Medium format cameras for beginners...
I was wondering what kind of camera would be good for someone to begin with the medium format... A Holga maybe? Or is it too amateur? Of course I´m thinking about the costs of the possible aquisition...
I think a Holga is a decent way to start, very simple. You don't have to worry about correct exposure, etc. and you can more or less concentrate on the composition (and they are fun and cheap). I don't have a TLR, but I would guess that it would be a good starter too, the Yashica and the Mamiya TLRs seem pretty nice. And I have a Mamiya RB67, I think it's pretty simple and straight foward... but it's not the cheapest camera out there, but there are some pretty good deals on ebay.
It will get you used to handling the film but won't teach you much about the photography part of it. Even an old cheap folder would probably be a better intro. A nice TLR (look at the many threads here about them) would be all you'd need for years.
That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
My first MF camera was a Yashica TLR. 6x6 images on 120 film. Not the best camera in the world, but it was a great way to start in MF. You could most likely pick up a used TLR quite cheaply.
I've also acquired a couple of rollfim folder cameras duirng the last couple of years. These can be had quite cheaply, but you need to be able to check the bellows and shutters to ensure reliable operation. Very nice image quality if you nab one in good condition...
Never used a Holga.
SNAP ! !
Originally Posted by Flotsam
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I agree with the other comments - Holgas are fun, special-purpose "artistic" cameras, but not good for taking advantage of the move to MF. TLRs or a good old folding camera would be better. TLRs are sometimes difficult for people to get used to, but buying it used, you're almost certain to recoup your money if you don't like the camera design.
[COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]
Rio Rancho, NM
I wouldn't go with a Holga for a beginners MF camera. It really is a toy camera for the more experimental types and it won't teach the newbie anything.
I would go with a used Bronica, Mamiya, Hassey or Pentax and a standard lens. One of the older models from each of these brands. Depends on what they can afford, but your suggestion of a Holga implies they can't afford much, so your choices will be very limited, even for used cameras.
My first, and still the most favourite, MF camera is Kiev 88 (Russian copy of Hasselblad ). I also have a TLR (Reflecta) and MF folding camera (Certo 6), all about 30 - 50 years old but functioning properly. And they were REALLY CHEAP.
A fully manual camera, too heavy to be handheld, forces you to slow down and think more about what and how you're going to shoot. It brings quality improvement not only by the size of film itself but also in the way you compose, see and measure light, etc.
I don't know which part of the world you live in but if it is Europe then you'll be able to find very cheap MFs like Flexaret, Rolleiflex, Kiev or Pentax in second hand shops. E-bay is another option, of course.
Do NOT get a Holga - it's cheap and nasty, and using it is pretty much guesswork.
Mamiya TLRs are dead cheap s/h at the moment - a C220 would make a very good start, especially if you want to add extra lenses at a later date, and the image quality is very good.
Get an Minolta Autocord or a Yashica Mat; either is capable of pro-level results.
Folders are OK, but most are guess-focus. Nothing wrong with that, just be aware.
"If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition