Yes! You too can afford a medium format camera!

Ever since I was a wee lad, aged about 4 or 5 years old, I always had a fascination about cameras.

To a young child of that age, it seemed miraculous, that a little metal box could create images of people or things. And too right, as well. Even today, more than 40 years later, I still think it’s absolute magic, how a box can produce almost exact copies of people or objects we see with our eyes; let me qualify that; sometimes it can capture things we normally miss with our own eyes!

At that young age, I can understand my parents’ reluctance to hand me, what was at the time, quite an expensive instrument. So it was only when I was around 8 or 10 years old, that my father finally agreed to let me use the camera.

At first, it took some time trying to get used to using it, as with twin lens reflex cameras, left and right are reversed, so to look at a scene on your right for example, you have to move the camera to the left!

That camera, a Yashica Mat, is still with me now, and being used regularly.

Little did I realise at the time, that I was playing with a professional genre, that of medium format. IN fact that, training stood me in good use, as when I decided to take up photography full time, I hit the road running as they say.

Nowadays, there are several really affordable ways to get into the medium format market. You can try your hand with an all-plastic twin lens reflex (TLR) camera, which although will not be able to produce results as good as the more better built ones, can still give you a taste of the format.

Then there are the Rolleiflexes, very high quality profession standard cameras, and also the Hasselblad range, again, very high quality, with prices to match!

It all comes down to affordability in the end. If you cannot afford to fork out more than $1500 to $2000 or more for a medium format camera, I would seriously recommend the Yashica TLR range.

There are plenty of models to choose from, and all are capable of producing professional quality shots. I’m not one to blow my own horn, but I have had many shots from my Yashica Mat TLR   printing by some very well-known magazines, so it shows you the quality we are talking about here.

One camera from the Yashica range is the Yashica D, one of the best all-around medium format cameras on the market in my opinion.

For around $200 to $250, you can pick one up in excellent, working condition, and you can be sure it will out last your lifetime.

I picked several of my Yashicas at very low prices many years ago, and in fact, even now, when prices have moved up a little, it is still jaw-dropping to see the difference in prices between these cameras and the Hasselblads or Rolleiflex models. There is not much difference in quality when it comes down to it.

Why do I love my Yashicas, and what’s so good about them then?

Well, they have been so well designed, with the layout of the speed, aperture, shutter wind and release button so strategically placed, that you could use them all day, and without looking up from the screen, a very, very important point.

Lenses are also tack sharp. Despite what you read on the internet, both types, the Yashinon and the Yashikor, are excellent lenses; take my word for it, I’ve used both types for well over 30 years!

The other thing is that these cameras just “feel” right in your hands. The quaint square screen in the viewfinder just begs you to take the camera out and start composing your first shot. And 120 roll film is easily available, too. Another bonus is that because the negative size is very large, you can develop the film yourself if you wanted and scan the prints or enlarge them very easily.

The Yashica D which we are talking about, is as simple as you can get, without compromising on quality. It has no metering system to go wrong or fail, so if you’re au fait with that old walnut, the fabled “Sunny 16” rule, you cannot go wrong.

Very solidly built, nothing to go wrong. Simple.

Tempted? You should be. I have a Yashica D with additional lenses/filters available; take a look below:

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This one has the superb Yashikor lenses, completely free of fungus, separation or scratches. All the shutter speeds work and the aperture is clean and snappy. Viewing screen undamaged and clear.

Bodywork is excellent; those slight brownish marls you see on the leatherette are just on the surface and can be cleaned off if you prefer.

It comes to you with it’s original close up lenses and yellow filter for spectacular monochrome shots. And of course, a FREE roll of 120 roll film to start you off!

Price: UK/Europe £129.95 plus £11.99 shipping

USA/Canada/rest of world: US$194.99 plus $35 shipping

Payment: NOCHEX, PPPay, GoogleCheckout,  and yes, even the dreaded Paypal! If you are in the USA/Canada, you can walk into your local branch of Bank America or CIBC and pay directly into my accounts with those banks as well.

Contact: harsum888 at yahoo dot com



About filmcamera999

ME & MY PASSION! ok, you probably looked at the length of this "about me" page and thought, god, what's wrong with this guy!....does he have to start telling us his life story or something!!? well, youve come here now anyways, so why not hear what im like as a person, eh? ive been using film cameras for well over 30 first one being the family yashicamat twin lens! over the years, ive both bought sold and collected film cameras...too many to tell the truth! in fact, ive been buying and selling cameras well before the internet came on the scene, so anything you purchase from me is backed by my self-styled moneyback promise.....if you dont like what youve bought, send it back within 14 days and you get all your money arguments!! WHERE I STAND ON THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION! yes, i do use digital as well, but only as a ready-reckoner...i try and take most shots with my simple 2megapixel digicam....if the shot looks good, i pull out my film camera and shoot! i most defintely do not believe in digital manipulation of photographs....that in my eyes is not photography...its cheating! WHERE I USED TO LIVE, WHERE I AM NOW & WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO! i used to live in Ontario, Canada, but moved back to the UK a little while ago (its a long story..!)...but now i'm living in the one place i always wanted to be...Vancouver, BC..the next best thing to paradise on earth! as i work as a freelance writer as well as other things, i often find hat my work takes me to europe for short spells, so i get to travel a lot...not a blessing, as i just hate long flights! im a qualified Quality Assurance guy (you know...ISO 9000, auditing, documentation etc) ....99% of my skill-set is transferable so i can handle any admin or documentation-related roles....see you in BC! otherwise, i specialise in ISO 9000 auditing and documentation. my dream? to have my own thriving camera shop in Vancouver BC, whilst living in the mountains somewhere.....the best of both worlds!
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6 Responses to Yes! You too can afford a medium format camera!

  1. I have never heard of this camera. I learn so much here. You really should own a camera shop, many more would benefit by your knowledge of cameras. I just read your About page and I too would love to live in the mountains. Where I live, there are NO mountains.

    • aww…i feel sorry for you, donna! i know where youre coming from…for some odd reason..i havent been able to figure it out yet….ive always had an attraction to mountains….some people have told me it may that i was born amongst mountains in another life….my answer to that is who knows whether we were born before or not…or where we’re going after living here….it could all be an allegory…i dont know…but there we are…mountains, i just love them! in BC, we are blessed with massive choice of them…another reason why i decided to leave Ontario for BC! but as you said in another post, Ontario has other beauty. anyways, yes…i agree with you again….owning a camera shop has been my dream for far too long now…i need to stop procrastinating and do something about it! glad you liked the post!

  2. Thank You for this article, very informative. TLR, it miss in my collection but I want to pay so much money for one of this… For sure a cheap one have a lower quality,and if I can spend and my budget was great, I’ll buy one Hasselblad. 😉


    • hey, ricardo!
      yep, a hasselblad is one of the very best..i have several myself…maybe i will do an article on them soon.
      but you know what…i ahve looked at my prints from rolleiflex, yashicamat and hasselblad cameras, and there is not much difference between them! perhaps we pay too much just for the names….!

  3. Mike says:

    Then there is the wedding photographers favourite of past times the Mamiya 220 and 330, I have a 220, lovely to use with quality results. When I go out with it people always ask me what it is.

    • yep! ive got several of the 330s and 220s in my collection…greedy me!
      and yes, a tlr always gets people asking what camera it is….one time, a young guy with an iPhone came up to me and asked if i was a surveyor taking land measurements….i was looking down into teh viewfinder of my yashicamat!

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