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120 / 220 film RF's 120 / 220 format rangefinders including Fuji, Koni-Omega, Mamiya Press, Linhof 6x7/6x9 cameras, Mamiya 6/7 among others, but excluding the 120 folders and the Voigtlander 667 cameras that have their own forums.

View Poll Results: MF Rangefinders and Alternatives
Fuji GS645x 40 12.86%
Fuji GA645x 54 17.36%
Rob a bank, get a Mamiya 7 76 24.44%
MF SLR-s are not heavy. It's all in your head! 23 7.40%
some TLR 44 14.15%
that 1950's folder X is so great (I will ignore these, I think) 14 4.50%
It's all madness, just shoot with what you have. 60 19.29%
Voters: 311. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-07-2011   #81
KenR
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The lenses on MF cameras don't have to be quite as good as lenses for 35mm because the magnification factor is less. An 11x enlargement for 35mm to produce an 11x14 image on paper is the equivalent of a 5x enlargement with 6x9. As the lenses for MF are only slightly inferior to 35mm lenses, the image quality of MF is superior.
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Old 09-07-2011   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampguy View Post
I've seen many great images from these 6xX Fuji MF fixed lens cameras, but I attribute much of the resolution to the format size, not the lens.

The reviews of the lens are not the equal of most Leica lens, nor Mamiya 7 MF lens, or even some Bronica and other MF lens.
Think 6x9 + enlargement factor. Big Fujis don't have to be superior optically to give superior photographic results.

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Old 09-10-2011   #83
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Originally Posted by kuzano View Post
The day you speak of is never coming,,,,
It's cool, I can go through life without ever using a 6x9 camera. I'm not holding my breath here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuzano View Post
And all the rationalization in the world with never overcome the huge increase in image quality from MF (6X9) to 35mm film. Why wait until that projected fantasy time in your mind when the film is no longer available, and then become fanatic about all the time you could have enjoyed superior image quality?
I don't think I'll be fanatic about time missed. I missed Kodachrome except for three rolls and sleep fine at night.

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Originally Posted by kuzano View Post
It's not my place to understand your weird logic, but that doesn't mean I can't (somewhat gently I might add) chide you for your wrongness.
It's cool, I never claimed to be citing facts, just opinion and I stand by them still, so chide away.

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Originally Posted by kuzano View Post
And, I don't make the connection between buying a Leica and buying MF. No leica in the world, with whatever leica glass will shoot a 35mm image that will equal, or come close to the quality of a 6X9 frame from glass the likes of Fuji's EBC.
Odd, I don't have any Leica lenses. And I never claimed that 35mm was as good as 6x9, I said 35mm for me for now for what I do is good enough.

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Originally Posted by kuzano View Post
But that's OK... We've all made huge mistakes in our life that we have later regretted. I got married once.
If not buying a 6x9 camera because I have money I'd rather and/or must spend elsewhere is the biggest mistake I ever make, then I think I've done pretty good in life. Right now, my biggest mistake is probably dropping out of college/university, but I went back and I graduate a dual major this spring.
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Old 06-29-2013   #84
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If it's weight that is your major concern I'd like to give you some numbers,
My Pentcaon Six TL with waistlevel finder and Volna-3 80mm is 1.61kg,
the Mamiya 7 + 65/4 is 1.37kg
the Rolleiflex 3.5E (w/o meter) is 1,12 (I believe a 2.8 is about 100g heavier)
a Rolleicord V is only 900g!!
my Leica M2+Sonnar-C 50mm is 902g (so exactly as heavy as the Rolleicord)

a Contax T2 is 380g .. so a T2 + Rolleicord is still lighter than a Mamiya 7.

I believe you should look for a vintage folder if you want really light.
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Old 06-29-2013   #85
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For compact, lightweight, etc, nothing beats a classic folder. My Voigtländer Perkeo II and Balda Baldix are 6x6 format, make great photos, and are a delight to use.

I bought the Voigtländer Bessa III as I was so enthused with the folder concept. 6x6 or 6x7, stunning lens, very nice viewfinder/rangefinder, meter and auto exposure operation. A lovely camera. But it is much larger than the classic folders, and I find little reason to prefer it over a Hasselblad 500CM or SWC. Others will feel differently as it is a very different camera. (I acquired both of the Hasselblads over the past six months—the Bessa III is sitting in the closet waiting to get sold now.)

