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  1. #11
    jimgalli's Avatar
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    My personal fave and user is the Minolta Autocord. I bought one for $65! Killer lens.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

  2. #12

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    Another vote for the Ciro-Flex TLR. Make sure to get the one with shutter speeds to 1/400, it has a wider range of speeds (slower and faster) than the model that goes to 1/200.

    I started in MF 2 years ago with a used CF that belonged to my girlfriend's late father. He was the original owner. Prolly 60 y/o, as far as we know it had never been repaired. Everything worked great.

    Later bought a couple of my own CF's (bought two from Ebay in case one didn't work, neither worked well but they're easy to work on), so nothing could happen to her dad's camera. When I moved on to a Rolleiflex, I sold the CF's (now working very well) to a couple young kids that were interested in MF photography.

    If the recipient decides that MF is for him, he can sell the CF himself and move to the Yashicamat or Rolleicord or Rolleiflex after getting a good taste of MF.

  3. #13
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    There is also the Argoflex TLR, similar to the Ciroflex, that can be found easily in your price range. There were several versions and one of them takes both 620 and 120... the others only take 620 so be careful. It is the first TLR my son used and he produced quite a few good images and still carries it, although not as much since he has moved up to 4x5 as hi "big" format. I had to clean it up a bit, the ground glass in the viewer was especially dirty, but then again, I purchased one that was in poor shape to begin with. All in all, it works quite well.

  4. #14
    Ole
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    Of all my old MF cameras, I believe the Daiichi Zenobia offers the best chance of finding a good camera for not much money. It is quite possible to find "better" cameras cheaper, but that takes a lot of time and/or even more luck. A Zenobia with a Neo-Hesper lens is a great little camera. IMO it's the best folder you can find for a lot less than a comparable Zeiss or Voigtländer camera. Yes, I own (and use) Zeiss and Voigtländer MF folders too.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  5. #15

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    A Voigtlander Perkeo with a Vaskar lens is in your range, and it's more likely to be in working order than an Isolette. It's also the smallest 6x6 camera that I'm aware of. The Zenobia is also a nicely made folder; it's a 6x4.5.

    Minolta Autocords in good condition are probably out of range, but a Ricoh Diacord is a good alternative.

  6. #16

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    another vote for the ciro-flex/graphic22. The rapax shutter is more desirable than the alpax.

    I'd consider a TLR over a folder, just because they won't have a leaky bellows.

  7. #17

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    Thanks!

    I just want to thank everyone for offerings of helpful tips, insights, suggestions, experience. I wish I'd drawn my own name by now! These folders just look like so much fun. I've drooled over them for a while now, too.

    Thanks again.
    Pamela

    Edited to add this explanation: I meant to exclude box cameras such as Holga's when I said I wanted something that produces "solid photos" or something like that [I had trouble choosing those words, and it looks like I still wasn't effective in communicating!]. I have a Holga and enjoy it, but it's fussier and more distinct in style than what my brother-in-law will tolerate.
    Last edited by PamelaHL; 11-16-2006 at 04:48 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #18

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    Keep one thing in mind with the older cameras. It's usually common for them to need to be serviced. Some might be usable out of the package, but most will benefit from a routine service.

  9. #19

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    The first model of Mamiya Press camera featuring a 90mm lens can be had for around 80 bucks. It's dirt cheap.

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