Affordable MF with WLF plus General MF Questions
Hello, this is my first post here (I'll try and make an introduction soon) and I have a few questions. I'm not sure if this was the best forum either, as it could work in the Street photography forum as well. Sorry if this is the wrong subforum.
Anyways, pretty soon I am hoping to start saving up for a medium format SLR or TLR. I wouldn't want to spend more than $250, and I'd want it in good condition (i.e. not something that would break easily or shortly and not something that needs repairs). A waist level finder (WLF) is also key, as it would be almost exclusively be for street photography (I have other cameras for other things). It is key because I've had issues taking peoples photos with 35mm (and digital) because the camera goes up to my eye and because I don't shoot with a telephoto, it is pretty obvious what I'm doing. I think a WLF would go a long way because most people wouldn't even realize that I'm taking their picture. That way, I could also feel more comfortable and get in closer for better candids. Initially, I thought of just getting a 35mm SLR with optional WLF, but I've heard the image projected is a bit small and the options are more limited (eg. metering). But please, correct me if I'm wrong.
With that, I've narrowed it down to the Bronica SQ-B, Mamiya RB67, and Yashica Mat 124G. What I am asking is if these would be good cameras for street photography as well as if you have any other suggestions (keep in mind budget and other prerequisites)? I am not interested in buying through eBay, and I have mostly been looking at KEH, Adorama, B&H, Kerrisdale, Henry's, as well as local shops. I've heard the Mamiya might be a little bit big to lug around. I want something that is portable and that isn't going to hurt me from constantly carrying a heavy weight. As an aside, the Yashica Mats I've seen are out of my price range ($300 and up) but I've read that if you look good you can find one for about $200 in good condition.
Also I have some more general questions about medium format. What do you guys do for a light meter? The three cameras as far as I've read, do not have built in light meters (wait...the Yashica might, I can't remember). I don't want to carry around a digital or 35mm as a light meter, so I'm wondering about handheld light meters. Are they reliable? Are they cheap? What are good brands? Would it seem strange and awkward to use on the street? Also, I'm completely an autofocus guy (though my FG should be coming soon, which should be fun to learn) so do you have any tips or techniques for a newbie at full manual focus (I did have a period years ago where I used autofocus cameras completely manual, but I wasn't doing much street then)? I would assume with a MF WLF camera I could take my time focusing on a person or other subject as they wouldn't notice what I am doing. I've also read about pre-focusing and just waiting for a subject to come into full focus and then snapping away. This may be a silly question to you regular 120 and 220 users, but does the film loading, advancement and rewinding work the same as a manual rewind 35mm or (perhaps less likely) an autorewind 35mm?
Thanks a bunch in advance!