First camera

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by carmenloofah, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. carmenloofah

    carmenloofah Member

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    Please can you offer your valued opinions as to which medium format camera I should buy, it's my first one. I am an amateur, post grad student and the work I make needs to reach professional standard. I want to buy one with a Polaroid Back. I also need your advice on what lens to look for. Budget is a huge issue as very limited and I will buy on Ebay. Many thanks
     
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    If budget is a huge issue then forgo the Polaroid back. Go for a Mamiya C220 or C330 TLR with, well, the 80-100mm range would be a normal lens. If you have to have the Polaroid back then the Mamiya RB67's are going for next to nothing. I have one with two 120 backs, WLF and a 90 that I might be willing to part with.
     
  3. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    If you want a camera that is reasonably versatile, don't get a TLR (not even the 330), but an SLR with changeable lenses, backs and viewfinders.
     
  4. bill spears

    bill spears Member

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    RB67's and lenses are a superb buy at the moment. Top quality for very little money.
     
  5. Barry06GT

    Barry06GT Member

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    .

    You write "the work I make needs to reach professional standard".

    That has nothing to do with the camera format you select. Nor does it have anything to do with film versus digital.

    Tiger Woods can beat you at golf using a shovel. Don't equate camera selection with professional results. A shaky, poorly composed large format landscape is worse than a sharp well composed camera phone shot.

    If medium format is the road you want to take, all of the brands are good. Bronica, Mamiya, Hassy, Rollei, Pentax, even my auto everything Fuji, were all aimed at working pro's, and will all render, in the right hands, great pictures.

    Best of luck on your hunt and purchase!
    .
     
  6. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    So that's why those professional golfers have so many different clubs that they need someone to help them carry them all...!

    Of course the choice of equipment matters.
    Tiger Woods couldn't win any of the major tournaments using a shovel.
    He couldn't with only a putter either.
     
  7. carmenloofah

    carmenloofah Member

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    thanks, having a look at prices...
     
  8. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Remember to have a go at your local newspapers and perhaps sites like Craig's List. Especially with the postal situation over there. Might speed things up a bit.
     
  9. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I question the need for a polaroid back -- especially in these days of no Polaroid film. A digital camera set up next to the MF camera would serve as well.

    The most versatile would be one of the SLR MF cameras -- perhaps even the Pentax 6x4.5 would be a good choice, along with the RB67 mentioned earlier. The range of MF cameras out there is wide. I am heavily biased towards the Rolleiflex TLR due to that is the camera I learned photography with, and I like the solid simplicity. Another camera to consider is the Fuji 6x7 (or 6x9) -- rangefinders. Wonderful optics and ease of use (except for the funky "T/B" setting they have).

    Just about all the modern MF cameras will provide you with professional grade standard. The question remains -- how do you photograph? If you are slow and methodical, than a non-SLR would be good for you. If you need to make a lot of images in a short period of time, using different film types and/or focal length lenses, then a SLR with multiple backs would be better.

    Good luck making your choice. But one thing is nice. A quality MF camera keeps it market value. If you buy one and decide that it does not meet your requirements, you can easily get most of your money back on it if you decide to get a different type.

    Vaughn

    PS...I have played several games of golf -- Woods could easily beat me playing with only a putter! LOL!
     
  10. carmenloofah

    carmenloofah Member

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    Mamiya RB67 ProSD camera with 180mm F4.5 K/L lens - is this worth considering - what is + WLF and is it necessary? - please advise me on the basic equipment I need to get started with medium format, I have seen several Mamiya RB67 bodies I may be able to afford so please could you tell me what lens to buy separately thanks!
     
  11. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    WLF is the Waist Level View Finder. It pops up to allow you to view through the ground glass and holds that GG in place. Also, when purchasing film backs, make sure they come with the dark slides. I know that Mamiya RB67 film back dark slides go for about $35.00 USD each slide. Almost as much as a back goes for sans slide. Also, go here to view owners manuals for cameras you might be considering so you can make a more informed decision.
     
  12. carmenloofah

    carmenloofah Member

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    thanks, reading latest posts....yes, I am slow and methodical, I like night and day reportage portraiture, landscapes, architecture and abstract things
     
  13. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I have always found the larger the format the more slow and methodical I generally am. I have to force myself to slow down when shooting 35mm with my Minnies but I do it. Good luck.
     
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  15. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Royal Mail gets reported over in the USA?

    Tom
     
  16. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    You can be slow and methodical with any camera.
    That is about how you approach photography. Not about what tool you use.

    Nice though they may be, the trouble with TLRs is that they are one trick ponies.
    You need the verstality of a 'system' camera. And though the Mamiya 330 with its changeable lenses comes close, only SLRs are versatile enough to tackle any and all tasks.

    As slow and methodical or fast and happy go lucky as you wish.
     
  17. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    You can be slow and methodical with any camera.
    That is about how you approach photography. Not about what tool you use.

    True, but if one needs to work fast and furious (fashion, fast-moving reportage), then TLR are not the "best" tools, which was my point.

    Nice though they may be, the trouble with TLRs is that they are one trick ponies. You need the verstality of a 'system' camera.

    No, one does not need such versitility. A lifetime of images can be obtained with only a fixed-lens camera. Of course, it is perfectly fine if someone desires the versitility of changable lenses and multiple backs.

    And there are cases where a SLR camera may not be at all desirable -- street photography and intimate events may not work well with a camera with an excessively loud mirror slap (try being subtle with a Pentax 67!LOL!)


    Vaughn
     
  18. tim elder

    tim elder Member

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    The 180mm F4.5 K/L lens is a very nice lens. It's about equivalent to a 90mm lens in 35mm format. I would start with the 127mm or the 90mm lens but that's just my opinion. The 90mm lens is equivalent to a 45mm lens in 35mm and the 127mm is a little bit tighter. Mamiya has a lot of information available on their web site.

    Good luck!

    Tim
     
  19. carmenloofah

    carmenloofah Member

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    Thank you!
     
  20. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    No, no.
    Needing versatility is very real.

    Though yes, if all you want is perform one trick, a one trick pony will do. If you so desire.
    The concept of professionals having customers, who themselves desire things of you, is foreign to you, i guess.
     
  21. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Lee Trevino used to win bets by playing a whole round with just one club, and still having the lowest score! :surprised:
     
  22. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Bets.
    But what tournament?
    :wink:
     
  23. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I believe you are confusing the OP's desire for making images that reach the quality of "professional standard" with that of making commercial work involving clients.

    If Carmenloofah wishes to be a commercial photographer, then yes, versitility is a very important factor in choosing equipment. However, an amateur or professional fine art photographer does not need that versitility, but may desire it.

    Vaughn
     
  24. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    No, no. Again.

    I was contesting your assertion that we (or "one", as you put it) do not need, but only desire versatility.
    Speak for yourself, i'd say to that. :wink:
     
  25. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Dang, that must mean I really do need a new car to be truly happy! LOL! Sorry, I am still trapped in the 60's/70's outlook on the difference between needs and wants.

    Vaughn
     
  26. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I too remember those years, and know the difference between needs and desires. (Not that you need :wink: to remember those years to know that). Don't you worry.

    Now stop telling people they do not need something because you desire different things! That's a very un-60's/70's thing to do! :wink: