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  1. #31
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    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.

  2. #32

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  3. #33
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    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.

  4. #34

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    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.

  5. #35
    LJH
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscrawfordphoto View Post
    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.

  6. #36
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    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.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Union Station 2007 07 07.jpg  
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  7. #37

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    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.

  8. #38
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscrawfordphoto View Post
    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

  9. #39

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    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/...-billy-record/ have examples.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storyteller View Post
    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.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

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