I don't think there are any bad choices with what has been offered as suggestions. The Pentax you linked to on eBay looks very clean, and is sold with some nice glass in the kit.
I might be wrong, but I think the format (6x6, 6x7 etc.) is probably your first decision and that will guide you towards the hardware. If studio work is going to be where you use the MF equipment, I would downplay the need for interchangeable backs since the studio is a static environment, and depending on the format you are 10 or 12 exposures away from a re-load. A little different than 35mm.
A suggestion on the eBay purchase route, I would identify some likely hardware "targets" that are offered and watch (save in your profile) how the auctions progress and the price-points where things trade (if they do), some of the "buy-it-now" sellers are delusional in their offers. Another thought is to identify a likely repair facility for what you are considering in advance of a purchase, so that the inevitable CLA cost and turnaround time are known in advance. You can also learn of any common maintenance issues prior to ownership through a conversation.
I personally own a Rolleiflex 3.5F TLR and the Rolleiflex SLX series 2 (w/ 80mm and 150mm lenses), each for over 10 years, they are both great cameras in different ways. Enjoy!
I use a Hasselblad and a Pentax 67 and personally agree that the 67 makes better sense outdoors. I bought my replacement Pentax 67 body from someone on APUG, who sold it because he found the RZ67 better for indoor work. The Hasselblad was my first and it would be if I was about to embark on MF now. Not to fear monger, but it's also somewhat future proof.
Also, it's easy to make photographs like that when you know celebrities.
'Cows are very fond of being photographed, and, unlike architecture, don't move.' - Oscar Wilde
I would go foe the Mamyia RB67 also. Good selection of lenses. You can have two or more backs (I have 3). Heavy maybe but you could use a tripod. I have to use a tripod because I'm a little disabled. The RB67 is a great camera and with a big negative that gives great pictures.
you can actually still buy both new.
Originally Posted by Slixtiesix
* Just because your eyes are closed, doesn't mean the lights in the darkroom are off. *
* When the film you put in the camera is worth more than the camera you put the film in... *
* When I started using 8x10, it amazed me how many shots were close to the car. *
I'm partial to the Rollei TLR cameras. Small compact camera that has superior lens with a lot of horse power.
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Rolleicord Va/Vb or Automats to start with.
OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
Rolleicord Va: Humble.
Holga 120GFN: Amazingly simple yet it produces outstanding negatives to print.
I've owned them all except the RZ. The Pentax 67II, the last incarnation of the venerable line, was the nicest to hold and lightest. Unfortunately I didn't own it but got my hands on it when a bunch of us met up in Miami. At the time I was shooting an RB that got sold because it weighed the same as my 4x5. If one were to do any landscape stuff at all the 67II would be my pick. In the 645 format the Pentax NII was highly liked. If your intending it to be studio bound a RZ or RB is fine. The camera I would not shoot in a studio would be a 6x6.
Do you like square images? Do you prefer the shape of 6x7? Although you CAN crop anything into anything you'll always be happier shooting a format you 'see in.' Assuming you wet print, do you already have an enlarger that's multi-format, or will your camera choice have consequences in the darkroom. Small issues- 6x6 is easy to contact print and file, 6x7 is a PITA. If you can begin with a clear idea of what you want to shoot, it will help lead you to the right camera.
Define your budget.
Select a format 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7 or 6x9, but be prepared to switch.
Define your primary type of shooting; portraits, landscape, etc.
Define your shooting environment and its needs; studio, on location, walking about, etc.
Will you be carrying it a lot or shooting from a fixed location (studio or near a car)? Bulk and weight are factors when you have to carry the kit any distance.
You said you print your own. What size enlarger do you have? If you have a 6x6 enlarger, are you willing to replace it with a 6x7 enlarger?
Do you need to shoot fast and a lot? That speaks to either a camera with film back to do a quick back change or a 2nd body to switch to.
Personal opinion, if you are going MF, why stop a 6x4.5, go up to 6x6 or 6x7 or all the way up to 6x9 for more negative area. Granted if you crop into a 6x6 you might effectively be printing from a 6x4.5. But as you show in the pix in your post, there are shots that fit a square quite well. It is easier to find 6x7 enlargers than a 6x9 enlarger. Also 6x9 cameras are not very common. I would go with 6x6 or 6x7.
- TLR, most are 6x6, most are fixed focal length cameras, so you are stuck with the 75 or 80mm lens. Mamiya has 2 TLRs with interchangeable lenses.
- SLR, 6x4.5 Mamiya, Pentax. 6x6: Hasselblad, Bronica. 6x7: Mamiya RB and RZ, Pentax
- RF 6x4.5: ? . 6x7: Mamiya 7. RF are generally lighter than a SLR. Some have fixed lens, so like the TLR you are stuck with the lens on the camera.
- press, Koni/Omega (I forget the format of this camera)
Even though the spotlight is usually on the SLR, don't overlook the TLR. LOTs of great photos were done with a TLR.
I have not handled a Pentax 6x7, so cannot comment on it.
I started with Mamiya 645 Super, Rolleicord V, went to 645 Pro, then went to RB-SD
To me, decision was a combination of:
Modularity (repair by swap)
It was impossible to meet all of them at the same time. So by going RB, I sacrificed portability. I figured since going Mamiya 7 was out of my budget, anything else I choose with 6x7 size wouldn't be significantly lighter. (I wanted 6x7 film format) It's do'able but heavy. I have no experience with Pentax 67.
Modularity/repair by swap is an important factor for me. Sending a MF camera components for repair/CLA will cost just as much or often more than buying another part on second-hand market. So I had to choose a system that's highly modular.
Many people as the same question as you do (OP). What's the best MF camera for me? All of those threads pretty much ends the same way. Just about every make and model gets mentioned and OP is left confused. One good thing is, if you buy wisely, you can pretty much get most of what you invest in it back when you sell.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?