Is there a quiet MF SLR?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by meltronic, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. meltronic

    meltronic Member

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    I shoot a lot of candid portraits with my Kowa Six. I love it, but it's loud. That mirror slap stuns everyone around.

    What are the quietest 6x6 SLRs?
     
  2. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Hi Mel, I went through that too, although a while ago now. Ended up having to chose a MF whose deep clunk sound I preferred over the slaps, whips and crunches - after choosing the optics of course :smile: You can always try mirror lockup.
     
  3. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Any of the rangefinder MF are very quiet as are the TLR models, in the SLR design, you will find that all of them make noise, some just louder than others, the Kowa and the Bronicas were the loudest, the mamiya RB is loud as well, the SLR designs are all prone due to the size of the mirror swinging, but as said, you want quiet, get a rangefinder model or a TLR

    Dave
     
  4. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Thanks for the reminder Dave, I forgot, my Mamiya TLR is super quiet in comparison to the blad. Fantastic brick, they never hear it coming. :smile:
     
  5. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Some MF SLR's can be used with lenses in shutter. this might reduce the overall noise a bit. I have never used an MF SLR equipped as such so can't comment about any reduction in noise -- it just seems logical.
     
  6. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    If you do a high percentage of candid work, maybe you should just give in to a rangefinder? I've got a little Bronica 645RF that is ideal for this duty and the vertical format lends itself well to this sort of duty, too. I've got some Fuji 645 equipment and these have excellent optics but of course, lack lens interchangeability. I use the P67 system for an slr and these are famous for their loud "kerchunk!". When I think of what I use the P67 gear for, it makes me realize that 90% of what I do could easily be handled by a rangefinder alternative. I would love to switch over to a Mamiya 7 system but currently have other financial priorities keeping me from the plunge. Here's one I took yesterday and just now scanned.... I snuck a picture of this girl on our local high school ski team after she managed a face plant in the morning. This was available light with the Bronica inside the chalet using window light. She didn't know her picture was taken. If you look closely, there is a line on the upper part of her eye from a face plant done one week prior at the previous race. I just resized the shot to be small enough to upload and it's lost its "snap" but I consistently have been getting shots indoors with this rig using HP5+ that are very gratifying. This shot easily delineates her eyelashes and her eyes have a watery sheen that exhibits very good detail and sharpness when viewed at full resolution.
     

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  7. Troy Ammons

    Troy Ammons Member

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    The RZ67 and pro s is really smooth. I shot that after using a Kowa 66 and was stunned at really how smooth and quite it was.

    I took a few 1/30 hand held shots that were fine.

    RB Lenses are easier to find than kowa lenses too.
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you really want a quiet MF camera, I'd get a TLR or rangefinder rather than an SLR.
     
  9. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    After shooting for many years with SLR, I find it almost disquieting (pardon the pun) to shoot with my Littman and my Mamiya 7 II. I'm so used to a response from the camera that when I hear the little click, I always look down and check it.

    I agree if you want stealth get a rangefinder.


    Michael
     
  10. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Another vote for a TLR. A Rolleiflex is probably the quietest camera out there. They make Leicas sound noisy.
     
  11. meltronic

    meltronic Member

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    Thanks, everyone. I don't want to seem ingrateful, but I know TLRs and RFs are much quieter. I shoot with these as well. Just wondering relatively speaking, which SLRs are quieter.

    Of course, you're all right. For candids, an SLR isn't the best. My next step is to figure out which TLR focussing screens are as bright as my Kowa's. My Rollieflex Standard (1933) can't hold a candle, of course. I'll start a new thread (when I get back from work) about this. Thanks again!
     
  12. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    The Pentax 645 is pretty loud.. As is the Hasselblad 503cx. My buddies mamiya 7 was near silent.
     
  13. cao

    cao Member

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    If you can deal with the bulk, you might consider a Mamiya C220F. Am I right in supposing that the C330S has the same screen? I seem to recall there are brighter screens for the later Rolleiflexes as well, but I've no direct experience here to draw from.
     
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  15. jeanba3000

    jeanba3000 Member

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    On some "recent" models of Rolleiflex, like the F, it's possible to replace the old screen for the 2.8GX/FX modern screen. I did the replacement on my 1961 2.8F and now it's as bright as my 6008 pro.
     
  16. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I've read that the Pentax 645 is pretty quiet for a medium format SLR. I own two of them. They're not. TLR or RF.
     
  17. Seele

    Seele Member

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    I found the Praktisix/Pentacon six series, and their Nuremberg-assembled Exakta 66 clones, comparatively quiet and vibration-free.
     
  18. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I agree that a TLR or rangefinder is your best bet. And that encompasses a huge range of cameras stretching back nearly 70 years. If nothing else, you'll have plenty of fun in your search.
     
  19. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You can always have the screen upgraded, so I wouldn't pick the camera on the basis of the focusing screen. I've had a modern screen with a fresnel and split-image circle added to my Voigtlander Superb TLR, and I've upgraded my Bronica S2A screens to Satinsnow screens. Maxwell offers custom upgrades, and Beattie sells screens for many popular camera models.
     
  20. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    I'll vote for a rolleiflex. I had a Mamiya TLR but its shutter was loud compared to the two rolleis I have.
     
  21. Wally H

    Wally H Member

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    Save some money, just wait a few more years and people won't remember what a shutter sounds like! :wink:
     
  22. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Awe come on Ceratto, any camera worth its muster, has the sound of a shutter programed in and delivered in a Windows .wav file format on those little tiny speakers!..LOL

    :D

    Dave
     
  23. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    With respect to the Mamiya TLRs, my C220 is much quieter then my C330, due to the lack of the automatic shutter cocking.

    I find my Mamiya 645 Pro and Super to each be reasonably quiet - I rarely notice the sound.
     
  24. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    A medium format SLR with a Pellicle mirror should be very quiet.

    Does such a camera exist?
     
  25. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    The Rollei SL66 was (is) the quietest SLR I'm aware of, except for the newer Rollei 2008 which may be even quieter. Also the lowest level of mirror slap. No SLR, however, is going to be really quiet. Over the years, I've used Bronicas, Mamiyas, Pentaxes, and Hassy's and the Rolleis are still the quietest.
     
  26. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    If you want a quiet MF SLR, wrap it in a towel. Or get an inflatable blimp - it looks like a giant insect cocoon surrounding your camera. They are used for wildlife shooting where the KERTHWUNK of a mirror and the PRRRRPPT of the motor winder are deafening to any small animal or bird within a 100 mile radius of your camera. Not particularly handy for street shooting candids, but they'll definitely muffle the noise. Failing that, go for a TLR. If you want a nice one to try out for not much money, pick up a Graflex 22 TLR. I got mine in Excellent+ condition, including leather case, for $50. If you want a bang-around copy, they go for under $30. It doesn't have a mechanized film advance- it's wind it yourself with the red window, but the shutter is a very nice self-cocking job.