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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chazzy View Post
    It's hard to imagine a better value for the money than a Koni-Omega or Rapid Omega. But it's a rangefinder camera.
    And if you buy one off ebay you'll probably have to budget for a CLA. But even with that it may still end up being cheaper than just about anything else that offers interchangeable backs and lenses.

  2. #42
    one90guy's Avatar
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    Watching ebay

    When I started looking at MF I was totaly in the dark. I started with 35mm in 1968 and when I came home from Nam I only took family and friends pictures. In the last 3 years it has become an addiction. I need to sell off some of my 35mm's, and I am waiting on money from a sale last week. Decided to slow down a bit, and make sure that I buy something that can still be repaired. There are so many brands and styles. I will definity have a lot more questions.confused:
    “In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took,
    but how many moments took your breath away.”
    ― Shing Xiong

  3. #43
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    Hi David. I'm not too far from you - in La Grange, Texas.

    Hope you find something - don't forget CL, as that's where I found my Hasselblad (Houston).

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by mablo View Post
    Well.. I've gone through the folder phase and now have in my possession a couple of old el-cheapo TLR cameras. All in all I think I've bought four old TLR's. All had shutter problems, one had hazy lenses and a rotten mirror and at least two had light leaks. I've burned a lot of money and frustration to get two working TLR cameras. If I'm honest, only one of them is really good.

    So I think I'm qualified to the next MF level.


    Would have been much better off just sending your first TLR purchase in to be professionally serviced. My cost was $56 and the camera came back working beautifully. (Maybe I misunderstood your post and you did have them serviced, if so sorry I misconstrued. I still think this issue should be elaborated on for others getting into these old cameras.)

    Jumping from camera to camera, hoping to get a good one is a big gamble as you point out, and who's to say if you do find a good one, that it won't develop a problem in six months or a year.

    Most of these are decades old, haven't been used in many years. They deserve some service and TLC if you want to use them. Plus, I take comfort and pride that I've resurrected a fine old instrument that won't end up in the garbage heap in the near future. Added comfort: good repair techs are getting scarcer as time goes by. My philosophy, service these cameras now, while we still can!!!!

    Just my ranting... your opinion may differ.

  5. #45
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Philosophy as much as an answer to the OP

    Quote Originally Posted by one90guy View Post
    I have been wanting a medium format camera for sometime...
    As so may others have pointed out, you really need to start with the end in mind. What do you want to *DO* rather than what format do you want.

    A Hasselblad and a Brownie Hawk-eye are both medium format cameras. And in the hands of someone with the vision to see what they want, both of these will produce stunning images. The photographer takes the picture, not the camera.

    One of these costs a lot, and the other you can probably find a lot of three on the auction site for less than the price of a dark-slide for the first.

    So, start with the objective in mind. Do you want to make professional studio pictures? Do you want to make family snapshots. Do you want to fool around with the gizmos? All of these are legitimate goals, but the answers make a lot of difference in the camera body choice. Form follows function.


    Quote Originally Posted by one90guy View Post
    ... I want just a decent camera, light meter preferred but I use a Argus C-3 and so I do not think it would be a big problem..... My main concern is price and getting a useable camera.
    If you just want to stick your toes in the water to see if you like it, then I also think the Yashica TLRs are hard to beat. While the 124G is probably the best of the series, they've caught people's fancy and in my mind are overpriced now days. I have both a Yashicamat and a Yashicamat-124G. The plain old Yashicamat only takes 120 (not 220 which is about vanished anyway) and is a workhorse. I suspect the others which people have mentioned (A, D, etc.) work just as well, but I have no experience with them. No meter on the plain old Yashicamat, however. But if you get by with an Argus you can get by with no meter. I have half a dozen cameras with meters, and the only in-camera meter I ever use is the one on the Contax RTS when I'm trying to shoot in a hurry.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  6. #46
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    I started on the MF path much as the Folks here have suggested - via a TLR. I'm like Minolta and found they made a very reputable TLR called the "Autocord". A kind man sold me one for ~$36 and i gave it a new cover (it needed one badly and i bought some GripTac from cameraleather.com) for $26 - so less than $100 invested. I've found it to be an awesome little camera and the 6x6cm negs are great.

    I then realized i wanted to concentrate on landscape and portraiture, but wanted a very flexible/modular system to accomplish this. A friend of mine has a Mamiya RB67 Pro-S and I immediately "bonded" with it. It's taken me over a year to put together my kit, but i've researched, priced, researched some more and put it together component by component. I was able to buy a RB67 Pro-S body (w/WLF), Pro-S 120 back, Sekor C 180mm for just under $300 - all in superb condition. It's been a slightly more time intensive way to do it, but i'm well assured my purchases were actually in excellent condition and what i really wanted. Last week i bought probably my last lens (yea right!!!) a superb Sekor C 65mm for a slighly high $200, but it also came with some very nice filters.

    If it's really something you're wanting to move into, enjoy the time spent to assemble what you believe will help you do what you're wanting to do. You'll be more confident in your purchases AND when using your gear you won't be concerned that your gear will not perform. Then you can concentrate strictly on your photography!

  7. #47
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    Hi Katie
    The wife and I were out in La Grange back in April. Love the bluebonnets, shot 3 36 rolls of 35mm. I had not thought about CL wilol start watching there to.
    Thanks
    David
    “In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took,
    but how many moments took your breath away.”
    ― Shing Xiong

  8. #48

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    David,

    If you are looking to start shooting MF, you might try antique shops, pawn shops, in addition to CL and ebay. As for which camera is really up to your budget and if you find a great deal. I have seen some TLR cameras go for way too much money and some for less than $30. I have purchased at least 3 TLR cameras in that price range (less than $30). The Rolleis are currently selling for a lot of money and some specific models going for over $1K. Most of those are going to collectors. I would stear clear of a Rollei as even a CLA is expensive. I have one that I inherited from my father and it was the camera I learned with in high school. I was quoted a CLA at close to $175.

    One camera that I purchased on ebay for less than $30 and I have been very pleased with the quality of the images, is the Seagul TLR. I don't know much about the camera or lenses, but I have to admit the images are sharp and with good tonal quality. One drawback, is finding filters for B&W. As with many of the older cameras, filter sizes vary from what is popular so an adaptor ring, usually series V is needed.

    Good luck with your MF adventure!

  9. #49
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    Hi michaelbsc
    You asked some very good questions, and I had think about what I was wanting to do. I am not looking to take professional pictures. I have made some really good photos, at least to me, with 35mm. I have never enlarged more than 8x10, and I would imagine a pro could show me where there is need of improvement. I like landscapes and sunsets, and have rediscovered b/w photos of old homes and broken down buildings. So fooling around with gizmos, and try to see what I can do with them. Thats what got me to using the Argus, and love those double exposures when the motor drive slips
    Thanks
    David
    “In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took,
    but how many moments took your breath away.”
    ― Shing Xiong

  10. #50
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    Hi Jose
    After some really good advice here I am leaning toward 1 of the Yashica TLR's. I have several of the Yashica rangefinders and for the price they are great cameras. The last 1 I bought on the bay cost me $0.99 plus 7.00 postage. Not likely to find a deal like that again. I had not thought about filters, I have made some for my Argus using old bottlecaps. Not very pretty but they work Pawn shops and antique stores around here just do not have older cameras, its been years since the pawn shops would accept film cameras.
    Thanks
    David
    “In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took,
    but how many moments took your breath away.”
    ― Shing Xiong

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