Cheapest medium format camera

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by baachitraka, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,322
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    Bremen, Germany.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I shoot with 35mm and have no interest to go for another format very soon. In the mean-time, I am wondering how the photos will look from medium-format esp., 6x7.

    Can anybody suggest a dead cheap medium-format camera just for testing, please.
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Drop dead cheap will likely be a second hand Holga or likes. But if you are looking to evaluate quality difference in results, you'll have to test it with quality MF camera against quality 35mm. For 645 format, Mamiya M645 series are pretty inexpensive. Bronica would be a good choice for 6x6 and Mamiya RB or RZ would be a good candidate for 6x7. You could also try TLRs and choices are numerous.

    We often get bargain RBs in APUG classified section. You might want to keep your eyes on them.
     
  3. R gould

    R gould Member

    Messages:
    430
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Jersey Chann
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    You can pick good folders for 6x6 to 6x9 fairly cheaply,
    Richard
     
  4. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Go with a folder. The Iskra that I have has got a darn good lens and I got the camera for 65$. Looks brand new and is great fun.
     
  5. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,322
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    Bremen, Germany.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hmm...I joined recently to film. So, I have no idea about the names of folders. :-(
     
  6. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,454
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    i would suggest starting with an older TLR such as a mamiya C3, rolleicord, or yashicamat.
    Trying to start medium format with a $10 camera will get results you would expect from a $10 camera.
    But if you spend around $100 you will end up with a much better understanding of the quality available from medium format.
     
  7. rawhead

    rawhead Subscriber

    Messages:
    575
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I started out with all the stuff people listed. The one that really got me hooked, however, was the Zenza Bronica SQ I had for a while. Beautiful finder, wonderful craftsmanship, awesome lenses. And they're dirt cheap as far as 6x6 SLRs go.
     
  8. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

    Messages:
    1,932
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    Best/The Net
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    agfa clack 4x4cm. On local markets here for 3 euro.
     
  9. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

    Messages:
    973
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Ajman - U.A.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Quality of MF surpass the quality of 35mm even if many will say that 35mm as so excellent and as good as MF, i may agree that 35mm can be as good but never can be better if you take the best 35mm against the best MF, but looking at 6x6 and 6x7 and larger against 35mm, sorry people, i will take that 6x6+ even if it costs $5000 over 35mm even if it costs $50.
     
  10. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,936
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    south centra
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It sounds like you're looking for a 6x7, not a 645 or 6x6. So keeping with your request, I'd look at a Koni Omega. They are a dirt cheap 6x7 rangefinder with excellent quality glass. I bought one to carry in the pickup for less than $100, and a nicer one for about $125 both came with a lens. One even came with a 220 back in addition to the 120 back.

    Good luck with you search.


    Mike
     
  11. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,322
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    Bremen, Germany.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have no idea about the quality of the photos from MF yet and only presumed that higher the film area, better is for the detail(using good lens).
     
  12. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

    Messages:
    973
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Ajman - U.A.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't know why, but i tend to believe that 100%.
    I have shooting with 6x6 up to 6x9 MF, the shots out of 6x9 and 6x7 are always sharper than shots out of 6x6 camera, even using same film and same developer, even using the sharpest lens for 6x6 still i see it less quality or sharpness than my 6x7/6x9 shots, i just scan and didn't print to judge, but i remember i printed one shot from 6x7 neg, was tack sharp, but i can't say that on this forum because i am worry many will come and say that they can get sharper and better quality with 6x4.5 than 6x7 or 6x9.
     
  13. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Let's take some extreme examples.... 35mm film and 8x10 film. Let's say you'll be enlarging it to 8x10 print size.

    If you have a 35mm film, your short side of film is 24mm wide which is a little less than an inch. To make an 8x10 print, that side will have to be magnified 8 times and some to make it 8 inches wide. Image with detail will have to be magnified that much as well. A given film can have so much detail. If you try to magnify it far, it will not have sufficient details.

    If you have an 8x10 film, well, it's a 1:1 magnification (no magnification). All the details that are in the film will be transferred to the print with no magnifications. You'll have no problems with magnifications and not having enough details.

