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Roger Hicks
10-26-2009, 09:31
Cameras you have to fight with, but still use (or wish you still had) -- and why. A couple to start the ball rolling:

Exakta Varex series: wonderful all-mechanical gadget, and capable (with the right lens) of delivering surprisingly good results. Mine also has a metered prism with a direct-vision finder built in.

Tessina: wish I still had it, despite having to reload the film into special cassettes. I even had the wrist strap for it! Excellent image quality from a 14x21 negative, motor drive, reflex focusing...

Cheers,

R.

f16sunshine
10-26-2009, 09:38
Plaubel Makina II (1937).
Sharp metal edges and hard to hold folder.
With the Roll film holder on your eye can't quite get close enough to the tiny RF window. And it's heavy.

I like the results from the big 6x9 negs. Not exactly sharp but some how has a real character.
That and everyone wants there pic taken with it. A very unique and interesting camera .

thomasw_
10-26-2009, 09:41
Cameras you have to fight with, but still use.....Exakta Varex series: wonderful all-mechanical gadget, and capable (with the right lens) of delivering surprisingly good results. Mine also has a metered prism with a direct-vision finder built in.

I have much the same Exakta Varex; I used it but it I don't use it anymore because of the fight.

Perhaps surprisingly for some here, I find my Rolleiflex f2,8 to be a bit of a fight to use sans tripod. Some I know swear by the ergonomics, but I find my own experiences are mixed....perhaps I just haven't found the sweet spot for it off a tripod. Awesome planar lens though:P Just goes to show that ergonomics are soooo important and, to an extent, personal.

Pickett Wilson
10-26-2009, 09:44
Pentax 67. Wonderful negatives. Too big and heavy. Hate it. But those big negatives! Wow.

Dave Wilkinson
10-26-2009, 09:47
For me it's the Bronica S2A - I had about ten years ago, just could not get on with the entire mechanics of it!. The Nikkor lens produced superb negs, especially when used on tripod, as I suppose it really was meant to be, very nice looking thing, and I occasionally think about having another try with one - I don't like to be beaten!. Incidentally - I wonder if anyone does hand-hold one of these successfully? - I never could!.
Cheers,Dave

Muggins
10-26-2009, 09:47
Argus C3: I can cope with the other non-ergonomic bits, but the one that does for me every time (apart from not being much of a photographer!) is the sodding viewfinder. Anyone who cut granny's head off with a C3 was really, really, trying to. I reckon you get at least 40% extra on your neg over the viewfinder - and it's along the top and down one side.

On the bright side, I have no camera that is not improved by using the Brick first!

Adrian

bmattock
10-26-2009, 09:59
For me it's the Bronica S2A - I had about ten years ago, just could not get on with the entire mechanics of it!. The Nikkor lens produced superb negs, especially when used on tripod, as I suppose it really was meant to be, very nice looking thing, and I occasionally think about having another try with one - I don't like to be beaten!. Incidentally - I wonder if anyone does hand-hold one of these successfully? - I never could!.
Cheers,Dave

Yes, I have - Bronica C, which is the S2A without the removeable back / dark slide.


http://farm1.static.flickr.com/148/400147153_1eeb40ed82.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wigwam/400147153/)

The Bronica is nice, very hand-holdable (I use the L-bracket flash holder to make it easier also, hehehe), but it sounds like a cannon when you take the photo.

Answering Roger's question - I should not have sold my Diax IIb. Oh well.

mabelsound
10-26-2009, 10:01
I bought and sold two Contax G1's. Finally got a G2. It's an improvement. The G1 drove me nuts...but it was so beautiful...and felt so nice. Still, anything for those lenses, esp. the 45 and 90!

D.O'K.
10-26-2009, 10:04
The Super Ikonta B: lovely precision engineering, reassuringly heavy, very comfortable to hold up to the eye, capable of beautiful pictures if used within its limitations.

But with a hugely over-complicated and fussy-to-set frame counter, a focussing wheel well able to tear your finger up, a vague viewfinder...and only 11 shots instead of 12!

