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  1. #1
    fhovie's Avatar
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    Voightlander Bessa II or Ikonta 531/2?

    I am looking at trying a 6x9 folder and am considering as nice as I can afford a later Bessa II or an Ikonta C.

    There is a huge difference in price for Tessars vs Novars and Helios vs Skopars. How much better? They are (that are coated) single coated - I like the idea of a later Tessar and am favoring an Ikonta - I am not sure the rangefinder is useful or not. Any Ideas on which would be the better pick - I would like to stay under $170 if I can - which might be a challenge for the nicer ones. Many are going for $300 or more. Any help will be appreciated - thanks - Frank

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    A Bessa II with Heliar is likely to run over $500, so I think you're looking at a camera with a Tessar or Skopar. A Heliar will be sharper in the corners than a Tessar or Skopar, and it's a nice smooth looking lens, but Tessars and Skopars are decent lenses as well.

    I think a rangefinder is useful, particularly if you photograph things closer than 8 feet away, but of course a coupled rangefinder adds to the price.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #3

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    I recently got a super Ikonta 6x9 on ebay that I have probably over paid at $400. I found lots of light leaks on the first roll. Fortunately there is someone dedicated to repairing this old cameras.
    Mine has the Carl Zeiss Jena tessar 105 mm. 1:3.8. I have looked at the slides I shot with it with a 4x loupe and I have to say that I am very impressed with the sharpness and contrast even though all of the shots were handheld.
    Now I am considering fixing this one and keeping it forever. It is a great little thing that just slips easily into a pocket or funny pack and will let you take all the great shots you would have missed by leaving the big cameras at home.
    Treat yourself!

  4. #4
    fhovie's Avatar
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    I bagged a very late Ikonta 523/2 on ebay for $129 - it has a f3.5 Novar and is in great looking shape except it is missing the part that connects the body shutter release to the lens. I am not sure this will be much of a problem - I too want to use it as a travel camera and I am looking forward to shooting 6x9 - Kind of like Ollies hand held 5x7. Thanks for the info.

  5. #5

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    The thing you need to check with any Voigtlander medium format folding camera is the lens standard. The engineering on these was inadequate, and you must ensure there is no play in the lens -- that is, it doesn't rock back and forth.

    With any of the older cameras, unless they've been serviced, you can be assured they will need the viewfinder/rangefinder cleaned and the shutter serviced. As always, check for pinholes and ensure that the camera appears to operate as it should.

    The Tessar is a fine lens with excellent resolving power. I haven't used the Heliar or Skopar, but both have good reputations.

    With a budget of less than $200, you have to hope for an incredible deal. You otherwise will get cameras that might need a lot of work. I hope you get the incredible deal -- they're out there, but you have to search pretty hard.

  6. #6
    CZeni's Avatar
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    A guy who works at a local camera shop showed me his Bessa II today w/ the Color Skopar lens. It's in the original blue velvet-covered box, and he has an original leather case in its original box as well...says it takes nice images. But the viewfinder is beyond tiny - it's the smallest one I've ever seen on an old folder...smaller and squintier than the one on my Moscow-5...but I still want it
    Koni Omega addict.

  7. #7

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    Good Evening, CZeni,

    Nice to see another Koni user added to APUG.

    Konical

  8. #8
    CZeni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Konical
    Good Evening, CZeni,

    Nice to see another Koni user added to APUG.

    Konical
    Keepin' the faith, such as it were

    Now if I could just find a 60mm for my Omegaflex...
    Koni Omega addict.

  9. #9
    Saganich's Avatar
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    Please Do not buy a folder on eBay unless the seller can guarantee the bellows are light tight. The apparent condition is not an indication of reality. I have three folders, Ikonta, Supper Isolette (6x6), and Billy Record. The best coupled rangefinder folder is probably the Super Isolette but 6x9 is rare and the price is prohibitive, 5-6 hundred. The built in rangefinders works very well but the Ikontas have adjustment trouble where the Agfa's are easier to adjust. Rangefinders which sit on the hot shoe work well but are never in the same scale as the lens. The lack of any rangefinder results in...you can guess, but sometimes to pleasing results. The only ebay person i would buy a folder from is Jurgen Krenkel, his ebay name is certo6.
    Chris Saganich
    http://www.imagebrooklyn.com

  10. #10
    MattCarey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saganich
    The only ebay person i would buy a folder from is Jurgen Krenkel, his ebay name is certo6.
    I was considering recommending Certo6 as well. I have not purchased from him, but he has a good reputation. If you email him, he will send you a price list for a large number of cameras--you don't have to wait for things to be placed on eBay.

    I had excellent luck with a Mockba 4 I got from Fedka.com. This is a variant of the russian copy of the Ikonta, with a Tessar-like lens. It is pretty good. Not as good as the 105mm Ektar (Heliar) on my mini-speed, but good.

    Matt

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