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  1. #1
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Looking for a good TLR

    I love large format, but I'm looking for a good medium format camera where a 4x5 handheld would be inappropriate. The camera can be a bit heavy and big, so long as it is good for portraits as well as still life and landscapes. A built in meter is not necessary, but if it has one, I don't mind, so long as it works. I know Rolleiflexes are the cream of the crop, but I'm looking for something that is in less demand. Basically, a beater MF camera that I can lug around and not worry too much about. I love shooting wide open, so it has to perform decently in that regard. Ideally, it should be less than $300.

    Any suggestions?
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  2. #2
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    I'm loving my Mamiya C33. You should be able to get any of the Mamiya TLR's for under $300....

  3. #3
    ColdEye's Avatar
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    I am loving my Yashica D. You can buy one for a really decent price, and performance is good. Wide open the pictures are OK for me, but I am not a person who values corner to corner sharpness. So it might be a deal breaker for you (I have the older version of the lens). Plus film advancing and shutter cocking are 2 separate actions, so it's easier to do multiple exposures if your into that. Plus it's light too.

  4. #4
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    If you don't mind the size and weight, then I think that one of the Mamiyas (C220, C330, etc) is going to be your best bet. Definitely under $300; the Mamiya's take interchangeable lenses too, most of which are highly regarded and cost around ~$100 each.

  5. #5
    wotalegend's Avatar
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    One of the later Yashicas - either a 124 or a 124G - should be well under $300. Later lens type (Yashinon), film advance and shutter cocking exactly the same as a Rollei (crank forwards and then backwards half a turn), less weight and bulk than a Rollei and a lot less than a Mamiya, 1980s build so shouldn't be too worn, capable of taking 220 film if you can get any.

    Two things to watch out for with most Yashica TLRs: the self timer is a bit fragile and can jam the whole shutter, so best to avoid using it, and in all models except the end-of-the-line 124G you can sometimes get flare from reflections inside the film chamber. The 124G has light baffles in the chamber. In all other models you can minimise the risk of flare by painting matt black inside the chamber.

  6. #6
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    I enjoy my Tower Reflex with its Nikon lens, but have been disappointed by the missing features that allow me to make mistakes. (I only complain because last two rolls I lost a couple frames by not "resetting" the film counter).

    Which ones have these professional features that would reduce the chance of error: Automatic frame counter reset, double-exposure prevention/auto cocking shutter.

  7. #7

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    I happen to have a Yashica 124g for sale. I can post some pics if you want.

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum379/...eh-repair.html

  8. #8
    agfarapid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EASmithV View Post
    I love large format, but I'm looking for a good medium format camera where a 4x5 handheld would be inappropriate. The camera can be a bit heavy and big, so long as it is good for portraits as well as still life and landscapes. A built in meter is not necessary, but if it has one, I don't mind, so long as it works. I know Rolleiflexes are the cream of the crop, but I'm looking for something that is in less demand. Basically, a beater MF camera that I can lug around and not worry too much about. I love shooting wide open, so it has to perform decently in that regard. Ideally, it should be less than $300.

    Any suggestions?
    I love the Mamiya c330's, I have 2 of them. But you might want to also consider a Bronica SQ series 6x6. There's one on ebay now for $375. If I didn't have so much 6x6 gear now, I'd probably buy it myself.
    Cheers!

  9. #9

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    Given that you have a LF camera you use when you can deal with something bigger and slower, I'd consider a smaller TLR. Something like a late Rolleicord (IV or V) or Autocord would be worth checking out. The Yashicas are definitely nice but may be a touch more prone to long term maintenance problems if the winding/advance isn't treated nicely. The Mamiya C2/C3 series is nice and the only option with interchangeable lenses but they are a fair amount larger than the smaller TLRs out there.

  10. #10

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    I also recommend Mamiya TLR. Look up KEH.

    Jeff

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