Recommendations For Budget Medium Format Camera

TarterTurtle

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Hi all, I've been shooting 35mm film on my k1000 for around 9 months now, and I want to try medium format, but I don't want to spent too much money on a new camera. Since I have a job now, I have more of a budget. I want something below 200 dollars. Preferably closer to 100, will that be possible, or should I save up more money? I did find a Ricohflex model VII for 95 dollars on ebay, and it looks like it's in really good condition, but who knows. Ricoh is a brand that I have heard of, but I wouldn't know if this camera is any good or not, no matter the condition. Any recommendations on cameras would be helpful.

Thanks,
Nathan
 
There are many old medium format cameras ... folders and TLRs.
The most sought-after ones are Rolleiflex's ... but you have probably seen their price $$$
I believe the Ricoh Diacord TLRs have a better taking lens than the Richoflex models.
Minolta Autocord TLR's also have a great lens, but they tend to sell higher than $100.
Yashica-MATs aren't that bad ... better than the older Yashica-x models (I think the Yashica-D has the same lens as the Yashica-MAT).
You will see many folders, but the state of the bellows can be kinda an issue if not stated ... they could have light leakage.
There are soooo many different types of lenses you can find on folders ... coupled and uncoupled.
 
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Ebay.... seller:cupog
 
Ebay.... seller:cupog
I just checked them out, they look pretty good.

Looks like he CLA's most of his cameras so you should have a top working condition camera. I have also seen people that have sent them their Russion cameras for CLA and have been pleased with his work. I have had no experience with the seller but have seen a dozen or so positive responses from his work and gear on social media so I decided to follow him on Ebay. I have seen images made with that Flexorett and they're sharp enough and have good contrast.

For what it's worth, I love to shoot my $35 Holga 120TLR, but it has a plastic lens and not very good image fidelity. However, it's just pure joy to use and often get surprisingly creative imagery which I adore.
 
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Yashica 124 is the best medium format film camera
Hi all, I've been shooting 35mm film on my k1000 for around 9 months now, and I want to try medium format, but I don't want to spent too much money on a new camera. Since I have a job now, I have more of a budget. I want something below 200 dollars. Preferably closer to 100, will that be possible, or should I save up more money? I did find a Ricohflex model VII for 95 dollars on ebay, and it looks like it's in really good condition, but who knows. Ricoh is a brand that I have heard of, but I wouldn't know if this camera is any good or not, no matter the condition. Any recommendations on cameras would be helpful.

Thanks,
Nathan

Yashica 124 may be the best cheap medium format film camera. It's a twin lens reflex like a Roliflex.

yashica mat 124g in Home Audio | eBay

roliflex | eBay
 
I've got half a dozen MF cameras none of which would have been much more than $25. So it's certainly possible :)
About half mine are simple box cameras (like the original Kodak brownies) and the remainder ae folders, personally I prefer the folders which tend to have better lenses & more options in aperture & shutter speed. Damage to the bellows does make it more likely they'll have light leaks.
I don't think I've seen interchangeable lens models in your price bracket.
 
I'm not particularly interested in box cameras, but the folders kind of have my attention, I know nothing about them though. What brands would you recommend I look for?
 
I'm not particularly interested in box cameras, but the folders kind of have my attention, I know nothing about them though. What brands would you recommend I look for?

There are a lot of them. Agfa Isolete's are good but rather primitive as most use zone focus in your price range. That seller I led you had some folders in your price range.
seller:certo6 is in the USA and is an expert on folders. However, his ebay is low at this time so I would recommend you dropping him a message to see what he has in the works. He may have something close in your price range. He cla's them and puts new bellows on them. He may have a Agfa Isolette ready to go for you. I bought one from him once for 125 and it had a stellar lens on it.
 
The Zeiss Nettar and Ikonta folding cameras can give very good results but they are not young so be sure they are in good shape or can be returned if not. They are both within your budget. A Super Ikonta would be even better but a good one would usually cost over your limit.

A favorite bargain folder of mine is the Japanese-made Zenobia camera. They are well made with a good lens and shutter and they are inexpensive.

There are many more folding cameras that use 120 film and are fun to use. The main thing is to make sure it works properly. Old lenses get foggy, shutters get sluggish, bellows get leaky.
 
Are most of the folding cameras zone focusing though? I'd rather have a rangefinders or at least something that gives me a reference for focusing.
 
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I really like my $35 6x6 Voigtlander.....

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