There are many excellent Eastern Europe lenses of the past with the M42 screw mount, and I have some, e.g. the Helios 44M4 58mm f/2. Built in the former Soviet Union to equip Zenit cameras. The latter, while if robust, often have limits, both operational, and reliability. To play it safe and always staying behind the Iron Curtain, should turn to production in the former GDR. Still were German! And so, I did not miss a couple of Praktica Mtl5 bodies . One normal, and the other in B version. These differ between them practically only in the power source of the TTL CdS meter. The second in fact, uses the current LR44/SR44 batteries, while the first was designed for use with the PX625 mercury.
These days I am quite busy (even testing and optimizing my new Darkroom and enlargerss) and then I had little time to shot and develop. But I can not overlook this blog too. So I’m writing this quick post with some results from a roll of Ilford Delta 400 Professional pusheded to 1600 ISO and developed in DD-X. This time I used the Olympus XA4. Nothing particularly new for this blog, but it’s always a pleasure to share our film experiences … 😉
There is a camera that I love very much, but I haven’t been too lucky with. It’s the Soviet version of the legendary Zeiss Contax II, which in the 30’s and 40’s disputed the primacy to the eternal rival Leica in the 35m range. Immediately after the war, as partial compensation for damages, all equipment and materials present in the Zeiss factories were moved (along with a good number of technicians and specialized workers) behind the Iron Curtain, in Kiev, at the plant of Zavod Arsenal. Here, in the years immediately following the war, they were therefore produced the Kiev II (almost exactly the Contax); later underwent some changes in later models III and IV. Unlike Zorki and the Fed, that “copied” the Leica models from afar … these Kiev, in fact, can not be considered copies but, delocalized productions …
Last week I published a successful post (both on this blog and on various social forums) about the first test with my Pentacon Six Tl. As written in the post, I had to develop another roll, mainly took the same day of the first one. The problems I got were pretty much the same, but at least a careful observation of the negatives and of the camera were useful to better clarify their causes and what I’ll have to do to solve them.
Being (among other things) a fan of cameras and their respectable lenses, made behind the Iron Curtain , long ago I had the opportunity to enrich my vintage “arsenal” with a beautiful Pentacon Six Tl, fitted with its Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm f/2.8 standard lens, wlf and metered pentaprism with angled eyepiece (and diopter correction). The camera is truly remarkable aesthetic and mechanical conditions, but a first test roll gave so many problems that I thought of having to make another to correct some of my errors in the loading of the film and in the development of the same. In the meantime, I ordered a new focusing screen with split image on Araxfoto site. Following the instructions on the Pentaconsix site (which I highly recommend for any info about these cameras), a few days ago I loaded a Ilford HP5+ film and started my hunting for satisfactory images. But …. things do not always go as we would like …
During the month of August, typically, people is on vacation or otherwise, busy with the many things to do left behind throughout the year. For this reason also the publication on this blog slows down. But, for (probably) the only one of this month I wanted go “big”, publishing an unusual mix of images taken with pinhole cameras. In addition to the Holga WPC you already know, I used for the first time the “Reality so Subtle” 6×6.
For several months now I have started to frequently use the Ilford Delta films, and also the Ilford Ilfotech DD-X as a developer. I always got good results exposing the Delta @ box speed, but also, for example, “pushing” the 400 to 800 ISO, as you can see in this post. Given these results, I wanted to go even further and so, I loaded my Olympus OM 10 with a roll of Delta 400 and set the meter on the 1600 Iso value.
Once again, on this blog, it is the turn of a Kodak Retinette. This time, it is the IIA model (Typ 036), produced in the 1959/60 biennium. It differs from the (virtually) contemporary IA model especially for the presence of the coupled exposure meter and the ingenious method indicating the depth of field similar, if not practically equal, to the one present on the IIB model. To tell the truth, the numbering of the various Retinette models is rather convoluted and I myself still constantly confused between a model and another. So I recommend you consult this Camerapedia page to get a better idea. However, whatever the denomination, each Retinette model I used has always lived up to the hype, back home photographs very well exposed and sharp, thanks to the excellent Reomar, both in the Schneider Kreuznach (IIB versions and IIA), or Rodenstock (IB) versions.
Recently, I’ve been quite busy both for purely professional reasons, both for participation in an important collective photographic project. The State of Things, this is its name, is a project of social and documentary photography, entirely self-financed and self-released, carried on by about 40 italian photographers, which aims to keep alive the attention of public opinion and institutions towards the situational city of L’Aquila (and vicinity), struck seven years ago by the disastrous earthquake that has devastated not only the urban aspect, but also the entire social and economic life. For this reason, I had to slow down both my usual shooting pace with the film, and the publication of new posts on this blog. But, I could not leave alone too long my loyal readers, and so, I had already prepared some material to be published in this period. Here is the second part of my tests carried out with the Canon 3000N, this time loaded with Kodak Trix.
A beautiful spring day, a friend who invites you to accompany him on a short trip to the beautiful Todi (one of the many jewels of Umbria) and the constant desire to photograph: what to ask more? And in fact, I immediately accepted the invitation and loaded my Leica M2 with a Tri-x, setting the Voigtlander VC-Meter @ box speed. As you know, in the past I had some problems with this film, when rated @ 400 Iso, but this time, I had on my side the ILFOTEC DD-X and I was sure that the outcome would have been much better.