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  1. #1

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    4 foldout Med formt cameras: Zeis Ikon Nettar 518, Franka Rolfix I, Agfa Isolette III

    Hey guys. I just came across these fold out medium format camera`s and I`d really like to get one because they`d be very handy. But I really don`t know anything about them. Can you guys tell me which ones are good deals, what the best camera is, and if the more expensive Agfa camera is worth the price.
    Thanks.

    Zeiss Ikon Nettar 518/16 6x6 - Novar 75mm f4.5 and Pronto shutter firing at all speeds - - glass is clean and clear of fungus and bellows light tight with no holes. - $50

    Franka Rolfix I 6x6/6x9 - Radionar 105mm f4.5 lens and Prontor S shutter firing at all speeds - glass is clean and clear of fungus and bellows light tight with no holes. Includes the hard to find 6x6/6x9 mask. - $85

    Agfa Isolette III 6x6 - Apotar 85mm f4.5 and Pronto shutter firing at all speeds - glass is clean and clear of fungus and bellows light tight with no holes - rangefinder is aligned and working properly - $100

    Agfa Isolette III 6x6 - with top of the line Solinar 85mm f4.5 and Syncro Compur shutter firing at all speeds - glass is clean and clear of fungus and bellows light tight with no holes - rangefinder is aligned and working properly. Includes original leather case with metal hood and slip on yellow filter - $175

  2. #2

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    I've got several Agfas. Plain basic camera. It just works. Remember your Sunny 16s and estimate the focus and you'r good to go. I think those cameras are way over priced though.
    Gun Control is like: Reducing drunk driving by making it harder for SOBER people to buy cars.

  3. #3
    piu58's Avatar
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    The Solinar is a 4 element lens, i.e. a Tessar type. The Apotar is a Triplett. Tessars are way much sharper, especially wide open. I'd invest the $75 extra.
    ---
    Uwe Pilz

  4. #4
    MattKing's Avatar
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    The big advantage of the Franka Rolfix is the fact that it provides a 6x9 option. I expect that the combination of the lens and the film flatness issues common to 6x9 cameras would mean that sharpnes wide open would be at best middling, but if you are able to enlarge 6x9...

    Isn't Craigslist interesting?
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  5. #5

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    Just to complicate matters, I'm going to weigh in for the Nettar. The Novar is a basic triplet lens, but in my experience they tend to be triplets of good quality, and the Nettars are built like tanks---they're probably the most trouble-free of all folders.

    The second Isolette with the rangefinder and the Solinar lens does sound like a winner, though---the lens is a big step above the triplets, and having an actual coupled focussing mechanism can be a pretty big deal in terms of the number of usable shots. That said, US$175 is a lot of money for a folder...

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  6. #6

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    Ya, $175 is a considerable amount of money, especially for somebody who's broke

    The Nettar is sounding pretty good now, glad it has a good lens, and the price is cheap, and it might be kind of fun trying to judge the distances.

  7. #7
    dentkimterry's Avatar
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    I have the Nettar you mention. It is a great camera with a good lens. You must estimate or measure the focus distance through. I got mine for $39 and it is worth every penny!

    Terry

  8. #8

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    I love folders, but those prices are too high! Yes a brand new folder will set you back about $1000, here is a link to a guy that sells these cameras fully restored http://www.certo6.com/purchase I have used him, and he did an alright job for me.

    Remember that if you buy a folder if will probably at the very least need a CLA, and it may need a bellows as well. A CLA and bellows replacement will run you over $100 if you buy a camera and it needs more than a CLA it is could get to be expensive.
    "Would you like it if someone that painted in oils told you that you were not making portraits because you were using a camera?"
    "Shouldn't it be more about the joy of producing and viewing the photo than what you paid for the camera?"

    Me

  9. #9
    mjs
    mjs is offline

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    Maybe it's because I haven't had good luck with unrestored older cameras lately, but I'd rather invest $175 in a CLA'd camera from certo6 than $100 in a camera in unknown condition. I have a beautiful and restored Agfa Isolette (the simpler one, without a rangefinder but I do have the better Solinar lens.) Love the thing!

    Mike
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming– “Wow! What a Ride!”

    — Hunter S. Thompson

  10. #10
    Simplicius's Avatar
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    I have to say of those options, I'd go for the Isolette III with Solinar.. I have a nettar too. The fact the yellow filter is with it and asuming it is in good condition is a major plus.

    I have used this camera more often than all the other folders, I have collected.. It's sharp, light and so easy to use. They are keepers, once serviced properly. I use this for street shooting with no hassle and can happily carry it around all day.

    If you think it is for a few years, it's worth it. Otherwise if you think this is a short term thing, the nettar is a great second place. IMHO.

    Here is some results of a Solinar lens

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1311178...7616560251626/
    Simplicius

    "defying gravity since 1898"

    My Flickr Account

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