Kowa six system - Ditch it or savor it?
I have this Kowa six setup that ive had for a while. I am not too crazy about it, and am saving up for another camera. Are the optics really as sharp as they are hyped up to be? Should i sell it?
90 degree prism
metered chimney prism
How much do you think its all worth? Am i better off keeping it?
My first MF system was a Super 66 with 40mm, 50mm, 80mm, 150mm, and 200 or 250 (can't remember which Kowa made), metered 45 degree finder, and several interchangeable backs and other pieces.
I had to have a Hassy, sold all the Kowa stuff.
Hasselblad certainly is more robust, although I never had a problem with any of the Kowa stuff (as soon as I bought a Kowa piece it went to Ross Yerkes for CLA).
Optics, read this part "I RARELY PRINT BIGGER THAN 8x10". I can't see one ounce of difference between the Kowa and Hasselblad optics at this print size.
Plus, I haven't been able to afford a 40mm Hasselblad yet, and Hasselblad doesn't even make a 19mm lens.
The difference "might" be visible if you print bigger than 11X14, I don't know. I hope so since I bought the Hasselblad setup.
Would I want to go back to the Kowa Super 66, no. But I wish I had that 40mm and it worked on a Hassy.
I'm sure this doesn't help you make a decision, but it's my experience.
Last edited by mikebarger; 12-31-2008 at 08:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.
What will the "next" system do for you that the Kowa isn't, or can't? If you can't answer that question, then gear lust rather than utility is behind your desire to "up"grade.
I know from gear lust, believe me....
I had a Kowa Super 66 with a couple of lenses, inherited from my wife's grandfather (I'm the only one in the entire family who cares about cameras). Its lenses were very good, and it worked great---until it stopped working great and proved beyond economical repair. THEN I moved on to something else.
One man's opinion.
I see no point in selling it other that square MF is not what you want.
If you plan to change for Hasselblad, bear in mind that Zeiss lens are quite dear, to say the least and selling the whole gear you have may be not enough to purchase body with film back and two lenses. Can't tell whether Zeiss' optics would be better in terms of rendering details in big prints but as I've heard Kowa lenses weren't too shabby.
If your system is in good condition you should keep it. Unless you are a real professional or very often do enlargements over 20x20 in, then you may need a more pro system. I can tell you your Kowa lenses will give most Hassy lenses a good run for their money.
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I tested one Super66 of a friend before diving into a Hasselblad system, to be honest, it's not my cup of tea.
The optics are of very good quality, but hey, not quite the construction standards of the Zeiss hasselblad counterpart. They lack a "B" setting, instead, they installed a kind of a "T" feature, it's not even the real "T" thingy anyway, as when one opens the shutter via release, the same has to be closed via shutter speed ring.:o Ridiculous isn't it?:rolleyes:
The magazines are difficult to change mounted on a tripod, I end up needing to unmount the darn camera, when I wanted to change a magazine, ridiculous number #2. I was told later by my friend, he forgot to give the special KOWA spacer for tripod using, what the heck...:o
One thing I liked was the ergonomics, it was a nice camera to shoot handheld and quite quiet (compared with the Blad), MLU feature would be nice for tripod shooting BTW.
A trully fantastic feature was the automatic darkslide, loved it, nothing to worry about where to put or search for the darn slide all the time.
Very good optics, some nice features but some ridiculous mechanical and design flaws, not my system, but a nice product for a budget tight individual in need of a system camera.
If not to change for a superior system, keep it!
Just remember, a superior system has a high price tag, in some cases you end up paying more for an optic than for your entire KOWA 66 system.
I had a Kowa 6 for a while and found that most of what has been said about them is basically true: optically, they are very nice, mechanically, not so great. The main reason I ended up getting rid of it was that for me, at least, it was not an easy camera to use handheld.
I love my Kowa 6mm. I have a Hassie but the Kowa with the 85mm lens gets most of the use. T setting is excellent - especially for the auxiliary slot-shutter I have been using. Great camera.
I wish I had all those bits for my 503cx. I got a body in ex. condition, ln wlf (new style too), beaten 120 back and scratched 80mm C planar lens for $650 a few years back.
It's been very reliable, considering the back and lens are from the 70s and 60s. I just can't afford anything else. On the upside, it's probably easier to find than Kowa six stuff.
I've always heard good things about Kowa optics, particularly the wide angle lenses.