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  1. #1

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    WTB: A Good, Cheap Medium Format Camera (Preferably 6 x 6, But Open To Others)

    I'm looking to buy a sub-$200 Medium Format camera, preferably in the 6 x 6 format in addition to being an SLR. I am open to other cameras as well. Let me know if you're willing to sell, and thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I'm not selling (because I like mine), but in that price range you'll be pretty much going for a Pentacon Six, Kiev 60, or Kiev 88 (in its many variants), so I can offer a bit of advice about them.

    I've got all 3 (my 88 is an 88CM), and they've all got their strengths and weaknesses.

    I prefer stop-down metering, on the P6 I've moved the aperture pin in the body out of the way (easy and reversible). On the K60 there's a stop-down lever I can move with my right middle finger. On the K88CM there's nothing (so it only works in stop-down with my Zeiss 120/180/300 lenses).

    P6 has a self-timer instead of the K60's stop-down lever, the other two don't.

    Maybe it's just the copies I've got, but my K60 seems a lot better built than the P6, more like a german-precision machine than the german machine. My P6 may have just had a hard life. The 88CMs have an apparent bad reputation for build-quality, I got mine from fleabay with a 'recent CLA' tag, I've never had a problem.

    I've never used the P6 meter, i've got an adapter to put the K60 meter on my P6. On the K88CM i've got the centre-spot 45-degree meter. I've put a brightscreen with centre-split-prism in the P6 (the other two came with one already). Calibrating is easy (I match it to what the metering says on my EOS3 and/or 7D with the same lens on adapter).

    Don't get the K88 unless it's a steal, go K88CM for P6 lens-mount, you can then still put native K88 screw lenses on it via a $20 adapter.

    Lenses for anything in P6 mount are good (the Ukranian versions are good designs, just iffy QC). Same as buying any other lens 50 years old, how it's been treated makes more difference than how it left the factory. Exakta66 lenses are the best and newest, but expect to pay $500+ each. Soviet lenses go sub-$100 (mostly sub $50), Zeisses are $50-200 depending on condition.


    Other than those 3, I don't think you'll get a 6x6 for under $200 (at least, not including lens). The cheapest Hassies I've seen are still above that body-only, same with SL66. Of course they're better, but you pay for it. Not much experience with Bronicas, but from what I've seen you'll also be lucky to get something under $200 (that works).

  3. #3

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    Great advice from Dr. Coubie. I've got an offer for a Kiev-60 coming your way. PM.

  4. #4
    Fixcinater's Avatar
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    I have a Yashica TLR that is a good user (pretty nice shape aesthetically, too) if you decide a TLR would be worth a try.

  5. #5

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    Another option

    I have a Mamiya C220 that I have decided to sell. Is an excellent camera, just needs the folding waist level finder, it has
    one now, but is self-engineered from mat board. 200 dollars would take it.

  6. #6
    jp498's Avatar
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    I'd also suggest a Yashica TLR.

  7. #7
    nsurit's Avatar
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    How about a Super Ricohflex and a bunch of film, chemistry and change in your pocket. Sounds like a plan to me.

  8. #8

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    I have a very nice, fully functional Rolleicord lll w/Schneider 75mm f/3.5 lens in your sub $200 price range, pm if interested

  9. #9

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    I could set you up with an entry level Rb67 kit, prism finder, 120 back & 90mm lens for $300.
    I could throw in some film (think maybe an old propack of Ektar 100 and a few rolls of B&W) as well.

    I know its more than you wanted to spend but its in the same league and it would get you into a system and a non-FSU MF SLR.

    If you decide to go with a 6x6 SLR and you get a former Soviet Union body, make certain that your trusted seller has actually used it with some film, a lot of FSU glass is amazing (I love the 80mm f/2.8 Volga) when they got it put togather right, but the bodies are of mediocre quality if they even work.

    If you like 6x6 more than you need an SLR, consider a TLR. Rolleicord, Autocord, Mamiya, or Yashica 124 are all great choices and often obtainable for under $200.

  10. #10

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    You said open to other cameras, which I assume is the motivation for several offers of TLRs when you talked about SLRs. May I suggest the Mamiya RB67? It's 6x7 rather than 6x6, but you can easily acquire a full kit for under $200 and you can find a 6x6 back if you really prefer that format. Also 6x4.5, 6x8(-ish), 70mm backs can be had. There's a lot of good lenses, cheap, and the viewfinder is HUGE. Of course, it's big all around, which might be a hindrance if you're planning street photography or other handheld work. I have two and I love them.

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