I need a film camera! TLR style... any gurus here?? :D

Discussion in 'Film Camera Forum' started by Gubrz, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    i want something like these


    for street portaits

    any thoughts?

    • anything specific to look out for?
    • any with meters?
    • does one letter specified model have something super handy that another letter model wont have?
    • etc etc that kinda thing :)



    i enjoyed playing with the lomo lubitel during one of their photo walks when they had a store in downtown austin. everyone i walked up to, was super comfy, like they just thought "thats a classy camera... he must be a snazzy classy guy... ill just hold this pose until he's done, and let him express his artistness all up in this place!" or, ya know... something like that. ;D
    so i think id enjoy it for street portrait project work. plus my lil rollei35t is just dinky and doesnt inspire classy confidence in random strangers! i just get "uh... what are you doing" faces from people while using it!


    thanks in advance for any help you guys can provide!!!

    *beaming smile oozing with "you want to help this guy" charm*

    hehehheeh
     
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I know the Yashica 124 is a well regarded balance of performance for the dollar. That would probably be my choice. If one can get a Rollei into their budget, I think the cool cache it through the roof and they obviously hold their value well if you get tired of it and need to sell it to some loser in Milwaukee for a small loss. :wink:

    Once you get a few recomendations, I'd look into pursuing a specific model from some trusted used camera dealers......KEH comes immediately to mind. But you definitely want someone to stand behind your purchase if you're spending more than thrift store money. light leaks are cool with your LOMOs, but not acceptable when you start spending several hundred.
     
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  3. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    haha @ mil loser! you dork! :D

    heck, the lomo was a few hundred! i did a quickie scan on ebay and keh, and they seemed $50 CHEAPER than a new (but plastic) lubitel! thats what got my mind all boggled and i had to come ask for help! i just got done reading about the yashica 124s, and i /know/ this is UTTER NONSENSE... but it doesnt look as nice as the rolleiflexes, lol!

    i also saw a non tlr, but still waist level finder bronica that looks cool



    https://www.keh.com/341819/medium-format-misc-bronica-s2-chr



    thats the bronica single lens, waist level

    i have a few tlr tabs open for keh as well, i need to figure out what the diff in each is... back to google!
     
  4. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    All I can say is that Rolleis are exquisite. Expensive, though, unless you go for one of the older models with the four element Zeiss Tessar or Schneider Xenar lenses. I own a 1954 MX-EVS with a Xenar and it is a beauty. Not super sharp wide open, but plenty of character, and quite sharp closed down to 5.6 or so.

    My mint example was $400, and it came with a Maxwell screen. Not cheap, but quite affordable when you compare it to the going rate for a 3.5F or 2.8F.

    Good luck with your search!

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
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  5. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    On the other hand, if you are looking for cheap medium format, a Mamiya 645 is a very good deal. The lenses are sharp, plentiful, and mostly very cheap. The camera is quite easy to handle, particularly with one of the prism finders.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
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  6. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Unless you're going for a $10k Rolleiflex 4.0, remember that almost any film camera you buy, and especially a TLR, will have been manufactured at least 30 years ago, and probably 40 to 50 years ago ... accordingly, you have to factor in the possibility that it will need work from a specialist repairer/restorer, if not immediately then at some stage.

    Rolleis will probably have been well looked after as they have always been "premium amateur" gear rather than Pro gear (so won't have been thrashed to death) or ignorant-amateur gear (so won't have been left to rot and/or rattled about in the glove box).

    What's the reason for plumping for a TLR? If it's the WLF, as Antonio says there are plenty of other options in MF that'll give you that - Bronica, Hasselblad, Mamiya, Kiev for instance.

    I have a nice Yashica 124 that I never use, because I simply don't get on with the "form factor", so before splashing out make sure you're going to be happy with how it sits in your hand.
     
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  7. Iansky

    Iansky SC Top Veteran

    782
    Dec 8, 2011
    Cotswolds, UK
    Rolleis are the tops and if you can afford the f2.8 planar that is a stunning camera (had one for years and the lens is razor sharp) - not cheap though but they do last.

    There are also the Mamiya C330's that can be purchased for sensible prices and offer interchangeable lenses to include a lovely portrait lens.
     
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  8. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
  9. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    I've been borrowing a Yashica A ( http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Yashica-A ) for six months or so from my brother in law, who bought it at a yard sale for something like $10. If you cruise the Film forum, I've uploaded several clumps of images from it. Here's my quick synopsis of it...

