Hand-Holdable 6x6 - 6x9 with meter? (AKA, what should I get?)

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by AutumnJazz, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    I am considering getting into MF, so I want to see how much an outfit for me would cost. I'm looking for a camera that is at least 6x6, but the wider the better. It needs a built-in meter (the only meter I have is my Nikon F100, lol). TTL is preferred, but not required. I don't care if the rest of it is manual, I just want to be able to compose, focus, and get the right exposure through the viewfinder. I don't care if it has a waist level viewfinder or not. I need to be able to hand hold and walk around with it. I do have a tripod that I will use, too.

    As for lenses...All I'm really looking for is a fast (how fast do MF lenses usually go?) wide lens, that is, a lens equivalent to a 35mm f/2 for 35mm. Or wider.

    I've never used a rangefinder, so I have no idea if I would be as adept with them as I am with SLR's.

    I really just want to know how much money I should save up, what my options are, etc.

    I want to again thank the APUG community, everyone is extremely helpful and nice. Really, you guys are awesome. If APUG wasn't here, I would have simply boxed away my Pentax K1000 and not continued with photography again, and I would definitely not want to be a war photographer.
     
  2. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Mamiya 7 is metered (not ttl) and is very handholsable. I don't know if the fuji RF's are metered, but they run the gamut 6x54 up through 6x17 and most everything between. The fuji's are out of production, but available.
     
  3. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    The Mamiya 7 is a bit too rich for my blood. Plus, its wide lens is very expensive and requires its own viewfinder. the Mamiya 6 and 50mm lens seem to fit me better, but they're still pretty expensive. I suppose they're something to aspire to get.

    Any other ideas?
     
  4. arigram

    arigram Member

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    An old Rolleiflex 3.5-something?
     
  5. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    Aren't Rolleiflexes extremely expensive?
     
  6. david b

    david b Member

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    The 50mm lens for the Mamiya 7 comes with the external view finder but it is not necessary to use.
     
  7. david b

    david b Member

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    wait to see what the new Fuji range finder is going to be.

    supposedly, it will be 6x7 with ttl and folds small. It's said to be available by December.

    see THIS and THIS
     
  8. arigram

    arigram Member

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  9. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Hand Held 6x7 and 6x9

    I use hand held 6x7 and 6x9 Fuji Rangefinder cameras with no built-in meter.

    For light metering I clip a Voigtlander VC Meter II into the camera's accessory shoe:

    Voigtlander VC Meter II
    Meter angle approximately 30 degrees
    Silicon Metering Cell
    LED meter read out, center round greed LED, red LEDs on both sides
    ISO 25 to 3200 with 1/3 stop increments on the film speed dial
    The ISO film speeds are now larger, and marked at 1/3 stops.
    EV 1 to EV 20
    Powered by two LR 44 alkaline or SR44 silver oxide batteries
     
  10. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    that ebay item looks like a beauty and is still very under priced with a prism with 2 hours to go.. less than 500 so far .... you never know
     
  11. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    The lens on my Fuji GSW690 III is an f5.6 wide angle 65mm EBC Fujinon Lens (equivalent to a 28mm focal length WA lens on a 35mm camera). Mine is razor sharp I paid about $1200 used for this camera (in Excellent Cond).

    My 43mm f4.5 Mamiya Lens for my Mamiya 7ii is wider angle and faster than my 65mm Fuji and it is equally sharp. It is also quite expensive (Used Price is $1500 to $1600).
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Have you looked into Pentacon Sixes or Pentax 67s?

    I would suggest others if not for your criterion of a built-in meter.

    Since you will likely need to put it on a tripod for best sharpness anyhow, a built-in meter is not even much of a convenience, if it can be called a convenience at all.
     
  13. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Yes a Pentacon Six with a Kiev TTL metering Prism and a Multi-Coated 50mm Carl Z Zeiss Jena lens would do it. The 55mm ARSAT (UKRAINE) is also a good WA lens.
     
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  15. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    I would forego a meter if it means a cheaper camera that I can walk around with and use.

    And I should mention, I don't really want a TLR. :\
     
  16. david b

    david b Member

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    get a Hasselblad 500cm with 80mm lens for $650 and a Sekonic L358 light meter for $175

    then when you have more money, buy another lens.

