When Size Matter... MF and Portability

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by dodphotography, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. dodphotography

    dodphotography Subscriber

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    Hi folks, long time lurker... don't post much.

    I absolutely love my RB67 but at the end of the day I end up leaving it at home because of it's overall size. The negs coming off this camera are just beautiful, but again my only complaint is the size.
    I looked at Rolleiflexes, recently bought one off Craigslist and got burned. I only put in 100 dollars but the camera had a dead shutter, I took a chance and now am finding out a repair will be big money. I love the size of the Rollei but am lost with the infinite models they made.

    If you loved MF and size were an issue, as well as maintaining a purely mechanical system...

    what would your suggestions be?

    PS, I am looking to combine an M6 and a MF rig to fit in a Billingham bag and be something that is always by my side.
     
  2. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    TLRs are nice, but getting used to shooting that way can be difficult to get used to. Then again, it can also be a source of inspiration.
    I have a Mamiya 645 Pro, and I'd recommend it. The plastic body is light and as portable as any other MF system, the 645 aspect ratio gets you more shots per roll without reloading, and I feel it gives me the best of both worlds as far as image quality vs. portability. You can add or take away prisms and winders to balance size and convenience. It has an electronic shutter, like most modern cameras, but battery like is extremely long in the camera.
     
  3. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    Well I have an RB and so I have thought lots about alternatives for those rare times when I can't bring 25lbs of backpack along. A camera which is easy to handhold sometimes would also be a boon. In any case if you want to stay at 6x7 or larger then some solutions (none of which I can afford) are:


    Mamiya 7 (same or better quality images, interchangeable lenses, lighter, much better for handholding)
    Plaubel Makina 67 (super compact fixed lens folder)
    Fuji GW670 series or (690 if you want to shoot 6x9) - also fixed lens.
     
  4. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Find a good 124G
     
  5. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    Either get a Voigtlander Bessa RF with Heliar lens or another Rolleiflex. Both are excellent. The Bessa will fit in a large pocket when folded up.


    Kent in SD
     
  6. illumiquest

    illumiquest Member

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    Get a Hasselblad. Period.

    Small, beautifully made, the best lenses in the world and extremely versatile.

    And if you'd like to send me your RB, I'd be happy to do to it what I did to mine.

    7461408822_310e5f07dc_o.jpg
     
  7. illumiquest

    illumiquest Member

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  8. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    The Rollei models are multifarious for sure. Basically, any Rolleicord with a Tessar or Xenar should be a good shooter subject to the limits of those lenses; the complications are in the Rolleiflex models. Basically, I think you're safe with the Automat models and with any model that has "2.8" or "3.5" in the name; those are the ones that don't have strange gotchas like nonstandard formats or unworkable autoexposure.

    I'm a TLR believer personally, but some people find them awkward. Nothing in medium format, other than folders, beats them for portability, though, and for those of us who like them, their restrictions are virtues.

    -NT
     
  9. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Well I can carry 65, 80 and 135mm and Mamiya C330 15miles in medium sized gbag and not notice it at end of day of city streets.
    The RB and three lenses and spare back needs all day in coffee shop way points, working from Billingham
    A blad kit is still to heavy for 15 miles
    When you fire the 12th or 10 frame the C330 is faster to reload compared to insert camera or back. I can reload on fast walk if the sun is behind.
    The spare back allows another 10 or 12 but then you need to reload twice and juggle.
    Only lens changing is a handicap with the C330.
    I still have 220 for another few months so the insert cameras will be at bigger disadvantage with 120 only.
    For faster shooting I need three CanonP (35mm) and three lenses.
     
  10. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    MURDER!!! When I saw that my blood ran cold!

    It had to have been a digiphile. Not even the most rabid owner of a Swedish or German film camera would do something like this!

    The detestable sociopath never even used the camera he killed. His scrawny arms are proof enough of that.

    The murderer's time will come. He will be caught and sentenced to having an RB 67 dropped on his head from a distance of one inch, and that will be the last of him.

    I just hope Kubach never has to see what I just witnessed.
     
  11. thegman

    thegman Member

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    A Rollei for $100 was unlikely to be fantastic.

    If you like the Rolleis, invest just a little more and get a nice one from a store with a decent reputation. If you don't bother with a built in meter, then you can get a good one for not huge amounts of money.

    I like the Zeiss Ikonta III, it's a tiny 6x6 camera, it's only failing is that to get good frame spacing, you need to apply some tape to the film backing for every roll. They are good value, and excellent cameras. However, get a good Rolleiflex, and you're unlikely to be disappointed.

