Fun Cheap TLR's

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by waynecrider, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Does anyone have any rec's for a cheap and fun TLR around a $100 or under that is reasonably good. The Rollei prices are too much, and the 124G's although not as pricey I've have heard can have focus gear problems. I've a Ricoh VI but the lens is bad and I don't have anything that quite replaces it with a 1" rear diameter so time for something different.
     
  2. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    I picked up my 124G for $55 (on ebay) and its been fine. I did send it off the Mark Hama to be CLA'd (paid more for CLA than I did the camera). The lens on the Yashica is actually pretty good. I would look for one that looked like it did get used much (mine was mint without even scratches on the case).

    Steve
     
  3. Glenn Mathison

    Glenn Mathison Member

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    I Love my YashicaMat LM. Not as expensive as the 124 but my example takes great pics...

    Glenn
     
  4. Elox

    Elox Member

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    Yashica– D (with Yashinon lens), EM, LM, 12, 24 (if you only want to shoot 220), or 124. I think the problems with the 124G are overstated. I love my 24. :smile:
     
  5. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I've see em priced as high as $150 or more. You got a pretty good deal if it as clean.
     
  6. Chaska

    Chaska Subscriber

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    Keep an eye on Rolleicords, I have had 3 all between $25-$125, usually with some filters an hoods thrown in. Currently, I am using a III and a V, lenses are the same as the 1950's flex's and I think the ergonomics are better, particularly with a flash bracket. Other good Japanese TLR's are the Yashicas (D, EM, LM, Mat, 12, 24, 124, 124G) are the best models and can consistently be found for under $100. Additionally, Minolta made the Autocords that are well respected but typically over $100.
     
  7. jon

    jon Member

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    The Yashicamat EM and LM are great, and if you can get a 124/124g for cheap then go for it.

    If you want to go reaaaallyy cheap then you could even play around with a Lubitel. Ah bakelite!
     
  8. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    It was mint. I would be surprised if more that 10 rolls when through it. There wasn't a scratch on the leather case (yeh, I got the case and the original manual with it).

    The $55 was with shipping. The lister had put it on the wrong catagory and spelled Yashica wrong so the searchers missed it. Open bid was $75, but no one was bidding. I watched closely waiting to snipe, but noone did. I emailed him and offered $55 including shipping (figuring I would neg. up) and he took it. I'd been wanted one of them since its the camera I learned photography on.

    Steve
     
  9. PCGraflex

    PCGraflex Subscriber

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    What about a Graflex 22? Cheap, around $30 bucks on WePay. Came with 85mm and an odd 83mm lens of Graftar flavors. On low end models the shutter speeds are up to 200 and the later and upper end models have a top speed of 400 with full M-X sync. Remember, these were the Ciro-Flex name built in Columbus, Ohio before Graflex took them over. Good quality camera.
     
  10. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    If you can find any of the Yashicas with a Yashinon lens for under $100, you might consider it. (Excepting possibly the Yashica 24, which only takes 220 film and will therefore limit your choice in film.) They're good cameras, but the earlier triplet lens (Yashikor) wasn't nearly the performer that the later Yashinon lens was. The Yashinon - or at least my copy of the Yashinon - is a pretty amazing lens capable of matching anything I've seen from a TLR.

    You can find Yashica D bodies with either lens. I picked up a D in immaculate condition with a Yashinon lens for $35. A lot of people don't seem to realize that the D was available with the Yashinon later in the production run so they ignore the D...the number of bids on Yashica D cameras on eBay tends to stay low compared to the number of bids on later Yashica bodies.

    A Rolleicord at the right price can also be a great bargain. You might need to be a little more patient though, as Rolleicords seem to go through cycles of popularity. If you can give yourself a little bit of time, you can find one that meets your budget.

    Best of luck with your search for the right camera.
    Dave
     
  11. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    If you can find a Mamiya C2 or C22 within your price range this camera offers the option of interchangeable lenses. The C2 usually sells for less than the more popular C3's.
     
  12. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    I have a Flexaret VII -- mine was a gift from my Czech father-in-law but I think they are fairly easy to get hold of. I like it -- picture quality is decent and it's a nice camera to use.

    I also have a Lubitel which, despite it's flaws, I've had excellent results from. I've had more 'keepers' per roll from that camera than any other I own.
     
