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120 film RF Folders 120/220 Format Folding Rangefinders, including the various classic Zeiss Ikontas, Voigtlander Bessas, and their Ruskie copies.

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Old 02-07-2017   #41
Thomas78
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I have a Perkeo IIIe and sometimes take it with me on hiking tours.
It is my smallest 6x6 folder and my second smallest folder at all (my Ihagee 127 film 4x6.5 is smaller than a Rollei 35).

It has a uncoupled RF (but mine has one scale in feet and one in meters) and a red window film advance which I prefer because there is little chance that anything goes wrong with it. But it has a double exposure prevention.

But my favourite folder for using (despite its ergonomics) is My Moskva 5 which I got in really great shape.
For me it is an evolution of the pre war Super Ikonra C. The viewfinder is a classic one without (fainted) frame lines and the focus ring gives you a better grip since it is much wider compared to the Super Ikonta.


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Are folders really that bad?
Old 02-07-2017   #42
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Are folders really that bad?

I've used both professional grade medium format cameras - and - MF folders. Even with the advances in digital cameras, I still have a Fuji GW 690 III and a slew of medium format folders.

I'll start with the Voightlander Perkeo, which I've have had good luck in getting a keeper. There is always room for a Perkeo in a backpack and three rolls of film. Mine is a Perkeo II. I like the automatic frame stop feature when winding. I've never really given much thought as to whether or not the front standard is perfectly aligned with the film plane.

Does the Skopar lens have the same resolution of a EBC Fujinon or the Zeiss lens on a Hasselblad? Probably not, but I don't really care - because the Perkeo II fits in the front pocket of my Dockers or Cabelas cargo pants.

The story of the repair person mentioned by ozmoose leads me to my next fortunate find - which was local. A few years back I picked up an Ikonta 524/2 with a 3.5 Tessar from someone who is in my age group and was selling her Dads possessions .

I call it the beast. It's not really pocketable. I also own a Bessa II, which also isn't small and not really pocketable either. The left handed film winder, lack of an automatic film wind stop and left hand shutter release really slow me down - but with only 8 frames per roll, maybe slow is good.

As mentioned, the 524/2 is a slow motion kind of camera. The RF is uncoupled and the film advance is via viewing a red window on the back of the camera. Not exactly the ideal camera for Basketball or Hockey - but you know what, at f5.6 or f8, I'd pit this particular coated Tessar against the Fujinon on my Fuji, (at least close enough for hand-held work using Tri-X).

By the way, the rangefinder isn't too shabby with its 1:1 magnification and a base length between the two windows that is wider than the RF on my big Fuji. The front standard when erected has a solid click.

The second photo is a crop of the first.



There's a manufacturers label by the switch

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35mm Gear Bessa R, Leica II, - IIIg, - M2
Just for fun 35mm Gear a Kodak Retina II, Retina IIa, a Rollei 35 S, plus an Oly 35RD and XA
Modern Medium Format Fuji GW 690III
Vintage MF Folders a Voigtländer Perkeo II and Bessa II, 2 of them - a ZI Mess Ikonta 524/2 - plus an Agfa Super Isolette & a Record III
Digital a D300 and a D700 with some primes - still going over a decade later

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Iskra is my pick
Old 06-13-2019   #43
Valdormar
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Iskra is my pick

I enjoy classic folders a lot. Over the years I have used Agfa, Fuji, Mamiya, Voigtlander, Seagull, Zeiss, and a few others.
Most used is my Iskra. That 75mm Industar-58 is very special. Bought 5 over the years and I've had to restore all of them.
Great cameras to work on and worth it.

Image taken with my latest restored Iskra (1959 first version (PM7605) Nº6001501
Fomapan 100
@f/4 - 30/sec


ISKRA - Industar-58 'P' 3.5 75mm by Valdormar Hauslendale, on Flickr
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Old 06-13-2019   #44
davidnewtonguitars
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This is a stunning portrait!
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Old 06-14-2019   #45
Robert.M
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Folding cameras are wonderful, they are lightweight, compact when folded, and often fitted with quality lens. I have a few dozen and I use them often. We must not forget that these veterans are often 50 years old or more.

The main precaution when buying is to check the condition of the bellows. When using do not forget to advance the film only when the camera is open to prevent aspiration that may compromise the flatness of the film.

