I will second the Kiev advice, with a few caveats:
Originally Posted by alanrockwood
1) It is not the lightest camera around, if you are worried about weight.
2) You need to get hold of a good one.
3) You should flock the inside of the mirror box (inexpensive kits are available, it takes about 40 minutes careful work).
4) There are several operating procedures (such as not letting the film advance snap back) which you should follow to avoid problems, all findable on the various sites devoted to the Kiev.
I had a Kiev, before I replaced it with the Pentax 6x7 (I changed because of the format, not because of the camera).
Mine was a "good" one (I bought it from a photo studio which had actually used it).
Some of the lenses are outstanding (CZ 50mm and CZ 180mm), the rest mostly good (including both the CZ and Soviet 120mm). While not as brilliant as the 180, the 120 is much smaller and lighter.
The Kiev also has *much* less mirror slap than the P6x7
M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa
if you want a camera to take portraits in dim bars, your d40 is pretty good for that already. i wouldn't bother with a 35mm slr; there would only be more grain.
given more light, like from a window or outside in shady places, i'd recommend a 6x6 slr and a longish lens. you just strike me as a 6x6 kinda guy. these are some of the less costly ones:
graflex norita 66, pentacon six tl, kowa six, bronica sq-a or sq-b, rolleiflex slx, hasselblad 500elx
cheers guys, some specific references to what i shoot which is v handy.
Raizans-yeah thinkin ill use my fuji s5 (digi) is for low light candid in dim bars and film camera (whether it's 35mm or MF) for better light/more posed stuff. Interesting what you say about 6x6 it'd def be my first choice but finances might push me towards ETRS
Ok i think ive reached a decision.
Im going to have a look for a cheap bronica SQB or ETRS for a little while (possibly in vain) ideally a SQB with 150mm lens but really something to get me started for around £200/250. I'm not going to break the bank to go MF but it is something that i think will work for me, i have a fixed short lens which i use 90% of the time on my DSLR which ill continue to use for low light candid stuff and also a f2.8 50-150 lens which is handy for portrait stuff with the digi. My thinking is that the MF offers something different, not that 35mm wouldn't but that MF is radically different and i can add to as and when i need to. It will be something I will take a long time to learn to use but ive found somewhere in the UK that processes a roll of 120 for the same price as 35mm although if time permits i will try and develop stuff myself.
If it transpires that my budget won't permit a MF then I will look to get a manual 35mm set up, im sure ill get a huge kick out of any film format but MF has a powerful lure. Thanks for everyone's help and feel free to add more ideas.
Well it's done. Went over budget a bit but £270 posted has got me a bronica SQA with grip, 150mm lens and back. Lets hope it works ok and i can figure out how to use the thing!
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Congrats! The Bronica SQ-A is a fine machine. I've used them before. Main thing is to get the grip which you did. It's a little bit heavier than a pro 35mm SLR, but the quality will surpass. And plus, the square format rocks!! Enjoy!
I have three SQ-As as well as ETRs and GS-1s. I don't think you will find medium format equipment very handy for low light shooting. The Speed Grip works well when you have a prism finder but is awkward to use with a waist level finder. The older 150/3.5 is an S lens. The newer 150/4 is the PS lens. I have the PS. You may want to look for am S-18 extension tube because the 150 Bronica S and PS lenses don't focus very close. The 50/3.5 PS is very nice and the 80/2.8 lenses don't cost very much and are worth having. Without a working battery, the SQ-A will default to the 1/500 shutter speed no matter what you have the camera set for. For this reason it's advisable to always carry a spare.
thanks guys, agreed a prism may follow in time but ill try the WLF and see how i get on. This is not for low light, my digi with a short prime is still going to perform those duties, this is going to be for nice portrait work. i hope.
Congratulations - nice rig.....!!
I have the SQ-B with 40mm, 80mm and 150mm PS lenses and the results are excellent. The 150 lens is great for portraits but, although I'm far from weak or delicate (trust me!) I find using it hand-held a bit of a pain.
For me, MF is about slowing right down and making sure everything's right before hitting the 'go' button. I treat it as a much more 'formal' medium and I also, almost always, use my tripod. As I don't have a metering prism (I don't think you can get one for the SQ-B) I have a WLF and the non-metering prism. I meter with a Minolta IV Flash / Meter.
For my more spontaneous shoots and anything where I feel 35mm is sufficient (don't fancy carrying the Bronnie, lenses and tripod) I have my D700 / F100 kit.
I'm sure you'll love your Bronnie. If you Google 'user manual' for the SQ-A, there's a really good 'official' one from Tamron who, I believe, bought Bronica before stopping production some years ago.
All the best. Paul.
Paul Jenkin (a late developer...)