the T-Max and possibly a tripod just to see what I can really get out of it. I also agree on the 35mm slr choice, I really quite like the Canon AE-1 and Nikon F3 for their designs and they have good write ups. Design and aesthetics are always a plus.
They are both great cameras, but very different cameras. The F3 feels much more hefty, and definitely sits in a higher category than the AE-1 (yes, they are all just basically light tight boxes, but it sounds like you are keen to collect as well).

Out of the cameras you have listed, I'd vote for the Pentax 67. The 6x7 and 67 bodies are relatively low cost. The lenses are excellent + much cheaper and more versatile than the Mamiya 7 ones. With the same kind of viewfinder and lens, it's almost the same weight as the Hasselblad and the accessories are much cheaper, from what I've seen.
You are right about the lenses - but with the weight penalty that comes from a medium format SLR system, of course. Most of the lenses for the Mamiya system are only 200-300g - whereas the standard 105mm f/2.4 weighs in at ~600g, and a 55mm f/4 wide angle (equivalent to 28mm) is 700g+. The 67 system is wonderful, and vast, but anyone mentioning portability is likely to be going down the wrong route looking at the 67 system (and for someone who already owns a RB67, they already have the massive 6x7 camera remit fulfilled).

A typically Hasselblad 500 kit (body + 80mm Planar + back) weighs in at about 1.5kg altogether, although I do think there is a big difference between shooting 6x6 and 6x7.
 

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#12
Just to throw s different slant into the mix, have you considered a Fuji GW690? Although I didn't find it suited my style of shooting the fixed 90mms f3.5 lens is unbelievably sharp and the cameras were made specifically for professional Japanese photographers who were taking shots of tourists and getting through hundreds of rolls a week, almost bullet proof.
At the moment prices, especially from Japan, are really good at the moment, a good one can be had for less than 300 quid.
Just a thought. :)

Andy
 
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You are right about the lenses - but with the weight penalty that comes from a medium format SLR system, of course. Most of the lenses for the Mamiya system are only 200-300g - whereas the standard 105mm f/2.4 weighs in at ~600g, and a 55mm f/4 wide angle (equivalent to 28mm) is 700g+. The 67 system is wonderful, and vast, but anyone mentioning portability is likely to be going down the wrong route looking at the 67 system (and for someone who already owns a RB67, they already have the massive 6x7 camera remit fulfilled).

A typically Hasselblad 500 kit (body + 80mm Planar + back) weighs in at about 1.5kg altogether, although I do think there is a big difference between shooting 6x6 and 6x7.
Just for the record, the 'typical' Hasselblad 500C/M system of 80mm lens + WLF is 1,555g. My Pentax 6x7 with equivalent 90mm lens + WLF is 1,880g. Of course it's a lot heavier with the standard prism attached, but so is the Hasselblad.

There are endless threads online revolving around how the Pentax is a 'huge beast' and how you simply can't hand-hold it. There are also tons of threads that praise the Hasselblad for being a 'lovely lightweight compact travel camera'! Given the 325g difference between them it's clear that both sets of threads are exaggerated and/or nonesense, especially as, in the real world, a lot of people will be carrying a wide lens, hood, strap, filters etc. in a bag and the whole thing will come out at 3.5kg +

Also in the real world, most people crop their photos to print 8x10 or 12x16 so you end up with a lot more negative to work with from a 6x7 camera; 40%+ more depending on the paper size. That's easily worth the extra 325g.

And yes, I'd love a Hasselblad! :)
 
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Just to throw s different slant into the mix, have you considered a Fuji GW690? Although I didn't find it suited my style of shooting the fixed 90mms f3.5 lens is unbelievably sharp and the cameras were made specifically for professional Japanese photographers who were taking shots of tourists and getting through hundreds of rolls a week, almost bullet proof.
At the moment prices, especially from Japan, are really good at the moment, a good one can be had for less than 300 quid.
Just a thought. :)

Andy
I looked at these before buying the P67, but the 6x7 versions seem to be quite rare. Did Fuji produce a 6x6 version apart from the GF670? That looks like a lovely camera, but it's very expensive and those fragile bellows would make me nervous.
 

