Is anyone else amazed at how cheap MF gear is right now?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by rjas, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. rjas

    rjas Member

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    Now that winters here I've started looking for a telephoto lens for my 500c/m, to help shoot skiing and snowboarding with. I'm amazed at how cheap you can get a 150mm sonnar for, $250-$300 for a used C, non T*'s even cheaper! Even if the lens needs a $150 repair / adjust it still seems like a sure bargain considering how much I use these things.


    This is awesome, I am thinking of buying both a 150mm and a 250mm just because I can?!

    After seeing collector prices when looking at old Leica M's, I'm thankful that at least one part of the market hasn't been touched by "the fondler's"!
     
  2. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

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    Don't you just love the digital age:D
     
  3. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Yes it lets me buy gear for cheap, and use it with film or digital as needed! Still pissed at the way manufacturers abandoned completely functional designs to work in the "digital integration" that few people really wanted. This speaking specifically of the Mamiya 645. AF would be great sometimes, but I also couldn't stop using my waist level finder.
     
  4. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Awhile back I bought an SQ-A, two backs, lens, prism finder for $350 and the thing was like new. At that price I decided I would take the plunge to replace my dead Mamiya TLR. Even if MF film goes away in a few years I will easily get my money's worth out of it.
     
  5. jamie

    jamie Member

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    I love that Hasselblad gear is so cheap now. My 501CM has quickly become my favourite camera.
     
  6. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Member

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    "how cheap MF gear is right now" Now?

    It's been this way for a few years. High-end digital has replaced the need for it, in most cases. Notice that it's not happening wiith LF gear? I, too, shelved my Pentax 67 system when I got a Canon 1Ds. Couldn't sell the minty 67 system for any decent dough. I just put it back in service for B&W exclusively, since my scanning equipment and skills have advanced to a good point. A scanned 6x7 neg gives me a lot more to work with than a digital BW conversion. I'm Baaacckk!!
     
  7. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Unfortunately only some medium format gear. Certain lenses are still expensive, depending upon brand. The Contax 645 is still holding a fairly high price range, especially when you consider it is a discontinued camera. Anyway, there are lots of other relative bargains.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio
     
  8. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    LOL

    I got into medium format a couple years ago because digimania made it affordable, and I definitely haven't looked back. I am sure that the same is true for many, many others.
     
  9. Bromo33333

    Bromo33333 Member

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    We upgraded our Hasselblad when scads of folks "went digital" and sold their MF gear at fire sale prices. Their loss, our gain! :D
     
  10. Bromo33333

    Bromo33333 Member

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    True, though I wouldn't count on it - I think 120 film will be made for a good long time....
     
  11. 25asa

    25asa Member

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    BUY BUY BUY!! It's buyer's market! Yippee!
     
  12. ineffablething

    ineffablething Member

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    Pentax 67 gear is ridiculously cheap. Even Rollei SL66 gear has gone way down in price. I bought a body,80mm, 150 HFT,50 HFT, 2 film backs and an Arca Swiss Polaroid back for less than 1,000 dollars and all in mint condition.
     
  13. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I was content with my Mamiya 645, but when I was able to put together a RB67 system, including 3 "C" lenses, a metered prism and 2 film backs for less than $800 I couldn't resist. Now I'm starting to upgrade my 645 gear.
     
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  15. Russ Young

    Russ Young Member

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    Yes, sigh. It breaks my heart that my Pentax 6x7 equipment was assembled in the 1980s rather than now. Or the Mamiya 7 kit which came together in the 1990s. All now worth less than half of what I once paid... but it's not like I haven't gotten (and will continue to get) good use from them. Unlike digital, they're good for many years to come.

    Russ
     
  16. DougGrosjean

    DougGrosjean Member

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    Same here. Cool!
     
  17. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    I'm pretty sure I'll be buying myself some Bronica kit next year.
     
  18. Krockmitaine

    Krockmitaine Member

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    I went medium for the same reasons: cheap gear for great result that digital can't even approach. After years of waiting, I bough a Pentax 67 kit last year and I keep adding to the base equipment.
    No regrets having gone med format.
     
