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  1. #11

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    You have specified a single lens camera that is inexpensive. The advice to get A Kodak Medallist is certainly very good advice for a camera that will not be overly expensive. The optics on the Medallist are first rate. The cameras will be quite old because I believe that they have not been made for over 50 years. They are a reliable camera but getting one repaired could be a problem as far as parts are concerned. Many younger photographers do not know what a world leader Kodak was at one time as far as optics are concerned with products as good as could be found any place in the would.

    You might also have a look at the various folding cameras that were made. Fuji made a number of good rangefinder cameras that are much more modern vintage than the Medallist and that may be available at a good price. Good luck in making a good choice.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  2. #12
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Depends what you're after, of course. Overall, the ergonomics of the RFs will remind you a lot of 35mm. So if you are looking to do landscape/travel/scenic then an RF like the mamiyas or the fujis or the new voigtlaender might work well for you.

    If you need/want to do closeups as well, and portraiture then I'd steer you to the mamiya m645 systems or the 645 afd if you need af. Overall, I do believe that the best lens bargains are in the mamiya family.

    The fixed-lens fuji RFs are very fun to use, very compact. There were two that impressed me in particular, the ga645zi and the ga645w. There are also the 6x7, 6x8, and 6x9 format fujis, they are superduper and besides being large, they do handle somewhat like 35mm.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  3. #13

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    My guess is that when he says handles like a 35mm he means like a 35mm SLR. Of course even that varies quite a bit.

    I think of a 35mm slr having a prism but that doesn't mean they don't come with WLF. I expect an in camera meter. The newer ones have some flash smarts.

    Maybe he should state what he is looking for.

  4. #14

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    Mamiya 7 or 7ii would be a great option. Okay, it's a rangefinder, so generally a bit lower to focus than a SLR but stunning lenses and excellent balance in the hand. A good example with an 80mm (standard equivalent to 50mm on 35mm SLR) will cost around £600 or so.

    Best lens in the range, IMO, is the 43mm wide angle and the 150mm is a great short tele / portrait lens. I had one for a while until I decided I wanted a Leica M6 - which proved not to be my best decision as I much preferred the Mamiya, despite being considerably bigger than the M6.
    Paul Jenkin (a late developer...)

  5. #15
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    Lots of suggestions, but everyone has missed the right answer: the Bronica RF645 is the medium format camera that handles most like a 35mm slr. IMO
    My blog / photo website: http://frankfoto.jimdo.com/

  6. #16

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    I'm in the same position and I have to respectfully disagree with many posters who recommend Mamiya/Pentax/Bronica 645 SLR systems. They certainly handle differently than a TLR, but they are often much larger and heavier--not easier to handle. I just sold a Mamiya 1000s because I never used it. I think the MF RF (as in the Bronica/Mamiya types) seem great, but they are not cheap and the lenses are slow. I am waiting for the right folder to appear. I think this might be the answer. By the way, any experienced folder users have opinions on the quality of the RF on either the (Super) Isolettes/Ikontas? The eyepiece on the back looks tiny. How are they in real world use?

  7. #17

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    The Super Isolette is in my opinion the best folder I have ever used. And I have used many. It is very well-built. No problem with the CRF or the VF at all. The film advance system is to a much higher standard than the Super Ikontas. The lens is also excellent. BUT, as with nearly all Agfa folders, the bellows are a let down. You will need to replaced them soon even if yours are still light tight. I have replaced mine recently and bought a spare. I have definitely done the right thing as I just found out that camerabellows in Birmingham is closing down, which may mean difficulties getting replacements in the future! Also, if you are to buy a Super Isolette, make sure the film advance mechanism is working as it is a very complicated system which can't be fixed once faulted. Hope this helps.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmal View Post
    I'm in the same position and I have to respectfully disagree with many posters who recommend Mamiya/Pentax/Bronica 645 SLR systems. They certainly handle differently than a TLR, but they are often much larger and heavier--not easier to handle.
    Depends on what 35mm you compare them to. The Pentax and Bronica SLR are similar in weight to the modern "pro" 35mm cameras. The lenses can be lighter. Overall the size isn't much different.

    Of course any MF will be bigger then a small 35mm. You start out with the need to house the 120 and at least a 645 area.

  9. #19
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    I highly recommend the Mamiya 645E camera. Relatively light, excellent AE (or manual), very clear and bright viewfinder with diopter adjustment built in. Very much like a 35mm SLR, but easier to focus and compose because of the larger view.

    The rangefinders with tiny viewfinders are not so easy to use for those of us who wear glasses.

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  10. #20

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    Pentax 6x7 is exactly like a 35mm camera in every way except the size. Why bother with 645 negatives when you can do 6x7?

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