ChromaticSoul :: The Blog

Medium-Format Cameras

Posted on: 21 March 2007

I admit I’ve been looking.

I love my Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT. It’s a great D-SLR and about the only thing I would trade it for is another Canon (maybe the Rebel XTi or the EOS 5D). I’m looking because I feel ready to make the move to medium-format photography. I could go the way of 35mm but why? The main reason would have been cost. The cost of most 35mm cameras over the traditional 120mm or 220mm cameras is typically vastly different with the latter being much more expensive. I have however, been doing some research. I figured there had to be a good, medium-format camera out there for someone just getting started.

So what’s available?

Luminous Landscape writes a great article on understanding what they refer to as The Goldilocks of Formats. Additionally, I found some information here, here, and here. Digital PhotoPro also has an excellent article on MF cameras.

One of the first things I had to figure out was whether I wanted a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera or a twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera.

TLRs are different from single-lens reflex cameras (SLR) in several respects. First, unlike most SLRs, TLRs provide a continuous image on the finder screen. The view does not black out during exposure. Additionally, models with leaf shutters rather than focal-plane shutters can synchronize with flash at higher speeds than can SLRs. …

A primary advantage of the TLR is its simplicity as compared to the more common single-lens reflex cameras. The SLR must employ some method of blocking light from reaching the film during focusing, either with a focal plane shutter (most common) or with the reflex mirror itself. Both methods add significant noise to the camera’s operation. Most TLRs use a leaf shutter in the lens. The only mechanical noise during exposure is from the shutter leaves opening and closing (Wikipedia).

As an alternative to the $20,000-$40,000 Rollei‘s or Hasselblad‘s of the world, I’ve decided to begin with the Chinese-made Seagull.

Stay tuned for more.

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