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Any medium format photographers?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by tplyons, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    My parents were up in Rhode Island cleaning out my grandparents' house and came across a Rolleicord Va medium format camera.

    Me being a bit of a photography nerd, they gave it to me as an early birthday present. It needs a bit of cleaning up but I have a few rolls of 120 film on the way and once I have her cleaned up, I'll attempt shooting medium format for the first time!

    Anyone else shooting medium format?

    This is what she looks like?
  2. Philonius

    Philonius Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    2k W of the Duwamsh
    I've done a fair amount, though not so much recently. Also worked with a 4x5 for a number of years. You can get very high quality images out of a medium format camera; prints look more like they came from a large format camera than a 35mm.

    I forget (or maybe never knew) what differentiated a Rollicord from the Roliflex cameras. What lens does your have? That 's really the heart of a good film camera, everything else is just fancy variations on a box. Built in light meter?

    Are you more into B&W or color? I found myself shooting mostly color transparency, the images you can get are just gorgeous. Have fun with that.
  3. matante


    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I've never used MF but when I was younger and lusting after one, Rollei was the brand I wanted. I would load it with some Ilford 50 or 100 film and print it traditionally. Congrats!
  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    All of my film shooting in the past 10 years has been B&W 35mm since it was all I had the ability to develop myself.

    As far as the camera goes, I've dated it to between 1958 and 1961. It belonged to my Grandfather and we dug up several slides that he shot with it as well.

    Here are the lens specs on it. Since my knowledge of photography is much more recent, oldest camera prior to this was a Minolta XD-11 35mm from 1977-1978, I'm not exactly sure of what all this means. I'm still researching as much as I can about this camera.

    Taking Lens:
    Xenar 3,5/75mm, Schneider, Bayonet 1
    Finder lens: Schneider Heidosmat 3,2/75mm, Bayonet 1.
    Non interchangeable focusing screen. Parallax control.
  5. Philonius

    Philonius Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    2k W of the Duwamsh
    'Pretty sure the Xenar is a Schneider also; that should be quite good, some Rolleis had Zeiss lenses which were "even better," but it becomes a matter of splitting hairs at some point. F3.5 is a common aperture for MF lenses, and is reasonably fast. The 75 mm focal length is slightly wide angle, and a good general use lens.
  6. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Yes, the Xenar is a Schneider lens... not a company that I've heard of (Zeiss, on the other hand, I'm familiar with) and now that you mention it the 3,5 would make sense for an aperture considering the German manufacture.

    Anyway, I'm looking to get this guy cleaned up. I've got some 120 on order and can't wait to shoot!
  7. I still only shoot film but never owned a 120.
    I have had a few lent to me and do like using them... The grain you get from medium format really is special.

    The reason i never got really into MF is the size of the camera and the fact that i mostly shoot people on the fly, making using a large camera with a "reversed" view finder pretty awkward!
  8. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    In the late 80's I worked as a salesman for a hi- end camera store and the owners encouraged us to take home the store demos and put them through their paces. We got our fim for cost and processing was usually free, or close to it. Needless to say, I took advantage of it and shot hundreds of rolls of MF, usually Kodachrome, Fujichrome or B&W.

    My favorite camera was a Mamiya RZ67 but I used many others, including Bronica and Pentax.

    I did several photo shoots for all my friends who were in bands. Should dig out some of those and see if there's any cool one's worth posting.
  9. I still shoot a fair amount of medium format film. I've got a Pentax 645 and a Mamiya 7ii. Even though the Mamiya is somewhat limited in lens choices, it's still a joy photograph with that camera. It's capable of producing some stunning results.
  10. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    Used to shoot medium format a long time ago. Still have the old Hasselblad packed in mothballs somewhere in the attic.

    I was gonna get a digital back for the thing, but at the time they cost around 12 grand. :eek:

    Have fun with your Rolleicord TLR!!
  11. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I wouldn't mind trying it out a bit.

  12. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Film (or chromes) on medium format is the shizzle! In my community college photo classes they loaned out the Rollieflexs. Once you got used to the reversed viwfiender, they were tons of fun to use.

    For a while I went on to work for a few local photo studios. One assigned everybody Hasselblad 6x6s if you didn't have your own MF camera. Another place had me using the Mamiya 6x7, but I always prefered the square format over the extra 1" of negative. I saved up for a Bronica, but decided to jump into the digital 35 with a nice Nikon instead. I do miss those Hassys though ... German engineering at it's finest!

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