Advice on vacation 120 camera

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

  1. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,778
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I think the before mentioned Fuji 645 rangefinders are your best bet for medium format. For 35mm an Olympus XA would fit in your pocket.
     
  2. Punker

    Punker Member

    Messages:
    116
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My buddy swears by his Fuji 645. For me, as I don't print as much as I should, on the PC the difference between a MF and 35mm scan is negligible so I mainly shoot 35mm when traveling. However, I've taken to bringing a glass lens 120 Holga with me for some fun dreamy shots. It's smallish, light, and can make big enlargements if I want.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

    Messages:
    215
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2017
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yeah, death to my Mamiya 7 is a real concern (even more than its weight and size) while xc skiing.

    Really, I need to be able to shove this camera into a pocket or saddle bag and it can't be too fiddly. Beyond skiing and hiking, I want a MF camera with me on cattle drives and calf brandings. I am almost digital free now. Especially, when working cattle I want to quickly deploy and shoot. Right now I use a digital p/s or no camera at all while horseback. I have plenty of camera for slow work ...

    Really, the more this discussion goes on the clearer my selection criteria is becoming. That is why this is such a great and useful site!

    Fuji 645 is winning. The LCA 120 isn't crazy, but don't like the focal length. Are the Mamiya 645 just too big, bulky? That is my thinking.
     
  4. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

    Messages:
    915
    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Location:
    Brewer, Maine
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Wow, that surprises me. I had a Perkeo II and the Color Skopar lens was very sharp. I would've have kept mine but I sold it to help fund the purchase of a Mamiya 220 tlr and a couple of lenses.
     
  5. Ces1um

    Ces1um Subscriber

    Messages:
    722
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What focal length are you hoping for? That might help with the decision. Is it scenery you're trying to capture, portraits or are you after something with a "normal" focal length?
     
  6. OP
    OP
    wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

    Messages:
    215
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2017
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    65-80mm. For me, this is a good all-arounder range.
     
  7. mmerig

    mmerig Member

    Messages:
    70
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Location:
    Teton Valley
    Shooter:
    35mm
    For the same purpose as yours (pocketable MF camera, not too expensive, including winter use), I chose a folder; Voigtlander Bessa II with 105-mm Color Skopar. It is a 6 x 9, a format I really like, but could be too wide for you, given your preferences. The only thing I don't like about it is that the small viewfinder is hard to use with glasses. I use a Gossen Pilot meter, but rarely need it.

    I ski and climb in the winter in western Wyoming, among other places, and do not put a camera inside my coat, or even in a parka pocket, to avoid condensation (this has happened). I keep straps on the camera for when I am using it, but use an army surplus canteen holder to carry the camera at my waist. If there is a risk of falling, I put the camera in my pack to protect it.
     
  8. Numerous Certo folding cameras will fill the bill. I had a Certo SuperDolly with a Zeiss lens that took stunning photographs. Yes I know they are pricey at $400US for the body and $300US for the 80mm lens, other lenses for $00US to $600US [all used] but if you take you time between buying lenses you would find that the Hasselblad is a bargain at today's prices. Even more if you look at the original prices. I have taken the Hasselblad with the 50mm and 80mm lenses with the Hasselblad 903 to France and Greece and I am very glad that I did.
     
  9. ewbank1

    ewbank1 Subscriber

    Messages:
    24
    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a Mamiya 7II and bought a Perkeo II for the very same reason, something pocketable, easy to travel with and would not worry as much about damaging it.

    The Color Skopar is quite sharp in my copy, amazingly so at times. However, I have not used the Perkeo very much. It appears the lens board/strut is slightly worn/loose. The lens is every so slightly tilted with respect to the film and one side of the frame is definitely less sharp. There is also a small light leak that I have not been able to track down. The scale focusing is more problematic than I expected, I wonder if it has to do with the lens not quite fully extending/strut being loose/worn. If the camera was in perfect shape it would be a great travel camera.

    Rather than resolve the problems with it, I bought a rather distressed new Mamiya 6 with 50 and 75 mm lenses. Since it is rather banged up and was a lot cheaper than the 7II I don't worry about traveling with it as much. And being able to collapse the lens, does make it rather more packable than the 7II.

    I also have a Rolleiflex 2.8D, I prefer to travel with the Mamiya 6.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

    Messages:
    215
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2017
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Wow! Close neighbor ... Heck, you're probably not more than 150 mi away (we live outside of Daniel)! Really, what I do is keep my camera in a cushioned bag in my back pack. A smaller camera would open up more options for sure.
     
  11. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,148
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Location:
    Whitehorse, Yukon
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    The Fuji GS645W is by far the best wilderness camera I've ever used. It is light and compact for a 645, has an excellent wide angle lens, built in meter and is scale focus. The best thing about it is the speed and usability. Pull it out of a pouch or drybag and it's basically point and shoot. Just needed a quick glance to check the settings which were almost always f/11, 1/500 for sunny or 1/250 for cloudy, focus set at the 5 m click stop. I shot tons of Portra 400 and HP5 this way with excellent results. In trickier light I would take the the time to meter.

    Many of my best images were taken with these cameras. I owned two of them at one point although I had reliability issues. I had to get both repaired and never had one of them survive an extended wilderness trip. So I got rid of them but I haven't found anything better yet.

