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  1. #21

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    If you're on a budget, and you can stand to reroll 120 on to 620 spools, an old Kodak Vigilant, or Monitor, or Six-Twenty can be had for under 25 bucks, are very sturdy, and can be gotten with the f4.5 Anastigmat Special. Very good glass. later versions with the little L in a circle on the lens surround are single coated. I have one of these and just posted on how impressed I am with it.

  2. #22
    wclavey's Avatar
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    After years (more than I care to count) of shooting 6x6, I, too, want to try some 6x9... I am intrigued by the format size and I remember the contact-printed snapshots from my first camera (a Spartus 6x9 folder). In fact, I have a project in mind that I would like to start on and I want all the prints to be 6x9 contact prints... but I digress.

    So, I appreciate all the recommendations included here. I'm a little more interested in getting some input on the actual purchasing than on the choices of equipment. I have purchased quite a few cameras from auction sites and have had luck ranging from "a great find" to "how could I have been so dumb..." I have seen Jurgen's work (Certo6) and admire it quite a bit, but I actually think that I want a Medalist or Medalist II for my project rather than a folder... I have several folders already in 6x6. I don't mind spending the money that a Medalist seems to go for ($150-250, or so) but I'm not interested in making another bad purchase and end up having to buy the camera twice, literally or figuratively. Plus, it is my sense that the auction sites drive up the cost very quickly - - something I would have been happy with from a garage sale at $50 or $100 I'm not so keen on at $150 or $200.

    For comparison, I have been looking at some of the collectible camera sites, but the prices seem to reflect the display quality of the cameras rather than the functional or operational state. For example, on Pacific Rim, I see quite a few cameras listed for more than the final prices on the auction site, but they are listed as having operational problems. I'd rather have something that doesn't look great but still works...

    Perhaps I'm expecting too much. Maybe I should be prepared to buy something for $150-200 and then plan to spend that much again having it CLA'ed. Or maybe I need to re-adjust my frame of reference - - perhaps $200 isn't that much to risk these days... but it sures seems like it to me.

    So is there any advice about finding and purchasing? If I lived in NYC again, I'd cruise the used shops (if they still exist...). Do you just take your chances? Are the good deals (working shooters) found through personal contacts? Advice, recommendations, encouragement?

  3. #23
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    I can't help too much on your exact question, but--

    The Medalist uses basically the same lens as I have on my mini-speed graphic (105mm ektar for me, 100mm I think for Medalist). It is a pretty amazing lens, so I think this would be a good choice for you.

    A couple of suggestions: David Goldfarb posted something a while back about a modification of the medalist lens to a modern 35mm camera.

    Also, depending on what you want to do, perhaps the mini-speed would work out. A camera/6x9 back and lens will cost more than the auction medalist, but you would have the ability to change lenses and backs. It would be slower and bigger, though.

    Matt

  4. #24
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    If you do buy into a Medalist, don't forget to factor in the cost of 120 conversion. These cameras were originally made for 620 film, and require minor modification (best done by an expert, however, given the relative scarcity of the cameras in good condition) to use 120 directly. Once that's done, it would be difficult to find a 6x9 of any age or design that performs better, and only those with interchangeable lenses, like a Baby Speed with roll back, could be more versatile.

    Also worth mentioning is the "accessory back" for the Medalists, that allowed the use of 6.5x9 or 2x3 (I forget which) sheet film holders and ground glass focusing. Even rarer than good Medalist cameras, but possibly of interest for certain applications, such as macro with a diopter attachment...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  5. #25

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    I owned a Medalist for a year or so & seriously regret selling it. It is a great camera with an awesome lens. The one I had was not converted to 120. I bought a bunch of 620 spools & rolled my own. It is a simple procedure. This guy: http://www.manfredschmidt.com/kodak.html sells converted Medalists for around $400. If desired, the unconverted Medalists go for around $200 on Ebay.

  6. #26
    skahde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colivet
    I bought a Zeiss Super Ikonta 6x9 with the 105 mm. Jena tessar type lens.
    With respect to the Tessar in the 6x9 Ikontas I owned one (coated) and was a bit diasppointed. This front-focussing design performs nowhere near to the tessars in the Rolleiflexes even when well stopped down. They are decent but so are the better cooke-tripplets like the Agfa Apotar if used around their optimum aperture. In a word: Don't pay a premium for famous names like "Compur" or "Tessar". A light-tight bellows and working shutter together with a clean and well aligned three-element lens may deliver everything you could ask for.
    Last edited by skahde; 05-02-2005 at 04:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #27

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    For a cheap way to try 6x9, I got an Agfa/Ansco Viking. The pictures are very sharp, and the exposures seemed to be spot on. However, with this brand you need to watch out for two things - the bellows might be shot, and the shutter lube may have turned into glue over the years. In my case, I lucked out. You do have to pay attention when using it; did you advance the film or did you not advance it? On the other hand, if you want to deliberately do a double exposure, it is so easy to do.

  8. #28
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    To come back to the beginning of this thread, my father saw by accident the email I sent to my mother, suggesting we pair up and buy him a 6x9, so we found out upfront that he wouldn't need the camera, having already enough equipement for his taste.... But I think _I_ may like a nice 6x9 now!! Infinite thanks to the knowledgeable people in here, I will keep this thread near at hand.

  9. #29
    Ole
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    I just went back to check - I paid EUR 27.50 for the Voigtländer VAG 6.5x9cm with 10.5cm f:4.5 Skopar lens, six plate holders, and bag. Then I paid about the same amount for a rollfilm holder and four sheet film inserts. All in all less than $90 for a perfect folding plate/film/rollfilm camera with basic movements, in near-mint condition...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  10. #30

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    I'm with JimGalli--A Mamiya Press with a 90/3.5 (a Tessar design) will smoke just about any folder out there, and when you've got a little more money you can upgrade to better glass, like the Planar-design 100/2.8 or Biogon-design 50/6.3. These are robust cameras that (other than sometimes needing rangefinder adjustment) stand up very well over time. Folders are far more likely to have serious mechanical issues.

    Just watch what back you're getting--there are a lot more 6x7 backs out there than 6x9s

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