2008-09-07

Choosing a camera

I've been searching for a film camera for about two weeks now. At first I thought I'd just get a cheap used SLR like a Rebel. That way I don't have to spend a lot of money, and I can use my existing Canon lenses. However, like so many other things in my life, once I start investigating something I tend to become obsessed. Things quickly start to get out of hand. I quickly dumped the idea of getting the Rebel and opted instead for an EOS 3. But then I realized that, since I already have a digital SLR I don't need a film SLR. It would be redundant. If I'm going to shoot film I might as well pick a different format. Medium format was the obvious choice. Bigger film format might also give more accurate results. So which camera to choose? I decided to skip the weirder formats like 6x9 and concentrate on either 645, 6x6, or 6x7. The answer seemed pretty obvious: 6x7. If I get a 6x7 camera I can always get a 645 or 6x6 back for it, or crop down. And as far as 6x7 goes there seems to be only four realistic choices: Mamiya RB67 Pro SD, Mamiya RZ67 Pro II, Bronica GS-1, or Pentax 67. This is where I'm at now. I keep going back and forth between these four cameras. They're all about the same price on the used market, although the Pentax 67ii is much more expensive. They all seem to have their strengths. For this project I'm going to be doing a lot of studio type photos, shooting color charts, still lifes, etc. That would indicate either a Mamiya or the Bronica. However, in real life I do most of my shooting outdoors. That would indicate either the Bronica or the Pentax. The Bronica seems to fit my style better than either the Mamiya or the Pentax, but Mamiya and Pentax have better choice of lenses. There also seems to be more Mamiya gear on the used market than Bronica gear. Also, Mamiya and Pentax are still in business, Bronica is not.

1 comment:

Bernard Wolf said...

How about a Brooks Veriwide 100 ?