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  1. #31
    Mongo's Avatar
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    One possibility: Find yourself an old Yashica-D with the Yashinon lens. (Make sure it's the Yashinon...the Yashica-D was available with a different lens that's not as good.) You'll get the camera for a song, and the negatives are amazing. I paid about US$70 for mine in like-new condition, and the negatives rival anything else I've shot in medium format (which covers quite a number of systems, including rangefinders and SLRs).

    I love the fact that TLRs allow hand-holding of much slower shutter speeds than SLRs and even rangefinders (cradling the camera with two hands at waist level is a steadier position for me than holding the camera against my face). The ground glass image is plenty bright enough, and the camera doesn't move a bit when I fire the shutter.

    TLRs aren't perfect for everything (no camera is), but they're a great way to get large, razor-sharp negatives from a small, inexpensive camera.
    Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.

  2. #32
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    I have acquired a Yashica D recently, and though it won't beat the Rolleis (argh! damn you, you shrewd buyers!!) it's an endless source of pleasure to shoot with. Its relative "oddity," when compared to a SLR, is something that builds bonds with your material. Provided that the quality is there, you won't regret it. Avoid the consumer-grade ones like old Kodak TLR Brownies, or cheap Agfa/Ansco, they usually don't have more than point-and-shoot quality (unless that's what you're looking for).

    You absolutely want to find one that's been CLA'd recently; I found that many used dealers sell absolute crap at 150$+ just because it's a branded TLR.

  3. #33
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Just to corroborate my last sayings: Henry's sells a 'Mat-124G for $US 275, with the following warning: "This camera is in excellent shape with the exception of the optics in the taking lens; there's fungus; will require professional cleaning. Also the back light seals are deteriorating and will require replacement. "

    Oh, it's a piece of crap and the optics is ruined, but it's in excellent shape, you know?

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv
    Just to corroborate my last sayings: Henry's sells a 'Mat-124G for $US 275, with the following warning: "This camera is in excellent shape with the exception of the optics in the taking lens; there's fungus; will require professional cleaning. Also the back light seals are deteriorating and will require replacement. "

    Oh, it's a piece of crap and the optics is ruined, but it's in excellent shape, you know?
    I hate to say this, but I bought my first Mat124G brand spankin' new (with case) in 1975 for $99.00 at Ann & Hope in Danvers, Massachusetts...

    According to the online inflation calculator, those $99.00 1975 dollars would be $370.82 today!

    OK, none of that really matters...
    Bob Fowler
    fowler@verizon.net
    Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

  5. #35
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobfowler
    I hate to say this, but I bought my first Mat124G brand spankin' new (with case) in 1975 for $99.00 at Ann & Hope in Danvers, Massachusetts...

    According to the online inflation calculator, those $99.00 1975 dollars would be $370.82 today!

    OK, none of that really matters...

    Hm.. yeah, but yours actually WORKS, I suppose

  6. #36
    bobfowler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv
    Hm.. yeah, but yours actually WORKS, I suppose
    A minor detail...
    Bob Fowler
    fowler@verizon.net
    Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

  7. #37

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    TLR....heaven!

    If you've got the chance to get a Rollie or Mamiya or any of the decnet makes for a decent price I'd take his arm off! They may be nostalgic from a techi point of view, but that's only from one point of view....usually techi heads who can't work cameras unless they're fully automatic.

    Photojournalists used TLR's professionally, accuratly and speedily for dozens of years before the 35mm was invented and for years afterward. With a little dedication they're fantastic cameras to use. I've used them in the past but haven't got access to one now, but if one came my way I'd snap it up. Once you've got your head round them and their querks you'll be in paradise!

    I would say they're not just nostalgic, they're a serious piece of kit for anyone serious about photography!

    Paul Berry

  8. #38
    Nicole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobfowler
    They can work fine in low light - how good is your eyesight? As far as brightness - that's a function of the focusing screen and speed of the viewing lens. Most lower priced fixed lens TLR's have an f/3.5 viewing lens. Some cameras, the Mamiya comes to mind, can have either a prism finder or a porro finder mounted. The porro finder gives you eyelevel viewing, but with mirrors instead of a prism - they are MUCH dimmer!

    This wasn't shot with a normal lens (I used a 55mm wide angle on a C-220), but it's one of my favorites. I braced myself against a door jamb and handheld this at 1/4 second on Ektachrome EPP.


    Bob, WOW, I really looove that image. It speaks to me in many ways!!! Wish I had a table, pans and books like that!!!
    Also could you explain to me what a TLR is and why it's different for ie. a Hasselblad 501c/m?

  9. #39

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    I still shoot book covers and the past several years most of my sells were taken with a Yachica 124, and D. A twin lens reflex has 2 lens a viewing lens over a taking lens. A Hasselbald is a single lens reflex and has mirror. No mirror, lighter, rugged, easy to hand hold, and very quite. Because of the waist level viewing a TLR is great for shooting pets and children. I have used both Mamyia and Koncia TLR in the past and wish I had never sold the Konica. My D is about beaten to death, I gluded a series 5 filter adapter to the taking lens mount, dropped it 20 feet off a trail, and it still works. My D is one camera I will take anywhere any time and not give a second thought about trashing it.

    Paul

  10. #40

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    Nicole,

    TLR's have mirrors (except for the Koni Omegaflex to which Paul refers), but the mirror doesn't move. No mirror slap, no vibration, hence lower hand-held shutter speeds possible, and viewing the subject right through the instant of exposure. A good summary is at http://www.ted.photographer.org.uk/camera_types.htm

    Jonathan

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