Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by pocketshaver, May 9, 2019.
Which of these can be considered jewels to look for?
If/when you narrow the search, you really have to look into repair resources, too. They're drying up, thanks to low demand, retirements and the inevitable. Those magical CLAs so often put forward as cure-alls for ailing relics can be difficult and expensive to get. You can make a bit of luck for yourself buying the newest you can locate/afford.
Repair parts are in short supply for everything since the digital camera came out. I have seen 35mm film cameras, new production meaning after 2010 now and then, but ALOT of the old vintage cameras have the option of some lens changing..
A lot of the "newer" old cameras say 1980 on like to use internal batteries that have the tendency to require half the camera to be removed for replacement, and functions may not work without the battery working..
Leica M3 would be my number one pick. In medium format, probably Rolleiflex and Rolleicord models, due to their simplicity of operation, and low number of moving parts.
Like CGW above, I really don't think that pre-1960 cameras are a good place to look. I would much rather have a modern auto focus Nikon from the 1990s, for which there are still Plenty of technicians available, and for which repair parts are not either unavailable, or super expensive. I understand where you're coming from but 1960 is a long time ago, and cameras of That vintage are prone to failure, light leaks, and the type of construction that requires many finely-tuned parts and fairly regular mechanical tuneups to run reliably. Later Japanese-made cameras were designed to work with plastic loose-fitting Parts that needed no lube. difference between Haselblad and Bronica or Mamiya RB was that H required careful lubricant and fine-tuning of many small parts, but later Japanese-Engineered cameras were designed in a different way.
KW Praktina's, earlier Exacta's. I agree with the Leica M3 and Rolleiflex particularly the later Automat's, Reid III, Linhof Tecnika III and MPP MicroTechnical MkIII - MkVII. That's just for starters and all will perform well today.
I’m guessing the OP is asking about medium format? That’s where he posted, so 35mm suggestions seem OT.
I personally think you should move your sights to at least 1975 or 1985 or even 1995 adyour cut- off point for medium format cameras to consider. There were a few somewhat uncommon cameras made in the 1960s and 1970s which were really pretty neat.I think that in terms of reliability perhaps you should look at twin lens reflex models such as the above mentioned Rolleiflex and Rolleicord models, as well as the Mamiyaflex C220 and their C330 twin lens reflex models, as well as the Mamiya Universal Press ( a 6x9 cm rangefinder) and the fairly rare Linhof 70, which is a beautiful but very rare camera.
One thing to look at is the film. 120 film is easy to get still, but 220 film has become pretty hard to get, and limited. 120 film cameras are divided into three types: the first type uses a hinged back ,in which the film must be loaded one roll at a time. The other type uses removable backs with an insert,which allows inserts to be pre-loaded and the back swung open,and The insert simply placed inside, then the back closed up. The third type uses a self- contained back which is preloaded as a whole unit; if you have more than one back, then you simply swap out the entire back. If you only have the one back, then it in effect becomes a pretty slow loader.
As you probably realize, the capability of switching out film types or speeds mid-roll used to be one of the big advantages of roll film cameras As opposed to 35mm cameras. I am only aware of a couple of 35mm cameras that used interchangeable backs, and for the most part a35mm camera is a one- roll- at -a- time camera .
Depends on your preferences. The high end German cameras are usually the most often mentioned "jewels" and I won't argue with that but Japan produced some beautiful cameras back then as well.
Im going to be the odd man out on this.
I would caution anyone on the 1980-2000 era SLRs unless the pro grade cameras.
The reason is that the electronics of that time frame were not overtly rugged and moreover nearly impossible to replace once fried. Plus the software is non existent.
An older manual camera would in my opinion fall to the TLRs , press cameras or some of the early SLRs like the early Mamiyas or Minolta SRT.
The older Nikons shoot the F le ses and you can attach those to modern dslrs.
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