best 6x6 or 6x7 camera for students with small budget : LUSENET : Black_and_White_Photography : One Thread

Hi, for about 2 years I'm taking photos with my Canon Eos. A few days ago I shot a few pictures with my friends 6x6 camera, and wow, what a difference. Now I'd like to buy one, but I have not much money (I'm a student). Who knows a good camera, that is not too expensive ? What about russian cameras (Kiev) or something like that ?

-- Anonymous, May 24, 1997


6x7, 6x6 cameras

Hi Stephan,

Not to sound too negative but I have just gone through the same process you have described and what I found is that there is no such thing as an inexpensive medium format (MF) camera. Well, I guess that's not totally true, there are cameras that aren't 'too expensive' but you really have to look for them. The two most popular and, I think, best MF cameras would be the Hasselblad 500 series and the Mamiya RB(Z)67. You will probably see alot of these as used equipment and be prepared to pay top dollar for them and their expensive accessories. One thing you have to really watch out for is wear and tear, these cameras have large moving parts that wear out alot faster than 35mm equipment and they may only have a short life before needing some expensive overhauls. As for the Kiev cameras you can expect to pay alot less for these but you are really taking your chances with them. I have heard alot of arguments for and against them. The most common being that the optics are fine but the metal is soft and when they do break down there are very few sources for parts in N. America. It seems to be a real hit-or-miss affair and I personally would never buy one. Luckily there are newsgroups for MF cameras and there might even be quite a few comments about the Kiev as they have been marketed strongly in the past few years. What I finally wound up buying is a Twin Lens Reflex (TLR); a Mamiya C220. These are those old fashioned-looking cameras with one lens (for focussing) over top of the other. They are inexpensive and depending on the region can be quite plentiful. The Mamiya's are the only popular TLR's with interchangeable lenses and they are commonly used as 'student' cameras and make a good introduction to medium format. They were still manufactured up until relatively recently so you can still find some in great condition. Their only drawback is that the lenses are uncoated which means that they are lower contrast than modern lens and have less 'apparent' sharpness as a result. However I have compared prints from my camera with a friend's Kiev and couldn't see a difference in sharpness. You're not going to get near the same quality of a Hasselblad but you'll spend a small fraction of the price. Whatever you decide on my advice is to take your time and if you can get someone to check the overall wear you'll be ahead of the game. Good luck.

-- Anonymous, May 24, 1997

Stephan, if you really like the format and want to keep the expense to a minimum try an older Yashica twin lens camera. They are OK lens wise and are inexpensive. Used ones can be found from $40 up. No interchangeable lenses so what you get is what you get-the normal lens. They work and a number of shooters have used them through the years for a lot of work. Good luck.

-- Anonymous, May 25, 1997

Used Rollei


A used Rollei Twin Lens is what I use for 6x6. The plus is the lenses on these are German and oh so nice. They are not interchangable like the Mamiya TLRs. You can buy a good users for 250-400 at a camera show.

-- Anonymous, May 26, 1997

I agree with the recommendation of a Yashicamat. I had one for a few years. They are truly no-frills - no interchangeable lenses, no meter, etc. You can use you 35mm to determine exposure. I would rate the optics on mine as outstanding for the price. I paid $25 for it and sold it recently for $75 when I decided to concentrate all my efforts on one format.

-- Anonymous, May 29, 1997


Kiev's are ok because the Kiev 60 has the same mount as Pentacon 6/Praktisix Which means GOOD CHEAP, and maybe even ZEISS lenses!

Get an issue of Shutterbug Magazine, and go to the Classified Section, i'm sure you can find a *used* Kiev 60 body w/ 80mm f/2.8 lense, and TTL finder for $250 or so, I have a Kiev 645(6x4.5 version of 60) and i find the fact that you can get a used 180mm Zeiss Sonnar ex++ condition For $200 very rewarding, Good Lenses , cheap prices!

Don't write out those Twin lense reflexes, I have a Mamiya C3, and if i were to sell it, i'd probably only ask for $85! and you can find good Sekkor lenses for it for good prices!

But Shutterbug has an excellent Classified Sect. so check it out!

-- Anonymous, August 04, 1997

6 X 6 on a small budget.

In 1970 I purchased a used Rollicord VB for $120 and I still use it.

-- Anonymous, December 29, 1997

Moderation questions? read the FAQ