Need advice on film camera and lense purchase

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by gklight, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. gklight

    gklight TPF Noob!

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    I currently have a Nikon FM2n with a 45mm lense. Looking at buying either a Leica M6 or a Rolleiflex 2.8 or 3.5. I take landscape as well as portrait shots. My questions are:

    -Should I just get more lenses for my Nikon and if so, which ones?
    -Do I stick with my SLR instead of switching to a rangefinder?
    -If I purchase a Rolleiflex, which is the better model and lense I should be looking for?

    My budget is under $2000 for both camera and lense. Help!
     
  2. bla

    bla TPF Noob!

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    Hmm, if I had a FM2n, I would stick with it. From what I have heard and read, it's an amazing camera, one of the best manual ones ever made. And if you're already invested in Nikon, why not just further that investment instead of starting anew?

    If you're doing landscape maybe a wide angle lens will suit you. Portraits tend to go well with longer lenses, 75mm and above perhaps.
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    ^^^Uh huh. Just keep putting money in the Nikon. You'll be more flexible in the long run and it will give similar results.
     
  4. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Wish I had to make this choice :lol:

    My first reaction would also be to stick with what you've got and spend the money on lenses. Then you'll already have lenses (and a reliable backup film body) if you decide to go digital. Plus, I'm sure Leicas are nice, but $2000 will get you a lot more Nikon gear than Leica gear.

    To be honest though we can't really answer the question without some more information. A Nikon SLR, Leica rangefinder or Rollei TLR can all be used to great effect for portrait or landscape shots. But to just ask which to go for is a bit like saying "I have a Mercedes. Should I take that, a plane or a yacht?" without telling us where you are and where you want to go.

    For example: The Rollei could be the one to go for if you want to make big enlargements or crop. 35mm simply can't touch 6x6cm in that respect. Plus the square negative will give you, well, a square negative, as well as the flexibility to crop down to any aspect you like thanks to the size of the film. BUT it has a fixed lens... and one which is not as fast as the primes available for an SLR or rangefinder. It might not be a good choice if your portraits are done in low available light. Plus of course you have to compose the shot through the waist-level finder with a reversed image; it's a completely different experience to using an SLR viewfinder.

    The Leica is a similar story. Film size is the same as the Nikon but like the TLR it's a very different way of shooting. Not better or worse, just very different. IMO there's no point buying into a completely new system without having some strong ideas about why you'd be moving into that system or out of your current one - especially one as expensive as a Leica. So we can't really advise you to switch from SLR to rangefinder, unless you explain what you don't like about SLRs (or about that SLR).
     
  5. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    If you enjoy shooting landscapes with film, I'd say it's time to move up to MF. For a few hundred you can pick up a Mamiya M645 and wide angle lens. For less than $1000 you can have a beautiful Mamiya RB67 and a wide angle lens.
     
  6. ladyphotog

    ladyphotog TPF Noob!

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    You can also get a used Hasselblad system (body, lens, finder and back) for under a grand and you can get an adapter to use the blad lenses on your Nikon. That way you have an interchangable system that you can use for whatever you decide to do in the future. Just my two cents.
     
  7. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The RZ67 is truly amazing. Unlike other MF SLR systems, the camera does the focusing like a view camera does. That means the lenses, not only do not have to zoom but they don't have to focus either. They are like view camera lenses. That means they can be designed to the ultimate in sharpness and contrast - and they are. They are the best SLR camera lenses ever made for that reason. I used an RZ 67 system for years. Only large format can beat it and not by much.

    There are bargains galore on ebay for medium format systems.

    This little system - all new or mint condition - cost me just $655 last month. I'm serious. The camera with 80mm lens was brand new and so was the 45mm wide angle. The 150 telephoto was pristine and and almost new. It makes excellent images - not an RZ 67 but it will clean any 35mm camera's clock with ease.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. gklight

    gklight TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone for the replies. I think I'll be getting a 24mm f2.8 for my nikon and try to get the rolleiflex 2.8F for portraits. Anyone know the difference between the 2.8 and 3.5? Since I'll be looking on ebay, how much I should be expecting to pay?
     
  9. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Well obviously the f2.8 is faster than the f3.5, so more potential for handheld shooting, and offers shallower DOF which could be useful for portraits. Whether it's generally better optically in terms of sharpness and colour I couldn't say. What I can say is that if brand name isn't an issue, you can get some wonderful TLRs by other companies at a good price. Minolta ones in particular are excellent; Yashicas with Yashinon lenses are also very good although the more popular ones (namely the 124G) may not cost much less than a Rollei. Mamiya's TLRs have interchangeable lenses! Just a suggestion.
     
  10. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I totally agree with Zaphod! Yashicas are wonderful TLRs and as good, if not better than the Rolleis. I have both a Planar 3.5 Rolleiflex and a Yashicamat with Lumaxar lens (pre-Yashinon) which is supposedly made in Germany. The latter is very, very sharp and great every which way, more so than the Rollei.

    You have some really good ideas here. Keep in mind that the Yashica is going to be under $100 and the rest you can invest in some kick-@$$ lenses for your Nikon.
     

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