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  1. #1
    dustym's Avatar
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    Ideas on a MF Folder

    Thanks for the help on the Strangley drawn to MF thread, can any body suggest a MF folding camera I could look to buy as an economical introduction to MF

  2. #2
    Ole
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    Zeiss Ikon and Voigtländer are the obvious choises, but the good models with good coated lenses tend to cost a good lump of money. A cheaper - but no less good - alternative is the Japanese Daiichi Zenobia!

    I have one of these, as well as a selection of Zeiss Ikon and Voigtländer cameras. I'll have to admit that except for the ZI with coated Tessar lens, the Zenobia is tops
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  3. #3
    dustym's Avatar
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    I've taken yr advice and bought a Zenobia, I remember where I saw one for sale and paid £45 for it in E++ ex collection camera with a guarantee, I should have it tomorrow.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole
    Zeiss Ikon and Voigtländer are the obvious choises, but the good models with good coated lenses tend to cost a good lump of money. A cheaper - but no less good - alternative is the Japanese Daiichi Zenobia!

    I have one of these, as well as a selection of Zeiss Ikon and Voigtländer cameras. I'll have to admit that except for the ZI with coated Tessar lens, the Zenobia is tops
    As Ole notes, the really good folders like the Ikonta C and Bessa models with coated lenses are very expensive. They are so expensive in fact that I really think one would do better in terms of price, if image quality is a major consideration, with one of the modern rangefinder cameras. For example, a Zeiss Super Ikonta C in good condition will cost about the same, or *more* than a modern Fuji GWII or GSWIII 6X7 or 6X9 camera with multi-coated lens. And from experience I will state for the record tht the Fuji 6X7 and 6X9 cameras, with their multi-coated EBC lenses, give vastly superior performance whn compared to the Super Ikonta C. Not that the Super Ikonta lenses are bad, but the entire system of the old folders is just no match for the new Fujis.

    I suspect that some here will disagree with my comments, but please understand they are based on real life experience in comparing image quality with a number of old folders, including the Zeiss Super Ikonta C, with the modern 6X7 and 6X9 Fuji cameras. In fact, I am convinced that even a new Fuji in 6X4.5 format will give much better performance than any of the old 6X9 folders. For example, I have a Fuji GA 645Zi that gives vastly superior performance to any of the 6X9 folders I have tested.

    Sandy
    Last edited by sanking; 10-18-2005 at 06:34 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
    PRB
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    Hi,

    I don't know what you consider economical, but a Fuji GS645 Professional was a good choice for me. The camera has a grewat lens and will fit in a coat pocket when folded. 645 format. You can find them on eBay and at KEH.com for $400 to $600 depending on the condition. Some people bad mouth the Fuji because the bellows has a reputation for being fragile. I've never had any trouble with mine.But I take care not to touch the bellows when the camera is open. Your mileage may vary. With the 645 format you get 15 exposures with 120 film and 30 with 220.

    Onward,
    Paul

  6. #6

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    I would skip the folder and get something with modern optics.

  7. #7

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    Consider a Crown Graphic with a 6x7 or 6x9 film holder back. You can use as wide as a 65mm lens on this camera and you can hand hold it (if you're a hand held camera type) like an RB-67! If you want to shoot 4x5 or Polaroids you still have that option. Your choice of lenses to use on this camera is quite extensive.
    "A certain amount of contempt for the material employed to express an idea is indispensable to the purest realization of this idea." Man Ray

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Changeling1
    Consider a Crown Graphic with a 6x7 or 6x9 film holder back. You can use as wide as a 65mm lens on this camera and you can hand hold it (if you're a hand held camera type) like an RB-67! If you want to shoot 4x5 or Polaroids you still have that option. Your choice of lenses to use on this camera is quite extensive.
    If you mean a 2x3 Crown, the Century Graphic is very nearly identical, often less expensive.

    65 mm is not the limit on those cameras. Relatively modern WA lenses have somewhat longer flange-to-film distances at infinity than 65/6.8 Angulon and Raptar that one usually associates with 2x3 Graphics. The shortest lens I'm aware of that has been used on a Century is the 35/4.5 ApoGrandagon. I can't afford one, or perhaps don't want one badly enough to pay the going rate, so get by with 38/4.5 Biogon, 47/5.6 Super Angulon, and 58/5.6 Grandagon on my Century.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  9. #9

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    The whole point of a MF folder is that they are small. A century camera won't fit in your pocket. It's nice to be able to change lenses but this guy is looking for a small (cheap) folder to test the MF waters.

    I use a agfa billy record myself. It fits my pocket so I actually take it with me. It cost less than $100 including a new bellows. And it takes 6x9 photos.

    I agree the fuji takes better pictures. But that is getting into the next price bracket. The agfa is so much better than a 35mm that I'm perfectly happy with the quality. One can always step up to more expensive gear later.

  10. #10
    Ole
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    Kevin said exactly what I was going to: If it's about image quality, there are lots of better choises. But none of these will fit in a pocket. And we all know that the best pictures are taken with the camera you have brought along, not the one left at home.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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