Overwhelmed with choices for a first MF system.
Hey guys! This will be my first post, so don't haze me too badly. (:
So, I'm looking to get into medium format photography, but I want to do it on my own terms. I'm looking for a camera that: is entirely mechanical (no electronic shutter control), is built like a tank, has a bright viewfinder, has a nice selection of reasonably cheap lenses, and shoots something like a 35mm SLR would. The Kiev 60 and Pentacon Six would fit the bill perfectly if they weren't infamous for breaking. The ARAX branded/modified Kiev 60 seems right up my alley, though. A one year warranty, $36 CLAs after that… is there any reason not to buy these beside camera gear snobbery? I haven't seen many people on forums (and not just this one) have problems with the ARAX-branded Kievs, no more than I've seen people have problems with old Hasselblads. More than anything else, I see people say, "The ARAX didn't get much use, so I sold it."
I've thought about lots and lots of other cameras. The older Bronicas and the Mamiya RB, RZ, and C330s seem awesome too, but I just don't know about box-shaped modular cameras—especially for shooting in a photojournalist style. There's something about the way they fit in the hands, the process, etc., that I'm not sure of. They seem more tripod bound than anything else. If that's silly, tell me and I'll reconsider. I'm looking for simplicity as well, and I don't think I'd want to fool around with multiple backs. The original Pentax 6x7s with MLU seem great, but I hear they don't work without their batteries (or film) and I hate that. I shoot on a Pentax MX, and I learned on a Nikon FM3a—it's nice to be able to shoot with or without a battery. I've even thought about the pocket folders from Jurgen at Certo6.com, but I'd rather have some resemblance of a lens system.
It's all so overwhelming. Any ideas? Am I missing any cameras?