I would like to do some medium format work. What is a cheap but good camera to start with. I have several 120 cameras but which would be a good camera to use

  • 1
    +1 Great question. I'd also be interested in knowing what some good entry-level MF film cameras there are. Been thinking about large format, but am not really ready to get deep into the ultimate film cameras yet.
    – jrista
    Nov 20 '10 at 1:37
  • I edited it. I mean around 250 or less Nov 20 '10 at 1:53
  • Is it a duplicate of photo.stackexchange.com/questions/5014/… Nov 20 '10 at 6:18
  • @sebastien.b I wrote the other one. It is clearly not a duplicate if you actually read the question Nov 20 '10 at 23:45
  • 1
    How exactly are they different? You've asked two questions about "affordable" medium format cameras. On one of them you have qualified it with 120 film, however fundamentally these two questions are identical. Both are extremely basic, and could stand to be merged into a single question. There is no reason you can't ask both of these tiny and directly related questions in a single thread. Barring any clear and valid reason why these two questions should remain separate, I'll merge them within the next couple of hours.
    – jrista
    Nov 21 '10 at 19:56

I would say a TLR (Twin Reflex Camera) body is probably the most affordable medium format system available.

You can find a Rolleiflex and Seagull Camera bodies for under $300 USD.

Check out the TLR tagged images from flickr.

  • Do you have any example photos (I have several tlrs) and can you use interchangable (hopefully fisheye) lenses? Nov 20 '10 at 1:04
  • 1
    updated answer with requested link.
    – Alan
    Nov 20 '10 at 1:20
  • Do you know anything about graflex tlrs? Also, can you please check my other question photo.stackexchange.com/questions/5016/… Nov 20 '10 at 1:28

I recommend a Kiev 60 (upgraded by http://araxfoto.com/). It is cheap compared to Mamiya and Hasselblad, etc. and yields excellent results.


For $250? I wish you luck, but I think you're in tough. Craigslist is a good place to start, though, but anything in that price range is likely to be a bit iffy. Don't forget that lenses would be your next stop and MF lenses can get expensive. I previously would have suggested digging up older Pentax 645 or 67 MF cameras, but with the arrival of the 645D, you may get the body, but the lens prices are going to jump and that will be where you really hit the cost.


You could try to find a Yashica-Mat 124 on Ebay or on the cheaper side, but maybe prettier (as in if it breaks you can use it to decorate your office desk), a Czech Flexaret.


If you want something most similar to an SLR at that price, you will be looking for a 645 camera. You may be able to find a Mamiya for that price if you're lucky, but you can definitely get a Bronica for that price. Bronicas are tough cameras without too many fancy features, but they are cheap and the lenses are good.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.