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OP
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Sadly enough my folder died today after I finished shooting a roll of HP5 :sad:. Got to return back to the shop tomorrow afternoon.

Update: I found that I can trigger the shutter without the locked shutter button on top by hitting a side lever to the right which actuates the shutter. I may go that route even though it isn't easy like pressing the regular shutter :D.
 
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BobD

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I have an Ikonta like the OP's and a Super Ike 645. They are great cameras with sharp lenses. I've also owned various Retina folders and other folding 35s from Welta, Balda, Agfa, etc. One of my favorite folders is a Zenobia. It is 645 and well made with a Tessar type lens and shutter to 1/500.
 

Mr Flibble

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Sadly enough my folder died today after I finished shooting a roll of HP5 :sad:. Got to return back to the shop tomorrow afternoon.

Update: I found that I can trigger the shutter without the locked shutter button on top by hitting a side lever to the right which actuates the shutter. I may go that route even though it isn't easy like pressing the regular shutter :D.

The double-exposure prevention mechanism is not too hard to clean on the Zeiss (Super) Ikontas. I've come across sample were someone had actually disabled it by inserting a small section of a match stick so it wouldn't lock anymore.
It involves taking the central screw out and then lift off the knob. The housing itself is clamped on which can be removed by wedging a sharp object under the edge. That'll give you full access to the mechanism for cleaning.


As to your original question. I own several and shot a lot of them over the years. From early Kodaks to Seagulls to Zeiss Ikontas. Of the folders the Zeiss Ikon Nettar holds my preference for solidity and ease of use.
 

russell_w_b

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I have a Balda Mess-Baldix with Baltar f4.5 75mm lens; a Balda Baldix (non-rangefinder) with Ennagon f3.5 75mm lens; a Zeiss-Ikon Nettar 515/2 and an immaculate 1950 Agfa Billy, which my aunt bought her husband-to-be as a 21st birthday gift from the chemists' shop where she worked. I've had immense fun with all of them, but the Mess-Baldix is my favourite and fits nicely and unobtrusively in my back pocket. Love them!
--

R.
 

Donald Qualls

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Sadly enough my folder died today after I finished shooting a roll of HP5 :sad:. Got to return back to the shop tomorrow afternoon.

Update: I found that I can trigger the shutter without the locked shutter button on top by hitting a side lever to the right which actuates the shutter. I may go that route even though it isn't easy like pressing the regular shutter :D.

If that's an Ikonta with a frame counter (like my Super Ikonta B) it may simply not unlock the body release until the advance has locked at the next frame -- try restarting the counter and see if the body release becomes free again. WARNING: you will then have to cycle through the rest of the virtual "roll" to get the counter back to the free-wind state of "roll finished".
 

Dan Daniel

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Sadly enough my folder died today after I finished shooting a roll of HP5 :sad:. Got to return back to the shop tomorrow afternoon.

Update: I found that I can trigger the shutter without the locked shutter button on top by hitting a side lever to the right which actuates the shutter. I may go that route even though it isn't easy like pressing the regular shutter :D.

Yep, good to know where that second shutter release is. I assume that Zeiss knew this full well, as at least the ones I have seen have a few ridges for a finger as if they were expecting this usage.

A common problem with these cameras is that the shutter lock mechanism kicks in before the shutter is actually fired. If you wind forward (no need for film) and get the red dot to show, slowly press the release. You'll probably find that the shutter lock mechanism kicks over before the shutter fires. If you don't let up and continue pressing, the shutter will fire. But if you let up and then try to fire the shutter, no good, you are locked out. So if I am planning to take a photo and fiddling with the shutter release and change my mind, well... time for the secondary release.

If anyone knows how to adjust the sync of these two things- the shutter lock and the actual shutter firing- on these Zeisses, I'd love to know. I've looked all over for adjustment points, either threaded or just bending, and can't find one.
 

Pentode

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This problem with the double exposure lock is common to the Moskvas as well (which makes sense, since Moskvas are copies of Ikontas). It's a pain in the butt and I have to use the secondary release on my Moskva often.

I have a bunch of folders as well. My first medium format camera was a Seagull 201. From there I added my great granparents' Kodak Autographics (a 1a and a 3a, I think) and from there they just started multiplying like rabbits.
I now use the Seagull, a Moskva, an Iskra, two Retina IIa's, a Contessa, an Agfa Karat IV and I think I may have missed one or two others. The old Autographic Kodaks are both out of commission; bad bellows on the 1a and decemented lens and bad shutter on the 3a. The Kodak Tourist I used in the 1990's is.... gone. I have no idea where. I think it ran off and joined the circus. I've been thinking about getting more because, well, more is better, right? I'm interested in the Mamiya 6 and some of the Franka, Balda and Welta models. A voigtlander Bessa 6x9 wouldn't hurt my feelings either.

Folders can be a little frail and fussy but as long as the lens mount is perfectly parallel to the film plane they're capable of wonderful results.
 