    Some examples here: http://yukon.photography/tagged/Fuji-GS645W

    That Lomo 120 is a cool looking camera. Really wish they used an actual lens.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

    Messages:
    215
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2017
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Wonderful photos - beautiful country. So what killed your cameras? Daily grind, wet, bouncing. Or more acute crashes and bangs?
     
  13. M. Axel Wikstrom

    M. Axel Wikstrom Member

    Messages:
    85
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2016
    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The old Zeiss Ikonta folders are wonderful cameras. For less than $250 you should be able to find one with a Tessar lens in great condition. I have two, 6x6 and 6x4.5. Mine are older, from the 1930s, and the results are great. Use a good lens shade and the old uncoated lenses are not an issue. (The post-war Ikontas are coated.)
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Member

    Messages:
    5,233
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Mi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The GA645's autofocus is really fast. Once you have the camera, you'll find that naturally shoot a lot more in portrait mode than you normally do. You get used to it.
     
  16. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,425
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hmmm -- I own a Perkio II with Color Skopar and find it to be quite a satisfactory camera. I was a little surprised to read the negative comments upthread. Regardless of that, it should be mentioned that it does not have a lightmeter -- or a rangefinder. It's a bit of circa 1952 technology I wish I had owned in the 1950s! :whistling: I think I would worry a bit about any bellows cameras in strenuous outdoor activity, but I suppose if they are kept closed except when taking pictures they'd be OK. Although it's very compact, after handling modern plastic P&Ss, it has a significant solid metal and glass feel to it.
     
  17. Before you jump to 645, really think about if that is what you want. There are good reasons 6x6 has always been more popular than 645. Too me the format is too long, comes off as looking like 35mm and does not have the negative size and detail of 6x6.
     
  18. Ste_S

    Ste_S Member

    Messages:
    116
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2017
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Or the Nettar folders which are almost a tenth of the price of the Ikonta. I bought the 518/16 with f4.5 Novar Anastigmat as a pocketable counterpart to my Mamiya C330
     
  19. macfred

    macfred Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,474
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Agreed !
    I have a Zeiss Super Ikonta III 531/16 with Novar Anastigmat f/3.5 75mm (coupled rangefinder) - bought it for 150,-- CLA'd . Great results stopped down to f/8 and it fits the inner pocket of my Tweed jacket.
     
  20. baachitraka

    baachitraka Member

    Messages:
    2,856
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    Bremen, Germany.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I carry shoulder bag and my TLR fits nicely into it. My choice is Rolleicords (Xenar or Triotars), the one with triotar is actually compact and light weight.

    Do not underestimate Holga/Diana (new) or Diana (old, 16 exposures). These may render negatives that you will remember for long time (good way).
     
  21. macfred

    macfred Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,474
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  22. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

    Messages:
    10,208
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    K,Germany
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Have you looked at the Mamiya6?
     
  23. guangong

    guangong Subscriber

    Messages:
    727
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    From my own experience, I have a Fuji 456 folding camera but find holding camera for landscape format awkward. Going from most compact my choices would be: Super Ikonta B, Fuji GF670, Rolleiflex tlr, Hasselblad. Super Ikonta and Fuji are compact, Rollei and Hassy somewhat less so. Keep in mind that Super Ikonta is small enough to fit into coat pocket but is heavy. Fuji in leather case can be unnoticeable slung over shoulder. Rollei and Hassy have well designed ever ready cases that are ready to shoot by opening a snap, increasing their security while moving about.
    Of course, whatever camera you choose at some instance will be the wrong one!
     
  24. ChuckP

    ChuckP Subscriber

    Messages:
    714
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    NW Chicagola
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you buy a Fuji 645zi make sure the back display screen is operating properly and not dropping digits. I think the problem is caused by the wiring from front to back door. Mine drops a few digits at times but still usable. Also the knob you turn to adjust shutter speed etc can get erratic operation. Mine has this problem. Can always find the right point but it may take a couple tries. Also they can develop small cracks in the right handle lower back area. Doesn't seem to bother anything but it can only get worse. Mine also has this problem. For me it's been a great camera. I've had mine for many years and taken some of my favorite pictures with it. Even thinking of buying a spare as this is a good camera to age with.
     
  25. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Member

    Messages:
    5,233
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Mi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My GA645 had knob issues when I first bought it. The aperture values would bounce all over the place as it was turned, never landing where I wanted it. A repair shop disassembled the top of the camera, cleaned out all the dust, and it's worked fine every since.
     
  26. destroya

    destroya Subscriber

    Messages:
    678
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Location:
    Los Altos, California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    my fuji 645zi is my compact/hiking/travel camera of choice if im really trying to minimize size. I usually take it along with my mamiya 6, one for color one for B&W. if its bad conditions, ill leave the mamiya at home. the fujis just works. it gets out of your way so you can take picts quickly and not really have to think much once you understand how it works, so its just like a large point and shoot, very similar in operation to the contax g1/g2 35mm cameras. it took me a few serious outings to get to use the camera to get, for me, long side shots as you have to turnn the camera, but its really a not big deal. I will second, third, forth the idea of making sure the back LCD is working. the lens is really special
     
,