Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 69,981   Posts: 1,523,807   Online: 1178
      
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22
  1. #1
    Metroman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    On the beach - Dungeness area.
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    113

    Franka Solda II or Agfa IsoletteIII

    I have been offered one or both of these if I want. Thinking this is an opportune moment to try MF after 40 odd years of 35mm and Leicas I would value members opinions on which is the better as an entry to playing with MF.

    My neighbour is slowly clearing out her attic where her husband had his darkroom and kit. He died last August having been a photographer since the 1920's. I have bought a Leica CL and a load of darkroom kit already. All his old cameras and equipment are carefully wrapped in oilskin and in their original boxes.

    The lenses are not stiff or frozen and everything appears to be OK though the only way to test is to run a film through especially to check the bellows but I would value opinions from any who use these models.

    TIA
    Andy
    Per Mare, Per Terram
    Filmus Monochromus | Project Double-X | Daily Blog

  2. #2
    Bob F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    London
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,984
    Images
    19
    I have a Isolette III but have no experience of the Solida. This (http://www.certo6.com/cameras.html) site has some info on both. Possibly the decider is which lens the cameras have and their general condition.

    Cheers, Bob.

  3. #3
    Mike Kovacs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    274
    Check the bellows carefully for pinholes. They are the most difficult and expensive part to replace on a low value folder.

    I have not found an Agfa yet without pinholed bellows. After the war, they switched from leather to a type of synthetic bellows that just don't last.
    If it says Zeiss or Rollei, the answer is YES!
    My Flickr Gallery

  4. #4
    Rolleiflexible's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    New York City
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,274
    Images
    31
    Bob and Mike are both on target. If both were restored, I'd probably go for the Agfa because it has a rangefinder and it is an elegant design. My fiancee shoots the 6x9 version, the Agfa Record III, and the camera is delicious. The Agfa lenses are super, even the midlevel Apotar produces lovely images. I believe the Franka has a Radionar -- I've shot that lens before and thought the bokeh looked awfully harsh in it. Visit Jurgen Krekel's site, linked in Bob's post, for more information on the cameras.

    But Mike is right: The Agfa will have bellows problems, if not now, then soon. If I were planning to shoot the camera and not put a penny into it, I'd probably choose the Franka on that basis. But you can send either camera off to Jurgen and he will refurbish it for you at a reasonable cost.

    Folders are a fine way into MF -- get one and have fun with it.

    Sanders.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Northern Aquitaine
    Shooter
    35mm RF
    Posts
    4,913
    Quote Originally Posted by Metroman View Post
    I have been offered one or both of these if I want. Thinking this is an opportune moment to try MF after 40 odd years of 35mm and Leicas I would value members opinions on which is the better as an entry to playing with MF.

    My neighbour is slowly clearing out her attic where her husband had his darkroom and kit. He died last August having been a photographer since the 1920's. I have bought a Leica CL and a load of darkroom kit already. All his old cameras and equipment are carefully wrapped in oilskin and in their original boxes.

    The lenses are not stiff or frozen and everything appears to be OK though the only way to test is to run a film through especially to check the bellows but I would value opinions from any who use these models.

    TIA
    Go for whichever has a unit-focusing lens (not front-cell-focus). I've never had a truly satisfactory front-cell-focus lens yet, in 40 years of trying (and usually being disappointed by) RF folders.

    Cheers,

    R.

  6. #6
    wilsonneal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Shooter
    8x10 Format
    Posts
    578
    Images
    17
    FWIW, I have both an Isolette and a Solida III. The Isolette's bellows have gone south, dried and cracked. I am told that this is fairly common. My Solida, same vintage, is still chugging along. Lots of variables: how they were stored, how they were used, etc., but I think the choice of materials on the Solida was a little better.
    Neal

  7. #7
    Mike Kovacs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    274
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
    Go for whichever has a unit-focusing lens (not front-cell-focus). I've never had a truly satisfactory front-cell-focus lens yet, in 40 years of trying (and usually being disappointed by) RF folders.

    Cheers,

    R.
    Bullocks! (IMO)

    Rigidity of the lens standard is where the biggest issue is with folders. I think a solid unit focus like a Zeiss Super Ikonta is much stronger than unit focus standards, e.g. the Voigtlander Bessa II.

    IMO better to start yourself off and start shooting some MF than to pine over the top models of $$$ folders. IMO - a Rolleiflex TLR (even an old $100-150 Automat) will beat the pants off a folder anyway. (being unit focus, solid mount, and very easy to handhold extremely steady at chest level)
    If it says Zeiss or Rollei, the answer is YES!
    My Flickr Gallery

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Northern Aquitaine
    Shooter
    35mm RF
    Posts
    4,913
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kovacs View Post
    Bullocks! (IMO)

    Rigidity of the lens standard is where the biggest issue is with folders. I think a solid unit focus like a Zeiss Super Ikonta is much stronger than unit focus standards, e.g. the Voigtlander Bessa II.

    IMO better to start yourself off and start shooting some MF than to pine over the top models of $$$ folders. IMO - a Rolleiflex TLR (even an old $100-150 Automat) will beat the pants off a folder anyway. (being unit focus, solid mount, and very easy to handhold extremely steady at chest level)
    Dear Mike,

    Maybe I've just been consistently unlucky for almost 40 years, even though I have sought out rigid folders. But I'd certainly back your advice to go for a TLR -- almost ANY TLR -- over any but the very best unit-focusing folders.

    Cheers,

    R.

  9. #9
    Rolleiflexible's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    New York City
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,274
    Images
    31
    Gentlemen! You both know me to be a man with a Rolleiflex problem, so you won't find me disagreeing with you on the desirability of a Rolleiflex. However, the OP wasn't given the choice of a Rolleiflex ... and we're conversing on his nickel ....

    Roger: Too many Leicas has spoilt you for folders. :-)

    Sanders.

  10. #10
    Mike Kovacs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    274
    To clarify, what I'm suggesting is for the poster to get his feet wet with a cheap unit focus folder and see how he likes 6x6 MF. If its the best thing since slided bread, go for a nice TLR, Hassy, whatever he likes and can afford. Most of the fanciest folders with unit focus and rangefinders are collectable now, and never were considered professional grade tools in their day anyway.

    Coming from 35mm, I struggled for a while with square format but now the roles have completely reversed. I feel constrained in narrow 35mm format!
    If it says Zeiss or Rollei, the answer is YES!
    My Flickr Gallery

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin