Finding The Right Gear
I was hoping I could get an opinion or five.
I'm looking for the right camera. Not the best camera, not the coolest camera, the right one for me. Since you collectively have used/experienced a lot more of them than I have, I'm hoping your experience can be my sage counsel.
Here are the parameters about my life and art that are the fenceposts:
- In the quality/convenience/price tug of war, I can leave convenience behind. Quality is king here. But I'm not made of money.
- I don't shoot sports, kids, action. I mostly shoot urban irony (think Erwitt or Parr, with less talent) in the street or figures in a studio.
- Autofocus is fine, but not necessary as long as I can get a split-image screen.
- I can process b/w or c-41 rollfilm. Sheet film has to go to the lab. I can print either one.
- I bump things around a bit. Anything really fragile or tempermental will be in the shop a lot.
- Ill be carrying this everywhere with me.
- I have a lovely hand meter and I'm not afraid to use it. Nor am I afraid to use in-camera metering.
- I wetprint my b/w, I send color to WHCC for lightjet c-printing.
- I'd prefer something more simple than complex. Less for me to forget that way.
- I definitely need something that can still be repaired. See above.
- I like fine grain slow film so having a 1/1billion shutter speed isn't important.
- Sharpness is very important. Ease of focus + sharp lens would be perfect.
- Big neg is better than small.
Hopefully I'm not asking for something that's just all over the place and doesn't exist.
Thanks in advance
Since you mentioned neg size, Pentax 645 - the newest one you can afford. In 35mm, the Nikon F3 hp is hard to beat although I love my OM2n.
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Yeah, for 35 you have your basics, Nikon F's, Minolta X's, Canon A's and Pentax K's. For MF, you could score and old German folder like a Wirgin Deluxe cheap and still have a modicum of control (f5.6 to f22 and 1/150 through B). Small viewfinder, hence no split screen, though.
Interchangeble lenses ?
6x4,5, 6x6 or 6x7 ?
The cheaper ones:
6x6: the Rollei's: the Cord's are good, not so expensive and repairable, the Flex's even better, but more expensive
Mamiya C 220/330 if you want more than one lens on your camera
6x7: the beast, the RB67, or a bit lighter and more expensive the Pentax 6x7
You have to be careful bumping it around ... the things you bump are likely to crack and dent.
I was thinking Hasselblad too. Sharp lenses, and ok for carrying around as long as you don't have more than a couple of lenses with you - Zeiss glass & metal is not light!
I think you're a good candidate for a press camera. If you can develope your own B/W now, then all you need is a drum and roller to develope sheet film. Just think, instead of having to wait to finish a roll of film so that it can be developed, you can take that one shot, develope it, and get right down to the business of printing. Of course you can always get a roll film adapter if you're so inclined. Something to consider.
Leica M2 with 35mm lens.