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  1. #1
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Best 120 Camera for less than $100

    Hey y'all,

    So I thought it would be fun & helpful in my own search if I posed the question 'What is the best 120 camera that can regularly be had for less than a hundred bucks?' And please, no 620 cameras!

    I've got my own ideas, but I want to chalk it up to you experienced folks out there.

    Let the games begin....

  2. #2

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    If you mean used, probably a Rolleicord III.
    In life you only get one great dog, one great car, and one great woman. Pet the dog. Drive the car. Make love to the woman. Don't mix them up.

  3. #3
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    definitely used.

  4. #4
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    I got a Zeiss Ikonta 645 folder at an auction for $5 CDN and there was a working Minolta SRT 101 in the lot. The Ikonta is a good shooter with an uncoated 75mm Tessar.
    Jeff

  5. #5

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    Depens what you mean by 'best'?

    For $100 dollars you can get some decent TLRs as well as folders. A good TLR should beat most folders for optical quality, but they don't fit in the pocket too well. Having said that, a really good folder with rangefinder and decent lens would be way over $100, as would a semi-pro TLR, so you would need to compromise. A nice folder with rangefinder and budget lens could give you a very useable camera, but you might like to spend the same money on a very simple camera such as a Bessa or basic Ikonta but with a really good optic. Ditto TLRs, some of the Yashikas came with budget triplet lenses and are very useable, but go for the decent glass and you'll bust your budget. Not sure if any SLRs come under $100? Would probably be a beat up and battered if they did, which might mean they aren't a 'best' buy. Also,I've picked up cameras at junk sales for the equivalent of $10 which I've seen dealers selling for $100 because they've been cleaned and serviced - another requirement to factor in to the price.

    Can you narrow your requirements down a bit?
    Steve

  6. #6

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    C220 but you gotta be lucky.

    Managed a 635 and a mat both with hoods and filters for 60GBP total in camera fair. The 635 was ratty and missing the 35mm kit but would shoot film the mat was close to perfect.

    Noel

  7. #7
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Certainly,

    A TLR is probably the most logical. Something like a Yashica 635. Basically, I want a decent to good lens and some provision for focusing (coupled). I've got 2 older 620 cameras and they're fun, but respooling is a pain & the inability to see my focus is a big downside. Metering I can do without.

    Basically, I want a shooter (implying good to excellent condition) for the aforementioned price. And I'd be willing to pay more if I was close to jumping into a higher bracket altogether.

    Sorry for being vague.

  8. #8

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    I live in the UK and we seem to be really hard done to with second hand prices, so I can't really advise. I definately couldn't get a C220 for less than $100 - but if you can find one where you live, they are great cameras and have the advantage they can be added to - there is a huge back up of lenses and kit. I've got a C330 (which cost a lot more than $100!) and it is very nice to use and has great optics. Definately recommended.

    I have a budget bit of junk called a Halina AI - a $10 junk shop special, but I believe they marketed a version in the US under the Ricoh name, the Ricoh Superflex, which had very good lenses. Someone was raving about them in a similar thread. My version is simple and rugged and I can imagine with a better shutter and optics it would be a good TLR. Then Rolleicords, obviously :-)
    Steve

  9. #9
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    If you want a 'system' camera, with the option of different lenses, prisms, etc, I would highly reccomend either the Mamiya C3 or C33. Either can be had for very little. They are both reliable cameras with excellent optics available. The shutter on most lenses will likely need a CLA, but it will be cheaper than on most others.

  10. #10
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    I suppose it would be a wiser investment to go with a system than a 1-trick-pony. I'll keep my eye on said cameras.

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