View Full Version : some perspective, please
i am looking for some perspective on a thought i have been entertaining.
i am in the process of selling one of my mamiya 6 bodies (just waiting on the money order). i had thought that selling it would be a bit more 'painful' as i really like everything about these cameras. surprised at the 'ease' of which i am able to part with the camera has me thinking about other possibilities.
the strongest urge i now have is to sell the remaining body and my 2 lenses. with the cash, i would buy a bessa r or r2 and only one lens, a cv 35mm. i would also buy a better scanner with a negative adapter, possibly an epson 3170.
i like the idea of one body, one lens and one film and this would put that philosophy to the test. i enjoy the 35mm angle of view and the scanner would allow me a small door into the digital world of the internet and web posting with some semblance of ease.
while i would like to consider a leica, the price is just beyond my income level and i think i would prefer something new, therefore the bessa.
i have easily given up the slr camera and long/zoom lenses, without regret.
can i move away from medium format and 2 lenses and live with a smaller, compact 35 with a moderate wide angle lens?
i think so...
please, anyone gone through similar thinking in the past or have any thoughts on this?
i appreciate and look forward to your perspective.
i should add, that the only shooting i seem to enjoy these days would fall under the heading of 'street photography"
Selling it now would give you some money to spend on the Bessa, but what if 35mm RF turns out not to be for you? Or if you want to do both RF and MF together?
If I were you I wouldn't sell that Mamiya just yet. I'm sure you'll find situations where you would just crave that MF. Save up a little more to get the Bessa set, it's not that expensive anymore from Cameraquest. Once you've shot with it for a while you can decide whether or not to sell the Mamiya, or perhaps some of the other cameras you seem to have.
I've been shooting Bessa's for a year now and haven't touched my SLR at all. I tried to sell it but the trade-in was only 30 euros, so I'm keeping it. And when I've had enough of RF for a while I can pick up the SLR again.
i have used rf cameras for years now, both 35 and medium format. i like both.
i once owned a leica m4-p, 2 minolta cle and i now have about 7 or 8 fixed lens 35 rf cameras. i like the format.
i also like mf as well but the truth is when i do print, i print small, rarely large photos.
i'm also thinking about the 6 being discontinued and future repair needs.
something new and current would be nice.
i work in a low paying profession so the budget is always a concern.
thanks for your perspective.
I sold my SLR a little while back to go the rangefinder route also.
My only regret is getting a scanner with the negative adapter. I really really wish I had saved a little more and gotten a dedicated film scanner. I have the epson 2450 and it does a good job when it works but it has trouble with some slide films, finding edges on darker images of negatives, thin negatives, etc.
I'm pretty happy with it, its not bad, I just wish it were a little more verstaile. IF you are sure that you'll only scan negs, maybe look around for a deal on a dedicated neg. scanner.
Next time I have some $ I'm picking up the Bessa R2...
Joe, RML advice is not bad in keeping the door open in the MF field, you know you can end regretting that sale...
However, you can get a good deal on those Mamiya bodies and lenses now, one of the reasons I don't even try to sell my SLR stuff is I know I'll get a ridiculous price for them, I got my SRT 303b for 120€ (yes, it was serviced and I got if from a store offering a warranty, but still a lot more than the current ebay prices), and the store where I got it is selling them now for 250€ (!).
But how much would them give me for it now ? OTH, if I could get a good deal on the whole package of cameras and lenses, then I'd meditate that idea, but as RML said, for 30 € I'm better with the Minoltas in the closet until holidays...
About the Epson, I own the 3170, and I don't like a couple of things from it:
- Refuses to work on my Win2000, that is probabably due to my corrupt Windows falling in pieces, so this one doesn't count.
- As Scott said, sometimes the software is not able to find edges of dark negatives, I use to solve that issue by scanning without the "miniature" option and selecting directly the whole negative strip, plus cropping and adjusting each frame later in PS. Still there are times when the film holders block part of the edge, and you end with less image than the whole frame, but I suppose traditional printing also could have that problem.
- And the most annoying one for me, when scanning some MF shots, you can find that ugly trace from the light bulb, look here at the bottom part of the picture:
But overall, I'm pretty satisfied with the thing, as it's my first scanner and I wanted something that could do A4 scan, plus 35 and medium format, and the 3170 offers it all, together with the same resolution as the more expensive 3200 and a USB 2.0 interface...
The need of a Bessa+35mm with a couple of fixed lens RFs in the 40mm range may seem out of place, but as sometimes I've had exactly the same idea as you, I understand your point of view pretty well...
