Quote Originally Posted by elekm View Post
First, I would figure out a budget.

You want reliability, so ask about certain makes, such as Kowa. Mamiya made a 645 SLR system that should be available at a decent price, but you'll want to check to see if the camera will need to be serviced.

A TLR is a nice introduction to medium format, although prices for Rolleiflexes and Rollecords are high at the moment.

A folding camera is the budget way to go. Some like the cameras with triplets and lower-cost lenses, and they seem to be a good option, although you should shoot these at f/8 and smaller for the best results.

Prices for folding camera can run from $10 to $500 or more. The Zeiss Ikon Ikonta 6x6 camera with a Novar or Tessar is a nice place to start. The Novar is the budget lens, and the Tessar is the premium lens. These will run you about C$15 to C$150.

It's not unusual for one or all of these cameras to need service. After all, these will be anywhere from 50 to 80 years old or more, and anything mechanical should be serviced.
A folding Ikonta or a folding Zeiss Nettar is an excellent place to start. If you look on the big auction the Nettars seem to be a little more abundant. I've had Tessar(Ikonta) and Novar(Nettars) lenses both and you can't go wrong with either. If you want cheap, but good look for the Nettar with the 75mm f6.3 Novar lens. I have two Nettars, one with the 75mm f6.3 and the other with a 75mm f4.5, both Novar lenses. If you stop down to f8 you won't know the difference between the Tessar or Novar. Actually the plus to the Novar is the fact that if you have a f4.5 or f3.5 version you have a sweet portrait shutter wide open. You can find coated or none coated versions of each lens. I have a nice uncoated Tessar in my Ikonta and for some shots it is just what the doctor ordered, but my favorite all-a-rounder is the Nettar 521/16 with a coated 75mm f4.5 Novar. These are KISS cameras and won't where your brain out trying to take pictures. I'd say buy something like I just suggested to get your feet wet and if you like roll film shooting, which I'm sure you will, then jump in with both feet and upgrade. I thing the cheapest your going to be able to buy with interchangeable lenses is something in the Mamiya twin lens field. A good C33, C330 or C220 are really great cameras at a very fair price. Another cheap one is the Koni Omega Rapid series. 6x7 format with some of the very best lenses I have ever used. If you are looking at a nicer, more expensive outfit then do what was suggested above and that's go to KEH's web site. Oh, and don't be afraid of something marked "BGN" on KEH's site, because most of the time it would be considered the same as excellent off eBay. If you get things narrowed down you can just post another question. Something like "Which one of these should I get"? I'm sure you'll get a bunch of help on that one also. Good luck! JohnW