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  1. #1

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    Entry level MF camera

    I have been thinking of getting a medium format camera. So many to choose from, so little money. There is a nice Yashica Mat in the classified forum but $175.00 is out of my reach. Are the Yashica D's any good?
    Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in Advance,
    Mike

  2. #2

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    Holga - around $25 US or less.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kennedy
    I have been thinking of getting a medium format camera. So many to choose from, so little money. There is a nice Yashica Mat in the classified forum but $175.00 is out of my reach. Are the Yashica D's any good?
    Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in Advance,
    Mike
    Yashica D would be ok I guess, depends on which ones you get, there is one I think a Yashica 635 or so that will take both 120 film and 35mm if you have the special adapter with it.

    For medium format on a budget I wrote these two articles online.
    MFOB: TLRs
    MFOB: Folders
    -Karl Blessing
    Karl Blessing.com
    The Bokeh
    Color Film always existed. It's just the world was always black and white till recently.

  4. #4
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    Why do you want a medium format camera? If it's for the larger and better negative/transparency quality than you can obtain from a 35mm outfit, then save your money until you can afford a kit that can actually deliver on that goal. Otherwise, a Holga is a good idea. You can spend more on a pizza than it costs to own one, and you can enjoy the larger neg/tranny for whatever reason has motivated you in this direction...other than superior quality from a fine mf camera and lens.

    When and if you can afford something good, there are plenty of threads here that discuss what's available. (one that Ailsa started a while ago was very extensive and informative as I recall.)
    John Voss

    My Blog

  5. #5
    DBP
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    There is a wide range of respectable TLRs. For people wanting to try out medium format, I usually recommend the Ciroflex (aka Graflex 22), which you can find for under $20 US. The Ciroflex has a red window advance, shutter to either 1/200 (Alphax) or 1/400 (Rapax) and triplet lens (except for the F, which is a Tessar and quite a bit pricier). Moving up from there is a matter of adding film handling features and sometimes lens quality. At the top end of your price range, look for the Minolta Autocords, Yashinon lensed Yashicas (the Yashicamat 12 is often a bargain), and Meopta Flexaret IV-VII, all of which are fairly common. There is a great deal of information at http://medfmt.8k.com/mf/tlr.html, and elsewhere on that site and this one. Rick Oleson has quite a bit more information, including details on American made TLRs here http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-168.html and here http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-76.html. There are also quite a few threads on TLR choices, some rather contentious, elsewhere on this site.

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    DBP
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    One more resource:

    http://www.tlr-cameras.com/

  7. #7

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    You can pick up these old TLR's and folders quite cheaply, and they're good cameras, but take into account that the shutters may or may not be accurate due to aged lubricants and accumulated dirt. I think it's quite common for folks to use these a while and be disappointed with the results without realizing that a large part of their problems are that the shutter speeds are way off. Having said that, if you pick 'em up cheap and account for the cost of sending the shutter off to APUG's own Carol Flutot Miller (http://www.flutotscamerarepair.com/ ) these old cameras can still be a real bargain. (Scroll down to 'Cameras' on the Services page for folders and TLR's)

    I'm sure a great many folks have gone down the same path that I did, buying old cameras, flushing the shutters with ligher fluid and messing around. Although I had a lot of fun with that, the truth is, for the small price Carol charges to do the job properly it's worth it (and then some) to be able to trust your camera and be out takin' pitchers.

    Now stepping off of the soapbox,
    Nathan
    Last edited by Nathan Smith; 07-01-2006 at 07:24 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: add more info

  8. #8

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    Like Jovo said why do you want a MF camera?

    In some ways it's hard to beat a 6x9 folder.

    For other things the 6x6 TLRs are great.

    If you don't mind using a screwdriver you could look for a Kiev 60. The basic units that haven't been checked over aren't that expensive. Frame spacing can be fixed at home if that's an issue.

    But it all depends on why you want a MF.

  9. #9
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kennedy
    There is a nice Yashica Mat in the classified forum but $175.00 is out of my reach. Are the Yashica D's any good?
    Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in Advance,
    Mike
    A Yashicamat at $175 is expensive. Check the Yashica D, 635, Yashicamat, and later models that have actually sold on ebay for a more realistic price. I've found the Yashica TLRs with the Yashinon lenses to make good images. The Yashicor three element lenses aren't quite as good. The shutters on Yashica TLRs don't seem as reliable as on some other cameras.

    The Holga and similar cameras are a fad. They don't make technically good images. If the emotional content of the photo is much more important than the sharpness, a Holga may do. The early 120 film Kodak box cameras were better.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jovo
    Why do you want a medium format camera? If it's for the larger and better negative/transparency quality than you can obtain from a 35mm outfit, then save your money until you can afford a kit that can actually deliver on that goal. Otherwise, a Holga is a good idea. You can spend more on a pizza than it costs to own one, and you can enjoy the larger neg/tranny for whatever reason has motivated you in this direction...other than superior quality from a fine mf camera and lens.

    When and if you can afford something good, there are plenty of threads here that discuss what's available. (one that Ailsa started a while ago was very extensive and informative as I recall.)
    Feel free to virtually bitchslap me accross the net for this.
    But in my opinion if he's going for bigger better picture quality, getting a better 35mm SLR would be less than to say get a digital SLR, where as a MF SLR body you can get much more quality than most digitals or 35mm but at alot cheaper, not to mention medium format scans a hell of alot easier than 35mm when it comes to resolving detail even on a cheap 150$ flatbed I can easily get upto 20 to 30 megapixels ( once downsampled til sharp at 100% ) from my Mamiya C3/C33 TLR, Mamiya RB67, Kodak 1914 Junior No.1 6x9 or a Hassy 500C/M. Where as a good sharp 35mm SLR with say transparencies on a cheaper flatbed scanner yer probally gona be lucky to get 12 Mpixel equivilent due to what the scanner has to be able to resolve.

    That is of course only relavent if
    1) he's looking for something with more resolution.
    and
    2) If he's gona scan them himself.

    I mean don't get me wrong I own a Canon FTb, Minolta X-370, Mamiya 1000DTL, Kodak Pony, Zenit-11 and other 35mm SLRs, and I like most of them, but for me its all about 120 film and my Mamiya RB67, Zeiss Nettar 515 645, etc. I like how its seems easier to develop in a steel reel, I like how big the pictures are to look at while they're drying, I love being able to hold up a 6x9 Transparency upto the light. So maybe I'm just a little bias.
    -Karl Blessing
    Karl Blessing.com
    The Bokeh
    Color Film always existed. It's just the world was always black and white till recently.

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