Old 06-13-2011, 09:52 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 14,292
6x6 camera options

For some reason I am intrigued by square format photography and I am wondering just how many square format (6x6) cameras are out there. I'm not interested in Holgas or other cheap "toy" cameras of inconsistent quality; I want the pictures to look sharp and clear first and "artistic" second.

So far my list of 6x6 cameras is:

Bronica SQ
Mamiya 6
Mamiyaflex (TLR)
Seagull (TLR)

Are there other 6x6 cameras out there that are worth looking into?
Old 06-13-2011, 09:55 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,060
Hasselblad, of course.
Old 06-13-2011, 10:26 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 44,435
Don't forget Rolleiflex.

ETA: And the Yashica 6x6 TLRs.

Last edited by pulykamell; 06-13-2011 at 10:27 PM.
Old 06-13-2011, 10:33 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Betwixt My Ears
Posts: 12,320
BY 6x6 you mean cameras that shoot 120 film, the classic square format ? I have my father's old Yashica 635 Twin Lens Reflex camera.

If you are interested in shooting this format and don't want to go broke, get an old camera like this one. Find it from a reputable dealer, because you want to make sure the two lenses are perfectly aligned. If the cams are even slightly off, what you focus will not shoot in focus. ( twin lens !! )

If you are game on fine optics, go with a Mamaya or Hasselblad. The lenses are tremendous. This is old technology. For example- and I suggest you call them- I was in Keeble and Shuchat in Palo Alto CA last weekend doing some demos. The Used Camera dept was the counter near me. My god I was in heaven. I bought an amazing Nikon 70-300 for my DSLR. Anyway, the last day I was there, a woman came in. Brought in her entire kit to sell back. A full Mamaya, a full Leica and full Nikon kit. Incredible sets of lenses, bodies, etc.

Call around. Find a body from someone who is trustworthy and has an old guy who really knows these bodies and lenses, who has vetted them. OR- and this is a cheap way to jump in and explore the format- buy a camera mentioned at the top for almost nothing, get some film and have some fun !!!

I shot on a trip in 1989 through the southwest with my Yashica. One lens. Shot B&W only. Plus-X ( Couldn't find Panatomic-X to save my life, sadly ). Some of the best shots of my life. Oddly, since the wide expanses would- you would think- lend themselves not only to standard 35mm landscape aspect ratio but to something like panorama camera shots. Yet there was something about the stunning detail coupled with the stunning vistas.

Shot almost all of it with a Yellow filter. Draws down the sky towards black, makes those clouds pop !!

ETA: Ahhh, Pulykamell, missed your post on Preview !!
If you want to kiss the sky you'd better learn how to kneel.

Last edited by Cartooniverse; 06-13-2011 at 10:34 PM.
Old 06-14-2011, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: NC
Posts: 1,691
A very cheap way to try the format is to grab a folding camera such as an Agfa Isolette. These can be very nifty since they fold up to a pocketable size.

Yashica TLR cameras are very decent, I think all of the models are superior to the Seagull.

Mamiyaflex TLRs are quite a bit bulkier than the fixed-lens Yashica models. It is a pro studio camera and less suited to walking around.

Mamiya 6 will set you back a LOT of money but is excellent otherwise. Very portable.

Bronica SQ is quite good, but heavy and bulky. Almost all the lenses have a poor minimum focus distance for closeups, so it can be difficult to make a tight head+shoulders shot without extension tubes.

The Bronica S series (e.g., S2A) is well thought of and more compact than the SQ. They might be more expensive these days being older and rarer.

The Kiev 88C is a Russian Hasselblaad copy, uses abundant and cheap Pentacon 6 lenses. There is an excellent Arsat 30mm fisheye which is popular.

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