Advice on vacation 120 camera

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by wyofilm, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

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    Just returned from a vacation in Yellowstone where my family and I hiked and x-country skied. While doing these things I brought along my Mamiya 7ii RF camera. It is great and I used it the entire time, but is too bulky/heavy for snapping pics while skiing, especially. Not to mention it is pricy and my favorite camera ... This is a reoccurring problem, but now I think I will try to resolve it.

    Anyway, I am looking for advice on a smaller MF camera that I can put in a coat pocket or at least keep on a strap under my coat. The Fujifilm GA645Zi. Pros: good size, shape. Won't break the bank. Lens length is right. Self metering (I'm not bringing another meter). Cons: vertical 6x4.5 isn't my favorite. Too advanced for an older camera to be dependable?

    Other alternatives? By no means am I wed to the Fuji 645 idea ... Please suggest away. Maybe even a Mamiya 645? Never held one - too bulky? I don't know much about foldables, but might consider this route, too.
     
  2. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Member

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    wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

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    Perkeo is an interesting choice. Size, focal length, and 6x6 are all right. Do you own and use this camera?

    Probably leaning more modern and with exposure meter.
     
  4. Ces1um

    Ces1um Member

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    Lomo lca-120 is very lightweight, comes new with warranty, Autoexposure, self metering. Altering iso will give you +/- a stop or two for exposure compensation. Quite small for medium format and easily kept in a coat pocket. Lays flat. Not particularly cheap though, not particularly durable and vignettes strongly. Why medium format though just out of curiosity? 35mm travels more compactly.
    Also, a folder may not be the best idea in cold temps skiing don't you think? Just thinking the bellows might get a bit stiff.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  5. Scott Micciche

    Scott Micciche Subscriber

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    I generally take my Fuji GF670 as it is compact-ish, has a nice meter and can be shot in 6x6 or 6x7. I do take batteries with me, but they are not costly.
     
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    wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

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    Thanks for your suggestion, I'll check it out.

    Two reasons ... 1. Not a big fan of the 135 aspect ration, in general. 2. I like fewer than 24/26 shots per roll. In my 35mm cameras I ALWAYS have the wrong film loaded for what I want to shoot. Ok. reason 3. I like to work with larger negatives.
     
  7. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    I have a Perkeo II with 80/3.5 Color Skopar, have never ever got a satisfactorily sharp shot with it. The late Charlie Barringer (co-author of the Zeiss-Ikon Compendium, a serious collector who used his treasures, and a good friend) told me he never got a sharp shot with his. And my friend Eric Beltrando (visit his site dioptrique.info) tells me that the Color Skopar isn't very good as tessar types go.

    But it is very compact and feels good in the hands. Pity that the lens doesn't perform well.
     
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    wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

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    Boy did I miss the boat on this camera a few years back. Meets all my criteria - but the price is high. Have you had any reliability issues with the GF670?

    Are the Voightlander and Fuji versions the same?
     
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    wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

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    That is too bad. Sounds close to right, but given the experiences you cite, I might strike this one from the list.
     
  10. macfred

    macfred Subscriber

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    The FUJI GA645 series cameras (I have three of them - with the 45mm; 60mm and the GAZi's zoom lens) are great for traveling and hiking; mine have been all over Europe.
    AF and exposure metering are spot on. I never had problems with those cameras, though I never pampered them. They are more durable than they look.
    A few examples from the GA645 (60mm Fujinon lens) and the GA645Wi (45mm Fujinon lens) :

    [​IMG]Tower by Andreas, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Workum (harbor) by Andreas, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Königssee and Mount Watzmann by Andreas, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Rißbach, Hinterriss-Eng / Tyrol Austria - 2 by Andreas, on Flickr
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    the lomo lca-120 is an excellent choice
    and its NEW+WARRANTEED you won't have to deal with
    old cameras old parts CLA as soon as you buy it
    will the repair guy be able to fix it aww shucks it broke
    as soon as i got it, aww shucks i mailed it to that guy who is a guru
    and he broke the camera or won't send it back to me
    or return my calls or now i have to shipit back to the seller
    and deal with paypal and look for another... sheepshank,
    or of course you could look for a post war mamiya 6 iv folder. coupled rangefinder too.
     
  12. Ces1um

    Ces1um Member

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    I getcha, and totally agree with reasons 2 and 3. I often wish I had more flexibility with the number of exposures and film types loaded in my cameras. If negative size wasn't a concern (and for you it is) 110 film you can just pull the film out and only lose one frame. Then you can put in a different film pack and switch back and forth with them. On a ski slope a 110 camera is perfect because they're cheaper than dirt and hardly a loss if you wipe out and destroy it. Still, those negatives are tiny and really only good for scanning and displaying on screen. Ok for 8x10 printing but not larger. Good luck with finding a decent 120 film camera! There's lots out there to choose from. The lca-120 isn't a bad choice for your purposes- it's just that it's expensive compared to used 120 cameras out there. If you could buy one second hand though I'd go for it.
     
