Ole, of course you and Kevin are right. But some supposedly pocketable 6x9 folders require quite a large pocket. The Ensign Selfix 820, for example.
Originally Posted by Ole
Dan, my Bessa-I is pocketable - barely. The 6x6 and 6x4.5 models (Z-I, Vld', Daiichi, and so on) are very pocketable, though...
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
Um, Ole, not to change the subject or anything, but I think this one http://cgi.ebay.fr/Rarissime-et-Exce...QQcmdZViewItem might appeal to you even though it would fill an enormous pocket. I sort of covet it, but its already priced higher that I'm willing to pay. So if you have the requisite deep pocket, go for it.
Again thankyou very much , much food for thought .
Rgds from Essex
And I can recommend an old beauty, Iskra or Iskra-II - both with excellent lens, fully automated frame counter, very pocketable and cool to use. The leaf shutter has a sync for flash, speeds from 1s to 1/500, and 3.5 max aperture. The only problem is to find Iskra in a really nice condition, with frame counter working, and the filters with unusual thread - but as a pocket MF camera, Iskra is a very very good choice.
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Iskra's are good - probably the best viewfinder on an old folder, and a nice sharp lens too. I usually use this as my carry-all-day camera when on holiday.
The filter problem can be sorted by getting a 35mm series 6 push on adapter.
Like any old camera though, you need to get a good one, or get it serviced. I got lucky with both mine
Given that you are looking for a folder at a reasonable price to get you feet wet, you might look at the Voigtlander Bessa RF. They can be had for a decent price. A CLA is not going to kill you and they can be had with decent glass. You certainly should be able to get one with a CLA and new bellows, if needed, for under $250. If you don't need the bellows replaced then perhaps $150 to $175. Bill Barber
The plain Ikontas with Novars are relatively inexpensive -- less than $40 -- and when stopped down to f/8 or smaller should give you plenty of sharpness.
Othe possibilities include Agfas, although their weak spots are bellows and lens lubricant that has by now turned into cement.
The Voigtlanders are nice, although I'm not familiar enough with them to make an informed decision.
Now, regarding a Tessar lens. When clean and correctly collimated, it can hold its own with any modern day camera.
Some links (apologies to those who've already seen these). These are f/4.5 10.5cm Tessar lenses on each camera:
Anothe sample page, same Ikonta
7th Street Bridge, Super Ikonta, 1935
Parade barricades, Super Ikonta, 1935
The Ikonta cost me $50. The Super Ikonta, I think, was about three times that. Maybe slightly more.
If you can live without a coupled rangefinder, you can get some real bargains. I picked up a Bessa-I with a very nice coated Color Skopar lens in a Synchro-Compur shutter, completely CLA'd, for $125. Added a rangefinder that fits on the cold shoe for $15, and I ended up with a very nice 6x9 folder for $140. (I got mine from Jurgen Kreckel - a.k.a. Certo6. He does extremely nice work on these cameras, although the Bessas generally don't need new bellows. Plus, he stands behind his work...always a plus.)
If you can live with a smaller size than 6x9, there are some truly great bargains out there in 6x6.
The Fuji cameras are wonderful, but will stretch your budget further. I got the deal of a lifetime on a Fuji GA645Pro, but it still set me back $250. Generally those go for closer to $400. The images are gorgeous, but $400 is a lot of money for a pocketable medium format camera if you're not sure the format is right for you. But the Fuji lens is world's ahead of the older lenses for sharpness and for color work, so the cameras are definately worth investigating.
Elekm - By the way, thanks for the shot of the 7th Street Bridge...always nice to see good pictures of the home town!
Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.
The plain Voigtlander Bessa cameras can also be a very cheap alternative to the Bessa I or II (which are very pricey). If you are patient, you can find very late, post-war Bessa 6x9's with coated lenses (vaskar or color-skopar). The Bessas are very abundant, and often go overlooked compared to the Bessa I and II. Just make sure you get one with a good lens and in good shape. I picked up one with the excellent 105/3.5 color-skopar recently for under $30.The other advantage is that it came in a compur rapid shutter, which I prefer over the prontor in my Bessa I, since the compur goes to higher speeds (1/400 vs 1/200).
I also like the Perkeo cameras (6x6) very much. I prefer the ones with color-skopar lenses, but I've heard the vaskar is good also. The Perkeo I can be a good deal for arouind $50, Perkeo II and Perkeo E cameras are getting to be very expensive. The camera's best attribute is that it's tiny, not much bigger than a 35mm folder. A Bessa 66 with a late coated lens might also be a cheaper alternative.
I usually carry 3 of these backpacking: a perkeo (6x6), and 2 bessas, one with an insert so I can shoot 6x9 as well as 6x4.5! The 3 cameras are lighter than my Mamiya TLR, which I used to carry, but was just too heavy ,and took too long to unpack. I can keep a folder in a pocket to take pictures without havign to fully unpack.