Can you help me find a mf?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Heidia, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. Heidia

    Heidia Member

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    I want to hand hold it. Camera shake is an issue for me with my dslr, but not with my 35mm ElanII, so I want something along those lines, as far as shake proof goes, ifykwim.

    I like the idea of 6x6 or 6x7.

    I want something that has an eyepiece to view at my face, not waist.

    And, I want to spend less than 400 for body.

    Can you help me?
     
  2. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You might take a look at the Mamiya 6. Less money than the Mamiya 7, 6x6 rangefinder. Easy to hold, and shoot without much shake.
     
  3. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    About 70% of the shake can be compensated for on a DSLR/SLR by picking a different way of holding it. I like to rest the whole thing on my left hand like I was propping up the forestock of a gun. Some additional shake improvement can come from a sculpted heavy camera body like the pro versions (f4,f5,f6,d1,d2,d3 using Nikon for an example). Then, some cameras like the leaf shutter medium format can be so smooth, that counts for something very real too.

    Most of the TLRs have magnifying glasses built in so you can use them at face level instead of waist level. They are real smooth in terms of preventing camera shake, at least the Yashica and Rollei TLRs I've used.

    Also, some of the Rollei TLRs have a mirror on the back of the sportfinder pop-down, and if you put that halfway between sportfinder mode and normal mode, you can have a forward looking view almost like a pentaprism. This is most easily spotted by having two holes to look through on the backside of the finder.
     
  4. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    The Pentax 6X7 is a great camera, but some complain about shake while others have no problem.

    I own one of these cameras and have only had one shaky image out of hundreds and that was because I was shooting with a shutter speed of 1/2 second because I forgot to check the shutter speed after setting with the meter in the prism. I will admit I have taken two photos with it on a tripod, but those were half hour exposures, I also used a picnic table as a mount to photograph a sunset once.

    I will say that those that complain about shake with the Pentax 6X7 are quite vocal about it, and insist that you can not use the camera without a tripod and using Mirror Lock up. Again, I have never seen this issue with mine, and I am far from the steadiest of hands when shooting, I will admit that I do not pound the shutter release, rather I gently press until it fires, maybe that helps. It's a beast of a camera and you could probably kill a bear with it, but it should still be treated like the precision instrument that it is.
     
  5. Hikari

    Hikari Member

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    There are also a whole class of folding cameras that can work.
     
  6. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    400 in what currency ? we don't know what country you're in.
     
  7. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    The camera shake is affected by camera weight, how you hold it and your own movement (even breathing). The bulky box MFs will be heavy. The RFs of good name will crimp your wallet a bit. I don't know of any that will offer something along the lines of IS but I'm sure there is something out there. Again, wallet crimpage. An older Mamiya 6 or some such is probably along the lines of what you're looking for, along with a wall or a post to lean against while shooting.
     
  8. Heidia

    Heidia Member

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    Thank you all for the info.

    Ben, I am sorry, 400 US dollars. I am in the US
     
  9. r-brian

    r-brian Member

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    I'll sell you a Mamiya M645 with 3 lenses for less than $400 (seriously) and you will still have money left over to buy the grip which will make holding it even easier.

    Basically for $400, you can have your choice of a couple of 4.5x6 or 6x6 systems. Medium format is relatively cheap these days.
     
  10. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I don't remember the prices of the RB67, but you could check it out.

    Jeff
     
  11. Hikari

    Hikari Member

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    Folks, the OPs is looking for a camera other than an SLR. No moving mirror.
     
  12. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    Then look at some of the 1960s-era "press" cameras--Koni-Omega, Mamiya Universal/Press, Graflex. They can be had pretty cheap these days, had nice lenses. A lot of them are kinda beat, but you could put together a complete working kit for under $400. I don't think you can get a Mamiya 6 or 7 for that. If you don't care about interchangeable lenses and backs, you might be able to get an older Fuji 670.
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It is not clear to me that the OP is necessarily excluding SLRs, because he/she is happy with his/her 35mm SLR.

    If the OP is willing to consider 6x4.5, I am willing to make a shameless plug for the 645 starter system I have listed in the classifieds :smile:.

