Entry-level for medium format camera

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Can anyone recommend a medium format camera for entry-level Any brand is of no matter as long as is cheap be it hassebald,bronica or mamiya...etc. just like to try out what a medium format camera can do . therefore a cheap one will do, just to have a feel of it.

-- William Tan (willtan@magix.com.sg), July 22, 1999


You may like to try brand "Seagull" from China. It cost around S$90-S$120.Right! It is a medium format camera.

-- Luke Tan (tailorbird279@pacific.net.sg), July 22, 1999.

Someone emailed me all the way from England and brought me the Lubitel 166 twin lens. Just $60 - $70. It has received good review from magazines. I've taken a roll of slides with it and the picture looks pretty good given the kind of price that I've paid. As good as or even better than any decent point and shoot cameras.

It should be available locally.

-- Wee Keng Hor (kenghor@hotmail.com.sg), July 22, 1999.

Luke mentioned about the Seagull, I think it is the 4A-1 or 4B-1. There is a new model in the market, Seagull WWSC.

4A-1 comes with a winding crank. 6x6 format. Chinese characters on front panel.

WWSC is the upgraded version of the 4A-1. Cosmetically improved. Very nice black matt finish. Taking lens is four elements as opposed to the previous with three. Current price S$240.

4B-1 comes with a winding knob. Manual cocking of shutter and manual winding of film by looking at the red window for film backing numbers. Can take two formats, 6x6 & 6x4.5.

I would personally recommend you the Rolleicord or the Rolleiflex T. Priced about the same, roughly S$700. Rolleicord - Schneider Kreuznach Xenar lens. Rolleiflex T - Carl Zeiss Tessar lens.

I do not know what your budget is. But the Seagull would be value for money and the Rolleis would be worth keeping should you want something with investment value. Rollei resale value is high, may even appreciate, just like the Leica M series.

I own a couple of Seagulls and five Rollei TLRs. You won't be disappointed with them IMO. But for better results go for the Rollei. You'll be surprised with the results obtained with these medium format cameras.

Camera Workshop has a Rolleicord in very good condition. Prime Camera Centre has more than half a dozen for choice. Go take a look.

Good Luck with your purchase.

-- Paul Chuah (the_photo_workshop@Yahoo.com), July 22, 1999.

One value for money MF TLR that is worth mentioning is the Yashica Mat 125G. Good finish and optics. Unlike the Lubitel and Seagull, this camera comes with a meter which may save you a lot of trouble determining correct exposure without a handheld meter.

-- Litefoot (litefoot@netnet.com.sg), July 25, 1999.

124G you mean? Light meter works well only for average lit scenes. The 124G has a weak link, which is the shutter mechanism. Should it stop working, there would be no one locally who can repair it. Not even the technicians from the local agent. They do not have spare parts as well. The Yashica 635 is a tougher model.

-- Paul Chuah (the_photo_workshop@Yahoo.com), July 25, 1999.

Yeap Paul, you are right its 124G, my mistake. The meter in my old Mat did not work when I bought it, so I cannot verify its accuracy. I use my 35 mm SLR for metering. Mine is a very old copy, optics wise it is still very good. I prefer this camera because the finish is much better than the Lubitel and Seagull.

BTW, how is the 124G compared to WWSC in terms of optics and finish?

I have never seen a 635 locally, I heard that it can take 35 mm film. You seems to know about the Yashica Mat and TLR a lot, care to share some of your knowledge? Thanks.

-- Litefoot (litefoot@netnet.com.sg), July 26, 1999.

When I first had my 124G new, it definitely is outstanding in its finishing like a modern TLR, not at all looking old fashioned. WWSC is obviously no match in looks.

I did not do any direct comparison between the two but both displayed very good results. Prints were enlarged to 8x8, apertures used were varying between 5.6 & 8. Did not shoot wide open to compare. So could not give you a fair comment.

There's a 635 on the shelf at the basement of Adelfi, next the lab. The shop is asking for quite a high price. In very good condition externally. Used to have one myself but was sold to a friend together with the 35mm conversion kit. The 623 is much better built and has a solid feel compared to the 124G. Optical performance - good.

-- Paul Chuah (the_photo_workshop@Yahoo.com), July 26, 1999.

Sorry, in the last sentence, mentioned 623, should be 635.

-- Paul Chuah (the_photo_workshop@Yahoo.com), July 27, 1999.

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