My primary camera system is Kowa 66. The photo above shows the syastem I use. The
Kowa 66 is a 6x6cm medium format system produced in Japan in the 1960's and 1970's. The 6x6cm refers to the negative size (The camera uses 120/220 Roll Film). The cameras
were renowned for their superb optics, but for a variety of reasons, did not succeed in the market to the degree required by Kowa. From left to right (front row first) in the
photo: Kowa 2x teleconverter, 110 mm macro lens, speed focus ring, tripod mount, long lens tripod adapter. Row 2: 12/24 back, 150mm lens, 55mm lens, metered 45 degree
prism. Row 3: Extension tubes, Polaroid back, 250mm lens, Kowa 66 with 85mm lens and L grip customized by me to hold a Quantum Q Flash
The Kowa system is entirely mechanical with no electronics. Material used include metals
(a lot of stainless steel) and glass, much heavier than today's plastics. Fully loaded, my equipment backpack weighs 40-50 pounds. The image quality resulting from the superb
optics and larger negative size (4x the size of 35mm) more than justify the extra weight. The system includes removable backs (allowing fast film change mid-roll), polaroid
previews, and a great lens selection. This is a great portrait and commercial camera system.
My secondary system is a Mamiya 7II, which is a newer medium
format camera with a negative size of 6x7cm, or 4.5 times larger than 35mm! This camera is a Rangefinder design, which means that you view the image through a finder, rather than directly
through the lens. The advantages to the design are much reduced weight (1/2 the weight of an SLR), optimized optical design due to the lack of a mirror (and the space required to
move it) and a very quiet operation (again, because there is no moving mirror). I have the 43, 80 and 150 mm lenses and have been using this camera more and more for landscape
work because of it's light weight, precise electronic shutter and high quality optics.
My third system is a Canon EOS A2, a very technically advanced modern autofocus 35mm
SLR. This is much lighter and faster to use than the Kowa. It is highly effective in fast moving situations, such as nature or sports photography.
Another camera I have used is another all mechanical medium
format camera - the Moscow 5. This is a Russian folding camera produced in the 1950's. The negative size is 6x9 cm. or 6x6 cm. The size is small enough to tuck into a jacket pocket and is very
handy for travelling light (although it does weigh a few pounds!) The optics are really sharp and it produces a very large 6x9cm negative, so enlargements are crisp.
Prior to the Moscow 5, I used a Zeiss Super Ikonta C, like the one on the right. This is the camera that the Moscow 5 is
based on. This camera was made in the 30's and produces a 6x9cm negative.