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Living with a 1950's Folder
Living with a 1950's Folder
Published by Brian
16th January 2009
Default Introduction




Camera - ADOX mess Golf II circa 1953
Purchase Price - £25 from Photographica 2007 complete with case
Service Price - £55
Lens Hood - £12


Total cost £92


Brief Description


6 x 6 Folding camera with an uncoupled rangefinder, separate viewfinder and f4.5 75mm Cassar lens.


Using the Camera


I'd been looking for 6 x 6 folder for a while, but most of the examples I had seen had all been without a rangefinder, overpriced or just too big. Well, it was whilst I was walking around Photographica 2007 that I spotted this little beauty; a 6 x 6 folder with an uncoupled rangefinder that came complete with case and all for only £25. I just had to have it.


When I first picked up the camera it soon became obvious that the slow shutter speeds and the self timer didn't work. So I when I got back home I resorted to a few drops of lighter fuel dripped down the cable release socket to see if I could sort out the shutter. This did the trick and all the speeds down to and including a second now worked although it was impossible to tell how accurate they were.

It was time to take the camera out to play, so I took it with on my lunch time walk and I rattled off a film in no time. Eager to see the results I developed the film that night and I was soon examining the negatives over a light box. Two problems were apparent: the rangefinder was out of calibration and the lens was rather prone to flare.


Despite these problems I took the camera, along with the Mamiya C330, to Malta for a few days in mid March. Now, the first day out there was my friend's fortieth birthday and we decided to see his fifth decade in in style. The next morning, I didn't feel at all well and had to leave the hotel to get some fresh air and so, after a quick coffee at the kiosk outside the hotel, I found myself walking around St Julian's complete with Adox and a roll of Pan F Plus.


It was whilst I was in this rather delicate state that I took the picture shown below. I had initially been attracted to the the signs on the wall when these three simply stood in frame and started to have a conversation. Well, I decided, I might as well take a picture of them, a down site more interesting than the wall anyway. I've since blown this picture up to 11” x 14” and and it's pretty impressive.



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  #1  
By Richard Gould on 16th January 2009, 07:47 PM
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interesting to read how you get on with 1950's folder, they are great fun to use,I have a couple myself and love them Richard.
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  #2  
By Dave miller on 16th January 2009, 08:13 PM
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Good article Brian, I hope it persuades others to rescue a folder and put it to use. I have Balda 6x6 which I don’t use nearly enough. I like the idea of the LED torch, a good addition to any camera bag.
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  #3  
By Sandeha Lynch on 16th January 2009, 08:26 PM
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Great, Brian. Your lens is probably single coated, and therein lies half its character so I wouldn't touch it, but I'd agree that a hood is essential to get the best from it. I can't see the photo you mention, so I hope you'll put it in an album. Sometime you might want to look out for a Mamiya 6 from the same period ... multi coated 4 element lens, and a coupled rangefinder.
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  #4  
By Andrew Bartram on 17th January 2009, 07:50 AM
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Thanks for an interesting article Brian.
Although it isn't a rangefinder I enjoy taking my 6X6 Zeiss Nettar out for a spin.
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  #5  
By Barry on 17th January 2009, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandeha Lynch View Post
Great, Brian... Sometime you might want to look out for a Mamiya 6 from the same period ... multi coated 4 element lens, and a coupled rangefinder.
Like this one?
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  #6  
By Brian on 17th January 2009, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandeha Lynch View Post
Great, Brian. Your lens is probably single coated, and therein lies half its character so I wouldn't touch it, but I'd agree that a hood is essential to get the best from it. I can't see the photo you mention, so I hope you'll put it in an album. Sometime you might want to look out for a Mamiya 6 from the same period ... multi coated 4 element lens, and a coupled rangefinder.

Well, fixed the picture problem: it appears I've got to use a public gallery for the picture links to work.


Brian
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  #7  
By Sandeha Lynch on 17th January 2009, 11:21 AM
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That's the type, Barry. The camera is rear focus (the film plane moves) so one would need to check if it has the pressure plate. I have a slightly later one with both 6x6 and 6x45 options.

Pics visible now.
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  #8  
By Steve Smith on 17th January 2009, 12:33 PM
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I find folders useful when I want to go on a walk and not carry too much - when the actual walk is more important than the photography (sometimes it's the other way round).

Last year I was given a re-furbished Ansco Speedex R which is the same as an Agfa Isolette III. It too has an un-coupled rangefinder which I find works quite well and is accurate.


Steve.
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  #9  
By Barry on 17th January 2009, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
Well, fixed the picture problem: it appears I've got to use a public gallery for the picture links to work.


Brian
Currently its the only option Brian. However we are looking at setting up an articles album in the gallery just for this purpose. This will avoid you filling up your personal album.

We will get back to you on this one.
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