if someone tries to sell you on a Kiev 88 system run, don't walk, to the nearest exit. If they are willing to give it to you for free, take it and use it as a doorstop.
ditto on Rolleiflex/rolleicord recommendation for a beginner -- wonderful quality, amazing optics, light and versitile. Have it serviced at Essex Camera Repair or somewhere similar and you're set for a decade, at least.
the really nice things about a rolleicord are that they are cheap -- $100 or so -- high quality optics which is all that counts, reliable, and fairly light and portable -- I carry one around in an old swiss gas mask bag. Larger cameras with extra finders and lenses will be a burden to haul around, making you rationalize not taking them and ended up not being used.
so my suggestion: Go light and simple. A rolleicord or even yashica, the Zeiss super ikonta B models are good. If you just want to experiment with the film size without major investment, hell, go for a Holga. You could do worse.
Last edited by summicron1; 09-10-2012 at 10:05 AM. Click to view previous post history.