Your FIRST Medium Format Camera

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Michel Hardy-Vallée, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

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    OK, so we've known what were our first 35mm cameras, but what about your first MF camera? How did you came there? Was it a speed bump from 35mm? Or was it simply that in those days photography meant rollfilm? Was it because you became a professional, or because you were dying to try it?

    I started with a bakelite folder this spring, a Soho cadet with one shutter speed and four apertures, that I got while searching for a TLR. It eventually convinced me to buy a Yashica-D. For me, the object of the quest was the TLR, but it showed me on the way how great it is to have a bigger negative . Now I'm shooting with it much more than my SLR, so much that I am now seeing 35mm in a different light, and might come back to it with a different approach.

    But there's nothing like licking your roll once it's exposed!
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Pentacon 6. In Poland in 1989, it was a more discreet camera for street shooting than my Canon F-1N, because it was more common over there.
     
  3. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I had a Yashica Mat 124G. I got it for $75 (I was living in Germany at the time), which is the only reason I bought it. I used it for a few years, but I'm not real fond of the square format. After that I got into 4x5, so I never bought another MF camera.
     
  4. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Era Box, bought in Munich at 15 y.o. in the eighties in an antique camera store. Thought it would be a different experience in way of handling the camera, compared to what I had then.

    No wait, when way younger (5 y.o.), dad bought a toy camera, light blue and square, took 120 roll film. Could have been a Vredeborgh.
    Norm-1

    Kodak Brownie box, given to me by Norm-1 when we just met. It just seemed one other fun thing to do together. Now look what happened. Our place is swarming with the stuff - it settles in all corners, like dust.
    Norm-2
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2005
  5. eric

    eric Member

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    Rollieflex from the Chelsea Flea Market on 23rd. I loved that thing.
     
  6. Magnus W

    Magnus W Member

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    I was working with Pentax 6x7's at the time (1983), but didn't own the cameras, they belonged to the company. I wanted to try MF more on the hobby side and was actually looking for a used P6x7 equipment. Then one day my boss told me of a really sweet deal on a Hasselblad set for sale. I went with him to the shop that were selling, and came home with a 500el/m, a C60/3.5 T*, a C150/4 T*, 2 a12 backs, and some bits and bobs. Everything in as-new condition and in original boxes, and at a ridiculously low price. I loved this equipment, it travelled with me all over Europe, from Athens to Reykjavik.

    I had the set for ten years but eventually sold it. This might have been the most regretted thing I have ever done, so a while ago I bought a new set, not as cheap, not as new, but new and cheap enough. And I am once more a happy Hassy owner.

    -- MW
     
  7. Jim Charles

    Jim Charles Member

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    Hasselblad 500 c/m. Parents bought it for a Christmas present this past year. Once I found out that Bronica was being discontinued, I ditched that idea and after seeing someone selling a hassy on another board in chrome with a chrome lens, I fell in love. Why square and not rectangle? (I was going for a Bronica GS-1 since it was lighter than a Mamiya RB67) I like not having to rotate the camera. I also like square prints.
     
  8. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    1974 - a Yashica Mat-124G. I got it brand spankin' new for $125.00 at an Ann & Hope store in Massachusetts.

    I had been shooting 35mm for a while and was turned on to medium format by one of my Dad's older brothers (who also taught me color printing!). Within a few weeks, I bought both the aux telephoto and wide angle lens sets. It was one of the few cameras I wore out, though it took me a lot of years to do! :smile:
     
  9. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    Yashica mat 124G. This was a deliberate move into a larger format from 35mm. I still have fond memories of it, but not so fond memories of ages spent trying to get 120 film fed into spools!

    The first film I used was for colour "snaps" and the apparent sharpness and lack of grain blew me away and sold me on MF.

    In fact, at my wedding it absolutely pee'd down and the photographers 2 mamiya's became waterlogged, so I loaned her the Yashica. Kinda ironic having photo's taken with my own camera in the wedding album.

    Cheers

    Martin
     
  10. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Kodak 620 Box Brownie (my mother's) when I was 7 and started developing and contact printing. Bought a Wirgin 120 folder when I was 15. Also used the High School's Speed Graphic 4x5 when I was 15 - 16.
     
  11. RichSBV

    RichSBV Member

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    I suppose my first mf camera would be an old Kodak folder. Took 620 (or 820?) film and had the door in the back with a stylus. A great camera to use and still have it.

