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medium format

split prism

Years and years ago, SLR cameras used to use the split prism method of focusing. This was before autofocusing was a standard feature on cameras. In order to get a lens in focus, the photographer had to look through their SLR with the lens attached and turn the focusing ring accordingly. When the image in the center lined up perfectly, it meant that the scene and subject int he center was in focus.

Today, this method isn’t use as much except if you manage to get your hands on a matte or split prism focusing screen for your DSLR. They work exceptionally well with manual focus lenses, but modern screens and viewfinders have become so good that it’s arguable that you don’t even need them anymore. This method also wasn’t always the most accurate when shooting wide open. Additionally, many photographers back then loved to focus and recompose. So it was almost useless to use this method unless you were stopped down quite a bit or were incredibly careful.

All of this worked through bouncing the image from the mirror to the prism which then showed what the lens saw to the photographer who peered through the viewfinder. This method is still used with some medium format cameras that use manual focusing lenses. But generally, it’s over and done with. Fujifilm, however, brought this method back in a digital version with their X100s camera. However, their simulation is absolutely nothing compared to the real thing.

The video after the jump demonstrates this is better detail, check it out.

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LCA 120 Lomography

We didn’t think that it could be done, but Lomography has surely done it. Today, the company has come out with something seriously and amazingly cool for medium format photographers. Building on the success of their LCA+ and LC-Wide cameras, the company has created the LCA 120–the same camera as their 35mm versions but able to take 120 film.

In a way, we could easily call this a medium format point and shoot with program exposure shooting. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have aperture control like the original LCA did, but much can still be done with this camera.

It sports a 38mm f4.5 lens–which roughly translates into around a 24mm equivalent somewhere between f2.8 and f3.5 in the 35mm film equivalent world. They’re also claiming a very compact body, square image types, multiple exposure capabilities, and rear curtain flash sync for really creative images.

Plus, the lens is made of glass–just like the other LCA cameras. It’s going for $429; which isn’t terrible at all for medium format. More images and specs are after the jump.

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Whether you’re thinking about getting into film, or you’ve magically picked up an old SLR and are confused about how to use it, hopefully this little guide can steer you in the right direction.

The actual process of shooting film isn’t that much different from digital. Assuming you understand how exposure works, then the principle is exactly the same.

If you come from shooting RAW on a digital camera then really you only lose three features.

- Ability to change ISO

- Ability to change White Balance.

- *shocker* Ability to preview your shot

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published at Peter Stewart’s blog. It has been syndicated with permission.

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Fujifilm GF670

Medium format rangefinder cameras are expensive–and that may also be the reason for their declining sales figures over the years combined with the digital monster enveloping the film world. But the latest casualty of this the Fujifilm GF670 rangefinder medium format camera. Our sources within Fujifilm America contacted us today to tell us the sad news.

The camera was a medium format rangefinder with a unique folding lens that came in and out of the camera to make it more compact. It shot 120 film in the 6×7 format (highly regarded by many photographers) and sported an 80mm f3.5 lens which gave a semi-wide to normal field of view.

For what it’s worth, the company has been focusing much more heavily on their X series cameras due to the retro-styling that has been giving them so much success coupled with some fantastic image quality. But for what it’s worth, it’s quite sad to know that many digital folks won’t know the sheer image quality that the GF670 could deliver when coupled with Velvia or Portra.

The most recent blogger to give it any love was Steve Huff. But otherwise, the camera has some die hard Flickr users that love it in their very own group. Keep in mind though that this notice seems true of the GF670, and not the newer GF670W.

Good night sweet prince.

nyc, new york city, chris gampat, photography, the phoblographer,

No, Instagram isn’t really the reason why square format images so just so popular with folks. Despite the fact that today’s digital age has put such a big emphasis on it for many reasons, photographers have loved to shoot square images since the film days. One of the more popular formats for many photographers was 6×6–which required medium format film and was stuck right in between 6×4.5 and 6×7, both rectangles. These images were from some popular cameras like the Bronica SQ-A amongst others in the SQ series of cameras. Using these cameras, both portrait photographers and wedding shooters were able to have an easier time creating images for many reasons–with many of them attributing to them square format.

Here’s why the square format strikes such a chord with viewers today.

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Kevin Lee The Phoblographer HD Pentax DA645 28-45mm f4.5E Product Image 1

Ricoh has announced a new 28-45mm f4.5ED AW SR lens offering for Pentax medium format cameras such as the 645D and 645Z. Offering up an equivalent 22-35.5mm focal length range in the smaller 35mm world, it’s a wide-angle zoom lens that perfect for landscapes, a portrait lens on the far end of its zoom range, and somewhat candid street photography.

Internally the lens is comprised of 17 elements in 12 groups, including two high-performance aspherical elements and two extra-low dispersion elements. On the outside Ricoh has also given the lens a HD lens coatings to optimize light transmission and minimize reflection. There’s also an Aero Bright Coating to help improve image quality.

To top it off this piece of kit features a Shake Reduction mechanism to help mitigate vibrations while trying to handhold this big honking camera. Ricoh says its stabilization technology can effectively compensates for camera shake up to approximately 3.5 shutter stops. The lens is also dust and waterproof thanks to eleven special seals, though we still would not dare to leave this expensive lens out in the rain for too long.

The ens will ship later this month with a hefty price tag of $4999.95. See past the break for another look at the lens.

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