For the money this deal can't be passed up...
RB67s are going cheap these days. These cameras are built like Russian tanks. The most you'll have to do on a 30 yr old RB are the seals, and that can be done by anyone with a razor and some self stick foam. I saw one on PhotoNet for $350, a deal that couln't be beat, I'll tell you, it's a 100 times better than any 40yr fungus eatten TLR you can get for that money.
Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.
Your points well taken, but RB's aren't for everyone. They are very big and very heavy, not something smaller or older people want to take on casual strolls or plan on hand holding a lot. I seen a C220 TLR go on epay for under $100 with it being stated the lens had no fungus (my own C220 has no fungus on either the chrome 80mm or chrome 180mm). The C220 is light enough to be easily hand held and carried for long stetches. All just depends on what ones needs are.
Originally Posted by paul ron
Well nobody has mentioned a Rapid Omega, so I will. I have been having a blast with mine. They were origionally designed for military use, and are quite reliable. Many a wedding has been shot (imaged may be a better choice here) with a RO. They go pretty cheap on ee-bray. I picked another one up yesterday for under $100, time will tell how good of shape it is in. I am fortunate that the best Koni repairman around lives about an hour away. Greg Webber has all the spare parts and knowledge of how to use them, along with factory manuals & tooling. Not only is he a great repairman, but a swell guy to boot. It was interesting to visit "Koni Heaven" and have a guided tour of his repair shop. Always nice to know these fine cameras can be maintained.
A good site to read up on the Rapid Omegas is at:
Some folks rant & rave about the Koni lenses being equal to the Hasse.. (ok - I won't go there) ... being such sharp lenses. I am very happy with the results I get, and considering the dufus holding the camera that is saying a lot. I don't know anyone around here to do some realistic comparisions with, so's I just keep shooting away. Happy and oblivious.
A friend of mine had a Rapid Omega many years ago, and I can vouch for the fact that it had very sharp optics. It falls into the same catagory as the Mamiya Super 23 and Universal, which are also equiped with excellent optics. These and the Graphic press cameras use big (6x7 or 6x9) negs and can make great cameras. They are a bit more awkward then a TLR or SLR, but prices are going down and they could make a good beginners camera that has great quality potential. I still occasionally use my Super 23 and Century Graphic. I still prefer a TLR or Folder to just carry around for general use, though, as they are more convenient.
Another vote for the Koni-Omega. The design is ingenious; the lenses are great; the ergonomics are admirable. The only real drawbacks are weight and the tendency of the backs to have spacing problems.
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I also agree with Sandy on this. The Fuji's are wonderful cameras, easy to use with great lenses. I have the GW670II and the GSW690III. But I also feel that they are great cameras for the experienced photographer as well.
Originally Posted by sanking
Long live Ed "Big Daddy" Roth!!
"I don't care about Milwaukee or Chicago." - Yvon LeBlanc
Cheap and cheerful
I have a Lubitel 166B, excellent condition with case etc., cost £11 (approx $18) on eBay incl postage. It is NOT the easiest camera in the world to use and you will need a lightmeter of some sort (a 35mm camera will do) but it is cheap enough to try out and check what 6x6 format can give, the negatives will astonish you after 35mm. I love this camera it's such great FUN and am looking to get a Seagull (new) or Flexaret to go with it, the TLR bug may very well strike you down :-).Here are a couple of examples as to what you can get from this camera.
Originally Posted by André Ferreira
As you can see from above, the choices are endless. Skipp the Holga its junk. Also dont forget you will probably need a MF film scanner of some sort.
At first i think it depends on how you like to shoot, and that depends on tripod, handheld, etc etc. Portraits or stilllifes. Landscape or snapshots and although you might know the subject you like to shoot you dont know which MF camera is best for you to take those shots yet.
The format question should come first. Do you want 645, 6x6, 6x7 or 6x9.
Probably the next step is to decide what type of camera fits me and what do i shoot. Rangefinder, TLR, SLR, older RF (very manual) and go from there.
On the SLR side, ask, do I want a TLR or a SLR type camera ?? and decide if you want to frame through a prism like with a Pentax 645n, or pentax 67 (like a giant 35mm camera) or if you prefer a chimney finder, like a hassy style where you look through the top. One thing to remember is a non prism chimney finder camera like a hassy, the image is flipped from side to side. Drives some people nuts.
Once you figure all that out, you will be close.
The main types are......
Rangefinders - good for landscapes and low light shooting, but framing and close up shooting is not that great. Great for backpacking. Not so great for portraits, product, still lifes etc.
Most of these modern cameras are light. The fuji GA series has AF and AE and autowind. The GA645ZI is like a giant P+S MF camera with a 3 step zoom lens. There are also the Mamiya 7, Mamiya 6, all the fuji 690's too. Also there are all the older cameras like the Mamiya press, 2x3 crown graphic etc etc. The Fujis have fixed lenses except for some of the early RF cameras. Too many to list really.
The top of the line of these is probably the latest interchangeable lens Mamiya 6/7. Probably the best deal for the $ is the Fuji GA645 cameras, or the early Fuji 690 cameras, but the early 690's are very heavy. Maybe the Bronica too.
TLR cameras - Probably the best all around for low light and accurate framing, due to the dual lenses. No mirror slap, etc. but they can be heavy. Also these are chimney viewfinder cameras and usually have fixed lenses.
All of these are totally manual cameras as far as I know. The top of the line for these is the Rollei's. Probably the most versatile are the interchangeable lens Mamiya C220 and C330 cameras.
Great low light anything camera where you need accurate framing.
SLR cameras - Of these there are several styles.
The first type is like the Pentax 645n, or pentax 67. Those are like giant 35mm cameras with a prism. The 645N is auto everything, if you buy AF lenses. The 67II has auto aperture exposure only. There are a few of these type cameras around, mostly in 645. mamiya 645, Contax Bronica and maybe a couple of others.
Of these probably the top would be the Pentax 67II, Pentax 645nII, Contax There are quite a few top cameras in this area.
Probably the best deal is an older Pentax 645 or older mamiya 645.
The second type of SLR is the chimney finder type like , Hassy, Kowa, Mamiya RB/RZ, etc. some of these you can buy angled prism finders for so you can shoot them normally from the back. You can get a chimney finder for a Pentax 67, but no rotating back.
Within this chimney SLR group there are 2 types again. Some of these cameras like the Hassy 501 have internal focus lenses. Some have non focusing lenses and bellows focus like the RB/RZ and Fuji 680. Something like a Pentax 645 type slr is easier to shoot handheld. The bellows cameras are better on a tripod and much better for macro photography.
The best of these are the Rollei 6008, Fuji 680, Hassy, RZ.
The best deal in this area is probably a Kowa 66/super 66/66m, a Mamiya RB (bellows)or a Bronica. Also to me something like a Kowa 66 is easier to shoot then a Mamiya RB.
If you managed to wade through this long winded post you can see there are an awful lot of choices out there. Actually too many to start, and the only way to know what will fit you is to start renting and shooting cameras.
Also you may want to go here and read a lot and especially read the Danny Gonzales overview. It has a lot of good info.
I think the first step is choosing a film size depending on your enlargement requirements. The next logical step is to choose a RF, TLR or SLR.
A really cheap way to get into MF while still having focusing, and manual settings would be to get an Argoflex. Unfortunately you'd either have to respool 120 to 620 spools or find the earlier model which took both. Takes great 6 x6 pictures and costs about the same as a Holga. Sure it's not a Rolleiflex but for under $20, it's a pretty fun classic.