"Walking around" 120?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by omaha, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. omaha

    omaha Member

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    Ok, so I'm rocking on my RB67 these days. Really loving being back in film and loving the 120 format.

    But...the thing is such a brick its no good for carrying around/casual shooting/informal family shots. Makes me think I might want to add something else that is more suitable.

    So, whatcha recommend?

    I like the mojo of the TLR. I'm curious though, the Rollei cameras are going for a hefty premium to the others. Is there a functional reason for that, or is that just "collector value"?
     
  2. frank

    frank Subscriber

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    If you can sense a difference in feel (build quality), and a Leica somehow feels "better" than say, a Minolta 35mm SLR, then you may sense the same difference in feel between a Rolleiflex and the other tlr's.
     
  3. arealitystudios

    arealitystudios Member

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    TLR's can make great lightweight medium format tools and I very much recommend them. I wouldn't turn my nose up at a cheaper Yashica or the Minolta TLR's.

    I am also a fan of the Fuji Medium Format rangefinders and even the more automated GA645's. They are designed for quicker snapshot type work and yet still yield a nice large and sharp negative. I carry my GA645zi around for hours at a time and hardly notice it.

    If you want something more old school you can also try the old Agfa folders. They fold up really small and are very easy to get fixed up and repaired into very usable and high quality cameras.
     
  4. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    rolleiflex or yashica TLR. I like the automat tessar rolleiflex's. $300-500 for a real nice camera. It's a 3.5 which is much less expensive than a 2.8, which is the more collectible heftier premium version. Sorta like a 427 corvette has immense value over a normal 1960's corvette, but they are both real nice to collect or use and likely differ little in day to day use.

    They do go for a slight premium over Yashicas ($100-300), but either brand you can resell for what you paid if it doesn't work out. Rollei has some collector value, but the Yashicas aren't junk either and do a great job as long as you get the 4-element lens versions.

    Not that it makes a bit of difference in the final images, but some of the rolleis have more chrome than some of the newer yashicas, though both had plenty of chrome early on. This counts for some mojo when interacting with people "walking around"; don't underestimate the charm of lugging a TLR.
     
  5. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    Zeiss Ikon Ikonta 520 or Nettar 515 both fold very small (pocket size) and give a 60 by 45 mm negative.
     
  6. frank

    frank Subscriber

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    As well as a Rolleiflex, I use a Perkeo ll, a very compact 6x6 folding camera.
     
  7. jspillane

    jspillane Member

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    Definitely check out TLRs. I have a Rolleiflex Automat and a Yashicamat, an the Rollei feels a lot nicer... if you get one of the 3.5 models, they can be had quite reasonably. Factor in the price of a CLA, as it is likely to need it.

    It's still not a 'small' camera, but it is a lot more usable than a folder. I don't like them much for tripod use and the fixed focal length is kind of a bummer, but luckily you already have a great SLR to compliment.
     
  8. If you like the "toy" camera aesthetic, you might take a look at the plastic Debonair camera sold by the Film Photography Project. $20, and includes a roll of cold-stored expired film. It shoots 6x4.5, and really is a lot of fun - not to mention about as lightweight as you can get.
     
  9. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    For an inexpensive TLR, try a Yashica (Yashicas don't have meters, Yashicamats do), or the all-American Ciroflex brand, whose cameras were inelegant but good sturdy workhorses if you find one in good shape.
     
  10. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I went back to using TLRs 25 years after my Mamiya C3 & C33 were stolen. Initially I was using a Yashicamat 124 and found it great fun to use and I like the square format, it's my pick up and go camera in Turkey.

    I'd had a Rolleiflex in a drawer for some years which was faulty and unusable, ironically just through lack of use as the lubricants had dried out so I had it serviced, a great camera but still mint after 52 years so I'm reluctant to use it :D

    More recently I've bought an MPP Microord, essentially a British made Rolleicord III with an excellent Ross Xpres lens, they aren't too expensive £80-£110 ($130-$170) I'd planned to use it as my main TLR in the UK however aI stumbled on a good Rolleiflex Automat for £75 ($115) at a Flea market in May and it's now my main user TLR in the UK.

    TLR's aren't that expensive if you're patient, I saw an excellent Autocord for £80 ($125) on Sunday and there were plenty of reasonbly priced Yashica and Rolleiflex cameras.

    As for weight/bulk I use mine alongside my LF cameras and I don't find them a problem at all.

