Cheap/reasonably priced MF RF?
I fairly recently got into the SLR world with a Mamiya RB67. Wonderful camera, but I've realized it just isn't as portable as I would like it to be.
So expecting these cameras to be a bit cheaper or at least the same price as SLRs, I was very let down, at least by the quick searches i did on eBay. Prices seem at least doubled compared to the RB67.
Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
The RB67 is super cheap because of its size and weight. Try a 645 SLR if you're looking to save money and weight. The Fuji autofocus 645s are relatively cheap as well (compared to a Mamiya 6/7 or Bronica RF645).
Fuji has made a number of manual focus rangefinders: 6x4.5, 6x7, 6x8, and 6x9. Most do not have interchangeable lenses, but they are good value for money.
In a thread titled Talk me out of it!, subscriber Chrismat hints that there may soon be a camera good for what you are looking for in the classifieds For Sale sub-forum...
I personally use vintage 6x9 folders for family vacation snapshots and find they deliver a unique look with only slight drawbacks such as dust and flare.
Originally Posted by Chrismat
If you mean "really cheap" MF rangefinder (that is with a coupled telemeter), and "really portable", this points to Moskva folders, that are copies of Zeiss prewar SuperIkontas, and are "less valued" but not "less good" : I have a Moskva V in perfect condition, with a 3,5/105mm lens and payed it $50. Of course, it has all the drawbacks of the SuperIkonta (especially a very uncomfortable viewfinder), but I use it a lot because of its huge and crisp negs and its "pocketability".
Last edited by polka; 08-14-2011 at 03:55 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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Consider a folder
If you are willing to consider a folder, you can find something affordable. Models with coupled rangefinders often have "Super" in their names, like Super Ikonta. You're not going to get a built in meter, but I prefer to use a hand held meter for my fun photos anyway. Beware of the auction site for folders, most have problems. Buying a working camera from a user on this site is probably safer. You can also buy a professionally restored folder from Certo6.com
I bought a real nice Moskva 5 from him.
Thanks for all the great advice. I was hoping to not get a folder though.
The Fujis does seem to be the cheapest, although I'll still have to drop at least £250-300 for one. I guess that does seem to be the best price out there for a non-folding MF RF.
Originally Posted by pbryld
Prices for used equipment don't always follow the cost of production, but rather supply and demand. Lot's of used RBs out there; they were heavily used for studio and wedding work - now replaced by digital. Same thing with many other MF SLRs.
On the other hand, MF rangefinders were always a relatively low volume specialty items (except back in the day of the roll film folder).
"Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer
i asked a similar question a few weeks ago
while it isn't a folder, a KO seemed to be a great choice ...
and while i didn't get one, i probably will before the sun sets ...
good luck !
As said before, folding cameras will probably do the trick.
For portable, good quality MF there's the Mamiya 6 and 7, but these are still quite expensive, but there's a whole lot of good folders out there from brands such as Voigtlander, Kodak, Agfa and Zeiss.
Because of the Voigtlander Bessa III, I've seen people asking ridicuolously high prices for Bessa I and II, they're not worth that much compared to the fact that they sell the Perkeo models (also Voigtlander) for something around 50-100 dollars (maybe even cheaper if you get an extra good deal). Another good thing about folders is that they're sometimes available at flea markets and second hand stores, unlike Hasselblads and Mamiyas that are usually sold directly by their previous owners (at least that's my experience up here in Norway/Sweden).