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120 / 220 film RF's 120 / 220 format rangefinders including Fuji, Koni-Omega, Mamiya Press, Linhof 6x7/6x9 cameras, Mamiya 6/7 among others, but excluding the 120 folders and the Voigtlander 667 cameras that have their own forums.

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Handheld MF?
Old 06-29-2019   #1
giganova
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Handheld MF?

For 135m film, the rule of thumb for hand held shots is "longest exposure time = reciprocal focal length", i.e, 50mm = 1/50 sec. Does the same rule apply for MF or should it be adjusted to shorter exposures because of mirror slab, etc?

Clearly, I can't always carry a tripod around when I take photos with my Mamiya RZ67. Much of my work are portraits of interesting people I find in the street. What would be a good solution? Grip? Grip with electronic shutter? Monopod?

Thanks!
Stefan
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Old 06-29-2019   #2
ka7197
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giganova View Post
What would be a good solution? Grip? Grip with electronic shutter? Monopod?
Mamiya 7II.
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Old 06-29-2019   #3
Beemermark
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The sunny 16 rule is SS = 1/focal length



Monopod. Though that camera wasn't really designed to be handheld.
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Old 06-29-2019   #4
krötenblender
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It depends, if you want to stick to that camera. A Monopod is pretty good and there are very light ones. But for snappy street shots, even a monopod is too slow, I think. There are good MF cameras, that can easily used without any tri/monopod. I had a Fujifilm GF670
(exceptional 80mm lens, leaf-shutter), which I used for that. Never needed a tripod for that one.
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Old 06-29-2019   #5
ptpdprinter
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Why don't you try hand-holding the camera at different shutter speeds and find out what works for you. This is an area where your own personal experience matters more than the experience of others.
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Old 06-29-2019   #6
Ko.Fe.
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You must be slrish. With RF 1/25 and 50mm is nothing special.

I went through many MF cameras. Folders, SLRs, TLRs. No tripods. I have no idea where this "handheld MF" fear comes from.
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Old 06-29-2019   #7
Dan Daniel
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Also experiment with using a strap as another stabilizing piece. Even do a quick wrap of a wrist around a section to shorten it. Then pull taut.
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Old 06-29-2019   #8
ruby.monkey
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Get the L-grip. Makes it much easier to hold the camera steady, and the shutter release is much more user-friendly.
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Old 06-29-2019   #9
Swift1
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I used to shoot my Rolleiflex at 1/30 all the time. Considering that I barely had enough strength to hold the camera, it shows that TLRs are great for handheld slower shutter speed shots.
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Old 06-29-2019   #10
ckuwajima
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giganova View Post
For 135m film, the rule of thumb for hand held shots is "longest exposure time = reciprocal focal length", i.e, 50mm = 1/50 sec. Does the same rule apply for MF or should it be adjusted to shorter exposures because of mirror slab, etc?

Clearly, I can't always carry a tripod around when I take photos with my Mamiya RZ67. Much of my work are portraits of interesting people I find in the street. What would be a good solution? Grip? Grip with electronic shutter? Monopod?

Thanks!
Stefan
The same rules applies to 135 film equivalent focal lengths. For example, the RZ 110mm lens is roughly equivalent to a full frame 135 film 50mm lens, therefore one shall use shutter speeds higher than 1/50.
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Old 06-29-2019   #11
Prest_400
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I got perfectly good results with a GW690 at 1/125. Out of habit and confidence I tend to not go below 1/60. I had good frames at 1/15 but I'm not that confident.


Yesterday I went canoeing (for a first time ever) and took the Texas Leica onboard. A couple of frames shot in the rocking canoe... Your post just made me aware that 1/125 might have been too slow for those. Will develop next week.
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Old 06-29-2019   #12
tunalegs
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This "rule" won't apply to MF. The larger negative means motion blur is less detectable for a given print size than it is with 135, additionally the angle of view of the lens means a lens that is "normal" for 6x7 is going to be a lot longer than one that is normal for 135. This of course is discounting that the safest lowest shutter speed is equal to len's focal length for 135, which is an entirely arbitrary rule with only a rough practical connection to reality.



Lots of people shot 6x9 negs at 1/25th of a second with box cameras for more than half a century, and a lot of those turned out fine.
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Old 06-29-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
Lots of people shot 6x9 negs at 1/25th of a second with box cameras for more than half a century, and a lot of those turned out fine.
Yes, but there is a difference between hand-holding a TLR and a MF SLR like the OP's RB67.
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Old 06-29-2019   #14
ChrisPlatt
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When I shot medium format unsharp results were far more often attributable to missed focus (due to shallower DOF)
than due to motion blur.

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Handheld MF?
Old 06-29-2019   #15
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Handheld MF?

Anton Corbijn regularly shot the majority of his famous portraits with a handheld Hasselblad and speeds below 1/15. In an interview he said he did this precisely to give the subject a little buzz; so there would be an ever so slightly perceptible fuzziness to the lines and edges of the face and body that heightened our awareness of a living breathing human being. Energy. Chakras. And all that. Look at his work and see what I mean. Of course, another photographer suggested that sharpness is a bourgeois concept. Your goal should accept these propositions. Shoot. Relax.
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Old 06-29-2019   #16
mike rosenlof
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I like the L-grip and a 45 degree prism with my Hasselblad. This one was with the 50. An old Pre-T version. The photo was intended to be a crowd shot, but turned into a street portrait which I like. Her dog's name is Leica. Obviously this combo is not quite the size of a Mamiya RB, but it's the closest I have.



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Old 06-29-2019   #17
Ste_S
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I can shoot my Mamiya 645 hand held ok mostly sticking to the focal length/shutter speed rule.
The 70mm at 1/125s or faster is fine. The 210mm I'll probably aim for 1/500 if possible as I don't have the steadiest hands in the world...

Leaf shutters without a mirror are a breeze though - can happily shoot a 75mm on a folder or TLR at 1/50s handheld
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Old 06-29-2019   #18
tunalegs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
Yes, but there is a difference between hand-holding a TLR and a MF SLR like the OP's RB67.

And so there is a difference between an RB67, and the Butchers Carbine Reflex 6x9 SLR I shot this photo with:


Untitled by Berang Berang, on Flickr


There is only one shutter speed on the Carbine Reflex, 1/25, and with a 6x9 mirror and the assorted spring-loaded machinery that goes into motion with it, it takes a firm grip - but it is possible to get sharp results.
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Old 06-29-2019   #19
Steve M.
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A lot depends on what kind of camera a photographer is shooting. A Rollei TLR can be easily used at very slow shutter speeds, while a SLR MF camera will have a lot of vibration issues due to mirror clap when the shutter fires. If you bring a tripod or monopod you can forget about taking any spontaneous people shots.

The "rule" about focal length lenses and shutter speeds is simply a suggestion. Some people can hold a camera much better at slow shutter speeds than others, so technique is important. I found shooting a camera like yours to be counter intuitive for street shooting. A TLR will serve you better IMO, and you can easily take second or third candids. With the Mamiya, like my Hasselblad, you'll only be scaring people off w/ the camera's size and loud shutter.
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Old 06-29-2019   #20
gavinlg
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The MF slow shutter speed thing is way overblown. I can get acceptably sharp results on my Pentax 67 at 1/60th with the 105mm and I’m happy to drop down to 1/30th if I’m in a pinch.
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Old 06-29-2019   #21
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I think it would depend on how steady your hands are and how large a print you want to make.


I can't hold a camera very steadily, so I need to turn to higher shutter speeds for hand-holding. As such, I use a tripod whenever I want top image quality. (Which is usually my reason for shooting MF. I'm also not a street-shooter.)


As was suggested previously, you may need to experiment to see how steady an RZ67 is in your hands for the size print you wish to make.


- Murray
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Old 06-29-2019   #22
shimokita
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I have a left hand grip for my RB67. There are different style grips available, mine is the multi-angle-trigger-grip as seen in the attached link (no relation to seller). The white button adjusts the angle. The only difference is that mine has a adjustable flash accessory shoe mounted on the top of the grip. It was something like USD 10.00 in an accessory bin in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

https://www.camleyphotographic.com/s...ition-4e-6705/
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Old 06-29-2019   #23
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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I don't think the mirror slapping up is the main contributor to blur when hand holding a Hasselblad. On a tripod perhaps (but most models have a pre-release function you should be using for tripod photography if sharpness is key). When hand-holding one I think it's the mass of the components moving inside the body and the torque reaction of the drive springs, that make it harder to keep the body steady. I suspect that experiments with one fitted to a gimbal mount would confirm camera movement prior to the mirror ceasing its travel.

Accessory sports finders were made for them which enable the image to be framed and the exposure made after the mirror has been pre-released. Even today with prices of Hasselblad items having appreciated in recent years, there is little demand for the sports finder and they are still available quite cheaply.
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Old 06-30-2019   #24
retinax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMur12 View Post
I think it would depend on how steady your hands are and how large a print you want to make.


I can't hold a camera very steadily, so I need to turn to higher shutter speeds for hand-holding. As such, I use a tripod whenever I want top image quality. (Which is usually my reason for shooting MF. I'm also not a street-shooter.)


As was suggested previously, you may need to experiment to see how steady an RZ67 is in your hands for the size print you wish to make.


- Murray

This. The most important variables are how much you want to enlarge and how steady you can hold, so no way around trying it all out or being conservative. I tend to the latter as I detest motion blur in my photos, irrationally as I like some pictures made by others that have it. I'd usually rather take grain of faster film.
I think that if you want to make a print the same size as you would from 135, the same speed per angle of view should be holdable, if you want to benefit from MF by making bigger prints, you'd need shorter times, probably in proportion to the FL so that the 1/FL may hold again, that is if it works for you on 135. But the differences between people, careful solid stance and breathing vs. walk-by shooting, caffeinated or exhausted vs. natural condition, ergonomics, mass of camera... are far greater than those between formats.
A monopod is not a bad idea, even when collapsed it can provide a little additional mass and dampening to the camera body. Some archers attach similar aluminium or CF sticks to their bows and they do significantly stabilize the bow, simply through the inertia of very little additional mass, but on a long lever, far away from the centre of mass.
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Old 06-30-2019   #25
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I like a right-hand grip, as this does help me manage a secure hold on the camera and reduces shake.
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Old 06-30-2019   #26
Richard G
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So many variables. Certainly depends on what you're photographing, printing and what your hand-holding skills are. I just don't seem to be able to hold my TLR so still. But the Hasselblad I've tried at 1/30s with the 80 and that's a bit slow for me. I have used a monopod and had a very sharp landscape photograph with the 80 at 1/125s. I had a lot of advice not to shoot handheld below 1/250s with the Hasselblad. I have taken shots hand held with mirror prerelease and shooting 'blind' with the leaf shutter alone. That also works well. Needs a static subject. In the end I am nearly always using it on a tripod. The plain acute matte D screen is hard to focus accurately without the magnifier.
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Old 06-30-2019   #27
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I found with a Hasselblad that 1/250 was good, 1/60 was bad, 1/125 could be good with some work - with 80mm and shorter lenses. The 180mm was tripod or 1/500.
Given this and my dislike of carrying stuff, i shot Kodak T-grain film (T-max or Portra 400) at 1000 and pushed it in development.
When I could be arsed with a tripod I shot slow films.
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Old 06-30-2019   #28
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Your subject would likely be placing a lower limit on the speed anyway. You still have to freeze the motion of the subject, and that is all speed, not how good you are at handholding.
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Old 06-30-2019   #29
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In addition to the monopod and L-grip ideas, also consider a “chest-pod.”

A Leitz tabletop tripod and tall Leitz ball head or similar setup can be rested on your upper chest (you become the vertical tabletop), this helps with hand- holding stability and allows slightly slower shutter speeds without camera movement.

But as Michael says above, shutter speeds can't go too slow with portraits, as your subject is also moving... putting them in a seated position, or against a wall might help with that.
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Old 06-30-2019   #30
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Serious question: If we are hand-holding, is there an image quality benefit to MF?
Versus 35mm?
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Handheld MF?
Old 06-30-2019   #31
joe bosak
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Handheld MF?

Just another sensor size debate? I mean, depends on a lot of variables including viable alternatives for whoever is asking.
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Old 06-30-2019   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColSebastianMoran View Post
Serious question: If we are hand-holding, is there an image quality benefit to MF?
Versus 35mm?

Yes.
You get more selective control over DOF when taking, and you get more control over contrast when printing (and less apparent grain). Resolving power is one of the least important advantages of MF in my opinion.
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Old 06-30-2019   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColSebastianMoran View Post
Serious question: If we are hand-holding, is there an image quality benefit to MF?
Versus 35mm?
Yes, certainly, with only that one variable considered. Shooting 6x7, 6x4.5, and 30x45 (digital) I have used a tripod only a few times in decades, for special occasions.
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