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  1. #11

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    Light is a relative term. The Pentax is about 3 lbs for the body. Next to a RZ it's light.

    My Bronica is a similar weight but unless you stick a grip on it the thing is less balanced then the Pentax. It's easier to handhold the Pentax.

  2. #12

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    I can handhold my Salyut down to about 1/30th I think. Or at least, the half dozen or so slides I took recently at that speed came out fine. The problem I have hand-holding it isn't shake, but the fact that the depth of field is shallow enough that I have to be very careful not to move the camera off the focus point -- by swaying back and forth -- when shooting it wide-open!

    The 645AFD, I'm pretty sure would be OK at normal shooting speeds. Unfortunately ours is screwed to a wallmounted column at the moment, or I'd take it off and shoot a few frames.

  3. #13

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    Hm, you've made me reconsider the whole AF thing. what, then, would you recommend as a starting MF SLR, autofocus or not?

  4. #14

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    Do you have a format in mind?

    A feature set you need? Or would like?

    I'd suggest the Bronica ETRSI because the price is so low right now.

    OTOH lots of other choices depending on what you need/want.

  5. #15
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    Hrm... guess no one heard of a tripod (or monopod for that matter).

    Autofocus is obviously going to be more expensive than the manual focus options, and there are plenty of manual focus bodies out there for very inexpensive price.

    I ended up getting a Mamiya RB67 + prism + 90mm f/3.8C and so forth... it ain't light, and I have shot it for several hours during an event handheld before. I plan to use it again this year, except I'm preped with a carbon fiber monopod and a good ball head that can handle the weight... and guess what, with the ball locked, and due to the heavy weight of the camera against the monpod, and propped to my face due to the eye-level viewing, I've done 1/8th of a second without a problem.

    But for inexpensive autofocus, I'd have to lean towards either the Pentax or Mamiya... the Rolleiflex 6008 and similar bodies while nice are most certainly more expensive than the previous two brands. You could shoot with any of them, its a matter of personal preference and knowing what your limitations are.

    It also helps to know a few things ahead of time.

    What format.. do you want 645, square (6x6) , or do you wish to go bigger like 6x7.
    Is weight much a concern do you see yourself shooting outside a lot or without a support of some sort.
    Is size of camera a concern, how you plan on traveling with it.
    Are you planning on using available light or will you at any point of time consider strobes or flashes and such.
    Have you ever had a chance to find a shop that would have these cameras to pick up and hold and feel.

    I chose the RB67 for two primary reasons, a BIG negative, and damn CHEAP now days for the camera, lens and it's accessories. The RZ67 is a newer lighter one, tiny bit more expensive, but is the next step up if you wish to slide more towards keeping a big negative, but being somewhat bias towards weight limitations.

    A second recomendation would be something like the Bronica SQ-A or SQ-Ai (main difference is an Ai has bulb mode, timed shutter upto 16 seconds as opposed to 8, and has an Flash TTL Metering against the film plane, as well as being compatible with a motor winder, but the SQ-A is quite a bit cheaper, you can get a good outfit for 400$ or less at keh.com) , the nice thing about the Bronica SQ is that they are 6x6 square format, but handles like most 645 cameras, and if you use a prism with them (which most outfits are sold with prisms) a speed grip is a very nice accessory to have, otherwise if you use the WLF, not having a grip works ok. This would been my second choice if I didn't go with the Mamiya RB67 mainly because its inexpensive for what you get and is still larger than 6x4.5, and you still got the square composition in mind that you've already experienced with a TLR.

    Oh in case I did not mention earlier, my Mamiya RB67 + 90mm f/3.8C lens + 120 Back + prism, is about 12 pounds in weight, so keep that in mind.
    Last edited by kb244; 05-25-2007 at 03:15 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    -Karl Blessing
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    Color Film always existed. It's just the world was always black and white till recently.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by lancelottjones View Post
    what, then, would you recommend as a starting MF SLR, autofocus or not?
    There is no such thing as a "starting MF SLR". They are all professionel grade tools which have their individual strengths and weeknesses. Which is the right tool for you depends on the kind of work you want to get done and what you feel comfortable with to achieve this.

    Ulrich

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulrich Drolshagen View Post
    There is no such thing as a "starting MF SLR". They are all professionel grade tools which have their individual strengths and weeknesses. Which is the right tool for you depends on the kind of work you want to get done and what you feel comfortable with to achieve this.

    Ulrich
    Could have just said "Holga", but then again starting out you'd learn eventually how it wasn't an SLR

    But ya, its kinda like picking out a large format camera, you can get something 'simple' (in all respect of the word), or you can tweak it to your specific preference and needs.
    -Karl Blessing
    Karl Blessing.com
    The Bokeh
    Color Film always existed. It's just the world was always black and white till recently.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by lancelottjones View Post
    I'm looking for something with autofocus that is relatively inexpensive (though price isn't that much of an issue). What would you recommend?
    I just bought into some Pentax MF (both the 645, 645N and 67) gear. I must say that I am really enjoyng the Pentax 645N bodies and how easy they are to use. The metering system (dual, six segment as well as spot and averaged) is quite a step up from the 645 (averaged). I find myself using this more and more often and my 35mm gear as well as my Bronica SQ gear is getting less and less use.

    I have been using the 645N primarily with manual focus lenses, since I get focus confirmation in the viewfinder (and audibly if I choose). I do have an autofocus lens and it works quite nicely with this system. I also purchased an adapter that allows me to use the Pentax 67 lenses on the 645 series bodies. This works very well, as I have been playing around with the fantastic 35mm/4.5 fisheye (about a 16mm focal length equivalent in the 35mm film world).

    KEH is having a spring cleaning sale on many of their categories, including Pentax 645 -- I got a great price $220 on a 120mm Macro for the 645.

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