medium format coupled rangefinder

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jnanian, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    any suggestions for a medium format coupled rangefinder that won't cost a fortune ?
    im not interested in a museum piece, but something
    i can put film through that won't be finicky ...

    i have a few holgaeque cameras but i am not a range focus fan i'd rather focus ... not guess ...

    i have thought of a moskva 4 or 5 but worry that if there is a problem
    i will never be able to get it fixed, are there folks here in the usa that fix them ?

    any suggestions of other folding cameras ( i don't want to buy them from certo6 ... )

    thanks !

    john
     
  2. netog

    netog Member

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    MF rangefinder:
    - Fuji have a lot of models in lot of sizes: 6 x 4.6, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9 ... give a look to those. Usually fixed lenses.
    - Mamiya series 6 and 7 are good, but they are more expensive. More flexible also.
    -Folding MF cameras are hard to find cheap and modern at the same time. The only modern I know is FUji GF670, which is a 2010 model, but not cheap.
     
  3. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I have a Mamiya Super 23 & a Koni Omega Rapid.
    The Rapid is great for street and quick grab stuff.
    Bulky but worth it imo
     
  4. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2011
  5. vedmak

    vedmak Subscriber

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    unfortunately the manufacturing of the medium format rangefinders has always been in the low numbers, not sure if you consider pentax 67 II a museum camera, but it will add to your limited choices IMHO.
     
  6. BradS

    BradS Member

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    Hi John,
    I've a fondness for the medium format folder too.
    I've not found any old folders with coupled rangefinder at reasonable prices though.

    My compromise involves a guess focus folder with a accessory rangefinder sitting in the cold shoe. I focus with the rangefinder, transfer the distance from the rf to the lens...not optimal but,
    it's all part of the fun.

    I've also resumed my love/hate relationship with an old mamiya TLR.
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I picked up a range finder 120 film circa 1935 Certo Dolly SuperSport with a Zeiss lens for under $100 at APUG. It took superb photographs. I sold it to another APUGger. The negative scan is quite reduced, but you can see that the Zeiss optics still produce great photographs. On a 30"x30" [72mm x 72mm] print you can see that each piece of glass has a different engraving.

    Steve
     

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  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    thanks for the suggestions so far ...

    while the mamiyas and pentax and fujis are nice,
    i think they are beyond my budget ...

    brad, your aux rangefinder sounds interesting ..
    is that like one of those distance measuring devices golfers use ?

    thanks for the pic steve -
    i'll keep my eyes on the classifieds more than usual -

    john
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    John,

    If the size and weight do not bother you, the Mamiya Press system is outstanding. They are cheaper than the fixed-lens Fuji RFs, and many times more versatile. They have interchangeable lenses and back, are multi-format (6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, and 6x9 with the right backs), and they have a ground glass back if you want to focus that way. They can also be used with 2x3 Graflok accessories if you get the proper Mamiya to Graflex adapter. Let me know if you want me to send you my spare copy of the Mamiya System Handbook so you can read all about the system. Oh, yeah. You can use them for Polaroid/Fujiroid as well, if you get the Universal model.The Super 23 gives up the versatility in terms of rear attachments in order to give you limited rear movements with the 100mm lens only, or any lens when used for close-focusing. The lenses are outstanding IMO. Like all Mamiyas of the time, they are built like tanks. the best model is the Universal IMO. Find a G adapter, and you are set to shoot 6x6, 6x7, or 6x9 roll film using Graflok-compatible roll holders, plus you can shoot regular 2x3 sheet film, instead of the funky metric sheets that require dedicated Mamiya sheet film holders.
     
  10. BradS

    BradS Member

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    John, I sent you a PM about this....
     
  11. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, John;

    The way this thread has been wandering is interesting.

    Bruce Muir has already suggested the Koni-Omega Rapid Rangefinder 120/220 Roll Film MF camera. This camera does have the coupled rangefinder that you specified, and it is not all that expensive. If you get the Rapid-M version, you can choose either 120 or 220 film by which magazine you select. The normal lens is a 90mm, but a 58/60mm wide angle and a 180mm telephoto are also available. There was a 135mm short telephoto also, but those do not appear very often. The later versions were known as the Model 100 or Model 200, again depending on the fixed 120 magazine or the interchangeable magazines for 120 or 220 film.

    You did say that you wanted a coupled rangefinder, and there is also some consideration for finances.

    This camera actually did originate right here in the United States when at the end of World War II the US Navy called for a camera that would take 120 film, but had the handling characteristics of a 35mm rangefinder camera. It was the Simmons Brothers of Simmons Omega Enlargers who came up with the original design, but the Konishiroku Photo Industry Company, Limited of Tokyo, Japan (who made the Konica cameras and Hexanon lenses) were the ones who were able to achieve a measure of commercial success with the camera.
     
