Medallist II questions

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Murray@uptowngallery, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Just got a Medallist II. A helpful person on photo.net emailed me a Medallist ('plain', not II) manual.

    Can someone please tell me :

    1) M-F slider on front, apparently for choice of flash sync (that's why not in plain Medallist manual, no flash sync on that one)...looks like spring-loaded pin, but I can't figure out how to move it. How?

    2) How much force does manual shutter-cocking lever by view/rangefinder take to operate? (Normally shutter is cocked by winding. Manual cocking is for multiple exposures, per manual).

    3) How if film flatness with this camera compared to folders?

    4) Why is there so little info about Medallists? Were they dropped for the Retinas and the 35 mm trend?

    Thank you

    Murray
     
  2. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Old Ansco 620 question

    Say, anyone know what variety of Ansco 620 Pan film had black paper & silver writing, came in silver foil wrap?

    Thanks
     
  3. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Murray, drop me a note on my personal e-mail, and I can e-mail you a copy of the Medalist II manual.
     
  4. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Some comments:

    1) M-F slider on front, apparently for choice of flash sync (that's why not in plain Medallist manual, no flash sync on that one)...looks like spring-loaded pin, but I can't figure out how to move it. How?
    You move it after the shutter is tensioned, if I recall.

    2) How much force does manual shutter-cocking lever by view/rangefinder take to operate? (Normally shutter is cocked by winding. Manual cocking is for multiple exposures, per manual).
    It takes moderate force to manually tension the shutter. This is normal. It's like trying to tension a Compur shutter that is set to its maximum speed.

    3) How if film flatness with this camera compared to folders?
    Pretty darn good, as I recall.

    4) Why is there so little info about Medallists? Were they dropped for the Retinas and the 35 mm trend?
    This was considered the studio camera and cost quite a bit of money for that time (around $250, I believe, which was a tremendous amount of money in the 1940s). The Medalist series was replaced by the Chevron -- another big, heavy camera. Pure speculation: Possibly they didn't survive because you could buy German cameras that weighed less, cost less, were easier to operate and didn't trap you into Kodak 620 film.
     
  5. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    The medalist was a prized camera by many a pro in its hey day, I have owned several of them, never had the owners manual, and they have some darn good glass on them and take fantastic images, respool some good quality chrome film onto a 620 reel and take some test shots, you will be amazed at the quality of the image. I am sorry I sold my last one, but there is a young lady in Japan that is thrilled with it, she quite often sends images she took and swears she will go to the grave with it.

    Have fun.

    Dave
     
  6. DougGrosjean

    DougGrosjean Member

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    Here's another happy Medalist user.

    Mine takes fantastic photos. It's the oldest, cheapest camera I own. Got lucky, an Ebay sale that didn't attract a single bid. The seller was nearby, Ebay photo looked good, so I emailed the seller (was actually a re-seller, for a private party) and asked if I could have a look at it. They agreed, I liked what I saw, and offered $100.

    Everything works on mine, but focus is stiff below 40F, so I figure it needs a CLA. Probably never been apart. I just don't use it in the cold for now, but love it everywhere else. Optics are awesome.

    Only downside - it feels too modern. I own a couple of Rollei TLRs, and those are fun and different to use, and tend to attract questions. The Medalist looks merely like a great big 35mm SLR, and people ignore it.

    Oh, and it's heavy. And shutter release button requires a really firm push. Re-spooling 120 film onto 620 spools is a minor hassle locally, but might be a big enough bother that I wouldn't take the Medalist on a month-long motorcycle trip to Alaska, for instance.
     
  7. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    I owned a Medalist II for a while. I always regret selling it. The lens on that thing was amazing.

    I will buy another one someday. Preferably one converted for 120.
     
  8. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    If I remember right, Bald Mountain does a conversion on the Medalist I and the Medalist II, but it was not a cheap conversion, it was something north of $300 bucks to get one converted, I just learned how to re-spool 120 on the 620 reel, I was pretty good, I could do it in about 30 seconds...and again, the lens on the II was nothing short of amazing.

    Dave
     
  9. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Mike E - thanks, someone gave me an online link to II manual.

    I think I can live with respooling...I only paid $65 (sorry, not gloating, just weighing $250-300 for conversion [hopefully includes CLA] against hand-rolling and how long it takes me to shoot a roll.

    I guess I'll just have to try it out. I don't know what an 'amazing' lens produces compared to 'ok', or for example, a Japanese SLR. It would help if I pointed it at some respectable subject matter.

    I have a bunch of Series VI stuff...some of the filters look like they are separating from the glass layers (gel between 2 layers of glass?) - it's probably wishful thinking to keep them for anything other than the aluminum rings. Maybe an adapter to use modern 49 mm filters over a Series VI screw-in would do it justice.

    I should try a close-up lens instead of assuming they'll insult the Ektar...I hoard them but haven't ever tried them (I guess you need a measuring tape for follow-through when the impulse strikes...)

    Murray
     
  10. DougGrosjean

    DougGrosjean Member

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    I seem to recall it's now close to $500. I can justify a CLA, but it takes me a lot of re-spooling to make up that $500.

