need help with large format : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have been usin "small format" camera (35 mm) for years and now I would like to try large format. I am thinking of 6x9 cm. I dont need autofocus camera, I dont care about the weight of the body and I dont need exposure meter built in the camera. I have an offer for old Mamiya Press Super 23 for wonderful price. The set icludes three lenses 50mm, 100mm and 150 mm. Do you have any suggestion. Should I look after any different kind of camera. Is there another way how to get relatively cheap 6x9 cm camera with those lenses?

Thank you for your help

Jan Jedlicka Czech Republic

-- Jan Jedlicka (, January 23, 2001


My suggestion is to go with a 4x5. The weight is similar (if you get a light 4x5). You can use roll film in it with a roll film back.

-- WIlliam Marderness (, January 23, 2001.

The 6x9 cm format is usually called medium format. If you want a hand-held camera and are primarily interested in a larger negative, do not feel you need the adjustments a view camera offers, and are not bothered by the parallax problems a rangefinder presents, the Mamiya Press is an excellent choice. It is popular with wedding photographers. If you plan to use the camera primarily on a tripod, buy a 4x5 wooden field view camera, which, with a lens, will not be any heavier to lug around, and offers an even larger negative and adjustments (swings, tilts and, often, slides).

Bob Creutz

-- Robert T. Creutz (, January 23, 2001.

Jan, if the Mamiya kit is a good price then snatch it up. The 50mm lens is excellent and if you're into landscape photography then this is the lens to use. This is also an excellent way into the 6x9cm format and if you are sold on it and find the need for camera movements you may like to obtain a mini-viewcamera at a latter stage. Regards,

-- Trevor Crone (, January 23, 2001.


I use large format but I have a Universal that I bought new in the early 70's. The thing works well and is very sturdy. I backpacked it through the mountains for years of my mispent youth. If you can find the backs, it offers multi-format. 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9 roll film and 6x9 sheet. It is not as nice as 8 x 10 but it is awfully good. Do get lens hoods because the lenses can flare [at least compared to Zeiss lenses]. The range finder patch is not as good as my M3 but it works. I really can't say anything bad about my old friend.


-- Art (, January 23, 2001.

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