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.
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.
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.
Surely, many fans consider the XP2 Super an excellent film. High sensitivity, fine grain and good tonal scale are the reasons for its success. There’s only one small problem: it is designed to be developed with C-41. The same process used to develop color films. In recent years, however, after the explosion of digital, the laboratories that dealt with these films have gradually disappearing and often, those who want to use them, must resign themselves to send the rolls of exposed films to other cities (with consequently higher costs and waiting times), or to develop by themselves.
Ok… I’m back! I finally got to shot again, and above all, to develop. So, this time I tested some things all at once: A beautiful Canon P rangefinder , with 39×1 screw mount, togheter with two standard Soviet lenses: the Jupiter 8 50mm f/2 and the Industar 61 52mm f/2.8. What’s more, however, I developed the film with the old Agfa Rondinax system, using Ars – Imago Fd developer.
Perhaps, as they say … I put too many irons in the fire but the results were satisfactory.
After the recent test of the Leica R5 (with the Vario-Elmar 35-70 zoom), I had the opportunity to shoot again with a series R camera, namely the R-E. This is a simplified version of R5, diversified by the fact of having only the manual exposure and aperture priority. It’s been produced in a limited number of units (about 6500) and according to the experts, has proven reliable and free from some electronic drawbacks present in the Leica cameras made before the R5. This time, in addition to the Vario – Elmar zoom I got to shoot with the “Mighty” Summicron R 50mm (Type II – Made in Germany) f/2. A lens that, if not quite up to the homonymous M series for rangefinder cameras, it certainly comes very close to the performance of that.