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  1. #1
    BrendanCarlson's Avatar
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    Best Beginner MF Camera

    Hello fellow APUG'ers,
    I am looking into getting a MF Camera, I have a budget of $400 for a body, preferably with a lens, which MF Camera would you suggest to get started that would fall in this price range?
    Everybody has a photographic memory, some just don't have film.
    My Website and Gallery is at www.bcarlsonmedia.com
    My Twitter is @brendancarlson

  2. #2
    zsas's Avatar
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    Based on your gallery, it seems you might be the type who wants a hand holdable camera (I saw a few indoor cramped concerts), therefore a TLR might be off the table.

    What about a 645? Say a user Fuji GA645Zi I've seen at your price point

    But maybe I am misinterpreting your motives, what is important to you?

    Do you want to do say landscape or more formal portrait too? Then a TLR or 6x7 (eg Mamiya RZ) come into play...

    What is your motive?
    Andy

  3. #3

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    Agreed, what you want to do is key. You need to say more.

    A Bronica ETRSi, one lens, a prism and WLF, a couple of backs, and speed grip would get you going nicely in a general way. Like this from KEH- http://www.keh.com/camera/Bronica-ET...990522580?r=FE

    But there might be better cameras depending on what you plan to do.

  4. #4

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    I would think a Yashica 124G would fit the bill too and be an alternative MF introduction that is very satisfying. Please consider a TLR for your MF camera, although there is certainly not one bad thing I would say about any of the cameras recommended above....also good, solid MF cameras that will bring many hours of enjoyement using.

    Bob E.
    Nikon F5, Nikon F4S, Nikon FA, Nikon FE, Nikon N90, Nikon N80, Nikon N75, Mamiya 645 Pro, Mamiya Press Super 23, Yashica Lynx 14e, Yashica Electro GSN, Yashica 124G, Yashica D

  5. #5
    BrendanCarlson's Avatar
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    Im kinda leaning towards the Mamiya 645... any suggestions where to buy it.

    Also if I buy a m645 can I use most of the hardware (backs, prism, and lenses) with a 645 Pro?
    Everybody has a photographic memory, some just don't have film.
    My Website and Gallery is at www.bcarlsonmedia.com
    My Twitter is @brendancarlson

  6. #6

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    Also if I buy a m645 can I use most of the hardware (backs, prism, and lenses) with a 645 Pro?
    Only the lenses will work with all the Mamiya 645 manual focus cameras.
    Don't forget the m645 and 1000s do not have interchangeable backs.

  7. #7
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrendanCarlson View Post
    Im kinda leaning towards the Mamiya 645... any suggestions where to buy it.

    Also if I buy a m645 can I use most of the hardware (backs, prism, and lenses) with a 645 Pro?
    The lenses and inserts are compatible between the m645 and the 645 Pro.

    The m645 doesn't allow for removable backs (just inserts to aid in loading).

    A couple of the m645 grips will function with the 645 Pro, but are not ideal. The various rotating tripod adapters will work on both. They both take the same battery.

    But things like prisms and other accessories aren't compatible.

    And the m645 is getting quite old.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  8. #8
    BrendanCarlson's Avatar
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    Would you go for the 645 pro???
    Everybody has a photographic memory, some just don't have film.
    My Website and Gallery is at www.bcarlsonmedia.com
    My Twitter is @brendancarlson

  9. #9
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrendanCarlson View Post
    Would you go for the 645 pro???
    I already have .

    The 645 Super may be another option worth considering. I started with one.

    They are older and less robust than the newer 645 Pro and Pro Tl, but almost all of their accessories and the 645 accessories are interchangeable.

    Including the removable backs.

    If you find they work well for you, you can always pick up a 645 Pro body at a relatively reasonable cost, leaving you with a backup body.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  10. #10
    andrew.roos's Avatar
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    As others have said, which camera is best may depend on your intended usage. When I was in your position about a year ago, I considered both the Mamiya 645 Super/Pro and the Bronica ETRSi. The most significant difference between the two systems is that the Mamiyas have focal plane shutters in the body while the Bronica has leaf shutters in the lenses.

    The benefits of a focal plane shutter (Mamiya) are:

    Faster shutter speeds (1/1000" vs 1/500" for the Bronica)
    Fast lenses (such as the 80mm f/1.9 - the fastest Bronica lenses are f/2.8)

    The advantages of leaf shutters (Bronica) are:

    Less shutter vibration when used with mirror-up - good when shooting at slow shutter speeds off tripods.
    Flash sync at all shutter speeds - good when shooting with fill flash, especially outdoors.

    Note that the Mamiyas do have a few leaf shuttered lenses; however they are much less convenient to use than the Bronica's as they must be separately cocked. With the Bronica, winding the film on also cocks the lens so it's just like using a manual 35mm camera.

    In my case, being primarily a landscape shooter (and a hiker), I decided that the advantages of the leaf shutters outweighed the advantages of the focal plane shutter (since I don't typically use large apertures or fast shutter speeds), so I chose the ETRSi. If I was more into handheld or street photography, I would probably have gone the other way. As far as I could tell quality, availability and ergonomics are similar.

    I bought my ETRSi from KEH and was very happy with the service and the condition of the items.

    Andrew
    Last edited by andrew.roos; 07-21-2012 at 01:57 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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