Originally Posted by joeyk49
If this Yashica D has the Yashinon lens (not the Yashikor), you might want to consider it. I have one of these with the Yashinon lens and it's a great image maker. It's very quiet, reliable, easy to use, and has a very nice lens. As Joey stated, it won't take 220 film, but 220's becoming rare these days anyway. And if you're just starting out in medium format, you'll want to get the film developed more quickly, so 12 shots will serve you better than 24. You will need a light meter (your 35mm camera will serve this purpose just fine if you don't want to invest in a separate meter).
I also have a couple of SLRs (a Mamiya RB67 Pro-S and a Bronica S2a) - SLRs give you many options and allow you to see exactly what will appear on the film, but as has been mentioned they're much louder, more complicated mechanically, and generally larger and heavier than TLRs. Although close-ups are not generally easy with a TLR, general photography of the types you mentioned is very easy with a TLR and I would highly recommend one if you feel the limitation of only one lens is a limitation you can live with. If you find that you use your normal (generally 50mm) lens on your 35mm SLR a lot, then having only the lens that's on a fixed-lens TLR shouldn't be a hardship. Personally I find a certain freedom in a camera that only has one lens...the choice of lens I'll use is made for me so I don't have to worry about it.
Best of luck to you.
Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.
The large number of amazing shots made using TLRs by people like Avedon, Penn, and Steve Pyke show that interchangeable lenses and aperture preview aren't everything
Not having interchangable lenses means that you won't be tempted to carry a huge bag full of gear and extra lenses; you'll just have to make due. I find my Rolleiflex much more portable and speedy to use than say my P67II or Hasselblad.
Another advantage I like, although you can usually get these for SLRs too, is the waist level viewfinder. When taking portraits it allows me to look the subject in the eye, instead of through the camera. I think that my subjects are usually more relaxed looking into my face than the lens of a camera.
A disadvantage of a WL finder is that when it's raining it's hard to keep water off the ground glass and out of the camera.
The Yashikor isn't actually as bad as it's made out - in fact it's pretty decent.
Originally Posted by Mongo
The YashiMAR was the original three element lens used on the Yashica tlr's. It has a very bad reputation...
This was replaced by the YashiKOR. While there's a lot of general advice to avoid these, most people who actually have them recon they're OK. As it's a 3 element lens, I suspect that most of the bad press is a hang over from the YashiMAR.
The YashiNON is four element, and is accepted as being very good.
To make matters more complex some 4 element lenses were labeled as YashiKOR (ie they're actually YashiNONs).
While I totally agree that the YashiNON is the one to go for, the YashiKOR's are worth a look if the price is right.
ps - Totally agree about the fixed lens. If you need a "system" then go SLR, but within it's limitations the TLR is king.
I picked up the D because the price was right, knowing the cautionary words about the Yashikor lens.
Originally Posted by 127
My experience has been that the the lens is actually better than some of the 35mm zooms that I've owned. My eye doesn't see that much of a difference between the Kor on the D and the Non on the 124.
I'm still trying to talk the wife into letting me keep it...but lets not go there...
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I own a D with a Yashikor lens because that was what I could find at the time, and though I have not compared it with the Yashinon, I have no reason to be dissatisfied with it. Of course you're not talking CZ lens, but I made many a fine picture with it, and appreciate the feel of it. Many support the lack of difference between the 'Kor and the 'Non, so if one wants a difference that matters, better go with a Rollei.
I will have to assume, given the posts above from owners with good experiences, that I had a dog of a lens when I had a Yashica with a Yashikor lens. The one that I had was visibly soft (especially in the corners, but throughout the image there was a general lack of sharpness), and it was miles behind the Yashinon that I have now. But it seems others have had good results with the Yashikor, so mine was probably just bad luck. Thanks to everyone for the clarification.
Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.
I would advise you as a first step into medium format to look for a Mamiya C TLR , either a C220 ( simplified budget model, but still capable of excellent results) or a C330F( full spec. model with lever wind and parallax correction ), both cameras take the same lenses. If you buy one with the 80mm standard lens and use it with the lens until you feel the need to add a Wide angle lens (there are two 55 and 65mm) or a telephoto (135mm, 180mm or 250mm ) as the need arises, and funds allow you have the option .
One thing that is seldom considered when choosing between SLR and TLR is the vantage point. TLR cameras are almost always used at waist level, whether on a tripod or handheld. Most SLRs (not all) are used with a prism finder at closer to eye level. This makes a huge difference in the picture.
This thread seems to assume 2-1/4 square format for both. With an SLR, you also have a choice of rectangular formats. The 6X7 format also gives you a larger negative. If you want a square picture, you can crop it. Often, people crop the square negatve to give a rectangualr print, which is roughly equivalent of using a 645 camera.
Coming to terms with the TLR square format and its low perspective can be challenging, but the results can be outstanding. I agree that either the Mamaiya or the Rollei is an outstanding camera. They are available used at very low prices and are great bargins.
Disregarded in this thread til so far is the mentioning of the Optika or Rittreck camera system: SLR with focal plane shutter, interchangeable backs, waist level finder, image size from 6x4,5 to 6x9, interchangeable lenses, ability to mount barrel lenses if you're handy enough to make your own lensboards. Can be used handheld. The one drawback is that the shortest lens length is 92 or 95 mm - so no wide angle landscape shots - OTOH, this same problem exists with most TLR's that have a fixed lens.
Other drawback: they don't come up for sale that often, even though last year there must have been approx. 6 or 8 for sale on eBay. You should get a decent one for around $200-300 or a slightly more battered one for $120-150. We're quite happy with ours, as it seems lighter than other medium format SLR's like the Pentax 67. You'll need muscle for that one to work with it handheld. Another thing: It'll sure make you stand out in the crowds with their hassy's and rollei's.
If you want more info on this camera, send a pm!
Good luck. The first step is the hardest. Allow yourself some room for trial and error as well. Chances are you'll end up with a couple of different mf cameras, each with it's own pro and cons. I know very few people who own only one type of mf cam these days, with the prices falling every year. Indeed, it is amazing to see the price drop in the mamiya 645 and the mamiya 67 series. Sometimes they're cheaper than a new Kiev.