Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Toronto Camera Show - Winter 2017

We are blessed that there are quite a few camera shows in Toronto every year. I try hard not to miss any, although sometimes I intentionally do not go, depending on the gear lust level. The show mostly about old camera gear, which is what I like best. In recent years, price of old stuff has gone up quite a bit, and many vendors are selling their stuff at eBay prices.  Despite all that, sometimes interesting items can be had, even cheaply.

Yesterday was another of these shows. Ever since I got my lathe, I look forward to these shows, as it's the good source of oddball lenses, rangefinders that I could get to hopefully convert to use on digital. I was hoping to find some broken, cheap rangefinders with large aperture lenses, and found exactly none, exept the Kodak Retina IIIc fitted with a slow Schneider-Kreuznach 80mm f4 lens. I am extremely happy as this particular model has been the object of my search for quite some time. The front cell of the lens on this camera has is interchangeable; by replacing the front lens group, one can put on another lens with different focal lengths, like a 80mm, or 35mm. I have a Rodenstock Heligon 90mm f4, which can be used with this camera (or the lens on this camera), which I have been dying to try out. Now all I have to do is to remove the lens from the camera and make it work on my Sony A7.

Zeiss Ikon with Opton Tessar 105mm f3.5. A beauty, no?

Another find from the camera show was a Zeiss Ikon folder with an Opton Tessar 105mm f3.5 lens.  I really hesitated on this one because it was quite expensive (for me) but the lens proved to be irresistable to my already weak will power so I gave in to my temptation. The camera is not really in working condition, but the lens is in beautiful shape, which is primarily what I am after. I have an Opton 75mm f3.5 which I really love, and I don't have a Zeiss Tessar in the 105mm focal length. It will be interesting to compare this one with the Ross London Xpres 105mm f3.8.

Very beat-up Retina IIIc with Schneider Longar 80mm f4. Note the rust but the lens is in very good shape.

Converted. The lens will be mounted on a 12-17mm focus helicoid. The lens itself has focus mechanism, so this lens can focus very close by using both focus.

Got a few old other folder camera lenses, including a Plaubel 18cm f4.5, a Schneider-Kreuznach Radionar 105mm f4.5 (my third Radionar. The other two is 50mm f3.5 and 75mm f2.9).  Couple of large format Kodaks, a 6 3/8 inch f4.5 and a 7 1/4 f 4.5. Other misc bits include a few enlarging lenses and a Voigtlander Talon 100mm f2.8 projection lens, which I have already converted and is now mounted on my Nikon D810 :)

Best bargain of the day was a box of M42 2x teleconverters for a $1 each. No, I didn't buy these to use for taking pictures.  I bought them to use the mount for lens conversion.  I have already used two of them: one for the lens above, and the other is for the Voigtlander Talon 100mm f2.8 projection lens.

Overall, I think it was a quite a productive day. Enough toys to experiment until the next show in March :)


  1. Always liked the Ikon.
    How does that other on even fold back in?

    1. Yup, this Ikonta is big and beautiful! The other can not be folded with the 80mm lens (or the 35mm f4). Only the 50mm f2 lens can be folded.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.