Medium format (foldable)

Shot with Ikonta 521/16 on Kodak T-Max 400

Pretty early into my journey with film I tried a medium format camera. I was immediately fascinated by the size of the negatives and the amount of details these formats provide.

Shot with Ikonta 521/16 on Kodak T-Max 400

There are several medium format sizes for the film shooting: 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7 and 6x9 While the other formats are really cool - especially 6x9 for the landscapes, I love squares. So I chose the 6x6 camera, it was an Ikonta 521/16, a foldable (fits in the jeans back pocket!) camera with simple frame viewfinder and scale focus. I think I ruined the first or the second film I put in by exposing it to light because I wasn’t sure I loaded it properly.

Shot with Ikonta 521/16 on Kodak T-MAX 400

The camera amazed me. While looking and feeling old (it was a pre-war model, somewhere from the late 1930s), it delivered excellent results. I did not expect it. While I had some trouble with the scale focus - I did missed about 30 to 40 percent of the time- the shots that were in focus were really incredible.

Shot with Agfa Isolette III on Kodak Ektar 100

Later on, I bought my first TLR (i will tell about them in the next post), a Soviet era Lubitel 166U, and very quickly I moved to a great Yashica Mat 124G. The foldable was forgotten, and then sold. I still regret selling it.  Today I have another excellent example of a foldable camera - Agfa Isolette III, with uncoupled rangefinder (that needs a bit of adjustment).

Shot with Agfa Isolette III on Kodak Ektar 100

This camera is a later one - based on the serial number and the shutter, it’s from the late 50s. It has a 85mm f/4.5 Solinar lens with Synchro-Compur shutter with speeds from bulb to 1/500s. It takes great photos, is bigger and heavier than the Ikonta, but still fits in my jeans back pocket.

Shot with Agfa Isolette III on Kodak Ektar 100

I take it with me when I’m into 35mm shooting, but still feel I might have a good setup for medium format shot. I rarely take only the foldable camera with me, because I prefer to use my TLR or SLR. I’ll discuss them in my next post.

Shot with Agfa Isolette III on Kodak Ektar 100