  19. DougGrosjean

    DougGrosjean Member

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    I have an additional reason for staying with rugged MF cameras instead of advanced electronic ones: motorcycle travel. Most of my travel is by two wheels, and I have major concerns about electronics holding up to the climate and vibration aboard a 2-cylinder motorcycle.

    MF stuff is cheap and simple (esp. some of the mid-range US-built TLRs) in comparison. On a trip, I can carry two MF cameras (main and backup, say a Rolleiflex and a Ciro-Flex TLR), and have a spare ready-to-be-shipped at home if need be.

    I have also bought a Stereo Realist 35mm 3d camera recently, probably for both its rugged build and its simplicity. Well, and for 3D....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2006
  20. keeds

    keeds Member

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    The prices for Bronica SQAi stuff is VERY attractive. I can't seem to drag my desire for HBlad though.... Is the 500/1/3 much lighter/smaller than an SQAi?
     
  21. DrPablo

    DrPablo Member

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    The MF gear I want isn't cheap. I've been pondering a Mamiya 7II with 43/80/150 lenses for a long time. And I'll continue to ponder.
     
  22. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    This is counterintuitive to me. A piano has to be tuned every time it's moved. A synthisizer does not. Moving parts are much more vulnerable to motion and vubration than are solid state parts.
     
  23. DougGrosjean

    DougGrosjean Member

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    My conclusion that the digi-cams are rather delicate compared to old TLRs is based on what I've seen on laptops carried on motorcycles. I haven't done a detailed engineering study or anything that's really firm data, but among friends that carry computers aboard motorcycles they seem to have more trouble with display screens and hard-drive failure.

    So although a digi-cam in theory is "solid state", it's an awful lot like a laptop. You've got some sort of storage medium / hard drive and you've got an LCD screen - the very two parts that worry me on computers. An LCD screen is IMO rather fragile - I've repaired a bad one on my first laptop, and it was horrible.... a tiny, maybe 4mm diameter flourescent tube to solder into a very tight spot.

    In comparison, I've had only one vibration related problem with an old camera: on a 6,000 mile trip to visit Colorado ghost towns via Jeep trails on my large trail bike. The trip was pretty rough in many places, with the bike going fully airborne a few times, and my girlfriend walking about a half-dozen times, and about 4 low-speed crashes on large rocks. Late in the trip, the advance knob for my Rolleicord V had the screws loosen up inside the knob, and the knob fell off inside the camera bag. The camera was actually still usable that way but you had to hold the knob in place to advance the film, and probably to prevent light leaks as well. Once I was home with the proper screwdrivers, it was about a 5-minute fix.

    I do carry a PDA and a cellphone - but on my body, to completely isolate both from vibes. That's worked well, my PDA is over 4 years old and has outlasted both my laptops combined. The cellphone isn't so old yet.
     
  24. DBP

    DBP Member

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    The performance of a piano varies based on the expansion and contraction of its moving parts, which are affected by temperature and humidity. Very small variations are quite noticeable. A camera, by contrast, is usually only accurate to within a third of a stop, which is a pretty big interval. In general, the performance of a camera is not affected by temperature. As for the other end of the scale [pun intended], the circuits in synthesizers can be relatively simple and well shielded compared to a digicam. The vulnerability of circuits to electromagnetic fields increases as size decreases, so digicams are vulnerable by virtue of the high number of processors in a small space. So the question isn't so much vibration, which I suspect digicams and conventional cameras suffer from equally (and rangefinders especially suffer), but the effects of static and electromagnetism, to which purely mechanical devices are immune.
     
  25. Abbazz

    Abbazz Member

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    Doug,

    I think you are right concerning better resistance of old cameras to vibrations. Although digicams usually don't have hard drives (except for the now rare Microdrives), they do have lots of moving parts. On point-and-shoot cameras, the plastic autofocus gears and lens deployment mechanism are quite sensitive to shocks and vibrations. On digital SLRs, there are even more tiny moving parts (shutter and mirror assembly, autofocus and auto-cocking mechanism) and, except maybe for some high-end super-expensive pro cameras, they will not withstand abuse.

    Cheers,
     
  26. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    British pro processor Peak Imaging has said that they are having to increase their medium format capacity because demand is growing. I guess that the flood of used cameras at low prices is having an effect.

    David.