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Thread: 35mm Folders

  1. #1

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    35mm Folders

    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.

  2. #2

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    I have 3 Retinas, one 1b, and two IIa's, I don't use them nearly as much as they deserve, but they are charming cameras with first rate optics. They are splendid to travel with, since they are smaller than most P&S 35's when folded, though a tad heavy for the size.

  3. #3
    DBP
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    I use two Retinas, a II and a IIa, and a little Contessa. I also have a Retina I, but only for historical purposes really.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBP View Post
    I use two Retinas, a II and a IIa, and a little Contessa. I also have a Retina I, but only for historical purposes really.
    Yet another IIa, recenty serviced, but alas with a broken film-counter for which the repairer was unable to find the parts.

    Cheers,

    R.

  5. #5

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    I like the fact that these cameras are so basic in their nature. Yeilding no aid in focus or exposure, they seem to lessen the barrier in some way between my subject & myself. At any rate, they allow me ( indeed, compel me) to approach my subject in a manner differently than I would with other types of cameras, which is why I ( & many of you, I'm quite sure ) own & use a wide variety of types & formats. After a spell of folders, my new-fangled Spotmatic seems so precise!

  6. #6

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    I use my folders quite a bit. Retina 2a, 1b and 3c. The xenon lenses on the 2a and 3c are absolutely stunning. The accessory lenses for the 3c also give excellent results (35 and 80mm) Too bad the prices on these cameras are climbing.
    Rick Jason.
    "I'm still developing"

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricksplace View Post
    I use my folders quite a bit. Retina 2a, 1b and 3c. The xenon lenses on the 2a and 3c are absolutely stunning. The accessory lenses for the 3c also give excellent results (35 and 80mm) Too bad the prices on these cameras are climbing.
    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.

  8. #8

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    I use Retina 3c all the time. It really is a very well constructed camera and the Schneider lens is excellent. Aux lenses are a pain to use. But learning to quickly use the focus conversion scale on the lens helps resolve that problem. The lens hoods are worth seeking out. The 50mm hood show up at the auction site on a fairly regular basis. That 80mm hood, Roger, took me several years to find -- usually only found as part of the lens storage gizmo.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by maiko9 View Post
    I like the fact that these cameras are so basic in their nature. Yeilding no aid in focus or exposure,
    Not all 35mm folders are as basic as you imply. The Retina, for example, is a real camera - rangefinder focus, compur leaf shutter (with sych in many cases), and some even have a lightmeter attached.

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The 50/2 Ultron on my Voigtlander Vitessa-L was probably my favorite normal lens for the 35mm format, and the camera was a real pleasure to use. I eventually sold it, because I wasn't really shooting that much 35mm except for birds, but it was a great 35mm folder.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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