TLR ????

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by stark_674, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. stark_674

    stark_674 Member

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    Hi all,

    I am starting MF photography and I start this buying a TLR camera, Mamiya C330F.
    I didn't evaluate all the aspect this choice gives, it had been simply a "heart" choice... Well, reading about MF SLR I found they are lighter, versatile etc...
    Can you indicate to me the positive aspect (the negative too if you want) of using a TLR instead a SLR?
    Do anyone of you have both to explain ot me when using one or the other?
    Maybe I will buy a MF SLR in the future, a Hassy will be a "head and heart" choice maybe.
    Thank you
    Stark
     
  2. jerry lebens

    jerry lebens Member

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    I have a Hasselblad and a C330, as well as having owned and used many other MF cameras. The Hasselblad and the Mamiya are both excellent cameras, with sharp lenses, but I use them in different ways.

    In general I use the Hasselblad if I need to use a Polaroid back to proof images, say, if I'm shooting transparency materials under studio lighting. It's especially useful for close up work because, being an SLR, there are no parallax problems and I can easily attach polaroid filters etc.
    But, if I'm shooting b&w on location and the exposure readings are less critical, I'll use the Mamiya because it's a simpler, more robust, camera and therefore less likely to go wrong.

    Regards
    Jerry
     
  3. Paul Green

    Paul Green Member

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    Owning the same camera myself they are awesome bits of kit! The main negative for me is close focusing since you are unable to see everything in the frame. Once you get used to that by making use of the guides on the viewer it’s a doddle.
     
  4. Leigh Youdale

    Leigh Youdale Member

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    Well, that was a brave move! The C330F is a fine camera but large, complex and has superb lenses available. I see in another thread you're already doing 35mm but you don't say what style of photograph you prefer to make so it's a little hard to advise. Since you've already bought the Mamiya I'd say to stick with it, use it, see how comfortable you are with it and then after some time make a decision about whether or not you want to change.
    It will be a decision based on convenience - not on image quality!
    Mamiya TLR - large, bulky, great interchangeable lenses.
    Rolleiflex TLR or similar - less bulk, fixed lens, quiet.
    Hasselblad - great design, can be high maintenance, heavy (especially with tele or wide lens options) noisy shutter/mirror.
    Fuji and other RF's - light, some fixed, some interchangeable models, some prone to breakage. Some different formats available - not just 6x6.
    Older folding 120 cameras too, but condition and lens quality might be an issue.

    Above all, make sure you first handle and try anything you're thinking of buying.
     
  5. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    I have both a Rolleiflex and a Hasselblad. They are both fantastic cameras.

    For candid, quiet photography the Rolleiflex is better. It's smaller, lighter, much quieter and (usually) inconspicuous.
    The Hasselblad lets you use different lenses, has changeable backs (B&W, color negative film, etc.) and has a brighter viewfinder.

    I love them both :smile:
     
  6. stark_674

    stark_674 Member

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    Thank you

    Thanks for the replies,

    Usually I like to perform 35mm portraits or handheld life.
    I like to go walking around, and walking and walking.... Finding a corner, or a little particular, then I like to take a picture, in quiet way I can say.
    So, my doubt is related to the heavy body Mamiya have.
    1 hr with my dear C330 on the neck should be sustainable? Its weight is about 1700 grams, I am thinking on a bag or something to put it inside.
    The major doubt on the use I will do is the weight: how much can weight a MF SLR as Hasselblad or RB67 for example?
    My Contax RTSII with my Planar 1,7 50mm maybe is something less 1000 grams. and is not so heavy to take around.
    Bye to all
    And thanks again!!!!!!1
    Stark
     
  7. archer

    archer Member

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    Well Stark;
    I guess it boils down to how passionate you are about what you are photographing and using the best instrument for the job, regardless of weight. I've shot over 400 weddings, over 100 of these were with a Speed Graphic, I then moved to a Koni Omega and probably shot more than 200 with an RB67. I went from flashbulbs to an Ascorlight with a 12lb battery pack and completed my wedding career with a Vivitar 365. In all those years I think my lightest kit weighed over 11 lb and the heaviest 27lb and I was only 135lbs and as a woman I can tell you it was hard work but I had a great passion for it and I used the equipment that produced the best results for me at the time. The Mamiya tlr is a great camera and you won't be disappointed with the results, perhaps so much that you'll probably forget all about the weight.

