Inexpensive 6x9 ?
I've been shooting a few rolls with my Soho cadet, an el-cheapo of yesteryears, and my father--who regularly shoots landscape with his Rapid Omega 100--was very interested by the 6x9 format of the oldie. Of course the glass is awful compared to his Omega, but it made me think about what 6x9 cameras are worth looking into? I might just try to get him one for Christmas. He would probably use it for more candid shot than landscapes, but some quality glass would be the main concern. Manual controls are the least of worries, but price would be an issue--say about 100$ max for something in working order.
I've been looking at the Voigtlander and Ikon folders, and they seem to be very worthwhile. However I'm completely ignorant of models/glass/age/etc, and am rather daunted by the variety.
So what would you recommend as a decent 6x9 camera?
If he can deal with an old folder, I would strongly recommend checking out the information and example photos at www.certo6.com and then, either call Jurgen or, check out his offerings on that big online auction site. He has an excellent reputation and seems to offer a good variety of refurbished old folders.
I bought a Zeiss Super Ikonta 6x9 with the 105 mm. Jena tessar type lens. This cameras go from cheap to very expensive. I paid way too much for mine because it looked great in the pictures. The camera still looks great but the little bellows has many pinholes. Either get one that was just serviced and pay what it takes to have it, or buy a cheap one and have it serviced. Check www.certo6.com for information on folding cameras as well as services provided.
Originally Posted by mhv
I will be sending mine in to have the bellows replaced for about $120.
I think that a folding 6x9 with a good lens is a great camera for what you want and also for having in the car all the time so that you have it when you need it.
I hope that helps!
Keeping it under $100 is a bit difficult, but:
I would suggest a Mockba (Moscow) folder. It is based on the Super Ikonta, built in the former USSR. I got mine from Fedka.com, but there are other reliable vendors out there. One thing about the Mockba (and the "super" Ikontas), is that the rangefinder is coupled. This means that you can focus. Uncoupled rangefinders result in a 2-step process. You find the distance to the subject, then you have to transfer this reading to the lens. There is yet another type where you don't have any rangefinder. You guess the distance to the subject, set the lens for that distance and shoot away. If your dad is going to do landscapes, this wouldn't be too bad of an option.
As you can imagine, the price goes down with capability. I.e. coupled rangefinders cost more than uncoupled which cost more than no-rangefinder cameras.
If you have any concerns about the older cameras, send an email to Jurgen at certo6.com. He refurbishes old folders, so you can trust that they will work OK. His price list is also a good guide to the old folders. I.e. it is sort of a roadmap to the relative prices and capabilities of a lot of the old folders.
This one might actually end up in your price range. I've made 20X30 velvia prints with this system. Funky to look at but the optik is first rate (100mm f3.5 tessar type) and the Mamiya S shaped holders have long been known as the flattest film holder for 120 film.
& This although I would expect this one would soar to $225 or so.
They were a system camera with 6X7 and or 6X9 backs and number of fine lenses.
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One more note--be sure to check the model closely on the old folders. A lot of them were designed to work with obsolete film types. Not surprisingly, these can be cheaper...
The cheapest 6x9 folder I have is a Balda Belfoca(?). The nicest one is a Voigtländer - either the Bessa I or perhaps the 6.5x9 VAG plate camera - I've got a rollfim back
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
I picked up a Ziess Ercona folder that does 6x9 with neat little hinged plates in the film chamber. Also does 6x7.
Paid $40 Aussie doallrs so about $32 USD. Great prints....
For <$100 I'd seriously explore the various folders out there.
A Mockba 5 can be bought for 50 EURO or so, it's a quite nice camera for this price. If you want to take a look at a sample shoot please go to my blog (http://www.emme259.altervista.org/Giorni.html) and tale a look at the post of April 4th. You can download the pdf under the post if you want some more samples.
I've been looking at a few models you people have recommended, and I'm impressed by what's available in the folding camera market. I guess a coupled rangefinder is definitely a plus, and so is 120 roll film support (not a tinkerer enough to use 620).
I'll definitely look at the Mockba 5, the ones at Fedka.com are enticing. Matt, do you consider his ratings as fair? Marcello, I looked at the picture: che bella!