A Buying Trip

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by milkplus-mesto, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. milkplus-mesto

    milkplus-mesto Member

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    I went up to London yesterday to try and sell some old lenses and buy a new lens in their place. Firstly, I went to a shop near Tottenham Court Road, and it was there that I had my suprise.

    Medium format cameras are MASSIVE. I'd looked at the photos and gotten a rough idea of just how big I thought they were. I was wrong. They are true monsters, and more importantly... I want one!

    So... What would you reccommend, a Bronica SQ-Am for £249 (Including 80mm and AE prism) or a Mamiya RZ67 (With 90mm and WLF) for somewhat more money (Around £400)
     
  2. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I keep all my 35 and MF cameras inside my LF cameras.:surprised:


    If it were me, I'd forgo the motor drive and go for the RZ if it is in fine shape, simply for the robustness and the lenses that are available, but that's just my preferences showing. Not respecting that, I'd go for the one in the best condition.
     
  3. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I've been shooting Mamiya more than twenty years, all I can say is if you're going to carry a body and a couple of lenses is , don't forget to budget for a truss for your hernia.
     
  4. milkplus-mesto

    milkplus-mesto Member

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    Looking at the online catalog, I think I'm veering towards the Bronica. It comes with an AE prism (which will save me a load of time), I love the square format, and I believe the lenses are far cheaper (£169 for the 250mm f/5.6), seeing as I mainly shoot portraits, it's my best option, I can use it for 645 anyway.
     
  5. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    I wouldn't try to tempt you away from Bronica, but the SQ-Am is totally motor dependent and includes 2 kinds of battery, so there is perhaps an issue there for future repairs? Just a thought.
     
  6. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    You might check around online. eBay is bound to be selling some low final auction prices the way the markets are. For that matter haggle a little for the Mamiya.
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I carry my Hasselblad, 50 mm lens, 80mm lens, 150mm lens, 250mm lens, 2x extender, filters, extension tubes, Nikon SB-800 strobe, and film in my backpack camera bag and call it part of my physical fitness program. :surprised:

    Sometimes I throw in the two Nikons with 20-35mm zoom, 28-200mm zoom, and 28-300mm zoom lenses.* :surprised::surprised::surprised:

    using analog photography to stay in shape,
    Steve

    * That is not a typo. Each body has a 28mm-X00mm zoom and the 20-35mm zoom is shared!
     
  8. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Clearly there's a price below which the retailer won't go or he/she would be out of business but times are hard and getting harder and an offer is worth a try. The same is true of powersellers on e-bay who use a BIN and I expect a lot of BIN prices to fall. I haven't kept stats but already I think I have seen more re-listings than a few months ago and I expect the BINs to fall further. Other sellers who simply auction and hope for a reasonable price might also be disappointed. I have seen a couple of real bargains. This is especially the case when reading between the lines it's relatives selling job lots of a deceased enthusiast's equipment. I don't think we have reached the bottom yet in the UK on e-bay, especially with the need to generate cash for Xmas.

    Only an example and not directly related to your needs but how about a Durst M605 enlarger, a RH Designs Analyser Pro, a Duka 50 sodium lamp, a Photon Beard 4 bladed easel and three trays. Starting price £199 and it got one bidder. It was collect only. If it hadn't been Sussex and I didn't have a 605 and Duka anyway I might have been tempted to have bid and then driven all the way there.

    In effect with one bidder the seller was robbed.

    Unless you are in a hurry, I'd keep a watch on MF cameras for a few months. It could be to your advantage.

    pentaxuser
     
  9. milkplus-mesto

    milkplus-mesto Member

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    I'd been thinking about that, with things the way they are, and cameras being "luxury" items and all, they're bound to fall a bit during this ol' recession.

    At my local "photographic society"/camera club, there's a chance to swap old magazines. I got hold of one from 2004, and was really shocked by some of the prices they charged back then.

    Time is on my side, so I'll wait it out.
     
  10. milkplus-mesto

    milkplus-mesto Member

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    On a similar note, I bought my M605 with Two 8mm projectors, an 8/16mm film editor and five 35mm slide projectors (four identical, one different) each with identical kodak 75-200mm lenses. Add to this £10 for a Canon EOS 650 with 35-70mm lens and you've got the perfect start in 35mm photography for the princely sum of...

    £90
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I don't think you can go far wrong with any of the Mamiyas or Bronicas (or Hasselblads or Rolleis).

    I bought a Bronica ETRS followed by an RB67. My initial plan was to sell the Bronica but I still have it as it is (relatively) small and gets used in different situations to the RB67.



    Steve.
     
  12. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    There is one eBay seller who does a lot of Bronica and gives a guarantee with them as well. I recommended them to Andy K and I believe he was very happy with the camera and the price. As said earlier however, he is also reducing his prices on a week by week basis, so set your price limit and wait for it ....... :smile:

    http://stores.ebay.co.uk/knobbyrobs-camera-corner
     
  13. Rolleijoe

    Rolleijoe Member

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    I'd forget them both and go for a Rolleiflex TLR with Planar lens. My main Rollei is a 3.5E (as I shoot primarily around f/8-f/16 or f/22, a faster lens is of no use to me).

    You get:
    1) light, comfortable camera, easy to use
    2) leaf shutter with flash sync at all speeds
    3) an extremely fast camera to use
    4) most importantly: Zeiss lenses, simply the best there are

    Rolleijoe
     
  14. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    What you don't get, of course, is a chance to use another lens without having to buy another camera too. :wink:
     
  15. Rolleijoe

    Rolleijoe Member

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    Once you shoot with Zeiss, there is no other lens. Just think of all the great images made by Matthew Brady with his ULF cameras, coating his own emulsion onto glass, and using one lens.

    I don't understand this (relatively) modern notion that you need an f/1.8 lens with 3200asa film to get an image. I'd truly like to see some of the so-called "artists" who shoot these days try to make use of even a Leica 1a. They can't do it. Just too lost without their AE modes and AF cameras. Take the "A" out, and the "artist" goes with it.

    Unless you can learn to get what you want by using only one lens, as thousands of photographers before the invention of "auto-everything", then you can not call yourself an "artist" in my book.

    Rolleijoe
     
  16. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Then why not get an ETRSI instead? It'll be cheaper and smaller. Really not much different then a big 35mm [Say F4 or so in weight]

    The RZ produces 6x7 negs. That is it's big advantage.

    The Bronicas are smaller and bring more electronic smarts.

    It all depends on what you intend to do.

    Portraits on a tripod won't challenge a RZ.

    OTOH if you're shooting handheld and trying to shoot quickly then the smaller cameras have advantages.
     
  17. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I blame Crayola. Used to be a black crayon was all you needed. Then kids got spoiled. Now it's spray paint this. Day glo that. I don't know :rolleyes:
     
  18. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    That must be then why Zeiss made only one le... uhm... hold on a moment!
    Why did Zeiss make so many different lenses? Lenses you can use on a Rollei too, as long as it is not a TLR?
    :smile:

    You are confusing not having options with being an artist.
    Lenses are tools. Artists need the tools they need to accomplish what they want to accomplish. And if they need different lenses to do different things...
    There is no art in making do, though you rather would not.

    That's why before the invention of auto-everything (is that another term for being able to use more lenses?), artists had a huge choice of lenses they could choose, and made good use of that choice too.
    :wink:

    P.S.
    I thought i remembered, had a look, and i did: you have a Mamiya 645 too, haven't you?
    No Zeiss... :wink:
    And while making sure i remembered correctly, i came across you saying: "Nothing can compare to the beautiful bokeh from a Leica lens." :wink:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2008
  19. Rolleijoe

    Rolleijoe Member

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    Nope, "auto-everything" means that the camera is chosing everything for you, including where critical focus lies.

    I never said Zeiss only made 1 lens. Perhaps you misunderstood. Zeiss makes the best lenses in the world, and yes, there is an adaptor for shooting Zeiss lenses with the Mamiya M645 Pro.
     
  20. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Me neither. Makes for interesting conversation, though.
     
  21. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I know.
    The point is, of course, that auto-everything has nothing to do with having a choice of more than one lens.

    That's what you think! :D
    If the OP would follow your advice, and go for a Rollei TLR, he would be stuck with a system that allows him to use one lens, and one lens only.

    All you need, one lens, you say. But that's not true!
    If you need more, you say, you cannot be an artist. That's even less true (if that would be possible)!
    :wink:

    And do you use Zeiss lenses on the Mamiya?
    Why did you buy a Mamiya to use Zeiss lenses on?
    And how about those Leica lenses?
    :rolleyes:
     
  22. kodachrome64

    kodachrome64 Member

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    I agree about the "auto-everything". I have my F100 for fast-action photography that can't be focused manually, but I don't do a lot of "artsy" stuff with it. For art I have my RB67, which doesn't have auto anything. The reason I like the SLR design is because I do want more than one lens; I can't use a 127mm lens for everything, and it doesn't work that well for landscapes. I don't think it makes me less of an artist to put on a 50mm lens when I want a wideangle shot. However, I'm not a big fan of zooms for 35mm because using primes makes me think about the perspective I want and makes me move to get the shot. But I would want at least a wide lens, normal lens, and telephoto to be able to actually get the shots I want. A lot can be done with one lens, but not everything IMO.

    Nick
     
  23. Terry Bowyer

    Terry Bowyer Member

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    Dont forget KEH.com. They may not be in the UK, but they generally have a lot of good stock. I bought a Mamiya RZ 50mm lens in bargin condition. When I got it, it didn't even have a scratch on it...perfect. Get them to send you there catalogue. I live in New Zealand. Once a month, I get a new catalogue in the mail. A great read.