List of compact 6x6 folders w/coupled RF's?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by picker77, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. picker77

    picker77 Subscriber

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    Is there posted somewhere a consolidated list of 6x6 folders that have coupled rangefinders? I'm aware of a few like the Bessa II and some of the Baldars, is there a semi-comprehensive list somewhere on the web?

    I have a Speedex Special R (Isolette III) that's a fine camera, but it's mildly irritating to constantly have to transfer RF readings to the lens... I'd like to skip that step if possible but still have a compact 6x6 with a decent lens.
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The Bessa II is 6x9, not 6x6.
     
  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I have one of those too but I don't find it even mildly irritating to transfer the readings.

    It is a fine camera and the rangefinder on mine seems very accurate.



    Steve.
     
  4. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    There are several models of Super Ikonta rangefinders which are 6x6. But there are also Super Ikontas in the 6x4.5 and 6x9 formats. Plus there was the Super Ikonta D, which didn't even take 120 film. So be sure of what you are getting if you opt for a Super Ikonta.

    A lot of people seem to like the Iskras. I believe that they have coupled rangefinders, but I could be mistaken. They are USSR cameras and don't cost a lot.
     
  5. picker77

    picker77 Subscriber

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    I didn't mean to diss the Isolettes, I love my little Speedex R.. in fact I've torn it down and cleaned it up and it works great, except for the swiss cheese bellows which I'm in the process of replacing. I'd just like to skip the "transfer the distance" step and use a 6x6 like I use my little Vitomatic II.

    And sorry, I knew the Bessa II was a 6x9, had a brain lapse...

    Maybe a Super Baldax if I can find one.
     
  6. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    Here's a few:
    1. Iskra
    2. Mamiya Six
    3. Super Ikonta */16, III, IV
    4. Agfa Super Isolette
    5. Certo Six
    6. Super Fujica Six
    7. Ensign Commando
    8. Super Mine Six

    Of them all, my preferences are for the Iskra or Certo Six, assuming they are working to spec of course. The Iskra has the best viewfinder, although those on the Super Fujica Six and Mamiya Six are not too far behind.

    The Certo can be a bit of a pain on a tripod, as the focus lever will foul the tripod head. Great lens, and very nicely built.

    There are a whole pile of Japanse folders with coupled rangefinders as well, though these are not seen that often in the west.

    A good place to start looking is over at Camerapedia.
     
  7. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    6x6 folders

    Spent a lot of time looking into this last year. Wholeheartedly recommend the Agfa Super Isolette. For me it's got the best combination of lens and build quality, handling and portability hands down. You've probably already been there, but if not then check this out: http://www.certo6.com/
     
  8. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    The Super Baldax has a coupled
    rangefinder. I got one from Jurgen
    a few years ago -- they are really
    nice cameras.
     
  9. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I concur with the Isolette III, the Zeiss Ikon Mess Ikonta 524/16 and Super Ikonta III and IV.
     
  10. matti

    matti Member

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    I like my Iskra II.
    Here are three images made with it.

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=19177&ppuser=6994
    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=19500&ppuser=6994
    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=14358&ppuser=6994

    Now I use the Rolleiflex for the same kind of stuff.

    The coupled rf is ok, but the viewfinder in all is a bit small and dirty (well, mine is...) I also get parallax-problems or just miss what I point at. When the film transport mechanism works with the Iskra it is automatic. But there are reports of problems. Once I thought mine was broke, but it was only one film that went right through, without stopping at the correct frames.
    /matti
     
  11. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    I love the Super Ikonta IV.
     
  12. Daniel Larsen

    Daniel Larsen Member

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    Definitely concur with the Zeiss Mess Ikonta 524/16 and Super Ikonta III. I've had the Mess Ikonta for a while and just recently got the Super Ikonta III. Excellent cameras.
     
  13. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Was the first Super Ikonta 6x6 called a Super Ikonta B? I've seen the Super Ikonta A and the Super Ikonta C and the Super Ikonta D, but for some reason I don't believe that I've seen a Super Ikonta B!
     
  14. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    One caveat with the Ikontas --
    frame spacing is extremely
    tight and some will have
    overlapping frames. If you
    prefer to print full-frame,
    you can run into problems.
     
  15. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    The early Super Ikonta 6x6 (e.g. 532/16) shoots only 11 frames per roll. Mine spaces the frames nicely regardless of what film I use. My Iskra gives overlapping frames for Kodak films but spaces Foma and Shanghai GP3 properly. I was fortunate enough to find an Iskra where the automatic film counter still worked.
     
  16. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Several photos of the B here.
    http://camera35.com/Selling/Zeiss _6x6/index.htm
     
  17. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The first Super Ikonta B was the 530/16. It had separate viewfinder windows for focusing and composing. It was replaced by the 532/16, which had a single unified viewfinder. Later, this camera also had a coated Zeiss-Opton f/2.8 80mm Tessar. These came only with a Tessar.

    Both cameras gave 11 shots, and I can't recall ever having overlapping frames with either camera.

