Breaking into digital MF
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Old 05-29-2013   #1
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Default Breaking into digital MF

HI
I'm considering trying digital medium format, but as I've never done medium format before I don't have a great budget for it.
Can anyone suggest a low cost 'startup' option?

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Old 05-30-2013   #2
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Default Re: Breaking into digital MF

There isn't such as thing as low-cost digital medium format. If you go with pretty ancient equipment, you're better and cheaper off with a Nikon D800 or similar.

If you really just want to try t out, renting a Hasselblad or similar will be the cheapest.

If you love medium format and have little budget, consider getting a decent scanner and using film. There you get full sets of professional grade equipment for less than a new high-end digital body. Depending on what kind of things you photograph, you also might consider large format photography with film too.

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Old 06-02-2013   #3
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Default Re: Breaking into digital MF

I have digitized my MF Mamiya RZ- big bucks and it does fine for commercial work and portraiture. I have only heard (kinda through the grape vine) and I don’t know if it is propaganda, gossip or truth; that quality-wise, you may be better off with a good full frame DSLR as opposed to a conversion. Some say that the lenses in even the better MF cameras are not specifically designed for a large sensor in the digital backs- perhaps at to their circle of coverage. Some tell me the coatings on older MF lenses are not designed to handle the additional flare that digital sensors are sensitive to. On the other hand, some workers are digitizing their view cameras.

My rig is used primarily used in studio under controlled lighting conditions and thus far I have not had any optical-flare or other quality issues. I invested in my system because I am very well invested in Mamiya and Hasselblad lenses and many of them are yielding specific results that I missed from the film days. I have a number of soft focus lenses fitted to my MF systems including some macro lenses, soft focus lenses and my favorite for commercial work; the 180mm Mamiya-Sekor.

Financially speaking; my feeling is that because of the costs involved, this is not a hobby sort of project unless there is a great deal of disposal income available or you can get a decent price deal on some used digital MF gear.

The Hasselblad MF cameras are indeed phenomenal- Last time I had a photomural assignment- I rented one for a couple of days- WOW! If I had more of that work, I would lease to buy one! Don’t have 100 grand right now! It’s not only the camera and lenses that cost large sums of money- once you have that gear in hand; then you have to look at dedicated computers to handle the extremely large files and all the other peripherals that say the name “Hasselblad” on them- call it “badge marketing” if you wish but it still costs more!

Good luck!

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Old 06-02-2013   #4
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Default Re: Breaking into digital MF

You're all correct, I'm just dreaming. Thanks for bringing me back to earth!
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Old 08-11-2013   #5
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Default Re: Breaking into digital MF

What kind of shooting are you planning to do? Would a scanning back work for your taste?
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Old 08-12-2013   #6
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No idea what a scanning back is, but tbh I was just dreaming and musing. I'm going to stick with my 5D Mk III, thanks anyway.


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