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  1. #1

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    cheap TLR to jump into MF

    Hello,

    this kind of a question was asked probably a zillion times, but here it is again...

    My brother-in-law wants to return from his D-SLR to something more of a joy to use, e.g. a medium format film camera. His budget is not extremely tight, but he's not very sure at the moment what he wants. I advise him to try a cheap(ish) TLR, but he is fascinated by Mamyia 7. The TLR he could buy right away, but the Mamyia would have to wait for several months (because of the pricetag). So in the TLR field, he has the following options available here:

    1. Yashicamat 124(G)
    2. Yashicamat EM or D
    3. Rolleiflex 2.8 (don't know what type exactly, but a very old one judging from the price)

    What would you recommend for him to try? I think he'd mainly shoot BW with some color, he'd shoot people (portraits and documentary shots) but more often landscapes...

    Thanks for your advice

    Jiri
    Jiri Vasina
    www.vasina.net

  2. #2
    Mike Kovacs's Avatar
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    The Rolleiflex will be the best choice and they are built to last several lifetimes.

    Cheap and Rolleiflex 2.8 don't necessarily go together. You can probably find a 2.8C, D or early E for around $300 if you look around. More in the league with the Yashica's (Tessar type lenses) are the Rolleiflex Automats with f/3.5 Tessars and Xenars, $100-200.
    If it says Zeiss or Rollei, the answer is YES!
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  3. #3
    Bromo33333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poutnik View Post
    [...] His budget is not extremely tight, but he's not very sure at the moment what he wants. [...]
    I advise him to try a cheap(ish) TLR, but he is fascinated by Mamyia 7. The TLR he could buy right away, but the Mamyia would have to wait for several months (because of the pricetag).
    If he wants he Mamiya, then I don't think anything else will do for him. Meaning, he will end up buying a Mamiya anyway, but after dropping a fair chunk of change on the TLR, too.

    Has he considered the Fuji Rangefinder? You can get a 6x9 version of it that is excellent for landscapes.

    If you can convince him to buy a TLR, the Rollei (cord or flex) are both great ways to go.
    B & D
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  4. #4

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    Yashica 635 is decent, and you might want to look at the Meopta Flexaret cameras. You might be able to get a really nice Rolleicord for around $150+. As a comparison, the Rolleicords are much easier to repair than the Yashica TLRs. This coming from work I've done on my 635 and Mat and 'cord V. I have a donor 'cord that I've completely disassembled. If I buy another TLR, I think I'm going to get a Flexaret to try something different.

  5. #5

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    Bromo3333, I know that the Mamiya is a different league, and once he'll try, he'll buy it no matter what else. But as is my idea, in the meantime, he can try some cheaper camera just for the feel of handling a roll film, to set up a darkroom. Also he can keep the TLR and also the Mamiya 7, as each is more suitable for different type of work.

    We haven't considered the Fuji rangefinders (even though the 6×9cm version is my secret love and dream camera) because they are essentially unobtainable here in the middle of Europe (and if it were, there could be a problem with servicing them).

    As for the Flexarets, I haven't considered them either, although they were made in our country. I want something reliable for him, not to turn him away from the film cameras, but I might well consider it, if you think it's reliable enough (I think the Flexarets VI and VII should be relatively recent)...
    Jiri Vasina
    www.vasina.net

  6. #6
    Bromo33333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poutnik View Post
    Bromo3333, I know that the Mamiya is a different league, and once he'll try, he'll buy it no matter what else. But as is my idea, in the meantime, he can try some cheaper camera just for the feel of handling a roll film, to set up a darkroom. Also he can keep the TLR and also the Mamiya 7, as each is more suitable for different type of work.
    While I wouldn't say that the Mamiya 7 is in a different league than the better TLR's (it really isn't in my opinion) it is a different enough camera that you won't get the feel for the other with the one and so on (you said this more or less already!)

    Getting a Rolleicord or Rolleiflex should be a good choice. They are still repaired and repariable, and if you get one in good service, you won't be dissappointed. A Yashica-mat is a good alternative.

    I have no idea about the others - they might be great or not, I just don't know.
    B & D
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  7. #7
    Mike Kovacs's Avatar
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    Are we talking about TLRs anymore???

    The thing is (for me), there are many ways I shoot with a TLR that are not possible with an eye level RF or SLR camera. Shooting without a tripod, it is very handy being able to brace on things, focus accurately, then hold the camera very still using the WLF to guide your composition.

    If he's unsure, a Rollei will always hold its value if he decides to sell it to finance the M7.
    Last edited by Mike Kovacs; 11-20-2006 at 10:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    If it says Zeiss or Rollei, the answer is YES!
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  8. #8

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    Mike, we are...
    Jiri Vasina
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  9. #9
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    The Yashicamat series is more convenient than older Yashicas. The D and 635 make as good images if equipped with the Yashinon, not the three element Yashikor, lens. Although image quality is good, reliability and durability don't compete with the Rolleis.

  10. #10

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    I really have no idea if the Flexaret cameras are good or reliable, just that they are kind of quirky looking, so I think I might want to add one to my other cameras. That and they are fairly inexpensive.

    And again, the Rollei will be in a different class from the rest.

    You might also look for a Mamiya 6 (newer version) which might be a lot cheaper than a Mamiya 7. Note that Mamiya had an old 6 (folder?) that does not use the same lenses as the newer 6.

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