I've had a passel of Fuji 645s ... the original folder, the non-collapsing model with the wide lens, the GA model. The non-collapsing model with the wide lens (sorry, I always get the number designations mixed up...) was my favorite. But I prefer 6x6.

I've often looked at the Mamiya 6 and indeed looked at it again on this latest round of 6x6 delight. But it's so long out of production, the film wind is cited by many as being fragile, and parts/service support is gone. I'm happier that I went with the Hasselblads and classic folders.

G
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Old 06-29-2013   #86
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I've got 2 Fujis-G690 and GW690-and they deliver great images. Bit heavy but due to physical limitations I can't walk far so because I have to stick close to the car it doesn't bother me. I tend to take a lot of gear and decide what to use when I get to the spot.
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Old 06-29-2013   #87
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I have a GA645. Great camera, super sharp lens, compact. I can carry my 135 system (one body + 3 lens) and my GA645 in a messenger bag. Focus is accurate and the TTL meter works well enough. It has a small built-in flash with an external sensor, very convenient for fill flash

Regardless which camera you eventually choose, if you want to digitalize your films for web sharing and/or prints, I think you need to factor in how you want to scan your MF films. You can either have the lab scan for you ($$ in the long run), or do it yourself. Flatbeds are ok but many people say you need a dedicated film scanner. A good MF film scanner really means rob the bank -- either you buy new (Plustek OpticFilm 120) or pay a premium for used Nikons. (I bought a refurbished Epson V750, more expensive than the camera!!)
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Old 06-29-2013   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
For compact, lightweight, etc, nothing beats a classic folder. My Voigtländer Perkeo II and Balda Baldix are 6x6 format, make great photos, and are a delight to use.

I bought the Voigtländer Bessa III as I was so enthused with the folder concept. 6x6 or 6x7, stunning lens, very nice viewfinder/rangefinder, meter and auto exposure operation. A lovely camera. But it is much larger than the classic folders, and I find little reason to prefer it over a Hasselblad 500CM or SWC. Others will feel differently as it is a very different camera. (I acquired both of the Hasselblads over the past six months—the Bessa III is sitting in the closet waiting to get sold now.)

I've had a passel of Fuji 645s ... the original folder, the non-collapsing model with the wide lens, the GA model. The non-collapsing model with the wide lens (sorry, I always get the number designations mixed up...) was my favorite. But I prefer 6x6.

I've often looked at the Mamiya 6 and indeed looked at it again on this latest round of 6x6 delight. But it's so long out of production, the film wind is cited by many as being fragile, and parts/service support is gone. I'm happier that I went with the Hasselblads and classic folders.

G
I have used the Fuji 6x9s and 645 cameras in the past. I have thought about the Mamiya 6 as well, but once I acquired my first mf folder thoughts of the Mamiya 6 went out the door.

Like Godfrey, I also have the Voitlander Perkeo, Bessa 2 and Fuji gf670 (Bessa 3) as well as Zeiss super ikonta 4 and Franka Solida 2.

If I am going to go out and shoot 120, it will most likely be one of these cameras.

The Perkeo, Solida and the ikonta when folded will easily fit in my back jean pocket. The Bessa 2 will fit into as well but needs a bit bigger back pocket.

The Fuji 690s handle like an oversized Leica but a very noise shutter release (speculation is that it is not the shutter causing the nose but something in the conter mechanism). The 645 I have used are all af designs. All the Fuji lenses on these cameras are sharp and contrasty. The 645 vertical format takes some getting used to.

Gary
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Old 06-29-2013   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryLH View Post
...
Like Godfrey, I also have the Voitlander Perkeo, Bessa 2 and Fuji gf670 (Bessa 3) as well as Zeiss super ikonta 4 and Franka Solida 2.
...
Great minds roil in the same gutter. ;-)

The Perkeo II and Baldix are so nice and compact—I slip them into the front pocket of my computer bag or into my jacket pocket on regular occasion.

However, if I'm going out to shoot seriously, the Hassy 500CM with 80 Planar and WL finder, or the SWC, hangs so well on a shoulder strap I find them more convenient to walk with than the Bessa III. They're boxy lumps, but they just fit me better than the awkwardly large folder, which hangs the wrong way and opens opposite to the Perkeo II.

Different strokes...!

