Many film photography fans are fascinated by cameras (and lenses) produced behind the so-called Iron Curtain, in countries of the former Warsaw Pact. The DDR (or GDR) between them has created brands as Ihagee, Praktica, Pentacon (which has absorbed the first), synonymous with high quality construction mechanics, along with names such as Carl Zeiss Jena, Meyer-Optik and the same Pentacon with lenses even at the highest level of quality. Speaking of cameras, robustness is one of the main qualities. The reliability of the models built in eastern Germany is also much higher than that of her contemporaries and even valid Soviet models. It is not uncommon then, to come across more than fifty years old cameras, which seem to come from the factory today and fully functional.
It was a long time I wanted to start shooting with a pinhole camera. To begin with, I got an Holga 120 WPC which was waiting patiently to be used. And so, yesterday morning, taking advantage of a beautiful day in late January, I was immersed in an immensely fascinating and immortal landscape: the Roman Forum and the Palatine hill.
Recently, I’m testing some interesting cameras from the Voigtlander Vito Series. In particular, I took a couple of rolls with the Vito Clr. I have to say that this is a rather “unlucky” camera. In fact, during the development of the first roll I had a light leak, due to a broken seal in the Rondinax and the second roll once developed, I realized that the film was suddenly dragging “crazy” giving random uneven spacing. I will describe in greater detail in another post the Clr, but for now, I wanted to dedicate this one to the random overlapping frames. Involuntary diptychs and triptychs, in perfect Lomography style …… Well, it could be worse! 😉
As I already wrote in the first part of this post, while traveling in Bavaria, apart from a roll shot with the Leica R-E and one with the Canon P (nightshots), I used two Olympus cameras (OM2n and OM10). I have already expressed an opinion about the films I used (Ilford XP2 Super 400 and Kodak Tmax 400).
Voigtlander is another of the names that made the history of photography. It produced many cameras and lenses with the classic German quality. Models such as the Avus and Bessa folding, or the whole Vito series (with various Vaskar, Lanthar, Skopar and Ultron lenses) are well known to fans. The brand still exists but it is not the original manufacturer.
Leica R-E & Vario Elmar 35-70mm – XP2 Labdeveloped
As loyal readers already know, at the beginning of December I faced (after almost 15 years) traveling exclusively using film cameras only. In this post I showed the equipment that I planned to use. Furthermore, I also had an Olympus OM10 with three Zuiko lenses (28, 50 and 135mm) as a backup just in case. Once in Munich (Bayern), I bought a nice Olympus OM2n, accompanied by a Zuiko 35-70mm f/3.5-4,5 and a Tokina RMC 24mm f/2.8. The films I used were Ilford XP2 Super 400, Kodak T-Max 400 and Ilford Delta 3200. In total, I took 8 rolls of 36 frames. A ridiculous number of shots when compared with those obtained in a half-day with any digital camera. But this is precisely the reason that led me back to the film, so I am absolutely delighted to have chosen this path.
Today it is raining so, instead of going out to photograph (that is the thing I love the most), better stay dry and write a nice post on my blog. This time we’ll talk about a high-end camera …. lent by a friend (yes, the same one who gave me the Leica R5) for this test. Some general thoughts before strating: the history of photography, especially of lenses, before the advent of Japanese ones, was made almost entirely by two brands: Zeiss and Leica. Two houses that have marked the mass diffusion of 35mm photography and in the case of Zeiss, also of medium and large format.