Thanks everyone. You are all incredibly well informed on the subject, and this is a great introduction to the general atmosphere of APUG forums. I've decided to see if I can get my hands on some that you've mentioned, see if the weight/feel is really an issue, and to familiarize myself with TLRs in general. If I can't, I'll likely just get the C330 and enjoy.
I'll definitely by frequenting this forum often!
I'm an old man so please take this from a grizzly old guy who has been around the block a couple of times. I just read your post as to you already having a very decent mf camera and your income level. Not sure of your situation but, given these 2 facts is it advisable to start investing in a 2nd system? A camera system can be like getting married, the price of admission may be the least expensive part of the deal. The Yashicamat and most 3.5 Rolleis use Bay I filter systems. This size is more plentiful and less expensive than the II and III but, even a lens hood is not cheap and filters unless you get a series adaptor such as that which is in the classifieds (not mine) also carry sticker shock.
Other than the larger 6x6 format, the tlr will not do much that the 645 will not except have a potentially lower view as you look down vs through the finder but, they make knees for a reason.
Years, well decades ago, I was into multiple systems and trying to build several systems and soon learned the lesson and retreated to a single main system that I built up; a mf with a 35mm back so I did not even need a mf and 35mm system. In the long run I saved a bundle and never missed having multiple systems. Today, I do have a couple but, each was acquired at a time when I could afford my Jag and Volvos and did not dig deep for the accessories but over some 30 years dug through the trash bins of photo stores; most of which either no longer bother putting the stuff out for sale or finally realized the stuff was worth gold.
With your level of income, if your current kit is complete, then I'd look for film, darkroom systems, meter, etc. and expand rather than duplicate.
Sorry, if I sound like a father but I've seen too many persons go too far into debt and done too many bankruptcies for them to make a recommendation and then when learning more facts, keeping quiet.
You may want to consider a Mamiya C220. Pretty much the same camera as the C330, but about one pound lighter.
Don't forget the Mamiya C220. Same interchangeable lenses with less cost and less weight than the C330.
reply to BrianL
Very good points. I'm a senior in highschool, so I've got the good fortune to not have any monetary responsibilities. I work weekends purely to support my photography, so any money I spend is going to be spent on this or other photographic interests.
That being said, I really do see your point. The reason I want a TLR is because I want to figure out what works for me and what doesn't; I haven't had the experience with all different cameras or systems, so I don't know what would best fit the way I make and process photographs. I'm currently trying out different films, setting up a darkroom at school, and preparing to create my own prints.
Granted, I have a bit of gear junkie in me. The look and style of TLRs is incredibly cool, if only as a conversation piece, and I understand that's part of the reason I want it (and maybe not the best reason). The 6x6 format also intrigues me. If I could somehow borrow a C330 for a week or two, I would jump on the opportunity. At worst I'll buy it, not like it and sell it for the same or a slight loss.
The fatherly advice is still greatly appreciated. I may consider instead spending the money on film and enlarger parts (I need a 6x4.5 neg carrier and a 75mm lens if I'm going to make prints from the M645).
Oh boy, EKDobbs, you're gong to love this: Look, kid, I spent the first six years of photographing, meaning from 14 to 20, with a 35mm SLR and a 50mm lens. Period, that was it. Won awards, was published, did pretty well thank you. Until you have a specific reason for a piece of equipment- meaning a client or a project demands it- focus on prints, on results. I assume that you are scanning? Make prints of the scans, any way you can.
You want to try 6x6? Mask your 645 viewfinder- simple pieces of cardboard on each side. That will tell you 80% of what you need to know about the square format. You are young, so your eyes are good and you'll be able to see the 4.5 x 4.5 screen pretty well.
Take that Mamiya 645 and drive it into the ground. Work that thing every which way you can. Do portraits, landscapes, interiors, sidewalks, everything. Make prints one way or another. Put them on the wall, pin them up. Use a hunk of the garage wall if that is all, basement wall. Look at what you are doing. LOOK!!! And look at other people's work. At museums and books, not Flickr. Look at videos and films, see how they make a shot work. Magazines. Go to the local library and ask if they have any photo archive materials. See what got saved, see if they are of interest, try to understand why and why not.
Here, look at this series. Looks to me to be two lenses- 'normal', about 75mm for your Mamiya, and 'wide', about 50mm. It's got it all- landscapes, interiors, space, not bad for some guy shooting one film, one body, a couple of lenses. Buy the medium-wide lens foro yur Mamiya first, and then you could do what this guy did-
Or this guy, again very limited equipment-
Or this guy, maybe two lenses, all 35mm-
Or this gal, one lens-
Wait until you have no choice but use another camera. Until then, focus on shooting and looking at your own work and other people's work. Beg or borrow other equipment. And save your money for travel with one camera rather than staying home with ten cameras. There's always time to get another camera, but there isn't always time to be be in your late teens exploring the world in all its richness.
Advice taken. After some deliberation, I think I'll save the C330 for bringing me out of a midlife crisis. (I'm not much of one for fast cars.)
As for prints, I'm lucky enough that I don't have to deal with the hell that is digital scanning, as I just re-opened my school's old darkroom. Enlarger, chemicals, 125 sheets of MGIV, I'm ready to roll.
Great Advice. I bought a C330, Nikon N80, Canonet QL17 and 2 Minolta XD11 a while back. Bought lenses ranging from 28mm to 80mm. At the end of the day, I've been using the XD11 with 35mm lens. It suits my genre of photography---documentary. The rest of the gear have been in the cabinet for the past few months.
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel
Agreed, I love my C220f.
Originally Posted by BobD
Another point to consider. If you already shoot 6 X 4.5 and print 8X10, unless you print square format, 8X8 or 10X10 you dont really gain a larger negative as need to crop a 6X6 for a 8X10. The money spent on a TLR can be directed towards lens, back, motor drive or even a 2nd body.