A difficult decision... so best of luck with that one my friend !
Joe, if the deal on the Mamiya is sweet enough for you then go for it! :)
Just one more consideration: how much scanning will you do?
I used a HP Photosmart S20 with pleasure until it died on me. Now I have a Minolta Dimage SD3 and find that scanning is quite a bit slower than it was with the HP. I've built up quite a backlog of developed films to be scanned, and the backlog is only growing. I've changed my attitude concerning this backlog (I now let them "ripen" to loose the emotional connection to the moment of the shot) but still it's depressing to see all those films lying about without my having time to scan them. I don't have a darkroom and no time or money to invest in one, and having them printed by a 1-hr service isn't exactly cheap when you consider the amount of films I shoot each week, so printing these colour negs is out of the question as well.
I don't know have fast scanning on a flatbed scanner is but if it is too slow than soon you might feel disheartened about it all and perhaps regret your move to a semi-digital workflow. I know I am....
this whole scanning thing is new ground for me.
i'm thinking i want to scan occasionally to make it easier to post photos on the web.
i would still use a conventional darkroom for 'real' prints to hang on a wall.
I see CameraQuest has the R body with 35mm f/2.5 as a package for $425. And the Bessa-T is on close-out for only $175; kinda wish I "needed" one!
Dedicated film scanners for 35mm are a whole lot less expensive than those also taking 120/220, so there's a way to economize with 35mm format. But by now you probably have a lot of MF negs to scan...
I've been heading the other direction, away from 35 toward MF. I see an extra richness to the prints even as small as 5x7. So I mostly take out the Bronica RF or Fuji and leave the 35's at home.
I will say, though, that the 35's are a lot easier to buy extras for! Like lenses... Just picked up a 50mm f/1.8 for $20 for my Olympus OM that had been stuck to a 500mm mirror lens. Also have on the way a 25mm lens for Olympus Pen FT, on this half-frame the equivalent of about 37mm. Not sure just why other than to fill a niche, as I do have an adaptor allowing Pentax lenses to fit it. It goes on like that, and I scarcely ever use either Olympus! Hmmm, I "need" a 21mm for the Bessa.... :-)
I'm not good at selling stuff, so it just accumulates. I used to trade-in used gear when buying new, but one pays for that convenience.
Joe I don't know if you'll regret getting rid of your MF gear, only you can know that. I do expect that there will usually be someone out there with junked parts and expertise who can fix it, years into the future. Like Fuji-expert CameraWiz who beautifully fixed serious problems with my old Fuji GS645. Your Mamiyas are very well-regarded, so there should be customer demand for such service.
Joe, everyone raves about VueScan. For some scans, I think it's overkill. One nice thing about it is that it allows you to perform multi-pass scans, which is extremely helpful in pulling out shadow detail while reducing noise.
I'm using it with a different Epson scanner, so I can't tell you specifically if it will work with your scanner.
On the other side, that big negative from MF is hard to resist. I don't think I would want to give that up.
But I like your idea of one format-one lens. Very intriguing, and I hope you are successful with it.
The minimalist approach can be rewarding.
Pretty much what has been said, expecially about you are really the only one that can decide. I would agree with the suggestion that you try living with one lens/format. That should be easy, considering you have an Olympus that is esentially the same thing. I would bet it has a 38mm or 40mm lens too. Try taking nothing but that for one month. If it is what you like and you miss nothing about the others, you may feel safer doing that.
For myself, I see advantages to 35mm, MF and LF. Wouldn't want to do without any of them. Of course, that's just me.
with a medium format camera in the closet and knowing that it is there, i doubt it would feel too dreadful walking around with only an oly or canonet or s3.
not having one in the closet and not being able to grab it when i want - now that is harder to imagine.
this has been a good exercise for me and i want to thank all who participated so far.
i'm still unsure what i will do but then i don't really have a deadline for a decision either.
i think i will check out the local camera store and play with an r/r2 and see how they feel & sound to me.
Joe, if you want to save money, don't pick up the R2. It feels much better than the R. Nearly as hefty as an M Leica to me. Film advance is smooth but advancing film on an M is a religious experience. Noise is an issue though. Recently I took photos in a church and decided to include an old woman praying in the photo from pretty close distance. Boy, that R2 went like a gun shot, everyone looked at me and I walked out with my face beet red!
