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  1. #1
    digiconvert's Avatar
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    MF choice for newbie

    OK so help me please, I have just come back to ilm after a daliance with digital (I went mad when 1Mp came out !) but after realising that in order to do anything interesting I needed to spend over £600(GBP) on kit I bought a second hand canon AF and dusted down my Pentax P30 T. I now have a BW and a colour tranny film on the go at all times and am doing a photography course BUT I really like the idea of MF slides on the light box and MF seems a good way to improve the quality of my prints (not my photography skill) without spending a fortune on L class lenses for the canon.
    I am getting a Lubitel off e-bay to see if I like TLRs but I really like the look of a Mamiya or Rollei TLR, maybe a Yashicamat.
    My questions (AT LAST HE GETS THERE) are as follows;
    -Will the Lubitel be a guide to what TLRs are like , allowing for the quality issues.
    -Are Mamiya C3/C33/C2 cameras ok to use after all these years ? I will be buying off e-bay so some guide as to what to look for would be good, I don't think that I can persuade the female part of this relationship that I need to lay out the money for a C330.
    -6 x 6 seems good because of the portrait/landscape issues with a WLF but would a Bronica SQ be another good choice, or do I need to think about other formats ?

    All suggestions , positive or otherwise gratefully received.

  2. #2
    jovo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by digiconvert
    -Are Mamiya C3/C33/C2 cameras ok to use after all these years ? I will be buying off e-bay so some guide as to what to look for would be good, I don't think that I can persuade the female part of this relationship that I need to lay out the money for a C330.
    -

    The C220 is less expensive and excellent. The black rather than silver lenses are more recent and also excellent. I don't have any experience with the C3/33/2, but I can't imagine the C220 is that much more costly. Good luck.

    Oh...I should add that my wife used a YashicaMat for some time and had a good experience with it. The lens is not interchangeable, as the Mamiyas are, but I'd consider it over a Lubitel.
    John Voss

    My Blog

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by digiconvert
    -Will the Lubitel be a guide to what TLRs are like , allowing for the quality issues.
    As film goes yes. Operationally, sort of. They are horrible to try to focus with a Lubitel.
    -6 x 6 seems good because of the portrait/landscape issues with a WLF but would a Bronica SQ be another good choice, or do I need to think about other formats ?
    Well, most medium formats will have WLF. I think, if you want to start, invest in a body that you can have changeable lenses and backs. You can always resell if you don't like. I wouldn't go down the Lubitel path. There are others that are way nicer like the Yashica 124G or the Minolta Autocord.

    But there's nothing like being able to change film midroll with different backs. There's a AWEFULLY nice Mamiya RB for sale on the Apug classifieds. There's also Monihan's medium format web pages that will occupy your reading time for about a week or two and get you even more confused about medium format

  4. #4

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    Hi Convert
    What john Voss said + The SQ-A(i) is a great systemcamera ala the Hasselblad just a lot cheaper. It is more complicated than TLR's like the Yashica Mat, Rolleiflex and Minolta Autocord any of which will give you quality negs. The Bronica give you the WYSIWYG advantage over the TLR's which on the other hand are lighter a bit smaller more handholdable and more quiet.
    BTW all of the mentioned are without a lightmeter meaning you have to get one ore use a 35mm camera as meter. You can get a metering prismfinder for the Bronica but that makes things a bit more complicated. The WLF is a great thing.
    Regards Søren
    Last edited by Soeren; 11-08-2005 at 03:32 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
    digiconvert's Avatar
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    Just bought a Weston Master on e-bay (only a III but for £3 inc postage who cares ?) I like the canon AF but it is just a bit too much of the camera driving me sometimes, does that make sense ?

  6. #6
    127
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    If you like the lubitel, then you'll LOVE a real TLR, but if you hate it, then blame it on the camera. A Libitel is worth about what you pay for one (ie the cost of a couple of rolls of film), but they are totally clunky. A Rollei is a smooth machine, and a total pleasure to work with.

    The Lubitel will tell you if you like the Waist Level Finder (which you should!), and give you the experience of working with roll film, but thats about it.

    Most of the real TLR's are great, and built to last - they're far more reliable than an SLR, as there are few critical components.

    The Mimaya tries to be a "system" which I'm not convinced by - TLR's do what they do well, and get clunky when you start trying to make them into something they're not. A Rollei is a far more elegant beast than a C220. If you do decide you need a "system" then maybe a TLR isn't the way to go?

    It sounds like you're trying to get back to basics, and a TLR is a great choice. You should be able to pick up a Yashica, or even a Rollei at very moderate cost.

    Ian

  7. #7

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    I don't have much to add to what has already been said, but here's my 2c. Give the lubitel a fair go, and when you move up to a smoother camera it will feel like a luxury car. My first MF camera was a beater TLR, with a crummy shutter and fogged lenses, but I learned to make the most of it and became that much better once I had a decent camera in my hands.

    Anyway, don't discount TLR with triplet lenses (like the cheaper seagulls, yashicas, rolleicords, etc). I've used a 3 element seagull and a 3 element rolleicord with extremely sharp results. Your mileage may vary, of course.

    Good luck,

    Andre

  8. #8
    Ole
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    I went from Lubitel to folding Zeiss-Ikon to Bronica ETRS...

    Yes, the Lubitel will tell you if you like the size of the negative and working with a WLF. An old folder will tell you if you like the size of the negative and the convenience of a pocketable camera.

    I like all three, so I have a prism finder and the WLF for the Bronica. I also have several folders...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  9. #9
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    An SQa(i) with a prism and a lever-wind handle has to be one of the nicest handling 6x6 cameras out there. It's very light and easy to focus, and feels more like a 35mm SLR than a Pentax 6x7, which looks more like a 35mm SLR.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  10. #10

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    Mamiya made a porroprism for the C3 and C2 families. So you can have your choice of either waist level or eye level viewing. There is also a choice of lenses, wide angle to telephoto, and a sheet film back.

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