Try an Autocord. They're economical and the lenses are very good. However, my favorite 6x6 camera is an older Rolleicord w/ a Triotar lens. Try to find a later one w/ a shutter that goes to 1/500. You'll have to replace the mirror and focus screenm which is cheap, and get a yellow filter and a hood, but those cameras are small, light and make wonderful images, especially portraits. Great lens even if it is a 3 element. Very sharp in the center, beautiful bokeh. You could get 2 or 3 for your price point, so get one and buy a ton of Tri-X :}
Mamiya C330 with waist-level finder and a 65mm or 80mm lens (black) - from KEH will get you under your target price.
Mine has been serving me well since I bought it from store stock in or about 1976.
What are you making up for here exactly? Are you short or something? Bad job maybe? Didn't make it where you felt you should?
Originally Posted by Mustafa Umut Sarac
In any case, don't sweat it... I won't judge you for having judged me. It's just not in my nature.
Oh, and ironically... I do work for Nat Geo. How about them apples?
To the rest of you, thanks so much for the help. With my 35mm negs, I both scan them for web use and use my Focomat IC (35mm only enlarger) to make prints. I take photos for both work and pleasure. The work stuff is mostly with the M9 and sometimes with scanned negs. The pleasure stuff is mostly film these days. I figured if I really liked working with the 6x6 neg, I'd sell the IC and get a more flexible enlarger.
I think the 500C is probably what I really want, but I just don't have the budget for it right now. From what I can tell, it takes $1000 to get into a decent kit and start taking photos.
I will check those out for sure. Thanks!
Originally Posted by MattKing
You are the only person who can say which camera would suit yourself. I would not deem to suggest the best hound dog or spouse for somebody else. All the cameras mentioned are fine. You need to rent/borrow/beg some cameras and try them out. I worked for a publisher that provided all of their photogs with a 'Blad, three lenses and two film backs. Nice camera but limited. Lousy for fast shooting. Fine lenses but $$$$$. Not very robust when used in the field. A hothouse (studio) camera IMO.
Everybody needs a 6x6. Personally, I'm a fan of TLRs, but there do seem to be people who don't like them---I think mostly because of the reversal in the WLF, or the inconvenience of long-lens arrangements. As plenty of other people have pointed out, you can try out a decent one in the Rolleicord or Autocord class fairly cheaply, but it isn't all *that* expensive---though over your current budget---to get into a Rolleiflex, which will stand up to any MF system on the planet for image quality.
It basically confines you to a normal lens, and you probably already know whether that would be acceptable or not. To my taste it's a feature.
If you ignore everything else only the Mamiyas and Autocords (a few of the backs and old folders) have straight run film paths.
So a contorted path camera is ok in a warm studio where you are loading, shooting and reloading or you will have to dump the wrinkled frame.
More critical with lens wide open... than at Medium apertures.
I'm very much a one camera, one lens sort of guy. In fact, I only own two lenses... A 35mm lux and a 90mm el marit. The 35 is mounted 95% of the time... So maybe a TLR is something I should look at.
I assume the the folders from the 1950s are pretty far behind the standards of most?
I was actually very impressed with my Agfa Isolette. More impressed when you factor in what I paid-- $45.
Originally Posted by RyanC
Scale focusing is kind of a pain. The Super Isolette or Ansco Super Speededx have rangefinder focusing, and a slightly nicer lens. They go for a decent chunk of change more, though.
The Agfa Isolette was enough for me to realize I didn't want squares all the time, but gave me some awesome images in the meantime.