TLR Recommendations

Meysha

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Hi everyone!
I was wondering if anyone had any advice on a possible TLR I could buy. I'm only looking at getting an entry level TLR so no fancy rollei's for me just yet :-( *sob*

I'm mainly going to be using it to experiment with so no specific uses - but shall be photographing people and mainly outdoor cityscapes and just normal outdoors arty farty stuff. I want a camera though that is going to give me nice sharp images.... but I don't want to have to pay through the nose for it. Under a couple of hundred aussie dollars please. :)

So what brands should I be looking up on eBay? I guess once I know a few of the different brand names it'll help out my research heaps.

Thanks!! :hug::
 

Mitica100

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Meysha, I would take a hard look at the Yashica TLR cameras. Affordable, great glass, easy to work with. The only disadvantage being the lack of lens interchangeability. A Yashicamat 124 would be great. As a matter of fact, there is a Yashica on Ebay that has one of the earlier lenses, presumably made in Germany, and sharper than the usual Yashikors or Yashinons they come with. It's a lens called Lumaxar and it's very desirable from the collector's point of view. Also a grrrrreat performer. Outside of that I would look into the Mamyia C2 or C3 (220 or 330), a bit more expensive but offering lens interchangeability (Wide, Normal, Tele). Of course there are more options but these two offer the most for the money and also there's plenty of them, should one break can be easily fixed due to the abundance of spare parts. Rolleicords can also be good but they're somewhat problematic.

I hope this helps a bit with your decision. ;)
 
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Meysha

Meysha

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Thank you so much! That gives me something to work with... there's not actually that many on the australian ebay at the moment.... so I might have to wait a bit for a good bargain to come around. Looks like I'll be hitting the 2nd hand shops next weekend! Yay! :cheer:
 

Soocom1

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Also look into the Minolta Autocord Series.
I have one of those as well as an old Walsflex.

If you have to have new on a budget I will (gasp!) actually say try the Seagull TLR.

It is a Chinese number, but for the money, you cant go wrong.
 

nealjpage

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I have a YashicaMAT 124. Not a bad camera for the price ($45 on eBay) but I do miss a built in light meter. Rumor has it that the 124G takes care of this little problem, but I haven't gotten around to finding out for sure.
 
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Meysha

Meysha

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Daniel said:
Rolleicords are cheaper than Yashica 124s...
But are they really a better deal? How's their image quality?

And Mitica said they're problematic..... how?
 

ShutteredEye

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nealjpage said:
I have a YashicaMAT 124. Not a bad camera for the price ($45 on eBay) but I do miss a built in light meter. Rumor has it that the 124G takes care of this little problem, but I haven't gotten around to finding out for sure.

Yes, the 124G has a light meter. Mine is right on. From what I understand, Rollei's optics aren't quite as nice as what can be had on the Yashica's. But I don't know for sure.
 

Mitica100

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Meysha said:
But are they really a better deal? How's their image quality?

And Mitica said they're problematic..... how?

Meysha, the Rolleicords have a more sensitive shutter which tends to gum up faster than the Yashicas' shutters. On top of that, the Yashinon is a wonderful lens, better IMO than the Yashikor, let alone the Zeiss lenses of the Rolleicord, crsiper and very sharp from corner to corner. The Lumaxar that I mentioned before is even sharper than that, but they are rare. When Yashica started making the TLR cameras they worked out a deal with the German lens makers and made a lens for the first batch of their TLRs called Lumaxar. After that they went to Yashikors and eventually to Yashinons. I had a Yashica D which I sold many moons ago, still sorry I parted with it. I honestly don't know why people don't give them the credit they deserve.

And think about the Rolleicords, the cheaper ones are the older ones, which are more prone to a gum-up problem, while the Yashicas are of a more recent production. Hence, IMO, the Yashicas are a better buy. If you want sharpness, go with Yashica, for portraits go with a Mamyia C2 or C3 (softer lens but beautiful!). And I would go for a 124, not a 124-G, if you're used to a hand-held meter.
 

imagemaker

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Mitica100 said:
Meysha, I would take a hard look at the Yashica TLR cameras. Affordable, great glass, easy to work with. The only disadvantage being the lack of lens interchangeability. A Yashicamat 124 would be great. As a matter of fact, there is a Yashica on Ebay that has one of the earlier lenses, presumably made in Germany, and sharper than the usual Yashikors or Yashinons they come with. It's a lens called Lumaxar and it's very desirable from the collector's point of view. Also a grrrrreat performer. Outside of that I would look into the Mamyia C2 or C3 (220 or 330), a bit more expensive but offering lens interchangeability (Wide, Normal, Tele). Of course there are more options but these two offer the most for the money and also there's plenty of them, should one break can be easily fixed due to the abundance of spare parts. Rolleicords can also be good but they're somewhat problematic.

I hope this helps a bit with your decision. ;)

Hello Mitica,

I was intrigued reading the above regarding the Lumaxar lens on the older YashicaMats. I just picked one up at eBay, and am curious if you know a little more about the lens, and who the manufacturer is. Do you also know a good source of information on this particular camera?

Thanks!
imagemaker
 

Mitica100

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Hi Imagemaker, welcome to TPF. Regarding the Lumaxar... It is, or so they say, the same as the Yashinon, which is the better performer of the two (Yashinon and Yashikor). My feel is that when Yashica came out with the 'mat' camera they wanted a great lens on it and worked with the Germans at putting one in. Hence the Lumaxar, which many have thought it to be a German lens. You know, Yashica later started making SLR cameras which used the Contax mount. There is the connection! It could probably be a Contax lens in disguise. I need to do more research on it. I have in my collection a Rolleiflex 3.5E with Planar and the Yashicamat with the Lumaxar. I'll take the Yashica anytime! I had a Yashica D with Yashinon which I sold a long time ago, I had some of the best BW negs from that baby. I haven't shot even one frame with the more recent Yashica/Lumaxar due to time constraints.

Glad to see another Lumaxar owner on the boards!
 

ksmattfish

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Yashica, Minolta, Mamiya, or Rolliecord. All of them are nice cameras, and all are going to do a great job. Don't rule out a Rollieflex. I got mine for $150. :) Just keep your eyes open for a bargin.
 

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