52 Cameras #88 – Seagull 203-i

IMG_0802.JPG  The Seagull 203-i is a Chinese folding rangefinder of indeterminate age.  I found mine on a recent trip through my local flea market on a sunny Sunday morning.  It features a 75mm/3.5 lens in a 1/300 shutter.  It is the most advanced folding camera I own, with a coupled rangefinder, a hot shoe, and a film advance lever in lieu of a knob.

I wasn’t aware of the 203-i; I didn’t feel I needed one; but once I saw it I had to add it to my collection.  A quick inspection revealed that the shutter fires and the bellows seems light tight.

The 203-i has one especially interesting feature.  A set of folding panels inside the body allow it to be set for 6×6 or 6×4.5 images on 120 film.  This must be done before loading and cannot be changed mid-roll.

My example cost $25.  It came with a ratty leather case.  The film door latch is loose, but it works if you are persistent.  The leatherette is peeling and needs to be redone. I’m looking forward to running a roll of FP4 through it soon.

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