  13. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I'm very happy with my Argoflex EF. Has a hot shoe (M synch, though that can be changed if you have the shutter open), press shutter (no separate cocking step), pretty decent ground glass (without Fresnel, though, and only f/4.5 viewing lens, so fairly dim), and the lens isn't bad as triplets go. You can get them in reasonably working condition for around $20 plus shipping, or in "fix it yourself" condition at yard sale prices, though they aren't as common as all that. The camera is originally 620, but conversion to 120 is very simple, and no trimming or 620 takeup spool required once converted.

    Another very, very nice TLR that can be had in this price range (if you're willing and able to clean the shutter yourself, and don't mind respooling or trimming 120 rolls for a 620 camera) is the Kodak Reflex II -- the Anastar lens is simply magnificent, and this model claims the world's first Fresnel viewer, as well as an accurate and robust frame counter (you can shoot off a whole roll without taking your eyes off the finder). The flash synch on this model is X with a settable M delay, though it has an ASA (Kodak style) connector instead of a PC socket -- adapters are available, I see them on eBay routinely for about $20.

    Both of these are metal bodies, coated lenses, and were robustly made; the Argoflex was a high-end consumer camera while the Kodak was intended to compete with the Rolleiflex (and cost as much as a good used car when new).
     
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  15. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    Ricoh TLR's - cheap and excellent

    see

    http:/members.aol.com/dcolucci/tlr.htm

    Dan
     
  16. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Can you tell me anything about the meters on the LM?
     
  17. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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  18. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    My first TLR was a Yashica A with a Yashikor lens which I bought for $38 at a local used camera shop about three years ago. It takes nice sharp pictures as long as you keep it stopped down to f8 or more.
     
  19. Glenn Mathison

    Glenn Mathison Member

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    The meter on my LM works reasonably well and agrees with my handheld meter to within a 1/2 stop or so. Not so good in poor light of course. I never bother with the internal meter as I always have the handheld meter with me.

    hth.

    Glenn
     
  20. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Very interesting - I found the same results with mine! I love my Lubitel, and enjoy it very much, but I doubt its what most people consider "fun" - mine kicks my ass before it lets me take any pictures :smile: - but that is why, perhaps, I get so many good ones, the little TLR makes me work for them!

    I have found, though, that while sharp - the lens will show a tiny bit of fall off or vignetting towards the corners (very small) if you print the full square neg. Price can't be beat!

    Having said that - I have a sentimental attachment to mine - if not for that, I think I would definitely look elsewhere for a TLR... you can just get so much more camera for so little a premium in price.

    PS - If anyone is interested in a "sentimental attachment" for their Lubitel, sendme $29.99 + shipping and handling.... :smile: - it may be the best attachment you buy!
     
  21. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I'd like to see some Lubitel pictures. Any around here?
     
  22. moose10101

    moose10101 Member

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    Minolta Autocord - available for around $100, just make sure the focus lever is intact.

    If you don't mind futzing with 620 film, the Kodak Reflex with Anastar lens can be a good one for $40 or less.
     
  23. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Be sure the get the Relfex II (or at a minimum, the Reflex IA) with Anastar. The original Kodak Reflex mostly had the Anason (or Kodak Anastigmat), a good quality triplet but nothing special; in addition, the original Reflex didn't have the Fresnel focus screen and lacks the frame counter. The 1A was a factory upgrade of the Reflex that added the Fresnel, plus made a minor change in the supply spool chamber. The Reflex II was the real jewel -- all of these had the Anastar from the factory (some of eh earliest had the same glass marked Anastigmat Special) though it's surely possible that lenses have been swapped in the intervening fifty-plus years. The Reflex II has the frame counter, of course, and also a shutter with X synch and 1/300 top speed (the Reflex had M synch only, AFAIK, and 1/200).

    The differential in price is only about $20, generally, and the Reflex II is a much nicer camera to use. I've got two, though one has a broken viewing mirror -- I'll get that fixed after a while...
     
  24. GeneW

    GeneW Member

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    The first 'good' camera I ever used was the high school's Yashica A back in the early 60's, and I've had a soft spot for Yashica's ever since.

    Recently purchased a Yashicamat LM for $50 -- not mint, but in good user condition. Lotsa bang for the buck!

    Gene
     
  25. GaryFlorida

    GaryFlorida Member

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    I thought I was the only one who likes the lowly Argoflex EF. Ill say one thing. They are the easiest cameras to overhaul and the they are surprisingly sharp.
     
  26. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Firing up a thread untouched for 9 years!