G
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Old 06-29-2013   #90
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Yep..

I recently acquired a graflex xlsw w/ the 47f8 SA for same reason u have the swc. Yeah, the Bessa 3 does tend to be a bit more awkward if u carry w/ shoulder strap, but when I have t w/ me, I tend to carry in shoulder bag..

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Old 06-29-2013   #91
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I don't find the GA645 is that much fun to shoot with on a tripod. I'd only buy that camera to shoot it handheld. The AF is accurate and the image quality is unimpeachable. I have some 12x18 Fuji Crystal Archive prints from that camera that just floor me… But it's fundamentally a point and shoot. It gets less enjoyable to use as your approach becomes more deliberate and formal.

That said, after spending several months with a friend's 645 Wi, I'm thinking about buying my own. You get 16 exposures per roll. Focus is accurate. The lens is phenomenal. Exposure is bang-on reliable. The camera is light (plastic has its advantages) and it packs really really well. In fact I put it in my knapsack in a ThinkTank 50 lens bag. Perfect. And the results speak. Remember that this camera encourages you to shoot vertical format.

Dante Stella has a good page on these cameras. http://www.dantestella.com/technical/ga645.html

The TLRs are great from a weight and reliability perspective (If it was good enough for Bourke-White it's good enough for us!). But you have to decide whether you like the square. For some it really works. For others, it's intolerable. These cameras have good resale value and are worth saving for. If you get one and it's not quite for you, just re-sell and the financial penalty is not severe. There are good tutorials on the web for how to assess a used Rollei's mechanical soundness.

Between the Mamiya 6 and 7, you want the 7. According to two friends who do professional camera repair, the extensible "bellows" of the 6 is a known mechanical Achilles' heel. The fact that the finish on the 7 is not durable works to your advantage. A lot of these cameras that look like crap are in fact mechanically perfect. And all the lenses are spectacular.

In terms of bang-for-buck, don't neglect to look at the Pentax 645. You can get amazing bargains on these cameras and the lenses are absolutely first rate. And the camera and lenses have AMAZING build quality given their prices. I defy anyone to actually use one of these cameras and not fall in love. Ken Rockwell does a good job of covering their strengths and (sometimes significant) weaknesses. http://kenrockwell.com/pentax/645/645.htm

An alternative possibility that is well within your budget: Nikon FM with 28/2.8 AIS and either 50/1.8E or (for a more weight and a bit less speed), 55 micro. I prefer the rendering of the 50/1.8 E to any 50/1.4 Nikkor I've ever used, and it is a LOT lighter and it is CHEAP and it's only half a stop slower. One of those "bargain-of-the-century" lenses. Actually, I like the way it renders better than the v4/v5 Summicron, though it's not as viciously sharp.

The micro lenses have pretty much unsurpassed image quality. There are many versions, as discussed here: http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00Fgng. I'd get a 55/2.8 AIS because it has floating elements that allow it to perform well at close and distant focus, and it will reliably out-resolve even TMX or ACROS.

An FE with slow B&W film and a lightweight tripod, used at optimum apertures, is light, brutally reliable, extremely versatile, and not easy to top in terms of 35mm image quality. Honestly, at f/5.6-f/16, my Leica M gear is (under most field conditions) not meaningfully better — especially when compared to these especially good (and reasonably priced!) Nikkor lenses. And no parallax issues, either!
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Old 06-29-2013   #92
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Thanks to all on the input on the 645's, I am thinking of selling a large portion of my 35mm and tlrs for one. I have been longing for one for some time now. For me this is a large investment and have been quite nervous about giving up a few cameras I really love and being disappointed. Any more suggestions or advice is most welcome.

David
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Old 06-29-2013   #93
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I forgot to mention, the only Fuji 645 I would be hesitant about is the folder. If it is the original bellows, then they are known to have early issues w/ light leaks due to type of material they used back then. So far, I have not heard of similar issue w/ the newer Bessa 3/gf670 series.. Once the bellow has been replaced w/ none Fuji one it should be ok.

If I remember correctly, u need to leave the shutter cocked prior to folding the camera back up.. Otherwise I think the internal shutter release mechanism gets broken..

