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  1. #1

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    I want a 6x6, but do I need one? And if so, which?

    So, I have been getting deeper and deeper into the world of film in the last 6 months. Starting with just casually shooting my film M as a companion to my M9 to now leaving the M9 at home most of the time and shooting film almost exclusively, developing it myself, and I've even set up a darkroom... Literally all in less than 6 months. Apparently, I'm sick.

    Anyway, for some reason I can't explain or rationalize I now want to play around with an MF camera - more specifically something in the square 6x6 format.

    I've got a budget of around $500. What would you guys suggest? Is there anything out there that I won't grow out of quickly and that can give me something (maybe not necessarily better) over my every day setup of an M7 with a 35mm ASPH Lux? I shoot Kodak Tri-x and Tmax 400 almost exclusively. I've never even so much as held a MF camera.

    Ideas? Thoughts?

  2. #2
    fretlessdavis's Avatar
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    Hasselblad 500 or Bronica SQ. Both are modular, and you'll never outgrow them. $500 starting budget is reasonable for either, and you can expand both later.
    New-ish convert to film.
    Pentax MX for 35mm
    Bronica ETRS for 645

  3. #3

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    Spend less that $200 on any of numerous tlr's and see what you think of the larger negative. A tlr isn't as versatile as a Hasselblad or a Bronica but each type has its own traits. Make sure you have an enlarger lens that brings out the best in the 6x6 negative.

  4. #4

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    Mamiya c330 TLR a poor mans down payment on a blad, better quality, even if it is not as twee.

  5. #5
    frank's Avatar
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    I suggest trying a rolleicord tlr with an upgraded viewing screen.

    Or a Perkeo ll if a folder is more your style.
    My blog / photo website: http://frankfoto.jimdo.com/

    Openly biased and unabashedly
    pro film and wet darkroom

  6. #6
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    I agree with others that mention a TLR. Particularly a Mamiya which will give you a better choice of lenses. But TLRs are not as versatile as an SLR. for $500 you could get a bronica SQ-a with prism a back and two lenses. Look at KEH.com. If you had a larger budget I would recommend a hasselblad. One will last a lifetime. But for $500 you buy a used body and you won't have much left over for anything else, like a prism, back, and a lens. And hasselblad lenses are expensive if you're looking for the newer CF or T* lenses. You may be able to put something together reasonably if you look for an old 500c camera with the older C lenses. Choices, choices!!

  7. #7
    IloveTLRs's Avatar
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    I highly doubt anyone could find a Hasselblad for $500 (unless it was broken and/or incomplete.) If so, I would have bought one or more a long time ago.

    Perhaps a Rolleiflex Automat? They are quite numerous, not too expensive on the bay (compared to the f2.8 models), and take really good pictures.
    Those who know, shoot film

  8. #8
    fretlessdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IloveTLRs View Post
    I highly doubt anyone could find a Hasselblad for $500 (unless it was broken and/or incomplete.) If so, I would have bought one or more a long time ago.

    Perhaps a Rolleiflex Automat? They are quite numerous, not too expensive on the bay (compared to the f2.8 models), and take really good pictures.
    $200 for a 500EL/M w/ WLF from KEH in EX condition. I was *this close* to snagging it, but can't justify having another MF system, nor can I justify the $$$$ of the lenses...
    New-ish convert to film.
    Pentax MX for 35mm
    Bronica ETRS for 645

  9. #9

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    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 :}

  10. #10
    MattKing's Avatar
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    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.
    Matt

    “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

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