Thursday, September 18, 2008

Medium Format - Now is the time

One twenty film is a beautiful thing. Both Josh and I shoot with medium format cameras but with the massive drop in prices of high quality digital cameras (Canon 5D Mark II for $2699), the prices of very high quality medium format cameras are dropping as well.

Now I will say that I think medium format film will be here for a very long time and have no worries about whether or not I will be able to buy it. Since I have a darkroom in my home, film processing and printing are somewhat easy for me.

Just out of curiousity, I started checking ebay for other medium format gear and frankly, I was quite surprised how low some of the prices are. So I've made a simple little list below so that you can see what kits (body, lens, back, viewfinder) are going for.

Holgas for $40
Yashica D for $150
Bronica ETRS for $350
Pentax 645 for $350
Pentax 67 for $400
Fuji GA645 for $500
Rolleiflex 3.5 for $600
Mamiya RB67 for $600
Mamiya 645 Pro TL for $600
Mamiya 645 AF for $650
Hasselblad 500cm for $750

For $500, you could do really well if you are patient and know exactly what you are looking for what things should sell for. For $750 to $1000, your options are even better with kits that include more than one lens or other accessories. I just took a small sampling of ebay so that you could have an idea. If you are sticking with film until your end (not films end), than $1500 to $2500 will buy a whole lot of high end equipment.

Mamiya 7II with 80mm lens for $1600
Hasselblad 501cm with 80mm lens for $1600
Pentax 67II with AE prism and 105mm lens for $1600

You get the idea. Then buy a decent scanner for $1000 and you are getting better results than some of the semi-pro digital cameras that are out today.



  1. I have gone back to square 120 for my personal work too, and I love it. Even better, my local c41 lab will, at the time of processing, scan every frame for me into web size scans, for the same price as a color contact sheet used to cost. So this makes it very easy to import everything into IView and review what I've shot, or email to friends.

    Long live Hassie, and color neg.

  2. How uncanny that i've just done a post on the same topic.

    Thing is, as everyone rushes to have the latest and greatest, they are leaving behind a format that won't be forgotten, mainly due to the image quality you get from medium format.

    I think digital has its place, and I love the fact that I'm picking up hassie/mamiya kit cheaper than ever before, so thanks!


  3. I just picked up my very first Medium Format camera last week. I'm still constantly excited by the potential.

  4. Yea this fall after three years of digital I picked up my first film camera since high school photography. Now I caught the bug and have a Mamiya 645 system and pretty soon a Polaroid 600SE.