Which MF camera? SLR or TLR

Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by Coldow91, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. Coldow91

    Coldow91 TPF Noob!

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    Ok so I now got some money to spend and want to buy a MF camera. I was wondering what the major differences between SLR and TLR's are besides the number of lenses.
    it seems to me that TLR's are cheaper but don't have interchangeable lenses. which way would you recommend to go and why?

    as for TLR's I have been looking at Mamiya and yashica's
    is this the right direction

    SLR's I have looked at Bronica's and really like the SQ-Ai.

    and I like having the options of switching backs and shooting 6x6 or 6x4.5....


    thanks for any help
     
  2. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The only TLR with intechangeable lenses is the Mamiya system. A C3 is a fine camera and you have a few options when it comes to lenses. Yashicas are also good. A better TLR would be a Rolleiflex with a Xenotar but that means more $$$.

    However, the Bronica seems to be a long time favorite of MF shooters. Not very expensive and with many available extras out there, might just be what the doctor ordered. The flexibility of switching backs is a plus.

    Good luck and keep us informed.
     
  3. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    The Bronica is a good system if you don't mind the bulk, heavy metering prism, and lack of motorized advance.

    The problem with square, as I see it, is that unless you're printing square, you're often going to be cropping down to 645 size, so you may have added a lot of bulk to your system for nothing. So if it's 645 you're really after I'd consider a used Mamiya 645 Super or Pro system.
     
  4. Coldow91

    Coldow91 TPF Noob!

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    ok thanks. I think i want some thing with interchangeable backs so I can shoot 6x6 or645.

    but I don't often find myself cropping into squares so maybe 645 would be the way to go...or atleast to start


    edit: I looked at the Mamiya 645 Super and it looks like it might be right for me. the only thing I don't like about it is the lack of backs which is where the bronica wins
     
  5. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    No, you must be looking at the wrong model. The Mamiya 645E and 645J, along with the Pentax 645, have inserts instead of backs. But the Mamiya 645 Super, Pro, and Pro TL all have interchangeable backs.
     
  6. Coldow91

    Coldow91 TPF Noob!

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    thanks for clearing that up. I was looking it at the 645E.

    also I have read that the mamiya's are plasticky while the bronica's are really well built
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  7. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Well, they're plasticky because they're mostly made of plastic. The Bronica backs, as you might guess, are significantly heavier. Any piece of equipment you own can fail. That said, both systems have been used professionally by countless photographers. The backs for the Mamiya are of the same construction as the ones in the 645 AF, AFD, and AFDII. That is, it's good equipment. And if anything should go wrong replacement parts are easier to find. Bronica was a favorite of wedding shooters. Mamiya was generally favored by the studio, commercial, and editorial crowd. I don't know about the Bronica line but one benefit of the newer Mamiya 645's is that you set the ISO on the back instead of the camera. So you can have a back pre-loaded, ISO set, ready to go for when you need to swap without worrying about whether the ISO is correct or taking the time to set it on-camera.
     
  8. Coldow91

    Coldow91 TPF Noob!

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    wow thanks for all the help.

    I think that either camera will work for me. ( 645 super or Bronica ETR_) so now it is just up to finding one from a reputable source and forking over the dough



    I really appreciate all your help alpha


    and one more question that will be easy for you to answer is
    a body
    viewfinder
    lens
    and film back all that I need?
    (what about a focusing screen?)

    since I have only ever seen one of the cams in person once I am not sure of all the parts
     
  9. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    For 6x6 and up, the bare-bones body is simply a box (contains focusing screen and the usual suspects). Separate from that is the prism (either a plain prism or a metering prism in most cases), the lens, and the back.

    Modular 645 systems are the same except for one added component, the grip. They're operable without it but having a grip makes holding the camera easier, film advance automatic, and in the case of the Mamiya 645 Super, one or two of the grips can auto-cock the leaf shutter lenses.

    About shutters and lenses. The 645's have focal plane shutters and generally will flash-sync up to 1/60 or 1/125. Sometimes slower but never faster. If you want to sync faster, you need a separate lens with it's own leaf shutter, which can sync at any speed. They have a ring on the lens itself that cocks the leaf shutter. Pardon the obscenity, I like to refer to is as the cock ring. With the Pentax 645, for example, this has to be done manually after each shot. With the Mamiya, and the right grip, as I mentioned, the shutter will automatically cock after each shot. With the larger camera (6x6 and up), all lenses are leaf shutter, which means they can flash sync at any speed.
     
  10. Coldow91

    Coldow91 TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the information again.


    it seems that there are quite a few mamiya 645's for sale in my area on craiglist and I will keep my eye out for a super or pro
     
  11. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  12. Coldow91

    Coldow91 TPF Noob!

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    I might try a rangefinder and the folding part is cool.
    How hard is it to focus. and I know that Zeiss is a big name so the lenses are top quality?

    which one would you recommend and is it difficult to buy from that site?
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2008

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