Time to Buy my first medium format camera!

Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by alexknudsen, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. alexknudsen

    alexknudsen TPF Noob!

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    I have about $300 to spend, I just bought a film scanner for medium format

    and I need my first medium format camera, I am totally new to medium format, but I really want to have the waist level viewfinder.

    I am totally open to buying something beat up and old, so any suggestions are greatly appreciated

    I am really into photographing portraits, and that is what I will mainly be doing


    thanks:wink:
     
  2. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Most important question: Do you need a meter in the camera?
     
  3. alexknudsen

    alexknudsen TPF Noob!

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    yes
     
  4. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Your best option in that price range would be the 645 format, which would include for you something like the Mamiya 645E or the Pentax 645. A Mamiya 645 super could work but you'd be pushing the price by adding on a metering prism. It might be possible, on a good day, to find a Fuji 645 around that price.

    Remember that most MF bodies are modular. That is, the prism where the meter is contained, the body, and the back, are separate. You could try looking at the 6x7 format, such as the Mamiya RB67, or the Bronica GS-1, but their metering prisms are very heavy, not usually cheap, and not that easy to find. I suggested the 645 format because they're easiest to find in affordable kits (lens, prism, body, back).

    Look around KEH.com or ebay. Feel free to post any links you find, asking if it's a good deal or not.
     
  5. alexknudsen

    alexknudsen TPF Noob!

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    thanks a lot
     
  6. alexknudsen

    alexknudsen TPF Noob!

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    how about the mamiya rb67??
     
  7. alexknudsen

    alexknudsen TPF Noob!

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    you meant a light meter right??????


    im confused
     
  8. cigrainger

    cigrainger TPF Noob!

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    Yes a light meter. If you like the waistlevel viewfinder and photographing portraits, I strongly recommend looking for a Rolleiflex T and a cheap handheld light meter. A decent handheld lightmeter will always come in handy, and Rolleiflexes are absolutely wonderful cameras for portraits. Check out www.keh.com.

    The issue is that 90% of the time with a waist level finder you don't have a meter, because the meter is usually in the prism finder.

    If you want interchangeable lenses and a modular system, I second the Mamiya 645 or Pentax 645 system. My recommendation for a handheld light meter so you can use the waist level finder still stands.
     
  9. alexknudsen

    alexknudsen TPF Noob!

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    thank you, i have seen the mamiya 220, which is a tlr like the rollei

    any views on that one?


    thanks
     
  10. alexknudsen

    alexknudsen TPF Noob!

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  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As Max listed... I recommend the Pentax 645. Very SLR like, extremely easy to find, and a lot of lenses to choose from. Meter is built in too.
     
  12. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    lol, it's very SLR like because it is an SLR, as are all the other cameras I mentioned except the fuji.


    Alex,

    You would be much better off getting a camera with a light meter built in than buying a camera without a meter and then buying a separate hand-held meter. The reason being cost. A good, accurate and reliable meter will probably run you at least an extra hundred bucks.

    Rollei is the only company I know of that builds cameras with light meters built into the body as opposed to a viewing prism. However, they are only on the expensive, newer model TLR's and 6xxx series, which are both wayyyyyy out of your price range. I would stick to 645.
     

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