    Then around 1970 or so, I was making plans to "go pro"... That added a Mamiya C330 to the kit. Can't say enough good about that camera. Still have it, still use it. Just put a half dozen rolls through it this past weekend.

    But all these small formats don't get used like they used to... So when do we do "the first LF camera"??
     
  12. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    In 1962 I got a Rolleiflex 3.5F with Xenotar. Brand new I bought it for $225.00
     
  13. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    Lubitel 166U (don't laugh!)... Sold for two beers in a local bar, replaced by a Zeiss Ikon folder. What a step up!
     
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  15. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Czech-made Flexaret V TLR. What an eye-opener the first print was! And the negative seemed huge! :smile:

    Denis
     
  16. argus

    argus Member

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    Voigtlander Brilliant. Just because I wanted to try.

    G
     
  17. Peter Rockstroh

    Peter Rockstroh Member

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    Rolleiflex 3.5 Loved the format, loved the change of pace (I had an OM-1 with a motor drive), loved the fact that the image was upside down. And I loved the way the negatives got printed almost effortless.
     
  18. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    1971 or 72 (honestly don't remember) I paid $250 for a Mamiya C220 and two lenses (a fortune for me at the time). I still have it.

    The purpose was to shoot weddings, which I did all through my remaining college days. I had 35mm, but "at the time", professionals did not shoot weddings with 35mm (at least where I was.)

    This does not count the 620 and 127 box cameras of my youth in the 50s and 60s. :tongue:

    Cheers

    David
     
  19. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Subscriber

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    I also started with a Yashica 124G. Wonderful camera. It really changed my photography in a wonderful way as I started being much more thoughtful about my shooting. I sold it to help pay for a Mamiya 645, which I still have and love. I did regret selling the 124G, however, and recently purchased another from an APUGer who gave me too good a deal to pass up. I am not using it a bunch and extremely happy to be back in the fold.
     
  20. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    Bronica S2A. Still going strong, and still one of my favorite cameras. There's something magic about the old Bronica (or at least about my experiences with it)...every time I pick up the S2A it feels like an old friend.

    Plus, it's the dream camera for lens hacking. Three separate lens mounts and a focal plane shutter; it's almost as if it was designed for my fascination with lenses.

    I've noticed that the prices on these have headed north a bit lately, when most MF gear is headed south. I have no idea why, but it's satisfying to know that people still appreciate them.
     
  21. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    I bought a Mamiya RB-67 ProS back when I was in college in 1990. The main reason I bought it was to upstage all the 35mm users in my photo classes. I was printing super sharp 16x20 prints and those dummies couldn't figure out why there was no grain. I have since traded the RB for a Hasselblad 500CM. The funny thing is that I shoot mostly 35mm now for the grainy high contrast look and the Hasselblad is collecting dust. Hmm, who's the dummy now?
    Ara
     
  22. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Hmm.

    First medium format camera I used was also the first camera of any kind I used -- a Kodak Duaflex (probably IV, fixed everything except two apertures, marked B&W and Color).

    First medium format camera I owned was a Brownie Hawkeye, which I bought at a yard sale for (IIRC) 25 cents in about 1970.

    The first *adjustable* medium format I owned was a Kodak Reflex II TLR, for which I traded an Exa II SLR with a second curtain that didn't quite close, around 1975.

    All were 6x6 on 620.
     
  23. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    A KONI-OMEGA M with the 90 and 180 lenses, in 1970. A local wedding guy upgraded to a 'blad, and I got his old equipment for about $200. In a bid of insanity, I traded it off about a decade later for a Pentax 67. I like the P67 (still have it), but that Koni-Omega was a real good camera.
     
  24. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    A plastic Brownie, in 1951 or so. Shot 120 film. One shutter speed. Didn't work badly with Verichrome Pan.
     
  25. fparnold

    fparnold Member

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    Yashica 635. It had been a yardsale purchase by an uncle, and forgotten in a closet. I soon discovered why, as it had been home-repaired somewhere in its career, so there was oil in the shutter. Every month or so I'd have to unscrew the taking lens elements, and wipe down the blades with isopropanol so that it would fire reliably. Kept it for about five years, and shot rather frequently with it, until I traded it in when upgrading my 35mm. (Spotmatic which had needed shutter work twice in four months to Nikon F)
     
  26. gr82bart

    gr82bart Member

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    Brand new yellow Hasselblad 503CW from B&H. I'd always wanted one since I was a kid and couldn't resist the special they had for buying a package. I carry that camera everywhere now. I just love it.

    Art.