Abandoning a 6x6 SLR system in favour of a TLR & 6x9 RF

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Ricus.stormfire, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    For the last couple of weeks I have been contemplating this thought. Now as much as I can't fault my Bronica SQA's performance I have to admit, I have become too lazy/busy to carry and (effectively) use the system. The fact that it has interchangable lenses does not help because I am always tempted to take most of them along, just in case, and I tend to use the 80mm 90% of the time anyway. Plus at the speed I use it (effectively!) and my average output, I might as well get a LF in the future if I want to take my time.


    Now, I have been thinking selling/trading in this Bronica kit and getting a Rolleiflex and/or/maybe after a bit of saving a Fuji GW690(I.II or III), I have looked at the Mamiya & Bronica RF too, but they bring back in the lusting for more lenses problem, plus the Bronica RF is 645, which I have always thought an akward format.

    I already have a YashicaMat, that gets used more than the Bronica, so a second TLR (and Rollei's being pretty good last time I checked) might be good.

    I might be barking up the wrong lamppole (never mind tree) but I feel the need to simplify some of the aspects of my photography...too much stuff is just that...too much



    PS: I have no illusions that different gear will make me a better photographer, just a less tired one :wink:
     
  2. horacekenneth

    horacekenneth Member

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    Why not use the YashicaMat? Put the Bronica money towards that LF.
    I get the desire to simplify. In my case I need to learn to take good photos with what I have and not focus on more and different gear. I've started using a Holga for street photos because I learned that if I have the option of focusing and composing I will spend ten minutes doing it.
     
  3. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    keep what you have and slowly get rid of what you don't use. if you haven't used something for a few years. it becomes a 'for-sale' candidate!. that's a good way o simplify your photographic life. good luck. i feel with you. i keep what i have and i will buy nothing new. i shocked my wife the other day, when i told her to toss the calumet flyer, because it contained nothing i don't already own. i need nothing more ,just the time and the opportunity to use what i already have.
     
  4. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    You might might to consider a Mamyia 6, not the new version, the old version from the 50s. Folds up very, compact, 75mm fixed 3.5 lens, takes S VI push on filters, lens is very sharp. There are other fixed lens folders as well, but if think your 6X6 SLR is heavy try a Mamyia Universal with a 6X9 back and a 250mm lens.
     
  5. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    I do use the Mat, but by my reckoning a second TLR (different film inside than in the Mat for instance) would be helpful, as for the LF, that is a future purchase say 5 to 6 years min. My current situation won't afford me the time to, take my time too much when taking photos. I actually thought about trading the Bronica for a LF a while back, but realized I won't have much time to use it (for a while anyway).

    This all just theorizing and speculation on my part still. Things my change...
     
  6. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    Like I said, this is all just theory, I have not made any concrete steps...things might change. Sage advice none the less...Thanks Mr. Lambrecht





    I will look into the Mamiya Six, but I've only had bad luck with vintage 120 folders.... but at least it has a coupled RF, which makes it a bit more interesting.
     
  7. rhcgn

    rhcgn Member

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    Having been quite fed up after a few trips abroad with my Mamiya RB, 2-3 lenses, 3 backs etc., I recently bought a Fuji GW670III. I was a bit worried at first, I only ever used SLR's and thought the focusing would be difficult, now I could not be happier. The lens is absolutely stunning, as is the rangefinder (huuuge and contrasty), and the focus ring is the best I have ever felt in terms of tactility.
    If you are looking for a fixed lens medium format RF you can't go wrong with the GWIII series. However, I do like shooting close portraits from time to time, I wouldn't wan't to miss the SLR for that. If that's something you do I would probably keep the Bronica along with the longer lens(es).
     
  8. jk0592

    jk0592 Member

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    I made the plunge toward a 4x5 LF camera coming from 25 years+ of medium format. What happened is that when when taking out the LF gear, the MF comes along, why, the external meter gives the correct exposure, as i have the same film type in both. So things do not really simplify when you go LF, it simply adds new ways of doing photography.
     
  9. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    Yes...that is also one the reasons I am thinking of this....less gear to drag along on not-exclusively-for-photography trips, a TLR, a 6x9 RF, light meter, filters & film would take up[ less space than a 6x6 SLR plus backs, plus 40, 80, 150 and 500mm lenses...ooh and do I pack the prism finder? maybe just in case. I am not a huge on portraits close up...so that does not bother me.


