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Thread: 35mm Folders

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by maiko9 View Post
    Do many members use 35mm folders? I currently own & use in random succession the following 35mm folders:
    Zeiss Ikonta w/Tessar
    Zeiss Ikonta w/Schneider Xenar
    Voigtlander Vito lla
    Kodak Retina lb
    Kodak Retina lla
    Agfa Solinette
    There's something uniquely, aesthetically satisfying about using these cameras. Extremely compact ( I can slip most of them in my pocket) & well protected ( as a result, most of the used cameras you find will have lenses in very good to excellent condition, regardless of the condition of exterior) As I use them primarily for outdoor scenics, their lack of focusing aids doesn't bother me (the only rangefinder among them is the lla). In fact, I find them superfluous (I use hyperfocal distance method), not to mention the necessary larger size needed to accomodate such (never mind the behemoths w/ built in light meters.....I either have a Gossen Pilot dangling from my neck, or resort to the Sunny 16 rules). When I need more selective focusing and/or different perspectives other than 50mm for other types of shooting, I use my Pentax Spotmatic/SV system. Anyone have any thoughts or musings on these cameras.
    I have a Retina IIc kit that I have put together over a few years that I use. The camera is about an exe+++ so I am almost afraid to use it but it sure draws looks from various people and gives excellent results. I was able to find a Skylight filter in what Kodak called 32mm and a whole set of Black and White filters (five total) that fit either in the lens hood case, on the camera or in the top of the ERC. A kodalux L meter that works and is dead on accurate ( looks like a jewel in that little leather case). both aux lenses in their bubbles complete with hoods ( the 80mm hood took me almost 3 years to find). Now I just need to find a nice period case to put it all in but so far I have not had much luck. All three lens are the S/K versions but give excellent performance IMHO and the whole kit while a bit awkward to change lenses on is small and a joy to use. Just a nice example of a level of craftmanship that is almost unheard of anymore. Dave

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
    Couldn't agree more with either you or Maiko9, though I have the Rodenstock Heligon not the Schneider Xenon. I prefer the (late) IIa, though, because the IIIC viewfinder sometimes seems to contain more brightline than image, and the accessory/auxiliary lenses always seemed to me more trouble than they are worth. Have you the snap-on auxiliary shade for the 80mm? I used to have one but haven't seen it for years.

    Cheers,

    R.
    I don't have a shade for the 80, but I do have one for the 50. I have a uv filter that I use on the 50. I tried the filter on the 35, but just that little bit of extra rim on the filter causes vignetting. You are right Roger, while the aux lenses are excellent lenses, they are a real pain in the butt to use and focus. I actually find myself using the 2a more than any of my retinas. It somehow just feels better in my hands.
    Rick Jason.
    "I'm still developing"

  3. #13
    Ole
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    Two Welta Welti's and a Voigtländer Vito II. One of the Weltis was my father's, and the first "real" camera I used. Unfortunately it has developed some problems with the film advance after only 50 years of frequent use . So I got myself a spare. Both have coated 50mm f:3.5 Zeiss Tessar lenses!
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by mongo141 View Post
    ... All three lens are the S/K versions but give excellent performance IMHO ...
    Your use of the word 'but' puzzles me. The Schneider lenses for the Retina are excellent - no 'but' about it!

  5. #15
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    I have two old Retina 1's, a Retina 1B,Voigtlander Vitessa L, Voigtlander Vito 111, Zeiss Contessa, Agfa Karat 36 and Retina 111C.
    My favourite is the Agfa with it's great rangefinder, the best lens quality belongs to the Voigtlanders with the Contessa running a very tight race for second.
    Tony

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    Your use of the word 'but' puzzles me. The Schneider lenses for the Retina are excellent - no 'but' about it!
    Well there are detracters that would rather walk if they couldn't drive a BMW and I have heard knowledge people claim that they wouldn't take a picture if they didn't have a Heligon lens on their Retina but I have never been able to see the differance on the print (and I have been doing this for about 35 years). I think they (the s/k lenses) are some of the best I have ever used. What gives me a laugh is the folks that ask me what kind of a d****al camera I am using. . OH well! Dave

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by tony lockerbie View Post
    I have two old Retina 1's, a Retina 1B,Voigtlander Vitessa L, Voigtlander Vito 111, Zeiss Contessa, Agfa Karat 36 and Retina 111C.
    My favourite is the Agfa with it's great rangefinder, the best lens quality belongs to the Voigtlanders with the Contessa running a very tight race for second.
    Tony
    Which lenses do you have on the Voigtlanders?

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by mongo141 View Post
    Well there are detracters that would rather walk if they couldn't drive a BMW and I have heard knowledge people claim that they wouldn't take a picture if they didn't have a Heligon lens on their Retina but I have never been able to see the differance on the print (and I have been doing this for about 35 years). I think they (the s/k lenses) are some of the best I have ever used. What gives me a laugh is the folks that ask me what kind of a d****al camera I am using. . OH well! Dave

    I've heard others describe the Heligon as second best. Like you, I've never seen much difference, though the main reason I prefer the Heligon is because that's what I've got...

    I suspect that for a given level of photographic skill, a lot more depends on the camera's condition, 50+ years on, than on the lens.

    Cheers,

    R.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
    I've heard others describe the Heligon as second best. Like you, I've never seen much difference, though the main reason I prefer the Heligon is because that's what I've got...

    I suspect that for a given level of photographic skill, a lot more depends on the camera's condition, 50+ years on, than on the lens.

    Cheers,

    R.
    F stop usage can be the great equalizer. Most of my rangefinderless folder shooting is done stopped down to f8 or f11, at which point the difference between my Tessars, Color-Skopars, Solinars, & Xenars (granted, these are all similar 4 element Tessar-type designs) is almost indiscernable.
    Last edited by maiko9; 01-15-2007 at 07:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
    I've heard others describe the Heligon as second best. Like you, I've never seen much difference, though the main reason I prefer the Heligon is because that's what I've got...

    cheers,

    R.
    I suspect that for a given level of photographic skill, a lot more depends on the camera's condition, 50+ years on, than on the lens.

    Hi Roger, That is a fact. I have spent a fair amount of time repairing and doing CLA's on most of that 50yr old stuff. I still have a couple of Retinas around here that are nothing more parts cameras. and some on the auction site are not even worth repairing. I have noticed that the prices seem to be going up for most of the Retina's. There is just a lever of quality there that is rare anymore unless you are willing to spend a lot of money.
    I think my big score was that Kodalux L meter and case. they were very uncommon in the USA and most I have seen have broken incident covers or they don't work, I just got lucky I guess.... Dave

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