Try an Autocord. They're economical and the lenses are very good. However, my favorite 6x6 camera is an older Rolleicord w/ a Triotar lens. Try to find a later one w/ a shutter that goes to 1/500. You'll have to replace the mirror and focus screenm which is cheap, and get a yellow filter and a hood, but those cameras are small, light and make wonderful images, especially portraits. Great lens even if it is a 3 element. Very sharp in the center, beautiful bokeh. You could get 2 or 3 for your price point, so get one and buy a ton of Tri-X :}
Mamiya C330 with waist-level finder and a 65mm or 80mm lens (black) - from KEH will get you under your target price.
Mine has been serving me well since I bought it from store stock in or about 1976.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
What are you making up for here exactly? Are you short or something? Bad job maybe? Didn't make it where you felt you should?
Originally Posted by Mustafa Umut Sarac
In any case, don't sweat it... I won't judge you for having judged me. It's just not in my nature.
Oh, and ironically... I do work for Nat Geo. How about them apples?
To the rest of you, thanks so much for the help. With my 35mm negs, I both scan them for web use and use my Focomat IC (35mm only enlarger) to make prints. I take photos for both work and pleasure. The work stuff is mostly with the M9 and sometimes with scanned negs. The pleasure stuff is mostly film these days. I figured if I really liked working with the 6x6 neg, I'd sell the IC and get a more flexible enlarger.
I think the 500C is probably what I really want, but I just don't have the budget for it right now. From what I can tell, it takes $1000 to get into a decent kit and start taking photos.
I will check those out for sure. Thanks!
Originally Posted by MattKing
Everybody needs a 6x6. Personally, I'm a fan of TLRs, but there do seem to be people who don't like them---I think mostly because of the reversal in the WLF, or the inconvenience of long-lens arrangements. As plenty of other people have pointed out, you can try out a decent one in the Rolleicord or Autocord class fairly cheaply, but it isn't all *that* expensive---though over your current budget---to get into a Rolleiflex, which will stand up to any MF system on the planet for image quality.
It basically confines you to a normal lens, and you probably already know whether that would be acceptable or not. To my taste it's a feature.
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
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I traded in my Mamiya C330 and all the lenses as well as every gadget ever made for it for a Hasselblad. I never looked back.
Originally Posted by Xmas
Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!
Nothing beats a great piece of glass!
I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
If you ignore everything else only the Mamiyas and Autocords (a few of the backs and old folders) have straight run film paths.
So a contorted path camera is ok in a warm studio where you are loading, shooting and reloading or you will have to dump the wrinkled frame.
More critical with lens wide open... than at Medium apertures.
I'm very much a one camera, one lens sort of guy. In fact, I only own two lenses... A 35mm lux and a 90mm el marit. The 35 is mounted 95% of the time... So maybe a TLR is something I should look at.
I assume the the folders from the 1950s are pretty far behind the standards of most?
I was actually very impressed with my Agfa Isolette. More impressed when you factor in what I paid-- $45.
Originally Posted by RyanC
Scale focusing is kind of a pain. The Super Isolette or Ansco Super Speededx have rangefinder focusing, and a slightly nicer lens. They go for a decent chunk of change more, though.
The Agfa Isolette was enough for me to realize I didn't want squares all the time, but gave me some awesome images in the meantime.
New-ish convert to film.
Pentax MX for 35mm
Bronica ETRS for 645
I'd agree with most of the advice given here. Hassys are great if your budget allows, the cost for additional lenses and accessories is high. Bronica SQ gives you 95% of what the Hassy does, much less expensive and very versatile. Not very light or small, considering you're only shooting 6x6, but great for portraits, landscapes, close-up, or if you like to use wide or long lenses. The first time you trip the shutter, the mirror slap is a bit of a shock, though. I've had an SQ-A for over 10 years and have had zero problems - the low prices have allowed me to amass a considerable amount of gear
Rolleis are great, and deserve their reputation. Surprisingly small and light and the lenses are excellent. Most folks don't seem to have a problem transitioning to waist-level viewing, and they are very quiet. I use mine for a lot of street photography. A Rolleicord or Rolleiflex Automat in excellent condition will easily come under your budget. I'm sure a clean Yashicamat or Minolta Autocord will also be good options. I had a Mamiya C33 and C220, but found them too heavy and bulky for my taste. Big benefit is interchangeable lenses and they are built like tanks.
Another type to consider is a rangefinder. A Zeiss Super Ikonta B or, other folder in good condition, is a great shooter and will fall within your budget. Check out Jurgen's site at http://www.certo6.com/ - he services and sells all types of folding cameras and recently did a total overhaul of my 1939 Super Ikonta B. Cosmetically it's almost mint, but had been sitting unused for several decades. Once it was serviced, it's now working like new. Try to look for a post-war model as the pre-war ones had uncoated lenses, so flare is more of a concern. Also the build quality is outstanding - easily the equal of any Leicas.
With any of the above, or almost any medium-format film camera, you'll be happy with the bigger negatives/transparencies. You may need to try several types of cameras before deciding what you're comfortable with and what suits your style.