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 …
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.
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.
Ferrania is a brand that all Italians of a certain age know, at least also in name only, because until the ’70s the advertising signs and neon signs appeared often in alignment with the photographers “shops” even in the remotest villages. Who then did not use at these times at least one Ferrania film roll? In short, it was kind of our local Kodak. Currently, this brand has returned to the attention of analogue photography enthusiasts with a crowdfunding operation to reactivate the film production lines once famous both in Italy and abroad. Anyway, is not the film that I want to speak about here, but a medium format camera: Ferrania Eura. Built since 1959/early ’60s, the Eura was a kind of Italian Holga, but made in a more refined and reliable way as well, with a decidedly higher level design.
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.