Debating a new MF Camera

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Katier, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. Katier

    Katier Member

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    Well new to me at least..

    I LOVE 6x6 and for much of my 6x6 work I'll continue to use my Yashicamat but there are times when the fixed lens isn't ideal and thus a SLR ( or Mamiya ) would be better.. Been researching options and trying to figure out best option..

    Based on current ebay.co.uk prices (for second hand kit ) :-
    SQA - £300 with 80mm/WLF
    Hassy 200FC - £400 with 80mm/wlf
    Pentax 67 - £330 (approxx)
    Mamiya C330 - £200 (approxx)

    I know the Pentax is 6x7 but looked at it as it's close to square. I then looked at the only affordable new options.. Yep you've guessed it the remanufactuered Kievs.

    Kiev 60/Arax MLU Standard - £220 (approx) including TTL Finder etc.
    Kiev 88/Arax non-MLU Basic - £220 (approx) WLF/80mm/film holder
    Kiev 60/Hartblei MLU Standard - £150 (approx) including TTL Finder etc.
    Kiev 88/Hartblei non-MLU Basic - £300 (approx) including TTL Finder etc.

    My gut instinct is to go for either a Hartblei Kiev 60 or a Arax non-MLU 88. I am assuming both options are a lot more consistant and reliable than the base Kiev models and it is based on this assumption that for the level of use ( quite light weight use overall ) I am going to do these two options represent the best value for money.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    If you are used to a Yashicamat and like 6x6 then buy both the Bronica SQA and the Hasselblad 200FC (for those prices how can you resist?) and then re-sell the one you decide not to keep.

    I suppose the Hassleblad would end up being much more expensive than the Bronica if you planned to buy other lenses in addition to the 80mm.
     
  3. Katier

    Katier Member

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    Oh should mention - budget is tight. Could stretch to all the listed camera's obviously but not much more.
     
  4. f1.4

    f1.4 Member

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    At today's prices, you should seriously consider the Hassy. The Zeiss glasses are superior. You might even wait and save some more money first. Mamya, Pentax and Bronica are not too bad, but no cigar. Today when everything is second hand you might as well go for the real thing.
     
  5. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Think a bit about the cost of the lenses you want. You already have a normal lens on the Yashica. The cost of additional lenses will probably tilt you toward the Mamiya or Bronica. I had a Mamiya and it is hard to beat for the price. The size of a 3 lens kit is really small too. That said, I sold mine and bought a Hasselblad 500c/m when I could afford it.
     
  6. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    I would choose the Bronica SQA system, the whole system is quite inexpensive these days. When you can afford it, you can easily get a spare body, and the backs and lenses you need. The Hasselblad system is a splendid system, but the lenses are still much more expensive. Bronica lenses are very good. I have a quite old Bronica S2A system, and the lenses are generally top notch.

    Trond
     
  7. KrankyKraut

    KrankyKraut Member

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    I can recommend the only 6X6 camera I own, which is the Pentacon Six TL. It's inexpensive, relatively compact and my three CZJ lenses (80mm, 120mm and 50mm) are excellent and leave nothing to be desired. In fact, I must have looked at literally thousands of images taken with medium format gear before I made my decision. I believe that in the bang-for-the-buck category the Pentacon can't be beaten.
     
  8. Greg Campbell

    Greg Campbell Member

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    FWIW, I'm also quite happy with an SQ (Ai model, not that it much matters). Since you're on a budget, you should know that Bronica WF finders are somewhat rare and thus expensive. Several prisms are available. http://www.tamron.com/bronica/prod/sq.asp
    Holler if you have any specific questions! :smile:
     
  9. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    If you are going the used route, from those you've listed, the Bronica SQ-Ai or SQ-B would be a good option. Not only is it within budget, but the additional lenses and accessories are reasonable prices too.

    The Arax 60 would be the safest of the new camera options - it's a simpler camera than the 88CM. You get access to an extensive range of affordable lenses and accessories, and the cameras themselves are pretty reliable too. Of course, with the 60, you lose the interchangeable backs. I've had good experiences dealing with Araxphoto, and would have no hesitation in recommending them.

    The Hassie is tempting, but getting additional lenses is going to cost more than any of the other alternatives you've listed.
     
  10. Blacknoise

    Blacknoise Member

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    I have a Bronica SQ-B (80mm PS lens and 50mm P lens) and its a very good system, the lenses are excelent and pretty cheap. My whole setup (camera body, 2 backs the speed grip and the 2 lenses above) only cost about £350.
     