    Ian
     
  12. ToddB

    ToddB Subscriber

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    I Priviledged to own two Rollei's , a 3.5F and a T model. They are not over sized and not heavy at all to take out and do street photography. And talk about razor sharp images. The first roll I shot when I got them, I was completly blown away. But like other chimed in and said.. the Yashica mat 635 and the original 124 do a wonderful job too. I have a bad habit on going with something less expensive and not being completly satisfied with it. So when it came to searching for a TLR camera, I went with best brand. That's my two cents.

    ToddB
     
  13. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    Yet another vote for the Rollei. I am beyond in love with my twin twins (I have a pair of 2.8E Planar Rolleiflexes). They're not cheap, and if they need servicing, the service is not cheap either. But when you consider that the cost can be amortized over the next 50 years of ownership, they only cost a couple dollars a year to own. If you are both patient and lucky, you can get a 2.8 Rolleiflex for under $600, although it will almost certainly need something in the service department. For slightly less, you can get a Rolleiflex T or a 3.5 that needs nothing, although the 3.5 models have been rising in price lately. There's just something about a Rolleiflex though, the way it handles, and the way the lens renders images.
     
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  15. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    There's a nice looking Rolleicord on sale here for $280.
     
  16. k.hendrik

    k.hendrik Subscriber

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    CASUAL ! Watch those pics of Mr. Mark Meijer Disfarmer! Stick to your RB and shoot informally your family :wink:
     
  17. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    It does NOT get any easier than the Fuji GA645. That must be the lightest fully automated 120 format camera around. Holds and handles like a point and shoot. Beyond easy to carry and work with.
     
  18. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Just checked ebay and it seems that they are selling for more than new price. I meant the Plaubel Makina 67. Compact and shoot 6x7. Fixed lens though.
     
  19. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    My vote for a Rolleiflex also.

    Jeff
     
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Hasselblad is much smaller and lighter.
     
  21. cariadus

    cariadus Member

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    On holiday recently my carry-around camera was a Hasselblad 500C/M with Planar 80mm and PME finder. It weighs less than 4lbs (just). My wife's handbag weighs about 4lbs so I figure if she can carry 4lbs on her shoulder, so can I. Of course, it has nothing to do with the neck trouble I'm having at the moment...

    I think one of the Fuji GA series might be my next purchase. :smile:

    (The Hasselblad would be a lot lighter without the prism finder, of course, but I find the prism makes it easier to use hand-held.)
     
  22. Ambar

    Ambar Member

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    I'll put in a vote for a camera that hasn't been mentioned yet..

    Fuji GF670.

    I bought one just under a year ago and have been absolutely in love with it.
    It's extremely light (1Kg or so) and ultra compact (when collapsed, though it's no bigger than a hassleblad or rollei when open either. Just a different form factor). Allows for 6x6 and 6x7 shooting with the flick of a switch (I've set it for 6x7 and left it there). Beautifully sharp lens (some complain about the bokeh, I have yet to be bothered by it). The internal meter has been perfectly accurate ALWAYS, no matter how tricky conditions prove to be. I'm still trying to understand how this can be..
    Wisper silent and delicate shutter. I frequently shoot handheld at speeds as low 1/30 with no problem. With a bit more care and technique 1/15 and 1/8 can still yields sharp results.
    And if you're looking for a wow factor as a conversation starter, look no further than a folder... Nothing screams old camera like a bellows. The hardest thing about it, is when you try explain how it's actually a somewhat new camera, and have people look at you like you're a lier.
    Though it's not the cheapest skiff in the marina.. It's no exotic 50 foot yacht either.

    ONLY DEFECT is it has a fixed lens.. but thats why I'm saving up to buy the wide angle version! :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2013
  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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  24. alexbeare

    alexbeare Member

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    There is no more walk-aroundable MF camera than the gf670.

    It's compact. It's sharp. It shoots The One True Format (66) as well as The Also Pretty Good Format (67). It's got a meter that actually works properly. It's fast to focus. It's whisper quiet. It's handholdable at ridiculously low shutter speeds. It's sexy as hell and always manages to attract attention (this is sometimes a drawback).

    It's hotness personified.
     
  25. Ambar

    Ambar Member

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    Haha! Agreed!
     
  26. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I agree! I took mine to Italy on planes, trains, automobiles, walking, everywhere. It fits in my shoulder bag and is so convenient. Every shot in every roll was right on. Notes? It imprints all the technical info on the 120 film along the side of the frame. Focal length, film exposure, date, time, what's for lunch etc..

    I just can't recommend it more! It's fun to use too!