    Denise Libby
     
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I can just about remember my father using a very early electronic flash for weddings which had a leather case packed with 90 volt portable valve (tube) radio batteries to provide the high voltage).


    Steve.
     
  9. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Don't walk with it on a neck strap (your head will fall off!), keep it in a sling bag or something. You can also cradle it in your non-dominant arm between the elbow and wrist quite comfortably while walking - at least I do that with an RZ. Personally I go walking with an RZ but it's certainly not around my neck. Depending on the light and what I expect to see, I might just take the 110/2.8 and WLF (no bag, just camera in left hand), or I might bring the bag with a spare lens and back or two. An RB will be even heavier again, don't even think about that if weight is an issue.

    High quality, light MF options tend to be pretty expensive (Hasselblad, Mamiya 6 and 7) or a bit cheesy (folders). Maybe consider a GA645i if rangefinders don't bother you.

    Edit: quit worrying. Load it up and go for a walk, see if it works for you and it'll probably be fine. The novelty factor will overcome the weight and when you get those big negs back and printed, it's all worth it. Sure it's bigger/heavier than your 35mm gear, but everything in medium format will be to an extent and it's definitely worth carrying. Even a Mamiya 7 is beastly compared to all but the very largest 35mm SLRs.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2011
  10. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have a Rolleiflex and a RB67, both are different, but I like them!

    Jeff
     
  11. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    There is a hand grip available for the 220/330 that screws onto the bottom, and makes the camera a good deal easier to handle and carry.

    Yes, it is a heavy camera, but I find the clarity and size of the film negatives it yields worth it.
     
  12. jerry lebens

    jerry lebens Member

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    I'd doubt that the C330 is heavier than the Hasselblad (or an SLR with a big zoom for that matter)

    I also find it a little more awkward to use the 'Blad on a neck strap because of the way it hangs, with the lens pointing down at the ground. With the Mamiya you can walk about and look down into the viewfinder effortlessly, with the 'Blad' you have to twist the camera up into position to look. Moreover, since the waist level finder of the Mamiya is, in effect, protected by the camera body, you can walk about with it in the up position. With the 'Blad' the finder sticks out in front, if you don't hold the body up, and consequently it's much more prone to damage.

    Regards
    Jerry
     
  13. Thingy

    Thingy Member

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    The Mamiya C330f was the first proper MF camera I owned too (after a Box Brownie) and is an excellent and VERY robust camera. If you manage to buy the paramender for it it is excellent for close-up photography. With the exposure factor indicator in the viewfinder, calculating correct exposure variation with extended bellows is also a doddle.

    I had a paramender type 2 which was very easy to use.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. stark_674

    stark_674 Member

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    Paramender/tripod

    Do you mean that using a paramender and a tripod I can see in the waist exactly what I'll obtain in the film without considering the red line of the parallax compensation?
    Can you suggest to me a cheap but good for the use tripod to buy?
     
  15. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Yes, the Paramender raises the camera the exact distance between the viewing and taking lens so you compose the picture on the viewing screen then raise the camera on the paramender and then you make the exposure .

    P.S. if you have a red line on the screen of a C330F it's telling you the lens is unlocked,. the moving parallax/ exposure correction line is black.
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I've owned a Mamiya C330 since the 1970s. I've shot a significant number of weddings with it, using a neck strap, a grip and, mostly, a prism finder.

    I use it mostly now with a waist level finder, because the view is brighter, and the camera is lighter.

    I also own and use a Mamiya 645 SLR and Mamiya 6x7 SLR. Each has its advantages.

    The C330 may be largish and heavyish with one lens, but if you compare it with other systems with two or three lenses, comparatively it seems to get smaller and lighter :smile:.

    The lenses for the Mamiya TLRs are relatively small and light. My favorite kit (body, 65mm and 135mm) is very compact.

    One of the advantages of the Mamiya TLRs as compared to the 645 SLRs is that you never have to flip the camera on its side. This makes use with a tripod very easy, and really expands the number of suitable tripod heads.

    TLRs are great to use with filters - even heavy filtration (such as used with near infra-red sensitive films) doesn't impair viewing, because you are viewing through a different lens.

    The leaf shutters on the Mamiya TLRs lenses are great if you use fill flash.