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Thread: Starting Medium Format photography

  1. #1

    Default Starting Medium Format photography

    Hi. I would like to get into Medium Format photography but I have some questions:

    - What budget camera should I get and where can i get it in Sngapore? How much is it?

    - Whats the cost of film / developing / printing and where can I buy / print them?

    Any help will be appreciated! Thanks!

    David

  2. #2

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    Probably the cheapest 120 film cam you could get here is the Seagull (Twin-lens reflex cameras).

    I don't knoe of which place has it, but K-13 Marketing has a few nice models on their shelves (2nd floor, Peninsula Plaza).

    Seng Chong is the distributor.

    Prices are around SGD $300 give or take.

    Alternatively, if you have a little more moolah and may want to expand later, get a 2nd hand 6 x 4.5 or 6x6 SLR. Whether you want a metering prism finder, or a basic pop-up with maginfyer finder is up to you.

    A basic set-up with a standard lens and 1 magazine should cost you between $800 - $1300.

    Reliable brands should be Mamiya and Bronica.

    Do note that Bronica is dying though.

    However, lenses and accessories are widely available in the 2nd hand market.

    Blads are out unless you have a larger budget.

    A few labs cater to 120 developing and printing are available as the 120 format is still the mainstay of many professional photographers, but it would only be a matter of time before relativelt affordable digital backs are made available to the masses.

    You could post this in the 'Medium Format' Section where I'm sure many more experts could assist you.

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    I agree with Feinwerkbau about MF cameras. I would advise though, to start off with an expandable setup like the Mamiya 645E. Though no interchangable backs, you can expand you kit like most SLR setups, and you will get rather good quality stuff. If you buy a Seagull, then you'll be stuck with one lens that you can't pluck out, unless you go for the Mamiya C220 or 330, but they are out of production already.

    I just started MF photography too with a 6x7 and I think there are many more MF photographers who will be able to help you further.

    Regards,
    Nick
    The equipment can only bring you so far - the rest of the photographic journey is done by you.

  4. #4

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    Hi Nickmak!

    I am just an old man who used to use MF/LF's and am too fat and tired to carry all that gear these days!

    As mentioned by Nickmak, if you can spend a little bit more, then go for a SLR system in the most basic form. When you fdecide that you need more, it would be fairly easy (and affordable) to expand or upgrade.

    If, however, $$$ is a very severe restriction, and you don't forsee any upgrades anytime within say ... the next 6 months to a year, stick by a TLR for now. Or, you coukd hold back and save up for a MF SLR! It wouldn't take long, what with the constantly falling prices of all film format cameras these days (except perhaps LF since that's an entirely different existance altogether!).

    Alternatively, you may want to explore Russian made copies of 6 by 6s!

    There are some very nice pieces floating around!

    Don't expect any manufacturer's 'after-sales' service though! Hehehehe...

  5. #5

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    Hi GUys,

    Thanks for the advice guys. Just want to check, you mentioned there were different type (6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7), but I assumed they still all use the same type of film? (120mm right?)

    Also, what are the cost of the film, how much does it cost and where can I buy and print them?

    Thanks!

    David

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    Quote Originally Posted by superdave
    Hi GUys,

    Thanks for the advice guys. Just want to check, you mentioned there were different type (6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7), but I assumed they still all use the same type of film? (120mm right?)

    Also, what are the cost of the film, how much does it cost and where can I buy and print them?

    Thanks!

    David
    u can read it up at the medium-format sub-thread. better u ask the mods to move this thread there so dat more people can help u.

    anyway, the different sizes refer to the different dimensions the pic appears on the negative. all MF cams use the same kind of film - either the 120 or 220 film. 120 is more commonly available. 220 is actually 120 film without the paper backing, IIRC.

    u can buy 120 film at places like ruby or CP. depending on wat brand and quality, can be from anywhere $4 and upwards. developing, i normally send to ruby. again cost depending on wat u wanna do with it. i develop BW index print for $10.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

  7. #7

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    Thanks! Sorry, I wasn't aware of a Med Format sub-forum.... I'll go over and check it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by superdave
    Thanks! Sorry, I wasn't aware of a Med Format sub-forum.... I'll go over and check it out.
    Oh yea, by the way, when you start MF, be prepared to drool all over the processed slides when viewed on the light box. I drooled over my 6x7's and luckily I had a plastic protector over my slides!

