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Thread: Franka Solida 1

  1. #1
    camperbc's Avatar
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    Franka Solida 1

    Does anyone know much about the Franka Solida 1? I'm waiting for this little gem to show up at my door. Though it's difficult to tell from this poor quality pic taken by the seller, it's in flawless condition and has a Frankar Anastigmat 75mm f/4.5 lens and Pronto shutter. Can hardly wait to start shooting with it! I'll post a better photo once it arrives. If anyone has a camera like this, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Glen


  2. #2
    Chrismat's Avatar
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    There should be some information on it at Certo6.com.

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    camper,
    They are a real fun camera to use. I've had a Franka Solida ll for awhile now. And I use it quite frequently! Every trip into the woods here, it is with me, which is almost daily. I really like how it folds up to just about nothing.
    When I first bought it, I figured it would make a great shelf queen. Then I had the opportunity to have it CLA'd and the repair guy told me he did not have to do much as the camera was pretty minty. After that I started really putting it to good use. I've found mine likes 100-200 speed film in black and white. Lately I've been having success with Fuji Reala iso 100 in color.
    I think you will find it more fun than you originally figured. Does yours have "Made in the US Zone" on it also?
    2bits

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    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    This thread looks awfully familiar..l

  5. #5
    camperbc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherCoy View Post
    This thread looks awfully familiar..l
    Could be because I have posted it in a few forums. I need all the help I can get!

    Glen

  6. #6
    camperbc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bits View Post
    camper,
    Does yours have "Made in the US Zone" on it also?
    2bits
    Thanks 2bits... I'll let you know as soon as it arrives. Could be a couple weeks though, as it must travel from England to my remote little island off the northeast coast of Newfoundland!

    Glen

  7. #7
    brian d's Avatar
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    Have one very similar to yours, same lens, US zone. Nice little camera. Never have had to do anything to it at all. Mine came to the states from England and was ready to shoot when I took it out of the box
    Real men use Speed Graphics and flashbulbs.

  8. #8
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    It is a nice little camera, I own a few of them and love them all. What would you like to know?

    There were basically 7 different models:

    - Franka Solida JR, this was a pretty simple dual format camera, usually with a Frankar lens like yours but f/6.3

    - Franka Solida Record, for this there were different variations, one of them has two big square windows in the top cover, that's one for each format, 4x4 and 6x6. Simple, like the Solida Junior, lenses usually are f/8

    - Franka Solida I, like yours, is still dual format, and there is a tab at the front (can be seen on your photo) for a sliding mask in the viewfinder. It is not what I'd call "sturdy", but still, is pretty simple but not as simple as the Junior or the Record. Your f/4.5 lens was top of the range for this model. This model finally included a "real" shutter, usually a 3-speed Vario.

    - Franka Solida II / III - Franka seemed to interchange the names somehow randomly, and sometimes the same camera is labeled "Solida II", "Solida III" or even plain "Solida". They were sold with a variation of lenses and shutters, although they are most commonly seen with a Radionar triplet and Prontor-S shutter. Most commonly, the II is horizontal (door opening from top to bottom) and the III is vertical (opening sideways).

    - Franka Solida IIL / IIIL - This was the only model with lightmeter. BTW, the ligthmeter is Gossen. They are usually fitted with a Frankar lens like the one on your Solida I, but sometimes you can find it with a gorgeous Xenar lens. Should I mention that I am a bit biased towards Schneider-Kreuznach lenses? ;-)

    - Franka Solida IIE / IIIE - The (uncoupled) rangefinder version. One can find the (most commonly seen as) Solida II (vertical opening door) or Solida III (sideways opening door) with uncoupled rangefinder, usually with Radionar on Synchro-Compur.

    There were minor variations made during the production run.

    Franka made cameras for others, what today we'd call "OEM", like other manufacturers did. Franka was one of the most successful in that, together with probably Balda. I have a Rolfix (6x9 model) with the original box from Montgomery Ward, and they were sold by Sears or Macy's too.
    Last edited by jnoir; 08-13-2012 at 03:26 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9
    Peltigera's Avatar
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    I have both Solida II and Solida III with rangefinder. Both excellent cameras, the Solida III with a f2.9 lens - why not a f2.8 like everyone else?

  10. #10
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    i have a franka solida 3 and have used it since i'm 14, as a hand -me- down from my dad.mine still has the original instructions and is in perfect condition.the schneider kreuznach lens is hard to focus but pinsharpwhen it is. there is quite some info about the franka cameracompany, it's history and their products on the web.enjoy!
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

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