Seagull 203

The seagull 203 is a copy of the Agfa Super Isolette, and was produced from 1964 to 1977. The camera has a built-in mask to switch from 6×6 to 6×4.5 formats.This of course means you get 12 or 16 exposures from a roll of 120. The camera uses the “red window” method of frame counter, so you can’t use 220 film.

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TECH DETAILS:

  • Lens: Haiou S-111-2, 3 elements in 3 groups, f:3.5 / 75 mm, coated
  • Shutter: speed range B, 1,2,4,8,15,30,60,125,300; with selftimer ca. 10 sec.; with flash synchronisation at all speeds
  • Finder: coupled rangefinder with double-image viewfinder
  • Exposure calculator and EV-ring from 4 to 17
  • Coupled shutter-speed / diaphragm mechanism
  • Film winding lever with double-exposure prevention

This is a fun little camera, it can’t really be compared to other pro Medium Format cameras, but at the same time it is more serious than a holga or other toy 120 film cameras. With a 3 element coated glass lens it definatly runs rings around the toy camera market, and can be compaired with other serious amateur cameras of the same era. It will still out perform your average DSLR.

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These folding Medium format cameras are really convinent when out and about, the are light weight and quite portable.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say they fit in your pocket unless you are wearing cargo pants. But the fun factor is right up there and they are very convinent.

The Seagull 203 that I reviewed lacks a flash shoe, although later models have a cold shoe. Which would make life much easier.

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The 203 handles colour print film very well, as you would expect especially considering it is young enough to have coated lenses.
All in all it is a great little alrounder, if you want the quality and feel of 120 without the bulk and weight, give the 203 a try it is lighter than a SLR system; and a great conversation starter too.

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