    1. Same form factor and, to my mind, same effect on subjects as a Rollei, because it looks almost identical, and only camera nerds will know that one of them cost way more. I've been stopped many times for people to ask about it, including someone who pulled over in a car to say "may daughter here tells me you're shooting something called a 'medium format camera.' I just think it looks beautiful."
    2. Mine is a "standard" lens length, and a 3.5 max aperture, which is plenty fast for shooting 100 - 400 film outside during the day. In fact 3.5 is a sufficiently thin depth of field to be problematic if you get TOO close to people wide open... noses blurry, eyes perfect, that sorta thing. So it excells around 5.6 to 8.
    3. I love focusing with it. It has a little pop-out magnifying loupe that lets you REALLY home in on the subject and fine tune it, pretty quickly. I don't really miss anymore.
    4. One tricky aspect of shooting it is the shutter release button being too close to the shutter cock arm. If you use your middle finger to hit the shutter button, then your pointer sorta blocks the arm that's going to swing up and actuate the shutter, so you stall it for a split second and over-expose a little. Just have to make it a habit to ONLY release with your pointer finger.
    5. Don't worry about meters. I start off each shooting session in a place with an iphone ap that mimics a meter. That lets me set up a "base" setting, and then as I walk around I vary the aperture (more accurate than the old spring shutter mechanism, btw) up and down to brighten or darken slightly to suit what I'm pointing at as needed. Face shot with sky behind them? Open the ap up another stop or so. As long as you're in the same basic light, you don't need to re-meter every shot. Also, film is pretty damned forgiving.
    6. If you're not already set up for it, you'll probably want to buy a good refurbed film scanner and do your own scans. MF negs are YUGE, and have a ton of resolution. Scanning them is half the fun.
     
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  10. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    Another advantage of the yashicas is that cameraleather.com has some pimpin' cover kits for them. if I owned mine, I'd probably recover it with something tastefully awesome.

    http://www.cameraleather.com/yashicatlr/
     
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  11. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    I have Yashica Mat info if you are interested...

    I got a mint Yashica Mat in box for 100 USD. That was my first, the second was a 124G which has the meter on it. The original Mat does not. The meters are useful little things that you can still get batteries for but need to put a little spacer thing in the battery compartment to fill the gap, a home made item. I got that one for around 50 USD. I was flea marketing for these by the way, so they came along as I saw them. It too is in excellent condition. The last I got was the Yashica Mat 635. This camera allows you to shoot in medium format OR with the purchase of a special adapter, you can utilize 35mm film. I got the adapter in case they stop offering 120/220 (and for the novelty of it)-- then I can still use the camera, but I prefer medium format film for these. (Rollei version is called a Rolleikin) This camera outfit cost me a little more because of the separate adapter purchase (and because I always like shiney new looking models), *you have to make sure all the parts are there, be aware that people sell incomplete ones. Expect them to be around a hundred but you can get one for less if you are patient. I have seen this camera in very good condition with the adapter in tact sell for 100$ total (wasn't my purchase but one I was watching). They all use Bay 1 lens accessories which are inexpensive. Also when buying a case, because you may want it in a case, make sure the cutouts are for your model, they aren't all the same, they do vary from model to model. If you need any more info just ask. If you go Rollei which is more expensive, avoid the baby ones, they use 127 film, I think only Efke makes (and I think they stopped) it. I have a few Efke rolls left for my other cameras. They are usually listed as 4 x 4 or Baby Rollei, often coming in a gray color. Rollei is top notch but if you were shooting with a Lubitel and it inspired you, you might not need to spend on a Rollei. Still, on occasion, there are deals to be had if you are patient. I had wanted a Rollei but because of price surrendered. Now I am quite happy with my Yashica Mat family and honestly I am no pro so really would I even notice the difference. I think only in my wallet. Last bit of random advice, make sure to ask for your metal spools back, unless you are processing your own film. The developers like to keep them and the thick ends of the plastic ones made now don't always like to fit in the return spool socket. Just make sure to request your spool back. There's a really nice 124G on ebay right now but he's asking over 300. It has all the stuff you'd need, and for like new if you are looking to spend that anyway, then I'd go for it. If not, I'd wait for his ad to expire and see if he relists it cheaper. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Yashica-Mat...867?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27e7076c1b IF you don't want a shiney new looking one then you have a ton of options. Same with Rollei if you buy a knock around camera, you could probably get one for the same price as that newish Yashica Mat..

    Good luck and make sure to let us see what you create! Oh and old folks love to see these things, they strike up conversations with TLR shooters and you hear the most interesting stories from them.
     