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum379/87007-f-s-mamiya-645-super-kit-2-lenses-grip.html

    A system you can grow with.

    I've never had any particular problem with camera shake. For tripod use, it has mirror lock up. For non-tripod work, I find the ergonomics quite good.

    Just in case it isn't clear, I'm not leaving the Mamiya 645 system - the items for sale are my backup body and two lenses that I use less than the others I have.
     
  14. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have a beautiful little Isolette folder to sell for well under your budget. That will leave you plenty for film and other sundries.
     
  15. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I think that the Mamiya 645 with the grip that Matt is selling or one with a motor grip would be a good camera to consider. I understand that the negative is smaller than 6X6 but the ergonomics are great and I have never encountered camera shake problems with them.

    Another camera to consider is the Bronica SQ series which is 6X6 format. They are available with grips, are also very good ergonomically and they are not a whole lot larger than a 645 camera. I am not sure about prices, but I think your $400 target will work.
     
  16. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Probably the most stable and 35mm-like models I've shot are the Mamiya Super/TL/ProTL with a motor grip(not the ancient heavy metal M645 series) or the much-overlooked Pentax 645 or newer better 645N.
     
  17. Ric Trexell

    Ric Trexell Member

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    I don't think the camera is the problem.

    I think any camera can be shaken if you are not using a tripod or monopod. You don't say what sort of pics you want to take, but unless it is kids running around or puppies jumping across the floor, I would try using a monopod. You can get those steady supports they use for video cameras if you want to spend the money. I think the important thing is to have a camera that can use a fast shutter speed and use a fast film. Make sure that you have had your coffee, Moutain Dew or cigarette before you do your photography so you don't have the shakes. I guess you should avoid photography the day you get that notice from the IRS too, but now I'm getting silly. Ric.
     
  18. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    If you're looking for a 6x7 rangefinder, Koni-Omegas and Rapid-Omegas are very inexpensive. But with any older camera it is best to allow some dollars for a CLA; eventually the Koni-Omega backs need to be serviced and the seals need to be replaced.
     
  19. Galah

    Galah Member

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    I'm with you! :smile:
     
  20. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Among others in my "collection", I have a Zeiss Nettar II 517/16, which has an eye-level OVF, leaf shutter (excellent for hand-held), and was very cheap (<Aus$60 including a CLA), is a 6x6, and -despite its age- performs very well.

    See if you can find one. :smile:
     
  21. revdocjim

    revdocjim Member

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    I don't know enough about MF rangefinders to offer any suggestions there. But I also re-read the OP and don't see any suggestion that it has to be a non-SLR. Several folks have suggested 645 cameras but the OP clearly says 6x6 or 6x7. Of the cameras already suggested I would think the Mamiya RB is the most difficult to handhold. I have one and definitely consider it a tripod camera. The Pentax 6x7 is hand holdable, especially with the broomhandle grip and focus levers but still it is pretty heavy and clunky. I think one very good way to avoid camera shake is to select something with a lens shutter rather than a focal plane shutter. Yes, the RB is a lens shutter system but as I just mentioned, the body is monstrous. My suggestion would be Zenza Bronica. The SQ-A is 6x6. The GS-1 is 6x7. The interesting thing is that the GS-1 is actually lighter and thus easier to hand hold. With the speed grip and AE finder it feels and works like a 35mm SLR, albeit an overgrown one... If you hunt around a bit you may be able to get one with the grip, AE finder and normal lens for $400.
     
  22. Heidia

    Heidia Member

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    Thank you all for all the info.

    Yes, to clarify, it can be an slr. I have no issues with camera shake using my ElanII 35mm slr, less camera shake using that than with my dslr xsi. I have just read up on the larger MF cameras, and it seems that camera shake is an issue with some of them...no experience in re to that, just worried. So, yes, I will happily shoot an slr so long as the camera shake is as controll-able as it is with my 35mm slr...
     
  23. JohnMeadows

    JohnMeadows Subscriber

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    This (the Mamiya 645) is like the kit I have (with the grip and an additional lens, the 80mm macro) and I love it!!