12 comments on “Meet the Cameras: Certo Super Dollina II and King Regula IIb, Part I

    • Depends how you define fun. It requires a methodical approach to get the most out of it; if you try to shoot it quickly, frustration seems more likely than fun.

      I’d say they both have character, but they are very different.

  1. I love the looks of the Super Dollina. I’m a big fan of the looks of folding cameras in general. Unfortunately I don’t like shooting with them 🙂 I own a Kodak Retina IIc and a Zeiss Ikon Contessa. And as much as I love the looks and playing around with them they just sit on the shelf, because they are so cumbersome to use. So with much reluctance I’ve now decided to sell them both. Maybe one day I’ll find a useable folding camera …

    • Folders can be a lot nicer to look at than to use, so sitting on a shelf isn’t a bad alternative. That said, I really don’t mind using my other folders (Kodak Retina I and Voigtländer Vito) that much – I find that you sort of get into a rhythm with them after the first few shots. Of course, trying to alternate with another camera pretty well destroys that, so they are best used alone. The portability is a really nice feature, especially when the camera is clearly designed to be easily carried in a pocket (thank you, Voigtländer). I also think they work better as simple viewfinder/scale-focus cameras rather than adding the extra bulk and weight of a rangefinder.

      I think the issues with the Super Dollina have less to do with the folding arrangement and more with simply odd design choices. The tiny viewfinder and inaccessible or awkward controls would be just as much issues on a non-folding camera.

      A usable folder is going to be tricky if you find a lever-wind Retina too fussy. A small collapsible lens camera might work better for you, though it won’t be as aesthetically pleasing as a pretty folder.

        • That might not be an option. The P has a light baffle that often interferes with collapsible lenses.

          I don’t know how you feel about Soviet cameras, but a FED-2 or similar with a collapsible lens will be smaller and lighter than the P, and of course the lens will be fully collapsible without a problem.

    • Very nicely done write-up on servicing the shutter. I had mine apart as well, though I didn’t document it as you did.

      You are probably correct that the lens is a triplet. It does not exhibit the typical sharpness of a Tessar-type, and a triplet would be more consistent with the target market segment of the camera. Nonetheless, it does produce pleasantly soft, low-contrast photos which I rather like.

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