If you respect these conditions you can get good results.
Here are some pictures taken with them.




Ihagee Auto Ultrix 6x9 folder

Radionar 4.5/105






Welta Perle 4.5/6 folder
Tessar 4.5/75









Voigtlander Bessa 66 6x6 folder
Heliar 4.5/75









Ensign Selfix 820 6x9 folder
Ross Xpres 3.8/105




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Old 06-14-2019   #46
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really nice pics.
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Old 06-14-2019   #47
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Agreed - exquisite images and great optics.

I see my favourite camera shop has an Ensign Selfix 12-20 for the grand total of £29...
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Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

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Old 06-15-2019   #48
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I have had a few kodak folders, down to just one now a Vigilant 620. It actually is a pretty good camera that produces nice images the same as most of the other Kodaks I had. My 2 newest folders are in the "1st roll stage". An Agfa Super Solinette that just came back from Jergen Krekel and Voigtlander Bessa with Voigtar 4.5. I expect to see great images from them and doubt I'll be disappointed. Anyone that doesn't try a nice folder is missing out, IMO.....
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Old 06-15-2019   #49
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Yes, folders are capable of great images. But how about consistency in image quality?

Has any photographer built his career on folders that you know of? In past or present?

Just asking!
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Old 06-15-2019   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johannielscom View Post
Yes, folders are capable of great images. But how about consistency in image quality?

Has any photographer built his career on folders that you know of? In past or present?

Just asking!
First, let me mention their strong points. With a Tessar equivalent lens, for landscape and architectural scenes, the high-end folders will match those of a TLR. Second, there is always room in my compact camera bag for medium format folder along side a 35mm. With a medium format TLR or SLR in tow with one of my 35mm cameras, I need a bigger camera bag.

To answer your second question regarding pro use: Not that I know of.

Let's put aside the number of steps necessary the photographer needs to take between exposures. An important is issue that the viewfinders on these camera are for the most part primitive. Leica M-like frame lines with parallax correction weren't part of the game for medium format folders built in the early nineteen fifties.

Composing an image with viewfinder on a medium format TLR or SLR is far superior to any folder built before 1955.

Image quality - the cameras with the better lenses yield consistent results provided that achieve proper focus and the film is wound after the bellows have been extended. With regards to focus, I find that the few medium format folders that used unit focusing lens assemblies coupled to a rangefinder, much easier to focus than a TLR, where I usually need to use the magnifier.
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35mm Gear Bessa R, Leica II, - IIIg, - M2
Just for fun 35mm Gear a Kodak Retina II, Retina IIa, a Rollei 35 S, plus an Oly 35RD and XA
Modern Medium Format Fuji GW 690III
Vintage MF Folders a Voigtländer Perkeo II and Bessa II, 2 of them - a ZI Mess Ikonta 524/2 - plus an Agfa Super Isolette & a Record III
Digital a D300 and a D700 with some primes - still going over a decade later

"Who spilled the Dektol on the bathroom carpet?"
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A Quick Street Photo take with a Super Isolette
Old 06-15-2019   #51
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A Quick Street Photo take with a Super Isolette


SuperIso_TioLionel
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- Andrew in Austin, Texas -

35mm Gear Bessa R, Leica II, - IIIg, - M2
Just for fun 35mm Gear a Kodak Retina II, Retina IIa, a Rollei 35 S, plus an Oly 35RD and XA
Modern Medium Format Fuji GW 690III
Vintage MF Folders a Voigtländer Perkeo II and Bessa II, 2 of them - a ZI Mess Ikonta 524/2 - plus an Agfa Super Isolette & a Record III
Digital a D300 and a D700 with some primes - still going over a decade later

"Who spilled the Dektol on the bathroom carpet?"
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Old 06-15-2019   #52
donkee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johannielscom View Post
Yes, folders are capable of great images. But how about consistency in image quality?

Has any photographer built his career on folders that you know of? In past or present?

Just asking!
So everyone who takes a photo should use "professional" gear otherwise they are wasting their time? I guess 75% of us on the forum should take up basket weaving instead......
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Old 06-15-2019   #53
Russell W. Barnes
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Balda Baldix 6x6 folder, Ennagon f3.5 75mm lens; Ilford Delta 400 in Ilford ID-11 1+3 for 20 mins.

Gnarly Tree by Russell W Barnes, on Flickr
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