    I come from 35mm and its so much nicer to look at bigger slides. Who said that size don't matter?
    The equipment can only bring you so far - the rest of the photographic journey is done by you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickmak
    Oh yea, by the way, when you start MF, be prepared to drool all over the processed slides when viewed on the light box. I drooled over my 6x7's and luckily I had a plastic protector over my slides!

    I come from 35mm and its so much nicer to look at bigger slides. Who said that size don't matter?

    eh... since u into MF, can i have ur 1DmkII now?
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

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    hehehe...

    i practically STARED and GAWKED at my first development of a 120 chrome...

    that was almost 10 yrs ago with a Bronica ETRSI... and since then, i doubt ANYTHING DIGITAL will ever come close to parring up to a 645 x 6 x 7 slide...

    anyway.. you might want to check out the bronicas that occassionally go on sale at TCW... these babies go FAST as they're terribly cheap, (body and standard lense)

    Not to mention that though bronica is fast dying, the 2nd market is STRONG, if not in singapore, in the usa....Oh yeah, it's PE lenses are also sharp as hell... =)

    Good luck and do feel free to drop me a msg if u need further help.

    cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by nightwolf75
    eh... since u into MF, can i have ur 1DmkII now?


    Still using it!!! haha!
    The equipment can only bring you so far - the rest of the photographic journey is done by you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F5user
    hehehe...

    i practically STARED and GAWKED at my first development of a 120 chrome...

    that was almost 10 yrs ago with a Bronica ETRSI... and since then, i doubt ANYTHING DIGITAL will ever come close to parring up to a 645 x 6 x 7 slide...

    anyway.. you might want to check out the bronicas that occassionally go on sale at TCW... these babies go FAST as they're terribly cheap, (body and standard lense)

    Not to mention that though bronica is fast dying, the 2nd market is STRONG, if not in singapore, in the usa....Oh yeah, it's PE lenses are also sharp as hell... =)

    Good luck and do feel free to drop me a msg if u need further help.

    cheers
    Agree with you totally. I'm a happy user of the Bronica 6x7 system!

  13. #13

    Default Bronica ETRSi

    I just bought the complete set of Bronica ETRSi in the 2nd hand market. It is money's worth. No regret for buying as compare to buying a digital camera of the same price range. Although the resale value is low but this is a kind of equipment made to last. It is a different kind of equipment altogether. It gives the new comer a totally different sensation. It is meant for photographer who are after quality and after the click of shutter enjoyment as against quantity and haste of the digital photography. Personally i feel that photography is something for you to enjoy after the click of the shutter and after the processing. It is the end picture that you must take time to enjoy and value. A result of one carefully composed picture is more thrilling than having Twenty shots of casual digital images. I strongly encourage anyone who are interested to venture into Medium Format. By the way, could someone advise where can i find accessories for Bronica in Singapore. I am thinking of adding more accessories to my existing set. Thanks.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TONYPHOTO
    I just bought the complete set of Bronica ETRSi in the 2nd hand market. It is money's worth. No regret for buying as compare to buying a digital camera of the same price range. Although the resale value is low but this is a kind of equipment made to last. It is a different kind of equipment altogether. It gives the new comer a totally different sensation. It is meant for photographer who are after quality and after the click of shutter enjoyment as against quantity and haste of the digital photography. Personally i feel that photography is something for you to enjoy after the click of the shutter and after the processing. It is the end picture that you must take time to enjoy and value. A result of one carefully composed picture is more thrilling than having Twenty shots of casual digital images. I strongly encourage anyone who are interested to venture into Medium Format. By the way, could someone advise where can i find accessories for Bronica in Singapore. I am thinking of adding more accessories to my existing set. Thanks.

    There is a small shop inside Lucky Chinatown! They stock quite alot on Bronica items!

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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX Boy
    There is a small shop inside Lucky Chinatown! They stock quite alot on Bronica items!
    Shop name is Fotografix. 2nd Floor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keng Yong
    Shop name is Fotografix. 2nd Floor.
    Thanks for correcting me!

  17. #17

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    They have good collection, but very expensive ....... might as well buy it from Ebay.

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