My TLRs keep dying on me
I have five TLRs, various Minolta Autocords and Yashica Mats. My first love was the Autocord, which unfortunately had to be put aside after the focus lever no longer focused. So I started buying other cheap TLRs to replace it (since I was a student and had limited funds) but after a few months or so the shutter would not work, or only sometimes work, or the film advance would die, or whatever. And I just bought another, rather than pay to have them fixed. However, this past summer I bit the bullet and finally got my first love overhauled and fixed since none of the replacements have felt as good, or had as nice a lens as the original. That was four months ago...and now it's died (the little shutter speed lever has broken, shutter speeds sound completely off). So now I'm in the position (provided I get enough teaching hours in the coming semester) of having to replace that camera (so it can join the four others on my shelf collecting dust) and I'm debating what to do and would like some advice.
I love the square and want to stick with it -- if I want to go bigger or rectangular I have my Crown Graphic for that. I also love the portability of the TLR -- it's not any heavier than my manual nikons which means it gets used a lot. That being said, I've had my eye on the Bronica SQ Ai system since it seems to offer what I want at a price I can afford. BUT...I'm worried about weight (especially for travel) and handholding abilities (I do use a tripod on occasion but I really am a more spontaneous shooter than that for the most part) -- I'm not able to rent a system here, or even look at one, to check it out.
What I'd really like some advice on, is whether I should invest in another TLR system (a good Rollei or Mamiya), or go for the Bronica. I'd like to hear from users who made the switch from a TLR to SLR system and their thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.
My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus
Why didn't you just have the autocord repaired? I know it would be the second time, but maybe it would be the last.
just had mine repaired here...and the turnaround was less than a week
Camera Repair Service
433 market st.
Best for the new year and get it fixed!!
Things wear out. With the Autocord, the next thing to go shall probably be the focussing helicoid. If you have more than one Autocord, consider having a repair person see about cannibalizing all the best parts for a rebuild of the best body.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
One thing I learned is that I'd rather buy a good camera than waste time buying some piece of crap I'll wish I hadn't bought and just bought the good one the first time.
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Mamiya C330 or C220.
My C330 has had one CLA since 1976 or so (bought new, with the 80mm lens, although it was a camera store demonstrator).
My C220? Saw it at Kerrisdale cameras a couple of years ago, and whined enough that my wife and friends went together and spent $140 to buy it for me as a birthday present.
The other lenses were all bought used (pre Ebay), and range from heavily used (the 55mm) to pristine looking (the 135mm). They were all CLAd a couple of years ago, but otherwise haven't needed service.
I second the Mamiya's. A C330 is entirely affordable and will take a licking and keep on ticking
"While you're out there smashing the state, don't forget to keep a smile on your lips and a song in your heart!"
What you want is a Rolleiflex. The Rollei copies and the Rollei cord will not have the longevity of the Rolleiflex. Get yourself a 3.5F and have it overhauled by a reputable Rollei repairman and you will have a camera that will last longer than you.
I can't agree with that. The Rolleicord has all the build quality of the Rolleiflex but is simpler. Therefore there is less to go wrong such as the interlink between the wind on lever and the shutter cocking mechanism.
Originally Posted by dpurdy
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
Gah! It's taken me several months to log back in successfully no matter how I tried - password problems.
I've moved from TLR to SLR and am happy for it. My Mamiya C330 is broken and old, my Bronica ETRSi (now in my possession for one year) with 75mm PE lens and (for some reason, a pair of 150mm MC lenses completely and utterly beat the results I was used to getting with the Mamiyas. The C330 simply sits in the attic now, a failed and broken relic. To me, an SLR just makes a lot more sense - and that's from a long time TLR user.