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Within the warm folds of the past


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Within the warm folds of the past

9 Jul 2020 8:09AM   Views : 459 Unique : 338

The humble folder could be just that - humble and inexpensive - or it could be a superb professional picture taking device such as the Voigtlander Bessa 2 with the Lanthar apochromatic lens. I always desired but never have owned one of those, the holy grail of folding cameras. Folders, cameras with small bellows that fold down flat when not in use and, a huge plus, will therefore slip easily into a jacket pocket. They are usually roll film formats, anything up to 6x9cm, and the best of them will produce stunning medium format quality. Films are generally 120 size, still available, but most formats can be used with respooled film. For example, 620 film is the same dimensions as 120 but just on a thinner spindle, so a roll of 120 can happily be respooled. There are some very unusual formats as well and some may be a challenge, but I'm sure there will be somebody, somewhere, who can supply the necessary film stock.

It's important that when open a folder will click firmly into position, leaving the lens panel accurately square with the film plane. It's also important to, wherever possible, find the best lens options as the results will vary depending on the spec level. Most cameras out there will be low end versions, but there will be a few stunning gems to be found yet. Here's a few pictures of folding cameras that will fit the pocket.

Kodak Vest Pocket Model B

Houghton Folding Klito Junior

Kodak Folding Pocket Brownie Model B

Soho Pilot

Kershaw King Penguin

Soho Cadet

Butcher Carbine

Kodak No 3 Special, 1902

Folding Pocket Kodak No 3, 1909

Nixette, 1955

Solida III

Kodak 620 Junior

Baldaxette II, 1936

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altitude50 Avatar
altitude50 19 23.9k United Kingdom
9 Jul 2020 4:46PM
Nice selection of folders.
It is also a good idea to open a folder slowly or the large expanse of film can get sucked away from the film plane, so it is said.
My first real camera was a Zeiss 'baby' Ikonta 16 on 127 film I owned in the late 1950's now I am looking for another nice one.
I have a Kodak VP - looks as if it has been in a war!
I now own a British made Kershaw 630 12 exposures on 120 with a b/w film in it. I keep intending to take it out but I am snookered at the moment. It is clean and good as new and I really like the crafty shutter release set into the edge of the front cover when it is down..............And the generous discreet viewfinder,

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