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.
It’s been love at first sight: she was large and heavy but it gave me a feeling of solidity and undeniable power. She went home with her beautiful Sekor C 90mm f/3.8 lens, a Vivitar duplicator and two SDPro backs, (one for 220) but she felt a bit lonely and I proceeded immediately to add Sekor C 50mm f/4.5 and 180mm f/4.5. At that point, I was ready to fight a war. The only problem is that such equipment can fight mainly in the studio photography, because to use it outdoors things get complicated struggle. And so, the time has passed (almost two years), until a few days ago …
It took too much time, but in the end, my Leica M2 and its beautiful “damaged” Summitar managed to tie the “lawful marriage” …. 😉 All this has been made possible thanks to a special Fotodiox adapter ring ( M39 to Leica M mount) in fact they were a few months that a roll of Ilford Pan F+ was lying unused in M2 and, given the time elapsed, I didn’t remember how many Iso rated the film for the first few frames. The value on the Voigtlander Vc Meter was 25 and so, I continued that way until the end.
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.
Things do not always go your way. But this case was (almost) expected. Too bad, because the Fuji GS 645 Professional is a very good camera, built with a mix of old criteria (folding structure and rangefinder) and more modern ones, especially the good and sharp lens and the meter. A good friend of mine lent me a copy in perfect condition, were it not for the presence of numerous pinholes in the bellows. I tried a repair with the “liquid electrical tape” but unfortunately it was not enough.
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.
Leica R-E & Vario Elmar 35-70mm – XP2 Labdeveloped
As loyal readers already know, at the beginning of December I faced (after almost 15 years) traveling exclusively using film cameras only. In this post I showed the equipment that I planned to use. Furthermore, I also had an Olympus OM10 with three Zuiko lenses (28, 50 and 135mm) as a backup just in case. Once in Munich (Bayern), I bought a nice Olympus OM2n, accompanied by a Zuiko 35-70mm f/3.5-4,5 and a Tokina RMC 24mm f/2.8. The films I used were Ilford XP2 Super 400, Kodak T-Max 400 and Ilford Delta 3200. In total, I took 8 rolls of 36 frames. A ridiculous number of shots when compared with those obtained in a half-day with any digital camera. But this is precisely the reason that led me back to the film, so I am absolutely delighted to have chosen this path.