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  1. #1

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    which first medium format camera?

    I am looking into getting my first medium format camera,
    and look for a camera which

    - first of all gives me much joy...
    - does not cost much used ( MF )
    - can get a big range of very good but inexpensive lenses for it
    - is rather light and small

    and please advice me which other points should be important...

    The Pentax 645?
    but I am also curious about the Pentacon 6 and Russians, e.g. Kiev 6, Kiev 88, Saljut S...

    Which should be the best/cheapest/lightest beginners camera that uses great lenses?
    If these lenses can be used for a later upgrade in body the better!

  2. #2
    clogz's Avatar
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    Welcome Kuuan! There has been questions like yours here regularly. Just do a search and you will find the threads.

    Hans
    Digital is best taken with a grain of silver.

  3. #3
    frdrx's Avatar
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    I recommend the Pentax 645 wholeheartedly. It is my first medium format SLR and I like it very much. My lenses were really cheap, yet they perform nicely. Get either a Pentax (also consider the Pentax 67), a Mamiya or a Bronica, and you won't be disappointed. With a Pentacon, Kiev or Saljut, you probably would.

  4. #4
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    You have two options Twin Lens Reflex or SLR. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

    You seen to be looking at SLR's, they are nearly all good, but Pentacons and other Eastern block/Russian cameras while cheap are also less reliable.

    You can't go wrong with Mamiya, Bronica, Pentax, Contax, Hasselblad. Maymiya 645's or RB/RZ67's are probably the best value for money and the systems are extensive, plenty available second hand at very good prices.

    Ian

  5. #5

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    The best camera is the one that feels right to you. I have an older Pentax 645 and I love it. Somewhere along the way I got a Kiev, and I hate it (jams, misalignments, failures, fragile - a whole list of complaints). But that is me. Your experience may be different. If you are shopping, I would look at Pentax, Bronica, and Mamiya.

  6. #6
    arigram's Avatar
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    My suggestion would be the best deal you can make.
    There are many MF camera systems going for little money these days and you never know which might land on you. The choices are apart from a SLR and a TLR, also a rangefinder. If you know how they work in the 35mm world (maybe save for the TLR), then imagine the same thing but bigger and sometimes but not always heavier. In the end, is really about which way you like to look through the camera. The only difference with the 35mm is that some MF systems feature detachable film backs, which might be useful to you or might not. You also have a choice on the shape of the frame, a rectangle (6x4.5, 6x7,6x8,etc) or a square (6x6) which might not be a big deal in the beginning.
    Look on the Internet or ask around your area which MF camera you can get for your budget. You really can't go wrong with any you get.
    Since you are a beginner, its better to try one and see how it feels on your hands and go from there.
    If you can handle one before you buy, even better.
    Go with your pocket.
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




  7. #7

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    I took this piece of advice from an old-timer about medium format cameras. With 6x4.5 you have to shoot in landscape format unless you can afford a prism - with 6 x 6 you shoot the same way all the time and crop your portraits at the printing stage.

    I personally started off with a Rolleiflex T (which I still have) and then moved in and out of Mamiya C330f and C330s models. I found them much too big for landscape as I usually walk a lot. I bought an Agfa Isolette a few days ago and thats what I plan on using now.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ragtime Clown View Post
    I took this piece of advice from an old-timer about medium format cameras. With 6x4.5 you have to shoot in landscape format unless you can afford a prism -\
    Or you buy a 645 with portait setup. Like the Bronica RF.

    Unmetered prisms aren't that bad.

  9. #9

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    One comment: You've mentioned price as a factor, but one person's "cheap" is another person's "ridiculously expensive." If you could be more precise on this factor (and also on what you mean by "light" and "small") it would help a lot.

  10. #10
    Jeff Bannow's Avatar
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    I would recommend the RZ67 system, if you can handle the weight. It is heavy, but the system is very extensive and the camera will handle all situations you can throw at it. Definitely get a grip if you go for one of the larger cameras like the RZ/RB - it really helps.

    For a beginner's MF camera, though, I think something like a Yashica TLR is a great place to start. Small, light, quiet and takes great pictures to boot.
    - Jeff (& sometimes Eva, too) - http://www.jeffbannow.com

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