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Greetings All

The Fontane

New Member
Hello everybody.

I'm a photographer, who is originally from Ireland, and now lives in South Africa. I began shooting on a digital SLR in or around 2005. I gradually moved over to 35mm film, shooting on a pair of Canon 1V's and occasionally on an Olympus OM1 or an old beat up Leica.

Over the last few years I've been shooting mostly MF on a Hblad 500 EL/M, and pretty much it's all I shoot on now. I'm interested in abandoned towns cities and buildings which catch my attention. Lately I've been working with models which is new territory for me, a learning curve, and an enjoyable one at that.


New Member
Hi - and welcome to the Forum! It's a great creative transition going from DSLRs to MF film and your choice of the 'Blad 500 EL/M allows a good variety of lenses to be chosen - and not for crazy prices. Working with models adds a fascinating new dimension to your photography - especially if shooting in abandoned buildings. One lesson I learned pretty quickly when starting to work with models was to use agency-registered ones initially. They are more costly but, unlike so many amateur ones, they will turn up on time, work to the brief and, being experienced, will often contribute to the creative process.

There is a pleasure in shooting MF with film; I find every shot becomes an occasion as it makes you think more about composition, lighting, etc. It costs a lot to make mistakes! I keep feet in both film and digital camps shooting a mix of film in 110 (largely for fun), 35mm, 6x4.5, 6x7, 6x8 and 6x9; digital is served by Hasseblad H series, Fuji GFX, Contax 645 with a Hasselblad Ixpress back, Olympus m4/3 and a Canon full-frame DSLR plus all the Contax compacts such as the beautiful little i4R and the 'titanium brick' TVS-D.

So long as film continues to be made and can be processed, it's worth persevering; that being said, how I miss 220 and Fujifilm/Polaroid film for the medium format backs... But it is great to see how many people are shooting film and if they really get into it, many may 'move up' to MF. You must upload a piccie or two some time.

The Fontane

New Member
Hey Biggles,

Thanks for such a nice welcome. DSLR and 35MM film were and still are fun. Right now I'm very much in love with MF and shooting mostly 6X6. I love shooting on the Hassy and yes good selection of lenses that won't cost the earth. I keep having lurid fantasies about getting a Fuji GF670 or a Maymia 7II, as if I need more gear!!!

The last DSLR I bought was an original Canon 5D back in 2004 or 2005, I still have it, it works fine. I don't see any need to upgrade, am perfectly happy with film. A digital back for the Hassy would be handy, for test shots. Recently Got a 500CM which by the looks of it has a misaligned mirror and will may need the rubber mounts replaced and the mirror realigned. Need to send it to a decent repairer to get it properly diagnosed. Posted about it on another thread, seemed on the surface to be a focusing screen issue, but more like a mirror alignment issue.

I will most certainly upload a few pics in due course.....



New Member
Like you, my last DSLR was a Canon 5D and I too am content to stick with it.

The Fuji GF670 and Mamiya 7 series cameras are superb BUT you need deeeeeep pockets for them, even in merely average condition - and a mortgage for the full set of Mamiya 7 lenses. You could try a new experience at a much lower cost: the Fuji G617 Professional. It demands patience as you set up the photo - but the panoramic images it can deliver are stunning; the lens is truly amazing. The only caveat: make sure it comes with its bespoke ND filter which is part of the original boxed kit. I've popped a piccie of it below - the G617 is a superb camera, albeit with a niche purpose in mind.

Fuji G617.jpg