Suggested first medium format?
I think it's time that I accept the 'awesomeness' of Medium Format. I've been shooting 35mm for quite a while and a friend recently scanned his MF negatives at my house (or at school, I don't remember) - anyhow, the resolution was unbelievable!
I do black and white developing/scanning on my own, and I generally shoot black and white 75% of the time. I'd like to find a camera that is versatile enough to be used in various situations. I recently acquired a Rolleiflex 2.8E but the high costs of maintenance made me not want to use the camera and I'd like to find something else. As a rangefinder user myself in the 35mm world, I was recommended the Mamiya 7II, but the kits are just way too out of my price range at this point. I think I'd like to stay with a budget of $800 (with a bit of flexibility, but not much...after all I'm a student!)
So the bottom line is, I'm looking for a medium format camera that can remain relatively versatile, would complement my Leica M, stay under $800 and be easy to operate and have lower maintenance.
Options I have in mind are:
- Hasselblad 500c or 500cm [seems to be around high 600's to lower 800's for a kit]
- Mamiya C330 [seems to be around high 300's to lower 500's for a kit]
Thanks so much in advance, I'm still trying to learn more!
My first real experience with a medium format was with a Yashica TLR.
Yeah, it's quite a bit different than the SLRs I'm used to, but I had a lot of fun with that borrowed camera.
The 330, as I understand, is a boat anchor to carry around, but I do like the idea of interchangeable lenses, and I've gotten more
positive comments on that 124 I used than on anything else (the canonet has gotten a bit of attention too, though).
What maintenance issues dis you hit with the Rollie? That ought to be an awesome user..
Rolleiflex maintenance costs? After a good CLA and decent care it will be one of the best built and most maintenance free cameras you can own...
I haven't tried the C330, but both of the Hasselblads are excellent choices, IMHO. They are well built, has some terrific glass to go along with them, are abundant in the used market and are easily serviced.
Another SLR worthy of consideration is the Pentax 67 - granted, it is big, bulky and heavy, with a mirror slap which can wake the dead - but it is also pretty much built like a tank and has an excellent range of optics available for decent prices.
Have you considered any of the fixed-lens Fuji rangefinders? Their lenses are second to none, and you should easily be able to find a nice GW670 or 690 within your budget.
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Yes, the shutter release is sticking, shutter speeds are running slow, film transport could use some work, this camera needs an overhaul! There are some marks on the taking lens too, I just don't know if it's worth it to keep this guy vs buying another camera. I just want suggestions for a hassle free camera that I can actually use. I don't really have the patience or the resources to deal with older gear that's going to require significant work
Another vote here for keeping the Rolleiflex and having it sorted out.
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
Agree with getting the Rolieflex sorted out I have an 3,5E and they are great to use, and better lenses and build quality than Yachicamats, I use a 124 as well.
The M3 series Mamiya's are good but a lot heavier, there's issues with the film advance gears which often need replacing but they have the advantage of interchangeable lenses. I enjoyed using mine until they were stolen . . . . . . . . .
Ditto on having the Rollei serviced. I have several TLR's including Rollei's and Yashica's. If you already have a MF camera, have it serviced and shoot it unless you are starting to develop GAS and just have to have something else.
Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
And sleep to dream till day
Of the truth that gold can never buy
Of the bawbles that it may.
Mostest for the Leastest
Bronica SQ/SQ-A, SQ-Ai, SQ-B
Mamiya RB67 Pro S, SD
My advice? Get the newest version of any of these bodies in the best shape you can afford. Same goes for film backs--ratty condition=heavy use/age. Most of those listed above sold well over several model generations with largely interchangeable lenses, backs, finders, etc. Be picky and patient and unafraid to build kits from pieces over time. Example? I wanted an extra 120 back for my Bronica SQ-B. Looked for ages but auction candidates were always extortionately-priced and/or smoked. Found a boxed, mint one last month for $30. Happy!
Many here will differ but older isn't necessarily better--it's still older. Getting service on any film camera is getting harder and pricier as time ticks by. Keep that in mind as the endorsements for old TLRs and folders roll in. I like reliable, working cameras with few, if any, age-related issues--present or potential.