    If you can't swing that, buy a holga. no meter necessary

    So what is your budget?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2008
  17. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Ensign Selfix
    Zeiss Nettar
    Agfa Isolette / Ansco Speedex
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    If you don't mind getting a good free-weight gym workout and/or carrying a lethal offensive weapon at the same time:

    Mamiya Press & Universal
    Koni-Omega Press
    Graflex XL
    Linhoff 220
    Century Graphic
    Kodak Medalist (620 film - what _was_ Kodak thinking? Why weren't they thinking?)
     
  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    "I would forego (sic.) a meter if it means a cheaper camera that I can walk around with and use."

    Now that you have eliminated the largest obstacle, you can get any 6x6 or larger single-lens camera that you can afford. I would start by looking at Pentacon Sixes or Hasselblads.

    There are also the Mamiya Press line of cameras, and 2x3 Graphics with roll-film backs; both rangefinders with leaf shutters. (If you get a Speed, you also have the option of an FP shutter.)

    Also, look around at some of the nicer-quality folders that take 120.

    The real factor that will give you hand holding ability is the leaf shutter vs. an FP shutter. This being said, and being on a budget, I might reconsider the idea of a TLR, and outfit it with a prism. It is the only leaf shutter camera I have mentioned that is a viewfinder rather than a rangefinder. The prism would make it less TLR like. They are ultra cheap, smaller, lighter, and more hand holdable than any of the SLR options.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2008
  19. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Then, don't overlook the 2.25"X3.25" Coupled Rangefinder Crown, Century and Speed Graphics, with the Graflock Backs. Personally, I prefer the Crown Graphic.

    The Graflock Back will accept a number of different rollfilm backs. I mostly use Mamiya 6cm x 7cm backs on mine.

    I often mount a 65mm Schneider Super Angulon Lens on this rig and I also have an 80mm Schneider Xenotar for it, and several other lenses.
     
  20. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I was not sure I would like the feel of a Hassy and figured I would "invest" in something cheaper to get the sense of how they handle. I still do not have a Hassy. However, I have a "Hasselbladski" Kiev 88 with the metering prism which set me back 350 bucks some years ago. What an amazing bang for the buck. The Arsat, as stated, is quite sharp; the 250 is very, very good. I know there are quality control issues; but aside from the cla of the blades on the Arsat, it has been trouble free for me. I do not use it much any more since my conversion to 5x7, but I do not regret having bought it.
     
  21. david b

    david b Member

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  22. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Yep! but you'd still need to spring for 50mm Distagon (not cheap).

    Better IMHO TO go for a 2.25"X3.25" Graphic.
     
  23. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Hand Holdable 6X6, 6X7

    If you can live with the square format I would recommend a Bronica SQ-A with a 120 back, a prism finder, a Speed Grip and a 50/3.5 lens. Prices aren't quite as low as they were last year but this is a very reasonable outfit. The Speed Grip and prism finder make using the camera hand held and at eye level a lot easier. If you get a strap you can also use a Waist Level finder and a plain crank but your image will be reversed laterally. The plain (no meter) prism finder also usually costs less than a Waist Level finder. My 50/3.5 is the later PS model but the earlier S lens is also supposed to be good.

    When prices were higher you might have considered an FSU (former Soviet Union) medium format camera but I think the Bronicas are better buys now.
     
  24. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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  25. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    Tom, I have no idea how much any of those cameras are worth, nor what lenses I would outfit them with.

    MF is so much more complicated than 35mm, heh.

    The Blad is a steal, but I'm afraid I can't spend that much money right now. The real reason of this thread is to find out how much money I should set aside for a body + lens (and I suppose light meter and film back, if applicable).
     
  26. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    In his APUG classified For Sale post Dan wrote: “Price negotiable and dependant on the combination you're looking for but figure a good starting point is $100 for a ca1950 Century Graphic with triplet lens.”
    The 103mm Graflar and 103mm Trioptar lenses that Dan Listed are Triplets (i.e. 3 element lenses). The Ektar, Tessar, Skopar and Xenar lenses are more sophisticated optical designs than the Triplets and sell for a higher price.

    The lenses in their shutters must be mounted in lens boards that will fit the Graphic camera. If you are handy with wood working tools, you can make your own lens boards.

    I would expect an excellent condition 1950s Crown Graphic with rangefinder
    and Graflok back to sell in the $300 range.

    120 ROLL FILM BACKS FOR MAMIYA RB 67 or RZ 67 will fit the Graphic Graflok back and sell on eBay for in the $40-$50 range.