IQ vs price

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by tonyturley, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. tonyturley

    tonyturley FF Veteran

    242
    Mar 24, 2015
    Tony
    I have spent a lot of time recently drooling over medium format film cameras. I know if one is interested in the dreamy lomo-esque world, $25 USD will buy a plastic 120 camera. An old 6x6 folder can be had for around $100 or.so, and a mint condition Mamiya 645 for around $300 (that was my choice).

    Then there are the big dogs, like the Bronica RF645, Mamiya 7, and Fuji GF670. Those will run you a minimum of $1,000 with lens in the case of the Bronica, to over $2,000 for the Fuji. I'm wondering what the huge jump in price brings. Better build quality? Brand recognition? I have considered setting aside some $$$ for a premium camera, but Is the IQ really that much better?
     
  2. José

    José FF Regular Subscribing Member

    168
    Mar 25, 2015
    I don't think the difference is in IQ itself. 6x4.5 has plenty of IQ for me and unless you want to print really big sizes, it will have a lot of detail with proper enlargement or scanning.

    Going 6x7 (or even 6x6) you have a more MF look, transitions are much smother and control of DOF increases significantly. Also, there are more lens options available. For me these factors are what justifies the difference.

    Modern rangefinders require a premium for being smaller and modern, I suppose...

    If you plan on investing $$$, Hasselblads can be a good option since they can be fixed by virtually any problem, so risk of total loss on long term is lower than on the other options.
     
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  3. MoonMind

    MoonMind FF Veteran Subscribing Member

    290
    Mar 24, 2015
    Switzerland
    Matt
    You know, I compared results from my different MF cameras, and there's certainly a jump in quality from the really cheap and vintage ones (I own a number of interesting old folders) to the more modern system cameras; but among those, the differences are surprisingly minimal, which is all the more remarkable given the difference in price. My whole Pentacon Six system (two bodies - one soon to be professionally overhauled and enhanced -, five lenses, including close-up, wide and tele, three viewfinder options) was acquired for less than two thirds of the price of the Mamiya 6 MF with its very nice, but lonely 75mm f/3.5 standard lens. Of course, the Mamiya 6 is the technically much more advanced camera, but when it comes to IQ and shooting experience, the bulky, but surprisingly handy Pentacon Six holds its own against the sleek Japanese powerhouse. Go figure ... I love using the Mamiya, but the Pentacon Six is the even more satisfying camera to shoot with simply because it's more demanding, but still simple enough, or rather, manageable - so if things work out, my contribution to that matters a lot more than with the much more sophisticated Mamiya. For me, the Mamiya 6 MF shows how convenient and "modern" shooting medium format film can be - but the bare metal approach of the Pentacon Six is more endearing.

    Bottomline? It's not about the latest and greatest in terms of technology (think Fuji GF670 or later Mamiya cameras like the 645 Pro TL or even AF), but about availability, reliability and, before all else, glass. And you can get fantastic lenses for little money if you choose the right system.

    M.
     
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  4. tonyturley

    tonyturley FF Veteran

    242
    Mar 24, 2015
    Tony
    Thanks for the replies, guys. Too much "research" has led to "I want one of those, and one of those, and . . ." I seriously looked at the various Fuji MF cameras, but felt a return to the 1000S was my best option. I need to just concentrate on making the best images with what I have.
     
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  5. José

    José FF Regular Subscribing Member

    168
    Mar 25, 2015
    That looks like a good plan! :) If anything, a couple more backs to have different films available might be helpful. This is an option the other cameras you've mentioned don't allow, so hopefully that might also keep GAS under control.
     
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  6. MoonMind

    MoonMind FF Veteran Subscribing Member

    290
    Mar 24, 2015
    Switzerland
    Matt
    Spot on, José - in fact, the interchangeable backs are the one reason why I sometimes think of getting one of those cameras as well (but I won't ...). @tonyturley@tonyturley You get a known quantity and a reliable camera that you know how to make good use of - I'm sure you'll get into the "zone" pretty quickly :)

    M.
     
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  7. tonyturley

    tonyturley FF Veteran

    242
    Mar 24, 2015
    Tony
    Thanks for the insights, guys. The 1000S, though, doesn't have an interchangeable back, other than the option of a 120 or 220 insert. I've been spending a lot of time recently reading up on film cameras and film technique. There are some amazing photographers out there, and many of them are just doing it as a passion, not to make $$$. Don't know why, but I've been really intrigued with the first Fuji MF camera, the Fujica-6. If you look at Flickr, there are some excellent images posted from it:

    FUJICA SIX or SUPER FUJICA SIX

    Although I've had and have excellent cameras from other brands, Fuji edges out Pentax as my favorite. Their lenses are top notch. Just for curiosity, I Googled the Super Fujica-6 6x6 coupled RF folder, supposedly the best of that model. 7.5cm 1:3.5 Fujinar lens. One sold on the big auction site for $950 USD, BIN! Ouch. However, there was a new listing just posted for one in good condition for only $150 shipped. Did I need it? Nope. But, as the Borg were fond of saying, "Resistance is futile". It is now on its way to me. I do really intend for this to be my last camera, and I intend to have a lot of fun with it. Here it is:

    Super-Fujica-6.
     
