Which 6x6 MF do you shoot?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by PamelaHL, Jun 24, 2004.

Which is your favorite 6x6 brand?

  1. Bronica

    11.4%
  2. Hasselblad

    36.4%
  3. Rollei

    27.9%
  4. Holga

    5.7%
  5. Mamiya [6 rangefinder (?)]

    17.1%
  6. Exacta

    0.7%
  7. Seagull

    0.7%
  1. PamelaHL

    PamelaHL Member

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    The thread about why y'all chose MF in the first place took off a little bit on a discussion about whether Hasselblad is worth the money, etc. I've heard numerous conflicting opinions about this, so I'd love to hear some more. Which 6x6 MF do you use and why?

    As always, I am grateful for your willingness to take the time to respond.
     
  2. Grady O

    Grady O Member

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    I origianly bought a Bronica a year or so back because the price was right. I had a few problems with it, and prices droped so much I recently bought a Hasselblad 500 c/m. I'm very happy with it. I like that it doesn't need batteries, and it also has a bulb mode which is good. As far as results, I don't see too much difference between my Bronica (sq-a), and Hasselblad photos printed at 9x9.
     
  3. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    I'm not sure how useful my reply will be, but here it goes:

    I started 6x6 with a Lipca Flexora TLR, which my grandfather handed down to me (it had been his father's before). I really liked it, even though it had lots of haze on the taking lens, the focus screen was dark, and the spacing was uneven. I took good shots with it. Unfortunately, however, the shutter lost its will to live, and refused all attempts at resurrecting.

    Full of sorrow and anger (why did it abandon me? WHY?), I purchased a Pentacon Six TL on ebay. I was really tempted by the idea of a 6x6 SLR with sharp optics (actually, anything without haze would satisfy me), and the P6 didn't disappoint me. I quickly set the prism aside, and stuck with the brighter and more familiar waist level finder, and made sure to stick a hood on that lens. I took this setup to Brazil, and put 65 rolls of film thru it. Aside from the fact that it only took 10 shots per roll (WIDE spacing between frames) I was pretty happy with it. Looking back, I would have flocked the interior to minimize flare in some backlit shots, but otherwise I was happy.

    Oh, and the P6 died on roll number 65. That would have really ticked me off, if it wasn't for the fact that I had taken it to some extreme situations (climbing/hitting/sneaking under rocks, scorching sun, etc...), and my serious shooting was over.

    I have also used a rolleicord and 2nd lowest Seagull available. The seagull impressed me (the triplet lens was much sharper than I expected, and it felt much more luxurious than my Flexora).

    I once handled a Hasselblad 500_and_something and a motordriven one. I was then told of all the ways one could jam the darned things, and proceed to carefully set them down. Nothing against hasseblads (I actually wouldn't mind having one), but for a clumsy guy like me, they're just too iffy.

    I am now in the process of editing/printing this last batch of shots, so I won't be shooting for a little while. I am, however, already thinking of the replacement for the P6, and as of right now have used bronicas in mind. For about $500 one can buy a setup from adorama's ebay account. Doesn't sound too high.

    On the other hand, I might just go with a TLR...

    hope this helps.
     
  4. eric

    eric Member

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    when I was assisting fer a livin in NYC, you HAVE to know how to use a Hassy. Photogs will time you to see how fast you load/unload film. They will make sure that you don't jam their lenses/bodies. You can go to any pro shop and rent Hassy equipment that you don't have. They are not delicate so someone with fat fingers will not break them. Needless to say, I've worked on my share of Mamiyas, Bronicas, 4x5s, 8x10s. They ALL work GREAT and if you are a good assistant, know how to use them as part of your repertoire will make you more marketable. But for pure asthetic reasons, Blads have a nice feel to them. If you can shoot, you can use anything and make $$$. So I've bought most of my Hassy gear at that point and still use them now. I don't think I can afford them now if I had to get them. Get what you can afford, don't worry what the name is on the tag. Make prints, scan them, don't even tell anyone what brand camera you use. Nobody cares if the image is good. (And my pic on the poll was Holga -- I love my Holga...I use it more than the Blad)
     
  5. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    There are lots of 6x6 cameras that you did not list. The Pentacon 6TL is one that I own and shoot (the Exacta 6x6 is a variant of the Pentacon 6TL).

    However, the 6x6 camera that I use the most is my ARAX/Kiev 88CM. This is a Ukrainian built Hassleblad derivative camera that uses the Zeiss and Schneider lenses from the Pentacon/Exacta system plus an extensive line of Ukrainian lenses.

    As you know, I also own a Hassleblad 501CM.
     
  6. olecowboy

    olecowboy Member

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    I use a Mamiya C330f. A fine camera, easy to use and quite solid.
     
  7. eric

    eric Member

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    OMG! I used to own an Exacta 6x6. Bought new from BH many moons ago. The curtain developed a wrinkle and kinda broke in less than a year. BUT MAN! The lenses were SUPURB. I kinda liked that weird "skin" it had.
     
  8. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    Oh yeah! that puts the K60 (or Arax 60) as a replacement for my camera-gone-buh-bye.
     
  9. PamelaHL

    PamelaHL Member

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    You make a good point; I should've included an Other option. But then I'd've missed out on the joy of reading your posts! This is a great discussion!
     
  10. PamelaHL

    PamelaHL Member

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    And Tom, why do you use the ARAX/Kiev 88CM the most?
     
  11. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I only have two [working] medium format cameras: a holga and a minolta autocord. As Minolta wasn't a choice I went with holga.
     
  12. kwmullet

    kwmullet Member

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    Jeremy,

    Please post more about your Holga experiences. I've recently gotten interested in what's possible with cheap 120s. I've got the idea that it'd be cool to keep a couple in the car -- one loaded with fast film, the other loaded with slow. With a single shutter speed and two apertures, I'm thinking the Holga and development by inspection would be a great combination.