Regards,
D.

petronius
10-26-2009, 10:09
My Linhof 220. Big, heavy, a pain in the a** when used in landscape mode, the finder anything but exact; but the sound of the shutter and the 6x7 negatives (and the people´s looks) let me take it out again and again.

oftheherd
10-26-2009, 10:11
Argus C3:
...

On the bright side, I have no camera that is not improved by using the Brick first!

Adrian

LOL. Thanks for that Muggins. I have one I got in a moment ot GAS, but would never try to use it. Maybe now I have discovered a use after all.

Brian Sweeney
10-26-2009, 11:17
Retina IIIS and Reflex-S with the Bottom Wind Lever!

Quality of the lenses is worth the price of admission.

SolaresLarrave
10-26-2009, 11:22
Mamiya C220 TLR beast. The viewfinder and framelines drive me nuts, because I cannot figure them out for the life of me. I considered selling it, and would have done it long ago... but when I remember the slides I got from it and the way people look at it with respect (the few times I've taken it out), I just take it out of its bag and play with it.

It's so bad that I even managed to get some 220 film to burn on it and get it developed in Wally World... but haven't loaded it yet.

sevo
10-26-2009, 11:37
My LF SLRs (of whom I own way too many). They are as heavy as a sports photographers camera bag, big enough to breed Chihuahuas in them, and need to have their shutters fixed every other day. But they can shoot handheld large format with shift and tilt...

kshapero
10-26-2009, 11:44
wow and I though my Nikkormat FTN was a little bulky....

oftheherd
10-26-2009, 12:14
I have much the same Exakta Varex; I used it but it I don't use it anymore because of the fight.

Perhaps surprisingly for some here, I find my Rolleiflex f2,8 to be a bit of a fight to use sans tripod. Some I know swear by the ergonomics, but I find my own experiences are mixed....perhaps I just haven't found the sweet spot for it off a tripod. Awesome planar lens though:P Just goes to show that ergonomics are soooo important and, to an extent, personal.

My problem is I have a Rolleiflex 3.5 that I just can't seem to get myself to use, and yet I can't part with it. :bang:

Chris101
10-26-2009, 12:20
Any view camera is a struggle for me. Just getting it into position takes herculean effort - then to get it set up right! And when you finally do get to make an exposure, the scene changes.

I don't even know why I have two. Well, yes I do, cause they are the only cameras I have that hold large format sheet film, but geez!

pevelg
10-26-2009, 12:30
1. Hasselblad 500cm with Polaroid back. It had a grid screen which was not very bright, hard to see thru in bright light due to reflections, loud "clank" sound for shutter, only a 6x6 portion of Polaroid exposed, no light meter, aperature speed changes with speed change (and vica versa) unless little lever pulled, forgetting to pull dark slide out, forgetting to put dark slide back in, dropping dark slide, changing viewfinders, etc, etc, etc.... But... Man those pictures looked good!!! And those were just Polaroid. I ended up getting rid of it because of my trouble focusing an slr and also due to its large size and loud action. But I still miss it and even look back with fond memories at all the little things I hated about it when using it. Also got a lot of interesting comments at social events.

FrankS
10-26-2009, 12:32
The 'new to me' Mamiya Press super 23 is no treat to use.

nikon_sam
10-26-2009, 13:24
I struggle with my Olympus 35-S Rangefinder...The focus is a bit stiff and I'm not use to the tiny knob for focusing...I'm very slow when using this camera...no action stuff for me...
The results from that 42mm 1.8 G. Zuiko lens makes it worth the trouble...

wray
10-26-2009, 13:29
The 'new to me' Mamiya Press super 23 is no treat to use.
Same for me!

aniMal
10-26-2009, 14:12
I rarely use cameras that I find too cumbersome, but sometimes carrying a bag of Mamiya RX 67 gets awfully heavy... One could say that it is not the easiest camera to work with hand held, but I find it quite nice after getting used to it. Especially when using a remote control, released with my left hand after the mirror has risen.