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Old 06-29-2013   #94
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Good site shows some shots from 645 and 690 Fuji cameras.

http://arukucamera.net/FujiRF.html

Gary
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Old 06-29-2013   #95
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For modern MF vertically-oriented format, I'll mention the Bronica RF645. Mine is in great shape; no problem with the wind-on (a typical failing, one hears). It handles like a 35mm that went to Muscle Beach to bulk up, so needs a bag not a pocket. You can shoot manual, A or P. The 65mm and 45m lenses are easier to find than the longer lenses. The shutter wheeze is quietly amusing, unless you're asthmatic, where it might appear the camera is mocking you. It was my choice after reading this thread (and others like it) a few years ago.

But then I also have a GW690...and a pocket-folder Tessar Ikonta...and luckily I don't have to decide which one stays, only which one is prettiest the day I want to shoot MF.
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Old 07-13-2013   #96
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The big Fuji's and Collection of lenses offer a few things that the others cannot match:

(1) the huge 6x9 negative with the 690 cameras, but you can also downsize by switching to the 670 series 6x7s's depending on subject.

(2) the 100AE 3.5 lens offers rapid semi-automatic shooting capability.

(3) the range of lenses available is quite wide- 50, 65, 100, 150, and 180mm.

(4) if you can find one, the Auto Up/ close up attachment allows closer focusing than most any other MF lens. ( I've seen 2 in the last year, so they are out there. I bought mine in Australia).

A broad range of capabilities, from frame filling head shot close ups, to wide landscapes + everything in between.

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Old 07-19-2013   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
For compact, lightweight, etc, nothing beats a classic folder. My Voigtländer Perkeo II and Balda Baldix are 6x6 format, make great photos, and are a delight to use. ...
+1

Quote:
that 1950's folder X is so great (I will ignore these, I think)
May I invite the poll starter to extend his ignoral to pre-1950's folders as well . I have used Voigtlanders from the 1930s; not only can these can be found with Heliar and Skopar lenses, the Voigtlander (and other brands') triplets can give very respectable results as well. You don't even need to give a 'vintage look' to their outputs if you're not into that sort of thing.
No batteries to fail and corrode, no obsoleted electronics to fail ... what's not to like .

Addition:- Here for example are some pictures from a Bessa Rangefinder; there are plenty of Ikonta and others' pictures also to be found in the threads.

Last edited by citizen99 : 07-19-2013 at 07:04. Reason: Link added
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Old 07-19-2013   #98
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Ott -- a lot of good advice here, but I would encourage you (as a few others have also) to look at a folding camera, even though you seem to have ruled those out. Considering your requirements for a small and lightweight camera, these meet those criteria best of all. Also, there are no batteries to be concerned about in extreme conditions. You should be able to find a very nice one for quite a bit less than your $400 budget. The main downside is that all have normal focal length lenses, no wide angles. But I'm not sure that is so critical, especially in rectangular format.

I would look for a Zeiss Ikonta with a Tessar, like the 6x9 Mess-Ikonta (uncoupled rangefinder). I think you can find one of these for $200 in very nice condition, with a top quality shutter -- I think they could be had with either a Compur or a Prontor. The Bessa II (6x9) is a really nice camera as well, but more expensive -- if you find one with a Heliar lens, buy it. But the Color-Skopar is a fine lens too. And do not overlook the Moskva-4 or Moskva-5. I would think you can find one of those in Estonia for very little money. They are well made cameras, with good Industar Tessar-design lenses and decent shutters. (They have 6x6 masks available also.)
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Old 07-19-2013   #99
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An old thread, but some recent activity. I missed it before I guess, or for some reason didn't comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ottluuk View Post
...

1) Modern (sharp wide open, no excessive distortions or field curvature) lens in 28 - 40mm equivalent range. A fixed lens camera is ok if the lens is good.

2) The camera should be relatively lightweight and compact. Hand-holdable. Light weight is really important. I've had some scary problems with my back and I cannot lug around a tripod + several kilos of camera gear everywhere.

3) The camera needs to be tough and dependable. It will definitely be used in cold (-25 Celsius if needed) and will travel in various backpacks all year around.

4) the hard part: $400.
I know the OP said

Quote:
Originally Posted by ottluuk View Post
...

* Vintage folders - Not my cup of tea, I'm afraid.
...
So vintage folders are not his cup of tea, OK. But others might want to give that some thought. There are some that fit all his other criteria. The Mamiya with Olympus lenses, Zeiss lenses, and Skopar lenses, any Welta camera. Granted I don't know of any of them that have wide lenses, other than the Bee Bee 6x9, and truely I have never seen a wide lens for the Bee Bee cameras, even though I know they were made.