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#15
I looked at these before buying the P67, but the 6x7 versions seem to be quite rare. Did Fuji produce a 6x6 version apart from the GF670? That looks like a lovely camera, but it's very expensive and those fragile bellows would make me nervous.
I think the GF was the only 6x6 version that Fuji produced. The 690 just has the most amazing lens, if it wasn't for the fact that I felt it was a bit 'point and shoot' then I would have been using it all the time, but IQ is superb.
 
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#16
@Andysnap Thanks for the tip, yet another one to read up on, I'm going to be an expert at this rate :D

@FujiLove The GF670 does look very nice :wideyed:


Whilst poking around I have also just found the Gaoersi 6x17, looks interesting if I want to go for the full on panoramic experience. I have the facility to scan negatives of that size but 4 frames to a roll of 120 could get expensive.
 
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#18
Just for the record, the 'typical' Hasselblad 500C/M system of 80mm lens + WLF is 1,555g. My Pentax 6x7 with equivalent 90mm lens + WLF is 1,880g. Of course it's a lot heavier with the standard prism attached, but so is the Hasselblad.
Yes, they may be similar in weight theoretically, but the Hasselblad will feel significantly lighter in actual usage because:
  1. The typical configuration of the Hasselblad is with the waist level finder, which will be much lighter, while the ordinary set up for the Pentax is a prism. Yes, you can use a prism with a Hasselblad and a WLF with the Pentax, but that is not usually how these cameras are used by most folks and there are practical reasons for this.
  2. Because of the typical configurations, the Hasselblad will not need to be lifted as high compared to the Pentax, which would ordinarily be used at eye level. So, not only is the standard Pentax set up heavier, but it needs to be lifted higher. Even if you do use a prism with the Hasselblad, many folks use the 45 degree prism, which again, does not need to be lifted as high.
  3. The Hasselblad never needs to be turned with its 6x6cm format, while the Pentax must be rotated to maximise the use of the 6x7 format. This is a big difference in real-world usage.

I looked at these before buying the P67, but the 6x7 versions seem to be quite rare. Did Fuji produce a 6x6 version apart from the GF670? That looks like a lovely camera, but it's very expensive and those fragile bellows would make me nervous.
There is also the GF670W that features a fixed lens without bellows: https://www.fujifilm.eu/uk/products/analogue-photography/professional-cameras/#content1

The 690 just has the most amazing lens, if it wasn't for the fact that I felt it was a bit 'point and shoot' then I would have been using it all the time, but IQ is superb.
How is it anything like a point and shoot? It's a totally manual camera that runs without a battery, isn't it?
 
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#20
As far as I know, the 690 is an aperture priority relatively automatic camera like the GA645?

Edit - ignore me, talking rubbish!
Yeah, I don't think that the GW cameras have metering capabilities of any kind, let alone aperture priority. They're bare bones, manual cameras.
 

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Yes, they may be similar in weight theoretically, but the Hasselblad will feel significantly lighter in actual usage because:
  1. The typical configuration of the Hasselblad is with the waist level finder, which will be much lighter, while the ordinary set up for the Pentax is a prism. Yes, you can use a prism with a Hasselblad and a WLF with the Pentax, but that is not usually how these cameras are used by most folks and there are practical reasons for this.
  2. Because of the typical configurations, the Hasselblad will not need to be lifted as high compared to the Pentax, which would ordinarily be used at eye level. So, not only is the standard Pentax set up heavier, but it needs to be lifted higher. Even if you do use a prism with the Hasselblad, many folks use the 45 degree prism, which again, does not need to be lifted as high.
  3. The Hasselblad never needs to be turned with its 6x6cm format, while the Pentax must be rotated to maximise the use of the 6x7 format. This is a big difference in real-world usage.



There is also the GF670W that features a fixed lens without bellows: https://www.fujifilm.eu/uk/products/analogue-photography/professional-cameras/#content1



How is it anything like a point and shoot? It's a totally manual camera that runs without a battery, isn't it?
It just felt that way... I know you don't agree with feelings RJ but some of us have them. :D

It is just a big plastic box and I didn't enjoy the ergonomics or the 'feel' of it in use. Still takes brilliant shots though, so much so that I went into Real Cameras last week to try one out. Still felt like a p and s so I gave it back.
 
