Yes, sorry, ARAX
Originally Posted by f/16
there is also a company called Hartblei who do something similar:
I've heard very good things about ARAX, but there seems to be some confusion about who exactly Hartblei are and who owns the name, now. (Not heard anything bad, mind). I think there is also an American company, too.
Of course, many people will have had good experiences with a Kiev 60 (or 88) - it was just the quality control was really terrible. You didn't know until you got one whether it was usable or a lemon. Buying a re-worked one from one of these companies with some sort of warranty maybe gives you a bit more confidence.
I'm really tempted by an ARAX Kiev 88 with a P6 lens mount, myself.
Hi Christopher. No I do not process my own film and don't plan on doing so in the future. Also not interested in LF at this time-just MF.
I was looking on KEHs site. Looks like I could get a Pentax 645 in EX cond with 75 2.8 SMC A and 120 insert for about the same $$$ as a Kiev 60 rebuild setup. Pentax is probably a much better camera?? And is that 75 a good sharp lens? Does the 645 do horizontal or vertical images? Would hate to turn it on its side to shoot horizontal.
Pentax 645, Pentax 6X7MLU, and many Nikons-F2 Photomic F2AS FM2N N2000 N6000 N6006 Nikomat FTN
I recommend you look at any camera of 6x6 or larger format, forget that 6x4.5, not that it is not a good format size, but when i used digital medium format which is almost 6x4.5 i wanted to have something bigger, so got Hasselblad 6x6 and RZ6x7proII, for both they are amazing nice, and when i've got Fuji GSW690III that is even better and amazing sharp nice results, i will never look back to 6x4.5 in film or even miss it, and if you will say about body weight then there are many 6x6 or 6x7 cameras can be so lightweight that you may want to have heavier.
My Mamiya RZ has an option to rotate the back only [not the body] so you can take landscape/portraits orientation so easy.
I was going to agree until he said he didn't process film.
Originally Posted by Christopher Walrath
IMNSHO anyone not doing darkroom work is missing at least 50% of the creative potential and about 65% of the fun of film, but that's just me - and I realize not everyone has a place they could set up a darkroom, even a makeshift one.
I did just this BTW, straight to 4x5 back in the 90s. Now I've started doing some MF too, bought a Yashica Mat 124 (plus a 6x7 roll film back for the Linhof mainly for affordability and film choice in color.) I really like using the Yashica but neither it nor my 35mm replace my Linhof, which doesn't replace either my 35mm kit or my Yashica. I am thinking of getting a second TLR just so I can carry two types of film loaded! Horses for courses and all that. All are fun, all are different.
To the OP, jump in, you'll almost certainly love it.
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Originally Posted by Christopher Walrath
I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.
I'm a recent entrant (only about 1 year) to medium format and i gotta say i love it!
I have an RB67 Pro-S and it's super. I also have a Minolta Autocord TLR and it also great (though i prefer the RB67!!!). My RB offers such a huge increase in the joy i find in photography (the ease of switching from portrait to landscape while tripod mounted is enough in itself) that i have a hard time using my 35mm gear.
If i want to shoot something for *me* (no events/meetings/etc), i'd usually grab my 35mm stuff and go to it. Now, my 35mm gear just sits. I have a roll i've been 'working on' for 2-3 *weeks* that i've not finished.
For me, i chose/choose medium format (roll film) over large format for many reasons. Medium format is the largest format which is reasonably convenient for me - whereas sheet film presents too many inconveniences e.g., variety of film, developing, actual use of the cameras (i don't like the dark-cloth required), changing lenses, general size (not weight - i don't mind weight-i shoot an RB67!!!), etc. I can buy a load of film and use it in my RB67 *or* my Minolta Autocord TLR - i love the verstility of medium-format roll film!!!
I'm sure someone who prefers large-format will jump all over my comments about large-format, but f/16 inquired of medium format. Unfortunately, I'm not able to recommend/comment on any of the Russian cameras...
I really wanted a retro-cool chrome Kiev with Cyrillic script too, not least because I thought they would be a $100/£100 entry into a more versatile medium format than the old Moskva-5 folder I used to have. But I was astonished how expensive the Kievs modified for mirror lock-up were and how inexpensive Bronicas had become since I last looked a few years ago. The lenses, too, run to roughly similar prices, at least on eBay. I found there were lenses in the Bronica SQ series that I liked the look of, Bronicas with WLFs seemed easier to come by and they had conveniences such as longer shutter speeds and lighter weight, and I went Bronica. But no tilt/shift possibilities, AFAIK.
I don't think the Kievs are bad cameras - though I'm aware of quality control issues, and I've had my share of old Soviet equipment in Leica thread mount - just that, for me, they weren't as good value.
I toyed with the idea of a Mamiya 645 - not least for the 80/1.9 - but I fancied something with a different aspect ratio from my 4:3 digicam, and I liked the idea of a WLF to keep the weight down and not needing to turn the camera for verticals. So the square format will hopefully make me think about composition in new ways, rather than just having a big film version of my digicam. I'm sure I'd have been happy with any of them, but that's why I eventually made the decision I did.
I've not had my Bronica long, but it's really cool being able to look down onto that big screen - one of the attractions that drew me to Kievs in the first place - and much more satisfying than doing the same thing with a Nikon F series.
But I'd still like a Kiev at some point. Just not at current prices, so I might have to settle for one without mirror lock-up.
FWIW, I have rediscovered my P6TL since I bought the Flektogon 50/4. I am actually travelling abroad, and while in the last year I have travelled with an average of 3 cameras, this time I have taken just the P6TL with 50 and 80. The 65 was left at home, and the 120 and 180 will be mine soon, eventually.
Thing is, that I bought the Flek as a cheap way to decide whether to go for the 43 or the 50 with my Mamiya 7II. On those few times when I have used 35mm film, I find that I always use the 24mm lens. But I have never tried anything wider, and I do not rely on russian cameras or lenses. The Flek 65/2.8 for the P6, despite regarded as one of the worst lenses in the set, is worth testing, and I found it dirtly cheap.
I was planning on selling the full set once I make up my mind about what lens to buy for the Mamiya 7II (one P6TL and one Praktisix, Flek 50, Flek 65, Biometar 80, metered prism, macro and extension rings, hoods, filters, screens...), but now I am not that sure at all...
I think the Pentacon 6 is a great outfit. Alas, I have yet to track down a 120mm Bometar. I once saw a 300Mm sonnar at a camera fare and thought twice about it. I've regretted it ever since. I have the Zeiss 50, 80 and 180 mm lenses though. All great performers.
The icing on the cake is to have the fresnal screen upgraded by that nice German chap and buy one of the Kiev 60 metered prisms and an adaptor plate off him ;-)