Most of the old folders are fairly light. That was more important to me from about 5 years ago until about 1 year ago because I had a bad back problem as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
...

Just buy a Rolleiflex or a Bessa II or Bessa RF w/ a Heliar or Skopar lens. By any standards you wish to use, they have the best image quality in MF photography, and are built to a much higher level. Let me tell you what I've seen w/ my own eyes from large prints-the older German medium format lenses will blow away any modern medium format camera except the Bessa III by a considerable margin. I even had to sell my 'blad because it wasn't up to the Rolleiflex Planar I used.
Skopar lenses I know of, and have always heard good of Heliar as well. The Skopar can be had in large folders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matus View Post
You did not mention what is the main use of the MF camera, but I guess it would be for "that film feeling", so here is what I would choose with the set of limitations you have metioned:
...

3) classical folder cameras - none will be that sharp wide open and there are no folders with wide lenses.

...
Again, the Bee Bee cameras had interchanable lenses, so had a telephoto and wide lens in both their 6x9 and their 9x12.

The 9x12 with a Zeiss or Skopar lens should beat the OP's requirements. The Kodak lenses in 9x12 are no slouch either. They aren't all that heavy either, especially if you get one that has a wooden body vs metal body. I haven't seen a wooden body with a wide lens, but there were series 6 aux lenses that will fit many. Aux lenses could be had in telephoto and wide, as well as closeup and portrait.

The 9x12 negative is the equivalent of 4x5. If you believe MF beats 35mm (and it does under normal circumstances), try 9x12 or 4x5. Just that 4x5 doesn't come in such small light cameras as 9x12.

Quote:
Originally Posted by one90guy View Post
Thanks to all on the input on the 645's, I am thinking of selling a large portion of my 35mm and tlrs for one. I have been longing for one for some time now. For me this is a large investment and have been quite nervous about giving up a few cameras I really love and being disappointed. Any more suggestions or advice is most welcome.

David
Consider an older folder first, whether 645, 6x6, 6x9, or 9x12. I have a Zeiss Ikon, non-RF, very thin and light. Gives really nice photos.

FWIW, I am not personally a big fan of 645. It isn't that much bigger than 35mm (for me at least), and with a TLR, unless you like square, you are likely going to crop to 645 anyway. Why not get a TLR and ease up on composition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by citizen99 View Post
+1

..

I have used Voigtlanders from the 1930s; not only can these can be found with Heliar and Skopar lenses, ...
As you can see, another vote for the Heliars and Skopars. But don't discount the Zeiss and Schnieder-Krauznaut either.
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Old 07-24-2013   #100
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my Mamiya 7 is the best camera I have every used (I also have a Leica M6 and have had an Nikon F3 and other great cameras). you'll never get one for $400 but if you can save a little longer and shoot with what you have for a while I think it's worth considering that. i saved for a long time for mine and ended up selling lots of cameras I bought instead of what I knew I really wanted. As soon as I got it I knew it was what I wanted.

Not sure if that helps at all.
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Old 07-24-2013   #101
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Got a G690BL, G670M and G645Zi and love them. The rangefinders could be a bit better and a warning that the cap is still on the lens would be great but compared to any folder they blow them away.

For taking along on a walk the G645Zi is king. Looks like a Fisher-Price toy but it sure isn't one. The G690BL is my favorite but taking it out with a bag of lenses isn't fun. The G670M is a mixed bag. It isn't smaller or lighter than the 690 but the format isn't square nor rectangular. Probably a matter of taste.

MF slr's aren't heavy. Got them in 6x6 and 6x4.5 and while they are heavier than a 135 the difference is worth it. Once you have seen a MF slide you don't want anything else. I do prefer slr's for general work: easier to focus, faster to focus, shorter working distance, faster glass, longer and wider glass, shift lenses, fish-eyes etc.

TLR's are fun but if you want something else than the default 75 or 80 you're left with some very heavy beasts. Even heavier than an slr and far quirckier. Can be rewarding if you take your time to learn to love them. But the interchangable lens ones take some time to love them.
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Old 07-25-2013   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryLH View Post
Good site shows some shots from 645 and 690 Fuji cameras.

http://arukucamera.net/FujiRF.html

Gary
But I don't think that the images shown are very representative of the typical results attained with these cameras.

Texsport
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Old 07-25-2013   #103
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The Bronica RF645 would qualify for size, image quality, price (almost), but as much as I love mine, I would not want to depend 100% on it for any trip longer than 2 days. I also suspect it does not like cold. Other than that, it's a great camera, but still is a rangefinder. Can you live with the lack of close-up ability ?
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Old 07-25-2013   #104
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I've got a G645Zi - just perfect as a travel camera.... A little over budget though, so I would suggest a TLR - the Yashica Mat's are still fairly reasonable and have good lenses.
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Old 07-30-2013   #105
Ron (Netherlands)
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I like all kind of equipment but if it comes to shooting it comes down to quality vs portability for me, so I left out the TEXAS Leica's and the Rolleiflexes and Hasselblads and I'm trying the mid format folders: current user: Super Ikonta
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Old 08-22-2013   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
At $400 probably your only bet is a Graflex XL or Koni-Omega. Otherwise there are baby Linhofs, Mamiya-Press and Polaroid 600SE with roll-film adapter.

Cheers,

R.
To this one could add the Linhof 220. The Graflex XL roll film adapters leave a lot to be desired by way of film flatness while the Koni-Omega has among the best film flatness but weighs a ton - too much for a backpacker with a bad back.
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Old 08-22-2013   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron (Netherlands) View Post
I like all kind of equipment but if it comes to shooting it comes down to quality vs portability for me, so I left out the TEXAS Leica's and the Rolleiflexes and Hasselblads and I'm trying the mid format folders: current user: Super Ikonta

Mine is a Super Ikonta B from 1937, uncoated 2.8/80mm Tessar.

Built as a tank, folds flat and it even fits the wider pants pocket. Bit quirky to load (11 frames on a roll, but a 12th can be squeezed on there with a little trick) and I hand-crafted a lens hood for it to maintain some contrast in photos. The 1950s coated version is better in contrast, and similarly built.

On photography fairs I picked up some aluminium containers for roll film, with screw caps. I'm pretty confident that these will even keep water away from my exposed rolls, while they also can contain films in their plastic wrappers.

All in all a pretty decent hiking kit, I've just taken mine hiking through the hills in Germany and it performed flawlessly.
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Old 11-25-2013   #108
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Save up, and get the Hasselblad SWC/M , a different angle alternative would be the Hasselblad Xpan with the 45mm lens.
I agree... It beats leica M on many features... Superior quality compared to almost anything else...
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Old 11-30-2013   #109
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I sometimes feel I could work only with medium format and my folders. I do understand the attraction for the convenience that the Barnack Leicas offered in the late 20s, but there is something magical in a print from a 6x9 negative that 35mm just can't match, even with the finest of lenses. The 105mm Agfa Solinar or Voigtlander Color Skopar make such beautiful negatives. Even the pre-war folders do terrific jobs with their uncoated lenses, especially if you shield the lens with a hood.

But I do enjoy the point and shoot convenience of the Fuji GA645 as well. The OP is certainly far past this decision point by now but the little Fuji is a great option though battery performance may suffer in the cold.
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Old 11-30-2013   #110
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Hello all,

3) The camera needs to be tough and dependable. It will definitely be used in cold (-25 Celsius if needed) and will travel in various backpacks all year around.
I've owned a number of the GS series camera's. Also about 4 of the GA645Zi.

I can tell you that your point three will be the biggest problem you will have with any of the GS series. Count them out at the lower temperatures. Not a fixable problem.

I truly liked the GA645Zi. Lots of automation and people badmouth the short zoom range, but hey it has a zoom range at least.

Sharp, excellent AF, excellent metering, quiet. Sold on with 234,000 shutter clicks still functional .....
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Old 12-01-2013   #111
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The meter less Fujis have no issues in the cold, at least as good as anything else in the same conditions. I've lost track of this thread but being patient and waiting for a good buy on a Fuji Rangefinder would be a solid strategy.

My experience with meters in ALL the medium format cameras is that they are crude and primitive compared to their 35mm counterparts. Most are just broad average weighted akin to a 1970s SLR, nothing to get excited - or trusting - about.

And apologies to others but the 6x4.5 format never seemed worth the effort... 6x6 or 6x9 to be worthwhile.
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Old 12-01-2013   #112
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If you didn't have the light and compact requirement, I'd second (or third or fourth) what a few others have said and suggest a Koni-Omega. It has the advantage of 6x7, with great lenses that are also cheap. However, it weighs about 6 lbs/2.5 kg with lens. I'm also not sure about its availability in Estonia.

To fit within your lightweight requirement (no Koni-Omega), the wide angle requirement (most TLRs are out), and also under the $400 mark, I think your options are limited to the manual focus 645 SLRs. Probably the cheapest is the Bronica, but the Pentax and Mamiya are right behind. I think you could kit out a camera with 1 lens for under $400. Maybe 2 lenses with the Bronica. The Fuji ga645 is another option, but you'd need some patience to find a good one under $400.

You could probably also find a Bronica SQ series kit for under $400 if you want 6x6. The SQ really isn't that much bigger than the ETRS.

-Greg
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Old 12-01-2013   #113
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I've reread most of this thread and am wondering if it's just me ? Hasselblad SWC,
Bronica RF645, Mamiya 6 & 7 and $400.00 . I'm thinking his joke about robbing a bank
has been taken seriously ! BUT, maybe I missed something. Peter
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Old 12-01-2013   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto-Uno View Post
I've reread most of this thread and am wondering if it's just me ? Hasselblad SWC,
Bronica RF645, Mamiya 6 & 7 and $400.00 . I'm thinking his joke about robbing a bank
has been taken seriously ! BUT, maybe I missed something. Peter
Ha! Yes, I was wondering the same thing myself. I think some people took it as a "name your favorite medium format" thread. A few people have tried to help with the cost issue, though
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Old 12-01-2013   #115
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If the budget is there Voigtlander Bessa III Wide. Big, bright rangefinder, silent operation, 6x6 or 6x7, ultra sharp 55mm lens, .7 minimum focus.
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Old 12-25-2013   #116
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Pentacon Six TL von Michael Relguag auf Flickr

You might think about a P6!
Fantastic and cheap to get Zeiss glas and very fine to handle handheld. buy the cheapest you can get in complete condition and spend the 2-300,-€ for a service and upgrade and you get a relaiable workhorse. Don´t fiddle around with unserviced cheap cams that brought down the name of this East-German brick. A good cam with film transport control and serviced shutter is as good as any other cam in this class and the CZJ lenses are a class of its own!
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Old 12-25-2013   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BW400CN View Post

Pentacon Six TL von Michael Relguag auf Flickr

You might think about a P6!
Fantastic and cheap to get Zeiss glas and very fine to handle handheld. buy the cheapest you can get in complete condition and spend the 2-300,-€ for a service and upgrade and you get a relaiable workhorse. Don´t fiddle around with unserviced cheap cams that brought down the name of this East-German brick. A good cam with film transport control and serviced shutter is as good as any other cam in this class and the CZJ lenses are a class of its own!
Oh, this old thread again...

Well, I didn't end up with any of the Fujis. At some point I got a beater Leica M4 and have been shooting 35mm pretty happily.

On the MF side I found a Kiev 6S kit with several lenses that I could have for free... but a couple of the lenses have mechanical problems and most of all, I don't really like the form factor. So I won't be getting a P6 anytime soon, I think.

My life is such that it seems to interfere with any camera bigger than a common DSLR. Too much moving around, too much packing, too little time. I recently added an old Welta 6x6 folder to my kit. It's a curious little thing, very compact, even (coat-) pocketable. But I've only had it for a couple of days.

This thread offered a variety of ideas and even though I ended up going a different route, I found it helpful. I think it will be valuable to others in a similar situation as well.
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Old 12-26-2013   #118
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Thank you for coming back here and letting us know what route did you choose. Please do post a few from the Welta later.
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Old 12-26-2013   #119
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Not sure if anyone had pointed it out, as I mostly skimmed the thread, but a mammy c220 with 55 or 65 mm lenses would cheap enough to fit the budget.
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Old 12-26-2013   #120
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I am going to join in with a recommendation for the Fuji GW690. Mine is the camera that I would keep if I had to get rid of all bar one. I take it when I go walking. I carry it on one shoulder under my jacket as I don't like to draw attention to myself. Mine is a very tatty example of the first model but works perfectly and produces wonderful negs that I can print up to A3+ when scanned on my Epson flat bed printer.
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