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  8. MoonMind

    MoonMind FF Veteran Subscribing Member

    290
    Mar 24, 2015
    Switzerland
    Matt
    Great find, great choice. Real RF, too, and clearly smaller than anything of that kind that came later (like the Mamiya 6 MF ...). Looking forward to seeing results :)

    M.
     
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  9. tonyturley

    tonyturley FF Veteran

    242
    Mar 24, 2015
    Tony
    I'm looking forward to it, as well. I've been more and more interested in film lately. Maybe it's nostalgia. Maybe it's the different "feel" of an image from film. But I've been enjoying myself a lot.
     
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  10. tonyturley

    tonyturley FF Veteran

    242
    Mar 24, 2015
    Tony
    I don't speak Spanish, but this excellent video shows very well the compact size and features of this little beauty. Includes a complete demonstration of all the camera's features, including loading & unloading film. Makes me even more eager for mine to arrive:



    PS: I have a roll of Ilford HP5 on the way, as well. I thought that would be appropriate for my first roll in this c.1950 jewel.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
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  11. José

    José FF Regular Subscribing Member

    168
    Mar 25, 2015
    I saw the video (and understand and speak Spanish). He only talked about very basic stuff, loading and unloading the roll. If you have some specific question, please let me know.

    Damn, now I want one...
     
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  12. José

    José FF Regular Subscribing Member

    168
    Mar 25, 2015
    Sorry, that is right, just noticed my saved eBay search is for a Super :)
     
  13. tonyturley

    tonyturley FF Veteran

    242
    Mar 24, 2015
    Tony
    Sorry, didn't intend to foment GAS. :D Even with only catching a word here and there, the video was pretty good in showing the basic operations. I do appreciate the help.
     
  14. MoonMind

    MoonMind FF Veteran Subscribing Member

    290
    Mar 24, 2015
    Switzerland
    Matt
    The German equivalent of the Super Fujica Six is called Certo Six, btw. :rolleyes: (I'm watching one - my fault for searching ...).

    EDIT: Remedied - just cleared my watch list on the *Bay. I have enough stuff in my cupboard. I keep watching two interesting lenses locally as it is ... And I wouldn't even do that if my Flektogon wasn't so (radio-)active ...

    M.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  15. tonyturley

    tonyturley FF Veteran

    242
    Mar 24, 2015
    Tony
    Yep, I've read of the Certo Six. A gentleman named Jurgen, who does business under the screen name certo6, recommends them highly. I would have gone for one of those, but I had my heart set on an early model MF Fuji. I honestly didn't think I'd find a Super-6, but I just happened to search and come upon a new listing at just the right time. I was amazed it hadn't already been grabbed, and I didn't hesitate. I feel pretty good about my photo gear. I've managed to sell 2 cameras and 3 lenses since the first of the year, and I folded those funds back into other gear: an XF 18mm f2, the Mamiya 1000s, and the Super-6. I had taken a bit of a break from film for a while, but the Film in February challenge helped rekindle my interest. For a while now I've been carrying a small film camera along with the X-T1 out on my weekend excursions.
     
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  16. yohan

    yohan FF Regular

    51
    Mar 27, 2015
    yohan
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  17. MoonMind

    MoonMind FF Veteran Subscribing Member

    290
    Mar 24, 2015
    Switzerland
    Matt
    @yohan@yohan Another P6 fan here - and I really *love* the small, yet very capable Biometar :) However, I think the Mamiya 645 1000S is an equally valid choice and gives you access to a very nice lens ecosystem. So I don't think we should question Tony's choice - he knows what he's doing.

    The P6, in spite of its weight and bulk, has become my "walk-about" MF camera - it's simple and straightforward to shoot, and I love the results I'm getting. Of course, the Mamiya 6 MF is more sophisticated, and the Lomo LC-A 120 is even quicker, but the P6 holds its own. btw. Your images were actually instrumental in my decision to go all-in on the P6 - I picked up the Sonnar 180mm f/2.8 which I can really recommend since you're into portraiture, and obviously good at it.

    M.
     
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  18. yohan

    yohan FF Regular

    51
    Mar 27, 2015
    yohan
    I didn't realize Tony already has the 1000S. But as I take a better read at the thread, it's abundantly clear. :) And thank you, Matt!
     
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  19. tonyturley

    tonyturley FF Veteran

    242
    Mar 24, 2015
    Tony
    No problem, guys. Yohan, I've seen your photos, and they are excellent. I think we each have our preferences, and I mainly excluded the P6 due to size, although I do wonder if one was placed beside the M645 if there would be a huge difference. I'm eager for my "new" camera to arrive, so I can get out in the woods with it.
     
  20. tonyturley

    tonyturley FF Veteran

    242
    Mar 24, 2015
    Tony
    Just for grins, I've been reading a lot lately about various premium compact film cameras. Tiny gems like the Contax T2, Fuji Klasse, Fuji Natura S, Nikon 35TI, Konica Hexar RF/AF, Minolta TC-1, ranging from $400 USD to $1,300+. Wow! Even the plastic Kyocera/Yashica T4 Super demands huge $$$. Granted most of them are like Swiss watches in their builds, with titanium bodies and premium lenses like the Zeiss Tesar 35mm/2.8. As much as they are drool-worthy, the images I've seen on Flickr, while nice, don't seem to bear out the premium prices demanded. I think for the betterment of my wallet, I'll stick with my $50 Olympus 35RC.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
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