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  1. #21

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    I have both a Yashica-Mat and a Minolta Autocord. They produce roughly equal-quality results, BUT the Autocord developed a very stiff focusing movement some years ago and eventually became unusable (except at infinity) because of that. The focusing lever under the taking lens is, indeed, convenient, but I understand that the problem with mine is not unusual. I recall seeing Autocords on E-Bay with similar problems noted. I strongly suspect that the problem is just dried-out lubricant, but I have neither the tools nor the knowledge to fix it myself. A professional repair job would probably make no financial sense. The focusing of any Autocord should definitely be checked prior to purchase.

    Konical

  2. #22
    fingel's Avatar
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    How about a GOWLANDFLEX 4X5
    Scott Stadler

  3. #23

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    I have a Yashica-C that takes absolutely gorgeous photos.. I payed $20 for it on Ebay...

  4. #24
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    I used to have a Mamiya C3 with a paramender (a very useful accessory) and so stupidly sold it for a Brony 645. I now have a Rolleicord IV i'm getting used to, cheap off e-bay, and slow shutter speeds are bad. Mamiya TLR's are heavy, arguably ugly but are modular with lots of accessories and lenses available secondhand. They also have a good bellows extension, with a scale for exposure compensation, for close up work. At this moment in time www.kpprof.com have a C220 with 80mm for £125, and in their price list I received a few days ago, postage is free for web orders.
    ~John~
    --------------------------
    www.johnbrewerphotography.com
    There are 10 types of people in this world - those who understand binary and those who don't.

  5. #25
    jovo's Avatar
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    Well Ailsa....whadja end up getting? That paycheck didn't bounce, now did it?
    John Voss

    My Blog

  6. #26
    Ailsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jovo
    Well Ailsa....whadja end up getting? That paycheck didn't bounce, now did it?
    No, it didn't (thankfully!) but the TLR purchase is on hold for the time being. I went back to the antiques market and discovered that most of the TLRs were in pretty bad condition, and smelled musty, as if they'd been in a damp cellar for years (which they probably had).

    I bid for one or two on ebay, but kept getting pipped at the post, so I'm going to wait until I get back from my holiday at the end of July before trying again.

    Thanks for all everyone's help with this!

    Ailsa

  7. #27
    Leon's Avatar
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    have you tried auctionsniper.com? if you're interested let me know as I can refer you (and get some free snipes for it).

    cheers

  8. #28

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    Ailsa:

    For what it's worth, I'll second the vote for the Mamiya C220/C330 setup. I've never used the Rollei nor the Minolta so I can't comment. The couple of Yashicamats that I've used were ok, delivering quite nice images, but I couldn't get past that dark focusing screen problem that made focussing and composing so difficult. I own 2 C220 bodies and a few lenses in several focal lengths. Yes, they are big compared to the other offerings, but that's of little consequence. They are not so big that you can't use them as walking about cameras, and I find the extra weight an advantage in overcoming camera shake at slower shutter speeds. The image quality of the lenses is superb, on par with the best of lenses out there today in practical use. If you can find a good one out there with an 80mm lens, grab it. You won't be disappointed.

  9. #29
    Seele's Avatar
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    Ailsa,

    With respect to the other correspondents insights, I would like to add this:

    How do you see your TLR as a picture-making machine? Are you going to use it on a day-to-day basis? Are you going to use it as your exclusive camera?

    It helps to step back and see how Rollei defined the rollfilm TLR: it was supposed to be a simple, no-nonsense, standalone camera: a Rollei and a roll of film, you are in business, being able to make effective pictures with the least fuss. You are of course limited by just one lens, but there again you will learn to "see" like a Rollei, and make the most out of it; after all, more than a generation of photographers had no problem with that, and nearly all the similar cameras followed the same philosophy, be it Minolta or Yashica, or for that matter, every maker from Aires to Zenobia!

    Mamiya took a different approach and made it into a "system camera": you attack the basic body from every direction with lenses, finders, accessories... so as to custom-build a camera for any particular job. Very flexible, but it can get complicated as well.

    For me as one who uses formats from subminiature to LF, I do not really need the flexibility of a Mamiya C-series. I use Rolleis, simply because they are simple, effective; they bring in the goods, and their limitations make me more careful so as to make every picture counts.

    If you need a "system" camera, your only choice would be between the various Mamiya C-series models. But if you don't, the choice would be much much wider. As I see you are in my old country, it might be an idea if you can find a Microflex with Prontor shutter, by the late lamented firm of MPP based in Kingston-on-Thames. But regarding Rolleis, I would recommend a Rolleiflex made after 1954, or if you are more inclined towards European products, a late model Ikoflex with Tessar lens would also be quite satisfactory too.

  10. #30

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    Pardon the silly question, but what about a Koni-Omega TLR as an alternative 'system' to the Mamiya? Are there any left out there? (curious, as I keep bumping against the Omega-rapid rangefinders, but haven't seen the TLR in years)

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