First TLR. Help me choose for street photography
My first APUG thread!..
I am currently using a Leica M7/35mm Summicron for street photography but I want a bigger neg. I want try a waist-level camera for discrete shooting so I'm not considering a Mamiya 7. In addition, I also want to use the same camera to experiment shooting 'tree-portraits' wide-open with a 'creamy' bokeh.
Hence, a TLR seems a good option? I am willing to spend around US$1500. Is a Rolleiflex the way to go? Which version has the best optics? Does the lens vignette considerably? Any other cameras recommended?
Thanks in advance.
Less than $1500 will get you a beautiful Rolleiflex. Make sure you get the "F" model, like a 2.8F (Planar or Xenotar), then have it sent off for expert service to a reputable place. If you're used to the mechanical precision of the Leica then the Rollei is the camera for you, IMO. I have one, a 3.5 though, and love it.
Where are you on the planet?
I also recommend the Rolleiflex 2.8f Planar. Excellant camera period.
I'd concur with the Rolleiflex notion, and I do have a 2.8F Planar, and I agree wholeheartedly that it is a darn fine camera.
But as a first TLR for street shooting, it can be pretty spendy. I'd submit that a 1950s-era Automat with the Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 3.5 is a worthy alternative. They're generally *literally* an order of magnitude cheaper, and the Tessar has a vibe that the Planar -- despite being a "better" lens -- can't quite match.
I have both, and I find myself using the old Automat much more frequently.
A Rolleiflex T is also well worth considering.
Sometimes the "T" can go for a lot of money. In that case I'd rather have an Automat. I'm on the hunt for an Automat with a Xenar. Still, if you have the money and you're using Leica,you might as well just jump in. If you buy wisely then you'll get your money back if it turns out not to be the style and format for you. Make sure you find a lens shade for it. Usually 3.5 Tessar is Bay I, 3.5 Planar is Bay II and 2.8 Planar is Bay III.
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Don't be afraid of the 2.8F Xenotar. Just as good as the Planar and in many opinions better.
If you are accustomed to using a 35mm lens on your leica then you might consider the 3.5F with the 75mm lens instead.
If you want to consider a little longer lens there is a Tele Rollei that you could get for that kind of money which also might be great for tree portraits as well as closer up street shots.
I love my 3.5 Automat. Great camera.
Just buy the Rolleiflex 2,8F. It is a great camera.
The lens does not show a lot vignetation.
However, in my opinion "discrete shooting" is not possible with them today.
You have two options:
a) hide the camera in a bag and pull it just before.
b) carry it around your neck or in your hand. This will get you the attention of passangers. They are not used to the look of a TLR anymore.
One I would not recommend is the Mamiya TLR and not just for the noise and weight. I have the 220 with a 105mm. (add: "remember to cock the shutter" on that one) My biggest problem is finger placement. I keep getting them in the path of the cocking lever during exposure. If it's travel is interrupted, the shutter doesn't open.
Of course, this might not be as big of a problem with an 80mm or wider, which wouldn't be racked out as far and I would be supporting differently.
As far as attention is concerned, it seems to me that people aren't as wary of an obviously analog camera as they know it's not 10 seconds from the Web. With a TLR be prepared to be distracted by people wanting to share stories about "the camera grand-dad used to use." Double if you also smoke a pipe!
Me too, especially since replacing the original ground glass with a brighter one.
Originally Posted by mudman