120 6x6 folder suggestions.

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by travis m, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. Ok bug bit. Not gonna buy yet, just looking. Yeah right... Ok would
    like opinions on folders preferably with RF not bigger than 6x6.
    Actually looking for the smallest package I can get.(pocketable) I
    already have 6x9 coffee table which I do like very much. Just want
    more portability and to be able to stash easy as I do mostly shoot
    with modern (Gasp...) slr and MF. But hey, I always carry some kind
    of classic with me for fun or just to show off. I am sure you know
    what I mean when, out comes the accordion and the kids go cool.
    Not too keen on the 6x4.5 or 6x9 but not ruling out. Zeiss Ikonta? I
    really like the lenses but seem to be kind of pricey. So many models
    which one to look for. Moskva? Any good?

    I guess I just got on someone for trying to sell Oly here from that
    site whos name shall not be spoken ;) I have been looking at
    different sites reading up on all the options I think I am going
    blind or at least cross eyed trying to decide what I like. My Problem
    is many cameras less money. I guess what is most important is
    compactness and as much as I can get in the smallest size. Any
    obvious makers for me to check out? Plus if anyone can give me some
    measurements of lets say Super Ikonta b and Moskva. Whats that other
    one Irska? Any opinions on what you have used, liked, not liked
    greatly appreciated.
  2. Personally, its difficult to recommend any folder. So many of them have leaky bellows, misaligned lenses, inaccurate shutters and hazy viewfinders, you never know what you will get. If you have plenty of money, buy one that has been refurbished with a new bellows. Expect to pay a lot more than you would for a decent TLR which is much more likely to give good photos but is of course much less compact.
  3. Already have Yashica 12 TLR. Like it alot. But recently been finding myself looking at these folders. Which ones to just stay away from due to problems. I am not really expecting a perfect 60 year old camera. Part of the fun for me is getting something to come out on the other end of the bath. I only want one good one :)
  4. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire, mostly on film.

    For me, it's difficult not to recommend a folder. I love folding cameras. I even love the smell of them. Yes, especially if you buy it on the web, there's a lot that can be wrong with them.

    For compactness, consider an Agfa Isolette. If you want a rangefinder it has to be the Isolette 3. For general condition, mine is the best pre-1970 camera I have. I only got a four-speed shutter, but it works, the lens is coated and the RF is good. I think I paid about 15 pounds.

    Also worth thinking about cameras that allow you to switch from one format to another using a mask, especially if you don't want to own too many cameras. I have a couple of Certo Supersport Dollies that can do 6x4.5 or 6x6. Trouble is, that's done with a removable mask for each format, and you never find a camera with more than one mask; sometimes there isn't even one.

    Others, like the Ensign folders, use hinged masks that can't get lost. There's a lot to be said for that.
  5. A rather compact Zeiss Ikonta is a 523/16 with 75mm f3.5 Opton Tessar. Another similar Zeiss folder is the Nettar 518/16 with 75mm f4.5 Novar lens. These are very affordable viewfinder type folders, especially the Nettar. 6x9 format in Zeiss, etc. gets a bit larger so you will need a big deep pocket. Lots of relatively compact folders to choose from in 6x4.5 format. I also have a Moskva 5 (6x9) and I'd say it's a rather large camera. Mamiya 6 (Six) and Iskra are well regarded rangefinder types but will probably need a fair sized pocket as well.
  6. I've had great luck with folders of all types. The Nettar is one of the least attractive as far as features, but also one of the most low--risk ones as far as I can see. The Novar on mine took a photo that looked as sharp as my Olympus 35 SP on a 4" square print (f8). I've had a Bessa 1 with Color Skopar that made poor images; also an Ikonta with a big Novar...really vaseline-like. Even the Ikonta was fun, though. Super Baldax (Radionar), Perkeo 1 (Vaskar), and Nettar 6x6 have all been a scream. M.
  7. Voigtlander Perkeos are about the smallest of the 6x6 folders and the model III has an uncoupled rangefinder. Balda Super Baldax is not much bigger but has a coupled rangefinder - one with an Ennit (Tessar type) lens is best. Zeiss Super Ikonta IV is really about the best of all except there are often problems with the film frame spacing (fixable). The Agfa Super Isolette has everything going for it except it is quite bulky and bellows are often suspect.

