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Bill Burk
12-15-2012, 12:55 PM
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.

LJH
12-15-2012, 01:15 PM
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?

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.

jnanian
12-15-2012, 01:35 PM
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.


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 ;)

as with everything, YMMV

agfarapid
12-15-2012, 02:01 PM
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.

LJH
12-15-2012, 03:33 PM
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.

chriscrawfordphoto
12-15-2012, 03:45 PM
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.

Having a few people say they did something doesn't mean it is going to be even remotely possible for anyone else. My grandpa bought a lottery ticket once that won him $1000. 99% of lottery ticket buyers will never win that much. To go around saying that one can realistically win $1000 buying lottery tickets is simply delusional and, i'll go so far as to say, unethical.

Realistically, the original poster is not going to find a usable medium format camera for $40. Sorry, kiddo, but life ain't fair. Get over it.

Old-N-Feeble
12-15-2012, 04:24 PM
yes no yes no yes no yes no yes no yes no yes no yes no

Will you re-sell?

jnanian
12-15-2012, 06:25 PM
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.

i have never bought a camera myself for 40$ ?
i have bought quite a few for 40$ or less ....
folders, faux rangefinders &c they were all a waste of money.

i never said it wasn't possible, i said it is possible, but more trouble than they are worth.

i would rather use a box camera for medium format.
single shutter speed, sometimes B, sometimes a yellow filter, sometimes dual format.
simple and maybe costs 10-20$ and if the shutter doesn't work it can be fixed in 10 mins.
i have a rolleicord, but would rather use my agfa sureshot.

moose10101
12-15-2012, 06:30 PM
The old Bessa, with the Voigtar lens, usually goes for $25-35. It sometimes comes with the original 6x6 mask. You can also get lucky sometimes and find one with the Skopar lens within your budget.

The 6x9 Ikontas with the Novar lens may also be available in that price range.

You'd have better luck with a camera that uses 620 film, as long as you're willing to respool. A Kodak Monitor with Anastigmat Special, or the Kodak Tourist with the Anaston lens are commonly available for $40 or less. Don't get the Tourist with the top-of-the-line Anastar, because the Synchro 800 shutter it's paired with can be unreliable. Neither of these will have a mask.

It's kind of funny that someone would push (yes, that's the correct word) someone toward a $500 kit when they clearly want something simple, with one adequate lens and the ability to make aperture setting changes.

Storyteller
12-15-2012, 07:39 PM
yeah I am looking at the old Bessas and the Ikonta 520/2 series. I also found the Frankas, which seem about right too. Ideally, I want a 4x5 camera with 6x9 rollfilm backs and some plates, but its $250-400 to get into that range. A horseman 985 maybe. Im also looking into a Busch Pressman D series, which has enough movements to keep me busy, but again, a couple hundred bucks.

So, right now, Im looking for a cheap 6x9, that has more power than my Agfa Clack, that I bought for under $10, and going for something just a step above it, to tide me over until I can get a better camera system. Im pretty sure it will be a Bessa or Ikonta or something very similar, the Bonafix looks ok, so does a Certix... I was just wondering if there was a recommendation on these.

I may skip the extra format and get two cameras, but it seemed like having two on one cam would give me more range, more ability to experiment in MF. My clack just has one shutter speed, Id like to get faster than 1/200, it only does 1/30. Only has two apertures and a yellow... so somethin I can make adjustments with and better take good photographs.

Thank you guys, it looks like Im on the right track.

Bill Burk
12-15-2012, 08:09 PM
Again good luck Storyteller,

I waited years for those deals - luck played a big part... From some recent threads, I think a Ricohflex might be a good idea for a good $40 camera that you could get right now... a TLR would be easier to focus than a scale focusing folder camera...

Don't forget to post a "Want to buy" thread and watch the for sale's here... the Adox Golf for $100 is close to a good camera if the buyer doesn't come through... Maybe you will find an APUG member with a good deal.

Storyteller
12-15-2012, 10:59 PM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/221165390525?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

just missed this one...

Pioneer
12-15-2012, 11:41 PM
I have an older Zeiss Ercona 1 6x9 folder that works well as well as a Balda Baldalux 6x9 folder that works just as well. Neither have rangefinders, coupled or otherwise, so I either shoot at infinity or use one of my old golfing rangefinders to guesstimate a distance. The Balda produces slightly better images only because the lens is a bit better but both can produce really nice images if the photog is willing to take his/her time. Both of these cameras were a little over $40 at the time but they both work great. I also have an old Agfa 6x6 that works as well. I got it for $10. The shutter speeds seem to be just fine. It does have some bellows problems but a little silicone and shoe polish keep things light tight and the lens is beautiful. The film transport is pretty simple but works just fine and there are no light leaks. The problem is with the focus, as with many Agfa/Ansco folders. For someone with less shaky hands than I, who is willing to disassemble the lens and clean the old green grease out, I am positive it make a very good shooter.

It all depends on what you want. Money does not make good images and a Leica is not necessary. I think the OP has a great idea and I applaud his gumption.

