What's a good quality, but low priced medium format film camera?

Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by Jeremy Z, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm just considering at this point...My first thought was a Yashica Mat of some sort. Depending on how fancy/new of one I look at, they are between about $130 and $400. I had a Yashica Mat before, and I quite liked it. I didn't like having to use an accessory meter though.I happened across a lady's site where she was singing the praises of the Pentax 67. That one looks awesome. It seems to be able to make full use of a nice big negative, without necessarily losing stuff to cropping. But I looked on ebay, and they seem to be starting at over $500. Yikes.I'm not really a fan of the Pentax 645, as it seems like it doesn't make the most out of 120 film, and they're also expensive.What else is out there that is affordable, with good optics and a working light meter for a fair price? It doesn't have to be an SLR. I'm open to rangefinders and TLRs as well. I probably won't want to spend the money on more lenses anyhow, which is why I started looking at TLRs...
     
  2. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I have a pentax 645 and absolutely love it...picked it up for $250 for a full kit.

    Alternatively, you might try the Mamiya645 (J, E, or Super if you're on a budget). For metered, affordable cameras, your options are pretty much limited to 645. I suppose you could try the fuji MF rangefinders. I think they have meters, and KEH has some good prices.
     
  3. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow. I learned a lot just now. I've been surfing while the bears have been eating humble pie.There are lots of loud-mouthed people out there on the net who insist that we are all fools for using 35mm and digital for everything. They say that 35mm is good only for action & portability. They cite the fact that medium format has a negative at least 3X bigger, and so they make better enlargements.But let's not pretend that the comparison is even-up. There are no decent medium format cameras with any real capability for less than $1000, with lens. (new) Used, it is slightly less dismal. One can slip into a nice TLR for $120-500, but there is no flexibility. No hope of shooting action. No hope of a telephoto candid.Where I could start out for $80 in 35mm (K1000 + 50mm) and have nice enlargements up to 11x14 and decent ones up to 20x30, the same thing in 6x6 or 6x7, it would be well over $700.I'll probably check out the manual focus Fuji rangefinders, as Max suggested, and keep myself rooted to earth and consider an old Yashica A TLR...
     
  4. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    You're being obtuse. What is this "real capability" you speak of, anyway? You want a camera that can do everything? Buy a Mamiya 645 Pro AFD, a Contax 645, or a Hasselblad H series. If you want a be-all-end all MF camera, you'll have to spend a lot of money. That's just how the game goes. The best cameras in each format are equally expensive relative to each other. If you want to get into MF that badly, then either bite the bullet and buy a primo camera or stop complaining so damn much and buy a normal camera. You can make do with a normal camera, or (god forbid), one without a meter.
     
  5. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This thread has lost a lot of posts since the maintenance... :(
     
  6. Finsen

    Finsen TPF Noob!

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    An entire thread about obtaining retro color on film was also lost in this forum. Hope they had backup and will put everything back together.

    This MF thread has been very informative by the way. Thanks for bringing up the topic!
     
  7. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Jeremy,

    I posted an answer to this thread last night. I don't know if you had time to read it before the threads disappeared. You were considering a pentax 67 as you find 6x7 to be the ideal format. Bronica also made a 6x7 (the GS-1). It is similar to the SQ-A but slightly bulkier.
     
  8. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Most Medium format cameras (used) can be had for a pretty cheaply nowadays I personally use a Bronica ETRSi. I paid over $3000 for 2 of them about 6 years ago but I know now they are going for tons less like under $500 that's 645 but it is the mos portable.
     
  9. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

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  10. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I will definitely keep my eye on craigslist when I have the money. For now, I don't exactly have the four hundo sitting around. My wife has plans to buy a hide-a-bed soon, for when her mother visits from Poland.

    Steph: The GS-1 doesn't seem like a very good value compared to the Pentax 67. I think I will try to decide between a Pentax 67 and a Bronica SQ-something. If I stumble across a good deal (~$100) on a clean used TLR, I may jump on that.

    Let me ask everyone's opinion on this: I saw a Yashica A locally, very clean, for $130. I think I may be able to get $10-20 off of that price. I *almost* bought it, but I was scared off by the fact that it has very limited shutter speeds. It has B, plus 1/25 through 1/500. It seems like they really planned for us to be hand-holding it most of the time, hehehe. With a camera like this, I would probably have it tripod-mounted more often than a 35mm size camera, so I'm thinking those slow shutter speeds would be useful.

    Am I wrong? What shutter speeds would most natural light portraits and scenery be shot at?
     
  11. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I'd choose a Yashica, or other cheaper medium format camera, based on the lens design. Do some research and figure out what the 4 element design is called (the equivalent of a Zeiss Tessar or Schneider Xenar). Someone had posted it I think, but it must have been lost. Didn't Mitica post something about an even more advanced lens design? Maybe that's a 5 or 6 element design like the Planar or Xenotar?

    That said, I love my Ansco Titan 6x6 with the anastigmat lens (a mere 3 element design).
     
  12. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, in the days before lens coatings got really good, a 3 element lens could be more contrasty than a 4 or 5, due to less lens surfaces for them to pass through.

    On the used, non-ebay market, the SLRs sometimes don't cost more than the 35mm. People have found them in grandpa's attic and figure they're useless because they're not electronic.

    Take a look at this sale for example:
    http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/emd/274532660.html
     

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