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  1. gazmorton2000

    gazmorton2000

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    3,761
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    Gareth (Not Gary!)
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    Considering many things. Firstly, whittling it down to a single Medium Format camera and a single 35mm. I love shooting medium format, but for some reason, 35mm has a certain quality that I love and would never want to sell my M2 and 50mm f2.0.

    I really, really want to play with an Xpan for a couple of weeks. There doesn't seem to be any options in the U.K. to rent one unfortunately and not in the financial position to buy one of those for something that might not last.

    More importantly, I am off to Iceland again very soon and need to stock up on some film!! Shot 22 rolls last time I went and plan to shoot more this time. Will probably go mostly Ektar 100 again with some Portra 800 for if we get some overcast/dull days again. Won't be taking anything digital at all. :)
     
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  2. ChrisR

    ChrisR

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    Chris
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    Someone on here has, or had, an Xpan, maybe you could borrow one?

    I really really envy you the Iceland trip, but if I got to go it would NOT be a photo-focused trip, unfortunately!
     
  3. gazmorton2000

    gazmorton2000

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    Gareth (Not Gary!)
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    Would be ace if someone could lend me one. I would happily swap something for a few weeks. :) I want to try one with some Cinestill film.
     
  4. srichards

    srichards

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    Suz
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    The minolta hi-matic E and whether it's broken. The destruction manual says there should be a dual image in the range finder spot so you can tell when it's focussed. It doesn't matter what I point it at it's the same level of fuzzy behind the spot. The focussing ring is very difficult to turn as well. It's annoying as it seems to have working batteries in it as well so I could just pop a roll in but if there is no way of telling whether it is focussed there isn't much point!
     
  5. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    678
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    Have you got an old film you could sacrifice to see if 'physically' having a film in there makes any difference? Perhaps a few frames of Poundland AGFA could be used for the test: if it doesn't work then open the back, take the canister out and rewind the three of four frames you've used to mechanically test it. You can then use it again in another camera , winding through the first few 'ruined' frames until you get to the unexposed section and carry on as normal. If this doesn't work then you've lost £1, so it's not the end of the world (but depending how 'keen' you are, you might be able to see it in the distance from there!). ;) Hope this is useful, probably a long shot if the focus ring feels 'wrong' but maybe worth a go? :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  6. srichards

    srichards

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    9,437
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    Suz
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    Ive run out of old films. I should take a trip to Poundland I suppose :) It definitely feels odd compared to all the other cameras I've used.
     
  7. srichards

    srichards

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    Suz
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    Now obsessing over a 6x6 capable camera. I'm thinking something by Voigtlander. Has to be zone focus or range finder. No WLF but a decent normal view finder and capable automatic coupled exposure as I'm lazy. What's the cheapest one that fits that brief? Ideally fairly idiot proof in the film loading department as I'm a clod :)
     
  8. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    678
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    Don't you have one of those Autocord things that's 6x6? If so, has it got a flip up magnifier, and have you tried holding that close to your eye to focus, then once you've got the focus right, drop it down to waist/tummy level to compose the shot. If that doesn't work then why not just use that big 6x4.5 thing you bought and crop it square afterwards? The potential problem with having lots of different cameras is that you end up never using any particular one of them long or often enough to learn its foibles and get good with it. I've approached that stage now so I'm raining in a bit on which ones I'm using. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  9. stevelmx5

    stevelmx5

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    Steve
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    Other than using something like a Bronica SQA with prism finder, I'm not sure there is anything else that fits your requirement of no WLF, 6x6 and automatic exposure?

    Something like a Bessa RF will give you 6x9 with rangefinder focusing but that's full manual exposure.
     
  10. stevelmx5

    stevelmx5

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    Steve
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  11. Downton Mini

    Downton Mini

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    2,632
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    Mark
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    Getting out and using my Trip 35! Hoping to get chance tonight but will take ti to the meet at NMA tomorrow as well!
     
  12. Woodsy

    Woodsy POTY Winner 2009

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    Jonathan
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    Mamiya 6. Rangefinder, auto mode, 6x6. It fits the bill, apart from, you know, the 'bill'.
     
