6 x 9 Folder help please
Just a quick thank you from me to the many many posts here that are extremely helpful to a novice. I recently purchased a Perkeo 2 after reading info here. I love it! Could anyone suggest a 6x9 folder please. The compactness of the Perkeo is extraordinary, so something along those lines would be nice, but I am willing to trade this a little for lens quality. i suppose I would be willing to spend around £200 maximum, but could always be persuaded. I know there is a long standing in depth thread in existence for folders, but I specifically am interested in 6x9
Thank you in advance
A new 6x9 folderholic, huh? Watch out, it's contageous. You might infect more people around you.
We're focussed mainly on 6x9 CRF, so don't know much about folders with only viewfinders or uncoupled rangefinders. Here's our list.
Bessa II with either Skopar or Heliar (apo-lanthar is not to be had in your price range) - but you have to like the way the shutter is tripped: with your left hand, while steadying camera with the right hand. If you search eBay with patience and digilence, you can find a Bessa II for below market prices.
Ensign Autorange 820 - this is something we have an eye on for a long time because of the nice Ross Xpres lens, but it's hard to find and if you find one, it's a little heavy in the wallet
Super Ikonta's - some people rave about them, personally we don't like the way you have two windows to work with: a viewfinder and a rangefinder window. But that's just us.
Moskva V - Russian copy of Super Ikonta (see above) - can be had cheap, some people really like theirs.
Telka III - uncommon French folder with a 95mm Sagittar. We sold ours as we were collecting too many cameras and we wanted to keep the Bessa first and foremost. Very sturdy and built like a tank.
Welta Weltur/ Welta Solida- these come in a 6x9 version as well as smaller sizes. Very similar to the Clarovid, but the Clarovid's lens might be better. Rangefinder mechanism inside has parts that get brittle over time, break and render the rangefinder mechanism useless. Happened to us - there's still this part we need to re-make or get it machined somewhere.
Kodak Regent I - there's one on eBay right now. Never had one, but it's a nice design as far as we can see from the pics.
Balda Super pontura - rare, seldom comes up for sale.
That's what I can rattle off from the top of my head, but check out the Japanese folderholics at www.cosmonet.org - they have good info on lots of folders.
If you limit yourself to pocketable (sort of) 6x9 folders there are many, many choices. I have, sometimes use, an Ensign Selfix 820 with 105/3.8 Ross Xpres, don't love it. So there's a vote against one.
If you're willing to buy a larger folding camera with interchangeable lenses and, at least potentially, better optics and alignment than available in pocketable (sort of) cameras then think about a 2x3 (or nominal 6x9) press camera. In metal, various Horseman and Linhofs, in wood or plastic Crown Graphic or Century Graphic.
FWIW, I use a Century, also a 2x3 Speed that's bigger, heavier, and not as useful with short lenses. Either with a 101/4.5 Ektar takes better pictures than my nominal 6x9 Ensign Selfix 820 with 105/3.8 Xpres. Note that the roll holders I use in the Graphics have gates 82 mm long, the Ensign's is only 78 mm long.
Lenses? Between my two Graphics I use lenses from 1.5" (doesn't cover the format) to 12". But I carry more gear than two normal sensible people would.
Good luck, have fun,
Why not a Kodak Vigilant/Monitor/Senior/Special Six-20? They all had an optional Anastigmat Special lens that is the Ektar design with a front focus cell. If you can put up with 620 film and no rangefinder, they have excellent optics and are comparatively inexpensive.
PS. Be warned, folders are addictive.
I suggest the Zeiss Ikon "Super Ikonta" (531/2). It's been in production until (relatively) lately so you can find units in extremely good conditions. The telemeter is very effective if well tuned up. If you choose one with Tessar/Compur combination, you'll have a setup which can almost compare to today's standards. Plus, I find the 6x9 to 4,5x6 reducing mask an amusing idea (that's not available on units with "Novar" lenses).
I bought it basically without a reason, just because it reminded me of my grandpa's camera. Probably the idea of taking pictures with a Tessar fascinated me. Now I find myself using it in every occasional trip in which I have to travel light, and of course on every hike over the Alps.