Medium format rangefinder models and specs

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by narsuitus, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    Now that medium format rangefinders have their own sub-forum, I would like to know which cameras are included. I know that Mamiya, Fuji, Bronica, and possibly others make/made medium format rangefinders but I am totally unfamiliar with the different models and their specifications. If those of you who are familiar with these cameras would share that information, I would be very grateful.
     
  2. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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  3. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Any medium format rangefinder: the Bronicas, the Fujis, the Mamiyas, and also the medium format folding rangefinders.

    If you want to get started for relatively small amounts of money, I'd suggest a folding rangefinder: either a Super Ikonta, Super Isolette, or Russian copy. Moskva 4/5 cameras are rather good for their price. The prices of the Super Ikontas seem to be going down as well.
     
  4. f/stopblues

    f/stopblues Member

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    Don't forget the oh-so-sexy Plaubel Makina 67! I've lusted after it on and off for a while now. Unfortunately they run pretty high in the price department. It's an interesting camera in any case.
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I was interested in getting one of these - until I saw the prices they were selling for.

    The highest I have seen was for an RF645 with 45, 65 and 135mm lenses with the factory calibration for the 135 at a buy it now price of £2600 (about $5000).

    I would really like to get something with either a 6x4.5 or 6 x7 negative size with a wide angle lens (about 65mm) but I don't really have the cash for it right now.

    Does anyone know if any of the old 6x9 or 6x4.5 folding cameras were made with wider than standard lenses? A wide angle version of my Zeiss Nettar would suit me fine.

    I think I will have to save up or make it myself!

    Steve.


    EDIT Thanks for posting that link (I think!). It's made me even more certain that this is exactly what I want!
     
  6. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    I was really lucky - my new RF645 with 65mm lens only set me back $550. But that's because I caught the very end of the Tamron $450 rebate. But keep your eye out and you cound find one for $600 - 700. The super expensive kit you saw included the 135mm lens. Only about 100 were sold because they required individual calibration of the rangefinder, so Bronica came out with a 100mm lens in its place.

    If you go the folder route, the seller Certo6 on eB*y has an excellent reputation.

    http://www.certo6.com/
     
  7. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Mamiya Press Universal would be good if you were not sure what mid-format size(s) you would want to shoot. The one I've auctioned off for about 150 USD comes with a 100mm F3.5 lens and a multi film folder, which handles 6x4.5, 6x6, and 6x9. For this camera, there are a few wide angle lenses available.

    My enlarger can handle up to 6x9, and that's the reason I've got this one. Otherwise I would stick to my favorite format, 35mm.
     
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    The fact that my enlarger goes up to 6x7 is what originally got me thinking about the Fuji GW670 which looks nice but has a standard 90mm lens. I want something a bit wider.
    This then got me thinking about what I would like to take with me on walks. I have a Bronica ETRS with a 50mm lens which is good but it is a bit bulky. I also have a small Nikon FG which is ideal with a 28-70mm lens but is obviously 35mm. I also sometimes take my Rolleicord which is also good for this but is fixed at a 75mmm focal length. After a bit more investigation I found the Fuji GS645W with the 60mm lens and the Bronica RF645 which usually has a 65mm lens as standard. Despite these not fitting my original requirement of a 6x7 negative, I liked the look of them for a light and small (relatively) camera to carry around. My 6x4.5 negatives from the ETRS are fine so I should be happy if I stay with this size.

    I think I will start saving whilst looking for a bargain!

    In the meantime, if I can find a 50-75mm lens and shutter in some kind of focussing mount, I might make something myself using an old 6x9 folder body.



    Steve.
     
  9. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    Don't forget the folders.

    Before shelling out for the usual suspects, you really should consider a 6x6 or 6x9 folding camera. Voigtlander, Zeiss-Ikon, Agfa, Balda and a number of other German companies made some really excellent folding MF cameras in the 1950s. Go to www.certo6.com for an education about the various makers and models. The site owner, Jurgen Krekel, restores and sells the cameras for ridiculously low prices. I've bought a Balda Super Baldax (6x6) and an Agfa Record III (6x9) from him and have been thrilled with both cameras -- both arrived as good as new, for only $200 apiece. Visit my page at www.mcnew.net/6x6 for a sampling of photos taken with the Balda (except the naked pinball shot, which came from a Rolleiflex). Sanders
     
  10. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Excellent camera Robert I have it also and the same three lenses....I think you intended to say you have 45 mm and 65 mm and 100 mm....I have not seen the 135 mm lens but would be interested in it....also in the future I will probably get another body . These lenses are outstanding and the camera in the most comfortable I own....I do like the vertical orientation...
     
  11. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    2.25 x 3.25 Crown, Century or Speed Graphic with coupled rangefinder and Rollfilm back (6x9, 6x7, 6x6, 645). Lots of different lenses are available. Two of my favorites are the 80mm Schneider Xenotar and the 105mm Fujinon.
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Koni-Omega

    I am waiting with bated breath for delivery of this lens for my new (to me) Koni-Omega:

    58mm

    Keep your fingers crossed for me!

    Matt
     
  13. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I'm waiting on yet another folder, but not a rangefinder this time. I've stepped outside my normal boundries and into the scary world of 'zone focus'. Wish me luck.
     