View cameras are another thing... I have just about started doing 4x5 on a small wooden folder, and that is of course hard work. So far so good, no fouled exposures - thanks to working very systematically and slowly.

But the worst are digital Nikons!!! More than one time there has been some setting that has been wrong, and I have not been able to keep up with the models! Once my D300 froze completely - things like that NEVER happen with a decent, mechanical camera...

The M8 is also not perfect in this matter, but it still wins because it operates just like a film M - with only ISO in need of being changed in the menu.

So, clearly D200/D300 wins on this scale for me!

Tom A
10-26-2009, 14:14
Alpa! Virtually any of the 35mm Alpa's. The early ones had the dimmest finder this side of a politicians memory. The later ones were reasonably bright - but still ergonomical disasters! Great lenses though - which was why I had them.
Linhof Technica - trying to change focusing cams without loosing fingertips. The much lauded Deardorf - wood is not a stable compound!!! Trying to pull the front standard out and having it stick - or even worse - trying to fold the damn thing up and have it stick!!!

mark-b
10-26-2009, 14:26
I miss my Pentacon 6 TL all-mechanical evil slr with pentaprism finder. It was so big, muggers kept a fair distance from me, because they thought I was carrying around an armored tank. It had a frame overlap problem that you remedy by keeping the shutter pressed down while you advance-and-cocked the shutter. That was really awkward, especially while hand-holding the camera. I didn't mind the weight, since at that time, I was also a gym rat. If I can find another one that has the overlapping issue fixed, I'd start saving up.

Bob Ross
10-26-2009, 17:40
The quirky Kodak Tank is my love/hate object. This is the one that I have now, a Medalist I. It and its original owner spent WWII in the Aleutian Islands on an Army Airforce bomber base. I also had a Medalist II that I sold to a Bail Bond Agent who wanted to intimidate his clients:D
74346
Bob

Trius
10-26-2009, 17:46
Tower 51, aka Iloca Rapid. The viewfinder is dim but the patch is quite contrasty and useable, at least on mine. The film counter on mine doesn't work, and the film advance keeps going AWOL. But oh, the Steinheil Cassar 50/2.8, despite flare!

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/49/181040664_51e39418e3.jpg

Java Joe's, Rochester Public Market

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/25/90877880_f25bec4c7f_o.jpg

Two Oly 35SP, shot on Tower 51.

Bob Ross
10-26-2009, 17:48
For me it's the Bronica S2A - I had about ten years ago, just could not get on with the entire mechanics of it!. The Nikkor lens produced superb negs, especially when used on tripod, as I suppose it really was meant to be, very nice looking thing, and I occasionally think about having another try with one - I don't like to be beaten!. Incidentally - I wonder if anyone does hand-hold one of these successfully? - I never could!.
Cheers,Dave

Hi Dave,
Out of the archives here is the kid and his S2 in the early 70s somewhere on the California coast, taken with an Olympus 35RC, if I remember correctly. I traded it for an M5, but missed it enought to get an ECTL, which I still have in the collection. As you can see I was caught in the hand holding mode.
Bob
74348

Trius
10-26-2009, 17:53
Tower 51, aka Iloca Rapid. The viewfinder is dim but the patch is quite contrasty and useable, at least on mine. The film counter on mine doesn't work, and the film advance keeps going AWOL. But oh, the Steinheil Cassar 50/2.8, despite flare!

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/49/181040664_51e39418e3.jpg

Java Joe's, Rochester Public Market

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/25/90877880_f25bec4c7f_o.jpg

Two Oly 35SP, shot on Tower 51.

Trius
10-26-2009, 17:55
My Crown Graphics...after shooting Leicas I wonder why I bother with the big cameras, until I develop the negatives....

Ain't it the truth? I'm fortunate in that the Toyo 45A is easy to set up and get the shot. Not as fast an RF, but for its purpose, it's fast.

Bob Ross
10-26-2009, 18:07
But the worst are digital Nikons!!! More than one time there has been some setting that has been wrong, and I have not been able to keep up with the models! Once my D300 froze completely - things like that NEVER happen with a decent, mechanical camera...



Of my digital cameras, the Coolpix 5000 which has controls specifically designed for the multi armed Hindu God Visnu makes any DSLR feel good. Nice size though and vesitile, if you can take time to control it.
Bob
74350

Roger Hicks
10-27-2009, 04:20
What intrigues me about many of the responses are that they concern Great Cameras, the sort of thing some people dream of owning without ever considering that they may have drawbacks.

Another thought: a Hasselblad with an 80mm is great. Put anything else on and it's suddenly nothing like as well balanced.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Vadim
10-27-2009, 05:29
My Kiev 60 fills the gap between too many 35mm cameras and the Mamyia Rb and Speed Graphic I preferably use at the moment. It is extremely unelegant, super loud and the the mirror shakes like an earthquake.

But it mounts the Sonnar 180/2.8, a dream lens (not for every situation, flares like hell). But boy, this combo is huge! The CZ 80mm is not bad either and this combo then almost a walk-around camera. But every time I use it I swear saving some cash for a Hasselblad (I just love Zeiss lenses). Because of it being that crude tank...

starvingjack
10-27-2009, 06:32
For me, the fuji ga645 series.
its a love/hate affair.

Its' VF is vertically orientated, does cause confusion.
It's autofocus, can't tell if it is in focus as its a rf.

but man, it gives me great negs.

Bike Tourist
10-27-2009, 08:25
Exakta Varex series: wonderful all-mechanical gadget, and capable (with the right lens) of delivering surprisingly good results. Mine also has a metered prism with a direct-vision finder built in.

Don't forget its most exciting feature — the trend-setting, avant guard, never-to-be-duplicated, all-time great innovation: The film knife!

anglophone1
10-28-2009, 13:40
Graflex XLSW , this is my "superwide lens" for 6x9, I use a Fuji GW & GSW for the rest , which are huge but leicalike, so OK.
Its a bugger to use, but 47mm on 6x9 gives geat negs.
Actually my Razzle 5x4 is just as bad, but even better!
Clive

dee
10-28-2009, 14:59
Leica Digilux 3 - squinty viewfinder , boxy , won't focus , enormous lense .
Iffy resolution ... but I like the images .
Love the trad controls ... and using my Rokkors ...
Loading a Rollei B 35 - never did get the hang of it .

bindie
10-28-2009, 15:03
Zorki 4K - it took the skin of your fingers when rewinding, but I miss it and want one again.

Ricoh 500RF and Olympus XA - for the life of me I have no idea what happened to them; if I sold them then more fool me as I have bought back the XA and am looking for a Ricoh.

sepiareverb
10-28-2009, 15:18
My 620 Brownie Hawkeye. When it works I love it. The rest of the time I hate it.

dee
10-30-2009, 08:27
Honestly ? The Prima Donna Contax III with heavy Crown in the clouds when a Kiev IV does it all so easily LOL ... but she will not be dee'nied !
Will the forced marriage twix Contax Queen III and rash Kiev IV newcomer head , cast a shadow over her crown ?

hans voralberg
10-30-2009, 08:45
For me it's the Bronica S2A - I had about ten years ago, just could not get on with the entire mechanics of it!. The Nikkor lens produced superb negs, especially when used on tripod, as I suppose it really was meant to be, very nice looking thing, and I occasionally think about having another try with one - I don't like to be beaten!. Incidentally - I wonder if anyone does hand-hold one of these successfully? - I never could!.
Cheers,Dave

I do, although it's the EC, but they're quite similar. I love hand holding one actually, feel very pleasant to me, though it's a little heavy.

