I just inherited a camera collection and I don't know what I'm going to do with them. Maybe one of them would work for you. You can see them by doing a Google search for "Larry's Camera Collection", or you can just visit my home page under my profile.
EAS, "The camera can be a bit heavy and big, so long as it is good for portraits as well as still life and landscapes."
Portraits...Still Life's...and Landscapes?
Sounds like a bellows focusing, Mamiya TLR, with inter-changeable lenses is your answer.
Three lenses would be a nice kit, but would cost more than $300. Probably well north of $450.
Portraits: Get the fantastic 180mm Super. Second choice, (coin toss). I'd go with the 105mm-D/DS over the 135mm.
Street and Still Life's: The standard 80mm, great with the close focusing bellows (for still life's) and/or a short tele above.
Landscapes: The 65mm (cheaper), or 55mm (expensive), and of course, the standard 80mm, the fastest lens at f:2.8.
Body: Go for a later C-220 or C-330 (denoted by 120/220 capability internally), or a C-330F.
Lenses: Try to get the later Black vs earlier Chrome, (shutter surround). Black, Blue-Dot (shutter lever), preferred.
So, the full-meal-deal, ($550) three lens kit would be the 55, 80, and 180-Super, w/C-330F body.
Least expensive, ($375) but still very capable would be the 65, 80, and 135, w/C-220 or maybe a C-330 body.
Just my two cents. Prices may vary. Patience!
Last edited by Marc B.; 11-18-2011 at 11:09 AM. Click to view previous post history.
My vote would be a Mamiya TLR with interchangeable lenses. During my high school days I took pictures for the paper, the reason the photography class existed. They would always stick me with a 4 X 5 Speed Graphic, RH10 (roll film back), and a Metz 502 with battery pack. Many great pictures of Football, Basketball, and general interest were shot. Why not spend the money on updating the Graflex instead of investing into another system? Different masks for the viewfinder can be had or made and a plexiglass insert made with lines for the wire frame finder. Just my two cents, Steven.
I've got a Mamiya C330 Pro F with the 55mm, the 80mm and the 180mm lenses, a Rolleiflex 3.5F (with lightmeter, but having no battery it's only exact under sunlight) and a Halma 44 (size 127 film)
I strongly recommend the Mamiya system: it's the best TLR system by far, and the 80mm f2.8 lens is superb. I travel anywhere with it, and it's great
My fist choice would be either Rolleiflex T (I had one and loved it, payed 200€ for good condition few years ago) or Minolta Autocord (which has VERY good reputation among users) with Citizen shutter. The Tessar lens of the Rolleiflex T was reasonably sharp wide open in the center (well, it is a tessar) and got very sharp across the field at about f/8. To get better sharpness wide open you would need a planar in the Rolleiflex D, E, F models, but even the older f/3.5 versions are well above $300.
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Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex with Tessar lens in good condition is nearly as good as a Rolleiflex, the lens is just as good as the Tessar on a Rolleiflex and is usually a lot cheaper than a Rolleiflex. BTW. I am a Rolleiflex and Ikoflex user love both for different reasons. The most versatile TLR would be either a Mamiya C33 (Lower price tag) or a Mamiya C220 (Lower price tag) both can be had cheaper than Mamiya's last TLR Modell the C330 and are just as good. Imho