It has been a long and intense year, the one that is about to end. This blog has grown thanks to the many readers around the world. Many things have happened and others will shortly happen. The most important was the Darkroom I built, where finally be able to print the best shots made with film. Soon, I will also print using ancient techniques, such as Platinum/Palladium and Cyanotype, when will be ready the U.V. contact printer that I’m building. Thanks to contact printing, I’ll be able to better use large format cameras too. Already a couple (M.P.P. Mark VIII 4″x 5″ and Reality so Subtle pinhole 4″x 5″) are already waiting to be used. But it will also, print (via internegative) images from digital files. So even intangible electronic images will become real. This post by the end of the year is dedicated to another East Europe’s camera, but this time it is not only manual, but electronics controlled with aperture priority exposure: the Praktica Bc1.
It is true: we’re back in the …. Eastern Europe’s phase. The fact is that the cameras and film rolls accumulate, remain there for a while in half use and then finally, it is their moment to be finished, developed and published. So, it happens that concentrated within a period, similar types or even different versions of the same models. This time it is the turn of the small, but very pretty, Werra 1. Obviously, produced in the former GDR. Simple, spartan (no range finder or meter), but well performing (Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm f/2.8 lens) and with some super-technologic “surprise”, at least for the time.
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 …
In this Christmas post I want to begin by thanking the thousands of readers who have been kind enough to follow my blog. Being able to reach and share my experiences with people of every continent is to me, a source of pleasure and pride. Personally, I learned (and still do) a lot from the many blogs on the web about analogue photography. I could see countless photos, evaluate the results of many different pairs of cameras / lenses / films / developments and get an idea before i can do it myself. Sharing is caring … is an important concept, and I wanted to give the humble contribution of my experiences, sure it could be (sooner or later) useful to someone in the world. The results achieved in such a short time (less than 9 months) confirm and encourage me to continue on this path.
This time, the subject of my post is the Zeiss Ikon Contessamat SBE loaded with Adox CHS II ISO 100, from which the film was practically … perfect!
Ok, it’s a long time since I published on this blog. The problem is that my move went for long and between the forced inactivity and the cartons still to be opened, I have not been able to develop some rolls which are waiting for months. But a true blogger can not leave his readers with no new posts for too long. So I went to rummage in the archive and I pulled out some shots. These images come from the first roll which I took with my Rolleiflex Planar 3,5F more or less a year ago. Continue reading →