I would second the suggestion to look for a used Bronica system -- while the RB67 is at historical lows, used Bronicas bodies, lenses, and accessories are 1/4 to 1/2 the price of Mamiya gear which is still in (relatively) high demand. For example, I just looked at http://stores.ebay.com/ShutterbladeStore and the prices for Bronica items blew me away. (I'm a Mamiya system user)
Best of luck!
J Michael Sullivan
...SOMETIMES I SEE THINGS...
And have a lot of money left over too.
Originally Posted by Chazzy
A Rolleicord for $50 to $100. Spend the rest on food, booze, and women...or maybe a great darkroom for yourself. If you get cheap enough food, cheap enough booze and cheap enough women, you could probably put together a cheap enough darkroom as well, all to go along with your cheap enough camera.
If you want a whole system, now is the time to buy an RB or Hassy.
"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)
I recently bought a Bronica ETRsi system to tide me over while I was waiting for my Hasselblad to be replaced under insurance following an accident. I chose the Bronica because it represented the best value MF slr on the market.
I have now used it for a couple of weddings and out here whilst I am travelling around California. Observations are:
- Cheap to buy
- Compact and light
- 15 shots per roll, but negative is still considerably larger than 35mm (2.5 times?)
- You cant pull the dark slide out when the back is removed (unlike Hasselblad)
- Nowhere near as strong as the Hasselblad
- Overcomplicated design in many areas, eg: Mirror lock up; Film loading;
- Easy to shoot with the dark slide slightly removed - Ie: it looks like it is in, but it still alows the camera to shoot (I just ;lost 7 frames this morning because of this)
- "Time" switch on the lenses can loosen and switch partially causing incorrect exposures.
So all in all, It is a good camera, but I can see why Hasselblad is so much more expensive.
i'll fourth a bronica system (but i'd say the sq-a). I had it before I switched to Hasselblad, but you can get a system with a body, back and 3 lenses for like $500 (that's what I got mine for 3 years ago) and it is like the affordable hasselblad. In fact I have some photos that are far superior to my Hasselblad system. For 75% of the shots, my Hasselblad outperforms, but in terms of bang for your buck, you can get a Bronica and 600 rolls of film for the same price as the Hasselblad. I never had a single problem with mind and you can get the 120J back for 6x4.5 frames.
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It depends on the market at the moment. I would look for a 645 SLR outfit. Through the lens viewing and interchangeable lenses are big pluses and are worth a little extra money. There have been some good bargains for these lately. Second choice would be a bigger SLR (6X6, 6X7, or 6X8) if you can find a good make (maybe Pentax, Mamaiya, Hasselblad, Bronica) in good condition. These are harder to find and heavier to carry. My third choice, not far behind) would be any of the excellent rangefinder MF cameras. Occasionally you will find a good TLR that is worth considering, too. It doesn't matter that much, Look first for quality, second for versatility, and then for price.
Michael, it is very difficult to make any suggestions when we don't know what do you want to use the MF for. With $1000-2000 you really have many options, unfortunately you also have many options to go wrong. So please, enlighten us !
As a system, offering a lot for little money, the Mamiya 330 cameras are hard to beat.
This year however, I bought a Fuji GX680II with 2 magazines, 3 lenses (65, 100 and 210) a polaroid type 2 back, 3 types of bellows, chargers, 2 good batteries, folding lenshood, cable release, etc. for 900 euros. Bought a GX680IIIS body from Keh later for about 250 euro beacuse I like this camerasystem a lot. The camera is big and heavy but offers tilt, shift and swinging of the lens. They were very expensive but are now available quite cheap .
Originally Posted by noumin
I agree : it's difficult to reply if we don't know what Michael wants exactly...
Pentax 6x7 is easiest to use for a beginner because it's like a big 35mm SLR, and it's probably one of the most portable 6x7 MF SLRs. RB's are heavy and not really hand-holdable. Bronica GS-1 is another possiblity as I've heard they are quite light, but they are kind of rare. You can get a good P67 kit for $1000-2000. You can go rangefinder or TLR but personally I'm not a fan of either of those options for the simple reason that you can't really shoot Macros with them and it's harder to visualize your composition.