Franka Solida 1

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by camperbc, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. camperbc

    camperbc Subscriber

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    Does anyone know much about the Franka Solida 1? I'm waiting for this little gem to show up at my door. Though it's difficult to tell from this poor quality pic taken by the seller, it's in flawless condition and has a Frankar Anastigmat 75mm f/4.5 lens and Pronto shutter. Can hardly wait to start shooting with it! I'll post a better photo once it arrives. If anyone has a camera like this, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Glen

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

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    There should be some information on it at Certo6.com.
     
  3. 2bits

    2bits Subscriber

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    camper,
    They are a real fun camera to use. I've had a Franka Solida ll for awhile now. And I use it quite frequently! Every trip into the woods here, it is with me, which is almost daily. I really like how it folds up to just about nothing.
    When I first bought it, I figured it would make a great shelf queen. Then I had the opportunity to have it CLA'd and the repair guy told me he did not have to do much as the camera was pretty minty. After that I started really putting it to good use. I've found mine likes 100-200 speed film in black and white. Lately I've been having success with Fuji Reala iso 100 in color.
    I think you will find it more fun than you originally figured. Does yours have "Made in the US Zone" on it also?
    2bits
     
  4. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    This thread looks awfully familiar..l :D
     
  5. camperbc

    camperbc Subscriber

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    Could be because I have posted it in a few forums. I need all the help I can get!

    Glen
     
  6. camperbc

    camperbc Subscriber

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    Thanks 2bits... I'll let you know as soon as it arrives. Could be a couple weeks though, as it must travel from England to my remote little island off the northeast coast of Newfoundland!

    Glen
     
  7. brian d

    brian d Member

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    Have one very similar to yours, same lens, US zone. Nice little camera. Never have had to do anything to it at all. Mine came to the states from England and was ready to shoot when I took it out of the box
     
  8. jnoir

    jnoir Member

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    It is a nice little camera, I own a few of them and love them all. What would you like to know?

    There were basically 7 different models:

    - Franka Solida JR, this was a pretty simple dual format camera, usually with a Frankar lens like yours but f/6.3

    - Franka Solida Record, for this there were different variations, one of them has two big square windows in the top cover, that's one for each format, 4x4 and 6x6. Simple, like the Solida Junior, lenses usually are f/8

    - Franka Solida I, like yours, is still dual format, and there is a tab at the front (can be seen on your photo) for a sliding mask in the viewfinder. It is not what I'd call "sturdy", but still, is pretty simple but not as simple as the Junior or the Record. Your f/4.5 lens was top of the range for this model. This model finally included a "real" shutter, usually a 3-speed Vario.

    - Franka Solida II / III - Franka seemed to interchange the names somehow randomly, and sometimes the same camera is labeled "Solida II", "Solida III" or even plain "Solida". They were sold with a variation of lenses and shutters, although they are most commonly seen with a Radionar triplet and Prontor-S shutter. Most commonly, the II is horizontal (door opening from top to bottom) and the III is vertical (opening sideways).

    - Franka Solida IIL / IIIL - This was the only model with lightmeter. BTW, the ligthmeter is Gossen. They are usually fitted with a Frankar lens like the one on your Solida I, but sometimes you can find it with a gorgeous Xenar lens. Should I mention that I am a bit biased towards Schneider-Kreuznach lenses? ;-)

    - Franka Solida IIE / IIIE - The (uncoupled) rangefinder version. One can find the (most commonly seen as) Solida II (vertical opening door) or Solida III (sideways opening door) with uncoupled rangefinder, usually with Radionar on Synchro-Compur.

    There were minor variations made during the production run.

    Franka made cameras for others, what today we'd call "OEM", like other manufacturers did. Franka was one of the most successful in that, together with probably Balda. I have a Rolfix (6x9 model) with the original box from Montgomery Ward, and they were sold by Sears or Macy's too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2012
  9. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    I have both Solida II and Solida III with rangefinder. Both excellent cameras, the Solida III with a f2.9 lens - why not a f2.8 like everyone else?
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Member

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    i have a franka solida 3 and have used it since i'm 14, as a hand -me- down from my dad.mine still has the original instructions and is in perfect condition.the schneider kreuznach lens is hard to focus but pinsharpwhen it is. there is quite some info about the franka cameracompany, it's history and their products on the web.enjoy!
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I have a Balda with an f2.9 lens. A very strange figure. I think I would have stretched the truth a bit (i.e. lied) and marked it up as f2.8!