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  15. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    I used to own a Kodak Medalist II. It's a 6x9 RF with a fixed 100mm 3.5 ektar lens. The 100 ektar is one of the absolute best lenses I have ever used. The camera is quite large though, and takes 620 film. They can be modified to take 120 film, but I just rolled my own. I often regret getting rid of mine.
     
  16. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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  17. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    I had a vague memory of contributing to a section of the RFF devoted to camera specs in a standardised format, but the section appears to have been merged with the general forum. I lost interest in the RFF (too specialised for me, even though I use a heap of them) so I'm not sure what happened. Anyway, here is my contribution on the Plaubel 67. The W67 is similar, but with a 55 mm Nikkor instead of the 80 mm Nikkor. If you don't require interchangeable lenses, and like taking risks on a great camera that could become virtually irrepairable the week after you buy it, then go for the 67, 670 or W67. There's nothing quite like them, and probably never will be, though many old folders come close enough. Here's a snap and another with the 67 and one with the W67, one and two with a Mamiya 7ii, and one with an Autorange 820.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  18. gchpaco

    gchpaco Member

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    I have a number of medium format rangefinders, although the 645 I have is one of the Fuji giant point-n-shoots. I've found the Moskva in particular and the older folders in general nearly impossible to handhold steadily, although I have come to the conclusion that actual physical vibration was being magnified by the FX-2 I was developing it in and that the camera isn't quite as bad as it seemed to me.

    The one I'm the most happy with is the big, old, interchangable lens Fujis. I have a GM670 and a GL690 and three lenses for the both of them. They're big and heavy and wonderful, but they're also 30 years old and every single component of that system has required reconditioning.

    The Bronica RFs get a lot of raves, although I have no personal experience with them; one caution, the long lens options are as scarce as hen's teeth these days. Mamiya's 6 and 7 series rangefinders are also well regarded, and I believe it is still possible to buy a 7 in new condition--however, the cost of my entire Fuji system and reconditioning all five components of it is less than you'd have to pay for a single Mamiya 7 body. The 6 may be more reasonable.

    In general, I prefer RFs or TLRs in medium format for walking around; while my SLR is a dream come true once I put it on the tripod, it's awkward for handheld work. My work demands a longer than normal lens from time to time, as well as a medium wide, so the 65/100/180 I have on the Fujis, and the 50/75/135 I have on the SLRs works wonderfully. Because of the prices the long lenses on the Bronica RF are going for, I don't regard it as useful for me.
     
  19. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Strangely enough, I have no trouble handholding the old folders. At all. I have more trouble handholding an SLR. Then again, this little Ansco is a very quiet, very small camera. Pocketable.
     
  20. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I've got some Hasselblad equipment, and as expected it provides me with some excellent work. However I spend quite a bit of time in the backcountry looking for that perfect image. The Hasselblad stuff is heavy. I wanted an alternative.
    I found it with my old Moskva 4, a refugee from Russia via Ebay for $40.00 + shipping to Canada. It required a bit of cleaning, it looks a little ugly, but once some work was done on it I have a simple reliable (cheap!) 6x9 camera. It came with a very rugged case.
    Is the lens perfect - no, but definitely good enough, and when you consider the size of the negative, Wow!
    Is the camera reliable - so far yes. If you are concerned with reliability carry two. These things are light and compact.
    Use a lens hood, (hard to find I'm afraid) and a monopod or tripod. Hand holding is tricky since the shutter speeds are so slow.
    I use black and white and colour film, the results are reasonably comparable to my Hasselblad. Unless you are doing murals.
     
  21. bnjlosh

    bnjlosh Member

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    another vote here for Jurgen at www.certo6.com ... I bought a Franka Solida III from him and love it....
     
  22. MacCaulay

    MacCaulay Member

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    Another vote for the Mamiya Press range - superb lenses, interchangeable backs, a useable rangefinder, and some back movement.
     
  23. Abbazz

    Abbazz Member

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    100% agree. These are straightforward rollfilm rangefinder cameras with good film flatness, sharp lenses from 50mm to 180mm and the biggest negative in the business.

    Cheers,
     
  24. MAGNAchrom

    MAGNAchrom Member

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    Only the Mamiya Super 23 offered back movements -- and generally the Super's sell for a premium. Much more cost effective is the Mamiya Universal Press (although truth be told, complete systems sometimes can be quite expensive too)

    One last thing, while I agree that the Mamiya Universal Press is a great system camera, I would caution you about taking walks with it -- it is a fairly heavy camera, built to withstand professional use. You might want to consider it more of a "backpack" camera (especially if you bring along a few lenses)

    But if what you want is an inexpensive, well-built, relatively modern camera with plenty of choices in the lens and accessory department, then you would be hard pressed to find a better buy today.
     
  25. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i have and use a mamiya 6 - it isn't the newer one with interchangable lenses, but on of the olde post war stationary / fixed front lens cameras. it is a 6x6 and has a 75mm f3.5 lens. small enough to fold and go anywhere. it has a unique focusing mechanism where the film plane moves back and forth instead of the lens.

    i too have experierenced jurgen kreckel. while i didn't buy my camera from him, mind had a problem and he was able to make a "work around" solution for me. nice guy and very good work!
     
  26. Iskra 2

    Iskra 2 Member

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    Don't forget the Iskra's. Both the Iskra 1 and 2 offer a unit focus lens and very good glass (reputed to be from Zeiss materials). Built like tanks and many used like hammers, they overcome the stigma of "c$%@" cameras from the FSU. :D
     
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