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  1. #21

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    PS - KEH has 5 of them at just a little over your stated budget

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
    There's actually a Bronica SQAi on TradeMe at the moment (ends tomorrow) with 80mm lens, prisim and a wast level metered viewer for $1,000 with no reserve. This is what ead me to making this thread, but I almost think I've talked myself out of it now

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Electronics...-167187936.htm

    It's here in Wellington and really looks in good shape too. .....
    I reckon it's worth hitting the "offer" button, and seeing what they come back with!

    Problem is, you may find square really suits you (like me), then you end up having difficulty framing non sqaure shots .... :o

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    Based on what you have said about weight etc., one suggestion is to abandon the MF idea altogether and take a robust Nikon, like the fm3a or one of its predecessors, and shoot slide and/or some of the new 35mm b&w superfilms. If you meditate on total system weight and overall reliability and film bulk, then you might find this decision quite logical.

    Another thing is that if you have a companion using 35mm then you might collaborate on lenses. There's nothing wrong with 35mm; for this kind of thing it can be very powerful. If faster lenses mean you won't need a big tripod or MLU or whatever, and light weight means you'll be able to explore interesting perspectives, then hey, take a 35mm kit, be happy, enjoy the scenery, and take a bunch of slides.

    You might also consider an xpan (what is the fuji equivalent? I forget the name) or contax g2.

    Frankly, I think I wouldn't launch into MF while restricting myself to that budget, just because of this one trip. I mean, if it were me, I'd pack two mamiya 6es and the three lenses, or one mamiya 6 and an fm3a. But unfortunately that's not going to come in anywhere near your budget.
    No matter how hard I try, when I shoot 35mm I get into the 'digital state of mind' and shoot frame after frame most of the time without thinking, and my results reflect this too. I toyed with the idea of getting a 35mm rangefinder with a lens or two for weight reasons, but I just know I won't get results I'm happy with with this format.

    I considered the whole lens sharing thing too, but my mate bought EF-S lenses so they won't work with a 35mm camera.

    Though bulkier, a 645 SLR does seem to be perfect for me, and a Pentax 645 even with 2 lenses should be affordable. The other options are Bronica ETRSi's and Mamiya 645 Pro's, which while more expensive, do seem to have slightly more advanced metering systems from what I can gather, but I'm not convinced the price difference is worth it.

  4. #24
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    I understand and slowing down is often very beneficial. Those benefits will transfer to 35mm or other roll film systems too.

    However, if it's a once-[or rarely]-in-a-lifetime kind of thing then I would recommend two things.

    (1) beg/borrow/steal a robust and complete kit that has had a recent CLA;
    (2) consider the merits of having two identical bodies onhand;
    (2b) if you really and truly can only have one body then take the CLA very seriously and get to know the camera body as well as you know your own body;
    (3) do the total math on how much you will spend on film and processing and realize that a few hundred bucks is in the noise for this kind of venture!
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  5. #25

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    Concerning slowing down, I've found the best way to do that is to use a camera with no automation! If you have to focus and, especially, meter manually, then you'll slow down! Old cameras with no built-in meter (or at most a meter with no automatic coupling to the shutter or aperture) will really help in this respect. FWIW, I don't use such cameras all the time, but I do like to do so some of the time as a way to remind myself of the possibilities of creative control over the film I shoot.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post



    Though bulkier, a 645 SLR does seem to be perfect for me, and a Pentax 645 even with 2 lenses should be affordable. The other options are Bronica ETRSi's and Mamiya 645 Pro's, which while more expensive, do seem to have slightly more advanced metering systems from what I can gather, but I'm not convinced the price difference is worth it.
    I don't know what prices are locally for you but even with the higher prices lately for ETRSI you should be able to get a body,back and WLF for less money then the first Pentax 645 body and insert. It's only the metering prism that's expensive for most of the system cameras. If you can live without it then they can be pretty cheap. Plus the later Pentax 645 models are even higher.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
    I've come to the conclusion that battery dependency doesn't bother me, so long as the batteries aren't totally obscure
    What's obscure might be different in Nepal in the middle of the Himalayas. You might also want to consider likely weather conditions at the time of year you're going. My personal experience (Adirondacks in the winter) is that a solid mechanical camera can take more extreme conditions than electronics and batteries. You might also want to take into account the possibility of rough handling, being dropped, etc. en route.

  8. #28

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    Chris: you asked for another photo of the ETRs w/45-90 & a cd to compare size. I added a couple of photos today.

    http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=7617534

  9. #29

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    Chris,

    Lots of opinions and mine is just another so hope it helps and not confuses. I think your $600 budget gives you lots of choices for a body and lens (if you look carefully, you can even find a Hasselblad with 80mm. WLF and back in that price range) but it will be more difficult to get additional lenses in most systems for that budget. From prices I have seen, the lenses at the lower end of the price range seem to be the manual focus 645 lenses from Pentax, Mamiya and Bronica. (the RB 67 are cheap but I think that system fails on weight)

    When researching when I bought, I found the total weight for body/lens/finder/back was pretty close for most 645 and 6x6 slr cameras - around 1100 - 1500 grams. The 645 systems are little lighter when you add a wide and a long lens but given what you have stated, probably not enough to tip the decision.

    I ended up with a Pentax 645 (the old MF body and a 645N) I was going to sell the older body but when I found that they were selling for about $100, I kept it as a spare. If you shop carefully, you should be able to find one in that price range. An insert should be around $50, the MF 75mm is about $125 and the MF 45mm about $200.

    The comment about cold and being knocked about has not proven to be an issue for me. I take my P645 skiing (about 30 days/year)and have had no problems. It is stuffed into my daypack that I have on all day and in Canada we get -25C days! You might consider the lithium AA batteries - much lighter than the alkaline, last much longer and better cold weather performance.

    That said, I am sure that you can find similar prices and performance from the manual focus Bronica and Mamiya 645 systems.

    If you want to slow down, you may want to reconsider the zoom - for me, using a zoom tends to encourage snapping away more than using primes do. The primes tend to be less expensive, have closer focus and are at least a stop faster.

    Finally, if you can squeeze the budget to get a spare body, you can always leave it at base camp. Either that or a 35mm slr - while all the choices are rugged, there is always the chance accident that happens when you have no backup.

    good luck shopping,
    Martin

  10. #30

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    The Fuji 645zi, as someone else mentioned, seems like a good choice, if you can deal with its RF-ness and battery dependency.

    Another thing to think about is that it takes 220 film. No matter what MF camera you choose, I'd seriously consider the ability to shoot 220. On a long trek where convenience is a big factor, loading film half as often, and carrying half as many rolls could be a big deal.

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