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    wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

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    This camera is still probably first on my present list, but I am always open minded to other alternatives. My Hinter-Net is really slow today ... but the tops of your attached pictures look great! I might see the bottoms tomorrow.

    The price of these cameras seem rather reasonable ... which has me worried!
     
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  15. Scott Micciche

    Scott Micciche Subscriber

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    I have had nothing but pleasure using the camera. I adjusted the rangefinder myself and since that time, I've loved using it. I do only shoot in 6x6.
     
  16. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Subscriber

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    For fixed lens, Maymia 6, the 50's version, 75mm 3.4 lens, very sharp, as sharp as my Mamyia Universal 100 3.5, folds easy to pack, rangefinder is small but usable, downside is either learn Sunny 16 or take a light meter, in good light, Gossen Pilot works well. In scale focus, 6X9 Ansco Viking, lens is a triplet 105 6.3, best at F11.
     
  17. Siompa

    Siompa Member

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    I’ll have to chime in with the fuji crew. I have the gs645 professional with 75mm collapsible lens. The lens is one of the sharpest I’ve used and in terms of size it’s easy to fit in a pocket since you can fold it.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And you get a pretty decent light meter as well :smile:
     
  18. Ces1um

    Ces1um Member

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    Go for it! You need to buy this camera. Nothing else will do. If you don't buy one right now, you might not be able to find one to purchase later. Prices will only go up and reliability will only go down as they get older. The people who currently own them aren't taking good care of them so you need to save one of these right now. It's your responsibility to get one off of eBay tonight using the "buy it now" function- none of this bidding nonsense. Anyone who doesn't support your decision is mistaken and clearly doesn't understand the importance of photography. Pay no heed to their complaints. In the long run it will save you money to buy one. Get the one you want first rather than three others that only kind of do the job. You're only going to buy it anyways. You never know, if you're lucky you might find one that's new old stock. That's being a thrifty shopper. They aren't making anything like this anymore so if you don't get it now, you'll never have what you need. Everyone on this thread is now going to go onto eBay so you better be quick on the draw and get there first! I like to enable GAS in others. Can you tell? It's called being supportive. In a way, I've done a good deed here today.
     
  19. Jim Blomfield

    Jim Blomfield Subscriber

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    +1 for Fuji 645 for travel camera. Fantastic optics. I have both a 645 and a 645zi. Even though the zi’s zoom range is relatively small, I find it to be very useful and therefore I use it more often than the 645.
     
  20. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Member

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    I would NOT carry my GF670 while skiing. Waay too valuable to risk it that way.
     
  21. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Member

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    The Fuji GA645's are absolutely pocketable in a winter coat. Or you can wear it over your shoulder under the coat. Hard to find a better fully electronic camera w/autofocus that is more portable.

    Consider the GA645W for a wider field of view. Also, remember that each model has an "i" version (like GA645i). These have a second button that makes shooting in landscape format much easier.
     
  22. Ces1um

    Ces1um Member

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    (*whispering* I agree with you, hence the 35mm/110 camera suggestion but I'm trying to enable as much GAS on photrio as possible- that way people can support me when I go to buy a large format camera next Christmas)
     
  23. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Member

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    :laugh:
     
  24. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    If you don't mind fixed-lens a TLR might be a good choice, Rollei's of course, but the Yashicas are a good value.
    They are relatively compact and light, though not as skinny as a folder.
     
  25. 4season

    4season Member

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    Not much to add that hasn't been said already: LCA 120's fun, but for a non-Lomo look in a small package, I can't think of anything better than a Fuji GA645-series camera. You really have to work to get a crap picture out of a 645zi! Having exposure data printed outside the image area is a bonus. The fixed-lens models are no slouch either. Where the LCA 120 can be fumbly to load and unload, the GA645 models really set the standard and will spoil you for anything else.

    Although I'm a fan of the 6x9 models too (particularly great if you like to print beyond the image area) they're large and I feel that the added quality is mostly wasted if the camera's not kept rock-steady, whereas 6x4.5 is a happy medium.

    I want to like the GS645 folder, but the GA models get you most of the compact and flat package with none of the fussy handling.
     
  26. Scott Micciche

    Scott Micciche Subscriber

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    Yes, very good point ... any camera with a bellows might take issue with being tossed while open. Moisture is a huge issue if it is out snapping, then shoved into a warm pocket.
     
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    wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

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    Which Mamiya 6 do you own? The automat, where film advance is coupled to shutter cocking, or an earlier version? The mamiya 6 (old) was on my early list, but I just don't know much about them.
     
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