fine thing, cheap, easy to use, a real no problem thing
fine thing, cheap, easy to use, a real no problem thing
Ag is correct and my first 6x6 was the Yashica D in the very early 1960s. Later I traded it off for a "broken" Contax III. Turned out the neither of us knew at the time that the Contax had a shutter release lock and the camera was not really broken. It, thus, was a good trade. Howemsoever, I always missed the Yash D. I later acquired a 635 which is a Yash D with 35mm capability which I never use any more. All the advantages of the TLR make it a great people shooter.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
I started with Fuji GS645 (the folder) and it is still my favorite camera. The shutter gets cocked up occasionally, but nothing beats it for portability and price. I've got a yashica mat 124G that I use a lot too. If you find one, make sure the bellows is good.
The Mamiya 6/7 are what I want. Just too darn expensive. I guess I don't need one enough yet.
"I am an anarchist." - HCB
"I wanna be anarchist." - JR
Amen to that! If you can swing it, and if you have strong arms and are in reasonably good shape, you can go for a Mamiya RB67 or RZ67. They are much bigger and heavier than the 645's, but are selling for stupid money on the used market right now. A nice one may not put you back much more than a clean 645. The resulting negative is much bigger, and unlike the square format, needs very little cropping to fit the standard 4/5 print dimension. Extreme closeups are easy with standard lenses because the bellows focusing mechanism allows for lots of extension.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
For the experience that is most like your current setup in terms of aspect ratio,angle of view, and general operation, I would say a 6x4.5 horizontally-oriented SLR with a 65mm lens and prism finder, loaded with 220 film for 30 shots per roll (similar to 35mm). This setup is almost exactly like shooting a large 35mm camera. You'd have to use Tri-X 320, though, as that is the only b/w film I know of that comes in 220 type. It will be about 2 degrees tighter AOV horizontally than your Nikon with a 40mm. If you use a 55mm instead, you'll be about 5 degrees wider than your nikon with the 40. Both lenses are options; you just have to decide if you want a little tighter than the 40, or a little wider.
These cameras go for dirt these days. I would get a Mamiya or Pentax, as they are super cheap. If you want a Mamiya, and you want interchangeable magazines, you must get one of the newer ones (Pro, Super, as opposed to 1000S, etc.). You pay a bit more, but this is the only big drawback of the older ones, and they took care of it with the newer models. If you don't need interchangeable magazines, I'd go for an M6451000S or plain M645. Try to find one that already has the lens you want, as you will pay a lot less in total that way.
I have no hands-on experience with the Pentaxes. I sure they are probably just as good. The big draw to the Mamiya system for me was the lenses, however. 80mm f/1.9, 200mm f 2.8, 300mm f/2.8, plus the handful of leaf-shuttered lenses, all of which work in even their new digital-capable bodies.
Here is why I say they go for dirt. For $380 shipped, I got the following:
-M6451000S with magnifier hood, with sportsfinder frame and mask, bargain condition, but perfectly working (Hood and sportsfinder are mint, though)
-80mm f/2.8 lens in mint condition with lens hood and Hoya HMC filter
-55mm f/2.8 lens in mint condition with lens hood and Hoya HMC filter
-Metered prism (non AE)
-Deluxe trigger grip
-Mamiya quick-focusing handle
-polarizing, 80 HMC, and 85 HMC filters
-120 inserts (2)
-220 inserts (2)
-Metal KME hard case, foam lined
-seller paid for installation of new foam ($45)
Shop first, be patient, don't let the money burn a hole in your pocket, and you will get a similar deal.
If you do end up getting one that happens to have a plain prism, and would rather have a metered prism, I will trade you for mine. I never use the meter anyhow, and would rather not have all the metering info on the side of the viewfinder.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 06-14-2008 at 12:52 AM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
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I too went from a fm2 to MF. I bought a c220 and a 65mm lens. In 1994. It took till about 2004 for me to get comfortable with the TLR. I love it but I have gone away from it again. I now shoot a rb67 with 65, 90, 150SF, and 180 lens. Still dirt cheap but as they say, a handful.
I think Ole hit it on the head... find a Super Ikonta 6x6 or 6x9. I really wouldn't mess with 6x4.5. Not that is a terrible format, but it's not enough different from 135 to justify the price. Go 6x6, 6x7, or 6x9. Be prepared to be amazed. If you luck into a Fuji rangefinder in your price range... jump on it.
tim in san jose
Where ever you are, there you be.
Folder. Cheap. Lighter than the TLR. Guestimate focal distances are remarkably accurate.
I don't know about the rest of the world, but here in Japan Mamiya gear is really cheap. RB67s & 645s are selling for less than $200 (that's cheap.)
WOW! Ole, I thought I was the only guy around doing any shooting with a Zenobia folder . . . a very simple to use 4.5x6 camera 1 - 500 shutter, f3.5 - 22 lens-front focusing. It's a VF camera, but I keep a Prazisa rangefinder in the accessory shoe, and use a Sekonic Auto Lumi meter. I can carry it all in one blue jeans pocket. My Zenobia was $23 including shipping.
The clear winner in my mind....
The Fuji GS645S Professional (the one with the crash bar on the front)
Rangefinder.. very accurate and visible dual image
Meter.. easy to use over/under type of read in the viewfinder
Modern Shutter... all mechanical. If the battery dies, you only lose use of the meter.
Durable, although very light. Many think them very plastic, but they have an internal steel frame.
Fixed 60mm lens... equivalent to the 40 you liked on your 35mm.
Still serviced by reliable camera repair facilities
Incredible images... lenses equivalent to anything that has been suggested in this post.
Not much bigger than your Nikon and probably a tad lighter. Very compact for a 645.
PRICE>.. the best news yet. $250 (bargain) to $400 (Excellent plus).
Should be available from KEH readily in various condition.
Frequently on eBay.
There is another .... the GS645W for wide. 40mm lens, BUT it's not a rangefinder. It is a scale focus camera. Because of the "extra wide" angle lens, often sells for much more than the GS645S Pro.
The scale focus is less exacting, but the lens has an inherently larger DOF to compensate somewhat.
Last edited by larsco2002; 08-02-2008 at 12:11 AM. Click to view previous post history.