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Mike O'Pray 27th February 2015 11:01 PM

For a budget of 100 max the old 6x9cm folders might be ideal in terms of size of neg but all of them, I think, have fixed lenses which means that head-shots involves the photographer being so close as to be in the subject's face.

It is sad but true that in MF 100 will not get you much, if anything at all in terms of interchangeable lenses. Big enlargements of full body or half body( waist upwards) cropped for head only, might work OK but unless the print is very big a 35mm camera with a 90-120 lens and say Ilford D100 film might do as good a job

Having said all that I have a 645N which at the size of prints I make might not make much sense but for some reason I just had to have it:D


CambsIan 28th February 2015 06:48 AM

One of the cameras that I use is the Mamiya M645j, the baby of the M645 range.

It was my starting MF camera, and does all I ask of it, although I have not done any studio work with it.

The M645j will still be over budget, but may be less over budget than many others.

Might be worth a consideration.


CambsIan 28th February 2015 07:54 AM

Been thinking since my last post.

I have another camera which may be a possibility as a cheaper lead into MF and may even come in on budget.

The old Kiev 60.

Has WLF, metered prism, interchangeable lenses and shoots 6x6

Yes it looks like and operates like a massive SLR, yes it has winding on / overlap issues, yes it's built like a tank, yes it even weighs like one, yes this is a marmite camera (you either like it or don't like it) but it can produce decent pics.

Not to everyones taste but another possible contender ?


Richard Gould 28th February 2015 08:31 AM

A better made camera than the old Kiev, which was one of the worst MF cameras, typical Russian lack of quality, would be a pentacon six,
but for 100 you are not going to get much more than a fixed lens camera, Personally I enjoy folders, but for close up, head and shoulder type shots they are not suitable, for 1/2 to 3/4 length type portraits they are fine, but not for extreme close ups, you couldn't focus close enough with them for the most part, so Gsingh you need to increase your budget a lot, perhaps go for a Bronica, reasonably priced and plenty around, To be Honest if I were the OP and on such a limited budget I would feel inclined to stick with 35mm and get perhaps a 100 to 300 or 80 to 300 zoom and use that, He says the pictures would not be printed big, but you need a bigger budget for the type of use he wants to put MF to

chefsteve 28th February 2015 08:48 AM

Personally I would stick with 35mm, use it to do what you want to photograph until you have worked out exactly what you need, and then use that knowledge to decide what MF equipment you will have to purchase. Use a slower film if you are unhappy with the grain.
The main reason I chose to go with MF was to force me to slow down when out taking photos, as with a totally manual camera you cannot just point and shoot.


Alan Clark 28th February 2015 10:12 AM

If you want a square format then think about a twin lens reflex camera. You should be able to get something for less than 100.
Don't worry about not being able to change lenses; some wonderful portraits have been taken with TLR cameras. After all, Irving Penn used a TLR - a Rolleiflex- for his Worlds in a Small Room series of portraits, and portrait photography doesn't get any better than this...


DavidH 28th February 2015 06:54 PM

Looking at what you have written about the subject matter, it doen't seem that fast speeds would be of great importance, although plenty of MF cameras go up to 1/500.
I think a TLR could be your best bet (Rollei, Minolta, Yashica they can often be obtained in good condition for the amount you are prepared to pay and can give lovely enlargements.
Flash is no problem as all but a few have flash connection, but of course a focal plane shutter will have a limit to the speed at which you can use flash.
A camera such as a Bronica, which has the advantage of interchangeable lenses and backs will be out of your price range if in half decent condition.
I'm one of the few here who has a Kiev 60, and I really like it. It is, however big and heavy so that's an important factor to bear in mind. Actually, I have two bodies, one bought from Arax and one from Hartblei, each about 12 or so years back. Each of these suppliers modifies the camera to avoid the poor quality control that bedevilled the ones from the original manufacturer. One of mine has been completely trouble free and the other had a felt light trap refitted.

KevinAllan 1st March 2015 11:20 AM

I recently bought a Fugi GA645zi on ebay for 280 but many were priced at 400

Richard Gould 1st March 2015 12:26 PM

A Tlr should suit the OP fine, but again looking at the prices for a good one, such as Rollei, Minolta or Yaschica you will be very lucky to find in good condition for 100, If the budget was 150 to 200 then you could easily find a TLR in good condition, and if interchangable lenses are a must for a 66 then one of the Mamiya's such as the c330 TLR's mightbe an option, the top speed on these are 500, and the lenses are easy to find, and TLR's, or any camera with leaf shutter, have flash sync at all shutter speeds which make fill in flash very easy,

Argentum 1st March 2015 12:31 PM


Originally Posted by KevinAllan (Post 101021)
I recently bought a Fugi GA645zi on ebay for 280 but many were priced at 400

And how do you rate it as a camera? Image quality, useability etc...

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