To bad you're not in Australia because I'm thinking of selling my R2 (not yet sure). Its paint is heavily worn and I ran about 150-200 rolls through it but I think you can still run 600 rolls without having it CLA'ed.
yes, i have actually looked at them before but only very briefly. it was more curiosity than thinking about buying one.
i'm planning to look closer next time i head out to the shop.
btw, my oly 35rc is ready to be picked up so i'll keep a look out for those cameras you're interested in.
in my opinion selling one of your Mamiya 6's is like donating a kidney. Sure, you'll live, the other one's still there. Giving up the second one will probably hurt a bit more. That is of course unless you've given up on MF altogether. But you owe it to yourself to have a good look at an MF trannie or a well done print and think it over.
I'd say go with your gut.
Take your Mamiya 6 out for a last spin on the town and use it for the kind of photography you now like. If you end up feeling that the size of the camera is obstructing you too mucn and you were unable to take the photos you wanted - then it's a an easy decision. Sell it. Cause it doesn't matter how nice MF negatives and slides are if you're not enjoying using it for YOUR kind of photography. Sell it - and buy a nice 35mm RF.
(You better be sure that you not down the road develop an interest in scenic/landscape/travel photography...the Mamiya 6 is wonderful for that...) ;-)
and if the worst happen and you miss MF, you can always get a folding camera, inexpensive and gets the job done.
now... anybody wants to trade a Canon P or 7 for some manual focus Minolta stuff ? or wanna get rid of a Contax IIa maybe ? :rolleyes:
Richard and Oscar have a point, Joe. MF gear prices are going down and if you sell your Mamiya now, and later regret it, it won't be too difficult for you to muster the funds and get one again.
Now... as Martin recommends, the R and R2 have the "noise" problem. Why not, if you're selling the Mamiya, get yourself reacquainted with the CL or the M kinds of Leica? KEH's prices on the Leica and Minolta rangefinders are going down...
I've kept my SLR and MF stuff, though. In a certain way, they complement what I like to do in 35mm, and, to be quite honest, I wouldn't be able to finance, say, Leica glass with the sale of a Nikon F80 or a Mamiya TLR, so I'll stick to them. Besides, they provide me with a break sometimes.
Let us know what you decide! :)
Quite frankly, I don't understand why so many people use a mix of formats. A long time ago I decided the 35mm format suited my needs best and I never looked back. I have documented my anthropological fieldwork with Kodachrome, and Plus-X and Tri-X black and white films. The Kodachrome slides are perfect for my class presentations. I have made a number of 16x20" enlargements in both color and black and white and these 35mm films hold up very well at such magnifications. At one point I picked up a Yashicamat (2 1/4 by 2 1/4") medium format camera, but found that its primary feature was to complicate my way of working and filing system. I quickly sold it. I'm glad I stuck to the maxim, "Keep it simple, stupid."
It's hard to tell when sellers remorse will set it, and for what gear.
I traded my Mamiya 7 for several reasons, not in the least of which was the fact that it had a dim (f/4) standard lens, when my Universal had a brighter one (f/2.8). I don't miss it at all.
But the Contax G2, that I miss. I sold it to get the M7! Strange how that works.
The nice bit right now is that in a year, if you have that sellers remorse, it's not hard to get the equipment back for less money. Sadly, even now, I've not found such a good deal on the G2 that I got it for originally.
Consider that when you sell camera equipment. I got rid of the G2 because it was "noisy" and I had some auto-focus issues. When it took pictures, though, they were delicious, and as I go back through the pictures I took with it and like, I see how sharp, how high the quality is, and how little people in a party/get-together environment minded the noise.
For quiet shooting I have a Leica.
The Mamiya 7 was awesome, sharp and fairly quick to operate, but honestly I didn't see a difference between it (even the 43mm!) and the Mamiya Universal (50mm widest, but covers the same angle of view on a 6x9 back) so the 7 was redundant.
Again, it's funny how that works.
Well, I have been thinking about this question quite a bit because I am thinking about maybe selling a couple of my cameras. Nothing as significant as an M6 kit, but maybe some of my fixed lens RFs and a couple other things here and there that I don't get to use regularly. I guess my question is, is it the desire to go all 35mm that is driving you, or does the M6 limit you in some way? My first reaction is that if you can do what you want to with the M6, and you like it, than keep it. Why just change gear for the sake of change? If having a smaller camera with faster lenses will be a benefit to you, than the change makes sense. Ultimately, if the Bessa is going to better serve you and increase the amount of photography that you do, go for it. A couple thoughts, if you can find an Epson 3200, which is now discontinued, I suspect the price would not be much more than the 3170 and comes with a better software package. If you are going to be 100% 35mm, perhaps a film scanner would be better for you, and not that much more $. Also, some of the lesser priced CV lenses (35/2.5, 28/3.5) are also are highly paised and therefore offer great value in the market. So growing a kit over time will not require a big budget.
