just the right camera

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by Storyteller, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. Storyteller

    Storyteller Member

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    Hello. I am Storyteller.
    I have begun doing photography again, film, mostly 35mm and some 120. I am trying to find out what camera I want to buy. I only know the specifics of what I am looking for.

    It uses 120.
    It shoots in 6x9 format.
    It has a tripod mount, for landscape orientation. This would mean a bolt hole on the bottom.
    It has an alternative format or 6x6 or 645.
    It has a lens that can focus at least to some degree.
    It has some aperture settings for different lighting conditions.


    I have looked into the Bessa, the Ikonta 52(x)/2 and a few others.

    Any pointers in the right direction would be appreciated. I am trying to spend under $40 on ebay, which is very doable these days. I want to use the camera to take landscapes and cityscapes..

    thank you,

    Storyteller
     
  2. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    I'm sorry to be nasty, but you're absolutely delusional. No one is going to sell you any medium format camera that cheap. You can get a Fuji 6x9 rangefinder for $500 or so, and it does all you want except the ability to change formats. If you're willing to settle on a 6x7, you can get a Mamiya RB67 for a few hundred, and it offers 6x7, 6x6, and 645 backs.
     
  3. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Actually, I think that you're delusional (and, for what it's worth, nasty, as you wrote).

    I bought a mint Zeiss Ercona (6x9) with a 105mm f3.5 Tessar for $40 in the last 3 months.
     
  4. Storyteller

    Storyteller Member

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    good sir, I apologize if this seems harsh, but you are highly disconnected from reality. Id advise youdo some research on the going rate for cameras these days. I see about 8-10 cameras each day go for under $50, mostly old folding belows cams like i am speaking of. I am kicking my self for not snagging a Busch Pressman for $65. I have seen Ikontas, Bessa's and Agfa folders go for $10, regularly. My request, is not that hard. what model of 6x9 camera has a bottom placed landscape oriented tripod mounting socket? It is even better if it has more than one format by way of masks and I dont need to cut a hole in the back for red plastic. Lastly, is there one that will have aperture and timing available to get a range of shots, ideally with rail focus and not an automatic length from extension. I know most of these features exist. I am not sure if I can find them all in one camera. I certainly hope you explore further and educate yourself better.

    Good Day,

    Storyteller
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's quite possible to find good 6x9 cameras for around the sellers $40. A few weeks ago i picked uo a good Ross Xpres lens in a shytter for £2 ($3.20) and las Sunday picked up a Ross Ensign 420 Selfix minus it's lens for £4 ($6.40). The two match and now I have a second 6x9 & 6x6 camera for a total of £6 ($9.60).

    In the Spring I bought an excellent Ensign Selfix 820 for £30 ($48) this is a later version of the camera above, with a better shutter, both have windows & built in masks for 6x6 as well a 6x9, and the same coated 105mm Xpres lens.

    I've also bought a Zeiss Nettar with a good coated Novar for £2 ($3.20) recently but this is 6x6 only. So cameras are around at bargain prices if you look. Welcome to APUG BTW.

    Ian
     
  6. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    Sorry, but you cannot get a good 6x9 camera for $40. Good meaning it WORKS, the bellows doesn't leak, its shutter isn't gummed up, the rangefinder is ACCURATE. You do want to take pictures, right? Of course, on Ebay, everything is Minty, right?
     
  7. Storyteller

    Storyteller Member

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    Im sure you are right, but these are not the matters in question. The question is for a camera with specific features. you however seem content to harp on a price point. Im certain most will need some repair. Given the other six cameras I have bought from ebay work, with the exception of a focus ring on one of them, which is repairable without taking the camera apart, Ill take my chances. Now do you have something consrtuctive to say, or shall you continue to ridicule?
     
  8. Yashinoff

    Yashinoff Member

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    Cancel out the alternative format nonsense, and a Foldex 6.3 (sometimes refered to as a Foldex 30) fits the bill.
     
  9. rbeech

    rbeech Member

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    If 6x6 is OK, there is always the Lubitel Russian camera.
     
  10. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

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    You might want to look for an East German Ercona I or II, 6X9 format with a very good lens. It also shoots 6X6 but the 6X6 insert usually has been lost.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2012
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There are maybe one or two multi-format folders that can occasionally be found in that price range, but you'll have many more options if you give up that feature and maybe just get a second folder in a smaller format, if you really need more than one format and can't just crop from 6x9 as needed.
     
  12. thegman

    thegman Member

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    If you can push your budget a bit, look at certo6.com, more expensive than typical eBay, but I bought an Ikonta from him and it works great.
     
  13. horacekenneth

    horacekenneth Member

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    Good day Storyteller! I am Moonstripe! I pray yee shall find the device of which thou desirest.
     
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  15. batwister

    batwister Member

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    Great Scott!
     
  16. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    It's perfectly possible to get a working 120 folder for 40 +-USD, they are not difficult to find.
    But, it may require some looking, there are a great many I see offerred for that kind of money that are usable only for decoration.

    Generally, these will be viewfinder and not rangefinder cameras, and most in that price realm will not do multiple formats, or if they do, they are likely missing the masks that enable that.
    Most will have settable apertures and many will have more than 1 shutter speed (not including B or T). Virtually all will have tripod mounts.
    The quality of the lenses willl vary usually with the price.
     
  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I beg to differ.