  8. if as small as possible is important, then the voigtlander perkeo fits beautifully
    in (almost) any pocket. and imo, it is a beutiful camera. i think the last model
    had an rf, mine which is a "II" does not, so i use it with an aux. rangefinder.

    happy hunting ,-)
  9. Agfa Isolette III with the Solinar lens: very compact, (uncoupled) rangefinder and excellent lens. With new bellows (usually needed) it is a very sweet camera indeed.
  10. I'm with Mark on the vote for Zeiss Ikon Nettars. They are relatively inexpensive and plentiful. They might not have the features associated with many of the others (Ie. no rangefinder, no meter) but I think they are very good value as a first MF folder. I have at least one of each of the formats (4.5 x 6, 6 x 6, 6 x 9) and like them all. I've tried a few of the other MF folders (Super Ikonta, Balda, Agfa...)but always ended up selling them. I stuck with the Nettars. Just my preference not that there is anything wrong with the others. Following is a couple pic's taken with my Nettar 518/16, Novar lens, Prontor SVS shutter.
  11. Flowers (Color film)
  12. The folder that I like very much is a Rheimetall folder with a Zeiss Tessar in a Tempor shutter. It has a view finder that can be adjusted for 6x6 and 6x4.5. If you find one with the mask, it is great. Though it has no rangefinder, no meter, I find this one useable as it is very well made (as opposed to the ones sporting Novars), lens is normally aligned properly to the film plane. The film plane/rails are normally warped. The coated Zeiss Jena Tessar is a superb performer. These are, normally, not cheap. On the few samples I have seen, the shutter works properly at all speeds.

    Size is about the same as the other similar foledrs- it is compact. Pocketable? That is a matter of how large/small your pocket is!
  13. IMNSHO, the best value for money 6x6 folder with a coupled rangefinder is the Iskra (I or II). Not the lightest, but light enough to carry around all day.

    The best RF/Viewfinder on any folder I have looked at (big, bright and accurate), not as heavy as the big Ikontas, great lens (that doesn't seem to suffer from flare), auto film advance, and really nice to use.

    The only real weakness is the film advance; you need to make sure this is working properly, and that the camera hasn't been converted to red-window. Unless you are really ham-fisted, it shouldn't cause any problems.

    The other minor issue is the filter size - 33mm - which can be a bit of a challenge to find (although I have found several at camera fairs), but some 37mm slip-on filters also fit. Aparrently series filters (VI) will also fit, although I've never tried.

    You should be able to get a good one off the auction site for $80-120, or you can try Fedka, SovietCamera or OKVintage online camera stores for a serviced one.

    Of all my cameras, this is my favourite. I've a few shots on http://pch.fotopic.net/c150836.html from several of my folders, plus several on this forum.

  14. "The film plane/rails are normally warped."

    I meant to say, "The film plane/rails are normally NOT warped."
  15. I don't know about other brands but the 6x9 Zeiss folders are actually slimmer than the 6x6 folders. My 6x6 Ikonta (Tessar) needs a fairly large coat pocket and a 6x6 Super Ikonta is huge. None are light!

    The Ikontas have a very rigid lens standard and high quality bellows. Whichever brand of folding camera you get, this is critical. If you have to replace the bellows, you may as well buy a different camera IMO. I think a lot of bellows are damaged by leaving the camera open to the air/sun for years, e.g. in a store window. The leather stays supple when the camera is closed and sealed against ozone, UV etc. The synthetic bellows (e.g. Isolette) have not held-up as well against damage.
  16. I'm a big Oly fan, but I don't remember getting in my case. You options are easy, a Perkeo II, if smallness is the key feature that you must have and an Iskra, in good working order, if you want the biggest bang for the buck.

    You do get what you pay for in folders, and the ones that deliver the best quality when printed are priced quite a bit higher than a comparable TLR. Hands down, the best build quality in the business are the Ikontas with leather bellows. The Ikontas are small, but the are not the smallest 6x6. The smallest and easiest to stash are the Perkeo I and Perkeo II. I would favor an Ikonta solely for its build quality. The Perko II has some reliability quirks.

    In regards to the Iskra, for under a hundred bucks you do get all the features of an Agfa Super Isolette, which is a great camera in its own right. Plus, you get a great Industar lens and a larger viewfinder, with a slightly wider RF base than the original Super Isolette. Unfortunately, the Iskra is not really a compact folder.

    For the record, 99% of the Agfas built before 1956 really do need new bellows. I would bet dollars to donuts that Agfa bellows and Voigtlander's wobbly front standards are what gave folders a bad name.

    With regards to 6x6 folders that I have personally run film through, the list includes Ikontas, Super Ikontas, Perkeos and Bessas. They all have their pluses, but truly happy with my late edition Isolette III, which is fitted with a front cell focusing, 75/3.5 Solinar and my Ansco Super Speedex, which is the North American branded Super Isolette, with its unit focusing 75/3.5 Solinar. The main reason is I get wonderful images that rival my two TLR's. The other reason is the Agfa range finder is bright and contrasty even in low light.
  17. My choice ... OK, it doesn't have an r/f ... would be the Kodak 66 Model III. f/4.5 Anaston in a 1/10 - 1/200 shutter. Probably difficult to find, unless you're in the UK, but worth a look if you can.

