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  1. #1
    ColdEye's Avatar
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    Advice on a folding rangefinder that has a nice viewfinder?

    I am contemplating on what rangefinder to get, as of now I am targeting a Canon P or Canon 7. But what about those folding rangefinders? They look intriguing and they look compact (weight does not bother me much). The biggest requirement I have is having a nice viewfinder. I want something along the lines of a VF of a Canonet (just for reference). Is there a Folding camera that has the same VF size as that? I had a go at a Fed 2 once and the VF is too small for my taste. It must have a coupled RF/VF also, lens speed does not matter that much, I can make do with a f2 or f2.8. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Ive got a Kodak Retina IIIc, its a nice compact and classy folding range finder that wont break the bank, with a good set of lenses. Though I think my shutter winding lever is stripped of its teeth, a common problem that makes it unable to wind. needs to be fixed.

    I also have a Zeiss Super Ikonta IV that has a 75mm tessar f3.5 lens. A very well made folder for medium format. but sadly this also needs a CLA, as the focus is really stiff now and theres a bit of fungus in the lens.

    There are tons of classic range finders out there, but be sure to check them out, as they can come with many problems, or develop them only after a brief time using them. CLAs are recommended to get the best use of any classic camera, and may make what seems like a dim range finder be very bright.

    good luck on your hunt.

  3. #3
    ColdEye's Avatar
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    Is the viewfinder of the retina small? I am looking it up now and they do look nice. If ever I think I will go for the II as they are the ones without a meter(?).

  4. #4
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    It is a little on the small side, but its a nice diamond shaped patch. I am trying to think how big the canonet is, but I dont remember it being to big either (canonet 28).

  5. #5
    MattKing's Avatar
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    The Retina IIIc's viewfinder is definitely smaller than a Canonet GIII.
    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

  6. #6

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    If you want a big clear viewfinder, there is nothing better than Mamiya 6. That is the only one that folds... besides GF670. That makes you think 35mm cameras like watching pirated copy of p0rn on VHS from 1980s.

  7. #7

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    In medium format, the Iskra finder is large as well.

  8. #8
    PDH
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    The Rentia IIIC big has a very useful rangfinder with lines for the 35 and 80 lens. Very compact. I carry mine when I am lugging around 4X5. It is somewhat odd in many ways, film advance in the bottom, need to set the film counter, the shutter and F stop are linked and diffuct to overide. The 50 mm is very good, the 35 and 80 are large and need to be carried a bubble case and dont link to the rangfinder, I dont bother to carry. My meter is still active after 50 or so years. I got mine in 1966, I think it was used as a gift from my aunts.

  9. #9

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    The best viewfinders that I ever saw in folding cameras are these of Retina IIIC and Iskra. I can see both very well although I am wearing spectacles.

  10. #10

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    Yeah, note there's a "c" and a "C" series of Retinas. The big C models have a clear bright-line range/viewfinder system.

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