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  1. #1

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    Shooting from the Hip

    Everyone I know is so short, that I have to crouch down to take pictures of them, or they look like little sheep once I look at the film I just processed.

    What camera would be good for shooting from the hip? I want a camera that I can focus looking downward, so I guess it needs to have a waist-level viewfinder. What camera can do it? I don't care if the viewfinder is upside down or whatever, just so long as I can focus from the waist. What camera can do it?

  2. #2

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    I use a Yashica mat 124-G.Nice camera.

  3. #3
    Thanasis's Avatar
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    I Don't know about 35mm cameras that can do this, but if you want to jump up a size to medium format (trust me, you'll love it) there are quite a few cameras that have waist level finders that will allow you to do this. Have a look at some of the Hasselblad, Rolliecord and Rollieflex, and if you want interchangeable lenses have a look at the Mamiya C-series range.

  4. #4
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
    Everyone I know is so short, that I have to crouch down to take pictures of them, or they look like little sheep once I look at the film I just processed.

    What camera would be good for shooting from the hip? I want a camera that I can focus looking downward, so I guess it needs to have a waist-level viewfinder. What camera can do it? I don't care if the viewfinder is upside down or whatever, just so long as I can focus from the waist. What camera can do it?
    Any Nikon F[single digit] - or any other camera with interchangeable finders. I personally have Nikon F3 - the waist-level finder is not too dear. It does of course give an image which is right way up but reversed left to right, and it is virtually impossible to use for vertical-format pictures. The nice thing about the F3 is that the meter still works even with extraneous light falling on the screen.

    Regards,

    David

  5. #5
    arigram's Avatar
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    The Nikon F has a removable pentaprism which will expose the screen above the mirror and give you a similar view with the MF SLR WLF, save the light protection that the "chimney" gives you.
    Part of fun with shooting from the hip, or the waist with a 35mm RF or SLR is that you can't control 100% the composition, thus any good photograph is also a pleasant surprise and exercise in spontaneity.
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




  6. #6
    Wishy's Avatar
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    Exakta or maybe an Exa (Original) would be my recommedation. The Exa's tend to be more reliable due to the way the shutters work, but 1/150th top speed might be an issue. The Exaktas have cloth curtains which may have pinholes, they're great cameras if your prepared to service them, with a good selection of lenses. and of course, a WLF. The VX1000 is the most modern, but least nice feeling.

  7. #7
    Thanasis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arigram View Post
    The Nikon F has a removable pentaprism which will expose the screen above the mirror and give you a similar view with the MF SLR WLF, save the light protection that the "chimney" gives you.
    Part of fun with shooting from the hip, or the waist with a 35mm RF or SLR is that you can't control 100% the composition, thus any good photograph is also a pleasant surprise and exercise in spontaneity.

    Thanks for reminding me. My Nikon F5 also has a removeable pentaprism. The screen is just a tad smaller than what you get with a Hasselblad. I wasn't aware that you could get a waist level finder for it though.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
    Everyone I know is so short, that I have to crouch down to take pictures of them, or they look like little sheep once I look at the film I just processed.

    What camera would be good for shooting from the hip? I want a camera that I can focus looking downward, so I guess it needs to have a waist-level viewfinder. What camera can do it? I don't care if the viewfinder is upside down or whatever, just so long as I can focus from the waist. What camera can do it?
    How about one of the Asahiflex models? You could pursue your hip-shot ideas whilst also having a collectable and interesting camera. Main down-side is that the lens mounts are pre-42 x 1mm so not compatible with modern Pentax lenses and clones.

    Steve

  9. #9
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanasis View Post
    Thanks for reminding me. My Nikon F5 also has a removeable pentaprism. The screen is just a tad smaller than what you get with a Hasselblad. I wasn't aware that you could get a waist level finder for it though.
    Look for a DW-30 (F3: DW-3, F4: DW-20). Not too expensive and very handy.

    Regards,

    David

  10. #10

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    Hasselblad's, Bronica's, Mamiya RB/RZ's, 645's (I think), Rollei's all have waist-level finders. The RB avoids the awkward vertical problem with a rotating back. I think some of the Canon's have a removable prism also.
    The removable prism the Nikon F* models is a feature that I've taken good advantage of many times. Not so much for shooting from the hip, but for very low angle, or holding the camera overhead to clear crowds, etc. If verticals are hard with a WL, try holding the camera upside down over your head and composing.
    You can get an actual WL finder for the Nikons, really a just a hinged/folding hood and magnifier. I had one for an F, but hardly ever used it. It's usually easier to just pop off the prism as needed. They are nice for working from tripods or copy stands though.

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