Shooting from the Hip

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by cotdt, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    Everyone I know is so short, that I have to crouch down to take pictures of them, or they look like little sheep once I look at the film I just processed.

    What camera would be good for shooting from the hip? I want a camera that I can focus looking downward, so I guess it needs to have a waist-level viewfinder. What camera can do it? I don't care if the viewfinder is upside down or whatever, just so long as I can focus from the waist. What camera can do it?
     
  2. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    I use a Yashica mat 124-G.Nice camera.
     
  3. Thanasis

    Thanasis Member

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    I Don't know about 35mm cameras that can do this, but if you want to jump up a size to medium format (trust me, you'll love it) there are quite a few cameras that have waist level finders that will allow you to do this. Have a look at some of the Hasselblad, Rolliecord and Rollieflex, and if you want interchangeable lenses have a look at the Mamiya C-series range.
     
  4. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Any Nikon F[single digit] - or any other camera with interchangeable finders. I personally have Nikon F3 - the waist-level finder is not too dear. It does of course give an image which is right way up but reversed left to right, and it is virtually impossible to use for vertical-format pictures. The nice thing about the F3 is that the meter still works even with extraneous light falling on the screen.

    Regards,

    David
     
  5. arigram

    arigram Member

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    The Nikon F has a removable pentaprism which will expose the screen above the mirror and give you a similar view with the MF SLR WLF, save the light protection that the "chimney" gives you.
    Part of fun with shooting from the hip, or the waist with a 35mm RF or SLR is that you can't control 100% the composition, thus any good photograph is also a pleasant surprise and exercise in spontaneity.
     
  6. Wishy

    Wishy Member

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    Exakta or maybe an Exa (Original) would be my recommedation. The Exa's tend to be more reliable due to the way the shutters work, but 1/150th top speed might be an issue. The Exaktas have cloth curtains which may have pinholes, they're great cameras if your prepared to service them, with a good selection of lenses. and of course, a WLF. The VX1000 is the most modern, but least nice feeling.
     
  7. Thanasis

    Thanasis Member

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    Thanks for reminding me. My Nikon F5 also has a removeable pentaprism. The screen is just a tad smaller than what you get with a Hasselblad. I wasn't aware that you could get a waist level finder for it though.
     
  8. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    How about one of the Asahiflex models? You could pursue your hip-shot ideas whilst also having a collectable and interesting camera. Main down-side is that the lens mounts are pre-42 x 1mm so not compatible with modern Pentax lenses and clones.

    Steve
     
  9. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Look for a DW-30 (F3: DW-3, F4: DW-20). Not too expensive and very handy.

    Regards,

    David
     
  10. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Hasselblad's, Bronica's, Mamiya RB/RZ's, 645's (I think), Rollei's all have waist-level finders. The RB avoids the awkward vertical problem with a rotating back. I think some of the Canon's have a removable prism also.
    The removable prism the Nikon F* models is a feature that I've taken good advantage of many times. Not so much for shooting from the hip, but for very low angle, or holding the camera overhead to clear crowds, etc. If verticals are hard with a WL, try holding the camera upside down over your head and composing.
    You can get an actual WL finder for the Nikons, really a just a hinged/folding hood and magnifier. I had one for an F, but hardly ever used it. It's usually easier to just pop off the prism as needed. They are nice for working from tripods or copy stands though.
     
  11. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Miranda and Topcon have waist level finders, Miranda's are very inexpensive with fair to good lens.
     
  12. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Any TLR or top viewing camera such as most MF SLR's or some older 35mm SLR's that had modular pentaprism viewers. I have a Mamiya M645j and would love to pick a C220/330. With either of these cameras the subject can be viewed from the top of the camera body.
     
  13. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    what camera has the nicer waist-level screens? the MF or the 35mm cameras?

    this will be my street/people camera.
     
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  15. arigram

    arigram Member

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    If you are looking for a WLF camera for street phtography, you can't beat the TLRs like the Rolleiflex.
     
  16. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    As I recall, the average distance between people's eyes is 65 mm. This means that if a camera has a screen bigger than this, you can view it with both eyes, which is much more natural. Conversely, anything smaller seems a bit pokey, but of course the screen of a Rolleiflex or similar is significantly larger than 35 mm.
     
  17. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Medium format will have a larger viewing area thus easier for viewing, especially for further distances like waist to eye level.
     
  18. Wishy

    Wishy Member

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    Equally, these medium format TLR's you'll only get 12 exposures before its time to reload. And you'll only use 75-80mm lenses, which are 50mm in 35mm terms. I prefer something wider.

    If your using from the waist, you'll not be eyes right up to the viewfinder, so it being large enough for two eyes is a non issue. If your close you'll use the magnefier and its a non issue.
     
  19. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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  20. cosm670

    cosm670 Member

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    Canon F-1 has an optional waist level finder.
     
  21. DBP

    DBP Member

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    Any TLR will do well. I find 35mm waist level finders on the Exaktas a bit squinty, haven't tried a more modern one.

    I'm also inspired to take the RB Graflex out when the weather gets warm and see if I can use it on the ground, focusing and shooting with my toes.
     
  22. Wishy

    Wishy Member

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    System camera mate, they're all identical sized and interchangable. (They moved from the chrome folding ones to a single press release version around the Varex IIA with the Black nameplate, the visible area seems larger to me on the older version, but its harder to swap for a fescal glass screen)
     
  23. timeslicer

    timeslicer Member

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    Use an old Miranda with a waist level finder fitted. Really great old cameras with sharp lenses. A comment just from the hip!!!!!
     
  24. DBP

    DBP Member

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    More modern as in a Nikon F. Seem not to be expressing myself well in this thread.
     
  25. Ian Tindale

    Ian Tindale Member

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    Yashica T5.
     
  26. Richard Kelham

    Richard Kelham Member

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    If you can compose and focus on a 35mm screen at waist level then you must have eyes like a hawk! For street photography (which presumably implies discreet photography) use a 120 TLR – Rollei or Mamiyaflex – and get a decent sized screen and a quiet shutter.

    Richard