  12. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    When you look at the Koni - Omega system you need to be careful. The lenses are all interchangeable, but the film backs are not. A Rapid M film back it completely useless with a Rapid 100 body.
     
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    My "accessory rangefinder" for scale focus camera is a Pentax Auto 110 mounted to the shoe.
     
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  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    that's funny :smile:
     
  16. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    I second the suggestions for folders. I used Moskvas, Ikons, Iskras, Isolettes and many others and they never disappointed. My old hiking camera was a Moskva 5 and I swear it took the best pictures out of any camera I owned. How? I don't know. But the chromes are phenomenal....even compared to my M7II =X
     
  17. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi ralph

    i have been thinking of the koni-omegas for a few years, and have almost
    bought one on more than one occasion .. but i guess what usually scares me off
    is they are usually beat on hard ( by a pro who used it to make a living )
    before they come on the used market ... and i have always heard ( maybe wrongly ? )
    that they can be difficult to repair or there aren't many repair people that have KO experience ..
    so after i sink a few hundred in a camera, then i am going to be out more $$ in repairs ...
    maybe my impressions are wrong, but that is why i have shy'd away ...

    not to mention people on ebay sometimes put wrong cameras and accessories
    together saying they "found it at an estate sale and have no idea
    anything about what they are selling ... bla bla bla "
    so i worry too, that i'd buy a camera that has mismatched components ...
    but the price was right ! :smile:
     
  18. BradS

    BradS Member

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    Great idea! I have used a Pentax K1000 as rangefinder and lightmeter...the little 110 would be much better.
     
  19. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Thanks.

    It started because I got a Nikonos at around the same time that I got a DOA Auto 110. The 110 was so cheap that it wasn't worth returning (or fixing), and it came with full set of lenses, so I got my money's worth. A trip to Samy's and I was able to rig a way to mount it on the Nikonos. No more ever so slightly out of focus pix with the excellent Nikonos lens! (Obviously I do not use the Nikonos as an underwater camera. I use it as a "rugged" camera that can also get wet on hikes and at the beach.)

    Interesting that my accessory "rangefinder" is actually an SLR.
     
  20. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Greg Weber is the "go to" guy for these.

    I have a couple of them that I've collected through various auctions over the years. The downside, besides the fact that they have usually had hard use, is that they are 6x7 and 6x7 only. 2F's suggestion of a Mamiya 23 press camera kit will give you more versatility.

    On the other hand, a tuned up K-O is not only very portable and quick to use, as it was designed to be, but it is truly a tank of a camera that's battle field ready. In fact, you can probably use it as a weapon in a street fight, then after you beat the assailant senseless with it, you can still take pictures as evidence for your side of the story.

    MB
     
  21. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    I have thought about the super 23 as a weapon on some occasions. The handle will give you a nice leverage. You could probably block an axe swing and still take pictures afterwards. The rangefinder might be a bit off though.
     
  22. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    John, I too use an auxiliary range finder on my old folders. I have few that I even purchased off of APUG. The one I use the most is the Walz finder on either the vintage Bessa 6x9 or the Rodenstock 6x7. I have even used those cameras using the guesstimate method and got back wonderful results. Old folders are the best and cheapest. I am just wondering why you don't want to deal with Certo6?
     
  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i had never seen one of those aux rangefinders before brad sent me a photo of one, it seems they are the way to go !

    i'd rather not get into it here in the forum ... i'll send you a PM ...
    lets just say some people have had wonderful experiences with him
    and some people have had less than wonderful experiences with him ..
    mine was not very good ...
     
  24. agfarapid

    agfarapid Subscriber

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    You might want to consider the Fuji GS 645. This was manufactured from '84 to '86. This meets your needs for a folding, modern rangefinder M/F. It uses the 645 format in portrait mode and is meter coupled. I've owned one since it came out and it's my favorite walk about camera. The optics are outstanding. The downsides are that the bellows develops pinholes after time and the wind mechanism could be a bit sturdier. I've had the bellows replaced once and it's been CLA'd only twice since I purchased it back in '86. If handled with a bit of care, it should give you long service. Fuji also made some fixed lens non-bellows cameras as well. Some were scale focusing with fixed 60mm wide lenses and others were auto focus as well. Try them all out and see what fits you best.
    Good luck!
     
  25. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Michael;

    " . . . a camera that's battle field ready."

    Funny thing that you should mention that. Ever advanced the film in the magazine of a Koni-Omega Rapid-M? Ever heard someone else advance the film in the magazine of a Koni-Omega Rapid-M? As Clint Eastwood would say; "It makes a distinctive sound." Think 9mm Parabellum or .45 ACP going into battery.
     
  26. rjbuzzclick

    rjbuzzclick Member

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    +1 for the Koni-Omega. I really like my Rapid M.