Yeah, much of Gerald's list applies to all MF cameras. Some are only drawbacks if they're drawbacks for YOU, like the square format - I'll happily crop a 6x6 neg to a rectangle when that works better, but I have a number of images I like square and have also cropped 645 and 35mm and 4x5 negatives to square at times.
Originally Posted by Alan Gales
I agree though, try and see. A decent camera of any of these makes can probably be sold for what you paid if you get a decent deal and don't like it.
Last edited by Roger Cole; 05-12-2013 at 12:55 AM. Click to view previous post history.
From what I gathered from the OP is that he is a multi format shooter. What that means I exactly don't know but since this is film forum I'm assuming that he shoots at least 2 film formats. If one format is 35mm then he also shoots medium format or large format or all three.
Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch
If you are talking about ease of use of a TLR, I feel we should compare it to other TLR's or at least other medium format cameras such as an SLR or a Rangefinder.
Well I happen to also have, and shoot with, a MF SLR, in my case a Mamiya 645 Pro with the AE prism and winder grip.
Pros relative to my Yashicamat for the 645 Pro:
Correct image viewing.
More shots per roll
Faster and easier film loading - both swapping backs (very fast and easy) and loading the inserts (somewhat easier than the Yashica though YMMV as this is subjective. Loading the Yashica is certainly not difficult but does take a minute.)
Interchangeable lenses of excellent quality
Mid roll film changes area easy with the backs
Polaroid back for proofing
Closer focusing with no parallax. I don't find parallax a problem with the Yashicamat but mainly because it just doesn't focus close enough.
Cons relative to the Yashica:
Smaller image area, if you print the 6x6 negatives full frame - same if you crop them to same proportions though
Much more expensive - I paid $450 for the 645 Pro, AE Prism, winder grip and 80mm 2.8N lens, which was a fair price in excellent condition. I paid $185 for the TLR. Then I had more lenses and backs and inserts to buy.
Bottom line is that the 645 is more versatile, of course, but I actually enjoy walking around and shooting with the Yashicamat more. It's unobtrusive, gets lots of smiles and favorable comments, is very quiet, and unlike the 645 Pro I never feel like I have a cinder block, or an albatross, around my neck.
Last edited by Roger Cole; 05-12-2013 at 12:52 AM. Click to view previous post history.
You know Gerald I disagreed with your last post but your suggestion about borrowing a TLR is first rate. As far as being big, clunky and slow to use is of course your opinion. It means as much as say mine and Roger's opinion.
Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch
Check out Mark Hansen's site and especially the link "Cameras I Hate to Work On"
I personally own two Rolleiflex's and two Ikoflex's, similar but different and I love them both (all 4 that is).
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Of the several TLRs that I have the only one that I have used extensively is the C33. The others I regret buying. The overall quality of the C33 and the optics are first rate. For anyone who feels the need for a TLR I would definiately recommend the Mamiya C3 or C2 series. Now the C33 with the 180 mm lens and porroprism is clunky and weighs a ton.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I have shot several 35mm cameras, a lot of medium format cameras, a few large format cameras and a couple digital cameras. What I have found is that you need to shoot whatever makes you happy. That's all that matters.
Originally Posted by Roger Cole
My C3 and C33 were stolen back in the early 1980's. and I thought I'd never use a TLR again after getting two 645 cameras again mamiyas. The C33/C3 were great work-horses but heavy However after buying a Yashicamat 124 on a whim from someone on this forum about 6 years ago I've fallen back in love with them and now have 4.
I had a Rolleiflex 3.5E2 that had sat in storage for over 20 years, it was mint but malfunctioned due to lack of use, so I had that CLA'd to use in the UK, the Yashicamat stays in Turkey. More recently I picked up a n MPP Microcord - a British made Rolleicord III with a Ross Xpres lens, and a bargain priced Automat with an Opton Tessar at a flea market - this is now my main user TLR in the UK.
I haven't realy used 35mm for over a decade and mainly shoot LF anyway. The TLR's though seem to suit my way of working. We all have our own preferences and I love using them.
To me the TLR's I now own are quite light and easy to carry but offer excellent image quality and easy of use, I've found I really like the square format, which I compose and shoot to fit. 12 exposures per film isn't an issue, working with LF as well teaches you discipline and that transfers down to smaller formats. I like the back to front image on the ground glass screen, I find it helps composition.
As others suggest it's worth borrowing one to try, that's what I did over 40 years ago
Tlrs are pretty fun to use. Most people that see them get a real kick out of it, and are usually awed by the focusing screen. someone had called it live view once hehe. There's a learning curve for sure, especially framing moving subjects. I think you should try an inexpensive model out before plunking down a good amount and end up not liking it.