Processed with VSCO with c1 presetHasselblad SWC with Kodak Portra 400

For many, 35mm format cameras offer photographers the tools necessary to capture any type of image. From landscapes to architectural details and portraits a 35mm format cameras just gets the job done. However there are times when a larger image is required. Not only a large image but a completely different aspect ratio. This is where weird wide medium format cameras fill those needs.

The world of medium format is vast, with many different camera manufacturers working with formats such as 6×4.5, 6×6, 6×7 and even 6×9. These cameras provide stunning detail and resolution allowing for very unique images to be produced. But there are some formats and cameras that stand out from the rest at providing unique controls and subsequently very different images. 

The cameras presented in this article are some of the most uncommon and unique medium format cameras made. The Plaubel 69w ProShift, Widepan 617, Rolleiflex Wide and Hasselblad SWC.

Plaubel 69w ProShift

shift

The Plaubel 69w ProShift is one of the most unique medium format camera I have come across. What makes this camera stand out is not only the world renowned lens, but rather that this camera has the ability to adjust for perspective control. This camera body has a shift function where the lens and viewfinder shift to adjust for architectural photography. 

shift1shift2

shift-1 Uncorrected

shift-2 Shift Applied

Featuring an ultra wide 47mm f5.6 Schneider Super Angulon this lens offers incredible resolution and lack of distortion. This lens is so wide it requires a center filter to adjust for vignetting and providing consistent exposure from corner to corner. While this lens is a scale focus lens it equates to a 21mm lens on 35mm, offering immense depth of field. 

6x9-1Plaubel 69w ProShift with Kodak Tmax 400

6x9-2Plaubel 69w ProShift with Kodak Tmax 400

6x9-3Plaubel 69w ProShift with Cinestill 800 T

Widepan 617

617

The Widepan offers one of my favorite aspect ratios for 120 film. It is very wide and the format feels cinematic. And this camera eats film, capturing 4 images on one roll of 120, 8 images on 220 film. While on the larger size it is possible to shoot hand held, though a tripod or monopod makes shooting and framing easier. This camera is ideal for landscape images capturing vast stretches of a scene though I really wanted to see this camera on the street. The Widepan utilizes a scale focus 90mm f8 Schneider Super Angulon, covering an extremely wide view.

617-3Widepan with Kodak Tmax 400

617-1Widepan with Kodak Tmax 400

617-2Widepan with Kodak Tmax 400

617-4Widepan with Kodak Tmax 400

Rolleiflex Wide

wide

The name Rolleiflex is well known in the photo world for their stellar TLR 6×6 cameras. Many photographers have used these cameras due to their relatively compact size and sharp 75mm or 80mm lenses. However at times a wider field of view is needed. Enter the Rolleiflex Wide which has a unique 55mm f4.0 Zeiss lens. This camera is relatively rare, with only around 4000 cameras made between 1961-1967. The Rollei Wide is compact, keeping with the traditional TLR body as a standard Rollei, yet it is heavier weighing in at almost 3 pounds. 

rollei1Rolleiflex Wide with Kodak TriX 400

rollei2Rolleiflex Wide with Kodak Portra 400

rollei3Rolleiflex Wide with Kodak Portra 400

This lens features an incredibly unique 3D pop to its image quality. Subjects seem so well defined and stand out from their background with great detail.

Hasselblad SWC

swc

Another staple in the photographic world is the name Hasselblad. This modular camera system became the professional industry standard, even making their way to photograph the surface of the Moon. Unrivaled build quality and legendary lens resolution set the Hasselblad system apart from almost any other camera platform. The Hasselblad SWC stands out from any other Hasselblad due to it’s lens. The 38mm f4.5 Zeiss Biogon delivers incredible sharpness and resolution in every way with every detail captured in an image. Ken Rockwell states this lens is satellite grade. What makes this Hasselblad special from others is this fixed lens sits very close to the film plane, which offers exceptional image quality.

swc2

This is a scale focus camera that offers immense depth of field and requires an external viewfinder for composition. Its relatively compact size allows for portability and offers the unique feature of accepting interchangeable film backs allowing it to fit seamlessly into a Hasselblad kit.

hassy1Hasselblad SWC with Kodak TriX 400

hassy2Hasselblad SWC with Kodak TriX 400

hassy3Hasselblad SWC with Kodak TriX 400

hassy5Hasselblad SWC with Kodak Portra 400

 

 

 

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