For $40 I recommend that you stay away from Agfa/Ansco folders unless you can live with temporary bellows repair and cleaning hardened grease from focus helicals. A new bellows will run about $70 so that blows your budget completely. Also, stay away from anything with a more complex film transport. The old red window is best for what you want. Look for one with two or three windows and ask if the seller still has the film mask, as the multiple window was usually a sign that a film mask was available. A sliding cover on the red window is nice but plain old electrical or gaffers tape will work just as well. Usually the simple shutters are less likely to have problems. 1 second through 1/200 or 1/300 seconds is pretty good for what you want to do I personally like the Prontor shutter but the Compur was usually considered a little more upscale. Coupled or uncoupled range focusing is nice, if you can get one at your price point, but again, that introduces more complexity and repair, though I find rangefinder adjustment easier to do than shutter repair. Besides, closing down your aperture to f8, f11 or f16 covers up a lot of small focus errors caused by guesstimation, and fits in perfectly with landscapes and cityscapes. The 6x6 format is a bit more economical as you get more shots on a roll. The film usually stays a little flatter as well because it isn't stretching all the way across that 9 centimeter acreage like a 6x9. Finally, most of these cameras will have a tripod socket though they may be 3/8 rather than 1/4 like the more modern tripod sockets. That's not an issue since adaptors are available. Besides, I have a little wooden platform with a quick release on the bottom that I attach to my tripod. Once leveled I can sit my folder on top of it and take my pictures at my leisure using a cable release.

Remember, a good 6x6 or 6x9 negative from a $40 folder will almost always put a good 35mm negative. Don't let anyone BS you, size does count. Good luck and have lots of fun.

Yashinoff
12-16-2012, 03:47 AM
I really would not bother with multi format cameras. There is really no point unless you're actually too poor to buy a second camera. When these were new that probably was the case with a lot of buyers, but it is kind of pointless today.

LJH
12-16-2012, 04:11 AM
Having a few people say they did something doesn't mean it is going to be even remotely possible for anyone else. My grandpa bought a lottery ticket once that won him $1000. 99% of lottery ticket buyers will never win that much. To go around saying that one can realistically win $1000 buying lottery tickets is simply delusional and, i'll go so far as to say, unethical.

Realistically, the original poster is not going to find a usable medium format camera for $40. Sorry, kiddo, but life ain't fair. Get over it.

With all the people that have posted that they have been able to buy a camera for $40, there appears to be a lot of people here who have won the $1000 lottery you obliquely referred to.

Guess yet another of your condescending arguements has been shot down in flames, Kiddo. Try to get over it.

Sirius Glass
12-16-2012, 08:51 AM
Welcome to APUG, Storyteller.

You stepped on a hornets nest at first, but now you have recovered.

I had a circa 1935 folding camera that used 120 film. It was a Certo Super Dolly with a Zeiss lens, no range finder, and an extinguishing light meter. It took 6x6 and had a mask for 645. It took some amazing photographs. This photograph was take at Union Station in Los Angeles. A 5"x5" print showed what looked like dirt on the glass panes. When I printed it 30"x30" the "dirt" turned out to be etching on the glass. The wonders of film photography. On the print the blacks are black; in the digital scan, not so much; please read line three of my signature.

georg16nik
12-16-2012, 12:11 PM
Good luck with finding $40 6x9 (with 6x4,5 mask) folder with "faster than 1/200" on the bay that does not require at least ~ $100 for CLA.
$40 sounds ok for mold, fungus, sticky shutter soup served in corners cracked bellows.

Ian Grant
12-16-2012, 01:04 PM
Having a few people say they did something doesn't mean it is going to be even remotely possible for anyone else. My grandpa bought a lottery ticket once that won him $1000. 99% of lottery ticket buyers will never win that much. To go around saying that one can realistically win $1000 buying lottery tickets is simply delusional and, i'll go so far as to say, unethical.

Realistically, the original poster is not going to find a usable medium format camera for $40. Sorry, kiddo, but life ain't fair. Get over it.

Just because you don't think you can find a camera that meets the OP's requirements in good working order for around $40 there's no reason to keep claiming it isn't possible. In fact with a little patience it's easy.

Using lottery tickets as an example is way off the mark because the odds are stacked heavily in favour of those who go looking in the right places. I've picked up quite a few good cameras around $40 or less and up that to $50 and I have no problems finding good working post WWII 6x9 cameras with no shutter issues, coated lenses, and some have 6x6 masks built in

Ian

emjo
12-16-2012, 03:53 PM
The (pre war... WWII not the Boer:) Agfa Billy Record (I or II) is a 6x9 which works well (mine do anyway). The 1950's Zeiss Ikontas are 6x6 but run surprisingly well. Optically neither of them are bad! It is the handling of them that leaves something to be desired (by todays standards). If you want some pure 6x9 fun then the Fuji rangefinders (GW690 etc) are fun but way off your price tag. You get what you pay for, and photo quality wise an old 1930's Agfa Record can still do stunning pictures. Flickr or http://jabcam.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/agfa-billy-record/ have examples.

cliveh
12-16-2012, 04:14 PM
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

As you are a Storyteller, may I suggest you read “The Box” by Günter Grass? I believe all cameras and lenses have their own personality and different ways of recording. To experiment with this is a life’s work and in itself and a truly exciting visual story.