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Photography Question 
Robert M. Dutton

No More medium format

I just read that Tamaron is discontinuing Bronica MF cameras. They say sales are down due to the impact of digital cameras becoming the #1 choice of their target consumers (wedding photographers). Is it the flexibility of the post image capture, or is the image quality (resolution, grainyness, enlargability) on par or better than MF? If so will categories of photographers begin to use dig as their primary means of image capture?

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10/21/2004 8:39:29 AM

John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  I read the same announcement in PopPhoto's website. I think the issue is economics, rther than image quality.

Medium format has always been the standard for wedding photography, but these cameras and lenses are costly and heavy. That's, perhaps, why 35 mm was preferred choice of landscape photographers.

I think digitals capability to take many, many pictures and allow selection via a CD-ROM is a commercial advantage for the wedding photographer. It certainly offers an advantage to amateurs, like my wife, who constantly rails about the cost of film develop for her less than terific shots.

As to whether medium format is dead: Hassleblad has recently introduced a digital version inits line. Kodak offers digital backs for a number of medium format cameras - albeit the cost is out-of-site. Mamiya moved to autofocus several years ago and is probably working toward digital now.

However, when you think of Tamron, do you think of Bronica or medium format cameras, or do you think of aftermarket zoom lenses for 35 mm cameras?

Dollars! Dollars!

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10/22/2004 5:51:48 AM

doug Nelson   If I shot weddings (I'm thinking of doing a few a year), I'd use medium format for the group and ceremony shots. The Bronica RF 645 (not the Bronica SLR's being discontinued) has a truly excellent 65mm lens (about 40 35mm equivalent). I would also consider the Bronca 645 for an easily portable landscape camera, especially in a backpacking situation. Medium format probably is dying; all the more reason to get a good one before they're gone. MF negs scan well on Epson flatbed scanners equipped for film.

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10/22/2004 11:12:00 AM

George Anderson   My Bronica GS-1 with its 65mm PG lens delivers stunning landscape and urban images, and I got it for a song after the mad rush to digital gathered steam. It weighs about the same as Bronica's smaller 6x6 cameras (4lbs plus lens), which I don't find excessive. Horses for courses, but no digicam I could reasonably hope to afford has either the image quality or the longterm durability and reliability that my GS-1 provides me. Also, the slides project beautifully, much more impressive that digital projection. MF is certainly not dead, not everyone shoots weddings or fashion shows, and these cameras will most likely appreciate significantly in years to come, as new photographers come to realize the potential and quality of this equipment.

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7/6/2005 8:43:13 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  If bronica were one of the top sellers, they may still keep the product going. They may not have even been 3rd.

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7/6/2005 9:12:01 PM

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