WHICH "MEDIUM FORMAT" CAMERA ??
Medium Format Cameras use 6 cm wide roll film in either 120 or 220 ( 220 being twice the length of 120 ).The image detail from roll film is much greater than from 35 mm . This enables the photographer to produce higher quality images than of a 35 mm camera system user.Medium format cameras are larger than 35 mm cameras ,but propotionally you benifit from a large increase in image size and quality.Medium format systems offer the choice of interchangeable film backs , lenses as well as Polaroid backs enabling you to check exposure,composition and filter effects.For a quality filter system to cover medium format lenses take a look at the Lee filter system. For help and advice on Medium Format or any of our products please ask for Allan , Stephen or Paul Ridsdale. Which format ? 6 x 4.5 , 6 x 6, 6 x 7 , 6 x 9 , 6 x 17 , Digital
6 x 4.5cm Format (Approx 2.7 times larger than 35mm)
The 645 format is popular because it is relatively lightweight. The 645 format can be enlarged to fit most popular sizes. The basic camera with waist level finder is ideal for landscape format , but you do need a prism viewfinder in order to take upright shots when using a 645 SLR system such as Bronica ETRS i and Mamiya 645 .Bronica have the advantage of leaf shutter lenses enabling you to use fill in flash at any shutter speed.Both the Bronica and Mamiya 645 Pro TL systems have interchangeable backs allowing you to change film types mid roll.Metz or Sunpak flashguns used with ETRS i or 645 Pro TL give accurate fill-in flash exposures without having to think about it. This is usefull when balancing bright daylight with flash. Wedding and Press photographers now use fill-in flash on most of their pictures.Mamiya produce a vast range of lenses for the 645 Pro camera system including a range of leaf shutter lenses. The newly launched Hasselblad H1 645 system follows in the foot steps of the Pentax,Mamiya and Contax AF models.Hasselblad H1,Pentax 645 n , Mamiya 645 AFD and Contax 645 camera systems have the advantage of Auto focus lenses which is becoming more popular with medium format users. The Pentax 645 n System gives you the option of Auto or Manual focus. This systen doesn't have interchangeable film backs but uses film inserts.Because the prism and winder are built into the camera body it handles like a large 35 mm camera. The New Contax 645 system offers autofocus lenses with interchangeable film backs. The lenses are made by Zeiss so they will be top quality ,but at a price. Mamiya have just launched a new 645 AF camera system which will be very popular. Existing mamiya 645 users can use there lenses in manual stop down aperture mode and permits focus confirmation. This system costs less than the Contax 645 but doesnt have the built in flashmeter. The superb Hasselblad H1 features very fast autofocus combined with excellent handling. This system is proving very popular with weddings photographers who shoot in more relaxed and candid style. If you need a camera system which is compatible with digital backs then the H1 is the obvious choice. Bronica have just launched the RF 645 rangefinder camera. This is the first 645 rangefinder camera to feature interchangeable lenses.
6 x 6 Format (Approx. 3.5 Times larger than 35mm)
The 6 x 6 format is favoured by many photographers becaue it is very versatile. You can shoot with the square format and then crop afterwards in the printing to landscape , portarait or leave the final image square.Hasselblad , Rollei and Bronica produce 6 x 6 SLR camera systems with leaf shutter lenses. The Bronica system offers a choice of 6 x 6 , 6 x 4.5 , 35 mm and 35 mm Wide Film backs as well as a Polaroid back.Hasselblad produce the largest , and most versatile medium format system in the world.With a vast range of cameras and Zeiss lenses and accessories to cover any photographers needs. The Hasselbad system offers compatibility between older lenses and accessories with the latest cameras. Quality comes at a price with Hasselblad equipment but you have to remember that most of the range is hand-built. The Rollei 6 x 6 camera system offers a range of motorised camera bodys with built in metering systems combined with a large range of Zeiss or Schneider Lenses.
6 x 7 Format (Approx 4.5 Times larger than 35mm)
The 6 x 7 format is considered the ideal format because you can produce a 10 x 8 print without any cropping, using all of the camera image area.SLR 6 x 7 cameras are large in size and are mostly used for studio and location work when portability is not an issue. Mamiya produce two models . The RB 67 and the RZ 67. Both cameras have a revolving film back so you can switch from landscape to portrait format without turning the camera on its side.Both systems offer a vast range of leaf shutter lenses and accessories. Another popular system is the Pentax 67. This camera handles and looks like a giant 35 mm SLR.Pentax produce a large range of lenses to cover all photographic situations.Bronica produce the GS -1 (6 x 7) camera system. This system has the advantage of 6 x 7 , 6 x 6 or 6 x 4.5 formats when used with different film backs , together with leaf shutter lenses. If you want a 6 x 7 camera that is suitable for landscape and travel work then take a look at the Mamiya 7. This range finder camera is compact and lightweight . It has superb handling and with its quiet range of 5 leaf shutter lenses it is easily hand holdable.Fuji make a 6 x 7 Range finder camera with a fixed 90 mm lens ( 44 mm in 35 mm format ). The GW 670 MK III camera has no metering built in but offers superb lens quality.This camera is ideal for travel and landscape photography when a light medium format camera is required.
Fuji make the Gx 617 camera with interchangeable lenses. This is a specialist panoramic camera producing the amazing 6 x 17 format.
As Hasselblad have now merged with Imacon we are hoping to be able to supply Imacon products in the near future. Mamiya are due