  11. Katier

    Katier Member

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    But then the bodies aren't terribly expensive and could act as a 'psuedo' back right? (i.e. two bodies, one lens, one finder)
     
  12. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    My Mamiya-6 optics are far better than my Hasselblad optics.
     
  13. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    That will sound like heresy to some, but it's my understanding that most of the Hasselblad lenses are older designs, while the lenses for the Mamiya 7 are currently the state of the art. I'm sure that the lenses for the Mamiya 6 aren't much different from the lenses for the Mamiya 7. But I'll keep on using my Koni-Omega; it's very rugged, and in my case the limit on my images is definitely the photographer, not the lenses.
     
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  15. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    I've got many film cameras from some of the name brand camera manufacturers. They are all good. My recommendation is to find what works for you. Things like the ergonomics, the features and benefits of each such as the different lenses offered, backs, light meters, the pool of available product as well as technicians who can perform service are important, at least to me.

    My two choices would be either a Mamiya or a Hasselblad system. Mamiya 6x6 TLR's are a pretty good system. And the Mamiya 6x4.5 is a pretty good system as well.

    Here is a very thorough site on Mamiya TLR's:

    http://www.btinternet.com/~g.a.patterson/mfaq/m_faq-contents.html
     
  16. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    CF 80mm lenses in EX condition go for approximately $500US.
    The CF 50mm to Cf 250mm lenses in Ex go for approximately $600US- $800US each.
    A bargain for what you are getting in quality and robustness.
    Hasselblad equipment has been at a low and seems to be slowly rising as the surplus is slowly disappearing.
    Now would be a great time to start buy the Hasselblad.

    Steve
     
  17. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Are your Hasselblad lenses from the more modern ranges?

    Tom
     
  18. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I was very surprised myself when I tested the first Mamiya-6 lenses. I think the reason for this is not in the age of the lens design, but the difference between lens designs for rangefinders and SLRs. Rangefinder lenses are (or maybe were) easier to correct.
     
  19. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    That is becaue the SLR lenses have to be designed with retrofocus to allow for the mirror. That offset makes the design harder. Still the Hasselblad lenses are not shabby.

    Steve
     
  20. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Tom

    I tested Hasselblad lenses from CF onwards, and they are all very good and about the same, peaking around 60 lp/mm with Tmax-100, developed in D76 1+1, but the Mamiya-6 lenses are clearly a step above with a maximum of 90 lp/mm. Admittedly, it needs 16x20-inch prints to appreciate the difference. It must be easier to correct rangefinder lenses than SLR lenses, especially wide-angle.
     
  21. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I agree fully. Hasselblad lenses are excellent, and as I said, you need to go to 16x20-inch enlargements to see the difference to the Mamiya lenses.
     
  22. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Although I've not done much work with it, I have found the 45mm lens on the Bronica RF645 impressive in terms of both sharpness and resolution.

    On your developer choice, if I recall correctly, Kodak claims a 10% improvement for XTOL over D-76 in terms of speed, resolution, and sharpness, what would your comment be?

    Tom
     
  23. sanking

    sanking Member

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    The 75mm Heliar lens on the Bessa III 667 is at least as good as the 80mm Mamiya lens. If you are looking for maximum portability, can live with just one lens, and can stand the sticker price this is a camera to consider.

    Sandy King
     
  24. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Tom

    I had some disappointing results early on with Xtol (thin negatives) and did not try it since. Now, I want to be prepared to mix my own, and this is a lot simpler with D76 than with Xtol. Anyway, speed, resolution, sharpness and grain is a give-and-take between developers. I don't think any developer is going to give you an improvement in all areas, and I have no reason to leave D76, because with medium or large-format it gives me all I want.
     
  25. sanking

    sanking Member

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    In my tests of Xtol compared to D-76 I did see an increase in effective film speed. I did not see any difference in either resolution or in sharpness.

    Resolution is primarily determined by film (except some tanning developers increase resolution by about 10-15%) and sharpness is more a factor of developer dilution and type of agitation than developer itself.

    Basically, except for the increase in film speed Xtol left me yawning and the whole thing IMO was much more about Kodak marketing a "safe and green" developer than about image quality itself.

    Sandy King
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2009
  26. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's not a thread about D-76 & Xtol but Sandy if you'd tested Tmax in D76 and Xtol in a 35mm camera, with high level lenses then there's an unmistakeable difference in sharpness & resolution between the two.

    Ian