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.
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.
As you may have read in my previous post, here came recently a noble representative of the British pride: the Agilux Agifold III. A 6×6 medium format camera. Unfortunately, its extinction meter is no longer working (or at least, I have not been able to figure out how to use it) and then, I decided not to leave her alone in this test and I accompanied with an equally british Weston Master III.
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.
Okay guys, I wrote that for this month (probably) there would be no other post, but just today marks the 177th anniversary of our beloved Art: the Photography! And so, since yesterday I had developed and scanned a new film roll, here I am again. It was at least a year that a beautiful Agfa Silette L rested sadly in a closet. Seemed to work perfectly, except the focus ring … At first I thought it was the “usual” problem of hardened lubricant that plagues many vintage Agfa cameras, but once removed the front of the lens I realized that it was simply mounted incorrectly.
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.
Okay, do not say I did not warn you! Most of my purchases in recent months has focused on Kodak Retina and Retinette cameras. As a result, even my shots and post on this blog … reflect this trend. This time, however, let’s consider one of the “Top” models of the range: the Retina IIIc (Typ 021 Ausf I). Laboriously, and after a long search, I managed to win one at an affordable price. In fact, many collectors and enthusiasts, eagerly, are grabbing these jewels of photography, conyinuosly raising the prices. Indeed, the aesthetics, the level of construction and the photographic performance, give their holder the feeling of holding in your hands something really valuable.
Wandering through my usual analog groups on the web, some time ago I saw a post about a “modern” Canon film camera and I remembered to have it. It’s the Canon Eos 3000n, purchased in 2005, already in a digital era and used very little (just a couple of rolls with Russian fisheye, as you can see in this post). So I went to rummage through my boxes moving house and I … exhumed it. To make it work I had to buy two new (and expensive) CR123A batteries. The camera, however, quickly got to work fine, like it was just out of the store. The 3000n was an economic model, built with abundant plastic use, but with many useful features and more, thanks to Eos mount, I can use my Canon lenses I owned for professional use in digital. As the first film I chose to test again the Foma Retropan 320 after the unsuccessful first test souped in FX39. This time I planned to use the Ilford ILFOTEC DD-X and I have to say that the results were quite interesting ….
About a year ago, I got a nice Minox GT camera and I took some rolls of film straightaway. The second and third have already seen them in these posts. The first one however, remained hidden somewhere, patiently waiting for me to find the time to handle it. In fact, there was the problem of the film tail completely rewound in the cartridge: the first empirical attempts, however, had not brought good results and the “Film Picker” I had purchased had disappeared during the move. Well … a long story.