    The Zeiss Nettars and Voightlander Perkeos are nice, but the Kodak is lighter, as it's mostly plastic.

    You can see a few shots I've taken with mine here http://www.toptown.com/nowhere/kypfer/k66_pix/index.htm
  18. You can get lucky with a super ikonta equipped with a 3-element lens like the novar anastigmat 75/3.5. People seem to run for the tessar versions ignoring the cheaper brother. I got one in very good shape (version III) for euro 25,50 incl shipping. Very compact 6x6, fits in my coat pocket easily, besides my cell phone and keys. OK, you might not get THAT lucky with it, but it certainly can be had for half the Tessar versions. After some rf readjustment (easy job doable without almost any reassembly), i'm really pleased with the results, even wide-open. See some pics (latest uploads) in my gallery.

    Iskra has a strong camp, nearly everyone seems to be pleased with it. Much cheaper than the western cousins of the same league.
  19. Andrew
    I was talking about the prior post selling his Oly on That auction Site.:)

    Hey thanks all this is what I am talking about, good information for me to have when I am looking. Lots of Nettars around here and will most likely end up with one of those. I like the look of the Ikontas but have never seen a real one only picutres. I am going to try and find one local so I can put hands on I have seen a few Irskas I believe.
  20. How does one check bellows for light leaks anyway. Flashlight?
    I wouldn't even look at a camera that had bellows looking dry or cracked even real dirty. I have seen a few that have looked like they have been kept closed. The outside is dirty and scuffed from storage but bellows looking nice and pliable lens loooked pretty clean. Can someone put a ruller to one of those Ikontas if handy.
  21. Bellows Test: Sit in a darkened closet with a flash unit ready to fire from the back of the film plane.

    If you see a star-wars epsisode emitting from the bellows when you fire the flash, the bellows are toast. Actually, they can be repaired temporarily with either tool goop or some latex fabric paint.

    Ikontas and Super Ikontas have really nice leather bellows.
  22. While you're shopping, I'd seriously suggest keeping an eye open for a Kodak Duo 620, the later model with RF. Yes, it's 620 (though I think I recall it'll take a trimmed 120 supply spool, so it's not too onerous to feed), but the lens and shutter are quite nice, and even the RF version is extremely compact (and there's nothing bad about getting 16 shots instead of 12 on a roll). Of course, there are other 6x4.5 folders, too, and they are almost universally a little bit smaller than comparable 6x6; some of them (like the non-RF Zeiss models from between wars) can be quite reasonably priced even with an excellent lens like a Tessar. And trust me, it won't take long at all to get used to scale focusing; I get similar results with scale as I do with the RF on my Moskva-5.
  23. Hmm never thought of that. I have seen these but with the 620 film I had dismissed.. These are about the size I like. I guess i really don't need the Rf just get lazy some times....
  24. I have used both Nettars and Ikontas super and plain. Nettars are great fun and the big negative (or transparency) is wonderful to examine on your light box but now I have only the Ikontas. Triplet lenses can be "surprisingly sharp" around f/8 or so but a Tessar at f/8 is as sharp as my Rollei with the 2.8 Planar! You're just not going to get that kind of sharpness from a triplet. My advice: look for a "pre-war" (made until 1941 or 42 actually) Ikonta 521/16 (not "super") with (uncoated) Tessar in compur rapid. You should be able to find one for not much more than a Nettar. Coated lenses, built in rangefinders (coupled or not), and Synchro-Compur shutters are what cost you $$$.
  25. Smallest: Perkeo I (sometimes equipped with a Color-Skopar; I slide a small RF into the shoe, and the package is still tiny)

    Uncoupled RF: Isolette III/Ansco Speedex R (not nearly as well-built as the Perkeo), Ikonta M

    Coupled RF: I'm shopping for an Iskra.
  26. It doesn't matter what we say as great pictures can be taken with most cameras (and you won't stop at one or two anyway) I would suggest find someone local that you can at least hold the camera and get a feel of it. A few of the great models already recommended I don't like how they feel in my hands "ergonomics" If not that buy from someone that will stand behind their cameras not the " I bought it at an estate sale" " I don't know anything about cameras" sure some great deals but for every four I buy they all need CLA, one needs the shutter fixed, and another is just parts. Look at this great buy that I made a few years ago Auction Camera. But I will show a few of mine Pictures taken with
  27. Ouch !
  28. I prefer the Franka Solida III [with rangefinder]. It has a Schneider 105mm/2.8 lens, and it is a nice looking folder. The lens is sharp, and the craftmanship of the camera is excellent.

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