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  1. #1

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    Seagull 203 6x6 a great daily user

    Hallo,
    I have a Seagull 203 from 1975.

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7031/6...1ab3e810_z.jpg

    Bought it new old stock still in box back in 1995 (Hong Kong)
    The 203 is awesome. It is actually easier to carry in my pocket than an Agfa Isolette....
    The Seagull with wind lever is easier to use and from the optical quality (see my Yemen / Sanaa travel shots) also pretty much the same as a Agfa Super Isolette, Mamiya 6, Zeiss Super Ikonta, Ansco Super Speedex, Iskra, Mockba 5, Certo 6 etc. etc.
    Still quite cheap to come buy, the Seagull 203 is a true sleeper.
    Few people realize the quality of a well adjusted not worn out
    203, its a great everyday shooter with allmost Zeiss quality.
    (Just watch out for a good one and NEVER change the
    aperture when the trigger of shutter is tightened....this will jam the Compur licence shutter...
    The seagull anastigmat 3,5 / 75 lens elements were imported from eastern Germany and only assembled in Shanghai, so the lens is a true performer...

    Please watch my results:

    I used one in Yemen to great effect. It was a lot of fun to use, and most importantly, it was easy to carry around. If I've done this properly, you can see some of the shots I did with it here:

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=seag...18102095%40N00



    Here are some further high quality shots of the Seagull 203, a friend of mine
    made in China:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/seagull_203/pool/

    This camera makes great sharp details and a nice bokeh....love it.
    My Iskra, Rheinmetall Welta (1Q super quality east German Zeiss Tessar lens !) and Mockba 5 isnt quite up to this wonderfull balance...
    You wont find a nicer everyday folder 6X6 if you find a good 203 with well adjusted
    rangefinder. Beware of worn out or damaged (Shutter/ trigger problems due to misoperation ) examples.

    http://hsuotto.blogspot.de/2007/01/203-1.html

    best regards

    i.t.

  2. #2

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    Very nice photo's in Yemen. Post card stuff! I did not know Seagull made a folder, all I've ever seen were TLRs by them. Now I need to keep an eye out for a folder. How do the bellows hold up? What film did you use in Yemen?

  3. #3
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Seagull 203 6x6 a great daily user

    Is the rangefinder coupled? Also how is the frame spacing. I have a super ikonta iv which I really like but you need to add on a bit of paper for padding onto each roll or the spacing is really tight.

  4. #4
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    Seagull also made a 35mm SLR, the DF-1. Its based on an early Minolta, has no meter, and is crudely built...but takes great pictures. The lens that came with mine is a 50mm f2 that is styled like a Pentax-M series lens.
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

    http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

    My Tested Developing Times with the films and developers I use

    Become a fan of my work on Facebook

    Fort Wayne, Indiana

  5. #5

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    Hi,

    yeah the seagull 203 is a great performer,

    http://www.blende-und-zeit.sirutor-u...oard=2&thema=9

    it is very similar to an Agfa Super Isolette, has coupled rangefinder.
    Anything about this camera you can read here, there are many streetphotographers in Cuba and
    China and asia still using this camera for professional shots...its a kind of chinese Iskra.

    http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Seagull_203

    Sometimes you can find these rare birds in ebay, still quite unexpensively, if you can get a working one,
    get it, a similar Agfa or Super Ikonta will cost you much more.

    I use Ilford B/W and Fujicolor 160 Pro

    Here you can compare the Seagull 203 to the Agfa Super Isolette,
    both cameras perform great, the Seagull is much cheaper to come by because very few people know about their existence ;-)

    http://www.joernluetjens.de/fotograf...r-isolette.htm

    I would say its agood idea to ask any seller of a vintage camera for
    working rangefinder and shutter...there are many Seagulls around that became "tortured" by people without an easy hand for fine mechanics and vintage compur licenced shutters...