    Murray, Holland MI...? I'm supposing that a trip to the Silver Lake area would produce good subjects, or Grand Rapids Meijer Gardens. Must be some other neat stuff along Michigan's west coast.

    $65? Man, I thought I did good at $100. One of the publications (McKeowns?) listed a value far higher than that - IIRC around $300 or more. Don't have the info in front of me, though.
     
  11. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Don't worry about the gloating, my last one that I purchased, I got for the large sum of $15 in a second hand shop here in Montana, and sold it for way more than that! The photographers around here(the old timers) compared it to the best in its day, there are many that preffered it to the Hassleblads, the Medalist I, was used a lot during WWII by the military photojournalists and quite often you will find them with military markings on them, I did quite a bit of shooting with the last one I had and it was as good as anything I had at that time for sharpness color and contrast, do some tests just on a brick wall with chromes and you will see what people talk about, you have got yourself a Cult Classic there Murray! The 6x9 format is great!

    Dave
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If you have ever read any of the books about the Canadian Arctic that Farley Mowat wrote, you may have noted that the photographs in those books were taken by him using a Medalist. About once a year he used to bring his camera to the Kodak lab in North Vancouver, British Columbia to have it CLA'd. My father (who was in charge of the customer service intake department there) spoke to him on a number of occasions when he did that. Apparently, he was convinced that his Medalist was the only camera that he'd ever used that performed reliably in the Arctic conditions he photographed in.

    Matt
     
  13. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I've seen 20x30" prints from negatives made in the 1950s from a medalist owned by a friend of mine. Superb. Great camera and optics. Enjoy.

    Peter gomena
     
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  15. elekm

    elekm Member

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    These are very nice camera, and the Ektar is a really sharp lens. The body is a bit chunky, so if you have tiny hands, you might want to consider using it on a tripod.
     
  16. tchamber

    tchamber Member

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    It's not necessary to spend that much. I sent mine to Manfred Schmidt for a half-conversion (120 supply, 620 take-up). I think I paid around $90 and it only took him two or three days to turn it around. Works like a charm.

    If you don't develop your own film remember to ask for the spools back - otherwise it does get expensive, quickly.
     
  17. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    doesn't j&c sell 620 film?
    i remember reading somewhere that
    they have a machine that either modifies a 120 spool or
    respools the film on a 620-thingy.

    - john
     
  18. DougGrosjean

    DougGrosjean Member

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    Thanks, Tchamber. Even at $100 I probably would pass, as I have about (15) 620 spools now.

    Jnanian: there are people who sell a trimmed-down and re-bushed (so the trimmed film roll fits onto 620-format spindles) 120 film rolls. I found mine on Ebay, I'm sure other places exist as well. But once you re-spool, you think the trimmed stuff isn't worth it.
     
  19. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Trimmed 120 spools are still a challenge in the film chamber of the Medalist, I know I tried, it is a very tight film chamber, re-spooling is actually very simple, I can do enough in about 1/2 hour to cover a weekend of shooting..and if you know where to look its really not that hard to find 620 spools.

    Dave
     
  20. bruce terry

    bruce terry Member

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    All this Medalist vintage talk has me fondling the fold-out rails of my wife's dad's working 1946 Monitor (Kodak Anastigmat Special f/4.5 101mm lens).

    Don't know I'll actually ever go to the trouble of spooling it up but the enthusiasm here tells me I should.

    Thanks for giving me something else to feel guilty about. :•(

    Bruce
     
  21. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The film chamber has very little tolerance. In fact, even a 620 spool is a very tight fit. I don't believe a trimmed 120 spool will fit.

    The easiest way to get a 620 spool is to buy some of the very inexpensive Kodak cameras from the 1950s and 1960s. Often, they will have a spool in them.

    You can usually find these cameras at flea markets for just a few dollars.
     
  22. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    The trimmed spools that J&C sell do work in the Medalist. I usually rolled my own though. I know it's not much of a chore, but I would still prefer to use any 120 right out of the box.

    You do have to use a 620 takeup spool though. The holes/notches in the ends of the 120 spools are bigger than in the 620 spools and the winding crank won't grab properly.
     
  23. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    I posted the following question on p.n also, apologies for you double-lookers.

    Anyone know if a full roll of 220 will fit on 620 spools? Without winding it so tight it squeaks? I got a boxload of Agfa XPS160 recently for...some project, whatever it turns out to be....
     
  24. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    Bruce, do it! If you can't get a Medalist, that Monitor is the next best thing. While its lens is not in the same ballpark as the Ektar on the Medalist (the design used for Hasselblad's first lenses) it is in the parking lot. Try it, you'll like it.
    Outwest
     
  25. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    Second on the Monitor. I have a Vigilant with the same lens, its one of my favorite cameras and surprisingly good. Shoot away!
     
  26. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    Second for the Monitor. I have the lens/shutter from a monitor I use on my Century Graphic. Surprisingly sharp and contrasty in b&w.