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  12. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    $500 or less would be ideal, but thats my lalaland imaginary number i pulled from the aether of ignorance. lol :) i just know i dont want a $3k setup or something!

    just saw keh has a mamiya 80/1.9 lens.... now im convinced i need it! the iris in focus, the cornea blurry! lol

    i live easy distance from precision-camera in austin, i believe they do repair work! ill check! thnx!

    i dont need or want a pretty camera. i like beat up things. they feel like theyve lived n been loved moe to me that way. so long as it alll WORKS! LOL

    "Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." - the velveteen rabbit

    one of my fav quotes of all time!
    i once told it to the lady at verizon when she saw how beat up my ipad mini was
    she said "aww... eliot... thats SO sweet... but the velveteen rabbit in the story didnt cost anyone $800.... just sayin!" lol
    hey, some people get it, and some people dont! :D

    ill go check for yer posts!
    my main issue for rollei over yashica has NOTHING to do with anything logical or practical... its that i have a lil rollei 35t, and then i could have a rollei shelf! :D lol! *facepalms self* and i just think they look cooler to MY eyes. i know 99.999% of people wont have any idea theres a difference when i point it at them. that general LOOK is great, and the best of that LOOK, to me, is the rolleis.
    tho, the more im thinking about it, the more im thinking of going for a SLR with a waist level, like that bronica. im thinking of linking it up to my ringlight for street portraits. its battery powered led, and the battery is HUUUUGE and lasts forever, so i could easy do a day of shooting with just the one battery on it. i know ill want to do at least one roll of film with that as a test to see how i like the look vs natural lighting. plus i need to use that ringlight for more than some selfies of me and gonzo, and for my sister to get better video at bday parties on her iphone. HA! :D

    ohlala! i need that orangey brown one.. then i could stick a white longhorn sticker on it, and all the downtown austin people will LOVE it! *steeples and smiles a manipulative smile*
    "come into my frame," said the photographer to the UT fan...
    lol


    thank you all so much for the input! it is greatly appreciated!!!
    :groups_cuddle:
     
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  13. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Oh and if its just the waist level viewfinder thing you are digging on, Ihagee Exacta/Exa has 35mm with optional waist level viewfinders, so you get that perspective but at 35mm, and you have the option of interchangeable lenses. I actually had bought the viewfinder before I got a camera because it was new and I wanted an Exacta.
     
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  14. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    That Velveteen rabbit quote just made me realize that with each passing day I am becoming more REAL. Thanks for that, E! Made my day.
     
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  15. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Luke, you said what I am thinking. I am sooo for real, yanno! Hehehe
     
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  16. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Me too......but that bit about the eyes falling out really has me concerned.
     
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  17. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Sometimes it feels like my body parts are falling off, but on doing a count I find they are still painfully there. I would prefer to keep my eyes though. What would I do with all my little camera treasures?
     
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  18. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    oh! i missed yer post while i was typing out my multiquote (and being QUITE smug about savvily using multiquote... *smug face* im doing it again, btw... just take a moment to picture it... BEHOLD! THE SMUGDOM! lol)

    i cant imagine id want to shoot 35mm film over mf film. if im going for it, im going for it! (dont nobody mention large format, you cheeky monkies! i know someone was about to type it! *wink*) besides, i already have the rolley 35t for smaller

    by "all the parts" do you mean viewfinder, body, film back, lens... is there a part im missing?

    gotcha on the baby rollei thing, ill make sure to avoid them!

    the lubitel was amazing because it was just so different! not because it was a mechanical marvel or anything :D

    spools back! roger!

    i have always enjoyed the company of those older than myself. i think i spent half my childhood talking to friends parents while my friends played in their rooms. lol
    so striking up chat would be a plus, also older people tend to not be annoying like people my age or younger. lol!

    i need to just paypal someone $50, give them a list of requirements, and have them find me a setup to buy! lol
    this frustrated laziness wont do me well in my MF slow n steady photography, lol! so many options!!!! lol

    35mm film takes the fun out of a huge-o camera! otherwise id have gotten one of those blackbird toy tlr's! hehehehe

    whatever flaws you think you have, they are the things that those who love you think make you special.

    ill leave this post with more quotes that i love:


    "To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world....”
    ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
     
  19. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    979
    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Eliot
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hYh5RIIJ0s[video=youtube;8hYh5RIIJ0s]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hYh5RIIJ0s[/video]
     
  20. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    SoCal
    Bob
    I am a little confused you said you want a TLR but beside the Rollei you also posted a Bronica SLR, are you just looking for a mf camera with wait level.
    For Me I have shot with practically every style of camera and by least favorite is the TLR, they take a lot to get used to. If you use a waist level everything is backward.
    If you want a sharp, easy to use, fast shooting MF camera look for Mamiya 6 or 7, a Fuji 670, they are rangefinder style cameras, the Mamiya's have interchangeable lenses
     
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