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  13. skysh4rk

    skysh4rk

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    RJ
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    Don't you already own a Rollei TLR? This already fits most of what you have asked for and it's the cheapest option.

    Rolleis are easy to load—as 6x6 goes—and you can scale focus them easily too; if you wanted, you could just use the viewfinder for framing. I scale focus or pre-focus all the time for street or candid photography and then use the viewfinder only for composition.
     
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  14. srichards

    srichards

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    Suz
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    I've got an old Rolleiflex automat but I find it really difficult to focus with and frame with and I have to work out exposure. It seems a shame to lose what you've taken by cropping square later. I'm no good at that anyway. The picture is in the frame and that's it. I seem to be polygamous relationship with cameras at the moment :) I have sold a lot of digital kit to fund more fun film cameras.

    I don't find it easy. I'm a clod. It has the right format and it's cheap. It's not nice to use. At least I don't find it anything but a bit of a chore.

    I was looking at some later Bessa that had AE but it was about £2k so I decided against that...

    That's the one I keep coming back to.

    I will check out the lomo thing again. I probably had some ridiculous reason for discounting it before so I'll have another look and see if I can remember what it was!
     
  15. Strappy

    Strappy

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    Dean
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    All of the ones I own. "Ooooh, I haven't used that in ages, I should sell it ... but remember that time when ... and those results from ... and why you wanted that one in the first place ..."

    I'm my own worst enemy. :(
     
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  16. skysh4rk

    skysh4rk

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    2,751
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    RJ
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    What aren't you finding easy? The film loading? This can't really change that much from camera to camera because it's constrained by the film and the requirements of 120 format itself. You are always going to need to put the film in the camera and then attach the film to the other spool; no camera in 6x6 can escape this reality.

    To be honest, I'm not really sure how you can get loading that is any easier than a Rolleiflex in 6x6 unless you hire someone to load your film for you, as most Rolleiflex 6x6 cameras automatically wind to frame 1, which is not a common feature found in 6x6.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  17. srichards

    srichards

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    Suz
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    All of it. Using it. Loading it. Operating it. It's a nice looking box but it's just not got the right ergonomics for me at all. I've only shot about 4 rolls of 120 ever so I still find it far more difficult to use.
     
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  18. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    678
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    Why not wait until one of the F&C meets and try a couple of other cameras then, as I'm sure people would be pleased to help you 'try before you buy'. You might find one of the Yashica TLRs easier to focus than the Laundromat or whatever you've got! A Yashica 124G TLR (which features a meter) might be a cheaper option than some fancy (and heavy!) MF SLR as long as you could get along with it?

    Talking of which, was anyone up for that suggested informal 1 day F&C meet at that Churnet Valley Railway event thing?
     
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  19. stevelmx5

    stevelmx5

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    Steve
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    I'd say forget about 6x6 and use the GA645. It's the most automated medium format camera I've ever used and is simple to load.
     
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  20. skysh4rk

    skysh4rk

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    2,751
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    RJ
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    I really would recommend shooting some more 120 before looking to buy anything else personally. Assuming the Rolleiflex is working properly, there really aren't many cameras in 6x6 that operate as simply and as smoothly.

    6x6cm will require some adjustment, so you might as well adjust with what you already own before spending any more money. Maybe you will find that you like the Rollei more, maybe you won't, but you'll have a better feel for what you do or don't like in 120 format.

    If you're looking for automation, medium format isn't really a great place to look, I don't think. If I had to do it though, I would be choosing the Lomo LC-A 120.

    There's not much difference in loading any of these cameras though. It's put film in, thread film through other spool, wind.
     
  21. Woodsy

    Woodsy POTY Winner 2009

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    Jonathan
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    Well, this is it, if not shooting 6x6, the mamiya 645 cameras (well, the 645 super and newer have auto modes, not sure about the previous models) are also rather nice. Mine hasn't had an issue since I whacked it on a table to 'fix' it :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
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  22. srichards

    srichards

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    Suz
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    I've already tried a yashica and hated it. A friend is going to be converting it to a lamp...

    I'm going to Churnet, if the weather is ok.

    A 67 version of the 645 by fuji is possibly what I need to find. I'm sure there is one that shoots 645, 66 & 67. I can't remember which model it is. Then I'd only need one medium format camera as it did it all.

    After trying a lot of different film cameras recently it's definitely automation and ease of use that I prefer. I still don't trust that 120 rolls are light tight at all. They just look like they're ready to unwind at a moment's notice.
     
  23. skysh4rk

    skysh4rk

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    RJ
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    Well, there is the Fuji GF670, which can shoot 6x7 and 6x6, but it's pretty pricey and it's not automated. I think it has an uncoupled meter though.

    Edit: apparently it does have aperture priority capability.

    I wish this camera existed, as I'd already own it. ;)

    They're fine. I've shot hundreds of rolls of these bad boys.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
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  24. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    Snip:
    The 'Ensign Selfix 820' 1950s folding camera has flip out shutters by the film gate so it can shoot 6x6 as well as 6x9, but as it's full manual focus, has a flip up uncoupled viewfinder, and no meter at all (let alone a coupled one) I imagine Suz would despise it, not just hate it, and would probably ask her friend to make a litter tray scoop out if it! ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
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  25. Jao

    Jao

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    Adrian
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    A sack trolley ;)
     
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  26. srichards

    srichards

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    9,437
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    Suz
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    Has anyone used a prism finder with a rollieflex TLR? Just realised such a thing exists so I wonder whether that would solve one of the usability issues. I find eye level operation so much more normal.
     
  27. skysh4rk

    skysh4rk

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    2,751
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    RJ
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    Your Rolleiflex should have some eye-level capabilities. You need a later model Rolleiflex or Rolleicord though to be able to fit a prism.
     
  28. srichards

    srichards

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    Suz
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    Drat. I may try gaffa taping one on regardless...
     
  29. skysh4rk

    skysh4rk

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    2,751
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    RJ
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    Unless you have a Rollei model with a removable hood, this method won't work as the prism needs to be set at a very specific height in order to achieve focus. With the hood on, you won't be able to get it to this height.

    Your easiest option really is just to practise with the waist level finder. They're fantastic once you get used to them.
     
  30. StephenM

    StephenM

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    Stephen
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    I fully agree. I MUCH prefer a waist level finder to an eye level one; back in my 35mm days I normally used my Exakta with a waist level finder even though I had a prism.

    And referring back to my earlier post in this thread about my obessing over a Kine Exakta - I did give in and bought it :). It comes with a non interchangeable waist level finder, which is no problem for me. When at school, I used to photograph sports with my Exakta with a waist level finder, and had no problem with the reversed image, even when following motion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
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  31. srichards

    srichards

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    Suz
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    Double drat!

    I don't like WLFs. Compared to a nice clear viewfinder I find them awful. Bright light and you can't see anything. Lowlight you can't see anything. Proper eye level viewfinder is so quick and simple :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  32. skysh4rk

    skysh4rk

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    2,751
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    RJ
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    Is there something wrong with your WLF? A WLF should be bigger and clearer than any eye level finder, all things being equal. This isn't merely opinion; due to the laws of physics, eye-level viewfinders are smaller and dimmer compared to WLF because the image has to be reflected so many times to achieve the upright, unreversed image.

    Maybe yours needs a clean or a service.

    I use WLFs in all sorts of conditions without any problems nowadays, although it did take a bit of practice to orient myself to the reversed image.
     
  33. srichards

    srichards

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    Suz
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    It's brand new focussing screen with a brand new mirror.

    I find eye level view finders much easier. I've been using cameras like the Agfa that has a massive clear bright view finder and the dynax which also has a fantastic viewfinder. it's just ergonomics. On a tripod they're probably quite good but I never use a tripod.
     
