Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Classic Film RangeFinders & Other Classics > 120 film RF Folders

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Best of these two folders.
Old 08-17-2019   #1
Registered User
jmpgino is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ga U.S.A now, England before.
Posts: 346
Best of these two folders.

For Black and White only, of these two which is the finer glass.
Super Ikonta 531/2 with coated Zeiss Opton or the Voigtlqnder Color Skopar 80/3.5f on a Perkeo 11.
Are there limitations on either of them regarding certain bad apertures ?
Thank you for any help.....
  Reply With Quote

Tessar v. tessar
Old 08-17-2019   #2
randy stewart
Registered User
randy stewart is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 105
Tessar v. tessar

I've used a Super Ikonta a bit. I've not used a Color-Skopar on a Perko II, but I've used several on other models. Of course, the Color-Skopar is Voigtlander's take on the Tessar, so there isn't much between them. I've used a variety of Voigtlanders over the years, leaving me with the impression that they always were able to pull a bit more performance out of their lenses than other makers, including Zeiss. Assuming you are actually going to use the camera to take photos, and you are not put off by lack of rangefinder in the Perkeo, I'd pick the Perkeo. My use of the Super Ikonda B left me returning it as too bulky, too heavy, and too fussy to use comfortably. The only other distinction I can think of favors the Perko, in that it uses unit lens focusing, whereas the Ikonta uses front lens cell focusing which disfavors its quality at closer focus distances.
  Reply With Quote

Both lenses use front cell focusing
Old 08-18-2019   #3
Analog Preferred
Solinar's Avatar
Solinar is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Age: 65
Posts: 2,555
Both lenses use front cell focusing

Originally Posted by randy stewart View Post
The only other distinction I can think of favors the Perko, in that it uses unit lens focusing, ....
Perkeos use a front cell focusing lens as well. Check for motion of the rear lens group relative to the film plane while adjusting the front focus ring.

It's the Bessa RF and Bessa II that utilize a unit focusing lens mount.

With regards to which has the better glass - with folders it's difficult for me to make a blanket statement due to the possibility for misuse and bodged repairs during the past 65 plus years. I have examples of both lenses, a Perkeo II and a 6x9 Zeiss Ikon Mess Ikonta 524/2. So, out of a sample population of two cameras, I know which is my favorite based on optics.

Randy mentioned other factors which will affect how much I personally will use a camera. If it is a Perkeo II in good nick - a major plus is that the winder will automatically stop at the next frame, when winding on after an exposure. With exception of frame one, there's no need to utilize the red window on the back of the film door.

With regards to its size, - as opposed to a 6x9 folder - there's is always room for a Perkeo II in a camera bag .
- Andrew in Austin, Texas -

35mm Gear Bessa R, Leica II, - IIIg, - M2
Just for fun 35mm Gear a Kodak Retina IIa, a Rollei 35 S, plus a Voigtlander Vito II and Vito BR
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?"

Last edited by Solinar : 08-18-2019 at 10:32. Reason: Added the size factor to my post
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-18-2019   #4
Registered User
citizen99's Avatar
citizen99 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Bristol, England
Posts: 753
I think it's a bit comparing 'apples and oranges' as the different formats and focal lengths (SI 531/2 6x9 vs Perkeo 6x6) imply differences in the lens utilisations in a given situation

I've had earlier versions, than those mentioned, of both SI and Voigtlander 6x9 and 6x6.
As others have pointed out above, the ergonomics and size/weights are very different; I found that Voigtlanders were most to my taste but that's just my personal preference - especially the Bessa RF - and I've always had good results from Skopars of whatever focal length.

Last edited by citizen99 : 08-18-2019 at 07:59. Reason: Brain f*rt - I wrote Solinar, meant Skopar, corrected
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-18-2019   #5
Robert Lai
Registered User
Robert Lai is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,637
I've had the Zeiss Super Ikonta C with Opton Tessar, which was overhauled by Henry Scherer. With the large 6x9 negative, the lens problems at the corners do become evident. I feel that the front cell focusing lens requires stopping down to f/8 or smaller to give a really excellent image.

I've gone with the Bessa RF 6 x 9 folder by Voigtlander. Mine has a Color Heliar lens (immediate post war production, new lens on old style body), and the entire lens board moves back and forth with focusing. This camera to me gives better results than the Super Ikonta C.

If you really want a fantastic 6x9 camera, look into a Kodak Medalist II. The Ektar lens is a Heliar type lens, and in a solid rigid body with accurate rangefinder, the images are really crisp.
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-18-2019   #6
somewhat colored
Godfrey's Avatar
Godfrey is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 9,173
Originally Posted by jmpgino View Post
For Black and White only, of these two which is the finer glass.
Super Ikonta 531/2 with coated Zeiss Opton or the Voigtlqnder Color Skopar 80/3.5f on a Perkeo 11.
Are there limitations on either of them regarding certain bad apertures ?
Thank you for any help.....
I've had both of these (and two other similar era Super Ikontas in 6x6 and 645 as well), and a Balda. I've kept the Voigtländer Perkeo II out of all of them: best made, best lens, next to the most compact/lightweight, and best photos out of it.

  Reply With Quote

Old 08-18-2019   #7
Steve M.
Registered User
Steve M. is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,382
It's more about which camera suits you better. Keep in mind that the Super Ikonta 531/2 folders are bigger 6x9 cameras, while a Perkeo II is a small 6x6 format camera. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned this. This makes a comparison between the two not very meaningful. Front cell focusing vs unit focusing is more about the unit focus being a little sharper wide open. Stopped down it's a wash between them.

Me, I would opt for a Super Ikonta III with a Novar lens. Three element lenses have their own charms. The Tessar lenses are usually sharp even wide open, while the Novar is a littler softer and therefore better for portraits. Not that an 80 lens on a medium format camera is really a portrait lens, but w/ all the acreage of a 120 neg you can crop down to a head shop and still make sizable enlargements. The Super Ikontas w/ the Novars sell at much more reasonable prices than the 4 element cameras, and anyways, I like 3 element lenses more than 4 or more element lenses, unless it's a Heliar, and there are very few lenses in photography that are better than those. A well tuned Super Ikonta III is a joy to use.

For B&W, a Tessar design is a Tessar design. They'll all image about the same. Many people prefer an uncoated lens w/ a yellow filter for B&W, myself included.
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-18-2019   #8
Kostya Fedot
Ko.Fe.'s Avatar
Ko.Fe. is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: MiltON.ONtario
Posts: 7,491
One which doesn't have VF moved from the center and too complicated and fragile film rewind mechanism. This one will give better pictures just because it has not this bad parallax defect and sissy mechanics which will drives you nuts.
  Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 17:41.

vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.