    Hasselblads are nice too of course, but if you only need one standard lens, then I think Rolleiflex is the way to go.
     
  12. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    If weight is your primary issue then I would suggest a Mamiya 7 with one lens. I use a Mamiya 7 with 65mm lens (widest lens that does not need a separate viewfinder) and am happy to carry it throughout a photographic 'session'. For my way of working, a 'session' comprises 4 - 7 hours tramping the streets (depends upon time of year). At the end of a 'session' my legs might ache, I can be pretty ravenous, my eyes can be tired but my shoulder and back do not suffer from carrying the equipment for so long. If you want medium format negatives, want something portable and are happy shooting rangefinders then that is the way to go.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
     
  13. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    When size matters.........
    I carry a folder. In fact I find I am carrying this more and more. 1953 Zeiss Nettar. Only a triplet lens, not a Tessar, all mechanical, no rangefinder no meter. OK, not quite up there with my Mamiya, but other than wide open, its good enough and the pocketability is a huge advantage.
     
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  15. analoguey

    analoguey Member

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    presuming you mean the space it takes up and not the weight? Why not try a folder or two then? No personal experience with them but they do *seem* fit in nicely into a pocket.

    If weight's an issue, going to hassies or other mamiya/645s might not help much - relatively lighter but not all that much overall. Plus RB/RZ/Hassie you hold at the waist/chest level than say the Mamiya 645 or equivalents - you'd probably find them equally heavy after a while.

    How about plastic ones - the Rfs in comments above or even *gasp* holgas? (assuming they suit your style - which we have no idea of, at this point)




    Sent from Tap-a-talk
     
  16. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Fujifilm GA645. Light as a feather, and a "folder" in that the lens collapses. I carry it all over the world with ease.
     
  17. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Instead of smashing your RB, just send it to me?... I'll pay the postage.

    PS... The RB did very well under a 20lb hammer... I wonder how a Blad would fare in the same amt of punishment? Tough cameras to beat even with a monster abusing it.

    :laugh:
     
  18. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    Well, I must say, I'v been searching for a lightweight, compact MF for a while now. I do a fair amount of long-distance backpacking, and have been wanting something I could easily carry along for when I have time to be more deliberate with my photography on a trip.

    I first got a Pentax 645 and have a 645n. These beauties sold me on MF, but are too bulky and heavy for long distance backpacking - at least for me. I also went through a series of TLRs. Yashica A, Yashica D, and now a Yashica 124 and 124G. Again, kinda bulky for a small backpack. I do love using them, though and the results are great. They are keepers, just won't make it into my backpack too often.

    Recently I got a Zeis Mess Ikonta 524/16. Now we're talking on compact, still pretty heavy. Haven't had a lot of opportunity to use it yet, but it will probably be a keeper as it's ticking off most of my boxes.

    That said, I'm still looking. Yesterday I received an Agfa Isolette. One of the earlier models with the Agnar 85 lens in a Vario shutter. I know, pretty much bottom of the line combination, but it was reasonably priced and is in EXCELLENT condition. Focus is very smooth and easy, shutter sounds good in all 4 settings. Bellows looks good to my eye, but from what I've read they almost always need replacing. This camera is very compact and VERY light compared to the others mentioned. I will shoot it and see how the photos turn out. It is probably also a keeper, but there are several more folder versions I'd like to check out.

    My point is, if the criteria are good MF photos and compact, reasonably light weight, the folders seem to be winning... for me anyway.
     
  19. pstake

    pstake Member

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    Plaubel Makina would be my absolute first choice if price was no object, but it is ... so I have an Ikoflex and I'm very happy with it.

    It's the size of a Rolliecord but better build quality and more character.
     
  20. dodphotography

    dodphotography Subscriber

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    I knew going into it a repair was needed, just from experience searching through various auctions and such. I'm just not sure if the camera is worth sinking 500-600 dollars into to bring to top shape from "the" Rollei repairman at Ocean Side Camera in CA.
     
  21. fotch

    fotch Member

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    If size matters, check out a quality folder, like a Zeiss Ikon..
     
  22. Regular Rod

    Regular Rod Member

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    Folding cameras are still a great way to get medium format negatives.

    [​IMG]

    RR
     
  23. baachitraka

    baachitraka Member

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  24. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    He said it ==>
    :whistling:
     
  25. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I love folders for what they are, but the image quality will likely be a significant step down from an RB67. The best lenses usually found are Tessar types, most have front-cell focusing, and film flatness is a challenge for most of them. Everyone ought to have a decent folder or two for when those issues aren't a problem, but coming from a modern system camera there will be tradeoffs.

    -NT
     
  26. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    You...monster!:cry: