Looking for first rangefinder, not sure between a 35mm or medium format
I'm going travelling sometime soon and I'm not planning to return home within any short number of years, so I've got some thinking to do about camera choices. I already own a 35mm outfit that I don't use as much as I used to, which I was planning to sell before I left, as well as a Hasselblad 500 system that I am in love with but I can see that hauling it in a small backpack would be troublesome, so I've resigned to having to sell it off before I go.
I love the 6x6 negative and am constantly amazed by the results I get over the 35mm size negative. Are there any Medium format rangefinders (6 x 4.5 , 6 x 6, I assume 6x7 is huge) that are comparable in size to 35mm rangefinders? Are there close focussing issues with rangefinders as there are with Hasselblad lenses without extension tubes?
Would appreciate some advice as it's impossible to try anything out locally, and I wouldn't fancy selling the 500c/m only to purchase a medium format rangefinder that is nearly the same size and weight.
Weight and size are the main issues. Only plan to take 2 or 3 lenses, (thinking in 35mm terms here) #1: 28mm wideangle, #2: 50 standard and perhaps something like a 135mm if I can manage to make the room. I don't want something new and expensive as it will probably be stuffed into a duffel bag or stolen if I do too much tropical acid and join the foreign legion.
The Bronica 645RF system is just a little bigger than a 35mm rangefinder, and is probably just what you're looking for, if you can find one.
The Mamiya 7II is not really that huge--more like a pro 35mm SLR with a motor drive.
Rangefinders in general have close focusing issues. If close focus is important to you, keep your Hassy.
I often carry a Bronica Rf645 with 45, 65, and 100mm lenses (approx. equiv to 28, 40, and 60mm on 35mm camera). It's light weight and compact and the lenses are really fantastic. Be warned, though, that the 100mm is hard to find. But it is possible as I found one. Pries are pretty reasonable, too. You can find a body and 65mm lens for between $600 and $800. The 45mm will set you back about $400. And the 100mm (that I paid $525 for) recently sold for $1,400 at auction.
Not to mention there always bargains to be picked up here and there. A couple of years ago I got an old MF bellows type camera made in post war Germany. It is a Wirgin. It has a 3.5-16 lens (don't have it in front of me, not sure the make), shutter cable attachment, 1/4-28 thread on the bottom, 6x6 format for about $15 US plus s&h and is handy as h e double hockey sticks when I don't feel like lugging my Mamiya around. So there are lots of options both premium and economic.
The bronica 645 really does look like what I want.
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
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Thats exactly what I was trying to get away from, I don't want to pay collectors prices for a camera I will actually use. I guess there is no new market for these as bronica is out of business?
Originally Posted by Robert Budding
Unfortunately, as far as I know, Mamiya is now gone as well since their business was to have been sold in September. I will drop by the Mamiya (MAC) booth on Saturday at Photo Plus to see what they are doing besides importing other lines of equipment. It will be interesting to see what happens with the price of Mamiya equipment under these circumstances.
Originally Posted by rjas
Please give an update - I didn't know Mamiya would be discontinuing operations?
Originally Posted by naturephoto1
Or is it Mamiya USA? Mamiya USA tried to charge a large premium over other countries, which in the age of eBay isn't viable....
B & D
Quiquid Latine dictum sit altum viditur
Here's one question for you: Will you consistently have access to electricity? Or would you rather have a camera that doesn't depend on batteries?
If you go the folder route, you could easily take that, a sackful of film and a selenium meter and not have to worry about running out of battery power just when you least want to.
Many of the folders are relatively light in weight and fold into a compact package. You give up interchangeable lenses, which could be a big issue if you really would like to be able to switch to different focal lengths.
Originally Posted by Bromo33333
Here is the thread that we discussed this situation earlier in the year:
Mamiya was to have sold their photo group and were to go out of the manufacturing of cameras in September.
Here are 2 press releases from Lorenzo from MAC:
Reading the 2nd press release, maybe they will continue to exist after all, but I will again check with MAC at Photo Plus.
Last edited by naturephoto1; 11-01-2006 at 10:34 PM. Click to view previous post history.