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Thread: Seagull TLR

  1. #11
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    My son's mother, who was a very talented photographer too, had the high-end Seagull TLR with the Tessar lens and the wind crank. It broke after just 6 rolls of film. Damned shame, the lens was SHARP. The focusing screen in it sucked too, it was really hard to focus.

    For the cost, you can get, as others have mentioned, a much better Japanese TLR, or an old Rollei. I have a 1938 Rolleiflex Automat with uncoated Tessar that still works to this day.
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

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  2. #12
    John Austin's Avatar
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    For almost nothing try a Czech Meopta Flexarete V - Very nice Beliar, Tessar type, lens and quadrant focussing - Film and shutter need to be wound separately, but this soon becomes natural

    However, whatever cheapy you get will be a temporary measure 'till you get a Rollei

    John

  3. #13

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    Try looking for a weltaflex, you have to use the red window to wind the film, but the lens is very sharp I have made 20/16 prints from mine, with the Meritar lens, not a planar, but the camera, in spite of not being the best build quality in the world,(East German) it is a thousand times better than a seagul, I have had a seagull and I spent almost as much time repairing it as using it, I have had a weltaflex for a few years now and it is still going strong.
    Richard

  4. #14

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    I have a couple of Mamiyas (C220 & C330); and they are sturdy built like a tank ( and feels the same). Big advantage are the interchangeable lenses. Try KEH for body and lens. I also have the Pirot viewfinder with meter for when I don't want to carry an incident meter.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  5. #15
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    I have the seagull 4a-109 which is the one with the tessar taking lens. Got it almost mint in box for $50-60.

    Works reasonably well. Wind crank. Split focusing screen, counter and lock, safety door lock. You also can double expose with it if you wanted but the process is a bit more complicated than the simpler knob wind models with the separate shutter that's not tied into the wind.

    Lens is good, f8 and it's quite nice.

    Mine has not broke yet but the leatherette is peeling at edge. Simple fix.

  6. #16

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    Large scale production of the Seagull appears to have stopped.A few are made in a museum:
    http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article....asp?id=503978

  7. #17

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    You guys have given me a ton to think about! I will definitely look at other options; right now I don't really want to spend more than $200 on a TLR, so a Seagull sounded like an immediate good choice. But it appears they're unreliable at least in some cases.

    Minolta TLRs sound good...I've never heard of them, but I'm looking on eBay and the prices seem comparable to a Seagull oddly enough. Thanks!

  8. #18

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    I'm defineteley in the minority here, but I've owned a C330, currently own a Rollei 2.8f and a Great Wall, the precursor to the Seagull. The Great Walls used to cost 99 bucks new and were a great value -- then. I still like shooting the Great Wall (it's light, cheap, reasonably sharp. And more importamt, fun.) The Yashicas mentioned are also nice cameras, the Autocords, and bottom-end Rolleis. But I still like my Chinese TLR.

    p.s. only issue with the GW was peeling leatherette; fixed with some super glue.

  9. #19

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    For $200 you should be able to get a decent Mamiya tlr with one lens. The optics take a back seat to none. The build quality puts that cheap Chinese piece of junk to shame.

  10. #20
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    I lived in China for a few years back in the late 90's. Older Seagull TLR could be found for $15-20 and some took amazingly sharp photos. Unfortunately sooner rather than later their shutters would literally fall apart in my hands or springs would shoot across the room. I tried a newer one that a friend had and it was rough and he later reported the shutter failing. Just not worth it. With patience you can find Rolleicords or even some beater but working Rolleiflexes cheap. For example I have found a couple Rolleicords for $50-75 and even a Rolleiflex 3.5 E3 Xenotar for $150. Latter needed a full CLA and is ugly as heck but +$120 later from Paul Ebel and it works GREAT.
    -----------------------

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