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  1. #1

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    Stick with 6x6 or try 645?

    I've tried 35mm for the past year and just couldn't get into it. I recently got a QL17 GIII, prefer it much over my Electro 35 GSN, and foresee myself shooting 35mm more often now.

    But I just very recently picked up a 124G and instantly fell in love it. I'm not sure if it's the WLF, 6x6 aspect ratio, or a combination of both. I picked up the 124G cheap to get my feet wet with medium format. Didn't want to spend a fortune on something I wouldn't love. Welp, turns out that I do love it.

    Now, given that I already have a 124G, should I replace/upgrade it with a Rolleicord/Rolleiflex (either a cord Vb or flex under $1k) or stick with the 124G and give 645 a shot (I have my eye on an m645 with standard 80 2.8)?

    I see it this way: I can a) stick with the 124G and pick up a m645 for variety or b) sell my 124G to fund a cord/flex, but be "limited" (I use the term loosely) to one aspect ratio.

    Note: the m645 has a WLF as I am not interested in using a prism. I like the perspective of shooting from waist level vs eye level.

    Your thoughts are appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Why? Answer that question and you'll have your answer.

  3. #3

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    ... but if it is versatility you want, a Vb is a good option. Decent camera and you can easily find a 16-exposure kit and convert it to 645.

  4. #4
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    If you don't want to use a prism on 645 you have to take all your shots in the landscape format,which is a pain, one of the beauties of 6x6 is that it can be cropped in either vertical or horizontal format without doing acrobatics with the camera.Since you are new to medium format and are pleased with the results you are getting with the 124 G I would stick to what you have for now and if you want to upgrade in the future think about a medium format camera that will accept interchangeable lenses to improve your versatility like a Mamiya C330F or a Zenza Bronica SQ SLR.
    Ben

  5. #5

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    Why A? I know I love shooting with a TLR. By no means have I outgrown the 124G, but as I understand it, it's an entry-level TLR in this day and age (nothing wrong with that) and is considered many to be built like a "toy." I am in no hurry to get rid of the 124G if I choose route A, but I can keep my eyes open for a good deal on a cord/flex.

    Why B? As mentioned above, by no means have I outgrown or mastered the 124G. I'm sure it will serve me as long as I take care of it. m645 because I'm interested in seeing if I will enjoy shooting that aspect ratio as well.

    Another thing I should mention is I will use either for street photography. My experience with the 124G is that the general public seems intrigued and less threatened by it (I'm sure this goes for any TLR). For anyone with experience, how do people respond to the m645 (or like cameras) being pointed at them? I ask this because I am by no means threatening or creepy, but my experience with DSLRs with street photography has been poor. Maybe it's my approach, maybe it's the camera. All I know is that I've had much more success with the 124G than my 5D2. Wondering if I'll be as successful with something like an m645.

    @benjiboy - I understand the limits of using a WLF with 645 and I am okay with shooting in landscape only. I rarely shoot in portrait with any of my 35mm cameras and I don't foresee landscape only being a problem if I choose to go 645. As for your suggestion about a MF like the C330, I've considered the C33 and C330 - but I've read bother are cumbersome to carry, especially for street photography.

  6. #6

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    Great answers!

    Here is my advise: do as Ben suggests and shoot the 124G until it is worn out. I did that with a Vb many years ago - on tripod for landscapes, on monopod for "street", and handheld for very little. Cropping to 645 aspect is easy and can be done in both directions with equal ease. (BTW, the monopod and a lens hood were my two most valued accessories.)

    Suggestion: invest in film and travel. Stop thinking about gear!

  7. #7
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpt2014 View Post
    Why A? I know I love shooting with a TLR. By no means have I outgrown the 124G, but as I understand it, it's an entry-level TLR in this day and age (nothing wrong with that) and is considered many to be built like a "toy." I am in no hurry to get rid of the 124G if I choose route A, but I can keep my eyes open for a good deal on a cord/flex.

    Why B? As mentioned above, by no means have I outgrown or mastered the 124G. I'm sure it will serve me as long as I take care of it. m645 because I'm interested in seeing if I will enjoy shooting that aspect ratio as well.

    Another thing I should mention is I will use either for street photography. My experience with the 124G is that the general public seems intrigued and less threatened by it (I'm sure this goes for any TLR). For anyone with experience, how do people respond to the m645 (or like cameras) being pointed at them? I ask this because I am by no means threatening or creepy, but my experience with DSLRs with street photography has been poor. Maybe it's my approach, maybe it's the camera. All I know is that I've had much more success with the 124G than my 5D2. Wondering if I'll be as successful with something like an m645.

    @benjiboy - I understand the limits of using a WLF with 645 and I am okay with shooting in landscape only. I rarely shoot in portrait with any of my 35mm cameras and I don't foresee landscape only being a problem if I choose to go 645. As for your suggestion about a MF like the C330, I've considered the C33 and C330 - but I've read bother are cumbersome to carry, especially for street photography.
    M/F SLRs I.M.O. make too much noise for street shooting. I, had a Rolleiflex 2.8F and replaced it with a Mamiya C330F about twenty five years ago and have never regretted it, they are slightly more cumbersome but you have to "suffer for your art", but the advantages of interchangeable lenses in versatility in a TLR are great
    Ben

  8. #8

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    ...so having been tempted by a Mamiya TLR years ago (but never left Rollei)... those interchangable lenses sure are nice!

  9. #9
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I found that shooting 645 was not a benefit. I used a Rolleiflex for a few years, and loved it. Perfect camera. Then I wanted interchangeable lenses, and I was gifted a Mamiya 645. I loved especially the 150 lens, but using it for portraits was borderline impossible, or impractical at best. So I got a Hasselblad and three lenses. Now I kind of wish I had that Rolleiflex again...

    The grass isn't greener on the other side, but in my experience, nobody learns that lesson without going there to check for themselves. You already know you like the Yashica, and that cropping the 6x6 negatives is a piece of cake. If you want to use 645 I would recommend either loaning a 645 camera from someone you know, or get a cheap Holga and put the 645 mask in it. Then see how you enjoy the 645 format after printing a few dozen of them.

    Finally, I find it difficult to take negatives from my Rolleiflex days and combining them with negatives from the 645 days and make coherent looking series of prints from them. Usually I use most of the area of the negatives, regardless of format, so I end up with some prints rectangular and others square, and that does bother me quite a bit, actually. Just throwing that out there in case that is something you had not considered.

    Good luck with your choices.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    ... but if it is versatility you want, a Vb is a good option. Decent camera and you can easily find a 16-exposure kit and convert it to 645.
    Rolleicord Va also takes 16 exposure inserts. And the Rolleiflex T, although it might be a different set of parts.

    Either way, go shoot for a while until you reach the limits of the Yashica. I don't have the actual quote, but the gist of a comment on camera-hopping: get a project going, get shooting, and you won't be thinking about the camera.

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