Photographing with Medium Format Film Cameras While digital technology is constantly changing and cameras rapidly go out of date, vintage medium format cameras, such as manual Kowa cameras, are seeing a renaissance.
What Is Medium Format Film? You can also find digital medium format cameras that use a sensor larger than that of a 35mm film frame. In some cases, you can retrofit medium format film cameras with digital camera backs to convert them to a digital medium. Up until the s, medium format was the most widely used film size in the movie-making world, but now film and photography enthusiasts in the niche mainly use it.
The majority of medium format film produced today is in the 6cm and sizes, which is implied when referring to medium format cameras, unless otherwise specified. Medium format images also have a certain aesthetic that is part of their appeal, with a lack of distortion and a natural appearance that is similar to how the human eye sees.
A 50mm lens used on a 35mm camera and a medium format camera yields quite different results, particularly when it comes to field of view. Although youll capture a wider angle, you wont get the distortion or exaggerated perspective that a wide-angle lens produces on a 35mm camera. The Kowa Six had a lot going for it: Leaf shutter lenses, classic styling, bright viewfinder, a large lens assortment, and various accessories. You could shoot or film with the flip of the pressure plate and side switch.
Hasselblad was already an established company at this point, as were many others like Bronica. Unfortunately the Kowa Six was cheaper than the Hasselblad but only just, and it was pricier than the established Bronica S line of cameras. The MM added the ability to do double exposures, and mirror lock-up.
It also added a bit more fragility and complication to the design, in my opinion. Unfortunately this was a little too little too late, and Kowa exited the MF market shortly afterwards. Its interesting to see that even the reviewers back then noted the bright viewfinder and compared it to the C. OK, back to my hunt. The images of it showed it to be in great condition, much nicer than the ones I saw in the Columbus shop.
Sounds great, right? Not so fast. Now begins my journey into the highs, and lows, of Kowa Six cameras. The camera arrived packed very well, so when I unpacked it and fired it for the first time, I was surprised by the fact the mirror only opened half way and was stuck, until I turned the camera upside down and it then opened all the way — long after the leaf shutter in the lens had fired.
After a thorough cleaning, partial disassembly, and lube, the mirror was working perfectly. Next weekend was the first time out with it, so I was stoked. When I was working on the camera, I neglected to check the light seals, which were basically gone. So I wasted one roll there. The Kowa Six is apparently no different. I realized this with 2 shots left to go on the roll. Now, a fully working Kowa Six is a joy to shoot with. I love that there are two different pairs of bosses for the strap, so that you can wear it with the camera pointed forward, or down, depending on how you have the strap connected.
So much that I picked up the mm and 55mm lenses for it. Then I found a grip for it. You see where this is going. A few examples of images shot on my Kowa Six: Most were shot with the 85mm, but some were also shot with the 55mm and mm. That Six arrived a week later and surprise — it needed work on the mirror, cleaning, lube, and new seals — then it worked as good as new.
So now I have a spare body. And duplicate lenses. Oh, the 85mm lens that came with it was perfect, but the mm had gunk in the shutter and was firing slow. So then I also became an expert at disassembling, cleaning, lubing, and re-assembling Kowa lenses. Thank you very much.
But this was good because I got a chance to take the MM all apart and see what actually was broken in it, and learn a bit more about how it worked. Well, lots of things were broken, too many to mention.
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No information is available for this page. The Kowa Six had a lot going for it: Leaf shutter lenses, classic styling, bright viewfinder, a large lens assortment, and various accessories. Vintage Kowa Six Medium Format camera with 85mm f lens. $ $ shipping.