My love/hate relationship is the Mamiya 7, fantastic lens, great negs, just couldn't get on with holding the massive camera in front of my face.

leica M2 fan
10-30-2009, 09:35
I've had a loving relationship with the Exakta camera since 1956 and recently found a great Steinheil 35 mm lens that is perfect for it. What a great combo. It is a great go to camera for me anytime. I take several readings on a shoot and shoot away till I'm done with the roll. I am always amazed at the results I get. I really don't have any cameras that i can't get on with except maybe way back in high school trying to use the Argus C3.

Jason808
11-01-2009, 06:16
Not a camera, but mine is the Norman 200b flash unit. The battery pack is a heavy hunk of metal to throw over one's shoulder (I can't wear it on my waist without it dropping my pants). And, I often use it with the 8-inch tele reflector that doubles as a sail if the wind is over 10 miles an hour.

But there's something to be said for "instant sun."

Roger Hicks
11-01-2009, 08:35
Flash? Strobe Equipment 5000 pack with an SWP. HUGE and potentially deadly: that was the big flash when I was an assistant. And yet I'd still like one...

Cheers,

R.

Vince Lupo
12-06-2009, 00:25
It would have to be Exaktas, definitely. I've been using them since I was 12, and once you find a good one, they can deliver beautiful imagery (plus, it's a great camera for us 'lefties'). That said, the most difficult thing is finding a good example of an Exakta - usually the shutters are all messed up in one way or another. Fortunately, I have two really good Exakta VX Version 1's, a great Exakta II Version 1, and a couple of nice Kine Exakta Version 4's that will hopefully be nice very soon. I've also learned to stay away from certain models - like the VX1000.

The other great thing about these cameras is the variety and quality of lenses available. Zeiss, Steinheil, Schneider, Angenieux, Meyer -- all fantastic quality.

A couple of years ago, my wife and I had the good fortune to visit Dresden. It was a great feeling to bring my Exakta II there and take photos!

Chris101
12-06-2009, 23:08
I knw I answered already and complined about the difficulty of shooting 4x5. Well, I've gotten lazier in the last couple of months, and now I will complain about my meterless Leica. An M4-P to be exact. I hatespending the time metering, especially when my shot is raidly deteriorating. So often I just shoot, making up some combination of f-stop and shutter speed as I aim, then focussing if I think about it, and finally pushing the button.

Man! I've analysed the last dozen rolls I've shot and I am barely hitting a quarter of my shots as far as printable/keeper status goes. When I meter, I often get an entire roll of good ones. so I'm a bit discouraged right now.

I hae entered a competitive shoot-off, and am using a metered slr body because I want to enter the contact sheet.

ps, I have a Gossen Luna Pro, but I want something smaller and more convenient. I'm considering the Gossen digisix, a couple of small sekonics, and a CV meter.

Any suggestions?

GoneSavage
12-06-2009, 23:24
Definitely my first film camera (don't laugh) the Lomo LC-A. I picked one up that was made the same year as me, and haven't been the same since. Though now, I'm lucky if I can get through a roll without it chewing the film... poor thing.

Anyone know a place that will service them?

sevo
12-07-2009, 00:14
ps, I have a Gossen Luna Pro, but I want something smaller and more convenient. I'm considering the Gossen digisix, a couple of small sekonics, and a CV meter.

Any suggestions?

Not that easy, all the tiny meters have their flaws. The Digisix is spot on incident and reflected, but I find it almost unusable with its clumsy EV readout and manual transfer to the smallest and least visible of its scales - not suitable for people with glasses...

The CV meter is more comfortable but can't do incident, lacks tactile directional cues which makes it a puzzler when used off camera (I never knew whether it was pointing forward without looking at it), and its short value hold period is a bit of a pain on a meter with such a relatively loose wheel.

And the Seconic Twinmate, while easily the best small incident meter, has a highly random readout on reflected metering of high-contrast sceneries - lights or even sky may set it off by three or more stops. Use incident or at close distance with a grey card...