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#22
.
 
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#23
Just for the record, the 'typical' Hasselblad 500C/M system of 80mm lens + WLF is 1,555g. My Pentax 6x7 with equivalent 90mm lens + WLF is 1,880g. Of course it's a lot heavier with the standard prism attached, but so is the Hasselblad.

There are endless threads online revolving around how the Pentax is a 'huge beast' and how you simply can't hand-hold it. There are also tons of threads that praise the Hasselblad for being a 'lovely lightweight compact travel camera'! Given the 325g difference between them it's clear that both sets of threads are exaggerated and/or nonesense, especially as, in the real world, a lot of people will be carrying a wide lens, hood, strap, filters etc. in a bag and the whole thing will come out at 3.5kg
Yes, they may be similar in weight theoretically, but the Hasselblad will feel significantly lighter in actual usage because:
  1. The typical configuration of the Hasselblad is with the waist level finder, which will be much lighter, while the ordinary set up for the Pentax is a prism. Yes, you can use a prism with a Hasselblad and a WLF with the Pentax, but that is not usually how these cameras are used by most folks and there are practical reasons for this.
  2. Because of the typical configurations, the Hasselblad will not need to be lifted as high compared to the Pentax, which would ordinarily be used at eye level. So, not only is the standard Pentax set up heavier, but it needs to be lifted higher. Even if you do use a prism with the Hasselblad, many folks use the 45 degree prism, which again, does not need to be lifted as high.
Took the words right out of my mouth. Although the WLF accessory is available for the 67, it is hardly the most popular addition, and actually the 67 handles much better using the TTL finder. Additionally, the weight of the individual parts of a 500 are far more divided - 465g for the lens in front, 600g for the body itself, and 410g hanging off the back as the body. It may not be the lightest combination, but it does balance quite well.
 
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#24
I must be the odd one out: since getting a WLF for my P67 I don't think the prism has ever been attached. I prefer the WLF because of the light weight but also because you see 100% of the frame, compared to about 90% with the prism.

I handle the Pentax in almost the same way as my Rolleicord. Up to the eye to check focus and then hang it back down on the strap and pull tight to create a bit of 'inverted tripod' stability. I rest my thumb on the shutter which feels very comfortable. Only a very small number of my photos are portrait orientation, so I don't worry about rotating the camera at all; I just shoot and crop and still have the same quality as a 6x6 camera, albeit with a bit of wasted film. As a format I think 6x7 is a little better, but aesthetically I still prefer a square image. I would probably have moved to a Hasselblad if the ergonomics of the SQ hadn't put me off that style of camera. When I looked at 6x6 cameras, the other options were a Rolleiflex 2.8 where I was stuck with a fixed lens, or Mamiya 6. The plastic body and electronics put me off the 6.

Maybe I should just tape up the P67s finder to make it square?!
 

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I ended up buying an Xpan with 45 and 90mm lenses. I’m not yet sure if it was a good choice or not. I’ve only managed to stick a couple of rolls through it due to a combination of constant awful weather and work. I think that it’s going to take a bit of getting used to and I have yet to see its full potential.

As for the Yashica, I took the front element out and cleaned the oil film off the inside of the lens, it seems to have done the trick and corrected the poor image quality. It’s a common problem apparently.
 
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#29
I was curious as I've just picked up a M7ii and wondered if you went the same way. I've got the 43mm lens and 35mm film adapter kit, so I guess that's virtually an Xpan?!
 
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Cool, I will still buy more I can't help myself. I like the look of the M7 ticks quite a few boxes, not sure if the minimum focus distance would be an issue for me or not. How easy is it to focus?
 
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#31
I find it really easy to focus. The viewfinder is excellent and the rangefinder patch has loads of contrast. I think they upgraded the viewfinder and polarised it between the 7 and 7ii versions.

The 80mm lens focuses down to 1m. Same as my old M3, so it feels quite natural.
 
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