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  1. #1

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    Apr 2010
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    I'm looking for another camera

    Ok folks I'm after a recommendation. I'm after another film camera. I want either a rangefinder or a folder that takes 120 film to shoot some street scenes. It needs to be usable, simple, relatively easy to fix (if needed) and inexpensive. What do you recommend? To give you a bit more context I also shoot with a Nikon F4 and a Bronny SQ but i'm looking for something much older and more basic but still usable.

    Cheers folks

    Chris

  2. #2

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    Russian Leica copies can be had cheaply (though I've used one, despite owning several). I have various 120 folders, enjoying using them all. None are rangefinders (relatively expensive on a folder) so all have to be focussed manually, mostly by distance guesstimation. The process of taking a picture is often slow and deliberate - the Zeiss Ikon 517/2 that I have been using until recently needed about 6 different steps to be taken before pressing the shutter. I have recently started using a Zeiss 6x9, yet to see the results, ditto a Voigtlander Perkeo II, both very nice to use.

  3. #3
    cliveh's Avatar
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    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  4. #4
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    You don't say where your located.

    I picked up a very nice Ensign Selfix 820 for £35 ($54) earlier this year which has an excellent coated Ross Xpres lens, it's not a rangefinfer camer though but can shoot 6x9 or 6x6. On Sunday I found a very nice Zeiss Ikon Nettar (6x6) for £5 ($8).

    There's plenty of good old post WWII 120 folding cameras around many with excellent coated lenses. I've picked up spare lenses and shutters on my travels often for £2-£5, thre shutters are unused

    Ian

  5. #5

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    Sep 2007
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    Get a folder with a rangefinder built in--- even an uncoupled rangefinder is a lot of fun. Look into the view hole and figure distance with the mechanism then set that distance on the lens--

    Try an Agfa Isolette for 6x6 or something like an Agfa Billy Record for 6x9. I have both, and consider them by far my best cameras. (Both also sport a timer on the shutter for getting into some of those pictures.)
    * Just because your eyes are closed, doesn't mean the lights in the darkroom are off. *
    * When the film you put in the camera is worth more than the camera you put the film in... *
    * When I started using 8x10, it amazed me how many shots were close to the car. *

  6. #6

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    Feb 2010
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    I just ordered a Super Ikonta III from certo6.com, he does a lot of folders, and can suggest one in budget/requirements. I've not got the camera yet, but the owner, Jurgen, was helpful in suggesting models based on what I wanted.

  7. #7

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    How about a TLR like a Rolleiflex.

    Jeff

  8. #8
    Two23's Avatar
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    I just LOVE my 1951 Rolleiflex MX with 75mm t-coated Tessar. I also shoot a 1937 Voigtlander Bessa RF, which takes 6x9 images on 120 and does have a rangefinder. Camera fits into a shirt pocket.


    Kent in SD

  9. #9
    Peltigera's Avatar
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    You don't say what inexpensive is. I never pay more than £25 for an old camera - inexpensive is less than £15. Some [people are rich and will pay £100 or more for a camera. How much is your 'inexpensive'?

    At my end of the scale, I would suggest a Franka Solida III which has an uncoupled rangefinder. Mine cost £12. My favourite folder is my Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515 (6 x 4.5 format on 120 film) - no rangefinder or light meter but excellent lens. I think I paid £10 for that one.

    At a more expensive sort of inexpensive (£100 to £150), I would suggest a Super Ikonta - coupled rangefinder, choice of lens and shutter. I am waiting to find one for £20!

  10. #10
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    I really enjoy using my super ikonta iv, i got mine pretty cheap because of lens fungus and super stiff focusing, but I took it apart and cleaned it (most of it as i could not get the front element out due to two previously stripped tiny set screws of the three on the front). I removed the large portion of fungus in the back and now even with the little bit in the front still the tessar shoots amazingly well and sharp, and the focus is very smooth now, and well aligned with the range finder (which was also cleaned). selenium cell meter works too!

    one of the most important things when getting a folder is to also check the bellows. repeated use and age may dry and crack them. you can only patch the so much, and replacements may be tricky to find.

    another cheap route is to find the ikonta copies, there are lots of them out there, like some mentioned above. You could also research the olympus six which is a copy that at one point used a german tessar lens (prewar).

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