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  #1  
Old 31st December 2022, 08:35 AM
Keith Tapscott.'s Avatar
Keith Tapscott. Keith Tapscott. is offline
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Question 6x6 folding cameras.

Does anyone use or can recommend a good folding camera of 6x6 format?

It must take 120 roll films and preferably have a rangefinder focusing ability. Something not too expensive and fit nicely into a coat pocket.

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 31st December 2022, 09:12 AM
Michael Michael is offline
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Agfa Isolette III.

Two common issues to watch for are bellows condition and dried grease impeding ease of focusing. But the Apotar lenses are very good and, if you are offered one at a good price with an Agnar, even better.
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Old 31st December 2022, 09:13 AM
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I went for the Seagull 203, which, by folder standards, is relatively modern. Lot's to read about them on the web.

I don't have any experience with the more classic older models, so I can't compare, but the 203, while not the most 'sexy' it's been reliable and I've never been disappointed with the results. Oh, and they tend to be less expensive as they are not as popular with collectors.
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Old 31st December 2022, 09:28 AM
Paulographic Paulographic is offline
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There is a Seagull on ebay at the moment that looks fair.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/185676574...id=EB89927388&

If I was still using folders I'd be tempted and I have five already but not as well specced as that.
Marty mentioned collectors. About twelve years ago I saw at a camera fair an Agfa Super Isolette with the Solinar, fully speeded shutter, rangefinder and frame counter. I fancied it, £85, but only had soo much money to spend so hesitated. Went back ten minutes later and it had gone, to a collector not a user.
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Old 31st December 2022, 11:14 AM
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I shoot a Franka Solida IIIL with the Radionar lens which I find works for me. They are available with a rangefinder which mine does not have. The L stands for the built in light meter.
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Old 31st December 2022, 11:29 AM
Paulographic Paulographic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill View Post
I shoot a Franka Solida IIIL with the Radionar lens which I find works for me. They are available with a rangefinder which mine does not have. The L stands for the built in light meter.
I had a Franka Solida once with a Schneider Xenar, no meter or rangefinder. Got it in a closing down sale, old style camera shop North Leeds. Went in for some chemic and it was only £20 inc case. Case had no neck strap though and a few years later my arthritic legs stumbled and it tumbled down a flight of stairs.
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Old 31st December 2022, 01:36 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartyNL View Post
I went for the Seagull 203, which, by folder standards, is relatively modern. ...but the 203, while not the most 'sexy' it's been reliable and I've never been disappointed with the results. Oh, and they tend to be less expensive as they are not as popular with collectors.
Not a folder fan myself, but checking reviews, they seem popular and give good results. My camera of Seagull stock was one of their TLR's, two in fact. The first was a birthday or Chrimbo present. Although I enjoyed using it, the focus was rather stiff and the camera produced negatives which were out of focus down the right hand side of a print. Still liking the camera though, I bought a second in the hope that the focus would be better, but it turned out to be much of the same, so I sold both cameras a while later. Some years later, whilst going through old prints, I came across some made with the Seagull TLR and this time, I quite liked the effect. But, just like now having checked eBay, the prices for them has rocketed, with some sellers charging ridiculous prices for postage, to avoid higher eBay fees one thinks?...

Anyway, back to the camera in question, a Seagull folder, I'm presuming that the sharpness on these is a lot better than my first adventure with the brand?

Terry S
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Old 31st December 2022, 02:45 PM
Svend Svend is offline
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Hi Keith,
IÂ’ve owned a number of folders, in 6x9 and 6x6. All have been good, but each have their own pros and cons. Some comments:

- Agfa Isolette are very good, light, compact and well made; Apotar are excellent 3-element lenses with a lovely rendering; Solinar are 4-element Tessar tyoe but harder to find; I've owned both and I actually prefer the rendering of the Apotar; Agnar was their bottom of the range lens, and is not well regarded; almost all Isolettes will need to have their bellows replaced, as Agfa used a cheap plasticky material which hasn't aged well; and most will need their focusing thread unstuck due to hardened green grease; be prepared to invest some time and money in these.

- Franka Rollfix with Rodenstock Trinar, a very sharp 3-element lens; this camera needed almost no work, as the leather bellows were perfect; but the lens was very prone to flare which was why I sold it; otherwise an excellent camera.

- Zeiss Ikonta with Novar triplet; very rugged, well made camera; best build of the bunch; but heavy and large; otherwise a really good camera; leather bellows hold up well; not sure I'm keen on the lens however, as it's very soft in the corners and the rendering is nothing special (Agfa Apotar is better).

Bottom line: Be prepared to have some servicing done - typically shutter slow speeds, infinity focus, new bellows, and/or rangefinder. otherwise these are fun cameras to use and can give excellent results.

Hope this helps. Let us know what you end up with.
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Old 31st December 2022, 03:33 PM
John King John King is offline
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If you can find a good one a Zeiss Super Ikonta with a Tessar lens and a coupled Rangefinder is probably the cream on top of the milk.

A good source for classic cameras like these is Peter Loy - just search on the name. I don't think he has a 6x6 Ikonta at present but the last time I looked a couple of weeks ago, he did have an Agfa Super Isolette with a 3.5 Solinar now that lens is as good if not better than a Tessar. It also has a coupled rangefinder, but because they are so good they attract a premium price.

I have just looked for you and the Super Isolette is still there priced at £495.There is also a case and looking at the picture it looks as if it were brand new.
There is also an Isolette3 with the same lens but has an uncoupled rangefinder priced at £149

Last edited by John King; 31st December 2022 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 31st December 2022, 04:00 PM
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I have a Perkeo 6x6 which is very compact, no built in rangefinder though. I use an accessory rangefinder or scale focus.
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