6 Compact Mirrorless Medium Format Cameras for the Film Shooter

With all the excitement about the Hasselblad X1D, we all know that despite it’s very good price, many of us won’t be able to afford it. But for those of us who have been shooting it for a while are well aware of how awesome medium format film is overall. Lucky for many of us, there have been many mirrorless medium format cameras available over the years that are still quite highly regarded.

Looking for one? Check these out.

Lomography LCA 120

LCA 120 Lomography

The Lomography LCA 120 is one of the more recent additions to the scene and arguably the smallest option here. It shoots 6×6 images with a wide angle lens that is great for street photography. With no manual controls except for ISO and focusing, what you should also be aware of is how reliable this camera really is. The lens is sharp, the meter simply works, and there isn’t much that will get in the way of you taking better photos.

Mamiya 7 II

mamiya 7 II

Arguably the most legendary camera on this list, the Mamiya 7 II was Mamiya’s last entry into the medium format rangefinder world. The 6×7 format cameras cameras have a few lenses that are very highly regarded and overall the camera itself has seen use in studios, on locations, weddings and even in the streets. Part of this has to do with its shutter being so silent that you don’t even think that the camera took a picture. The silent function has to do with the leaf shutter design that puts the shutter in the lenses. It’s just like many premium point and shoots these days.

If you have one, you’re most likely never letting go of yours. Amongst Mirrorless Medium Format Cameras, it’s considered the equivalent of the Holy Grail.

Pro Tip: Medium format is really big. So at f4.5, you'll be getting the equivalent depth of field of anywhere from f1.8 to f1.4 on a 35mm full frame camera depending on the format size.

Pro Tip: Medium format is really big. So at f4.5, you’ll be getting the equivalent depth of field of anywhere from f1.8 to f1.4 on a 35mm full frame camera depending on the format size.

Fujifilm GW 690 III

Fuji gw690 III

This 6×9 rangefinder camera is one of the many that was labelled something along the lines of being the “Texas Leica.” The format is one of the biggest available out there and the fact that you’re getting it in a rangefinder is a big deal. With a fixed 90mm f3.5, you’re getting the equivalent of a normal field of view on a 35mm full frame camera.

Lots of landscape photographers use this format–as do portrait photographers. Indeed, it’s something where you put a lot of careful thought and work into.

Bronica RF 645

Bronica rf645

Bronica is perhaps best known for their SQ series of cameras or the ETR lineup. The company was owned by Tamron for many years–and considering how good that company’s lenses are you can only guess how their cameras performed. They were built tough and the Bronica RF645 was no exception. It’s often highly overlooked partially because everyone and their mother sweats over the Mamiya series of cameras or because some turn away from the 645 format. A handful of lenses are available and up until 2014, Tamron serviced the cameras.

Lomography Diana F+

diana

So why would the Diana F+ be on this list? Well, it’s actually not that bad and it’s very versatile. You’ve got the ability to shoot glass or plastic lenses and it’s always fixed at 1/80th of a shutter speed unless you set it to bulb mode. Then since your film speed is a fixed number, your only variable is the aperture and focusing. While some may scoff at it, it’s incredibly simple to use and when coupled with the instant film back, you’ve got one of the few instant film cameras capable of manual control.

Of all the Mirrorless Medium Format Cameras on this list, the Diana F+ is the most fun and isn’t taken seriously enough.

Makina 67

Makina 67

When you mention the idea of a medium format 80mm f2.8 lens for the 67 format, every photographer today would need a change of clothing from all the drool that would come from their mouths. But that’s what Plaubel did years ago. This simple camera was a rangefinder with a 67 format and an 80mm f2.8 lens from Nikon in the front.

If you can get your hands on one, hold onto it with your life.