    Ha, good point, BUT, I plan on getting into LF when my son is a bit older....the simplifying part has more to do with my current gear....fixed lenses for now, just to keep me from dragging along a bunch of lenses I might not even use just in case....
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    A 6x6 SLR excels for close-up work and anything else that demands careful framing and the ability to preview the depth of field.

    I would suggest keeping the camera body plus any lenses and accessories that support those endeavours, plus anything else that you like to do with that camera.

    Sell the rest, and use the money wisely :smile:.
     
  11. Aron

    Aron Subscriber

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    Here is something you could consider:

    Let's pretend your Bronica/Yashica Mat is a special LF camera, giving you superb quality without the hassle. We don't know how large prints you make, but unless you're absolutely sure you want a decent contact print or movements, MF can produce solid quality in a much more compact form. Yes, a print from a 6x6 negative, using the finest grained films (as you do from what I saw in your excellent Gallery uploads) will not look exactly the same as one from a 5x4 negative, but the difference can be so small as to become irrelevant. If you managed to get your shot with the LF camera.

    Looking at my own photographs, if even I don't care that much after some time what format was used for a given print, I wonder how much others will. It's easy to see the difference in an A/B test of course, but by looking at the print from the smaller format alone, the chances are high you'll think "now this is lively tonaily/next time I should open up the aperture more/use an orange filter", instead of "damn, why couldn't I take this using my LF outfit?".

    Use any camera (more or less) long enough and it will become intuitive and easy to handle regardless of the situation. It's all in the photographers mind:

    1. If you can trick yourself into thinking that you're actually not shooting Efke 25/TMX/Delta 100/Acros/Pan F+ in a 6x6 camera, but a well-maintained 5x4 with a clean lens, you win on many fronts and lose only on a few.

    2. In 1905 someone was happy if he could borrow a friend's camera, very happy if he had his own and was loosing his sense of reality if he had many lenses/cameras to choose for a given shot. Pretend it's 1905 and you're lucky to have a great camera with a single lens. Choose one, put away the rest and don't think about them for a month/year.
     
  12. voceumana

    voceumana Member

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    Keep the SqA system, and get a Fuji GW690. The 6x9 negative will amaze you because of its size, and it's very portable. But I completely understand the desire for a simple approach, and easy to carry package.

    I also have a Cosina/Voigtlander 35mm RF kit, and am amazed at how compact it is even with 3 or 4 interchangeable lenses. It's easy to carry around, if you can live with 35mm.

    Back in high school, I shot a Yashica-Mat 124, and got good results, but just a few years ago I tried to use it, and I can't focus it easily, and holding a TLR steady was very hard now that I am much older. So I sold it.

    Unless you want to carry around a lot of heavy equipment, or shoot close to your car, a LF camera isn't going to give you an easily portable system.

    Charlie
     
  13. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    Get a Rolleiflex. Splurge and get a 2.8 D or E. Save money and find an E either without a meter or with a non-functioning meter. Best camera you can buy for the types of shooting a TLR is good for, and the optics are of course second to none.
     
  14. whlogan

    whlogan Member

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    Your discourse here makes me think of my camera collection now as a waste now. All bought with specific plans for this use or that at one time or another and often never used. Now I like the Fuji GW690III or GSW690III as the best possible investment I ever made along those lines though I dearly love the Rolleiflex SL66's a lot, but the sheer weight of those lovelies is, well, ... what to say? Weight is a ponderous factor as we get older, is it not? Good things to consider here, gentlemen, I thank you.
    Logan
     
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  15. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    Get a Rollei T or Rolleicord Vb, I've owned both, the "T" since 1978, it continues to give superb quality, is light to carry and has been a model of reliability.
     
  16. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    Lots of points to consider here and I thank you for your comments, there is a lot of thinking to on my part.....another few solutions have occured to me lately, maybe I should just get myself a smaller bag? less equipment can fit, no temptation to bring along everything, just in case. The new strap I've gotten seems to make the camera (Bronica) a bit more comfortable to use (When using it handheld, with WLF), though a 45 degree finder looks neat. Rolleiflexes are good (better than the Yashica for sure) and they are also collectable, this reflects in the price (and living in the Southern Hemisphere doesn't help either!!!!) So that will stay on my wishlist for a little longer. Maybe a little old widow will give one to me (I wish!!!!)