    The "B" referred to the format, in this case 6x6. The A model was 6x4.5, and the C model was 6x9. The D was 6x11.5, I think, and it used 116 film.

    The next Super Ikonta B was the 533/16 (actually referred to as the Super Ikonta BX), which incorporated a selenium meter and a mechanism that provided 12 shots. It's a massive camera and has the coated Tessar.

    The successor models, the Super Ikonta III and IV, were based on a new body shell and also have auto-framing mechanisms that give 12 shots. These also have a coated Tessar, although Zeiss Ikon also offered a coated Novar as well.

    The plain Ikonta models require you to line up the frame number in the red window and shouldn't have frame spacing issues, unless you wind too far. The Mess Ikonta (524/16) uses this method. It also had either a coated Novar or a coated Tessar.

    So, the Ikonta should never have frame spacing issues. The Super Ikonta is another matter.
     
  18. Tim Hicks

    Tim Hicks Member

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    Couple Rangefinder MF from the UK

    The Ensign Commando is mentioned in another reply but there are 2 other rare UK CRF Folders:

    Kershaw Peregrine III from 1948. Only 100 ever made but it has a CRF, 12 on 120 with manual wind using the red window to the first frame and then auto spacing from then on. It has a Taylor Hobson Adotal 5 element f2.8 lens of superb quality and overall quality is similar to a Super Ikonta

    Ensign Autorange 820 (1956), CRF Ross Xpres 105/3.8 lens. This is 8 on 120 6x9 but has built in flaps to reduce to 12 on 120. Superb quality but rare.

    There was also as a 6x4.5 version the Autorange 16/20

    From Japan I also have a CRF Sisley folder but this is not the same quality as the above cameras and there are other Japanese CRFs on Camerapedia.
     
  19. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    I'll second what Sanders mentinoed about the Balda's. I have a Super Baldax coupled rangefinder with 80mm Baldanar lens. It's only f3.5 and is of tessar type design. the one to get is the f2.8 Schneider Radionar lens, or the f2.8 Ennit lens. They match if not overtake the legendary Solinar! That said, my Baldanar lens is no slouch when stopped down to F11 or 16.
     
  20. Anastigmatic

    Anastigmatic Member

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    Andrew, I believe you will find the Baldanar is a basic triplet lens (not a tessar type). this was Balda's cheapest offering of lens and was fitted to Balda entry level cameras, the next step up in the line was a Baltar, and the Radionar was a more exspensive lens again on Balda camera (still a triplet though). the S/Baldax also came with the Ennit which is a 4 element lens but is a different layout to a tessar, on the Ennit the cemented pair are in the center, i have not seen any results that are better from an Ennit, than a Tessar, Xenar or Solinar with unit focusing (as opposed to front cell focusing lens).

    another 6x6 crf not mentioned is the Welta Weltur
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2009
  21. picker77

    picker77 Subscriber

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    Thanks for all the informative replies. I finally bit on a very nice condition Super Ikonta B (532/16) with a Zeiss Opton 2.8/80. The price was excellent, I think mainly because the film counter was hosed up--it was totally out of sync with the auto frame stop mechanism. Somebody had taken the dial cover off and didn't properly correlate frame #1 on the counter dial with auto frame stop #1 when it was replaced. It was a simple fix even for me, and the camera seems to work like a fine watch now. Bellows is perfect, all of the Compur Rapid shutter speeds appear to be correct, and the rangefinder is dead on checked against a tape measure. I shot a roll of 400VC this evening with it (it's what I had on hand, I definitely need to get some slower film for it--my meter was calling for 1/500 and up on several shots before the sun went down a little!). I shot everything at f8 to f16. When I get some B&W ISO-100 I'll try some comparison shots at different apertures.

    This is my first Zeiss folder, and I am highly impressed with the engineering and the build quality. I was also somewhat amazed at the weight--this thing feels like it was machined out of a solid block of steel, and it feels noticeably bigger and heavier in the hands than my Ansco Special R's. I just hope the 2.8 Opton lens lives up to its reputation and gives me good sharp images.
     
  22. Tomf2468

    Tomf2468 Member

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    Well, this can be an exciting place to hang around. After following this thread I just ordered a used Russian Moskva 5 folder that takes 6x9 images on 120 film with a 4 element lens and coupled rangefinder. I've never been too fond of the square format and this camera was cheap, $25US plus shipping! I actually started in photography with my mother's Ziess Nettar folder. While I don't think I can go back that far (returning to focus by guessing the distance seems WRONG), I expect the Moskva 5 to feel rather nostologic! I like the idea of a one lens non-system inexpensive carry around camera :smile:

    Tom
     
  23. Tomf2468

    Tomf2468 Member

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    I've had the Moskva 5 for a few days now (shipping from the Ukraine takes a while). What a FUN little camera. The test negs are sharp and the shutter is very reliable. I will enjoy using this. It won't replace my Pentax67, but will go with me places I don't want to carry that big system. This is all a camera needs to be: a light-tight box with a lens, aperture, shutter and film advance :smile:

    Tom