Keep in mind that pre-war camera lenses are uncoated and have a much softer look and lower contrast than what you might be thinking of. I like the look and have two 6x9 folders (Bessa & Kodak,) but then again I like older stuff. (The 1937 Bessa is actually the newest film gear I own.) I shot a Bronica 645 for a number of years and liked it, but it's not heavy duty. You might consider the RZ (not RB) 67, or the Pentax 67. Both are solid enough you could use them as a stand to hold up your motorcylce for quick repairs. You will need a decent tripod of course, and a light meter. Don't need to spend more than $100 on a meter. If you are serious about contact prints, eventually you will buy a 4x5. That's mostly what I shoot anyway.
Kent in SD
I picked up a Bronica ETR with a 75 mm lens a while back for $200. I was pleasantly surprised by this camera's performance. It has an eye level finder and can be turned for vertical pictures. Easily hand held, nut I do put it on a tripod when the situation allows. No meter. It produces a 6 x 4.5 cm image. Draw back, electronic shutter fails in extreme cold, so I drag out a 4 x 5.
A 6X6 would max out the usefulness of your enlarger in regard to neg size. New lens for the larger format, 75-90mm ish.
An advantage to the TLR is that they're light(except the Mamiyas) so in my opinion The Yashica, Rolleicord, Minolta Autocord should all work out for you. Stay away from Seagull,delicate/some lenses are dramatically worse than others. Ricoh and some others are out there and should be inexpensive to try out.
They're all manual, some cock when you advance the film, some have a separate lever. They are also all approximately the same size, and you won't need a very heavy tripod to hold 'em. Something like a Bogen 3001, 3011 or 3021 would be adequate with the 3001 the least of the three. I'd consider the 3011 as a good match. The tripods all have new model numbers now but you should be able to find specifications for them online but as I remember(?) the two I like were around 21-24" long collapsed. Not unmanageable on a bike
Motor cycle. I've used a tank bag, seat bag and saddlebags, they all work but I preferred the tank bag. I've never had screws vibrate loose but when packing the camera, it was never packed tightly. a wadded up t-shirt or bubble wrap absorbs a lot of vibration. Some foam works OK if it's not too rigid.
Heavily sedated for your protection.
Using a TLR and going by motobike yor tank gives a good tripod. Use a bean back and the self timer.
I often use my bicycle saddel as a tripod vehicle. I have to hold my Flex in place, but by pressing it slightly against the gel I can hold times around 1/4sec stable.
I started to photograph with a Rolleiflex, so I have some bias in that direction. I still use one for the times I do not wish to haul around the 8x10.
The Agfa folders are known for their holey bellows, but folders in general are a nice compact way to go. The fellow you are dealing with knows all about that and he seems to be a respected dealer/repair fellow.
The 6x4.5 format has a lot of pluses, but I have steered towards starting with the film width and stretching out in the other direction! The square format is also fun to work with -- it can grow on you! I use to make 15"x15" B&W prints from negs from the Rollei. I was using the now-extinct Kodak Panotomic-X developed in Microdol 1:3, but today's films and developers are equal to the task.
You might consider moving up to a 4x5 enlarger eventually -- there are plenty of ones going unused out there! I have been using an Omega D5-XL (condenser head) with a 135mm lens for MF. I like using the center portion of a 4x5 system's optical system (condensers and lens), rather than use a system that a 6x7 negative would stretch it to is limits. It just seems that the light would be more even and one is using the sharper center portion of the lens. All would be negated by a poorly aligned enlarger though!
And you might as well get the 4x5 enlarger now. As Winger said, MF is just a gateway drug to the dark undercloth world of large format!
PS -- you might find that any camera on a bike will eventually need a CLA, if just to tighten some interior screws.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
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Thats exactly what I did. I knew I was going to get a LF so before I got one I got the d2 with color head.
Originally Posted by Vaughn
I'm glad that you admit that you realized that you didn't know much about photography once you shot film.
According to me:
Pros: Quality! Quality! Quality!
Cons: Time! Time! Time!
Yes to most of the above - Especially start cheap, like a Meopta Flexarette or Yashica which should be cheap enough for you to not worry about the cost - If you are in Australia I have a Flexarette with a goodish lens you can borrow for the cost of postage, although the slow speeds are sticky - PM me if you are interested
However, if you go for a Rollei and buy a good one you should be able to recoup you money if you decide MF is not to your liking - Hasselblad in Australia is tricky as they are much easier to buy than to sell
I own a Yashicamat, a Mamiya RZ67, and a Kodak 66 folder. For the circumstances you describe, I'd choose the Yashicamat. It's pretty light and compact and I have taken it on a bicycle saddle-bag over rough ground. A tripod is useful, although I suspect you have more light for exposure in Australia than I have in Britain ...
The Kodak 66 folder is a bit like an Isolette. It is light and compact, but the range of shutter speeds, and the lens quality, is not as good as the Yashica, and it requires scale-focussing. The meter on the Yashica works and is pretty accurate.
Looks like you have the pro's and cons well thought out. I shoot MF and 35 mm , Pentax 645 and a couple 35 mm rangefinders. As far as roll swapping mid-rol, how often would you do it with your current cameras if it were possible? Since I wouldn't the ability to do so is no real benefit. YMMV. Negative size can make a difference, but then again if your 35mm equipment is low to mid range upgrading to better gear may make nearly as much difference and possibly be much more convenient. Better is a relative term , my yashica gsn is technically a better camera than my fed 5v but I take better photos with the fed. But honestly I'm more likely to use the 645 because it does what I want better than the others.