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Photography Question 
Anisa R. 

yashica 124G? lubitel?! seagull?!? AHHH!!

well, i'm sixteen, and have been using a 35mm for about three years now, but I want to learn as much as I can about photography. I know I haven't "mastered" 35mm photography, yet but curiosity leads me to medium format photography...

i have a holga and love it to death, but for black and white portraiture and something you don't want to risk light leaks and malfunctions with, i'm looking into something that will give me a clear picture. so, i've researched for a while now and, with a budget of saving lunch money and chore money, i've come down to either the yashica mat 124G, lubitel, some sort of rolleicord, or the seagull. any suggestions as to which one, or if you know some kind of an off-brand camera that has similar characteristics please don't hesitate to respond. thanks.


p.s. what are the advantages to twin lenses, anyway? and are their medium format cameras that aren't tlrs that are in that same price range? because I would imagine that might get slightly frustrating.

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5/21/2005 8:02:21 PM

Kerry L. Walker   Anisa, the thing you need to remember is that a TLR is just a film camera. It uses the same film as your 35mm but in a larger size. (I'm a film shooter so I'm not knocking film. I just want you to understand that size of the film is the main difference.) I'm not familiar with the Lubitel so I can't comment on it. The Seagull can be a good camera or a lousy camera. It depends on the lens you get and you never know until you get it. Some of their lenses are good and some are bad. The Yashica is a good camera. Their single coated lenses are good lenses and their multi-coated lenses are excellent. Not a bad choice. I have one that is almost 50 years old. Rollei is an excellent camera. Never used a Rolleicord but I have used a Rolleiflex. I think the cord was their less expensive line but a good camera. Mamiya also made a good TLR and they are still available on the used market. They maed the only TLR with interchangeable lenses. I had a C-3.

TLR Disadvantages: Most don't have a meter. You will have to buy a hand held meter. You are looking through one lens and shooting through another. Not a really big problem except when you are close up. Difficult to follow action until you get used to it. When something appears to be moving in one direction in the viewfinder, it really is moving in the opposite direction. Don't have fast shutters. Most go up to only about 1/500, due to the fact that they use leaf shutters. shouldn't be a problem though as you usually don't use a TLR for action shots anyway. You are stuck with one lens (except woth the Mamiya). Heavier than 35mm - especially the Mamiya.

TLR Advantages - Very quiet operation. No mirror flap. Flash sync at all speeds (due to leaf shutters). You can take pictures of people without them knowing it since you don't have to hold the camera to eye level. Eliminates a lot of posed pictures.

There are plenty of SLR MF cameras but they are expensive relative to 35mm. So are the lenses but the lenses are almost all excellent. A MF camera is a professional camera so they don't make lenses for the consumer market.

MF cameras are great cameras I have and use one - the Pentax 645N. However, unless you need to enlarge your photos beyond 11x14, I would hold off buying one.

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5/23/2005 7:38:37 AM

Michael H. Cothran   I would certainly recommend the Yashica Mat 124G over the twin lens cameras you mentioned. First, it brings back fond memories, as it was the first medium format camera I ever purchased, back in 1971. It will render some amazing quality images for you, and it makes a great stepping stone camera. Lacking interchangeable lenses is its worst deficit. But the 80mm lens it sports is very sharp. Since first owning this camera, I have moved up to Hasselblad and Mamiya 6x7 SLR's, and most recently to digital.
Buy the Yashica, and enjoy its ability to form an incredible image on film.
WARNING - it will spoil you from using 35mm again!
Michael H. Cothran

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5/23/2005 8:19:08 AM

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