    My camera was new old stock when I bought it so its perfectly adjusted and has never seen any kind of rough treatment...
    Last edited by AaTen; 01-20-2013 at 04:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6

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    By the way, best thing the bellows of the seagull are rubberized and superior to the very old cardbord stuff used on the German, Russian and Japanese machines....I never heard f a Seagull 203 with a lightleak. ;_)

  7. #7
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Seagull 203 6x6 a great daily user

    Very nice. Hope your luck holds and that the shutter is different than the ones they used in the TLRs. I lived in China from 1996 to 2001 and bought 4-5 Seagull TLRs while there, all older ones from 70's and thereabouts. Quite a bit of sample variance on lens performance but a couple had wonderfully sharp lenses, others too soft likely due to misalignment. Unfortunately, of the two good ones, one the shutter simple seized up and never worked again. The other the shutter exploded with parts flying everywhere. Good thing was I never paid more than $25 per camera.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  8. #8

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    Great pictures!

    Jeff

  9. #9

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    Yeah the 203 is such a compact folder,
    you wont find a compacter one with rangefinder.

    Sleeping seagull :-)



    The 203 has a LEICA / FED-ZORKI type of coupled rangefinder...
    Its even coated on my early one!
    If you dont change the aperture when shutter is cocked it will last 4ever,
    I have no problems since the 90s.

    ON ANY COMPUR TYPE OF LEAFSHUTTER CAMERA:
    NEVER CHANGE THE APERTURE SETTINGS WHEN SHUTTER IS COCKED!!
    I CANT MENTION THIS OFTEN ENOUGH ;-)


    To my mind the little 203 folder is definetly the
    best thing ever that came from China ;-),
    This folder is so damnd flat when folded, you cant believe it without seing it... An ISKRA is much larger!
    203 is flatter than a Kodak pocket camera....superior in ergonomic to most other folding 6x6. and that thing operates silent and smooth...
    Same advise here, buy one older version with METAL FILM TRANSPORT LEVER they are the professional stuff, the later consumer ones with plastic transport lever still are good but the older one has the better finish.

    Here you can see de difference:

    Very first SHANGHAI 203 version from 1962 (these are the very best!!!) but they are only available in China from communist party members (Superior Quality Control made with several Carl Zeiss Jena parts)

    http://www.novacon.com.br/odditycame...s/image010.jpg

    The later street photographer Version from 1968-1980:

    http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5149/...19e32aa44d.jpg

    Seagull 203 full metal version (thats my version) still very smooth operation but made with more chinese parts....LENS STILL MADE WITH GLASS from Carl Zeiss (!) They are good, try to get a new old stock one or one with CLA!!

    The last edition for consumers 1980-1995, lens still good but not at the same level as the older ones (Sometimes equiped with Japanese licenced lenses but made in China, so there you can find excellent sharp ones and others that make softer prictures...so its a gamble ;-) These are inexpensive so you can try several ones....)

    Seagull 203 - I (Watch the black plastik lever!)

    http://www.corff.de/Klappkameras/Bil...al/Seagull.jpg

    There is a nice US Export version too,
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/heritag...es/7660674672/
    called Texer SR its a quite good one from the MK3 Series, these had a better quality control compared to the plastic lever version for the domestic asian market so the chance is good you find a sharp one (Japanese Lens elements) Avoid ones with defects caused by unexperienced people.
    NEVER change the aperture control when shutter is cocked
    NEVER EVER ;-) A single one of doing this may damage the Compur.

    So you can often read the Seagull cameras have defective shutters or aperture controls.... okay people should read the manual book before using the camera ;-)
    Than such a Camera lasts for 30 Years...
    Last edited by AaTen; 01-21-2013 at 06:32 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Seagull 203 6x6 a great daily user

    I have a seagul tlr the 4a-109 I think is the model number. It has the better teaser type lens and is basically a very close copy of a number of other tlrs like the Rollie's or yashicas. I like it, simple things like auto cocking with advance, and auto film counter reset and a hotshoe make it easy to use. But there are quality control issues, the split prism that it has is misaligned it's not quite horizontal and not quite at 45* just crooked lol. The images are good from it but not as sharp as my older yashicaflex.

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