    I can and have bought good fully functional 6x9 cameras for around the $40 mark and for considerably less as well, but they don't show up on ebay very often these days. There's a seller at the camera fair I go to who has boxes of cameras for £2-£5 each and I've had several excellent bargains from him.

    The OP never mentioned wanting a rangefinder camera that does up the price, and speaking from experience it's remarkably easy to estimate the distances and set the focussing manually on these old folders.

    I'd forget ebay for something like this, best place to buy is car boot sales, flea markets, camera fairs, garage sales (rare in the UK), and some charity shops - but many sell their cameras etc on Ebay as they can get higher bprices. Sometimes you can find them in antique shops at bargain prices as well.

    Ian
     
  18. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    You should be able to find a pre-war (uncoated lens, no rangefinder) camera like that. I have a mint condition Bessa 6x9 I bought for about $100 that works great. There are plenty of choices from the 1930s.



    Kent in SD
     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    holga ?

    ===
    be aware, some folks have not had such glowing experiences with
    certo6, mine was far-far from wonderful.
     
  20. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    You won't find one for US$40 but maybe less than US$100... Baby Graphic.
     
  21. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    I have one of these and I love it. Really fun, light, compact, and capable of making good photos. Mine has a minor intermittent light leak problem that I'm struggling with, I think light is getting in through the green window and bouncing around behind the pressure plate.... I expect to figure out how to fix it eventually. The bellows are fine.

    Oddly enough, I started reading this thread because I'd also like a camera just like OP, and would love to hear other's experience with the different choices. I really like the 6x9 format and don't care about inserts for smaller frames. The foldex 30 has a tripod mount in portrait orientation but not on the bottom for landscape. For slower film, a tripod mount would be a really really good thing to have. I'm looking to add one to mine. The camera was very much made for handheld operation and has a neat feature that lets you trigger the shutter without having to reach out to the lens. I guess that's why they left the tripod mount off the bottom...although I find that hard to understand since so many other details seem well thought out.

    Mine was about $20 on the goodwill auction site and it is in very nice condition. At the moment it's my favorite camera for just carrying around. I hope some more people will chime in with experience with different 6x9 folders... for example I think there are some Agfa models where the scale focus winding gets stuck... these are the sorts of things that newcomers like myself need to know to watch out for!
     
  22. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Storyteller,

    I wish you luck in your search... I know it's possible, but perhaps not on-demand...

    I bought the worst beat-up-looking Ikonta 6x9 on ebay. I don't recall the price but it was near 100 dollars. Nobody else would touch it. I had the seller drop-ship it to a technician for CLA. When I got the camera, word from the tech was "never again". He fixed it alright. It's a great sleeper. Lately had to patch couple pinholes in bellows but otherwise a great but ugly performer. It has two tripod sockets as you requested. There is a mask that lets you shoot 6x6. I don't have it and I say phooey to that. 6x9 is the perfect roll-film format to my mind. All that great film, in a convenient roll format that fits a standard steel reel to process scratch-free. Half the real-estate of 4x5, comes close to delivering the image quality.

    I also got, at a consignment shop nearby, a Bessa II 6x9. Also ugly outside. But insides practically new. This one only needed toothpicks and Q-Tips to restore. Price? 35 dollars.

    I'd say either is worth 250 dollars, so if you can budget that much you will have your camera sooner.
     
  23. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Wow; your arrogance is impressive.

    Seems that, yet again, your opinion has got in the way of fact. As I previously wrote, I have a mint (no idea what you mean by "minty", as I don't rate cameras by their flavour) 6x9 that cost me $40.

    Just because you choose not to believe something does not make it true.
     
  24. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi LJH

    i kind of believe what chris suggested.
    most of the time you get what you pay for ..
    and it is not often you get a camera in
    very good condition for 40$. usually
    what is sold for that small amount of $$
    requires a CLA amongst other things.
    especially on ebay, when people are not
    really honest about condition &c.
    i have bought a camera for less than 100$
    that were described as users.
    even after repeated info requests / email
    the sellers suggested the cameras were
    working at all speeds, in great condition &c
    and in the end, when the camera/s arrived
    they were nothing like the seller described.
    shutter speeds didn't even fire on all speeds
    and with one of these cameras, the shutter
    was so seized that a repair guy who is used to
    repairing folders and dial shutters, couldn't even
    access the works to fix the shutter ...
    luckily,the seller had a return policy, and while
    i received $$ back, shipping was a PITA
    and i was harassed by the seller ...
    so in the end ... i guess i got a little more than what i paid for :wink:

    as with everything, YMMV
     
  25. agfarapid

    agfarapid Subscriber

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    Cameras are a funny thing. You can spend a lot or spend a little, it all kind of depends on the kind of results you're looking for on a consistent basis. I've purchased a fully functioning Kiev III (Contax IIIa clone from the former Soviet Union) from a seller in Latvia on ebay for about $60 and a folding Nettar 6x6 and folding Zenobia 6x4.5 for about $40. They all work and are fun to use. I've also bought other 120 cameras for far more. The only point I'm making is that you get what you pay for. The RB I purchased for $350 is far sharper than that Zenobia and far more versatile but that little folder can fit in my pocket and capture that image in a way that the RB (or for that matter Hassy, Leica, Nikon, etc.) can't. Hope you find what you're looking for and keep taking photographs.
     
  26. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Jnanian,

    You agree with him as you haven't bought one yourself? Hardly compelling logic, especially as others here have documented their experience in doing exactly what Christopher has (in 2 separate posts) said is not possible.