Vince Lupo
12-07-2009, 03:37
I knw I answered already and complined about the difficulty of shooting 4x5. Well, I've gotten lazier in the last couple of months, and now I will complain about my meterless Leica. An M4-P to be exact. I hatespending the time metering, especially when my shot is raidly deteriorating. So often I just shoot, making up some combination of f-stop and shutter speed as I aim, then focussing if I think about it, and finally pushing the button.

Man! I've analysed the last dozen rolls I've shot and I am barely hitting a quarter of my shots as far as printable/keeper status goes. When I meter, I often get an entire roll of good ones. so I'm a bit discouraged right now.

I hae entered a competitive shoot-off, and am using a metered slr body because I want to enter the contact sheet.

ps, I have a Gossen Luna Pro, but I want something smaller and more convenient. I'm considering the Gossen digisix, a couple of small sekonics, and a CV meter.

Any suggestions?

What about an MR-4 meter? That would sit atop your camera body, and you can make relatively quick readings with that. Use one reading as your base, then as you move from there to a brighter or darker lighting situation, adjust accordingly. Just bring up your 90mm frame finder, push the button on the side of the meter, read it, set it, go.

Another suggestion might be to just train yourself to remember lighting situations better. When I'm shooting film, it's usually 400 speed (whether colour or b+w), and just from using it for so many years, have gotten to know within about 1/2 stop what the exposure should be for a given situation. I'm sure you've probably been shooting for a long time too, but perhaps (if you haven't already done so) just stick to using one particular film. It will probably come to you quicker than you think. And I don't think it's necessarily something that someone can train you to do - probably about as easy as trying to teach someone how to colour balance!

dee
12-07-2009, 04:57
The little Zenit 1 or S - all the disdvantages of a Leica II , plus really awkward focusing / slow non auto lenses , non instant return mirror - progress ? But it has something .

Probably my awaited Praktina , 1950s beast , but it may turn out OK to use .

Tom A
12-08-2009, 12:46
I have two (dont ask why) Voigtlander Prominent's, one with the Nokton 50f1.5 and the other with a Color Skopar 50f3.5.
The cameras are heavy, really heavy. the focus is weird (to put it mildly) - the action is slow and the advance is rather stiff! In short a good candidate for ergonomic disasters. However the lenses, in particular the 50f1.5 are gorgeous picture makers.
I have solved the problem, through the help of Stephen at CQ, by getting the somewhat elusive (though still in stock!) adapter from Prominent to Nikon Rf ,and with an Orion style adapter and a screw to M adapter. it can also be used with a MP!!!! Now. what to do with two Prominents without lenses? Oh well, more paperweights.

Andy Kibber
12-08-2009, 12:59
Definitely my first film camera (don't laugh) the Lomo LC-A. I picked one up that was made the same year as me, and haven't been the same since. Though now, I'm lucky if I can get through a roll without it chewing the film... poor thing.

Anyone know a place that will service them?

I've had good luck with LeZot Camera Repair in Vermont:

http://www.lezot.com/servlet/StoreFront

I've had a lot of fun with my LC-A, but they are finicky little things!

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/55/185447175_9e780cef8c.jpg

Dralowid
12-08-2009, 17:40
I enjoy my Contax I despite the damage winding on does to my fingers and the unceratanty of the frame spacing on the film.. It has become my peverse pleasure and the Visoflex kit has been relegated to a box.

When my enthusiasm for the Contax wanes I may consider moving to a Super Nettel which is almost functional. On this camera there is virtually no second image in the rangefinder and inside the Tessar looks truly unpleasant...but I am sure some misty image will be produced.

Brian Sweeney
12-18-2009, 18:19
My Nikon Digital Camera.

http://ziforums.com/picture.php?albumid=118&pictureid=1759

Heavier than the F2+MD-1+MB-1+DS-1

But the Battery Pack holds a charge after 11 years.

gavinlg
12-18-2009, 18:50
Pentax 67. Wonderful negatives. Too big and heavy. Hate it. But those big negatives! Wow.


Really? I love mine. I complain about the weight of my 5d and 35L but for some reason I actually enjoy the weight of the heavier pentax.