After more than two years since I started using film again, the inability to print my negs was becoming unbearable. Unfortunately I do not have any usable space in the house and I do not like at all the “flying solutions”. So I was almost resigned to not being able to have my own darkroom for a long time yet. Recently, however, while they were undergoing some work in my garden, I decided to convert an old storage room into something more substantial masonry … and use it as a Darkroom, although devoid of running water (too difficult and expensive to achieve an appropriate plant).
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.
After some time, here is the return of a Voigtlander Vito. More precisely, the Vito B, built between 1954 and 1960 in two versions that differ mainly in the size of the viewfinder: the one in my possession is the last, with the biggest viewfinder. A very simple camera, with neither a rangefinder or a lightmeter. However, the lens is the renowned Color Skopar 50mm f/3.5 (or f/2.8), in my case mounted on a Prontor SVS central leaf shutter. What is amazing about this camera is the weight! In a body of small size and rounded lines, holding it you will be surprised by the robustness of the construction. Very beautiful to behold, and pleasant to handle. To test it I wanted to use a film recently introduced on the market: the Foma Retropan 320. The small but fierce house from Czech Republic has decided to propose Retropan as a soft and “retrò” effect coupled with an extended exposure latitude. As first time I rated it to 250 ISO.
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.
Okay, it was a bit of time that I don’t propose one of my “mixed salads”, in which I put too many ingredients … and therefore, risk bad results. Yeah, because when there are too many elements (with whom you have little or no experience) in the game, it becomes difficult to avoid mistakes. However, this time, I am definitely satisfied: everything went well, and each element has worked to perfection, leading to impressive results … as of course, you can judge by yourself looking at pictures.
Finally, I got a Leica M …. namely, a M2. But also to use a legendary camera, you need the right lenses. So I had to find some… just to start and got a 35mm Voigtlander Color Skopar f /2.5 (Leica M mount) and are waiting for a Leitz Elmar 90 mm f/4 with Ltm mount (M39). But in the meantime, a friend of mine lent me a “Collapsible” Leitz Summitar 5 cm f/2 Ltm mount too, a bit ruined … just to test it. While waiting for a Ltm to Leica M Mount adapter ring, I decided to test first this one, both in digital (with a Fujifilm X-T10) that on film by mounting it on my Canon 7 rangefinder.
Just a month ago,I presented on the “pages” of this blog, the Voigtlander Vitoret. A very simple camera but belonging, in some way, to the glorious Vito series. Having heard good things about Vitos, gradually my collection has grown, enriched with some easily available models on the market for low prices. The first one I tried was the Vito CLR, but there have been problems of development in the first roll and overlapping frames in the second (as published in this post). So I look to make a decent roll before publishing a complete test. Even so, the Clr in question is equipped with Color Skopar lens, which has a much higher reputation than the Lanthar used on Vitoret and on the camera I’m showing today: the Vito CSR.
About a year ago, I saw a beautiful and unusual rangefinder in a Facebook group. Of course, I had to get it immediately and, fortunately, I found one in good condition at a great price. The Kuribayashi Petri infact, is a rather rare camera Japan made around 1957-1961 but in Japan, it’s still possible to find some good specimen. Equipped with a fixed Orrikor Color Corrected Super 45mm f / 2.8 lens and a central leaf shutter Carperu MXV with speeds from 1 sec. to 1/500 sec. + B, and it is really built like a tank!
Generally (and you can see it all in this blog) I prefer to shoot with film in black and white. Both from the point of view of personal expression and because I believe that is easier and cheaper to self-develop b/w instead of color. Occasionally, however, (you may have noticed this too) I like to take some color photos. I do not have so much experience in this regard, having only used the Kodak Ultramax 400 35mm and a couple of Fujifilm (Pro 400H and Reala 100) in medium format.