Wallendo

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I have a Kodak Pocket 1a Junior (It must be designed for an extremely large pocket). I shoot 120 film using a cheap eBay adapter.
 

Donald Qualls

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Yeah, pockets were a lot bigger before 1930. Actually, I think they meant the pockets on an overcoat...
 

pbromaghin

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The 521/16, like the OP's , was my entry into medium format.
 

darinwc

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I have quite a few folders.. They have their limits but are in general very capable. Right now I am flirting with an Agfa Record .
 

Irrev.Rev.

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Just put first roll of 620 into recently acquired Kodak Six-20 C (Art Deco c.1934, Stuttgart). Had Andy @Classic Camera, Maine, do the "fine tuning."
It's goin' to be great!!
P. John
 

Donald Qualls

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I just hung the first roll, Ultrafine Express 100, from my new-to-me 1940-41 Weltini. Exposure is a little erratic, but that was me eyeballing it instead of metering every frame -- but spacing is good and all the speeds looked good before I loaded the camera. I won't be able to tell more until they're dry and I can scan them, of course, but a Xenon in good condition (and this one is very clean and nice) can usually be counted on to produce some fine images if the operator does his part.
 

BradS

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I have a Franka Rolfix jr. deluxe 6x9 folder (ca. 1950) with the 105mm frankar anastigmat(?) lens. It is the only non-pinhole medium format camera I own. I used to use it quite a lot. It makes fantastic photos if the operator doesn’t screw up too badly.
Unfortunately, I’ve not seen it in several years. I’m not sure where it is.
 
OP
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Shooting Fuji color film through mine today and so far I have been super excited to see how the results come out soon.
 

russell_w_b

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Here are some colour pics from my Mess-Baldix and Zeiss Ikon Nettar. The Carlisle Electric Light Co is on Fuji and I developed it myself. The other two are lab-developed on Kodak Portra 400. I usually just shoot B&W and develop myself (all pics on my Flickr site) but treat myself to a roll of colour film now and then.

Limitations... Yes. I don't generally open up wider than f8 as the photos are a bit 'soft' around the edges: triplet lenses, I suppose. Speeds seem OK as I can capture moving trains at 1/300 sec (although I haven't done any tests - may actually be 1/200 or 1/250). I don't like hand-holding below 1/50 sec although I've got away with it in the past. The beauty about the little folder is that the tab on the baseboard folds down and the camera can readily be supported on a lamp-post or a wall or other street furniture and remains steady whilst the shutter is fired. A cable-release is best but I keep forgetting it.
 

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narsuitus

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... I don't generally open up wider than f8 as the photos are a bit 'soft' around the edges: triplet lenses, I suppose. Speeds seem OK as I can capture moving trains at 1/300 sec (although I haven't done any tests - may actually be 1/200 or 1/250). I don't like hand-holding below 1/50 sec ...

I like your approach. I try to use something similar for all my handheld medium format cameras using normal and wide-angle lenses.
 

takilmaboxer

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I've been a folder nut since the 1960s. My favorite is the Zeiss 523/16. It has an f/3.5 Tessar, no rangefinder, and red window film advance. Simple, reliable, great big negatives!
 

nosmok

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Too many folders to list'em all here. Favorites in MF are Voigtlander Bessa II with Heliar; Kodak Monitor and Kodak Tourist (the Anastar lens and 1/800 shutter one); Agfa with 105 f4.5 Solinar; Plaubel Makina IIr. The best 35mm folder I've got is a Kodak Bantam 828, with those 3 little words that mean so much-- 'lumenized' Anastigmat Special.
 

Algo después

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My lovely Zeiss ikon Maximar 207/7 with CZJ 135 mm lens.
... just an older advice for this size: make sure to buy with the right film holders.

IMG_20200719_100221913.jpg
 
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Huss

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Here are some colour pics from my Mess-Baldix and Zeiss Ikon Nettar. The Carlisle Electric Light Co is on Fuji and I developed it myself. The other two are lab-developed on Kodak Portra 400. I usually just shoot B&W and develop myself (all pics on my Flickr site) but treat myself to a roll of colour film now and then.

Limitations... Yes. I don't generally open up wider than f8 as the photos are a bit 'soft' around the edges: triplet lenses, I suppose. Speeds seem OK as I can capture moving trains at 1/300 sec (although I haven't done any tests - may actually be 1/200 or 1/250). I don't like hand-holding below 1/50 sec although I've got away with it in the past. The beauty about the little folder is that the tab on the baseboard folds down and the camera can readily be supported on a lamp-post or a wall or other street furniture and remains steady whilst the shutter is fired. A cable-release is best but I keep forgetting it.

Lovely pics!
 

narsuitus

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How do we define a folding camera?

Even though my 4X5 view camera, Mamiya RB67 SLR, Mamiya C220 TLR cameras have folding bellows, I do not consider them to be folding cameras.
 
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