  34. skysh4rk

    skysh4rk

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    2,751
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    RJ
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    Suz, forgive me for being blunt here, and I mean this in the friendliest way possible, but how can an Agfa or Dynax have a bigger viewfinder than a rolleiflex? The Rolleiflex viewfinder is 2 ¼ x 2 ¼ inches and achieves something like 3x magnification with the loupe. It's just not physically possible for any 135 format camera to have a viewfinder as big as a Rolleiflex.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  35. srichards

    srichards

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    Suz
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    It's not just size. It's ease of use. I don't use the rear screen on a digital as it's far more awkward than the eye level viewfinder. With your eye right up to the eye level finder I find it more immersive. Some waist level finder means I'm mostly looking at the floor and squinting at at a square or stooping over it to try and see what I'm doing. It's just not as good. It's like using a digital with the screen flipped out horizontally to me. I don't do that either. You like it. I don't. I may change my mind and become a WLF worshipper in a few rollls but it seems improbable:)
     
  36. StephenM

    StephenM

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    There is the small matter of viewfinder magnification and viewing distance. The Olympus E3 camera has a smaller sensor than APS-C, but the perceived size of the viewfinder is the same as the OM1/2 etc. from my obsevation, and far, far bigger than some APS-C DSLRs I've looked through.

    If you use a waist level finder at waist level, it's going to be some distance away from your eye and look far smaller.

    I always use my waist level finders with magnifier at eye level for focussing, and can drop to a different height as required for making the exposure.

    If you don't make use of the viewing hood, the screen will be washed out, just as a view camera screen is without a cloth and the sun behind.
     
  37. StephenM

    StephenM

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    Post above made while I was typing.

    I'll admit that one man's meat is another man's fish, as they say. It's the fact that I find an eye level viewfinder that acts as though I were directly viewing the scene does make for an immersive experience at the very point when I want to detach myself from the surrounds to concentrate on the image that the camera will record. It's a personal weakness, I admit, but using a camera at eye level shoots my composition to shreds - I just point and shoot, as though using my eyes to scan the scene. It aways shows in the end result....
     
  38. srichards

    srichards

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    I have tried it at different heights and I just don't find a way of using it that works for me unfortunately.
     
  39. Strappy

    Strappy

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    Having previously been obsessing over all my cameras, today I've managed to focus (ha! geddit?!) on two in particular. And I'm still stumped. :(

    I need to bring my 'collection' (a nice word for the random assortment of cameras, lenses and miscellany that I've accumulated over the years rather than addressing my GAS) down to a more manageable size so that I actually take a camera out with me occasionally instead of looking at them all, not making my mind up and wandering off thinking that I'll take photos next time.

    I'm looking at two 35mm SLRs; the Canon T90 and the Nikon F100. I'll try to summarise the positives and negatives (ha! twice in one post!) for each and apologise for doing my thinking out loud.

    Canon T90 - it's the camera I've owned the longest and have the most lenses and accessories for. I like the lenses, the fact that most are still relatively cheap thanks to FD incompatibility with EOS cameras, the handling is good, decent range of features including multi-spot metering BUT it's old, replacement parts are no longer available (though spare cameras are cheap enough if needed), mine is working ok but I'm always thinking of the EEE fault and manual focus can be annoying when you just want to take a photo.

    Nikon F100 - lenses and accessories are more expensive, especially full-frame Nikon lenses thanks to wider compatibility. The handling is good, features are excellent and obviously it's got Nikon's matrix metering, which is a major positive and as far as I know it doesn't have the spectre of failure following it as it's still new enough BUT when I used this camera for an extended period on a F&C trip to London, I found it lacked engagement because it felt that all I needed to do was point it in the right direction.

    So the F100 is too do-it-all but the T90 can be frustrating, particularly if I'm in a hurry. The range of FD lenses I have means that I get stuck deciding which to take out with me and then dismiss it because the bag would be too heavy to lug around and then I look at the F100 and I only have two lenses for that ... so I dismiss it because of the limited choice. :confused:

    I think a day spent with a roll of the same film in each and a 50mm lens should help resolve my dilemma. Or make it even worse. At least it'll be a sort of progress!
     
  40. srichards

    srichards

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    Suz
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    I do like automation as then I'm just concentrating on the photo not farting about with the camera.

    I can't help with your dilemma. Have you thought of getting rid of both and buying a nice Minolta dynax instead? :)

    I have sort of decided to standardise around 40mm for focal lengths. If I keep a similar field of view then I just hunt for pictures that fit that. I'm going to settle on 2 or 3 smallish cameras that I can take out together with a mix of colour and black and white loaded. Saves having to faff about reloading.

    I keep the zooms for digital.
     

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