Medium format photography the old way, is it advisable?

Started Feb 24, 2014 | Questions thread
tex Veteran Member • Posts: 7,178
It depends on size, imo
4

FF is catching up with 645 film, if it hasn't already.  That said, you could get(as I have) a nice 645 outfit plus good scanner (Epson V700, for instance) for less money than a 36mp FF camera body.

Over 645---6x6, 6x7, and especially 6x9---you will still exceed what FF digital can do, at less cost, and obviously a fraction of MF digital.

Scanning is a bit time consuming, done correctly, and as pointed out above you will have some work spotting (although those of us who have spotted prints won't find that such a horrible prospect) and/or dealing with scrtches.  Wet mounting is a good solution, but that adds more time.  Of course you won't be processing hundreds of files at a time as with digital. Then there is the issue of file sizes.  You can get some pretty big outputs.  That means more computing power and software that will handle it.  Those are potential hidden costs for 6x7 and 6x9 especially-----645 you might be able to get away with only a modest power boost, and there shouldn't be a software issue.

All in, I think it is still worth it because as you have pointed out some of this gear is selling at really low prices.  Not all of it , though.  To me, best values are in the Pentax 645 range, where the gear is good and there is a good selection of stuff, and Fuji rangefinders.  More expensive than the bottom group, such as Bronicas, but much less than Mamiya 7's or Plaubel's.

If you are adventurous, there are some curious press style cameras out there in 6x9 that can be had cheap.

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tex_andrews, co-founder and webmaster of The LightZone Project, an all-volunteer group providing the free and open source LightZone photo editing software. Personal website: www.texandrewsart.com
"Photography is the product of complete alienation" Marcel Proust
"I would like to see photography make people despise painting until something else will make photography unbearable." Marcel Duchamp

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