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  1. #11
    JPD
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris00nj View Post
    Thanks for the recommendation on the Ercona II. I assumed the build quality of the East German Ercona II would not be on par with their West German counterparts.
    Eastern bloc cameras isn't my cup of Rodinal, but the Ercona was a continuation and improvement of the pre-war Ikonta. The lens and bellows folds out and locks rock-solid in place, the Tessar lens was improved and hard coated, and the Tempor shutter is very good - between the Prontor-SV and Compur in quality.

    Mine is definitely a keeper. I have adjusted the focus, first by adjusting infinity with a ground glass on the film rails, and then fine tuned it with a test roll for the last 1/10mm accuracy, and the shutter works perfectly on all speeds, plus the selftimer.

    Another fun camera is the much older Goerz Roll-Tenax, if you like cult lenses like the Dagor and Dogmar.

    Mine with 6,8/10cm Dagor:



    J. Patric Dahlén

  2. #12

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    I have a Voigtländer Inos II (6x9 and 4,5x6) with a Skopar 4.5/105. Very cute little camera.
    Philippe Grunchec

    "The fundamental problem any artist faces in regard to craft is that it must be largely ignored" Richard Benson.

    http://philippe.grunchec-photographe.over-blog.com/

  3. #13

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    One of the advantages of the Agfa Record III is that it has a right-hand shutter release. Other cameras, including the Zeiss Ikon Ikonta and the Mess Ikonta (524/2 with uncoupled rangefinder) have a left-hand shutter release.

    I think that the Novar and Apotar (both triplets) perform similarly, although I would give the edge to the Apotar. After all, there's only so much you can do with three lenses.

    The Tessar is an excellent lens and was the premium optic on Zeiss Ikon cameras for decades. The Voigtlander folding cameras are now overpriced, I feel, although some have optics that are better than the Carl Zeiss lenses for the Zeiss Ikon cameras.

    The plain Ikonta (520/2 and 521/2) is an excellent camera. The final models (don't recall the model number) with the satin chrome top decks have the advantage of having an accessory shoe.

    There also are 620 Kodak folders from its German operation (Nagel Camerawerks), but as with all 620 cameras, you must respool your film. Not a big pain, but still a pain. The model is the Vollenda 620, which was scale focus only.

    The most vital aspects:

    1) Is the lens in good condition? If it's not clean, fungus- and scratch-free, move on.

    2) Is the body damaged? There are very few rare cameras, so there's no reason to buy one that's been beat to hell and back. Don't buy someone else's junk.

    3) Does the camera open smoothly and does the lens bed lock into place without effort? Sometimes, it's a lubrication issue, but it also could be a sign of impact damage. The lens standard must be parallel to the film plane. If it's not, you'll get a photo with one side or corner that's always out of focus.

    4) How are the bellows? They can be patched. And it's true that the plastic bellows on Agfas are problematic and prone to developing holes in the corners. Other cameras used leather-covered bellows, which seem to have survived the years in much better fashion.

    Best of luck! I love 6x9 folders.

  4. #14

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    A photo from my own Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 530/2 (made in 1936) with an uncoated Tessar. I think this was on Agfapan APX 400. And although it's strongly backlit, it didn't flare.

    Much is made about unit focusing vs. front-cell focusing, but I don't have a problem with the front-cell focusing lenses.


  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post

    By contrast, I think Bessae tend to be overpriced; they're good cameras but not, I think, orders of magnitude better than the competition. The earlier ones also sometimes have poor resistance to light leaks; mine is a very early model with a Voigtar, and it's just about unusable between the limitations of the lens (lots of flare) and the light leak at the end that opens.

    -NT
    I have used a few of the old 6X9 folders, including a couple of Zeiss Super Ikonta C models and a few of the Moscow imitations. In my opinion the Bessa and Bessa II are indeed on the order of a magnitude better than most of the competition, at least in terms of sharpness, and that is due in large measure to the robustness of the folding mechanism and to the fact that the lens focuses by moving back and forth, not by moving a single front element as is the case with most of the other 6X9 folders. The weak point of the Bessa and Bessa II is a pressure plate which may have lost tension and does not apply enough pressure to hold the film flat.


    Sandy King

  6. #16

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    Moskva-5 is a great camera if you get one in good shape. You can also pick it up for the price of the 3-element scale focusing cameras from the big guns. Mine is really sharp, even though I had to more or less reassemble the rangefinder.

  7. #17

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    I like the Ross Ensign 6x9 folder the lens are good, and you can get them with or without range finder.

    bob

  8. #18
    Paul Goutiere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyMac View Post
    Moskva-5 is a great camera if you get one in good shape. You can also pick it up for the price of the 3-element scale focusing cameras from the big guns. Mine is really sharp, even though I had to more or less reassemble the rangefinder.
    This is true. The Moskva is a very nice camera......if you get a good one. I managed a M5 and a M4 in good shape and they are fine. The finder in the all the Moskvas is better than the finders found in the Later Super Ikonta C's, which have the Albada finder. My cameras cost about $45.00 each about 5 years ago.

    F8, lens hood, hold it steady....perfect.

  9. #19

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    One thing I will add is that the Moskva (and most of the 105/3.5 or similar Tessar cameras, I imagine) needs to be stopped down if you want sharp corners on 6x9. 6x6 is no problem, but I think 6x9 is close to the coverage limits of the lens.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyMac View Post
    One thing I will add is that the Moskva (and most of the 105/3.5 or similar Tessar cameras, I imagine) needs to be stopped down if you want sharp corners on 6x9. 6x6 is no problem, but I think 6x9 is close to the coverage limits of the lens.
    Actually, the angle of view based on the diagonal of the frame is almost identical between an 80mm on 6x6 and a 105mm on 6x9. There could be other factors, such as film flatness being more difficult over a larger area. But all that said, while I've not attempted any rigorous "scientific" testing, I do get the impression that the Color Skopar on my Perkeo II 6x6 is a hair sharper, even in the center, than the Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar on my Ercona II. Of course, I'm dealing in samples of one here. Could be there's a mis-alignment or focus mis-calibration of the Zeiss Tessar.

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