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Photography Question 

What Medium Format Camera to Buy

I want a medium format camera. I don't need any special bells and whistles, but I would like a nice lens with a wide range of f-stops. I have 1,300 bucks (US) to spend. Buy used body and new nice lens? Any recommendations? What do I need?

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10/7/2004 5:47:53 PM

Terry L. Long   Hello Brittany,

When I first entered the "realm" of MF, I went to that (in)famous Internet auction site and got a Mamiya 1000S. It's an old (to say the least) camera, but it's built like a tank. I asked the seller many questions before I bid on it. I wanted to make sure all the seals were intact ... which they were.
I also purchased/bid on a couple of lenses ... 80mm (the "normal" lens for MF), 210mm telephoto, and 110mm. They were all pretty inexpensive but good in quality. The only thing I need now is a wide-angle lens, such as a 45mm or 55mm to complete my ensemble.
All of the lenses are "fast" lenses (f/2.8) and use the same thread size for filters (58mm) ... which means I only have to buy one filter size for the lenses. Also, I purchased prism finders for the two bodies I now own.
However, the only nit to these cameras is the film inserts. For some unknown reason, the cost is higher (respectively) than the bodies and/or lenses. I've got three now ... two 120 and one 220.
All in all, if I can recall accurately, I think I paid less than $550.00 for everything. Remember, they're older bodies/lenses/finders - but they work like a champ.

New lenses cost quite a bit for MF cameras. Take a look at the prices at B&H.
Hope this helps.

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10/10/2004 10:05:37 PM

Terry L. Long   Oh ... I forgot to add ... they're completely manual cameras with "spot" metering. If you end up getting a comparable camera, remember: You can use a "linear" polarizer filter, which means it'll cost less than a "circular" polarizer.
Good luck.

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10/10/2004 10:09:53 PM

Jim Zimmerman   Another thought is the Kiev line of 2 1/4 cameras. I've never owned one, so I cannot speak from experience, but there have been several favorable articles on those models imported and upgraded by Kiev USA. Kiev USA does a lot of rebuilding on these cameras, and while they may not (or may) hold up to a full-on pro effort, I bet they'd be fine for an advanced amateur. You can definitely get the camera and an additional lens or maybe two for your budget. They have a web site (its not always the most user-friendly web site, but it'll get you the info on them). They also have links to the same articles I've seen.


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10/12/2004 4:53:55 AM

Carl Schulz   I bought Kiev 60 off of Ebay. It was shipped here from the Ukraine and take excelent pictures. It's a 120 format camera, shutter speeds are below, lens is F2.8-22. Comes with macro rings, eye and waist lever view finders, eye level has a meter, flash attachment, yellow/green filter, neck strap, lens shade, lens cap, cable release and case.

Not bad for $120

Shutter speeds are 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000 and B.

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10/13/2004 8:27:21 PM

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