    Fuji RFs are a bit of a rarity here (never seen one for sale, online in South Africa) so that might also be a bit out of reach...

    4x5....that is a future purchase and I am not considering one soon.

    I am considering selling the 500mm Bronica lens...I never use it, that and the prism finder. Maybe save that up?
     
  17. revdocjim

    revdocjim Member

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    PDH suggested the older Mamiya 6. I have one and it isn't bad, but I agree that vintage folders can be somewhat of a crap shoot. I ended up buying a second one for parts, combining elements to get the cleanest lens I could and then getting a hood for it and the results were much better than when I first got it. But stilll, I would strongly recommend the New Mamiya 6. It is superior to the old one in almost every sense. The only trade off is that it is a little bit bigger.

    It has exchangeable lenses but there are only three so it isn't one of those endless money pits! In particular the 50mm WA is exceptional.
    It is very compact, even more so than the 7 or 7ii because the lens collapses into the body when not in use. I think it's lighter than most TLRs and easy to hold/operate.
    The ergonomics are very good.
    The view finder automatically adjusts for each lens and has parallax comp. so no need for external finders.
    It has a built in meter if you want to use it, but also can be used in manual.
    The build is much more robust than any folder.
    I have been very happy with the results!

    If you really want to go with a folder I would recommend the Fuji GF670. It's pricey but has the wonderful advantage of being able to shoot 6x6 or 6x7 without the hassle of changing film backs. And the optics are second to none!
     
  18. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Past GAS

    It might be hard to imagine... almost impossible at times in my life, but I am PAST GAS. I have every camera I could ever want, I 'll never have the Leica I lusted after, nor the the Hassey. But I don't need them. I still have the Nikon FM2 from 25 years ago, I have an rb67 that takes great pictures when it gets dragged out. The Deardorff V8 takes care of all my sheet film needs, excepting when I want to burn the rest of the 3x4 film in the freezer, and there is the Graplex rb for that. Rolls of 120 have a number of outlets from the 635 to the rb67 to roll backs for the speed graphics.


    What do I want? What do I need?

    It's the same in most areas of my life. Don't need any new woodworking tools, don't even need any more fabric for my quilting hobby.

    So here I am at 56, out of GAS, and nothing to do but clean up 43 years of projects. If I work hard, I'll be finished by the time I'm 134.


    So sad.

    tim in san jose
     
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  19. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    For me simplifying hasn't changed anything. It only created a vacuum that needed filling at some point. I've also tried carrying 2 cameras of the same format just for film choices but generally only shot one. The other became a dead weight for a couple of frames and a body to stick a telephoto lens on. It would have been better to stick the lens in my pocket or a belt bag. My best kit is one body and 2 prime lenses and a 2 lb tripod. I can hike and scramble the rocks. If your not opposed to trying a different regime, take the Bronica out next time with just one lens and don't fear not having all the tools. It's actually kind of liberating. If you find that another lens would have been better, zoom with your feet, move back or crop. I also found I had to get over the every picture everytime with the right equipment mentality. I think I've gotten better using less. At least my back and feet hurt less.
     
  20. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I'm in the same place as Tim (two posts above). I've pretty much bought every camera that I ever wanted. At the end of the day, there are a handful that I really like: a few SLRs, some folding cameras, a couple of box cameras and some rangefinders.

    I'm sitting (literally sitting, as they are under the bed in bins) on a substantial group of cameras that I will soon decide to keep or sell. But it's been a great photographic journey, and I would encourage anyone to try as many cameras a possible and not limit themselves to one camera, one format or one thing in life.

    Leicas are great, but they aren't the end game for photography. Same goes for a Rolleiflex, a Nikon or Canon or a Bronica or Hasselblad or [any other camera make].

    To the original poster, I would try a few different types of cameras and see which ones you like best and then settle on those.

    You might be surprised by what you like and don't like.
     
  21. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    Hmmm I think I am might put off buying ANY cameras for a while (no matter how hard I try to justify it) I think the closer focusing abilities of the SLR kind of outweigh any RF/TLR for now.... Those Fuji RF's look tempting, but that is no deciding factor in buying one (for me at least). Rolleis, yes...maybe I felt a little, how can say, inferior? BS... I think I will rather push any money available for photography into consumables instead of tools, I have the tools already, I know how to use them and I am generally happy with the results they provide. Maybe one day...