    Steve.
     
  12. jnoir

    jnoir Member

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    My guess (just that, a guess) is that they did it so as to not to compete against their 4-element lenses, such as the Xenar 2.8. Schneider for example had a Isco Westar (Isco was the "second trademark" of Schneider Kreuznach) also f/2.9. A few others made lenses with this aperture, such as Meyer with its Trioplan amongst others.

    The Baltar is probably a rebadged lens of those makers.
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    The Super Baldax I have was available with a Schneider Radionar at f2.9 and also an f2.9 Rodenstock lens as well as the Baltar. I don't think it was available with an f2.8 lens.


    Steve.
     
  14. jnoir

    jnoir Member

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    Not the Baldax, but for example it was the case of the Super Pontura, available with Trioplan, Tessar or Xenar (and maybe others, at least these are the ones I recall off-hand).
     
  15. 2bits

    2bits Subscriber

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    Franka Solida ll

    Here's a few pics of mine. As I mentioned it is really fun to use. It is strictly 6X6. The lens is a Enna Werk Munchen Ennagon 1:3.5, f= 7.5cm, Speeds are B thru 300. Aperture is 3.5 thru 22. I use a old Vivitar flash w/ sync. And I made my own lens hood from a rubber section of rifle scope cap. These are noted for some lens flair and I have not had a problem with it since making the hood.
    One of the biggies with this camera are getting your distances correct! When I pace something off I've always been within an inch or so of measurement. Then again, I worked in the woods many years. I plan on picking up a little rangefinder in the future for old age and senior moments haha! You can mount it on the cold shoe. Often I leave distance on the lens set at infinity and just take shots from 10 ft on out. But for closeup I would measure accurately.
    2bits Franka 001.jpg Franka 004.jpg Franka 005.jpg Franka 010.jpg Franka 013.jpg
     
  16. 2bits

    2bits Subscriber

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    Now I could use some advice from someone more experienced w/ these.
    When I shoot color what setting on the top dial should I use, there is a color "T" setting or a Color "K"
    setting, along w/ your ASA/din settings? Say it's fuji Reala ISO 100? On black and white I just set the proper ASA.
    Thanks
     
  17. jnoir

    jnoir Member

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    T (or CT or DAY, depending on the camera) is for color reversal film, daylight type. K (or CK or A) is for color reversal film, artificial light type (incandescent lamps with 3400ยบ Kelvin)

    Fuji Reala should have its own setting, N (or CN) for Color Negative film, daylight type.

    On these cameras, that ISO dial is simply a reminder for your convenience, and it has no effect whatsoever on the final result by itself.
     
  18. 2bits

    2bits Subscriber

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    jnoir,
    That's what I thought. It's nice to know what they stand for.
    Thanks for the info!
     
  19. John E Earley

    John E Earley Member

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    I have the Solida I with Enna Ennagon 1:3.5, f= 7.5cm and shutter speeds B thru 300. It doesn't have the film speed/type indicator on the film advance knob but otherwise is the same as 2bit's. I really like this camera and lens and would like to have the time to use it more. I think this is a somewhat under rated piece of kit.
     
  20. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    If you can keep the aperture to f5.6 or smaller, distance is not that critical. When using viewfinder cameras (for cityscapes, usually), I keep the infinity mark on f5.6 on the depth of field scale and leave it there.
     
  21. 2bits

    2bits Subscriber

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    double post
     
  22. 2bits

    2bits Subscriber

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    Peltigera thanks for the good info! It's now in my notebook on this camera!
    John Earley I agree with your assesment, I believe it's underated too! In my opinion for a camera that old, to still be very functional and a pure joy to use is saying something about quality. I've noticed there are quite a few out there in great operational condition. I would like to buy the solida 1 and one of the lll's someday.
     
  23. camperbc

    camperbc Subscriber

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    Thank-you everyone, for your replies; very much appreciated! I'm STILL waiting for my Franka to arrive in the mail. I'll let you know how I make out with it.

    Thanks again,

    Glen
     
  24. mindthemix

    mindthemix Member

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    Old thread but we are talking about old cameras right?

    My Franka Solida IIIe

    Franka_SolidaIIIe1.jpeg Franka_SolidaIIIe2.jpeg Franka_Solida_APX25.jpg SolidaIIIe_Acros100_a.jpg SolidaIIIe_Acros100_b.jpg SolidaIIIe_Acros100_c.jpg SolidaIIIe_Acros400.jpg