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Compact MF cameras?

Medium Format & Large Format - www.thephotoforum.com
I've been wanting to get into medium format for the last little while, and while I have picked up a couple cameras (Mamiya M645 & Airesflex TLR), I haven't really had a chance to use either yet. It's been very, very cold up here, and neither camera is practical for slipping in and out of a jacket...and my apartment has about the worst lighting of any manmade space I have yet encountered, so indoor shooting is also difficult.

So anyway, I've been thinking about maybe getting a smaller medium format camera as something easier to carry around—and I also don't have much experience with rangefinders, so it's kind of a two-birds-one-stone situation as far as trying new stuff goes. I was hoping you folks might have some recommendations of models I could look into (or ones I should avoid), as my generic eBay browsing is a slow process.

Some things to consider:

- I'm not going to spend a ton, I'm just trying to find something that works and is decent.

- A coupled rangefinder would be ideal, but I recognize that might not be possible for what I'm willing to spend.

- I'm not picky about size—645, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9 are all cool with me.

- I'd prefer a lens with a focal length pretty close to the eye's natural view, which if I understand correctly is around 80mm for MF.

- Folding cameras seem like a good solution as far as size goes, but how sturdy do bellows tend to be? Are folding cameras more susceptible to getting fogged up by cold?

- One I've seen come up a lot on eBay is the Agfa Isolette—anyone have any experience with these?

Thanks in advance!

 


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