    My wife, Dianna, has taken posession of the DSLR, and she's welcome to it. It'd be nice, though, for me to have something cheap I can keep in the car at all times for unexpected shooting.

    -KwM-
     
  13. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    It is reliable, has an excellent metering prism (spot & averaging), has a waist level finder, a magnifying chimney finder for macro work, a ground glass back with magnifier (macro work, again), has a Pentacon macro bellows with a 150mm Rodenstock Apo Ronar lens, has mirror lock up, has interchangeable film backs (like Hassy). I have an extensive Schneider, Zeiss and Ukrainian lens system for it (ranging from a 500mm Zeiss through a 30mm Arsat fisheye). I use this camera system a lot for film and developer testing. I get high quality MF pictorial results as an added bonus.
     
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  15. fotographz

    fotographz Member

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    they all will take a picture....

    I've started it out with Hasselblad 30+ years ago and have always liked the simplicity of it. I also travel alot with this camera and I know I can find
    pieces or parts almost anywhere IF(very rarely) I need them. They are well
    made and have excellent lenses. Factors being what are you going to do with it. If you're going to scan your film then any of the MF cameras out will more than fulfill this for you. wants versus needs....
     
  16. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The only 6x6 camera I own is a Voigtländer Perkeo I. That makes the choise easy, and voting impossible.

    Now if you'd asked about 6x4.5, the choise would have a lot more difficult...
     
  17. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Sorry for dropping in uninvited, but why specifically Holga?
    If you're just after cheap 120, why not try Czech Flexaret TLR? It produces *MUCH* better photos - if by "better" you think sharper, no vignetting, (usually) no flare, etc...

    I've got one (Flexaret V), and I'm very pleased with it. Nice to handle, and unlike Rolleicord, you don't need to cock the shutter separately. You can see some of sample photos I took with it in my Flexaret folder on photo.net.
    It shouldn't cost much more than a Holga, handles better, and produces predictable results.
    However, if you're after that specific "Holga look", than it may not be what you're looking for.

    Aside from that, to get back to the original question, my 6x6 shooters are the above mentioned Flexaret, Yashica 124G and a great Rolleiflex T. All very nice shooters - and I must confess that I'm particularly fond of the Rolleiflex.

    Denis
     
  18. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I have been contemplating the ARAX web site for some time, now - toying with the idea of one of the ARAX "metered" prisms for use on my Hasselblad 503Cx's. Any experience/ advice about those?

    I wish ARAX would produce magazines interchangeable with the 'Blads ... I'd buy a dozen of those.
     
  19. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    My first MF camera was a C330f. Excellent camera. Then I bought a Hassy and had both for about a year or two. I ended up selling the Mamiya only because I was trying to consolidate my cameras and it didn't make sense to have 2 MF ones. Since the Hassy glass(Zeis) was better, I ended up keeping that one. I do miss the Mamiya though. That thing could be hit by a Mack truck and still be able to take a picture. They are built like a tank.
     
  20. brimc76

    brimc76 Member

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    I use my 6x4.5's more often (Bronica & Zeiss Ikonta), but for 6x6 I use a Yashica D TLR.
     
  21. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    Bronica. My medium format career started with a Yashica 124g, I sold this to buy a Bronica etrs. Sold the Bronica to buy a digi (DOH!). Being without a MF for sometime I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow a Rolleiflex T, and a Hasselblad 501cm. Then I purchased a Mamiya M645, this was a real dog, probably because of misuse and abuse by a previous owner, but it out me off Mamiya and I'm cagey about buying used now. I binned the Mamiya and bought a Bronica SQB.
    Apart from the mamiya experience I'd be happy with any of the above, my primary reason for choosing a new broni over a used hassy was simply one of money, I very much doubt I'd be abke to justify buying lenses for the hassy, the broni is nearer my price range. (OK, so I'm cheap :smile: ). I will say that I didn't find the hassy very intuitive to use, and I lost a lot of first frames. Fortunately I managed to not jam it up.

    Cheers

    Martin.
     
  22. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    In another part of the country that would probably work, but here in Texas those things would probably melt. Maybe not the harder plastic of the body, but the lens is also plastic and will probably melt (if left in your car) to the point of giving you completely soft images. I ran through my first Holga as mostly experimentation: the shutter is controlled by a simple spring and eventually this spring goes bad. This has happened on my first holga and I haven't gotten around to removing the shutter assembly--then you just use the lens cap and do bulb exposures with it. My other Holga, the nice one with velcroed back to stop light leaks, the one without gaft tape everywhere, the one with a shutter... it's taking a vacation in London with my girlfriend for the month. It really doesn't have two apertures, more like one and a switch which doesn't really do anything. Hopefully Leon will post here, he has a lot of experience with toy cameras. For more info you can also look at http://www.toycamera.com
     
  23. Poco

    Poco Member

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    Yashica A.

    Sharp enough, nice warm glass, fun to use, and 1/100th of the cost of some LF lenses I've bought.
     
  24. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    One of the Kiev Spot Meter prisms is a permanent accessory on my Hassleblad 501CM.

    The film backs look like they will fit the Hassy - but they won't - unless they are modified. Hartblei (Kiev) modified a bunch of the Kiev backs for the Hassy, but they are hard to find.
     
  25. lee

    lee Member

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    Jeremy, you said, "In another part of the country that would probably work, but here in Texas those things would probably melt."

    I keep a Holga in the truck here all the time and so far, no melting. Go for it.

    lee\c
     
  26. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    When my international holga gets back it's going in the car! And in any case, I'm not sure why I'm so afraid of breaking a $16 camera. :tongue: