Loaner program for a MF camera #1

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by rexp, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. rexp

    rexp Member

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    I have a couple of Koni-Omega rangefinder medium format cameras. Since I only use one of them, I have decided to help out those who are toying with moving up to medium format (sorry - I don't have any LF gear. But if you are willing to loan me yours...). You can check out the camera at http://medfmt.8k.com/mf/korapid.html Scroll down to the first picture with a red background. The camera has been cleaned and adjusted. Although this is an "old" camera, it takes beautiful pictures. Included will be a 90mm lens and one film back. You will need to provide your own 120 film.

    So here's the deal:

    1. You post a reason why I should consider loaning you my camera.
    2. I will pick who to send to. No democracy here, MY camera - I choose. If you don't have access to a darkroom, don't bother asking to have the camera.
    3. I will send you the camera, I will cover shipping one way. If you live outside the US, I may ask you to split the cost of shipping.
    4. You have the camera for 3 months from the day I ship it. Use it.
    5. You send the camera back, you pay for insured shipping ($100 value is OK).
    6. You send me what you consider to be the TWO BEST photographs you made with this camera. I will let you decide on print size and all those details (contact prints are NOT acceptable). I can dry mount & frame so don't waste your money on that nonsense unless you really want to.
    7. Let a family member know what is going on so that if something happens to you I can still have my camera back.
    8. All costs incurred due to your addiction to a larger format film are your responsibility.

    As with anything mechanical there is the risk that something breaks. All I ask is that you take care of the camera, don't abuse it, don't disassemble it, keep it clean, and if it breaks - make sure you send me all of the pieces and a good story explaining what happened.

    I only check APUG about once a day, so please be patient.
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    What a neat idea! I hope someone takes you up on it.

    Maybe if this catches on, we should have some sort of equipment exchange forum.
     
  3. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Not only a neat idea, but a generous one as well. If I were a 'street' shooter, I think it would be interesting to see the greater quality a larger neg would bring to that style of photography. Arial photography would lend itself to this camera too I think. Sounds like a terrific project. I hope you'll someday post the 'graphs that result. As David said, such a program might be worth a forum of its own if it were to flourish.
     
  4. Will S

    Will S Member

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    Wouldn't just buying a folder like an Ansco Titan, Billy Record, etc. be a lot easier way to try out medium format? Not to knock your idea, but the only reason to use a Koni I can see is to try out different lenses (which I don't think you have) and different backs (which you don't seem to have) so as to do +/- development. I think there are a lot of coupled and even uncoupled rangefinders to be had for less than $100 or even $50. I suppose there are some people who can't come up with $100 or $50. If that is who you are trying to attract then is this sort of like a drug dealer offering the first one free? Just make sure you follow it up with, "You can't always get what you want, but you can always get what you need." :smile:

    Best,

    Will
     
  5. mark

    mark Member

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    Your a good person Rex. I started my slide down to addiction with a loaner MF camera.

    This is a heck of an offer, folks. The addiction is sweet and the water at the deep end is fine.
     
  6. mark

    mark Member

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    There are some, me included who had the money but did not want to just go ahead and buy to see if they liked it. That money was precious and still is. If I bought the camera and did not like the format, I was stuck with it-Ebay was not around yet. It was an offer like this and the loaning of some reels that helped me make my decision for the price of film. A much better deal for me because I was not committed. My wife has hated that person ever since.:smile:
     
  7. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon,

    Great offer. If I didn't already have and use the Koni-Omega system, I'd join the competition.

    Konical
     
  8. dr bob

    dr bob Member

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    Super idea. I would do the same if I had a couple instead of only one. In fact I used mine yesterday to document a mall conversion project going on in Annapolis. With the client's permission, I might be able to post a result or two.

    The Koni Omega is as capable as any MF camera I've ever used. It is a little heavy but the unusual film transport is unique AFAIK. It takes film from the supply to take-up reel without touching any camera parts. The film is positioned to the film plane through a series of levers as the shutter release is pressed. It works great and so is the 6x7 format (IMHO). I use mine for general documentation and "street" scenes. Not handy for formal portraiture or still life pictures. The 90mm Hexanon lens is phenomenal with as little flare of any lens I've used. The 180 mm ain't bad either.
     
  9. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    FWIW, I've had great respect for the Pentax 67 lens system and tested these Konica lenses against the Pentax one time just knowing the P67 would win hands down. Wrong. These Konica lenses are better than first rate. Somebody will have some fun making pretty Velvia with this.
     
  10. Max Power

    Max Power Member

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    My post for your consideration

    My name is Kent Judiesch and as you can see by my profile, I live in Quebec City, Canada.

    I just came back to B&W photography 10 months ago after a 20 year hiatus. It had been a long-time dream of mine to have my own darkroom and I finally managed to realise it last year. My principal cameras right now are both 35mm: a Canonet and an X-700 with a couple of lenses. I am always out and about taking pictures. Depending upon my mood and where I'm going and what I'm doing, I either take the X-700 or the Canonet. I have to admit that the whole 'rangefinder' experience has grown on me and I really like the advantages that it affords in being inobtrusive and how it helps in composition. With the help of APUG, I have managed to learn a lot of things about both actually taking pictures, processing film and creating prints in the darkroom. Last January I even bought a Beseler 23CII so I could eventually move up to bigger 120 formats. I can't believe that it took me 20 years to get back into photography and darkroom work. I really love it.

    A few months ago, wanting to dip my toe into MF I bought an inexpensive C220 to give a go. I'm really fond of the format: the 6x6 negative is great. It's big and fine and makes amazing prints. What I'm a bit disappointed with, however, is two things related to the TLR. The first one is the square format. After working with 35mm 'rectangles' I find 6x6 difficult to compose. It's also (to me) not normal to crop an image so I can print it onto a rectangular piece of paper. The second disappointment is that I find that composition and the actual physical movements needed to trip the shutter are not 'natural'. For architecture and scenery shots with a tripod and shutter release, a TLR is pretty good. For everything else, though, I find a TLR to difficult to use.

    Lately I've been thinking about a MF camera which I could use more like either of my 35mm cameras. That is, a camera which would be more 'natural' to use (either RF or SLR), that would give me a rectangle instead of a square, and that would give me those great massive MF negatives which I have started to love.

    As for the other requirements. Photography has become a major passion (and one that my wife approves of!!!) I spend lots of time on the weekends both out taking photographs and in the darkroom; so I can promise you that I would take a lot of pictures and that some would actually be pretty good! I give you my word that the camera would be well cared for. I am very fussy about my own equipment, and my parents raised me to respect other people's property more than my own.

    So, for all of these reasons, I humbly submit my candidature :smile:

    Cheers,
    Kent
     
  11. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Kent, who said you have to crop it to fit it on the paper? You can do what I do and trim off from the long-end of (for example) an 8x10 sheet to make it roughly 8x8" and you also get a ~2x8" test strip.
     
  12. rexp

    rexp Member

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    Well nice to see some interest... and I received a PM also. I figure about a week and I will choose a victim.

    Will - I understand, however if nobody worried about spending a couple hundered bucks to see if they liked a camera then there would never be threads debating the used of vinegar as a stop bath. I have other lenses, and if someone REALLY wanted to try one I might be persuaded to loan one out. And with the models of cameras I have, I cannot change backs mid-roll. Heck, there are only ten shots anyway. If one just has to change film types, waste some film. Much less valuable than one's time in the long run.

    As far as cropping prints... I have a nice 8x10 print shot of downtown at night taken in the rain which I had hanging here at work. 6x7 negatives print very nicely on 8x10, so there was little cropping done. A lady here at work was looking at the print, cocked her head sideways a little, and held up a piece of paper to crop the print. Then she says "Oooh, this looks better.". I printed the negative at 16x20 and cut it square to crop like she was doing. Dry mounted & matted & framed it looks pretty darned good if I say so myself. I would not have thought of cutting it square, but it works well in this case.

    Don't let the aspect ratio of the format limit your visualization of the print. I never thought much about prints other than what you could do on the "standard" paper sizes, which in small midwestern towns before the internet was strictly limited to 3 1/2 by something, 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10. Only after slowly reading "The Edge of Darkness" did I begin to notice squarish prints, and how well they work for some images.
     
  13. mark

    mark Member

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    Remeber that this is a loaner, not a give away. You will need to give the camera back.
     
  14. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I sent the PM, so here it goes :wink:
     
  15. rexp

    rexp Member

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    Interesting... I was not expecting to only have interest from individuals who either own or have used medium format. The original goal was to find someone who has never used a mf camera, and then lure them to the larger formats.

    Oh well, if nobody else chimes in I will give one of these guys a shot at a rangefinder. I am sure they will have a blast.
     
  16. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    6x9 folder

    I have 3 now:

    Agfa Ventura 69 with Agnar triplet lens...needed work and still fussing with the shutter.

    Moskva V, lucked out $35 + $15 shipping form Ukraine. All is well except about 1 in 8 shots the shutter sticks open or doesn't fire. NO leaks, sppeds good when shutter works. Hard to see coupled rangefinder focus in very bright light, fine in low light.

    Kodak/Nagel Vollenda 620 with Schneider Xenar. Pedigree suggested worth getting a CLA. Have yet to get anything good out oif it due to repeated operator error. Using old found film Italian Panchro and some variety of Ansco.

    Murray
     
  17. rexp

    rexp Member

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    All rightie then... Since it seems we only have two interested parties it is time to make a decision. From reading a brief Bio I asked each of the contestants to send, I have decided that both seem legitimate and worthy of borrowing my camera. So who's first? Seeing as how this turned into an international event, I decided to toss a foreign coin. The Canadians won, and MaxPower gets the first shot. When I get the camera back, and everything has gone smoothly then titrisol will get the next chance.

    I am looking forward to my prints!!

    Good luck Kent
     
  18. rexp

    rexp Member

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    Well my first attempt to loan out my camera has not gone so well. Apparently UPS was less than helpful in arranging delivery, and wanted $58 or so for duties even though it was listed as a gift. It is on its way back to me, leaving a heartbroken Kent gnashing his teeth. I feel badly it has worked out this way.

    However, after I get the camera back & verify it wasn't banged up, if titrisol is still interested I will give him a try. If anyone else in the States is interested, I suggest you send me a note explaining why your name should be added to the list.
     
  19. Max Power

    Max Power Member

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    Apologies

    I just wanted to thank Rex again for his generosity and apologise for him having wasted his time and efforts in this first attempt. Long story short, UPS played it's part as 'fifth business' in this story and was not very helpful. I cannot say that I'm very impressed with either their customer service (delivery system) or their fees.

    I do so hope that the programme will work out better the second time.

    Cheers,
    Kent
     
  20. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    What a pickle!!!! I'm genuinely sorry about that mess Max and Rex

    And Yes, I'm still interested in give it a spin. I'll be defending my thesis on June 15th so from here till then I'll be quite swamped but summer looks good.
     
  21. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    My experience/suggestion with shipping to Canada.

    UPS experience is probably right on par for how they do things. I'll remember. I think we all on this list will remember the experience.

    FedEx screwed me up royally by giving me wrong customs advice for Ground to Canada service and insisting upon what they told me when I pointed out flaws. 4 months later I did get it back at who knows what expense...they can't tell me what they charge me as a credit card acct.; I only find out later thru my credit card.
    I learned that Fed Ex Ground requires pre-arranged customs clearance, but for some other level of service they do their own clearing. Bad experience; I'll remember.

    USPS; not the cheapest way to go domestically, but actually cheaper to many countries. I fill out a simple customs form and have never had any problems yet.

    So, next go-round, I'd suggest USPS and have the recipient research if there is any 'sensitive' or 'insensitive' wording for aged photographic equipment to ease its passage.

    Lastly, for postal deliveries to Canada, part of their stepped up security adamantly requires both first and last names on the package for sender and recipient; they almost guaranteed to reject things with a last name only or 1st initial and last name.

    Murray
     
  22. rexp

    rexp Member

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    Thanks for the info Murray. I spoke with someone at UPS who actually seemed to know what was going on. I paid the nominal amount to have the box returned, and expect to see it within the next few days.

    I feel badly that this didn't work out. Sort of puts a damper on trying to act as a good steward by loaning out my camera internationally. The other individual interested in borrowing the camera is going to be pretty busy with some studies, so maybe Kent & I should formulate a shipping plan and try this again.

    I am still surprised that there were only two individuals interested in trying out a MF rangefinder. I suppose I would have been swamped if it were some digital thingy <sigh>.
     
  23. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    well, 2 more weeks to go for my defense.
    My thesis is printed and ready to go :wink:
     
  24. rexp

    rexp Member

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    Well, the first round didn't go as well as planned. Fortunately the camera has made its way home safe and sound. I plan on running a roll of film thru it just to make sure everything is up to 'snuff, and to check the focus. I don't expect there to be a problem.

    I will start this thread again as soon as I have done the checkout. Too bad I can't have a print from Canada, I was looking forward to that.

    So... if you think you are interested in a shot at a MF rangefinder, sit down and convince yourself you have the time, and convince me why you should be able to borrow my camera. You can post to the "round #2" thread I will soon start.

    Give me a few days....