    My experience is that 35mm is sufficient for 8x10 print size. I've been amazed how well it works for 11x14 recently. Beyond that, I haven't tried. 645 has been great but in terms of increased details, not so much so over 35mm. It's better, yes, absolutely, but now the WOW kind of difference. It kind of shows how far 35mm technology has come. To me, the benefit of medium format film is ease of handling and ease of viewing contact sheets. That alone is worth the trouble for me.

    For OP, I don't know what you are after.... what's the practical size you'll print for now and in near future? Are you capable of (equipment wise) handling large film size??
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. erikg

    erikg Member

    Messages:
    1,460
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    pawtucket rh
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    More importantly, what do you want to make pictures of? An 8x10 camera can potentially blow away 35mm or 120 print quality-wise, but not if you can't get the shot.
     
  16. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,322
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    Bremen, Germany.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My age counts from 1979, so it is not a big problem to carry heavy equipment. ;-)

    I do not know the size of the prints yet, if shots came good then I can decide.

    I tending towards RB67(mechanical ones) for portrait shots(nice lens with soft bokeh).
     
  17. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dead cheap would be a 6x9 Brownie or something of the like. They are often only 5 bucks, if not free. The problem is that if you are looking to see what kind of technical quality you can get from medium format, these are poor examples. They are really fun cameras, and can make very nice images. But they are not necessarily the acme of medium format technical quality. You will actually get sharper prints from 35mm in almost every case. If I wanted to dabble to see what medium format is capable of technically speaking, I might save a bit longer and get a low-end Yashica TLR instead of going for dead cheap right now.
     
  18. Alastair_I

    Alastair_I Member

    Messages:
    42
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    For a folder look at the Ensign Selfix models, very under-appreciated folding 120 format cameras in 6x6, 6x9 and some models were interchangeable between the two formats. The 820 Autorange Special is the top-end of the range, but you can pick up a usable 420, 16-20 or Ranger for under £20.
     
  19. hpulley

    hpulley Member

    Messages:
    2,214
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Location:
    Guelph, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The RB67 is a great camera. I even hand hold mine. It is quite cheap too, but bulky and loud. When I want something smaller and quieter I take my 6x6 TLR or 6x9 folder which cost me $6.50
     
  20. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

    Messages:
    796
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    While I was working for a newspaper, I took a part time job shooting weddings for a portrait studio. At the newspaper I used high quality Nikon 35mm lenses. At the portrait studio, I was given a medium-priced twin-lens Yashica 6x6cm (called 2 ¼ square at the time) to shoot the weddings. I was amazed by the higher image quality of the larger format.

    I later purchased my own 6x6 camera (Mamiya C3) and have been using medium format (and 35mm) ever since.
     
  21. photoncatcher

    photoncatcher Member

    Messages:
    173
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    NJ
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Another vote for the Koni-Omegas. Rock solid camera, great glass, and the film advance sounds like you're charging a semi auto fire arm. They're also the 6x7 format (which I prefer), and relatively light weight when compared to my RB67.
     
  22. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,087
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The one thing to watch out for with Koni-Omegas is that they tend to be very used, and may need some CLA, especially the backs. But the lenses are excellent and can generally be had for much less than equivalent lenses from other makers.
     
  23. blockend

    blockend Member

    Messages:
    1,639
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2010
    Location:
    northern eng
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Unless you're going to use one studio only, a medium format camera is only useful if it's small enough to carry everywhere with you. I've had superb 120 cameras but I had to think seriously about carrying the weight, which inevitably lead to them being left at home and shots missed. Pound for pound, a 40s/50s folding camera delivers most resolution in a transportable package.
     
  24. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,322
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    Bremen, Germany.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I like to have your recommendations in regard to foldings. Yes, I have no plans to setup a studio or do any professional work.

    A good sharp lens with folding(pref. 6x7) should be enough for me.
     
  25. hpulley

    hpulley Member

    Messages:
    2,214
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Location:
    Guelph, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'll carry my RB67 anywhere if my purpose is taking pictures. If my purpose is not taking pictures then my 6x9 folder fits in a pocket, that is true.
     
  26. blockend

    blockend Member

    Messages:
    1,639
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2010
    Location:
    northern eng
    Shooter:
    35mm
    A Zeiss Ikon Nettar is cheaper than a Holga on ebay and is no bigger than a 35mm SLR. The build quality is high and lens resolution stopped down to F8 or F11 would only be surpassed by a 120 camera costing x10 or x20 more.

    There are other folders with similar characteristics.