What next?

Discussion in 'Medium and Large Format Cameras' started by José, May 18, 2017.

  1. José

    José FF Regular

    149
    Mar 25, 2015
    Been thinking about this for a while, can't really decide yet.

    Since I got a new Pentax 6x7, my original Pentax 645 is seeing no action. I just have the camera with the standard 75/2.8, an extra 120 insert and a P67 to P645 lens adapter (and P67 55/4 and 105/2.4 lenses that I can adapt and use pretty much as native).

    So I've started to think about selling the P645. Actually, use it as a part trade for a different camera. Now the hard part, I'll try to be concise and clear:

    1) As much as I love the P6x7, I can't ever forget its shutter is fully electronic and already 40 year old. I'm very afraid it will just die some day and so further investment on this system always takes this into account. Mechanical cameras look a better option for an additional one.
    2) I like the 6x4.5 format but would ratter not be limited to that and have at least 6x6 option. I never load the P645 if I don't have a specif outing in mid because then I'm limited to the type of film loaded, lack of interchangeable backs is a strong downside for me.

    So I've started looking into the 50xCx Hasselblads. It is a stretch, but I do have budget for that. However I think I would always treat it like a precious object, not a camera to actually carry with me with little concerns.

    Bronica S2A was the next target. Heavy and difficult repairs are the main issues. Nikkor lenses look nice. Not as nice as the Zeiss available with the Hasselblads that I'd love to use, but I can live with that.

    In between I've looked into Kowa Super Six, Mamiyas (Pro TL mainly) where I could also adapt my 6x7 lenses but mechanical speed is very slow and only available on older models, Bronica ETRSi and SQ-A with a 1/500 mechanical speed that is probably the one I use the most but still limiting, etc, etc, but never arrived at a fulfilling solution.

    Any other thing I'm missing? Some guidance would be greatly appreciated!
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  2. tonyturley

    tonyturley FF Veteran

    212
    Mar 24, 2015
    Tony
    Wish I could help. Since the deal on the Mamiya 645 didn't work out, I have only the Fujica Super-6 in the medium format realm. It has been tempting to buy another MF camera, but I'm really trying to keep my stock at a minimum. I've been considering putting my Pentax PK-mount gear up for sale. GAS is pernicious; I've lately been scanning articles about premium compact film cameras, like the Contax T2, Fuji Natura and Fuji Klasse, Minolta TC-1, and the like. Totally impractical, but still I look.
     
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  3. MoonMind

    MoonMind FF Veteran Subscribing Member

    200
    Mar 24, 2015
    Switzerland
    Matt
    José, let me first say that when researching this matter, I came to mostly the same conclusions as you seem to have reached - namely, that of the 6x6 system cameras, there's really only one option that ticks all the boxes, and that's the Hasselblad (50*C* - just as you stated). The only alternative I see, the Rolleiflex SL66** (I'd reach for the SE), is also rarer and even more expensive (though even more versatile than the Hasselblad - but not as a system, only considering the body). The ETRSi and Pro TL are the respective best choices for 6x4.5 (not that there aren't other models to be considered, but you'd be on the safe side with those two).

    The only thing that seems to keep you from picking up a 'blad is a concern about your not using it. That's fixable ;) In short, just do it - like I do with my Mamiya 6 now.

    Just a little food for thought: I chose the Pentacon Six as my 6x6 SLR - fully mechanical (though no interchangeable backs), with a full system available (different finders, bellows, what have you ...). Lenses are very good to excellent, and the whole thing doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I've got two bodies and a total of five lenses (one slightly scratched) and a full range of accessories for about EUR 1000; one body's being fixed up for about EUR 300 at the moment (or maybe EUR 400 with all the bells and whistles - better than new). I'll end up with a camera that handles surprisingly nicely, is reasonably cheap, sturdy and usable. Granted, lugging the camera with three lenses and two finders around is no piece of cake, but that's the case for any medium format system, as you know full well ... I often take the camera with the slim fold-up finder and the 80mm lens - very neat combo, not much bigger than a FF DSLR, and not heavier, either. The simple prism finder isn't that bulky, either ... Yeah, once you add the metering prism (I've got an adapted one - even bigger), it's getting huge and a bit unwieldy, but honestly, I hardly ever do that, Sunny 16 working as well as it does ... It's worth a thought, I'd say. But the Pentacon surely doesn't beat a Hasselblad - it doesn't even come close. It's peculiar and quirky enough to be intriguing, but not good enough to compete with the very best ...

    M.
     
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  4. José

    José FF Regular

    149
    Mar 25, 2015
    Thanks for the detailed reply! :2thumbs:

    Yesterday I've visited two of the local camera shops and today another one. By coincidence, after posting this thread I've looked again into the SL66 that you also refer. Very heavy and some hard repairs and the main issues apparently. Maybe because of this, when I've handled the S2A yesterday and today, I didn't considered it so heavy. Not that the SL66 was available on any of the shops (one has one customers that is a potential sellers of a kit, not sure what contains but for sure at least two lenses, by 1.500 Eur) but with the 80mm it should feel very close to the P67 with the 105mm.

    Hasselblads... I keep on having problems bonding with the Hasselblads and top speed of 1/500 is an additional concern to me.

    So S2A is a contender. Or I can simply just buy a second P67 body and that might give me some peace of mind, while I can also use it to have a different film loaded? Does this make sense?...

    Anyway, the problem of visiting camera shops frequently or browsing on-line sales is that sometimes you bump into something you just must buy. So I'm now a proud owner of also a DP2 Merrill (yeah, it is not a film camera, but considered by many as the closest thing to it on digital, I just love the colors and the BW tones). This just to say that I might now have to postpone this new MF camera purchase, which should also allow me more time to consolidate my ideas.
     
  5. MoonMind

    MoonMind FF Veteran Subscribing Member

    200
    Mar 24, 2015
    Switzerland
    Matt
    That's actually what I have in mind with my two Pentacon Six bodies, even though I'll have a main (fully revised) body and one "as-is" ... But I can't see myself carrying both at the same time - one's bulky enough (especially if I take the 180mm with me ... it's absolutely humongous, though thankfully, not quite as heavy as it looks ...). Film holders are definitely helpful for changing film on the fly ...

    It'll remain a conundrum. For the time being, I stick with the Pentacon Six because I really like the experience it offers. Judging from your images, the P67 does the same (or even more) for you, so I'd really like to see more of what you can do with it. And maybe things will get clearer over time.

    FWIW, I never found the 1/500s limt to be a real problem (it's what the Mamiya 6 offers); in a pinch, ND filters work fine (and on SLRs, even polarisers ...). On the other hand, I love the fact that it syncs at 1/500s without special equipment.

    M.
     
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