1st Medium Format Camera Recommendations
I'm thinking about moving to MF an looking for an ideal 1st camera. Nothing as cheap as a Holga, but something reasonably priced (around 100gbp) to get me started. It's main usage would be landscapes & urban photography and maybe portraiture.
I'm open to any suggestions from any types of camera (TLR, RF, whatever).
I'm a fan of the Mamiya 645 system. An old M645J shouldn't be very expensive and you can use the lenses on the new bobies...even the AF bodies. Also, the 645 is more economical. You get 32 exposures on a roll of 220.
Well this is where everyone lists their favourite cameras.... so here is mine, but I will try and justify!
Mamiya TLR, you may get an old one for 100GBP. Why?
(i) Interchangeable lenses - from 55m up to 180mm. 65mm makes a great 'wide standard'
(ii) With lens choice suitable for all types of photography - landscape to portraits (particulalry good for portraits).
(iii) Pretty solid and reliable.
(iv) Good value used.
(v) discrete for urban/street use - can take picture without being noticed (also quiet operation of shutter)
(vi) Beautiful and quality looking pictures (my opinion).
a) Some think they are heavy
b) Some think they are slow to operate (but some would say this is an advantage)
c) No electronics or metering
d) Could be a culture shock if you are used to 35mm electronic SLR.
Anyway, best of luck with your choice. Medium format is great!
first, i think you need to narrow it down based on type (SLR, TLR, RF) and budget, that will make it much easier to give you suggestions.
from what you want to spend and what you want to shoot i would personally recommend a 6x7 system SLR such as the Mamiya RB67. extremely cheap, extremely good Sekor C lenses, the 50mm is verrryyy good for landscapes, the 65 is just as good, the 90 is not bad, and some of the telephoto lenses are very good for portraits.
Downside......VERY heavy, were talking 10lbs worth of camera around your neck, maybe more depening on lens and finder.
Upside....price, these thigns are going for dirt cheap and they are unbreakable, indestructable.
I have many MF Cameras...listed below
Holga CFN Toy Camera
Diana F+ Toy Camera
Super Ricohflex TLR
Bronica SQ Ai SLR
Rolleiflex SL66 SLR
By far my most favourite (and also one of the cheapest) is the Super Ricohflex TLR.
If you want to try your hand at MF without a full jump in to the pool, a cheaper TLR like that will be a good way to begin. If you are commited already, then you need to make some basic choices...like:
- Interchangeable lenses or not
- Changeable Film Backs or not
- Format (6x6, 6x4.5, 6x9)
- SLR, Rangefinder or TLR
- Is weight important
Many of these are either personal choices or a function of what youn intend to use the camera for...
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Go ahead and get started with the RB67 system. That's what you'll end up with anyway unless you have an inheritance spend on 'Blads.
I don't understand the notion that C330s have a high fiddle factor. I think Hasselblads have just as much fiddle factor. I'm not saying that the Mamiya is better than a Hasselblad, but I have to call BS on fiddle factor. And, Hasselblads have a very long throw on the focus ring (at least on the 80/2.8), which makes it a slower camera should you need something that can focus fast. So, for cheap Mamiya or Yashica TLR (never have tried the Ricohflex mentioned above). Pricey: Hasselblad, Mamiya 6 or 7, Rolleiflex.
I was going to suggest a folding camera. If you plan on shooting portraits, the better tool is something with a rangefinder, an SLR or a TLR.
At the very least, some cameras are still quite reasonable, so no need to limit yourself to just one camera to cover all situations. For example, 6x9 can be very nice for landscapes, while 6x6 is excellent for portraits.
In any case, think about that. And also set aside some money to have the camera serviced. Hopefully, you find a camera that's been serviced.
Introducing the Super ricohflex TLR...The Manchurian Candidate of cameras ;-))
Originally Posted by jmal
I started off with a Mamiya C330f and recently gave my outfit to a budding photographer who couldn't afford to buy an MF camera. I can recommend them, The lenses are excellent and a good introduction to leaf-shutter lenses. Hassleblads are cameras to aspire to, but not perhaps the best introductory camera. I intend to buy my first V series Hassleblad later this year (drools in anticipation).
Film Cameras currently used:
Large/Stort-format: Ebony 45SU (field camera), Medium/Medlem-format: Mamiya 7, Hasselblad 503CW
35mm/Små format: Nikon: F4, D800 (yes digital, I know)