Advice on vacation 120 camera

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

  1. Thorpelyon

    Thorpelyon Subscriber

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    All this talk about Certos and Perkeos has me wondering what ever happened to Jurgen and his Certo6 site. I bought a couple of wonderful cameras off him a couple of years ago. Anyone have any news?
     
  2. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    He has stuff listed on ePrey as recently as December 21st. I haven't had any dealings with him in several years. I'd guess he has slowed down a bit (I believe it was a sort of retirement/hobby business), plus it's hard to believe he could continue to find enough folders out there to maintain his pace of years back.
     
  3. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber

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    Thanks! Sadly nothing happened in particular I was just plagued with shutter failures. I also had the film counter die on one of my GS645Ws. Maybe some temperature and moisture issues but nothing crazy. Fortunately it tended to happen towards the end of trips and often it stared out out intermittent failures. I had some rolls that were 50% missed frames due to shutter not firing but at least I got some photos.

    For example on this trip I shot over 30 rolls of 120 film, a lot of shots taken on the water. The shutter crapped out as we were flying out so thankfully I only lost a few photos taken from the airplane.

    Like I said I still miss those cameras every day but I don't miss worrying about not coming back with photos from a trip. Still searching for the ideal replacement though so I am following this thread with great interest.
     
  4. baachitraka

    baachitraka Member

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    Mechanical shutters are easy to bring back to life, if in case something went wrong. Just need 20 mins of time and nice set of tools ;-)

    Bessa RF with Skopar or Heliar can bit the bill and it comes with 6x4.5 mask. Comes with a coupled rangefinder and pretty compact.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    My Baby Bessa is small and very nice.
    It is solid though (=heavy), relies on scale focusing, is very particular about how you engage the frame counter system and is ideally suited for left handed and left eye dominant photographers (yea!).
     
  6. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Subscriber

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    I have the early version, focus is rather unusual, rather than moving the lens the film register inside the camera moves, meaning that the film is held very flat by an additional plate. Only flaw is that the knobs that pull down when removing or loading film can come lose and fall out, need to use lock thread to make sure this doesn't happen, I lost one and had to have new one made cost me $45.00.
     
  7. hsandler

    hsandler Subscriber

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    Having skied with a DSLR and fallen on it, bruising myself badly (the camera was fine), I would go with something fairly flat. Really, a 35mm rangefinder is the way to go, like a Canonet or Hi-Matic. But if you really want a medium format with a meter, I don't know of much that would be acceptable beyond a Fuji 645 or a modern Bessa. I have had a couple old German 6x9 folders. They are fun, but I would not like the lens flare from uncoated lenses in snowy scenes; even with a lens hood, there will be significant flare from all the in-frame white stuff. The old shutters may not take to the cold and I worry a bit about folding and unfolding the bellows a lot in the cold. Potential for cracking. An issue with folders is the front standard getting out of parallel to the film plane, and this may contribute to reports of unsharpness. Actually, the best folder I ever had was a Kodak Tourist where the struts go across from one side of the body to the opposite side of the front standard and really brace everything nicely. I have not had condensation problems with any camera going to an outside pocket in the cold, as long as the pocket communicates with outside dry air. A humid inside pocket may be another story.Condensation has only been a problem for me coming into a warm indoor space with humidified air.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

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    Thanks to all who have contributed; it has been eyeopening. For my needs I imagine that I will try to go with one of the Fuji GA645s, though which one depends on what is out there. As I said, I knew (know) very little about the folding options, so this thread has been tremendously helpful. In fact, if I can't find a suitable GA645, then I will try one of the folding cameras mentioned. Selecting the right camera is always a compromise. Aldelorenzo's real life experience with the fuji GA645s was a bit disappointing.

    Though not quite as compact, the Mamiya 6 (new type) and the Bronica 645 RF both appear to be reasonable alternatives to the GA645s, except for price. Durability? One of the reasons for this purchase is to quit putting my Mamiya 7 at risk. So, I'm not sure that substituting in a Mamiya 6 or a Bronica 645 makes much sense!

    More than one of you suggested 35mm. Yes, the options abound, but I prefer MF vs. 135 enough to try and make this work. I will let the group know if/when I buy the small/outdoor MF camera of my dreams.
     
  9. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Member

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    Aldelorenzo's experience was with the GS645, not the GA. The GS645 is a much older camera and a totally different beast. I would not let his experience with that camera deter you from the GA645.
    I dont think a Mamiya 6 makes any sense at all given the criteria you posted originally. It's far too large and fragile.

    There's a GA645 for sale right now at KEH.com. They take returns no questions asked so buying from them gives you a risk free way to see if this is the right camera for you.
     
  10. Scott Micciche

    Scott Micciche Subscriber

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    I just studied up on these for a bit, it seems there is a model that has a limited aperture? I cannot remember the exact model designation off the top of my head, but might be something to think about for outdoor/landscape shooting.
     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I used to ski with a Minolta SR with multiple lenses in a backpack, but I never had the honor of falling with the cameras equipment. For skiing with a camera with or without additional lenses I would recommend a rangefinder unless one needs lenses longer than 135mm.
     
  12. OP
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    wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

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    You are correct. My mistake, thanks.

    Yep, that is one I am presently mulling over.
     
  13. OP
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    wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

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    The GA645zi has a limited aperture, particularly at the higher zoom. I think f/4.5 at the widest angle and f6.9 zoomed in.
     
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  15. wjlapier

    wjlapier Subscriber

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    I used a GA645Zi in Yellowstone this past summer. Mostly drove around with the family but we hiked a few times. The camera is light enough--lighter than the Mamiya 6/7's. Many comments from other tourist. Any of the Fujifilm GA645's would be my suggestion.

    Someone mentioned a Certo Dolly Super Sport. I have the one with a Zeiss lens and after a CLA of the shutter mechanism and new bellows it's a great pocketable 6x6 camera. Jurgen did the CLA and I had someone in England do the bellows. If you consider a folder bellows might be the biggest problem you'll encounter--even the Fuji 645 version.

    Edit to share a couple of pics showing the size difference between two above mentioned cameras:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  16. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    I’ve got to pitch my support for a Plaubel 67 — great lens in either the 55mm or 80mm version — built in meter that I find works fairly well if used with common sense, easy to load, and it collapses flat when not in use. I've never fallen on mine, so can't say how it would stand up to such an event! (Photo: Acros in UFG, at a Cars 'n' Coffee event)

    Stanley Steamer 001 copy.jpg
     
  17. ITKI

    ITKI Member

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    Awesome!
     
  18. ITKI

    ITKI Member

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    I'd say yes, but i don't know about you, maybe you wouldn't mind.
    They're not that big, but they're like a brick. It will seriously hurt if you crash and the camera is next to your ribs, for example.
     
  19. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Thank you. I have a much better idea what the Yukon looks like. Before I had to depend on Sargent Preston, his wonder dog King and his horse Rex.
     
  20. ITKI

    ITKI Member

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    Way too precious, I'd say.
    : ]
     
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