Good luck on your decision. For me, I am having remorse just thinking about selling stuff, so who knows what I will do.
you all have too many good points to ponder!
i'm not sure what i'll do. part of me wants new toys to play with and the quickest way to that end is to sell the mamiya kit.
what is best for me is to think long and hard on this and see what my 'gut' tells me also.
if i did some soul searching and was completely honest with myself...well...lately when out shooting i have been blind to any good shots. nothing passes by my camera that looks good. i can't seem to get the creative juices flowing at all.
i think, maybe, that i'm wishing for an equipment miracle - one that will let me see again, if only i had a new camera.
ok folks, i'm on that thinking thing again.
now, i'm thinking i want a canon p or 7 series camera along with a 35 & a 100 mm lens combo.
i'm looking at one (canon p) on ebay now.
from what i've read, the p was the last of the best built canon rf.
i think i could easily live with this set up.
anyone want to trade for a mamiya 6 and some lenses?
ok, i realize that i just may come off looking somewhat indecisive, but i've changed my mind again!
i went down to the local camera store and played with a bessa r, along with the 35 and 75 mm lenses, and now that is my newest flavour of the day. they only have a demo in stock but that means i can work a 'deal' on the price and i think i may have been the only one to handle it as there has been no interest in the camera for a while locally.
so, i will be posting a for sale sign on my mamiya outfit later this afternoon as i'm waiting on a local guy who has expressed interest in the body.
please don't think less of me and my rambling problem solving ways.
That sounds like a nifty package, Joe! The 75 is a gem. Which 35 is it, the f/2.5 Classic?
thanks for the encouragement doug!
yes, it's the 2.5 35 i'm looking at.
i don't really need anything faster as i usually shoot with faster speed films.
I have the 35/1.7 and 75 to go along with my R. If I were to do it again I would have gotten the 35/2.5 classic as it is much more compact and produces similar results. I walked around a little with the 75 today. Next time you go to look at the kit, fit the 75 to the camera and walk around focusing it. It is a little difficult to focus up close, but once you get 8 to 10 feet from your subject it snaps in focus like it should. It is a very nice lens as Doug says.
joe, let us know which 'perspective' you finally adopt :D
as for me, i'm pretty much convinced on the classic canon rf system... and for a 35 probably it's going to be the cv 35/2.5 pancake. the classic black 35/2 is getting impossible to find in the same price range... i'll keep using the jupiter-8 too.
so maybe in a while we'll be able to compare both outfits :)=
i will do that oscar.
i appreciate your support and interest, it must seem like a roller coaster ride with me and this decision.
i have someone coming over to my house this afternoon to look at the mamiya 6 body. if he buys it then i'll pick up the bessa r tomorrow, and the lens whenever the money order for the second body shows up in my mailbox.
i could have a whole new outfit by this time next week.
Well I blew my "Cosina Nikon-S Lens Fund" that I raised by selling off some Nikon F accessories on another SP. A real good user condition camera, lots of brassing, no dents, with lens; the lens aperture needs repair and the RF had to be calibrated. $900 on EBay. While I was on a roll, I took the bezel off of the Black SP and calibrated the RF (was off by 3' at 15'). I do not care how "mint" a camera looks, if you can't use it, it is worthless. Somehow I do not think that the Mint- SP that sold for $2,900 the same week will see much film.
BUT, I am with Taffer on the Canon 7. The viewfinder is every bit as good as the SP, it has the 35mm lines in the same finder, it has a metal foil shutter, and the meter on mine is accurate. So why doesn't it go for a lot more? A Canon 7s (CDS version) had the same production number as the SP and goes for a lot less than my User SP that I got for half the price of one in similar condition at a camera show. The Canon 7 handles every bit as nice as the SP. It's just that "best of Nikon" legend I guess.
i am still intrigued by the idea of a canon 7 or a p. but i think it may be a 'down the road' purchase as a second body. 2 lenses - 2 bodies, still a small kit.
maybe i'll sell a few of my fixed lens rf cams to help the process along.
the mamiya 6 body has been sold!
now for the lenses...
have you seen this one?
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